I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and adjusting to what I refuse to call the new normal. Wow, what six months this has been for us, both personally and professionally. I am pleased that I am busy at work and certainly grateful for being a Certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer during these unprecedented times.
Emotions are running high as we operate our business and live with the new demands. As if running a business isn’t hard enough, this is certainly pushing us to find new coping mechanisms. In-person meetings are moved virtual, and to Zoom at home. We find ourselves in a fixed position, in a chair, and on a screen for hours at a time, and we need to deal with that to prevent being Zoomed out.
Many people are not comfortable being on Zoom, but I believe we have to learn how to accept this is a very new meaningful way of communication. I made this short video with my colleague videographer Anne Bost to help you with your own Zoom set up and make you feel better on the camera.
Some of us are feeling Zoomed in and fine WFH and seem to be more productive and focused on learning how to work in new ways and pivot the business. We need strategies for both handlings being Zoomed Out and Zoomed In. I hope the following will help.
When making your schedule, try to have at least 30 minutes between zoom calls. Get up stretch, move your body, do 50 jumping jacks. Get the circulation and the blood going, group zoom calls, pick mornings to do zoom and afternoons no zoom, pick particular days on and off, and try to get a good chair. ( if you find one let me know)
Never before has picking a target audience had more significant meaning for your prospects. They must look at your LinkedIn profile and website and any marketing assets and know immediately who you work with and what outcome they can expect from you. Once you have that concretely, you can set about making a specific marketing strategy and copywriting that will attract new prospects and maintain clients.
I am inviting you to a complimentary call to answer your challenges. Please schedule here, and let’s get you some answers.
Now and in the coming weeks, so many more of us will be online trying to create new strategies to build our business and to work virtually. We as a nation, community, and business culture must learn how to adapt quickly, problem solve, and find ways to remain Vital, and Visible, to ensure that we continue to build revenue. We need to be smart and action-oriented.
Within 48 hours, we had to come up with an entirely new strategy to bring the company virtual because he no longer could see clients in person. I immediately came up with a checklist of what we needed to do. Luckily, he is technically savvy enough to have taken these suggestions and made all these changes within 4 hours to set the course for the new direction.
As a result, within 24 hours, Dr. Helfand was booked with 19 virtual clients for the following week as well as a two-day virtual Couples retreat.
Here are the seven things I suggest businesses do right now;
If you uncheck all the boxes in this infographic, you will be able to strategically work on the list one by one and track your progress.
A notification bar is a plugin for your website that allows you to make announcements and generate lead captures. (See here)
Google My Business
This is a business essential, and many businesses have not claimed their listing. Now is the time to get this done, and if you have one, then update it now. Let your audience know what you are up to.
Google My Business is a tool for website owners to manage online presence across Google, including search and Map. It allows you to create, verify, and edit listing information to help potential customers find your business. It also directly improves the SEO of your website and helps it rank better. Now is an excellent time to ask clients to post testimonials on that page.
LinkedIn is the number one place for B to B marketing. Its search engine power will help you to show up higher in the SEO. I have made numerous great connections there. It is time to update your profile and add documents, videos, and pictures.
I strongly feel that email marketing is more critical today than ever because you really have no other way to reach your audience directly. If you’re ready to do email marketing, you can sign up through me. The promotion right now is 30% off for three months. And by the way, this a great time to get your database in order, which most people tell me is a mess, and they have no time to pay attention to it. I suggest that you create an Excel spreadsheet with segmented lists that includes past and present client’s, prospects, family, friends, and affiliates.
Concept to Customer
People will now be buying for very different reasons, pivoting your business model and a new strategy includes new positioning and language for how you introduce yourself and how you talk about your business. It is critical to align your offering with what the prospects and clients need now. I can help you with this in my package “Concept to Customer”.
I am not a website designer or developer, nor do I sell websites, but I do know that the compelling, articulate, simple language and copy-writing combined with a great design for your website is critical. All marketing leads to the website. I can’t impress upon you enough what it means to have your concept, copy, and website up to date. Now is the time to do this!
The activity on social media is greater than it has ever been. The use of video now is more important than ever to give your brand a face and a voice. I know it is hard to do. I am forcing myself to do it.
