A List of Free Things That Might Help Right Now

A List of Free Things That Might Help Right Now

I hope you’re staying healthy and safe.

Over the past week, I’ve curated a collection of resources (most of them free) that could help during this challenging time. I’d like to share them with you today. I’ve put a $ next to the two that cost a bit of money (no affiliate links).

Also, next week I’ll send out some training that I normally charge but that I’ve now made free. It will help you identify exactly what you should do next in your business to serve your customers and bring in income. Watch for it.

Now, here’s my List of Things That Might Help Right Now.

FocusMate – Find Virtual Working Partners for Accountability and Connection [APP]

Focusmate, started by my friend Taylor, has been making it easy for people to connect with others to co-work virtually for years now. His platform was already useful, even more so now.

How to Maintain Healthy Relationships While Stuck at Home with Loved Ones [WEBINAR]

Being stuck together with your closest relationships can lead to challenges, even when you love each other dearly. My friends, Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower, are offering a free webinar to help keep couples and families happy and in alignment.

7 Essentials for Taking Your Team Virtual [PDF GUIDE]

This guide by BusinessImprov offers some important insights if you find yourself needing to work with your team virtually if you’ve been used to working in-person until now.

Inspiring Talks and Performances [LIVE ONLINE EVENT]

Tricia Brouk and Jamie Broderick have pivoted their epic Speakers Who Dare event into a live broadcast on March 24. I love attending events they put on because the speakers are always inspiring. I walk away with valuable insights. Now you don’t need a $200+ ticket. You can attend for just $22.

Pivoting Around a Pandemic [PODCAST]

Jenny Blake’s podcast is all about pivoting in business and life. She published a series of episode specifically related to navigating challenge related to the pandemic.

Maintaining Business Continuity While Caring for Self and Others

11 Ways to Maintain Momentum for Solopreneurs

Promoting and Launching During the Pandemic [VIDEO]

This excellent Facebook Live, so generously offered by my friend, Mariah Coz, is packed with insights and answers to pressing questions for course creators looking for direction right now.

Mark Cuban Offers Advice and Answers to Small Businesses About How to Survive the Pandemic [POST]

Mark hopped on LinkedIN to do an “ask me anything” session to answer as many questions as he could. It’s worth perusing.

Expert Help During Coronavirus [FREE WEBINARS]

B.J. Fogg and his Tiny Habits crew are conducting a series of free webinars on a variety of topics such as 3 Tiny Habits for Strengthening Your Immune System, How to Foster Calm During Uncertainty, and others.

Teach Kids Resilience and Growth Mindset – $

For a bit of homeschool inspiration, and to help your kids muster their resilience while things are hard, Big Life Journal has some amazing activities and resources, many of them printable.

More soon.

Stay healthy! Stay safe!

Here are four useful tools and techniques that can help you uncover your unique voice as a thought leader to stand out in your industry.

How to Uncover Your Unique Voice as a Thought Leader

In 1994, my brother and I started our first garageband. Spillway was our name (don’t ask me why).

We would set up in my parents’ basement and thrash about, banging the drums and crunching chords on the guitar, essentially knocking off of the popular grunge sound of the time.

Our first song was an “approximation” of a Stone Temple Pilots tune. Our next was a loose rip off of Rage Against the Machine.

Without a doubt, we sounded like hundreds of other garagebands playing in their parents’ basements, all of us borrowing liberally from the popular rock bands on the radio. But we had to start somewhere. This is the creative process of discovering one’s creative voice.

Much like writing songs, creating content and sharing your ideas online is an expression of your unique voice.

To find your own style, your own voice, you often start by mimicking the voice of others. You experiment. You put in your reps. Bit by bit you uncover the elements that make up the fullest expression of who you are, the things that set you apart from others who do or say similar things.

“It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” — Michelle Obama

Your unique voice is one of your most valuable tools when it comes to creating a strong position in the marketplace so that you stand out in the noise.

Your voice is found in the stories you tell, values you stand for, opinions you share… it’s an authentic expression of who you are and how you think.

I write only because / There is a voice within me / That will not be still. – Sylvia Plath

While it may seem like uncovering your voice should be self-evident, there are a number of forces that continuously conspire to bury it from even our own awareness.

Thankfully, there exist a number of useful tools and techniques that can help you uncover your unique voice so that you can create a strong brand position that stands out in your industry. Here are four worth trying.

1) Louder Than Words by Todd Henry

This is one of the best tools I’ve found for uncovering your unique voice. In this book, Todd shares a series of questions for uncovering your “notables.” These are points of view that, by sharing them, you uncover parts of your voice.

Below is a list of sample questions I’ve borrowed and adapted from Louder Than Words that you can use to uncover a new part of your voice.

  1. When are you moved emotionally?
  2. What stirs you to anger (especially compassionate anger)?
  3. What kinds of problems or ideas do you think about incessantly?
  4. What are you curious about right now?
  5. What is something you believe that runs counter to popular opinion or conventional wisdom?
  6. Choose a question, answer it, then create a piece of content that expresses your answer.

