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!

The Hail Mary pass that changed my marketing game (and yours) forever

The Hail Mary pass that changed my marketing game (and yours) forever

My back was against the wall.

I’d paid $5000 to work with a world-class consultant, but I was totally unprepared for our phone call.

That’s when necessity (more like desperation) became the mother of innovation.

Little did I realize it, but I was about to stumble on a secret for creating consistent, compelling content that deeply resonates, engages in a way most content fails to do, and earns trust faster than I can devour a bag of Sour Patch Kids. All of that:

  • Without staring at the dreaded blinking cursor on the blank page
  • Without wrestling with the demon of perfectionism
  • Without desperately coming up with a half-baked, mostly boring idea because it’d been weeks since you published something
  • Without being boring and sounding like everyone else in the echo chamber
  • Without spending twice the time and energy you’d planned just to end up with something you still don’t feel great about

“What have you got for me?,” my sales coach asked as we connected over Zoom.

You see, I was supposed to have written several emails to review with her, but with everything going on (and let’s be honest, due to a healthy dose of perfectionism mixed with a bit of impostorism), I’d put it off until it was too late.

I started half making something up, half stalling for time when a light bulb went off and I decided to go for a Hail Mary pass.

“I’ve got it right here. One sec and I’ll paste it into the Google Doc,” I responded hoping she couldn’t sense the undertone of “oh $@!%” in my voice.

I quickly brought up an instant messaging conversation I’d had with a colleague the day before, highlighted it, copied it, switched back to the Google Doc, and pasted it.

“Here’s the first thing I want to work on with you.”

I braced myself for the response as I went back to copy and paste two more recent conversations.

“Wow! This stuff is really good!”, I heard her say through my headphones.

Phew!

Wait……..Really?!

“I love this! It’s so raw and real! You can see how much what you’re saying is really connecting with her.”

It worked!

So what was happening here?

Even though I hadn’t sat down to hammer out the assigned emails, what I had done was that I’d had several conversations with colleagues and prospective clients about the brand new workshop I was preparing to sell.

To be honest, at the time I was probably using those conversations as an escape hatch to avoid writing sales copy.

(Ugh….writing sales copy. Is there anything less fun to do in business. Okay, maybe bookkeeping, but not much else.)

Yet when you think about it, what is the purpose of really good marketing and sales content?

Your job is to “always enter the conversation already going on in the mind of your customer” as legendary copywriter, Robert Collier, said.

In other words, your content should be so relevant and resonant that it’s like you are reading their mind and even describing their pain, desires, and challenges better than they can.

What better way to do that than to literally have conversations with your ideal customers and use the exact words and phrases that come from them?

And what makes this even more amazing is that by having these natural conversations via Messenger, my inner critic took a backseat. After all, it’s just a casual chat.

The immediate replies and excited responses of my “audience” energized me. I didn’t overthink it as I described the premise of my new workshop.

I was able to clarify and expand at the moment based on their questions.

In a matter of 10-30 minutes (depending on the conversation), I’d written content that was as compelling and resonant as it gets, all without the usual pain I put myself through by “trying” to create “good” content.

With minimal editing, I could turn each of those conversations into any kind of content I needed.

So what is the secret source of compelling content that engages and sells in a raw, natural way pulling your ideal customer at ease and wrapping them in understanding and connecting with them through language that validates everything they are going through and everything they want to achieve with such empathy that they want to work with you right now even if it means paying a premium price? [takes a deep breath]

Facebook Messenger

Well, that’s what it is for me. But really what’s important here is this…

Consistent conversations with your ideal customer

Pay particular attention to the words they use. Capture the things you say that resonate most.

Then “copy and paste” pieces of those conversations right into your content. A little bit of polishing and voila!

Whether it’s by phone, Zoom, in person at a conference, in a FB group, Skype, whatever…

If you are not regularly starting and capturing one-to-one conversations with your ideal customers, then you’re missing out on one of your greatest sources of content.

A wake-up call this week in the form of feedback given to me about my new podcast which launches later this month

They called me out and they were right

I had a wake-up call this week in the form of feedback given to me about my new podcast which launches later this month. There’s a valuable lesson in it for any content creator, so I’d like to share it with you.

Let me give you just a bit of setup first.

Here’s the deal. I’m feeling some pressure when it comes to this new show. I had a wildly successful podcast for twelve years, then I went on podcasting hiatus for a few years.

Now, I have high expectations of myself to start strong with this new show as I step back on to the podcasting stage.

There’s nothing wrong with stretching one’s self to reach higher. But it seems maybe I took it a little too far.

I researched.

