Professional (32)

There are many times, networking with powerful people, pays off, in ways beyond monetary benefit.

Having this powerful lady in my resources is value beyond measure. This article brings actionable information, to anyone who wants to, advance their professional standing.

Rickey ( http://www.jusmcc.net )

 

Felicia R. Davis, has an "uncanny knack" of getting to the point, eloquently and effectively. This is a good read  http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=901269b306c4ed07f8db72d50&id=3d565315b9&e=6333df3995

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Http://GoodCreditUnion.com 1-800-652-7157 In this video, I explain the new departments the that Good Credit Union have opened up to it's clients.

Good Credit Union has added a Tax elimination dept. with a CPA and IRS Registered agents. As many of us understand that a CPA is the blood line of the business. Understanding having access to a CPA is one of the best resources a growing company needs to be profitable. 

Our CPA works right along side of our IRS Registered Tax Agents to make sure your company financial documents and taxes are looking good to financial institutions.

GCU Group also offers employment verification for people that work off of 1099 and need regular pay stubs created. This is great for someone that trying to purchase a vehicle or get into an apartment.

Check out our other services
http://BusinessCreditAmerica.com 1-800-652-7157

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http://GoodCreditUnion.com 1-800-652-7157 In this video Houston with th GCU Group, Inc. explain why many people should fix their credit instead of getting a CPN or SCN.

1st you no longer have to find a co-signer to help you get an apartment, car, or student loan. I understand this is embarrassing for many adults with bad credit.

2nd If you have good credit you could add a child or family on you credit cards as authorize users and they could inherit your credit. This is one of the best gifts you can give someone if you're not rich or wealthy. Your 18 year old could inherit your credit and you will not have to co-sign for them an apartment, car loan, or student loan.

3rd You could buy real estate in which you could not do with a CPN or SCN. Many people want to get into real estate investing but they must understand that having good credit will make it easier to purchase that property.

4th When you fix your credit you don't have to show as much paperwork to get funding. With a CPN or SCN creditors want to see the id or drivers license to go along with the file. Creditors are asking for social security cards for that SCN or CPN, they are also asking for employment verification. This is alot of personal information they are requiring now for an SCN or CPN. 

5TH It's much more easier to get funding when you have good credit to do you investments, succh as buying a car from the auction instead of having to finance it from a car dealer.

This is Houston with Good Credit Union. You can call me at !-800-652-7157 or email me Houston@goodcreditunion.com or Alex @goodcreditunion.com

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Learn great ways to take care of your dreadlocks

Lovin My Locs - LovinMyLocs.Blogspot.com
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Want to start new dreadlocks and need help?
Do you have new growth and need to have them retouch?
Want to learn about the best products for dreadlocks?
Want some advice to help your locs look beautiful and amazing?
Need help with your wild locs and want to make them more presentable?


Our blog has been created to help more people learn about dreadlocks, how to start theirs and maintain their current locs.
The blog has lots of great info, videos, and resources.


Feel free to visit, share with a friend, and become a follower!!!!!!!
www.LovinMyLocs.Blogspot.com

www.lovinmydreadlocks.wordpress.com

 

 

"Like us" on Facebook - Lovin My Locs, Lovin My Dreadlocks
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lovin-My-Locs-Hair-Services/119006568184394

Leave us a positive review about our site on:

Myspace, stumbleupon, facebook, yelp, & thumbtack


Check out my YouTube channel page: www.youtube.com/user/Tennebula
and www.twitter.com/Tennebula



Blessings!!!!
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Unplug.jpg?width=323I don't know about you, but I like to think of summertime as the prime season for RELAXING--kicking back, enjoying the warm sun, balmy breezes and fun events with family and friends. Swimming, concerts, good music, food--just good times all around. And I don't want stress anywhere in there!

So why is it that we're still so stressed out and don't know how to unplug?

