All posts by Meredith

The Advantage of Focusing on One Goal at a Time

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If you’re the type of person who likes to be busy, you probably take on too many goals at one time. When you have too many goals, it has a habit of weighing you down, and this makes it harder to see any one of those goals through to the end. How do you handle this tendency? The best way is to narrow down your goals to just one and give it all of your focus and motivation. See it through before you start on the next.

Prioritize Your Goals

A common objection is, “But my business has multiple goals. I can’t just focus on one.”

Focusing on one goal doesn’t mean giving up the rest. What it means is focusing on one for the time being, and putting the others on the backburner for now. “For now” could be just this week or the next few months. The important thing is that you’re focusing.

You can decide which goal is the most important through prioritizing. Take a look at everything you’re working on now. Which of these will have the most positive impact on your business when it’s completed? This is the one you should focus on. You should also keep in mind your resources. You may have an important goal but lack the resources right now to carry it out.

Working Towards Your Goal is a Learning Experience

When you focus fully on one goal, you can learn valuable lessons from it. This is especially important if you’re a small business or solo entrepreneur with little experience marketing your business. As you work towards your goal employing marketing strategies, you’ll learn along the way which work and which don’t, and how to carry them out effectively. You can use this knowledge for future goals.

For example, you may decide to write guest blog posts in order to drive traffic to your site and spread awareness. Once you get started, you realize that you could write an email template for sending inquiries. The template explains who you are, why you’re an expert, and how your content could enrich the person’s blog. This saves a great deal of time and you can send out more inquiries, which leads to more blog posts.

This is the sort of thing you may not have learned if you were bogged down with several goals or strategies at once.

One Goal and One Marketing Strategy

If you want to really focus and get results, try focusing not only on one goal but on one marketing strategy as well. As the guest blogging example above illustrates, choosing just one strategy allows you to learn, streamline, and hone your skills. You can then add this strategy to your arsenal of techniques that you’ve used before.

People in the business world still sing the praises of multitasking, but any time management expert will tell you that, more often than not, it kills productivity and leads to burnout. Instead, the key to success is to narrow down and focus, and then move on to the next.

Feel like you are always marketing but not getting the results?

Check out our Fast & Focused Marketing Plan course. Skip the learning curve and do what works! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

5 Ways to Bring Sanity Back to Your Blog

Guest Post by Kimberly Gypsy LoSavio. Kim is the sassy spark behind Blogging with Gypsy – https://bloggingwithgypsy.com, her blog about blogging – smattering of mentoring, teaching, guidance, sharing, and whatever shenanigans she can think of. She helps her clients create a fabulous space on the interwebz to share their awesomeness with the World! Ms. LoSavio is a full-time momma to her autistic 7-year-old son she lovingly calls Master Beastie. She is seriously addicted to coffee. When she’s not creating websites or helping clients with their blogs, and Master Beastie is having a quiet moment of his own, you may find her crafting, writing, or even reading a trashy novel she found on Kindle unlimited.

Click for your Free Blogging Toolkit

Keeping up with your blog can have you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed if you don’t have some sort of plan in place.

And keeping up with your tribe and mastermind groups just adds to the madness, right?

I have found myself not posting to my blog regularly, even though I have a list of topics to write about.

Worse, my workspace gets cluttered with pieces of paper taped to my laptop or wall, post-it notes scattered all over and several different notebooks in different places – with no order or organization going on whatsoever – which also leads to forgetting a LOT of things I want to share.

I know I am NOT the only one this happens to!

I’m not always good about commenting and sharing other bloggers – especially those in my tribe and mastermind groups. And my friends.
It’s horrible! No wonder I’m always so frustrated and overwhelmed.

And did you know this kind of disorganized chaos affects your readership, your list (people start unsubscribing) and can start diminishing your traffic as well? Yeah … that kinda sucks!
Especially when the whole idea of having a website and blog is to build your empire, keep those subscribers and grow that traffic.
So, what can you do, you might wonder? Or you might wonder what I did.

Yeah, I’m still wondering and I’m still doing but I’m going to share with you my not so secret secret! Or rather 5 things that will definitely help you out!

