I love bloggers.
I love sharing my favorite bloggers to inspire and enlighten you. I hope you will find the motivation and encouragement to COMMIT to your blog. Here you go:
Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet Danielle LaPorte:
the secret to self promotion: radiance and the facts, jack
“Can I ask a question? I love working for myself and don’t want it any other way, but it seems that when you work for yourself you have to be a salesperson. I’m not a huge fan of sales people and hate feeling like I’m pushing something on someone. If you have any opinions on that I’d love to hear them!”
- Dani Griffin (via Facebook)
Dear Dani and the leagues of people who hate self promotion:
I never really understood people who are loathe to sell themselves or the stuff they make. But then again, my whole twenties (okay, and thirties) was solar-powered by the rays of my seduction. From boys to gigs to new age notions, I had a deal for you! “I got what you want and you don’t even know you want it. And I make house calls.”
Now? Meh. I’ve got what I’ve got, which is a lot. If that warms your cockles, let’s talk. If not, my engine is running, and I trust that your tribe is waiting for you elsewhere. Meep meep.
Do I sell my self? Damn straight I do. Everyday, all day. I’m doing it right now. I’ll do it on Twitter, CBC TV, Facebook, this week’s speaking gig for the Travel & Media Association of Canada, and when the waiter asks me what I do for a living. But I’m no longer TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU TO BELIEVE AND BUY. Rather, (and this has been one of my most gnarly, redeeming spiritual journeys) I radiate and state the facts. That’s it. And it’s a helluva lot more efficient than sales.
So, why do you hate self-promotion?
1. Because…it makes you feel like you’re pushing something on someone?
Passion is a force – and an essential one at that. If you’re not passionate about your service or your product, you shouldn’t be selling it in the first place. If you’re not passionate you have to fake it, and that’ll just make you feel like a sleazeball.
But let’s assume you are fully and truly turned on, and you’re offering the world something that you wholeheartedly believe in. Repeat: you’re anchored with integrity to purpose and meaning. That being the case, and the premise for everything I’m about to say after this, let’s proceed:
Don’t burn energy trying to assume how people will perceive you. What some people will read as enthusiastic stamina, others will interpret as pushy intruder. It’s your job to show up as you, passion and all, and let the right customers make up their mind about you.
2. Because…you’re shy?
You have three choices here: a) Get over it. Nothing like motivation to put food on the table or achieve your life dreams to cure shyness. It happens all the time. b) Let someone else do the selling for you – a writer, a rep, an agent, a virtual assistant-type. c) Pray that your good intentions and the high quality or originality of your offering will attract customers and prosperity. This tact, on it’s own, never ever works.
3. Because it’s not a “strength” of yours?
4. Because you’re afraid that people will think less of you? That you’ll be less of an artist, social steward or true professional if you’re hawking your wares or blowing your own horn.
Then I have bad news for you: everything you do is promotion, so you may as well do it with aplomb. The good news? Everything you do is promotion You are always radiating. From the personalized note that you tuck into your product shipment, to what you say at a party when someone asks you what you do, to how you pitch the art gallery or the corporation to get the big account — to the message you leave on a Facebook page.
HAPPY SELF PROMOTION =
RADIATE your passion + STATE THE FACTS of what that passion generates – the results it brings for you and your customers.
I’ll go first: I’m really passionate about the practical applications of love and consciousness in life and entrepreneurship. I write and speak about it in every way possible. I ran a think tank without any formal education, I wrote a book that got the attention of Oprah producers, and now, in my current incarnation, I’m booked four to six weeks in advance with clients – many of them say they got enough love ‘n strategy in one hour to blow their circuits. I’m writing my next two books now, and will launch them online this year.
That’s the passion, backed by the facts. Sometimes, at the start of your journey, all you may have in your inventory to “sell” is passion. And sometimes, that’s enough to open doors.
If you’re loving what you do and believing that it’s going to make a positive difference in people’s lives – whether it’s your wedding photography, your coaching methodology, or your zero point energy invention, then, you my friend, are ahead of the game. You’re light years down the path from the sorry sods who are grinning and bearing it in soul-sucking j-o-b-s.
So please, don’t devalue your currency. I’m so emphatic about this, I’m willing to get all Hallmark on you: a gift isn’t a gift until you give it away. Put a bow on it.