If you have that issue, I'm excited to tell you that you're in luck! Because next Thursday, 7/21 at 7pm EST, I'm delighted to have professional organizer Ellen Delap back for a great, encore presentation on our "Call & Learn" teleclass, "Summertime Unplugging & De-Stressing!"

She's going to be breaking down all types of great ways to slow down and actually ENJOY the warm weather while it's still here! So, I hope to see you on the call--to register (and get a free copy of "Accountability Partners for Internet Marketers," just go to http://successtales.com/7-21-registration/ and sign right up! See ya there!

 

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About the Blogger:

Vonetta Booker-Brown is the creator of SuccessTales.com, a resource/membership site for savvy female small business owners--and the author of the e-book Success Tales: Female Entrepreneurs' Stories of Challenges, Inspiration & Success--featuring BBWO's own LaShanda Henry!

 

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How To Create the Perfect Spicy Sales Cycle

dreamstimefree_2204450-150x150.jpg?width=150I am such an impatient person. I can admit it right out of the gate, but one thing I've learned after a number of business "beat-downs" is that planning is priceless.

One of the steps often forgotten in the excitement of creating a new business that you're going to market is the planning phase. But this is particularly important when you're creating your sales and marketing strategy.

You have got to spend some time mapping out how your content, products and services, and marketing are all going to work together to build a profitable online business.

To help you out, I'm going to share a few key steps - all of which I'll be talking about in my brand new coaching program that launches in a few weeks - Spicy Hot Systems That Sell (SPICY = simple, profitable, impactful, convenient, and getting your buyers to YES!):

Step One: Develop high quality offerings. Starting off on the right foot with your customer service approach is very important for the livelihood of your online business. Quality products, from the very first freebie to your largest ticket item, will help you gradually build a positive reputation for yourself. Any future dealings you have where you can do repeat business with your customer should leave them feeling as if they were treated as well if not better than the first time around.

Step Two: Create your product line. A sales funnel is a series of incrementally more valuable, and perhaps more expensive, products or services to offer your customers. However, people are going to enter your funnel at various stages. Some may begin by taking advantage of your free offer while some may jump right in and buy a product or service. Create a plan for each type of customer. Set the stage for the next level of products you have available. Figure out which ones might be of interest to your clients, or which ones could be useful. Help them to see just how they can be helpful and how to implement them effectively into their present business or organization.

Step Three: Maintain the Communication. In addition to creating a line of high quality products and services, you’ll also want to establish consistent communication with your prospects and customers. Accomplish this by continuing the flow of valuable information in the form of blog posts, email messages and perhaps a newsletter.

Maintaining the flow of valuable information makes it easier for your customers to confidently pass your information on to others. You could soon find yourself starting the process all over again with new referrals, or other people you have found on your own who have become customers.

Planning is the key to online business success. Create your sales funnel plan, marketing plan and content plan and work to integrate the three into a seamless and efficient system. Consistency is the key, and by using the same plan over and over again with each new person, your online business will grow. And everyone will be receiving the same great quality products and services you have to offer.

Now that's SPICY!
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This is part 2 of a 4 part series where I'm sharing the essential systems entrepreneurs must have in place to support a solid brand.

System #1: Customer engagement

iStock_000007773142Medium-150x150.jpg?width=150Brand support system number one is about the way in which you engage your customers. This is the process by which you create a path of attraction to your business. It's the way that you make it easy for prospects to meet you, to love what you do, to test drive your services. This might look like your current opt-in strategy. Or it may even be the type of events you host that attract people to your business.

Creating an easy path for prospects to engage is critical to building your pool of interested buyers. As a system, this path should be outlined in such a way that you can powerfully reflect your brand with ease. The goal is to create a connection between you as a solution provider and the potential client, or prospect.

What is evident when you view an entrepreneur’s website is whether or not there is an easy way to determine your next step. Successful entrepreneurs are clear in the single action they would like for a viewer to take when visiting their website the first time. But unfortunately too many business owners fail to streamline the instruction for their prospect. There is no opt-in form. There is nothing “sticky" about the page that keeps a person there, so viewers leave after only visiting a few seconds.