81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool – up from 63% over the last year.
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
Videos attach 300% more traffic and help to nurture leads.
I have created a new offering entitled “Interview Video Marketing” and am able to help you get a video of you and some client testimonials done for your site and marketing. Check it out here!
Don’t forget your interactive checklist for these seven items to strategically work on the list one by one and track your progress.
I know there’s a curve of learning for each one of us, and you may be able to implement these steps, but if not, I can help you. You can book time with me, and we will get it done quickly.
I feel strongly that there will be two ways of which business owners will deal with this period of time, one is to sit and let this time pass and just think that we will go back to work as usual. The second is to laser focus on the areas in our business that we never have the opportunity to do when we are so busy working.
Going back to work after this pandemic is really not the same as going back to work after a vacation; the marketplace is different, the needs for each of us will be different, and how you show up needs to be different.
I have run my business out of my home over thirty-five years, which makes this pandemic a bit less of an adjustment for me. It is certainly not business, as usual. I thought I would share with you the strategies that I have used the sustain me to be the president of my company, take care of myself, my clients, and effectively run my business.
Here is a schedule that I pretty much stick to. I hope it helps you!
Take the first hour of the day to not rush, eat breakfast, read, meditate, or do absolutely nothing.
Exercise before work. You don’t need a full gym of equipment to move your body, stretch, mobilize, or strengthen. If this is not something you’ve been used to doing, now is a fantastic time to get started.
Shower and get dressed as if you were going out. (if you wear makeup put it on) just like getting ready for work, because you are! This creates a feeling of self-respect, self-worth, and a sense of being prepared for the day ahead.
Start to work on your three to five high-level activities, no more than that, and focus on them until noon. If you are not a sole proprietor and running a business with things to do, pick a few things that you would love to get done in your home, or get started learning something that you don’t usually don’t have the time to do.
Before wrapping up for lunch around noon, answer emails and calls from the morning, eat a healthy lunch, and move your body, stretch and or go for a walk.
Go back to work to either finish the high-level activities from the morning or proceed to your next three to five high-level activities.
3:30 to 4:30, end the day, make calls. I have found this a great time to reach people as they are winding down their day and are freer to connect and have a conversation, finish any emails that you haven’t been able to get to all day.
Before closing your day, organize your task list for tomorrow. Identify the three to five high-level activities that you want to get done.
After work, have a great dinner, rest, relax, relate, and try to laugh.
I also strongly believe in meal prep. I’ll share with you two recipes that I like to keep in the house.
This is an incredible time for practicing self-discipline and committing to personal and business development.
When else would you find the time to take a step back and really look at your approach to your business, technology, marketing strategy, website, your effectiveness and improve so that when we are back to full operation, and we will be, you are rested, prepared and like a fast speed locomotion ready to run down the track to success.
Yes, this is a terrifying time, but with optimism, resiliency, and discipline, we can turn something challenging into something very positive!
I am here to work with you. I know how to work strategically and quickly to help you ramp up. I have the most trusted resources and experts for websites, SEO and technology who work with me to provide you the most honest and affordable help to my clients.
Hard to believe it is the end of January! It feels like the month just flew by.
It was an interesting week last week. I had two new client inquiries, and both said the same thing, “I am shopping for a business coach.” I really never heard this before. This shows us that prospects are being much more selective and careful before they decide who to work with. They interviewed four coaches, and I was able to close both. While I was delighted this happened, I also spent time reflecting and understanding how I did that. This newsletter intends to share my process with you to make that happen… (read more)
I received their interested email, and yes, I immediately replied. At the moment after hitting send, something inside me said, “why not just pick up the darn phone and call”?
I was actually feeling that calling them was an intrusion as we have become so used to communicating via email. Both prospects were delighted! “Oh, thank you so much”! What a quick response, and thank you for calling me.”
I spent time discussing what was going on for them and did not time the complimentary call to 20 or 30 minutes. I was engaged in a discovery conversation.
I asked many questions trying to understand their challenges. I empathized with them and asked more questions.
What would you like to change?
What do you want?
Why don’t you have it now?
What in your business would you like to be different then it is now if we work together?
I asked what they were looking for in a coach and listened.
When it came time for me to say how I could help, I used this philosophy.