With much Love,
I can’t wait to hear your opinion.
Clue Number One: It starts with A.
Now, before you run through all the swear words you know, this one has 9 letters.
It makes people’s skin crawl.
It ends in an e.
When you say it, especially with healers and coaches, people walk…no RUN….the other way.
When I started using this word more routinely, I almost felt like looking over my shoulder to make sure a glory ball didn’t fly out of the heavens and strike me down. It definitely took some practice to let it become a part of my daily life, but I did it.
You see, I don’t know why I felt such aversion to a single word. I mean, who made the rule that this is was such a smarmy, alarming word?
Have you guessed it?
Let me whisper it to you….”a-f-f-i-l-i-a-t-e”.
What do you think? Does this word make your skin crawl? Don’t feel too bad, you are certainly not alone. When I attended my first “preview call” I was incredibly naive.
I really believed that the strategy session offered as a valuable gift at the end of the call was actually a GIFT. I didn’t expect to be sold something. I didn’t know that if I bought a coaching product, the host of the preview call got a cut.
I felt foolish and beat myself up about that for quite a while.
Later when I began doing such preview calls myself, I always had a bad taste in my mouth from that first experience. My perceptions flavored my words and I always felt like I was pretending to be someone else.
Coached with scripts without much heart, I never felt comfortable with the whole system. Affiliate Partnering has never felt right to me. But Why Not?
Businesses stay in business only if they advertise.
People can’t pay you if they don’t know you exist, right? So you can buy advertizing in your community or on the internet community or you could pay people to spread word about your product or service.
Having an affiliate partner means that you are paying someone to tell people about your business. This person has a list of contacts who could potentially benefit from your product or service. Which begs the question…what’s wrong with that?
Why do heart based business owners have such an aversion to affiliate marketing? Seth Godin coined the phrase “Human Spam” and I like that term. I know you don’t want to bug people. You don’t want to clutter your contact’s email boxes with frivolous offers.
You don’t want to be a seen as a dreaded……sales person.
Well guess what? Get over yourself. If the word ‘affiliate’ makes your skin crawl, get a piece of paper out or sit right down at your keyboard and fill in this sentence:
Affiliate marketing bothers me because_________________.
And then, ask yourself, “Why does that bother me?” Keep asking til you get to the bottom of it. The truth is, affiliating your products and services…sharing the wealth with others as you move your business forward is a rock solid way of doing business.
Clean up this dirty word in your world and watch what magic is possible.
As for me, once I came to grips with my feelings about my first few encounters with aggressive affiliate marketers, I gained clear perspective on the parts of me that needed to grow up. I made different choices and changed my point of view.
I decided I wanted to transform affiliate from a dirty word to a magic word. It is kind of fun to say it after all. Repeat after me…. affiliate…affiliate…affiliate. See….it’s not that bad.
Down on her luck, she scanned Craig’s List every day searching for work. Stretching every dollar and investing all she could in marketing her fledging life coaching business, Carly was drowning in debt and her stack of unpaid bills screamed at her every day.
After over 100 tries with Craig’s List, she finally found a position. It was perfect for her in many ways, the job demanded know-how in exactly what she knew how to do.
With all she had taught herself over the last couple of years to establish a web presence, Carly was highly qualified to work as an internet savvy administrative assistant for someone else who wants to be known on line.
While the sting of her failed coaching business was easing up some, Carly was still haunted by what she had been led to believe about being a life coach. In truth, she knows she will bounce back and she is a lot wiser now, but her confidence has been shaken badly.
Finding a position at this crazy time in our country is remarkable and Carly knows how lucky she is to have a job. Plus, $15 an hour is on the high end of many jobs available out there.
All that being said, when Carly works today, it takes ten hours to earn $150. It used to take her two hours of coaching to earn that same amount. And now that she is an admin, she feels awful about how little she used to pay her admin people.
How did Carly find herself in this dilemma? Working all of her creative hours for peanuts and then giving her faltering life coaching practice the fragments of her time and energy that are left over……
Can you relate?
When I met Carly, the first thing I asked her was, “Do you have a blog?” Immediately she went into a laundry list of all the things she had been meaning to do and blogging was one of the many.
“This isn’t confession,” I kidded her. I then began to ask her the following questions….