One example of a way to engage customers that capitalizes on the way they first interacted with you is to create a social media landing page. This blog post by visibility guru Nancy Marmalejo tells you how to do this: http://vivavisibilityblog.com/social-networking-landing-page/.

There are other ways to engage your customer or prospect. One of the most widely used ways is to develop a strong opt in form. A blog post by marketing diva Ali Brown shares great insight into how to make this work for you: http://www.alibrown.com/blog/?p=722.

The key to customer engagement is to entice prospective buyers within the first few seconds so they can receive your valuable information.



WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE?

You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their small businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at: www.bepromotable.com.
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tacky head shot

Let me start with a disclaimer. Tacky photos are my pet peeve, so I'm going to be really blunt about this subject. So here it is in a nutshell, if you want to be taken seriously then present yourself seriously!  Honestly, if you don't care enough to invest in professional photos, then don't expect potential clients to invest in your product/ service.

Every week I get at least a dozen so called professionals that want to elevate their personal brand.  When I look at their marketing materials I am often appalled at the quality of the personal photos. I see pictures that were clearly taken by 'cousin alex' at a birthday party, then cropped to only show their face.  I witness images that are grainy, hazy or at least 15 years old.   Did I mention photos taken with a cell phone? All I can say is TACKY , TACKY, TACKY!! If you want to establish yourself as a brand to be reckoned with, then start simply with professional photos.

Now I know what you are thinking...the last thing you want is to have some high fa looting photographer slap a bunch of make-up on you and take some pictures that look NOTHING like you.  Don't worry your little head about that, there are many ways to showcase yourself in a flattering and authentic light.  So here are the rules for choosing a photographer.

1. Choose your style: By this I mean style of photography.  Do you want Glamor Head Shots, Lifestyle/ Portrait Shots, Editorial Photos (don't worry I will describe the difference a little later in this post)? Being clear about how you want to be showcased is very important.

2. Personal referral: Only use a photographer that has photographed someone you know.  Just because they showcase good photos on their website, doesn't mean they are a good photographer. It is easier to judge a photographer if he has photographed someone you know. It gives you a gauge for how well he/ she can capture authenticity.

3. Its ALL about the makeup: Many photographers like to work with specific make up artists.  Try to have a conversation with the makeup artist in advance.  Explain the look you are trying to accomplish, even show photos of yourself or others that you like.  NOTE: its important to know that you will most certainly look like a drag queen after the makeup is applied, but photo lights are harsh, the make up helps with deflecting the light correctly.

4. RELAX: Its important to be relaxed when you take your photos.  Don't be so preoccupied with posing.  Just be yourself and let the photographer do the rest.

Types of Photos

photo styles

Earlier, I mentioned 3 types of photography. They are all good for different reasons.  I personally have all three types.
  1. Glamour Head Shots:  Ideal for presenting a professional presence.  Great for bios, personal appearances and media photos.
  2. Lifestyle/ Portrait Shots:  Perfect to communicate your personal brand. These images are not staged (unlike Glamor and Editorial), and they should reflect you in your natural habitat doing what comes naturally.
  3. Editorial Photos:  Usually reserved for appearances in media where you are a feature story.  Should have a personal touch with a professional flare.
Still think professional photos are a waste of money? Ask yourself this question. If  I had a chance to win a million dollars based on my photo alone, would I win?

Happy Branding Everyone...

Photo Credits: Jai Stone Glamor (pic by Reggie Anderson/ Makeup by Linda Dupree); Jai Stone Editorial (pic by Derek Blanks/ Makeup by Saisha Beechum); Jai Stone Lifestyle (pic by MilesCoaltrain)

You can continue this conversation on Twitter @brandcoachllc or on Facebook.com/TheBrandCoach
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I've been studying copy quite a bit lately because I want to improve my own business brand and make sure my stuff gets more eyes on it! What about you? Doesn't that matter to your business? Writing good copy is actually ESSENTIAL to your success, so even if you choose to outsource your writing, you should be familiar with at least the basics.Study and save this simple list of words you can use to attract more views.
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System #2: Customer Relationship Management

The customer relationship management system refers to the way you take care of your current customers. It may be the way that you process their intake into doing new business with you. It's about how you provide here and service once your clients have already paid or invested in your services. Ultimately the goal is for prospects to become clients and eventually to become raving fans for your business. This happens when you treat current clients or fans very well.