5 Simple Ways to Rid Your Blog of Chaos & Overwhelm So You Can Grow Your Reach and Community

1: Get Yourself Organized
Seriously! GETTING YOURSELF ORGANIZED is the first thing you NEED to do to feel less frustrated and overwhelmed. Even if you are one of those who thrive on “disorganized” chaos (like me), you still need to have some semblance of order.

I have a large white board that I use for a monthly wall calendar to write on next to my desk. I’m learning to make better use of my post-it note addiction. And I now use a combination of my Desire Map Daily Planner and 2 Happy Planners for keeping my soulfull biz & life in a fairly somewhat not-so chaotic mess.
Seriously! I’m lost without my planners!

I also find that I NEED to declutter my desk at least once a month. And I’m a firm believe in smudging! Yes, it’s woo-woo. But it makes me happy!
Figure out whatever works best for YOU! And what helps you stay on top of things!

2: Penning in Time to Plan your Month Ahead
This is so important!!! And what you can do with your PLANNERS!!!!
PENNING in 2 – 3 hours to plan out your month will save you a large chunk of that chaos. I say “penning” because if you “pencil” it in, that just makes it easier to erase. So, use a pen! Better yet, use a permanent marker.

I’ve found penning in planning sessions the last weekend of the month helps me keep on track, but you can choose whenever the best time is for you.
What are you waiting for?

Go on!

Grab that permanent marker and do it right now! … I’ll wait.

Okay! Ready for #3? Good!

3: Write Your Blog Posts in Clusters and Schedule Them Out
Pick a day during the week to write your post(s) at once for the next week.
You can save them all as drafts and then edit them on the days you want to want to publish them. Or you can choose one day to write and the second day to edit and schedule to publish. This is easier for those that only post 1 -3 times a week on their blog. If you post daily, you can always pick 2 different days.
It’s even easier if you’re an every other week or once a month blogger. Just figure out your perfect schedule and plan ahead the drafting, the editing and then schedule it to publish on the day you want it to go live. I love WordPress!

4: Pick one day a week to Comment on other Blogs
Commenting on others’ blogs helps build community and ultimately brings traffic back to your blog if you are listing your blog URL with your comment. But it can get so overwhelming as you add more people or mastermind groups to your tribe. I bookmark all the blogs in my tribe into one folder in my browser bar, so I have them all in one place; then I PEN in (YES with a permanent marker) the times that I am going to dedicate to just commenting on blogs and sharing them in my planner.
If you do this once a week, you are leaving 4 comments a month on each person’s blog! I call that a win in my book!

5: Being consistent!
Being consistent is really the key here.
If you stick to your plan, I promise that you will feel the frustrated and overwhelmed energies less and less.
Oh sure, the Procrastination Monster will reel its nasty head sometimes, but so long as you face it head on, take a deep breath and move forward – this is called taking action, and continue to be consistent, it will get easier and easier.

It will start to be a habit … like getting out of bed and making coffee every morning. Or breathing! LOLz

These are just a few things that you can do to keep from feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and from stopping cold in your tracks.

These steps also help guide and move you forward, to build your business and grow your community.

And don’t worry if you fall off the wagon! Just get right back up and start where you are!

Click for your Free Blogging Toolkit

Crowdsourced Coaching: How Do I Choose A Niche?

Q: How do you narrow down and target your ideal client when you love people and can see yourself serving in a lot of niches within your industry?  (Holly – ESL Teacher)

From Wally Barr

Niche should be selected based on need and value. It will allow you to realize maximum results. Your service provides a value. That value is different to different people. Where is the most value (monetary) located? A lawyer or a physician that is not getting clients because of a language barrier will out a higher value on your service. The value of a lost client is higher to them. This is just an example. These high-value clients can also be niched with services. For the physician example, writing instructions or follow up care would be much needed. To expand this idea, a class instructing the staff in basic language needs would be a niche.