In today’s world, audiences have minimal attention span; they want the information, and they want it quick, clear, and concise. I remained focused on the value of my coaching and created a desire to work with me.
I only said what needed to be said. I kept it simple:
Who I work with,
What I offer,
and how I work.
Is this something you would like to do?
Can we look at calendars?
Quick, clear, and concise communication is essential and is true for everything your marketing your website presentations introductions. The key is to, in fact, deliver your most valuable information in the most compelling.
This is a method I have crafted for helping clients like you, by teaching the art of pitching, presenting, and selling what matters, to allow others to understand the value of your product or service.
I believe success in personal and business life is having the ability to convey what you’re saying so that others get it what value and desire what you offer or want the outcome that you are proposing. The art of articulating everything of value about what you’re trying to say into personal and business life is a skill you can acquire, and I would love to work with you to help you increase your impact.
Forget The 2020 Plan – Focus On The Present And Action Steps
I don’t mean to be negative, but I have many different reactions and feelings to all this 2020 yearlong planning. To be honest, it feels like New Year’s resolutions, and we know that 90% of those are never kept. It is all about commitment.
This year my clients, newsletters, media, everywhere I go, I hear the 2020 plan, and so I sat down to make mine. This article is a result of my thinking about planning and what I really believe is a more effective approach to ensure a productive and more predictable success.
It is imperative to understand the need for Research, Evaluation, and Vision.
Research means looking at your current offering and making sure it matches the needs and wants of the current demands of your prospects or clients? It also means market research to take a good look at who your competitors are and what they are saying and doing.
Evaluation means gaining clarity of where you are and developing a strategic approach to get where you want to go.
A 2020 plan? Seriously? All the time and effort that you put into planning, in my opinion, is better off understanding your market, your position in the market, revenue streams, and the strategies that you want to put in place to grow your business.
My clients tell me that they love that I am one of the only coaches/consultants they have ever talked to that is not focused on and always talking about long-term and short-term goals but focused on revenue. Why? Because when we focus on bringing in revenue and creating cash flow, we will be able to implement a bigger plan.
Plans often fail, and they fail because life and business happen, and there is so much we cannot plan for. Many people make a plan, put it in a folder or a drawer and never look at it again. We are human; we get struck by life’s events, and also, we get stuck in repetition compulsion of doing the same thing over and over again. Time flies, it’s another year, and we didn’t do anything on the plan. So, it begins, in my mind, with current research on your business, evaluating what’s happening in your company, and implementing new ideas.
I think the more critical questions that need to be answered when looking at business development are these:
How much money do I want to make?
How am I going to make sure that I make it?
What are the streams of revenue that bring in money?
What is the low hanging fruit?
What has a longer sales cycle, and is the high hanging fruit?
Which has the highest profit margin?
How many of each of those came from what marketing strategies?
Which marketing strategies do I want to put in place?
How do the marketing strategies align with the target streams of revenue?
What’s the vision I hold for my company and my life?
Where do I want to be in six months, one year, three years?
What would that look like?
How much money would need to come in from what streams of revenue to make sure that I’m working in the direction?
When a client says to me, “I’m interested in earning $120,000 this year”, I say, “that’s great, let’s break it down into 30 days”. A 30-day approach is a winning approach! If we can figure out how to generate 10,000 this month and every month after that, we will end up with a great year. You know how many of each stream of revenue you’ll need, and that will be directly aligned to sales and marketing and getting what you want. If we create repeatable systems and structures when life throws us turbulence, the business will have enough cash flow, systems and people to carry on.
The reality of today’s fast-paced everyday ever-changing life and marketplace is very overwhelming and stressful, and to run a good business requires Focusing On The Present and Talking Action.I am much more interested in my clients and me, focusing on what isn’t working and developing an understanding of what needs to be done right now!
Let’s leave the plan in the drawer and go to work!
Hard to believe it, but there are only approximately 10 weeks until we arrive in the year 2020.
Are things better, the same or worse than last year at this time? We get so caught up in our businesses and life that we often tend to get caught in patterns and behaviors that do not serve us or our business, and “oh no, I promised myself this would be better or different this year.”
It is not too late to make great strides right now. Let me try to help you.