2) Read Your Content Out Loud

When you write an email, blog post, or even social media update, read it out loud before publishing. Does it sound like you? If not, edit it until it does. Ditch the rules school and business have drilled into you about writing. If you want your content to resonate, write like you speak.

3) The Magnetic Messaging Framework

I created this five-part framework (PDF) to help my clients connect with the core of what drives their work so they can communicate it to their audience. By going through the exercises in the guide, you’ll identify the things that will make your message irresistible to those you want to serve most. I also talk about this framework in episode one of my new podcast.

4) Share Anecdotes from Your Life

I started this email with a story of my first garageband. Sharing stories (or even short anecdotes) like this is an easy and powerful way to infuse your unique voice into your content.

Making your mark in the world requires honing your unique voice. It’s an ongoing process. The techniques above will help you identify and share the best and most interesting parts of who you are so that your ideas will resonate with your audience, earn their trust, and inspire them to take action.

11 Ways to Stand Out as a Unique Voice in Your Industry

11 Ways to Stand Out as a Unique Voice in Your Industry

I’ve got a question fo you.

On a scale of 1 to 10…

How are you doing at creating thought leadership content that stands out and establishes you as a unique voice in your industry?

As I rapidly approach the launch of my new podcast in January, I’ve been checking out the podcast and content landscape to see what’s out there and how I can bring something different to the table.

What I have noticed is that a lot of content creators show up at a 4 or 5, perhaps a 7 at best, when it comes to creating content with a unique approach and voice.

That’s why they get lost in the sea of sameness on the Internet.

But that’s not you!

You didn’t start your brand and business just to get lost in the noise.

It doesn’t matter if there are marketers and content creators who are smarter, more qualified, better at writing, funnier, or even better looking.

There are people in this world who want to listen to, learn from, and buy from YOU specifically…because of who you are and how you think. So, unabashedly show them who you are.

Do not hold back!

Out of 7.5 billion people on Earth, you only need a few thousand of them to resonate with you to have a big impact and a successful business.

To help you stand out and resonate with those who are waiting to hear from you, I’ve put together a list of eleven ways to turn your content up to eleven so it truly stands out.

11 Ways to Turn it Up to Eleven

Emit Passion & Energy

Only create content and sales offers about things that you have really strong feelings, motivations, and opinions about. Let that energy shine through.

Share Your Interests

Talk about your interests (e.g. tv shows, hobbies, philanthropic pursuits, etc.) in your content. Use these interests to create analogies that are relevant to your content or just drop the occasional reference to them. Find ways to use talents like drawing, playing guitar, knitting, or whatever in your content. Quote your favorite movies.

Use Humor

You don’t have to be a comedian (but if you are going for it). You can be punny. You can use self-deprecating humor. If you have a silly or goofy streak, let it shine! Try to make yourself laugh when you create content.

Bring Them Behind the Scenes

Share your process. Let them see the messy origins of your new ideas and projects. People love to be a fly on the wall. Or just share parts of your personal life that your audience will relate with and enjoy seeing.

Have Conviction

Share what you believe with certainty and courage (no matter the response it might get). Be clear about where you stand. But when appropriate, also show a willingness to learn and change but explain why you are doing so. Don’t change because it’s popular or convenient.

Be An Example

Exemplify the values that are most important to your audience. Show extreme dedication to those values (e.g. discipline, creativity, spontaneity, family, etc.).

Do Fascinating Stuff

Do things that people will find interesting. Then share your experiences in your content. Want to be interesting? Do interesting stuff regularly.

Speak Truth

This goes beyond integrity. This is also about saying what others are not willing to say, bringing new truth to light, or restoring truth that has been lost. The secret to Howard Stern’s success is not just controversy. His interviews focus on revealing what is real and true under the surface — stuff that doesn’t get shared elsewhere.

Be Adventurous

Take people on a journey with you. This might be travel like when I lived in Paris or when Chris Guillebeau set a goal to travel to every nation on earth. Or it could be a personal growth journey or the process of reaching for a big audacious goal.

Be Rebellious

Challenge conventional wisdom. Do things differently. Say something controversial (but mean it and embrace it).

Use Aesthetics

Adopt a distinct look or brand. Use the highest quality, beauty, and design in everything you do. Set a new bar.

Choose one of the methods in the list above (or another one that you come up with) that feels natural for you to use, and decide one simple way you can use that method in your content in the next 7 days.

And I’d love to hear from you…

1) Which one(s) are you going to put into action (or which ones do you already shine at doing)?

2) Who is a thought leader, writer, creator, etc. you think is excellent at turning it up to 11? Reply and let me know.

Boost your revenue from any offer by 20%+ with this strategy

When looking for the highest ROI ways to grow your income as a thought leader, there are often low-hanging fruit opportunities that get easily overlooked.

These are opportunities that require little additional effort or work on your part and can be implemented with minimal changes to your existing product offers, marketing, and sales process.

Earlier this week, I was on a consulting call with the purpose of looking over a business owner’s revenue model to find just such an opportunity for her.