From Meg Manke, Culture & Leadership Strategist, Senior Partner at Rose Group International

The real challenge is to know what kind of work you like best. What energizes you? Keep a short journal for 20 business days. At the end of each day write down how you feel; it should be a quick entry. “I am exhausted”, “I feel accomplished”, “I kicked ass today!”. Along with that entry jot down with which group you worked. Once the 20 days are up- go back and tally up distress days and eustress days and which group brings on which feelings more often. So, what’s the result? 

At the end of the day, you are most successful at what you love and nothing says “I love it” or “I hate it” like your feelings at 5 pm. 
Have any other advice for Holly?  Leave it for her in the comments to this post!

Web Reality Show Participants – Karen Boise

Our second participant in our ESCAPE Plan Web Reality Show is Karen Boise. Karen is a board certified life coach who specializes in helping late bloomers create a new life for themselves.

Karen is in the early stages of her business she calls Compelling Exploration. She has been working full time for the last four years for a community college as an academic coach, working with codering students who are working in intensive, immersive bootcamps.

Even though she loves her job, she realized that she wanted to work with people in all types of transitions, and especially late bloomers. Karen, herself, describes herself as a late bloomer, having found out what she really wanted to do in her late forties. For her, it was at that point where she says the whole world changed for her.

What excites her about starting her own business is that it will give her the opportunity to work with people all over the world, not just in her current town of residence – Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is attracted to the lifestyle of the solopreneur, being able to work anywhere, from her computer, and being able to have destination workshops in different parts of the world.

It will also give her the flexibility to juggle other aspects of her life. She describes herself as a sandwich generation-er, with a husband and 14 year old son at one end of the spectrum it is important for her to be able to spend the time with him during those formative years between 14 and 18 – and being able to care for her mother who has Alzheimers at the other.

In our first session with Karen she outlined where she had got to in her business and that she had talked to everyone she knows about what she was planning, and even had two people who had signed up to try out her coaching so she could hone her processes with them.

The main thing that concerned her was that although she had talked to a lot of people about what she was doing, very few of those conversations had led to people wanting to sign up for coaching. However, where she acknowledged she struggled was in ‘asking’ people to sign up. She worried that asking was an imposition – and that she was uncomfortable ‘asking’ people. However, as any sales trainer will tell you, half the reason why people don’t get sales is because they don’t ask for them.

This is a problem a lot of solopreneurs have. Karen is certainly not alone in that. The trick is to turn that thought process around and rather than seeing ‘asking’ for the sale as imposing on the prospect, instead see it as an offer of help to the prospect. Especially in life coaching. The prospect is seeking help – otherwise they wouldn’t be having the conversation in the first place. The coach can offer them a way that the prospect can get the help they need – that way includes getting paid, of course – and the client needs to pay in order to have ‘skin in the game’ – otherwise they won’t value it, and as soon as the going gets tough they will just stop doing it, because they lose nothing by doing so.

When it comes to finding potential client prospects, the problem with anyone who is looking to change their life, it is all in the timing – they don’t need help until they need it. But talking to people helps in that it puts the idea of getting coaching help into their minds, and if the person Karen is talking to knows someone who is going through a transition, then they will be able to refer that person to Karen as a known source of help.

The big problem solopreneurs face, and coaches especially, when they first start out it having the proof that they can help the person in need. Without a case study or two they are never going to persuade enough people to sign on to make the business viable. It will be a constant struggle to get new clients.

The way we help people in the early stages of their business allows our clients to overcome these problems, get the initial paying clients they need to validate their processes and gain those all important first case studies. Because, without those, reaching out to the wider world will be a waste of time and effort.

Ready to ESCAPE the 9 - 5? Get Your SECAPE Kit Here

Web Reality Show Participants – Sheila Galligan

Sheila Galligans’s reason for wanting to start her own business is a common story you see with a lot of solopreneurs. Her mom was in hospital and she needed the flexibility to be able to visit her mom on a regular basis – AND earn a living at the same time – a level of flexibility that just wasn’t available as an employee.

When Sheila put together an organizing event and earned $2000, all while sitting with her mother in her hospital room, even her mother thought she might be onto something.

Sheila went on to have a fair bit of success with her business, Go Big Global, where she organized telesummits for people. However, the problem was that the success was not consistent enough to be sustainable and she ended up having to take part-time work again.