How do you deliver on the promises that you make in your brand. Does it require a lot of manual labor? Can you automate delivery of your services? Can you set up systems with the click of a button that will accept payment and deliver on the promise? If you're conducting a coaching group is there self-service function word new clients can go and access their profiles, pay an invoice, create a support case? This is all part of delivering on your brand promises.
When you have easy tools and systems in place it's much easier for your clients to rave about your services and to refer others to them as well. A great service experience can immediately expand your level of influence and authority.

I am a huge fan of Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM). CRMs were like a dream come true because I was tired of manually tracking loose pieces of paper, sticky notes, e-mails that flooded my inbox from people I worked with. A solid CRM can manage projects, automate your billing, and make it easy for you to find essential correspondence between you and the customer. Examples of great CRMs to research for your business include BaseCamp, Salesforce, Capsule CRM, and WorkEtc.

Another part of the relationship management, however, involves your approach to follow-up. Send Out Cards is a simple but highly distinctive way to show your clients you care. I purchased an account with the company years ago but did not realize the power of the program until I used it to mail personalized postcards to members of a course I was teaching online. It really made an impact with my clients to receive a special thank you from the right at their doorstep.

Trust me, in this age of Internet marketing a postcard or greeting card will help you stand out from the crowd. It will also help to solidify the emotional connection with your customer, which has the potential to generate more sales. Besides, sales are really about creating a personal experience for the buyer.

WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE?

You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their small businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at: www.bepromotable.com.
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10744063291?profile=originalI am so excited to announce the launch of Caribbean Women Who Lunch, Inc. (www.mycwwl.com). This is an organization with a mission to provide global networking and learning opportunities aimed at helping to grow the careers of women of Caribbean descent.

 

Women are notorious for not engaging their networks in the same way that men are able to do, so my dream for CWWL is to provide a forum for professional women of Caribbean descent that will facilitate access to global networks online, while also encouraging members to tap into their local networks through power lunches. This way you can build some truly meaningful relationships that help to move you forward professionally. The CWWL website is a social networking site that allows you to invite your own networks and also tap into the networks of other members, all of whom have some connection to the Caribbean, so you are already starting off with something in common.

 

This idea came to me a couple of years ago when I decided to launch my coaching practice. I wanted to start a group of women who would be able to offer advice and support to each other as we progressed in our careers. I also thought about how migrating to New York when I was 26 had impacted the networks I had back home in Jamaica. Essentially I had to start over upon moving to the U.S. so I thought why not create a network that women can access from anywhere in the world?

 

In order to help the membership grow quickly so it offers immediate benefit to the membership, the first 500 members will get the first year of membership for free. Just click on this link www.mycwwl.com, and with a few clicks you’ll be on and ready to invite your own networks by connecting to your email account(s).

 

Let’s network, learn and succeed!

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dreamstimefree_1333671-300x199.jpg?width=300Every solo business owner has a set of processes or systems that either promote their business very well or contribute to the business’ demise. There are really 3 essential systems that any successful business owner needs in place in order to automate the things they repetitively do over and over again, while adequately supporting the brand. These systems form the structure of success because they are the ways in which you continuously reinvigorate your business for expansion and growth.

What is a system?

For purposes of this article, we’re going to define a system as follows: a set of integrated, interdependent processes that can be replicated over and over again to produce similar results.

This article is designed to explain the 3 critical brand support systems for real breakthrough in your business. These essential systems are key to ensuring your success and creating a structure on which your brand can thrive.