Think of ALL the things you must complete between now and the end of the year, to have a fantastic end to 2019 and a great start to 2020. If you’re like my clients and me, the list is vast!
Now – Imagine for a moment – that you were only allowed to focus on THREE THINGS on that list between now and the new year.
What are the top three things most important things, and I mean only three, if you were able to focus on them – to the exclusion of everything else on your listWHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Once you identify your top three, I encourage you to make a commitment to focusing on addressing them or reach out to me to work together and get them done.
Reply to this email and let me know what your three things are!
Often the challenges in starting or running a business are related to keeping up with basic business fundamentals and staying current and contemporary across all segments of the company while finding time to pay attention and execute on our own business while we are busy taking care of the paying client Here is a list of the fundamentals that I feel need to look at paid attention to:
How Are You Managing Cash?
The number one reason small businesses have problems is lack of cash, not lack of profits. We need proper cash planning, and an understand of the levers in your business that can affect your cash. How much should you have on hand? How do you make sure that happens?
Have You Developed a Data-Based Culture?
The more we track data and use data to make business decisions, the better our decisions will be. Tracking key performance indicators (KPI’s) for your business, and understanding why they go up or down, can help make decisions that will grow your business and keep on track.
Are You Practicing 30 Day Planning?
It’s important to develop a strategic and financial plan and track it regularly, as opposed to doing a long-written document, that is often not looked at. Planning is an ongoing tool that should be used to understand assumptions about your business and whether those assumptions are correct or whether we must adjust.
Are You Only Engaging In Marketing That Provides ROI?
Small businesses often tell us that they don’t understand marketing. Where should they spend money? Does it work? What works? What doesn’t? Don’t spend money unless you are going to be able to measure the results.
How Do You Stay Connected and Talk To Your Customers?
Every business should talk to its customers as often as possible. People like to talk, and people like to be asked their opinion. The negative criticism may be hard to hear, but it’s well worth listening and understanding how to change things to make your business better for your customers. Phone calls, surveys, emails are all effective modes of staying connected.
Do You Know Your Competitors?
We need to know and understand both your direct and indirect competitors. We always need to keep an eye on your competitors, understand what they are doing, how they market, what their pricing is, etc. You may be unique in your town or your industry and not have direct competitors—but that doesn’t mean you don’t have indirect competitors.
How Do You Stay Current?
Making sure your offering and positioning are matching what is needed n the marketplace is crucial to staying in front of the “right fit” prospects and clients. This is not a stagnant item, and it must be re-visited and researched and tweaked. Is your linked in profile compelling, and are you beneficially engaging on LinkedIn? And how does your website reflect you and your business? Is it up to date?
Running a business is hard work and making sure all systems are running efficiently is challenging but when we provide a service that makes a difference in the lives of others, it is also incredibly satisfying.
I love building businesses and stand ready to work with you!
It is hard to believe that September is upon us. That felt like a fast summer, and I hope you got to enjoy some downtime. There is no avoiding the fact that we are entering the last quarter of the year and a very exciting time to time to think, plan, and act strategically and doing so will not only ensure a great year, end but to set the wheels in motion for an even better year ahead.
How are you receiving support and the knowledge you need to move forward?
We all need it.
There are two opportunities to join me this October.
Looking for learning, focus, and accountability? Please read about the upcoming Business Development Mastermind Groups where only eight attendees per group will work to build their businesses and this unique 1/2-day event: Concept to Customer which will provide tactical information ready to implement immediately.
The Case Study:
In order to be successful in today’s highly competitive business world, we must find a way to take a step outside of the daily bombardment of demand. The day to day operations of our work and life routine rarely allow us to look at where our businesses are and what the plans are for moving forward.
All-day we deal with making and keeping appointments, prospecting, selling, developing, delivering, and collecting. We go straight from work to family, and we get caught in the never-ending battle to grow our business. The constant pressure and day to day are so much that we can get caught in physical, emotional, and financial overload. Our ability to think clearly becomes muddled, and instead of operating our business with full strategy, too often we end up spinning in circles, longing to do better, but we just can’t.
The only way to stay committed to our business and our life is to take a step back and take the space to listen to our-self.
It is imperative to carve out time to make concrete decisions about direction, the people we work with, our clients, and our marketplace and gain clarity about our position in it.