One of the main reasons she couldn’t maintain the success she had, as she admitted during her first coaching session with us, was that she got completely caught up with, and overwhelmed by, the nitty gritty of her business. She would obsess over the detail of everything. Nothing could go out until it was perfect. And she felt she should be doing all this “stuff” that eventually just made her grind to a halt.

She has a passion to be successful and now has a new incarnation of her business where she helps people get guest spots on people’s podcasts. It is a great idea and has huge potential, and, because of sheer tenacity, Sheila is the perfect person to run such a business.

BUT – even in our first discussions with her, she was making the same mistakes. She was obsessing about getting a lead page up in her Lead Pages account. She was obsessing over her website and was outlining all these pages and content, articles and who knows what.

Now – don’t read this as a failing on Sheila’s part. This is a problem that many many solopreneurs find themselves in. It is so easy to get attracted – and distracted – by shiny objects we think are vital to our success.

They aren’t. They are success killers – especially at the early stages of a business.

What is vital to your success? Paying clients.

You can have the fanciest website in the whole world, but without a client success story and case study you are never going to build enough trust to a point where people will be confident enough to part with their money.

You start with the people you know – you get one or two clients by going out and physically talking to people – you work out your processes in terms of creating a successful outcome for those clients – you create case studies from those and you get those clients to give you a testimonial. Until that is done, there is no point in funnels, optins, social media, and whatever shiny object you can add to that list. By all means have a website – but make it really basic and simple – have a homepage that outlines who and what you help with, and an ‘about me’ page that sets out why you are the perfect person to help them. That’s it.

In our first coaching session we got Sheila to abandon almost everything she was doing – and getting overwhelmed by – and we got her to start making phone calls to people she knows – and tracking her results. Within two weeks of our coaching call she messaged us to say she had just landed her three  clients at $600 a piece, plus another in process.

Not only has she created a whole lot of awareness and interest in her new business, she is now getting paid clients – AND she is no longer obsessing over stuff that, at this stage, really doesn’t matter. Needless to say, she is a happy bunny right now!

Sheila admits herself that she couldn’t do this without coaching. It is an investment – there is no doubt – but that investment will repay you many times over, just from avoiding the wasted time, effort and money that so many solopreneurs experience through years of trial and error. [Here’s Sheila’s simple one page website]

If you have that dream – make the investment – and save yourself a whole load of missteps and heartache.

Ready to ESCAPE the 9 - 5? Get Your SECAPE Kit Here

The Importance of the Case Study

Almost everyone has now heard of the saying “People do business with people they know, like and trust”. The case study is a huge part of the ‘trust’ factor, and showing that you’ve actually helped someone else is KEY to getting people to trust you… but how do you get a case study if you are just starting out?

It is always the ‘catch 22’ – I can’t get clients without demonstrating how I can help people – so how do I get a client in order to show what I can do??

Qualifications and certifications can demonstrate a basic level of competency in a particular field, but that is not the same as showing how YOU took a particular client and totally turned around their problem.

So what does a case study look like?

The ideal is to have a story, at least part of which is told in your client’s words, with the following elements:

  • The issue that your client was having before they met you and how it was impacting their life
  • How they discovered YOU and the process by which they chose YOU as the solution to that problem.
  • How easy they found the process of working with you, how easy it was to understand and process what they were being taught, the materials you provided etc
  • How what YOU did solved THEIR problem (preferably with before and after stats/data)
  • How they now feel and how their life is now that the problem has been fixed.
  • How they would recommend YOU for anyone who has the same problem.

You can create this in a variety of formats to suit your particular audience. A common format is the downloadable PDF, but you could also show it as a Slideshare presentation, as a video, as a web page on your site – maybe even all of the above – but certainly as part of your webinar, if that is the funnel you are building.  (To get an idea of what a case study PDF looks like click here for Hubspot’s free template).

If a prospective customer/client reads/sees that, then when they get on a call with you, they are already 75% sold on working with you. The case study is the most powerful piece of content you can have – because your client, through their story and experience, is doing all the heavy lifting for you.

Don’t even think about doing a webinar until you have this piece secured. You’ll be wasting your time and effort. Trust us!