It all starts with the BRAND

Before we cover these systems, let’s talk about brand first. As a solopreneur in the “entrepreneurial renaissance” age – a coin termed by business coach, Marcia Bench, you will have to compete against many people who claim expertise in the same field as you. Regardless of their level of experience or visibility, the sheer numbers require that you carve out a way to stand apart from the crowd. Your brand must be distinctive, powerful and recognizable.

The brand is the foundation of any effective marketing strategy. It is how people perceive you. The brand is YOU in a single owner business. If your brand is weak, the systems I will describe below will not operate to support your business. An analogy would be like building a new house, installing a beautiful kitchen, hardwood floors, and hiring a dynamic salesman to greet buyers at the door when the house has no walls yet.

The support systems we will talk about in this article will allow you to deliver great service, they will engage your customer base, and they will automate your delivery but only when you have taken the necessary steps to first put in place your brand strategy.

This means getting clear about what you do, the market you serve, and how you provide the service. Brand support is most connected to the latter – the “how”.

We will spend time outlining the 3 systems over the next group of articles in this series.



WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE?

You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their small businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at: www.bepromotable.com.
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graphorange-300x221.jpg?width=300Sticky notes are not the best way to keep track of a prospect you need to call. There is a better way - thankfully. It's called a CRM.

A CRM is a sales and marketing term for "customer relationship management". It's a system to keep track of important information about your clients, customers, sales prospects and a way to centralize your business communications and resources.

I love technology. You may already know that from some of the resources I share. But I really didn't discover the power of a CRM until I started realizing that I had too much paperwork floating around with my client's notes, names of people I needed to follow up with, and even keeping track of any missing payments to my client accounts.

So here are some benefits of using a CRM:

  • Organizes your business records
  • Creates a safeguard of all your key contacts
  • Automates your appointments
  • Helps you develop a "pipeline", which is the path you work each client or prospect through to work with you
  • Gives you an easier way to pay attention to your customers
  • Makes it easy for people to pay you
These are just a few of the things that I've learned a CRM can do for my business. And when you're a solopreneur, it helps to make your workflow as simple as possible.

Need a few ideas on CRMs to try?

I'm developing a video kit to help you use the simple, slick system I use, but for now here are some recommendations you can look into: www.CapsuleCRM.com, www.HighRiseHQ.com, www.BigContacts.com, www.SalesForce.com.

Try one and let me know what you think in the comments below!

WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at: www.bepromotable.com.
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iStock_000007606415XSmall-150x150.jpg?width=150I had a dream last night. In the dream I invested in some type of postal supplies shop - you know, like the ones you see on every corner now? This guy from an office next door kept coming in to say he was there to help me. Seemed like a nice enough man. At first, he offered to lay a customized floor tile that looked like a stamp for me in front of the counter. He described how it would have my initials, my favorite colors, and it would really light up the place. I was convinced and I said, "sure, that would be nice". Then after he put it in and I realized it wasn't just one tile, it was half the floor. Cha-ching.

Next, he came in and offered to change the locks on my door. I said, "yes, that's probably a good idea". And of course, he upgraded the entire door. Cha-ching...again. After a series of these offers, I realized I'd drawn up quite a bill. That's when I finally sat down to look at the total costs of my initial investment, the add-ons, and the history of success the shop had before me. Guess what? The previous owner sold it because she hadn't made a profit.

It was a pretty dismal outlook. I had the same dream at least once more the same night. It was like I had to go through it all over again, even knowing what the end would be. Then I woke up.

I realized that this was a pretty accurate picture of some decisions I've made before as a business owner. Not researching the so-called investment first, saying yes to everything that looks short-term shiny, looking at the total profit/loss picture only after I've spent all the money...

Notice I didn't say anything about "adding value" or "profit generating" decisions? What investments are you making in yourself and in your business that will add long-term value and generate profit? Got the wake up call yet?

 

WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free video download, 5 Secrets to Developing Your Unique Brand Proposition at: www.bepromotable.com.

