Archive for February, 2009

Why tolerate technical bugs?

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | Business Life, technology with No Comments »

One of the first things I learned in working with a coach was to be aware of toleration.  I also learned that I didn’t have to tolerate anything.  I can choose something else, if I want to.  Since that revelation (several years ago), I’ve also discovered that sometimes it’s worth tolerating something.  Especially when it comes to buggy technology.

I know, the coach in you would like me to look somewhere else, but open your mind and look for the value in toleration here.  There are two places, in particular, that I tolerate buggy technology.

1)  Shopping carts - every cart has it’s thing.  I work with several different carts between my own and my clients’.  Every single one of them has something to tolerate.  There is one that can’t handle an upgrade.  Every time they change something and I see a notice that on a particular date there will be changes, I get nervous.  From past experience, I know, that usually means one of our clients will have a problem.  Why do my clients and I tolerate this?  Because it can do everything we need it to do to support their ever growing businesses.  Sure, there are other options out there, but they also have bugs.  They also don’t do everything we need.  So, we stay where we are and we tolerate the bugs.  In the long-run this supports our bigger vision of growing the business.

2) Twitter - Now, I do have to give Twitter credit here.  They’ve gotten MUCH better with the bugs over the last 5 months or so.  In the beginning of Twitter the fail whale was a daily occurrence. Now, it might be once or twice a month that we have issues.  Why do we tolerate the fail whale?  Because Twitter is such an amazingly powerful tool that we love it.  For me, I get so much value out of Twitter when it’s up and running, that I’m willing to tolerate the days when it’s buggy.  It’s SO worth it.

Technology isn’t perfect.  No matter how hard the programmers try to predict every possible problem to code for, there will always be something unexpected.  Online marketing is totally reliant on technology.  So, the important thing to remember is the value you receive from the technology when it’s working properly.  Is that value worth sticking around for?  If not, then it’s time to stop tolerating.  Otherwise, practice gratitude when the technology works the way it’s supposed to and forgiveness when you find yourself tolerating.

What are your thoughts on this?  What kinds of technology are you tolerating?  Leave a comment.  I’d love to read it.

Managing multiple marketing plans

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Implementation planning, Small Business Management with 2 Comments

As a coaching business grows, so do the marketing plans.  It’s fun for me to work with successful coaches who are constantly firing off marketing plans they want to implement.  The challenge is managing all those marketing plans.  As a solo coach, there is only so much you can do yourself before your marketing starts eating away at your time for clients.  So, you are forced to slow down on those plans to accomodate your time.

Coaches who work with a marketing team have a different challenge.  There are pieces that need to get to the team by a specific due date.  If you wait until it’s the day before the piece is due, then you create huge amounts of stress for yourself.  Not only that, the last minute details can add up quickly.  Then there is the fact that you are also spending the majority of your time coaching.

So, how do you manage all the pieces of multiple marketing plans?  You learn, plan, & adjust.  Here’s what I mean by that:

1)  You know that you want to put specific marketing strategies into place.  You probably know what that strategy entails and the reason you are doing it.  But take a look at whether you know what needs to be DONE in order to execute each plan.  What systems will you use?  What are the pieces you’ll need to plug into each system?  Are you clear on your marketing message for each strategy? Get the answers to those questions.  Ask your Team Manager to help you.  Ask your marketing coach to help you get clear.  Make sure that you know everything you need to know before you even begin.

2)  Once you are clear on all the information, then outline the implementation for each plan.  Create an outline that starts with the strategy, then go into what pieces need to be put into place.  List the systems you use and note who will complete each task.  Again, your Team Manager can help you plan this out and fill in all the holes.  If this is a release or event, make sure that you include the follow up tasks that need to happen and what that will include.  Look at each piece and estimate dates that you will be able to complete each task.   Now (and this is key!) add a couple weeks to the completion date of each plan.

3)  That extra two weeks is your buffer.  This will allow for surpise problems and issues.  It will allow you freedom to choose your clients over your end of the work.  It will give everyone breathing room to be able to get their work done without pressure.  Sometimes, you will still need to adjust.  Don’t commit to ANYTHING until you are at least 1/2 way through!  Again, this allows you freedom to adjust as things come up.

The most imperative part of running multiple marketing strategies at one time is that you allow room for everyone to do what they need to do.  If you go too fast, you will end up with way too many last minute tasks that you have to scramble to complete.  By knowing what you need to know in advance and outlining everything that needs to happen, you shave time off the process and everyone has room to do their best and get things done correctly, the first time.

What are your thoughts on this?  How do you manage multiple marketing plans?  I would love to read your comment.

Marketing & Presence

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 | Business Life, Marketing, Marketing Strategies with 2 Comments

Are you wondering what place presence has in marketing? Did you know you can apply spiritual concepts to your business? I’d like to share how it fits for me in hopes that others who function like me, might learn how to do the same in their business.

You see, I have this old habit of getting seriously focused on my to-do list. So focused that I lose sight of anything going on around me. As a business owner and marketer this gets me in trouble. If I’m always focused on that list, I miss when something isn’t working. I ignore profits declining. I forget there’s more to life than business and ignore my personal life, too.

I know this about myself and have decided that to-do lists are not for me. Some people don’t get things done without it and I get that. If it works for you, use it! If you are like me and get overly attached to the list, you may want to try presence instead.

I can just hear some of you questioning how anything gets done without a list. I’ll share with you my method.

I know lots of information about marketing strategies. When I choose to do one, I already know what it takes to execute it (If you don’t know this information, you can easily hire someone to educate you or do the research yourself). In my business day I stop and ask myself “What’s most important right now?” I do this whenever I have a moment; between calls, during lunch, at the beginning of my day etc… I listen for the answer. I trust that whatever comes to mind is what needs to be worked on.

You may wonder how I meet deadlines. I trust that my inner knowing can guide me and keep me on track. So far (after 3 years of this practice), I’ve always been satisfied with the outcome of my own projects. That’s not to say that I haven’t extended deadlines or run way longer on a project than I originally planned. It just means I trusted that whatever time it takes is the time the project needed to take. In the end, I always end up with a well executed marketing strategy for myself. I also get through the implementation process with very little (if any) stress. Trusting my own process allows flexibility, awareness, and choice. Without my own deadline, I get to focus on what’s most important right now.

As you may know, I also work with a team and I handle the marketing implementation for my clients.  I rarely do any of the “work” for my clients (that’s what I have a team of experts for).  When I do take on a client project, I get it done on time.  Trusting my inner knowing will keep me on track, works.

Again, this method of selecting what marketing strategy to work on is not for everyone, but it can be helpful for those of you who get stuck in the list, like I do.

What do you think? Does presence have a place in marketing YOUR business?