Category Archives for Uncategorized

Avoiding a Business Traffic Jam

Last Friday, I was very surprised to land in a traffic jam. Firstly, I don’t live in a very traffic-prone town and since the beginning of the pandemic there just honestly haven’t been that many folks out and about. I was running late – so I got very frustrated.

Can you relate? Being stuck in traffic (or in a long, socially distanced grocery store line) is beyond frustrating. It is like your life is in a deep freeze – you aren’t moving and there is nothing you can do about it.

You are trapped.

And, it is often the smallest of things that cause traffic roll to a stop and stay there. A tire rolls off the road, someone gets in a fender bender. In New Mexico, too much rain can cause a gigantic traffic snarl.

It’s a lot like your business.

If everything goes smoothly then your business hums along with no issues. Life is good. But, one thing goes wrong and all of a sudden – you are stressed and wondering how you are going to get all those to dos and deliverables done and still have time to put the kids to bed.

Generally tho, there is one core task that is the critical to the survival of your business. One ball that you can’t afford to drop.

For one business, that might be following up with people on Facebook to book discovery calls.

Over the past decade of supporting online business owners, I’ve noticed that businesses start to fail when the business owners stop being committed to their basic money making task.

It usually unfolds like this…

You get a big client or two or three. In order to service the clients, you let the marketing go… but then when the job is over, there is nobody in your pipeline and your business suffers.

So, then you decide that you need to outsource something to someone else…

This is where you’re going to have to decide what you outsource or offload to someone else. When you do that you need to make sure that you are not offloading your main money making tasks – the things that need to get done.

Automation, as well as outsourcing, can help you move out of the traffic jam. Click here to sign up for a free funnel audit and find out how you can use Active Campaign to take more off of your plate.

When 1 is Truly Better than 1000…

“Don’t fear the man who knows 1,000 techniques. But fear the man that has practiced one technique 1,000 times.”

-Bruce Lee

He might as well have been talking about online business. 

Have you noticed how there’s always another trend popping up? 

One day, it’s Amazon. The other, it’s building your own online marketing agency. Then, it’s back to ecommerce. Next, it’s cryptocurrency. Then, it’s something else.  (And, if you are a curious little squirrel like me, you feel a *huge* need to check everything out…)

And, the problem with that is all of a sudden everyone else is following the hot new trend too – and you aren’t sure who does what – exactly – any more…

Yes, you are the leader of your community and you want to get out and ahead of what’s working — but on the other hand, if you keep following the trends, you risk being a flip-flopper.

Now, here’s the problem with flip flopping. 

It’s basically the version of you knowing 1,000 techniques instead of having practiced one for 1,000 times. (See the quote at the beginning of this blog post)

So, why is that a bad thing?

The customers won’t trust you when you try to teach or do any of the 1,000 skills you know because they can feel it in their bones you haven’t put in the time to master any single one of them.  

You’ve confused them… and a confused mind never buys… This is not the path to sales or business growh.

OK… so what would it be like to take the opposite position and truly hone your craft?

Imagine someone who keeps mastering their one technique… and sticking with it. These are the few everyone sees as reliable and seasoned.

Not because they know everything.

But because they know how to do one thing very, very well. In the case of Solo Biz Hackers, that ONE thing is Email Marketing with Active Campaign.

What is your one thing?

When I bring this up with clients, the pushback I get is their “thing” is not the bleeding edge any more and that is isn’t worth doing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, do you think SEO really is out of fashion? Not at all. 

However, most marketers don’t pay much attention to it because right now it’s not the hottest, latest thing. But is it reasonable to assume that people who have been eating and breathing SEO for the past 10 years have no lack of customers who come to them cash in hand, ready to pay the price they name? Of course.

The key is…

Mastering your field.

One who is consistent and doesn’t bend to every new trend popping up.

So the next time you see a huge trend popping up on the horizon… don’t get tempted to abandon the steady ship you’re on right now. 

Instead, see how you can leverage this new trend… within your current field.

That way you don’t turn into yet another “flip flopping expert” while at the same time you stay relevant according to current events.

And if you think a new trend has absolutely nothing to do with you, ignore it.