BUT – I hear you ask – how do I get that client in order to get the case study in the first place if I don’t have a funnel in place to get the client?!!

This is where our own process comes in – and is something a lot of the marketing experts don’t teach, mainly because they are looking for clients who are at a later stage in their businesses and have already been through this process (even though a lot of their prospects don’t realize this when they sign up).

What you do is leverage the people you already know – friends and family – and friends of friends and family. You basically connect with them, tell them what you are trying to create, and say that you need to work with someone to validate your processes and solutions and who can provide a case study (usually for free or for a heavily discounted rate).

The process of doing this will also help you enormously, not only in terms of providing an invaluable case study, but also when it comes to creating offers (because you will now know what people are looking for based on experience), creating messaging to attract inquiries, and even in perfecting your sales scripting for when you talk to those prospects.

You need only the simplest of websites, to provide clients a place to get to know who you are and what you offer. No SEO, no email marketing, no blogging, no social media – none of that stuff. It will only bog you down in a mire of ‘busy’ work – none of which will produce any clients for you until you have validated your process and have case study.

When you have your case study, THEN look at creating a webinar. Again, use your local networks to  invite a select group of people to the webinar – does it lead to phone calls? Validate the webinar – make sure it does the job you need it to do before you think about using Facebook Ads to drive traffic to it. There is no point in driving a ton of traffic to something that won’t work for you. You will save yourself a lot of time and money.

If you know the webinar converts – and you know that you can sell x% of the people you talk to on the phone into one of your high-end packages – then you are on the road to having a business that is:

Controllable – ie. get the number of clients you need when you need them,
Predictable – ie. you spend $XX per month on Facebook Ads you will get XXX people registering for the webinar, which leads to XX phone calls, which leads to X signups at $XXXX
Scalable – Once you start getting more clients than you can handle (and wouldn’t we all like to be in THAT position!), then you can look at creating group programs, or VIP weekends, or retreats, or whatever works where you can cater to more customers and clients.

Too many people try to do it the wrong way round and get bogged down in the endless minutiae of their outreach and end up either never having enough clients; giving up altogether because the amount of work is not worth the returns they are getting; or they find themselves stuck in the cycle of feast or famine.

But What About Business Based On Products or Product Curation?

The case study, in the terms that we have been talking about, really relates to businesses that are based on teaching something – a business coach or health coach, for example. But what if your business is about selling products?

It really depends on the product, of course. But here is an example from a client we worked with who was selling olive oil on a Fair Trade basis and who worked with a lot of food bloggers to get the word out about this oil. Her ‘case study’ was really about how 69% of ‘Extra Virgin’ olive oil tested in the USA was in fact a lower grade – it was fake.  However, the olive oil she was selling was the genuine article AND was sourced directly from the farmers who grow the olives in Palestine. Couple that with some testimonials from customers who love the oil and can taste the difference and you have a great case study that really does a lot of the “selling” for you.  This is a ‘why my product is better’ case study.

Similarly, for businesses that curate products – maybe that are based on a particular theme, and you use blogging or some other way of attracting visitors to your site and where you likely get affiliate commission from the sales of the products from your site, in that circumstance the client is the product producer, and your case study will be based around how much traffic you are generating to the site and how many sales you are getting for other, similar, product producers.  You might also play up the quality of the products by saying they are ‘personally hand selected’, ‘I only offer products that I use myself’, and so on.

Both are examples of how you can create a case study for either a product, directly, or for Joint Venture partnerships where you earn commission by selling other people’s products.

Either way, the case study is a hugely important part of building trust in the potential customer, so they can see that you provide your customers with a quality product, service or solution.

That is why you need to find a way to work with clients first, maybe offering a deal to get them to agree to do it – but getting that case study before you attempt to go out there and sell your product or service to a mass or wider audience. In the case of the olive oil, you may get customers buying it anyway – but you will get a whole lot more with the case study than without. Its all about trust.

Our “hack” – for solo business owners – is to take you through the correct sequence of processes to set you up for success – right from the start. If there are flaws in your process, or in what you offer, better to find out BEFORE you go building a whole bunch of products that no-one will buy. Believe me, that is a mistake we know from experience!