Often the day to day grind takes us from the very passion we felt about our business in the first place, the very reason we may have started it. Stepping back allows us to tap into our creativity and come up with a revenue-generating idea that could boost our brand and renew our purpose in our business.
Once we breathe new life and air into our activities and put the right people, systems, and processes in place needed, we will bring our business to the next level.
There is nothing easy about today’s world, but with thinking, planning, and acting strategically, great success is possible!
Get More Prospects, Clients, and Revenue With A Concept Differentiating Statement
I am sure you know that simply changing the words we use can seriously change the results we get in any form of communication. Working on language, framing, and how things are said is something that I do every day in my business coaching practice. It is so rewarding to see the results we obtain by changing the way we articulate our writing, our conversations, our marketing strategy plans, and our presentations.
Based on my experience, when we grasp the proper language, it’s as if the flood gates of possibilities come forward. One of the most rewarding benefits I see is the immediate strengthened belief in the client’s self and own offerings.
When we understand how to frame our words people respond to us differently. By tailoring our statements to clearly define the who and outcomes guarantees to generate a higher level of attraction.
Here is the foundation – your value proposition / concept differentiation statement:
Whether you call it a concept, a value proposition, a concept differentiation statement, a defining statement or an elevator pitch, the statement must express the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. It speaks to the critical issues your targeted buyer faces as well as the outcomes they will obtain from you.
Many business owners confuse the who and the outcomes with how it is delivered and quickly lose the interest of the listener or viewer. In short, your product or service is simply the vehicle or “the how.” Prospects and clients only care about the results the product or service delivers, and a strong statement will convey that message. It lets people know that working with you will make a difference and can help them achieve their objectives.
When we finally craft a compelling concept statement we use them to develop highly effective websites, phone or email messages that highlight your buyers’ primary issues/challenges and the key business results that your product, service or solution addresses, educational and engaging presentations, customized proposals, and targeted sales and marketing initiatives.
Most businesses need more than one as there is not one single value proposition that will serve all of you target audiences or offerings. You may have multiple ones, depending on:
Who you are meeting with: People in different industries can care about different things, even when you’re talking about the same product or service.
The organization you are looking to do business with: Different industries, varying financial situations, emerging trends and places in their business, recent trigger events.
What you’re selling: The various products/services you sell can have totally different outcomes … so it’s imperative to know your focus.
When you truly understand the issues you are solving and the business value you bring to customers, and you feel completely comfortable with the language you need to communicate, you work harder to obtain new business.
At SBR we call these statements your Concept Differentiating Statements. I encourage you to examine your statements and your current offers and how they are reflected on your website, in your conversations, and in your marketing. How effective is it? How can you improve it? Do you want more conversations and sales?
As we all know, standing out in today’s marketplace is harder than ever. Therefore, it is truly imperative that the focus lies on building your brand and positioning yourself as the answer to your client’s challenges and needs, this is what my Concept to Customer Program is all about. Sometimes as small business owners, we can’t address all our clients’ needs, so we can call on an amazing form of marketing – a collaboration of an offering with a related brand in order to co-create a product or service that can serve both brands.
When Nike and Apple realized that runners wanted to log their runs, see how far they’ve run, check their heart rates, and see how many calories they’ve burned, Nike and Apple joined forces and created a runner’s armband that sold for $25. The runners were already there, and Nike came up with ways for runners to connect with their running experiences by creating a sensor that tracked this data. Allowing runners to share their runs with others via the Internet was the next step. Now runs could be mapped and stored. All data from each run could be shared live on the web. Friends could even cheer a runner on via Facebook. After partnering with Apple when the iPod and iPhone were introduced, the Nike Plus membership grew exponentially: from 600,000 to 3 million today. And the platform continues to evolve today.
This is an extraordinary example of what can happen when you co-create and listen to what your prospects and clients need and want. It is a driving force to building business and revenue!
My Concept to Customer Program features this power of co-creating as a major part of the initiatives at SBR. My focus in business coaching is to work with clients to help them improve their day to day behaviors as well as that of their employees, create an effective business model for growth, develop brand positioning through marketing messaging, and most importantly accomplish what often busy business owners know needs to be done but can’t seem to complete.
