Archive for May, 2009

Follow-Ups Create Income

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 | Implementation planning, Marketing Strategies with No Comments »

How many products or freebies do you have floating around on your website?  When people sign up for or purchase one of these products, do they hear from you again?  And I’m not talking about the autosubscribe to your newsletter.  I’m talking about a follow-up campaign that keeps building a relationship with those who have already shown interest.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before that repeat customers are more willing to purchase from you than a newbie.  I’m sure you know that keeping in touch with them will create more income for you.  Right?  Then, why focus SO much attention on getting them to download or purchase something if you aren’t going to continue to harness that relationship?

I’ve seen it all too often.  An experienced coach who is GREAT at attracting new clients, but has 20 different lists in their autoresponder that they haven’t spoken to since the day they purchased or downloaded something.  That’s lost money right there!!  A follow-up campaign can keep you in touch with them and when they are looking for the next thing you offer, they will be ready to buy!

If you want to successfully build a relationship with this group of people, here are a few important things to consider when setting up your follow-up campaign:

1)  If your autoresponder system allows for an HTML and a text version of your messages, use both! A branded HTML e-mail is going to be remembered sooner than a plain text e-mail.  So, you want to make sure that you get that branding in front of anyone who is willing to accept an HTML e-mail.   This will reinforce trust and continue to help them remember who you are.

2)  Be consistent. If you get wishy washy in who you are within different e-mails, people will subconsciously think you are wishy washy as a business owner.  So, you want everything to be consistent; your signature, your logo, your colors, your subject (not word for word identical, but have the same format and feel).

3)  Be conversational. From the opt-in message to the 3 month follow-up message, have a conversation with your reader.  Share with them who you are as a business.  Ask questions.  Encourage them to write you back.  Invite them to participate with you in the design process.  Offer them special opportunities because they are in a certain group of people.

4)  Be a coach. As a coach you have a unique opportunity to start challenging their thinking.  Do it in every e-mail that goes out.  They may not get it right away, but if you have a campaign built around one concept and you keep coming at it from different ways, they are going to eventually get it and when they do, they will be ready for something you offer.

5) Provide opportunity. In every e-mail you want to provide them an opportunity to continue THEIR growth.  Do this by sharing resources, pointing towards other opportunities (that are the next step in your marketing funnel) etc…

Every purchase or download  is an opportunity for you and your potential clients.  Treat them with respect, be transparent and make sure you get your branding in front of them as often as possible through the entire campaign.  In the long-run this will create relationships that lead to more purchases and more clients!

I would love to hear your thoughts on follow-up campaigns.  Please leave any questions, tips or suggestions as a comment.

Thank your prospects and speed up the buying process.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 | Branding with 2 Comments

I hear the word branding thrown around all over the place and sometimes it can get really confusing as to WHY branding is so important.  Let me put it this way.  Each time you get your logo, branding colors, business name etc… in front of your prospective clients, the more you will stick in their mind.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the saying “you have to get in front of someone 7 times in order for them to remember you.”  On the internet I’ve heard numbers like 16 and 18!  What would happen if you got in front of the same prospect 7 times with 7 different brands?  Would they remember you?  NO!

Branding is a HUGE part of attracting clients and in order for it to work, you MUST be consistent. This is why I make it a point to look at those little itty bitty details that can add up to huge client attraction!  Have you ever signed up for a free teleclass?  Remember how there was a page that thanked you for signing up.  It may have had sign up details or information about the opt-in e-mail you were about to receive.  You’ve seen these hundreds of times.  You may even have created them for your own systems.  Great!!  Every coach needs to make sure those “Thank You” pages are custom made and branded with their logo.  In some systems that’s TWO times you get your brand in front of the potential client.  Think about all the times you ask people to sign up for something free.

NOTE: Be sure to include a thank you message in your follow-up campaign that ALSO includes the specific information requested.  This is IMPERATIVE as those who are already in your system, will likely NOT have to opt-in again, therefore they skip that “Confirmation Success” page.

Here’s a story problem for you (I HATE math, but this is the kind of math that makes me smile!):

You have 3 sign up forms for freebies either on your website or with joint ventures.  Your prospective client signs up for all three at different times over a month or two.  The first freebie has two branded “Thank You” pages that match the branding on your website.  The second and third freebies expose your prospective client to one branded “Thank You” page.  How many times have you just gotten your brand in front of that prospective client?

hmmm…  2+1+1 = 4

Look at how easy that is to get in front of them 4 times!!  It’s just a matter of a couple pages being added to your website.  You can even create a generic page that says something like “Thank you for providing your information…” and tell them to expect that opt-in e-mail.  You can use that for every form on your website.  Then you can create a unique “Confirmation Success” page that thanks them for confirming and provides all the information they requested.

Just this ONE little thing could easily bring you faster results for all the client attraction work you do through forms on your website.  Coaches pay the big bucks for marketing systems that automate.  Don’t skip the most important piece!  Use every possible customization you can find!  Get that consistent branding to your prospective clients as often as you possibly can!

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you customize all the pages in your e-mail campaign system?  Or do you just use the system pages?