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4 Parts to a Fabulous Personal Brand Statement

iStock_000008473282XSmall-150x150.jpg?width=150I often hear the question, "how do I develop a personal brand statement?" and my answer stays the same most of the time. A strong personal brand statement can be one of the best tools you can have and certainly one of the most critical ones for your branding and marketing toolkit, whether you are a business owner, or a professional working for someone else.

There are certain components that are variable and others that are pretty foundational in developing your personal brand statement (P.B.S.). Some of the factors that may be variable are:
  • When and how you will use it - e.g. interview for a job? networking situation? speech?
  • Who you're talking to - e.g. language needs to meet the needs of the audience; the message is the same, but the approach should be adaptable
Even though these may change, there are basically four parts I like to use in developing the main statement, so I'll share these next. A great basic statement tells people:
  1. Who you are - let the recipient of the statement know your identity, your name
  2. What you do - the core service or opportunity you provide
  3. Who you do it for - your target audience and/or ideal client you work with
  4. How you do it - your style, your unique approach, what distinguishes you

Let me give you an example of how this might work -

"Hi, I'm Tanya Smith of Be Promotable, the No Guesswork Branding & Marketing Resource for women solopreneurs. We show our clients practical, step-by-step online marketing strategies to confidently promote their business and get them noticed."

Now you try it. Add your own P.B.S. with the 4 parts in the comments and I'll share feedback...come on, you can do it!

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free video and audio download, 5 Secrets to Successfully Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time at: www.bepromotable.com.

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Simple Steps to Creating Your Marketing Map

iStock_000001184887XSmall-150x150.jpg?width=150Solo professionals are like big businesses when it comes to the need for a solid marketing strategy. The distinctive thing about solopreneurs, however, is that you get to be the head decision maker for every part of the business. That means it is all the more important to take your strategies from complex to simple whenever possible.

Now is a great time to develop your branding and marketing plan. While you definitely need to consider mapping out a strategy that is more comprehensive to cover you for at least the next twelve months, here are four simple questions you can answer in order to set a basic foundation for promoting your distinctive brand and services you provide:

How will I generate leads?

This is one of the most critical steps to developing a solid branding and marketing strategy. Assuming you have already identified who your ideal clients are, you must now figure out where to find them. Immerse yourself in studying your target market - find out what they read, where they frequent, and what they buy - and put yourself in front of them.

How will prospects get to do a "taste test" with me?

Before a potential client will buy BIG from you, they will want to know what your services are like. Depending on the business you're in, you will need to decide what is most effective and most practical to give away. For example, you might offer a free strategy session, or a free audio, or even an e-book. What can you offer that will be of interest and take little effort or investment on your part?

How will I direct them from one point to the next?

Now that your prospect has had a taste of what you do and they want more, make it simple for them to know what is next. This involves some thinking on your part of what your marketing funnel looks like. Whenever you engage a client in your product or service, be prepared to promote the next thing and make it easy. At the end of your teleseminar, share the next program or info product. This is the time where you can extend even greater value to your new customer - at the point that you have already made good on your initial promise!

How will I follow up?

The client engagement process usually follows a certain path - suspect --> prospect --> client --> advocate/evangelist. In order to move people through these stages, you need some idea of how to continuously follow up and stay in touch. Whether this looks like a series of autoresponder emails, a regular ezine, postcards, etc. consider how you will stay in front of your leads. The key is to add value to their inbox, not being pesky.

 

I now invite you to claim instant access to a free video and audio download, 5 Secrets to Successfully
Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time
at: http://www.bepromotable.com to learn even more about great solo professional business branding tips. - Tanya Smith, The Solo Business Brand Coach at Be Promotable.

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Goal Setting Is Not Dead...Just Boring

iStock_000015158998XSmall.jpg?width=167This post was originally published on Tanya Smith's blog. Click here to see the original post.