One area of neglect centers on desperately needing a new website and having a website that can generate business.
Fortunately for my clients, I have a strong 10-year relationship with a fabulous website designer. I act as the project manager, working with the client to oversee the vision, while my designer executes the site goals with proper positioning for the client. We are a winning combination! Please schedule a call with me to discuss your needs and we can position you and design you a compelling website.
Add to the mix my collaboration with Mark Collins. Many people offer SEO services, but until I met Mark Collins from OnWebLocal.com I never heard anything that I trusted would be worth the money, nor did I trust the prospective results.
Just like SBR, has created the 6 Steps to Small Business Results Framework for growing businesses, OnWebLocal has created a 6 step formula for driving business via your website… Mark’s 6-step formula works to tune up your website for improved Google search optimization and ranking, while also building out over 100 inbound links to your website from reputable 3rd party websites with high domain authority.
Mark and I agree that without the right marketing message, even with improved search engine visibility and website traffic, you will fail to “convert” those website clicks into phone calls, contact form inquiries, or orders for goods and services on your website. Here is what is needed:
An attractive website that is easy to navigate.
A website that quickly communicates who you are and what you do best, as well as what you do differently from your competition.
A compelling Call to Action, which makes it easy for a website visitor to take action.
This is where Small Business Results comes in. Mark believes in my ability to assist our clients in re-designing their websites while also refining our clients’ positioning, marketing strategy, messaging, and content. This ensures that the increased website traffic we generate translates into real customers and real profits for our clients.
Currently, I am also working with a niche web-designer who has a specialty for therapist websites, and we are collaborating to offer a webinar on May 1st, explaining what we feel are the necessary components to an effective site. This will be an informative webinar for everyone but if you are a therapist or other helping professional this webinar is definitely for you!
Please Join Us on May 1st at 1 o’clock PM (EST) on this Co-Branded Webinar to Learn about How to Make your Messaging and Website Shine!
CONCEPT TO CUSTOMER – GROWING YOUR BUSINESS BY MARKETING TO YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
In this competitive climate, helping professionals can be overloaded with responsibilities and the demands of prospecting and maintaining clients. Support is needed to gain focus and commitment to grow a successful business. To be a successful helping professional, you must be comfortable in two businesses: the first is the business of being a great helping professional, the second is the business of attracting clients!
During this webinar, Shelly Berman-Rubera of Small Business Results and Sam Chlebowski of Brighter Vision will be providing guidance on how to identify your ideal type of client (or clients), develop a business model that supports them, and then leverage these insights in your marketing. The second half of this free webinar will feature an open question format, so please feel free to come prepared with any questions you have regarding marketing!” Register Here
A successful business is so much about building relations with other brands to fulfill your prospects and clients’ needs, so this week take some time to consider who you can build these relationships with and dive into business together! Cultivate and grooming relationships in person and online is crucial in today’s world. This is also something I can help you explore.
I have been self-employed for over 40 years and I had been coaching the self-employed for over 15 years.
A report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are over 15,000,000 self-employed individuals in the United States and a report I found about freelancing on Upwork found that there are 56.7 million self-employed in the United States.
The report goes on to say that this trend will be increasing. In my early years, if you had a good product or service and a good personality, you could do well with word of mouth and flyers! The self-employed trend is exciting, yet the truth is that running a business is harder today than ever. This trend also leads to an even greater competitive landscape, which tells me we better have all of our ducks in a row!
You know the sayings ‘we are all in this together’ and ‘you can’t teach what you don’t know’?
In my role as a personal and business development coach and consultant, I am forced to have my act together. Not that my challenges are not the same as yours, but my clients count on me to know the most effective and strategic ways to streamline their work, save and make money, and how to systematize and execute all aspects of the business to be freed up to do what they do best!
The need to hire a business coach is greater now than ever before. As I was preparing for this article, I was Google searching for articles about ‘why hire a coach’ and I came across this YouTube video. This amazing description of why to have a coach is profound and meaningful. I hope you think so too!
In streamlining our own business practices, we have found that there are 5 essential tools needed to systematize a business effectively and to increase productivity.
Organize Your Passwords:
Stop losing valuable time in your day to password search!