Like a no-obligation chat about your business?  Click here to schedule a call and see if we can help you leave the ‘struggle’ behind and get straight to the success.

Why The First Thing in Your New Business is NOT a Website

There’s a reason why the website doesn’t come in until stage three of our ESCAPE Plan process.

If you are not sure what “Stage 3” is here is the sequence of our ESCAPE Plan –

E = Explore – What should you be doing, or not doing, as a business – what will work for you?
S = Serve – who are the people your business will serve – who will be happy to pay for your product or service? Validating that process. (What problem can you solve for them?)
C = Create – Your product or service, and the platform through which people can find you and buy from you. Leadership Authority via a case study. Minimum Viable Website.
A = Amplify – How get yourself known in the wider world so you can reach even more customers – speaking, guesting, the book, paid advertising.
P = Perfect – How you can perfect your processes and systems so you can serve more customers.
E = Expand – How you can leverage your business beyond what you can do yourself.

Many people who are looking to get a new business going, the first thing they say is “I need a website”! They start thinking about SEO and blogging and setting up social media so they can have their little icons on their website, what their logo should look like…

STOP!

If you are just getting started in your new business, maybe even building it up as a side gig until it is making enough money for you to quit your day job, then the website is way down on the list of things you need to be thinking about at the early stages.

Even if you have explored the viability of your business idea, and know who it is you will be serving, your ideas still need to be validated You need to know that your process will deliver the results the client or customer is looking for.  And, most of all, you need proof that it will, and proof that you can convert prospects into paying clients.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. We hear that all the time. Why? Because it is the truest truism in running a successful business.

The ‘trust’ element of that trio is very largely about being able to prove that you can get them results –

This you do by showing them you have already done it successfully for someone else – the Case Study. Without that you are going to run out of customers or clients very quickly.

Where a website WILL help is in the ‘know’ and ‘like’ parts. However, that doesn’t need to be anything but the most basic site to start with. Don’t worry about SEO – no amount of SEO is going to get you traffic at this stage, and even if it did, without the case study and validation of your process and offer, it won’t convert that traffic into paying clients.

All you need is a basic site – we suggest WordPress because it is easy to set up and use – and is likely to be the platform you use for more expansive site when you get to that stage (eventually you will need an assistant and most Virtual Assistants know WordPress).

Most importantly, it is free – at a time when you don’t need to be taking on unnecessary monthly expenditures. The platform and how you choose it deserves a post in its own right – there are a lot of competing choices out there and no end of people who will say you should use “this” or “that” for all sorts of valid sounding reasons – suffice it to say here, we recommend WordPress, hosted on a service that will include a domain name in the price – something like Bluehost.

The point is that when you first start out, no-one is going to find your website unless you send them there. But the people who you do send should be able to find out about who you are, what you are offering, and why you want to do what you are doing.

The ‘why’!

Have some basic content about the problem you are solving so that people will self identify that they are in the right place if they have that problem. Talk about how you can help them.  And, most importantly, have a clear path for them to work with you – even is that is just providing a phone number and email address. That’s ALL you need at the start.

The one nod to technology we do advise you take at that early stage is to install Google Analytics and your Facebook Pixel so you can get information about the people who do visit your site and what they look at on your site in general. Tracking visitor numbers, average time on a page, and bounce rate, is a good habit to get into, right from the start. It will become all the more vital once you really get going.
This does mean creating a business page on Facebook – but, again, just set up the minimum viable business page – the same as the website – you don’t need to be posting regularly – yet.

Once you have validated your process, got a good client case study to demonstrate how effective you are in solving people’s problems, you start generating traffic to a webinar that generates calls, and you have your sales process down – only then should you be looking at upgrading your website, thinking about branding (based on your story), some core content based on the frequently asked questions that your clients ask, or objections they might have; and start looking at how SEO might help that content get found in searches etc.

That is the time you want to think about investing money into that process. Avoid web designers that are all about the design and look of your site – find ones that understand how a potential customer will react when they find the site – what that customer wants/needs to know – how easy is it for them to find the specific content they need – quickly – and how easy is it for them to take the next step towards working with you.