Oh and by the way, if you think you don’t know what your field is yet… just commit to one thing, it doesn’t even matter that much what exactly it is. Choose what you like best. And master it. 

It’s counterintuitive… but it’s the fastest way for you to build a life-changing business.

So, again… what is your ONE thing… Leave your answer in the comments and let’s support each other!

Lifestyle Freedom Giveaway

Are Giveaway Events A Waste of Time?

It looks so tempting… for opt-in once and get access to 50+ “full-sized” products to help you with your business…

The problem is that you already have a hard drive full of e-books and resources from previous giveaways that you haven’t had time to go through yet. It is even worth your time or email address to participate

Here are 5 good reasons to opt-in for a giveaway

Although participating in a giveaway *can* be a big waste of time and and drive space – there are a few good reasons why you should consider opting in.

  • You can get information and resources you need in your business. With 20 – 50+ products on offer, there is bound to be something in the bundle that you can use. If that is the case, opt-in and grab what you need.
  • You can learn something new. Again, with dozens of products, something might catch your eye that you hadn’t really considered learning or something you had always been a bit curious about. Grab that resource and check it out.
  • You are looking for potential collaborators, affiliates or partners Getting a product sample from a variety of potential collaborators is a great way to find partners and affiliates who are a great fit (or who are NOT a good fit).
  • You want to get better at copywriting When you subscribe to someone’s bundle, you’ll have a chance to experience their funnel. Reading other people’s emails is a good way to get better at writing yourself.
  • You are thinking of hosting or participating in a giveaway yourself. Participating or opting in for a giveaway is an excellent way to see an example of how the event is laid out – and to decide how you can improve on the process for your event.

BONUS HINT: Don’t sign up for everything – you’ll just get overwhelmed. Pick 2 -4 great resources, opt-in and enjoy.

I’m participating in a giveaway right now – the Laptop Lifestyle Giveaway. Come check out my free course and all of the other great resources here.

Are You Leaving Money on the Table

One thing we have learned from our recent clients is that you can very successfully sell a lot of products, but still be leaving a LOT of money on the table. Why? All because they had no customer follow up. Someone would buy the product – and that would be it – next!

Fortunately, when those clients came to us to fix that issue, they very much came to the right place. Why? Because Meredith is a certified Active Campaign Consultant, and Active Campaign is the perfect tool to automate customer follow up – especially where many products are sold via some sort of e-commerce platform.

So why does that customer follow up make such a difference to a businesses bottom line?

So, for example, we have a client that sells flavored olive oil sourced from particular olive producers.  The olive oil comes in fairly small bottles, when compared to supermarket brands, and she has calculated from customers experiences that one bottle usually lasts for about one month. 

So her first message is “Hey, what did you think of the olive oil? Here’s a little bit about me and my olive farmers (it helps them feel good about the product choice they made), and while you are at it, if you would like to send an invitation for a friend to try it, here’s a 50% off coupon for them.  It is a nice, customer-focused message – any customer would feel good about receiving that message.

A follow-on message might be “Hey, here’s my favorite salad dressing recipe for the oil flavor you purchased), again, this is where conditional content can vary depending on what they purchased) – AND which might include a particular mozarella cheese for which there is an affiliate partnership, so she is making money on that too.

Then, about week three, you send a message saying “Hey, hope you enjoyed the olive oil – are you ready for your next bottle yet – here’s a coupon for your next bottle?”

So even though it is an automated email sequence, because it is based on the specific product that they purchased, it feels very personal.

You can then go on to get deeper to learn more about the customer by asking questions in the message – “Are you using the olive oil mainly to dip?  For salad dressings? Or for cooking? Each question might be linked to an appropriate recipe and by clicking on a particular link they can go into a new sequence that  is more specific to that choice. So if they click on the salad recipe link they get more content pertaining to salad dressing recipes. So the next message in the sequence might be “Hey, I know you can create some great salad dressings with {product they purchased }  but you might be interested in this new flavor which makes some great salad dressings as well.

This kind of sequence is not something you build all at once and then you are done – it is something that is built over time from customer date and experiences with your products. But it will certainly create more upsell opportunities and repeat business by using such sequences = more revenue = more growth.