It’s the word many coaches avoid

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 | Marketing with No Comments »

NICHE!! Such an ikky word and it doesn’t need to be!  Why are coaches so afraid to niche? Even experienced coaches sometimes still say “I’m a life coach and I work with people who are stuck”.  That’s not specific enough.  If you are going to have an ever growing business, you need to pick a niche that is going to attract people.  They need to know right off the bat that they are ready for you.  If you stay broad, you’ll never get their attention.

Now,  as a coach, I think there is a distinct advantage in picking a niche. As a coach, you have the easy way to start.  You already only help a certain kind of person.  You don’t have to go by industry.  You don’t have to go by geography.  You can actually make up a niche that is obscure, focused and also attracts the kind of people you want to work with.

Start with the problem you solve and think about who the people are that have that particular problem.  Narrow it down to one specific description of who your ideal client is.  Then go out from there, where would this ideal client hang out, what are their activities, what do they know about themself?

I think coming up with a very tight niche is a great thing!  When my clients have a tight niche we find it easy to research places to market them on the internet.  It’s even easier for us to edit their copy and make sure the branding works.  It’s easier to market a coaching business when you have a nice tight niche.  Can you imagine writing copy that just flows out of you?!  This is what happens with a tight niche.  When you know exactly WHO you are speaking to, it’s easy to create copy, articles, blog posts etc…

So, is your niche too broad?  Narrow it down!  I’d like to recommend a resource to help you; “Niche Marketing for Coaches.” Hannah McNamara has written a practical handbook for anyone starting or building a life coaching, executive coaching or business coaching practice.  It shows you step-by-step how to identify your strengths, decide on a niche and then attract clients from within that niche.  It’s written in plain English (avoiding technical Marketing jargon) and focuses on what works when promoting your services as a coach.

Best of all, if you go to the page now and order a copy, you get all sorts of marketing bonuses! Including a free copy of my e-book “Coaches’ Simple Guide to twitter.” So, go now and get your copy of “Niche Marketing for Coaches” .

Yes, I’m promoting someone else’s product in this blog post!  I don’t do this often, but when I see something that I feel is a great help to the coaching community, I want to share it!!  So, take advantage of the free tips I gave above AND if you can relate, consider taking advantage of this opportunity.

What do you think about narrowing down to a tight niche?  Has it help you?  How?  Has it been diffult?  What’s getting in your way?  I want to hear from you.

Invest in your business and yourself!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 | Business Life, Small Business Management with No Comments »

Okay, so I’m NOT one of these people who runs out and attends every seminar I can get to in a year.  I don’t enroll in programs.  I RARELY even purchase e-books or home study courses.  I’m a one-on-one kinda gal and I’ve invested in a coach to keep me moving in my business, help me find what I need to work on, and support me in gaining the information that’s necessary along the way.  HOWEVER….

I have been known to occasionally invest in my education to further my business.  A couple years ago I felt a deep desire to attend coaching school at CTI and I went through the 5 weekends of core training.  This was a HUGE investment of time and money that paid off tremendously!  I expanded my skills and integrated coaching into my consulting, which has allowed me to advance the services we offer.  Not only that, I gained some major confidence in my relationship with my husband and in my business.  So, it was personally a very big growth moment for me.

Just last month, I decided to invest in my education and learn more about marketing to my clientelle by attending Kelly O’Neil’s Marketing to Millionaires Retreat.  I am NOT someone who typically makes purchases without having the money in the bank to be able to pay it off.  HOWEVER…I’ve decided the investment is worth it!!  Here’s the deal.  I know what it takes to market a business.  I know how to attract the clients that I worked with when I first started my business.  Over the last couple years I’ve been moving towards this higher earning target market.  I’ve been getting a straggling client here and there, but I’ve not been NEARLY as successful as I have in the past.  So, I know there are a couple things at work here.

First, is my LACK mentality.  Yes, even positive people have lack mentality, at times.  I’ve been unwilling to invest in the resources that are necessary to attract this market.  So, I know I need to start investing or I’ll just keep convincing myself that I can’t afford anything and I’ll stay where I am.

Second is my level of understanding.  I don’t earn (on a yearly NET basis) what my clients earn, so I have no idea what it’s like to be them.  I can’t get into their heads and look at what they are thinking about their purchases.  I also don’t understand what their struggles are as much as I did my previous target market.  I most certainly know my work and what I can do for them, but I don’t know how to help them understand that.  In order to be able to produce effective marketing materials, I know this retreat is needed.

I know I will learn what I need to learn and that this investment is about so much more than education.  It’s also going to help me grow and get out of lack mentality.  There is a time to invest in your business and, I believe, it coincides with when we need to grow as business owners.  I don’t believe in going out and spending tons of money on credit just to learn everything I can learn, regardless of whether I know I need it or not.  I DO believe in investing in my business when I have a sneaky suspicion it will get me out of the mental lull when I feel myself moving towards getting stuck there.

Invest wisely, but make sure it’s an investment that will not only move your business, but move YOU as well.

What are your thoughts on investing for self as well as business?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I’d love to hear from you.