What can you offer for free that will get people on your email list?

Don’t overload them with information – they don’t want information – they want a solution – all content should lead to a call to action.

Putting a Facebook pixel on your website will ensure that people visiting your site, (and who are Facebook users, which is a LOT of people), will get the ad for the webinar retargeted to their Facebook feed – and so the loop is completed –

Facebook Ads > Webinar > Call
SEO > Website > to Pixel > Facebook Ads

But it is important to understand that there is a sequence to getting to that stage.

So many solopreneurs waste so much time and money by reversing the process and going all out on the technology, the website and the Facebook Ads before they have even validated their business and process. And then, when it doesn’t work, they blame the technology, often just calling-it-quits because they see people making a success of it where they are just failing.

It can work – you just need to follow the plan.

And following the plan is so much easier if you have someone who knows what they are doing, supporting you along the way, and showing you which steps along the path to take and when. It really makes the process quicker and far less stressful.

Hmmmm – now where would you find such helpful people?

Want a step-by-step guide to online business success?

The First of Our Panel of Experts

We are very excited to announce the first five of our core group of experts for our ESCAPE Plan Web Show! We certainly don’t know it all and we want our web show participants to get they help THEY need to make their business a success! We will be announcing more guest experts very soon, but here are the first half of the dream team:

Michele Scism – Sales
We know we needed an expert in sales. The vast majority of solopreneurs struggle with the sales part of what they do. Who better to help our Show Guests than Michele Scism. We have known – and coached – with Michele ourselves for  long time and she is probably one of the main reasons we are doing what we do and how we do it!

Owner of DecisiveMinds.com, she is a third generation entrepreneur and expert in online and offline marketing, pricing, revenue projection, sales, team building and much more. Her mantra she learned from her father – “You don’t own a REAL business unless you can go on vacation and it still makes money.”

Jena Rodriguez – Branding
Jena is one of Michele’s greatest successes and is now a master Brand, Business and Brave Strategist and founder of Brave Masters, Inc. Her commitment is to boosting brand clarity, by helping business owners how to capitalize on their “natural” abilities and package and price their greatest strengths so that they can create a money-making, world-changing brand.

Over the last decade as an entrepreneur, Jena has learned that the ONE thing needed to reach one’s fullest potential in life and in business is BRAVE. Being brave is about saying YES without evidence, moving through fear, and being uncomfortable yet doing it anyways! By getting her BRAVE on, Jena was able to move from charging $89/hour to generating over $1.2 million in revenue over the last four and a half years – and helping her clients do the same! Check her out at www.bravemasters.com!

Joan Pelzer – Social Media
Joan is a Femfessional and force to be reckoned with – our greatest memory is podcasting live on her show from the foyer of a live event we were both attending in Houston – that was fun! Joan’s expertise is ocial media and online engagement with clients ranging from entrepreneurs and small businesses, to a UN-based NGO. She is a dynamic connector with the innate ability to identify, articulate and deploy strategies to optimize a brand.

Ellen Finkelstein – Speaking/Webinars
Ellen is a long term collaborator of ours – we have been guest experts on each other’s webinars many a time! One passion of hers is to help entrepreneurs use presentations and webinars to reach more people. In her business, Change The World Marketing, she uses her experience to help others create client-attracting websites, grow their lists, create products, and deliver powerful webinars. For us, she is providing expertise and help for those who looking to present in person as a speaker, or online via a webinar (Webinars play a big part in the process we teach business owners).

Carol Verity – Websites/SEO
Carol has been helping her clients “Get” digital for over 20 years. She began her digital journey way back when the internet first took hold and ever since she has been designing and building websites, teaching social media and content marketing and generally immersing herself in all the technologies that help us do business on-line.

Her business, We Get Digital, based in London UK, has gained a solid reputation in web design & build and she recently pioneered “SocialSEO”, a blend of Social Media and SEO that really helps businesses climb up the search engine listings.

Interested in getting help from us and our dream team? Check out the application page to see exactly who we are looking for. Remember, there are only 3 places per season, so if you think this might be for you, fill out the application and let’s talk!