I backed my ideas up with stats.

I created a framework to make the content actionable.

I kept it all within a nice concise 19 minutes.

I scripted the content (something I’ve never done with a podcast before).

I spent hours writing and re-writing the episode to get it “just right.”

It was those last two that did me in.

Here’s the feedback I received this week from two separate people after they listened to an advance version of episode one.

“I’d like to hear more about your business, your why’s, and your personality before you give the framework. Otherwise, it feels like a course via podcast. That makes me want to be more selective in listening to episodes only when the topic is relevant vs. listening to every episode.”

“Infuse more of your personality. At times, it felt like an MBA lecture.”

I immediately knew they were right. I’d made the common mistake of trying so hard to be credible and valuable that I had squeezed one of the most important elements out of it.

Me!

I didn’t leave any room for my own personality and story. I even teach my clients this stuff and I still missed the mark on this one.

Here’s the takeaway.

Yes, it’s important to have solid content that is valuable and credible, but what really keeps people coming back to listen is who you are and how you uniquely show up.

This applies to creating content for your marketing as well for your course.

I’ve seen worries about getting it “just right” delay course launches many, many times. I’ve also seen it turn courses and programs into dry lectures that fail to make a connection and have the desired impact despite being chock full of value.

It’s understandable to feel a lot of pressure to create ideas that people find novel, useful, and authoritative. We should always strive to master our craft and create quality work.

But don’t let the pressure, perfectionism, and impostor syndrome choke the life out of your perspective and voice.

rule of marketing

The #1 Rule of Marketing

 

Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.” — Robert Collier

 

Earlier this week I was at dinner with friends where a variety of conversations were taking place at the table. My attention was suddenly pulled to a conversation about yoga.

Now, the truth is that yoga as a topic would not normally grab my attention. I think yoga’s great, but it’s not really a top-of-mind interest for me. Normally, my mind would have filtered this conversation out and my focus would have remained on the interaction I was already a part of.

However, this yoga conversation was different. My friend was recounting a recent experience where she ran a workshop for veterans to help them process trauma stored in their bodies through restorative yoga. She explained how one participant had a big emotional release at the end of the workshop as her body let go of anxiety and tension that had long been stored in her muscles.

That got my attention.

I immediately switched my focus to her story. Ever since I read The Body Keeps the Score last year, processing trauma through movement has been at the top of my mind as something that could help me and others close to me to improve mental health.

In other words, this particular story “entered the conversation already taking place” in my mind. This is one of the most important things you can do when creating content and messaging for your marketing and sales. You have to meet your intended customers where they are.

What are the top-of-mind pains and problems they think about regularly? What keeps them awake at night? What are they actively interested in and looking for? What language do they use when talking about these things? Why are these things important to them?

It’s imperative to know the answers to questions like these so that you can tie your message and value proposition to them.

Only then will you get through the “spam filter” in their mind and gain their attention.

Be sure to speak to pains, problems, unfulfilled desires, and unmet needs before you start talking about your solution.

Just talking about yoga will get lost in the noise. Talking about yoga as a way to improve flexibility and prevent injury is a top-of-mind topic that will stand out and grab the attention of a specific audience. Talking about yoga as a way to mitigate the effects of sitting at a desk all day working at a computer will stand out and grab the attention of another specific audience.

When creating content for the purpose of expanding your visibility, gaining the attention of your market, and generating leads, the #1 rule is to always enter the conversation already going on in your customer’s mind so that your voice doesn’t get lost in the myriad of conversation taking place at the Internet table.

How to uncover and leverage your unique genius

Focusing on your unique genius and strengths in your business, body of work, and daily activities provide you with the greatest opportunity for fulfillment and growth in your work.

Leveraging your strengths is also your greatest opportunity to create value for others and to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

When used in the right way, your strengths are a competitive advantage and a key element for strong brand positioning as a thought leader. A strong brand position helps you stand out and attract your ideal audience and customers.

Understanding your unique genius also helps you create courses, products, and services that leverage your strengths. When you do this, you create greater results for your clients and students.

Further, you feel more confident when you talk about (i.e. market and sell) and deliver your products and services because you have a greater understanding of how your customers will benefit from working with you.

Finally, this process provides you with the exact language to describe what you do best and how it is unique. This makes your messaging more compelling to the clients you enjoy working with most and do your best work with.

For the past decade, I’ve refined a process for helping my students and clients uncover and connect with their unique genius.

Today, I’d like to share with you a worksheet that walks you through part of that process. This is pulled directly from my Launch Your Course online workshop.

You can access the Google Doc version of the worksheet here.