Similarly, another client had built up a huge following for her training video series on career advancement. She had 80,000 followers on LinkedIn and her e-commerce website was getting 3000 unique visitors per month. She was making good money, but she had no customer follow up and so she was leaving huge amounts of money on the table. We are still working with this client, but as soon as we have a case study to show you we will. But this is an ideal client for the capabilities of a tool like Active Campaign where you can automate so much of the customer experience – and where an investment of $10k can bring returns of 10x that – every year.

Whether is nurture sequences to encourage people to buy, or customer follow up sequences encouraging people to buy again, maintaining contact over time, in a very personal way helps you build your customer base over time. So if you have an e-commerce business that has the traffic and is selling the products – but doesn’t have a customer follow up sequence – then you need to talk to us. You are leaving a lot of money on the table!

Want to see if you are leaving money on the table?  Sign up for our free funnel mini-audit

How does your prospect know you are THE person to go to?

One of the most important things in any business is to be able to stand out from the crowd. Especially when it comes to your competition, right? When a prospect is looking for a solution to a problem they have – that YOU provide the product or service that is the solution to that problem – what is it that will make them decide to buy that solution from you?

You probably have all heard the old adage – “People do business with people they know, like and trust”. It may have become a bit of cliche in this day and age, but it still holds true for the vast majority of businesses, especially where services are involved.

The importance, therefore, of your perceived “Authority” in your particular industry is that it plays a huge part in building that know, like and, especially, trust. It is the thing that can take a prospect from not knowing who you are, to making them interested in you and what you have to offer – not someone who comes across as shady by trying to sell you cold, but someone who you view as a trusted resource.  Establishing trust is better than ANY sales technique you might have – and that starts not when a prospect first talks to you, but when they first discover you.

Most people can smell the BS from a mile off nowadays, because they are subjected to it not only on almost on a daily basis – and all day long!  Establishing authority in your field will allow to stand above that ‘noise’ and be seen as a useful resource, rather than yet another example of someone trying to sell you something.

So what does that ‘Authority’ look like for you?

What elements go into creating “authority” in your particular field, so that your prospects get to know you and feel more at ease when you reach out to them – for a phone call – or whatever your process for making the sale is for you?

Endorsements and testimonials

One of the first questions a prospect will have – even if they don’t ask it outright directly to you – is “who, like me, have you helped, and how much did you help them?” In other words, what benefit in relation to cost did you help bring them (ROI – Return on Investment). Having a testimonial from a happy customer – or even a case study (which is like an extended testimonial, complete with data), can go a long long way to persuading a prospect that you are the person to do business with. There’s nothing that says ‘trustworthy person’ like a good client testimonial. Such testimonials should be included wherever appropriate, especially on an ‘About Page’ or sales page. You don’t have to give the full name – “Fred B” is fine, but always include the name because without it, it looks like you have just made it up.

Media appearances

Often you will see on someone’s profile or website, “As seen on …” and which could be a number of print or online newspapers or magazines, or TV appearances. An award can have the same effect. When a prospect sees this they can see that you are being taken seriously as a business person and that your knowledge and leadership is being taken seriously enough that publications are seeking out your expertise for the benefit of their readers. It immediately sets you apart from your competition.

Founder of a LinkedIn or Facebook Group

Being seen as the founder of a successful LinkedIn or Facebook Group can add to your authority and signal to a prospect who may not know you, that others are following your leadership and are interested in what you have to say.  This immediately engenders trust in as much as if others revere your knowledge then you must know what you are doing. Just being seen as the founder of such an industry related Group can set you apart from your competition. Just be sure to make that Group all about your prospects – not all about you!

Social Media Profiles

Social Media Profiles are often the first places a new prospect will hear about you. By having a properly optimized profile that not only highlights your authority in your field, but which also speaks directly to your prospect, so that prospect immediately recognizes that you are speaking to them and that you understand the problems they may be having, not only will they see you as a potential source of fixing those problems, but that you are just the right person to do so.  I often tell people I am coaching at LinkedSelling that for a B2B LinkedIn profile, that even though it is YOUR profile, that profile should be two-thirds about your prospect, and one-third about you. A new prospect doesn’t care about you – they care about themselves. Once they recognize that you are speaking to them, only then will they be interested in finding out more – and only then will you have the opportunity to say why YOU are the best person to help them.