Where Creative Business Ideas Get Stopped in Their Tracks

Lately, as part of doing research for our new web show, I’ve been talking to MANY solopreneurs.

The one thing that really struck me was how many great ideas people have for businesses – BUT – at the same time how many were stuck on how to really bring them into fruition.

The problem? The technology. People were either overwhelmed by how much there was to choose from, and therefore were stuck not really knowing what they should be doing and what would be wasting their time and money –

OR they had a good idea about the kind of technology that would work for their business, but were also stuck because they weren’t really sure in what to do with it to make it work.

Everyone has a strong knowledge about the thing they do, but far too many of you are not doing it because you are stuck on business aspects of the business – and especially with technology and marketing.

And, smart, hopeful solopreneurs have a huge target painted in their forehead by the marketing software companies and “gurus”, who all insist that you’ll only be successful if you do MY program. During my conversations, I heard the same story again and again.

“I bought XXX program for $2447 – and the content was really good – but I couldn’t quite “get” it enough to implement it in my business. So, I went to a few of the classes and then just stopped.

A month or so later, I bought another program – and the same thing happened. Then, I hired an assistant but I couldn’t find enough for her to do…

I thought that perhaps I needed my own coach to make all this work – so I invested in a year long program for $15,000. But, I don’t have the team (or the money to hire a team) to implement the coaches’ suggestions.”

Does this sound at all familiar?

What if you had a team that could help you one-on-one for the price of a group program? Normally, you would be concerned about the quality of the help you were getting!

Right now, we are recruiting for 4 business owners have their businesses transformed as part of our web reality show. We need to cover costs (and make sure that our contestants are committed). For $2500 – you get 90 days of working with us collaboratively, to get your business up and running plus help from our growing roster of experts (watch for the first announcement on Thursday), as needed AND exposure to our audience as we share your success story along the way.

Ah, but aren’t you just another one of those gurus, I here you ask?

We’ll no – we very much look at our client’s business and see what they need. We start from the premise that you, as the businesses owner, just wants to get on with what you do, not spend all your time on marketing and admin. Where we are different is that we try to get you running successfully with the minimum amount of fuss. We just do what works for you – in the way YOU work.

We created the web show idea as a way to really show off to a wider audience exactly how we work and how we get people up and running. I’m super excited about the businesses we’re already talking to about taking part.

Will yours be next? Click here for more info.

Are You The One We Are Saerching For?

Over the course of the last couple of weeks we have been having conversations with a number of our long term community members to try to make sure that what we re planning with our web reality show is something that will be useful to solopreneurs, and will be something people want to participate in, whether as a show guest or an audience member, or even as a guest expert (more on that in our next post)

We had a lot of great input from several people and have added to the concept we originally came up with, including a new element of audience participation (Thanks to Ellen Finkelstein for that one!).

The overwhelming reaction has been very positive and everyone is seeing it as something new that no-one else is doing. So it looks like it is all systems go!

In our last post, we asked “Would YOU do this?” And we are now ready to unveil who we are looking for to partake in our first series. So here are the core criteria of who we are looking for:

  • Willing to share your story (the ups and the downs) with our audience as a web show guest.
  • Coachable – willing to focus (and stick with) the plan we come up with to build your platform.
  • Willing to invest your time and money to make your business a success. (We are providing our services at half our regular rate for web show participants).
  • Fun and energetic! We want people to get to know, like and trust you as they get into your story. (Though you are getting solid business help – we want to keep our audience entertained and engaged at the same time).
  • Someone who has a solid business idea but has yet to make the leap of making it happen, OR someone who has started (maybe been trying for 1 or 2 years), but has got stuck and isn’t making any progress.
  • Is this you? Or maybe you know someone who might be perfect for the show?

The application page is now up  and will be open for the next two weeks. We will be choosing a total of 4 participants, the extra one being there in case one of the 3 chosen participants drops out.

We are still open to suggestions, if there are elements you would like to see on the show or you think would make the show better, we’d love to hear them.

In our next post we hope to introduce the first of our guest experts, so check back for that one!