Goal setting always gets to be pretty popular this time of year. You hear a lot of techniques about how to do it and one of the most common ways is the SMART technique. I'm not writing about that here, because it's so overused now, I don't think you'll care.

No matter what you use, the new year always kicks us off with a great start, right? But then somehow you lose interest. There is this cycle that we seem to get into and it goes a little something like this:

  • Day 1: Whoo hoo, yeah, I'm on it this time. I'm going to [your goal here] -->
  • Day 3: This is great. I can't believe how this is changing [enter positive results] for me! I will definitely keep this up. -- >
  • Day 5: You know what, I'm just going to take a little bitty break...I'll come back to it, I promise! -- >
  • Day 10: What was that thing I was trying to do again?
  • Day 20: Start over again or drop it completely..
Part of the reason this happens is that we haven't really developed for ourselves a tangible, exciting "why" and "what". What I mean by this is the vision of what we want to get to and why we're doing it was never really that clear and constant.

You see, when you are setting a goal, it's important to identify the most clear picture possible of what you want. And doing this early in the process is one of the best ways to I learned this training in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) when I studied with a celebrated master pracititioner, Susan Stageman, for over a year.

Yes, it took me that long to really get it and start applying the techniques . I can be kind of hard-headed, as my mom used to say. There were so many good ones, but the one that has stuck with me forever is called creating a "well-formed outcome" (WFO).

This is a very powerful way to set long-term and short-term goals so that they STICK...and really, that's what we set them for in the first place.

So I'm going to share with you my criteria for remembering the WFO in 5 simple steps. Maybe this will keep your goal setting from being so boring. ;). I call it the PLEAS approach (as in, can I have another goal, "pleas"):

Positive

State the goal in positive terms. Describe the present situation and compare it with the desired future goal. Make sure you can see yourself having obtained the goal.

Level

Line up the goal with your values and beliefs. For me this means lining up what I've asked for, or stated, to be sure it is in the will of what God has for my life. I pray and ask for spiritual guidance around the goal. You may line it up however you see fit. It's important that your goals are a good fit with what's important to you.

Evident

Describe the goal using "sensory" terms. What will let you know that you have attained that desired state? This is a critical piece - think in terms of what you will hear, see, and feel when you have success.

Appropriate

Consider if the goal is right for you in all areas of your life. Is there something that may hold you back? Is this goal right for you right now, in this place where you are?

Self-initiated & Maintained

Self-initiated and maintained. Your goal must be something that you can initiate and maintain. It must not be something dependent on other people. Make sure that your goal reflects things that you can directly affect.

If your goal, or outcome is set each time with these criteria in mind, you will have crystal-clear vision that you can hang on to and it will get you past those tough times when you're ready to let go. OR it will bring you back to what you wanted in the first place...SUCCESS!

Share one of your clear outcomes in the comments below.

 

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is the "no guesswork" personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free multimedia downloads including 10 Branding Mistakes Made by Solopreneurs and 5 Secrets to Successfully Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time at: www.bepromotable.com

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5 Steps to Create Your Vision Board for 2011

Every year, my kids and I create a vision board to capture goal highlights for the year using posters, magazine clippings, crayons, glitter, glue sticks -- you name it, it's on the floor on 12/31. We have the music going, candles lit, and complete focus on what we're doing. Here is our process laid out in 5 steps for you. I hope you then enjoy the short video version of my board that was designed using Animoto.com. Head over to Life Vision Boards and get another take on the "how to". They use Animoto as well and you certainly can too - it's a free tool for creating video using images and music. Use theirs or add your own.

5 Steps To Creating Your Vision Board

  1. Get yourself to a quiet place
  2. Imagine that it is now the end of 2011 and you are reflecting back on your accomplishments for the year
  3. Write down a list -- brainstorm freely at first
  4. Now highlight the top 3-5 things you really want to focus on for the year
  5. Cut, draw, and paste images that represent your goals onto a poster board (you can even make a miniature version on an index card to carry with you)

That's it! Now set a date to get the board finished. ;)

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