Content Curation & Distribution

Another place where a new prospect might first discover you is by seeing a piece of content that you have posted. This can either be your own content, that you have written and published – maybe a blog post or article, for example, or it might be a useful article by someone else that you have shared via social media. If you are posting regularly to a platform like LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, we always recommend the 80/20 rule where 80% of the content you post is curated content from others, and 20% your own written or branded content.

Both can be great ways of highlighting that you an expert in your own field. Both types of content can attract a potential new client to want to find out more about you, either because you authored the content, or that they see you as the person who is highlighting a useful resource for others who might be interested. Content can create that initial awareness of you and your business, or a product or solution, where before that prospect might not have even been aware of you at all.

What all these tactics can do is allow you to reach more people, help them get to know, like and trust you, and at a scale beyond the one-to-one relationship in a way that will help to grow your business in a meaningful way.


Your Authority Statement

In a way, your Authority statement is almost like your 30 second elevator pitch – you know, the one you try to bring with you to all those network meetings that encapsulates in one brief sentence who you work with and how you can help them.

Such a statement should include the following elements:

Who your prospect is
What your niche is
What your unique selling proposition is
And your BIG promise.

A successful statement will include the most compelling, rational AND emotional benefits that will differentiate you from your competition and grab your prospect’s attention.  The broader elements of such a statement are going to help you to focus your social media profiles, testimonials, and even content pieces. It is an enormously valuable exercise, and one that forms the core of your business and the benefits you can bring to your clients

For example…

Good

We help coaches and other solopreneurs who transform their clients lives online to create efficient sales and automation systems for their business.

The above example hits all the main points, but it doesn’t do a good job of drawing in emotion or feeling.

Better

We help coaches and other solopreneurs who transform clients lives online to create efficient sales and automation systems for their business which will allow them to spend less time taming the technology and more time creating a business that works for them.

This above example is better than the first and is starting to tap into that emotion, but it doesn’t do a good job on how that prospect will ​feel ​after the achieve their goal.

Best

Solo Biz Hacker helps coaches and other solopreneurs who transform clients lives online  to create efficient sales and automation systems for their business which will allow them stop being a slave to the technology in their business and start spending more time living the lives their businesses were meant to create.

So now it is your turn – what would be your authority statement?

Need some help?  We are planning a Virtual Day on creating your Authority Statement and Unique Selling Proposition for February 20th. Why not join our mastermind group (The Virtual Day is included) – or join us on one of our ‘Get Unstuck’ calls if you need some instant help?

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!

The Easiest Way to Start a Podcast

I just found the coolest podcasting tool … it is ? love at first sight.

I had a podcast a few years back… we went to number one on New and Notable for iTunes… it was fun – but a TON of work…

Besides lining up guests, making sure they had a good mic set up, promoting the podcast, etc. – there was all the set up (getting your feed to work, recording your episode, posting it to iTunes, Pocket Cast, etc. )

It was a TON of work – and eventually, even though we were getting 1000 downloads a week – we decided it wasn’t worth it to continue. 

And, when we decided to cancel our podcast hosting service which was costing us a lot of money, they didn’t have a way to give us the feed, so the podcast ended up being taken off of iTunes.

Recently tho, I found a free smartphone app called anchor.fm which completely simplifies the process.

 It takes about 15 minutes to set up your show… they take care of setting up all your feeds to iTunes, etc.

Once you are all set up, you just record by talking into your phone (the sound quality is awesome). Push done – you can add a background track and publish. The podcast magically goes where it needs to.

You can even interview guests through the app, have people leave messages, etc.

And… it is all free. Such a timesaver.

I’m using it for a quick 4 day per week podcast with a 2-minute business tip – here’s a link if you want to see what that looks like – https://anchor.fm/meredith-eisenberg

Let me know if you decide to do a podcast – I would love to listen 🙂