One stuck out at me right away that I would like to share with you because it’s something you can easily apply to your offers. In my experience, this technique boosts the income you generate from that offer by 20% or more.

In this case, the primary source of income for the individual on the call is high-end, high-touch coaching and consulting program where her clients pay for several months of training, personalized guidance, and hands-on feedback.

This offer costs several thousand euros. She doesn’t have any offers at lower price-points. As a result, this excludes a good portion of her list from being able to do business with her because they can’t afford it.

My advice to her was to add a second tier to this high-end offer, one that included the training, tools, and access to the community but didn’t include access to her guidance.

This would do two things. First, it would create an offer that is accessible to those who can’t afford the higher price. Second, it would allow her to make additional revenue from an existing program in a way that doesn’t require more time from her to maintain it.

Sometimes when I share this strategy, there’s a concern that implementing it will lead customers to take the lower-priced option thereby reducing revenue. However, I don’t find this to be the case.

This two-tier approach caters to two different types of buyers. Those who want high-touch access are happy to pay a higher price. They won’t give that up just to save some money.

This approach also works both ways. You can add a higher-priced “VIP” option to an existing offer that gives your customers access to additional support and guidance. Again, this could lead to a 20-30% or higher increase in revenue and sometimes even more.

One last thing to note is that a higher-priced VIP option doesn’t have to consist of additional access to you. There are a lot of creative ways to craft an offer that appeals to those who are ready and willing to spend more money with you given the proper value incentive.

3 insidious ways monetization shyness is killing your business

To continue our recent content about monetizing your expertise, I want to talk today about “monetization shyness” — something that will greatly hinder your ability to generate income if you don’t identify and fix it.

The danger is that we often don’t realize we’re doing it.

Monetization shyness typically shows up in three forms. Take a look to see which ones might be biting you.

1) Not Selling to Your Audience At All

For years, I — and I’m certain other colleagues — counseled Pat Flynn, popular marketing expert, author, and speaker, that he needed to sell his own courses. At the time, Pat’s income was entirely derived from affiliate commissions. Even though he was doing quite well, it was severely limiting his income growth potential and leaving his business at risk because his sources of income were all ultimately outside of his control.

Pat hesitated for years to create and sell courses because he was worried about backlash from his audience. It’s an understandable concern. He’d managed to build a large and loyal following and didn’t want people to tune out if he “sold out.”

Perhaps you have similar concerns. It certainly feels great to offer value and have your audience love you for it. We all love getting validation for our efforts. But validation doesn’t grow your impact and income.

You have to realize that in order to deliver the greatest value and impact, you must focus on those who are ready to invest time, energy, and money into what you offer. That means being okay with letting go of those who would take issue with you selling. Yes, you might lose a few people, but you’ll deepen the impact with those who stick around.

Today, Pat’s been able to build an even bigger and more robust business because he’s diversified his income streams and regularly promotes his courses.

2) Sending Too Few Emails for a Promotional Campaign

The other day I talked to a client who was disheartened by the poor performance of a promotion she ran earlier this year before she engaged me to work with her.

As soon as I looked the campaign over, I knew exactly what was wrong. In fact, it wasn’t really a campaign at all. She’d sent a total of two emails and made a handful of social media posts mentioning the product. That’s it.

There wasn’t any warm-up to the promotion. She hadn’t sent any content to empathize with her audience and build trust first. She was so bashful about promoting too much that she didn’t send enough content to properly establish the value of her offer and didn’t address concerns before giving the opportunity for her audience to buy.

Your offers deserve a proper promotional sequence of content. Your audience deserves to have all the information they need to make the best decision for them.

There is a way to send a proper series of promotional content while still creating immense value for your email list subscribers. In fact, when you do this the right way, you earn more trust and loyalty even from those who decide not to buy from you at that time.

3) Not Emailing Your List Often Enough

Did you know that your fear of people unsubscribing is costing you money? It’s never fun to see someone leave your email list. I get it. I filter those messages and metrics out because sometimes they get to me and I don’t want them to sway my strategic decisions.

Emailing your list less frequently to avoid unsubscribes is like deciding to eat more green smoothies to be healthier, but stopping just because your p**p turns green.

This study from Alchemy Worx shows that when they started emailing a client’s list twice as often, the rate of unsubscribes did indeed double. However, the average value of each person on their list (i.e. the average amount of revenue generated per email subscriber) tripled. They made a lot more money!

The bottom line: by trying to avoid unsubscribes the client had been missing out on significant income (and I would add impact).

The important metric is NOT how many people unsubscribe. It’s about value you create for, the money you make from, and the impact you have on those who stay on your list.

And please…don’t get sucked into the list-size ego-brag culture. If you base your success on the size of your list, I can name at least a dozen ways this will lead you astray.

No More Monetization Shyness

The solution to monetization shyness is to make a mindset shift. Believe in the value you offer, Believe that you deserve to get paid well for the value you offer. Don’t attach meaning to metrics that are more about ego than income and impact.

You have to know that your mission is to impact people’s lives and not play it safe with your ego.