1. Do you want to hear what your clients are thinking?
2. Do you want to build an undeniable expertise with on line evidence that you know your stuff?
3. Do you want a low cost promotional machine that will automatically draw visitors to your website through Facebook and Twitter?
4. Do you want to reach hundreds of people with your information?
5. Can you write an email?
Carly and I sat down and had a serious conversation. Should she give up? NO! But she also had to buck up and create revenue from somewhere while she brushed up her internet presence.
If someone google’s your name, what comes up? Do you have 50 articles on your topic? 100? 10? If you are not leveraging your blog to meet and greet your prospective clients, you are missing a great opportunity to ‘pre-sell’ your contacts.
Intimidated by the prospect? Don’t be. Seriously, if you can write an email, you can host a blog. I am going to be writing about http://posterous.com in part two of this article. You can be a blogger in 15 minutes and I am going to show you how!
This is a guest post by John Saddington. He is a professional blogger who loves sharing his blogging tips, tricks, tools, and practical teaching. He covers such topics as SEO, WordPress and making money with your blog. (Originally published on http://MichaelHyatt.com)
Sometimes we need to stretch ourselves outside of our comfort zones in an effort to improve our writing. But it’s not natural to make yourself uncomfortable. No one willingly jumps out of box without a bit of helpful prodding or a direct challenge.
I’m here to help.
Here’s an opportunity to “up” your writing game with a few activities that can expand your mind, give you a much-needed fresh perspective, and an opportunity to flex a bit of mind-muscle that you haven’t touched in a while.
Ready to feel a bit of discomfort for the sake of a better blog? Try one of these experiments. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results!
- The Environment Experiment. Like most people you’ve probably created a unique environment for you to do your best writing, thinking, and publishing. This might be a home office or a specific area of the house or even that favorite couch in the living room that just seems to “work” and help you get things moving. What if you were to write in an entirely different place today? What if you were to go to another part of the house that’s never seen the light of your laptop? What if you were to go outside? What if you were to even leave your house and goto the local coffee shop? What if you were to stay home instead of heading to the local roast? What would that do for your perspective? Challenge yourself to work in a different environment and you might find that you actually like the change. Heck, you might even be more productive! Make sure to take good notes about your experience so you can replicate it later.
- Output Experiment.You might be used to publishing once or twice a week on your blog and you’re pretty comfortable with that rhythm and your community appreciates your consistency.But what if you were to accept an increased output challenge? If you typically post twice a week, why not publish three times or four times this week? What would happen if you were to double the amount of blog posts this week? Do you think you could do it? What would happen if you did (or didn’t)?See if you can break outside of your existing publishing quota and go for broke with more posts than you would typically do. You might find the change of pace exciting, and your blog might benefit greatly by an additional post (or two). You might even see more traffic, more shares via Twitter and Facebook, or even a viral push from a social network. Again, take good notes about your productivity boost to see if it’s something that’s sustainable long-term.
- The Media Experiment.Perhaps you’re pretty comfortable with your current fare of blog posts—a mix of copy and a picture here and there. Have you ever done a video blog post? A videolog? Have you ever communicated to your audience audibly and visually through video?There are a lot of reasons for attempting this challenge, but here are two that I’ll mention explicitly:
- Increased authenticity. The people know who you are but they’ve never seen you communicate in this fashion. There’s a deeper level of connection with your audience that you’ll be able to take to the bank.
- Better communication. There’s a fine art of being able to communicate audibly and it shows, especially when you capture it on video. Many professionals have discovered that practicing this form of communication you ultimately help one to become a better writer.
I hope that you’ll try one these experiments today and will seek to execute on them in the upcoming week. Who knows what will happen or how your community will respond!
Darlin’ you don’t have time NOT to send a weekly newsletter.
The biggest mistake I see internet newbies make is sending only sales newsletters to their list of contacts. It is considered bad manners to do so and here is why.
Any message you put on the internet is considered a social gesture. Why do you think it is called SOCIAL Media and not CONSUMER Media. Just like loud TV commercials, unsolicited sales offers are extremely annoying, even when they come in the weekly newsletter.
And yet, you have to sell your products and services to stay in business, right? That is the magic of a newsletter. Now don’t get your undies in a bundle. Newsletters come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very fancy and look like online magazines, others are simple and straightforward. You can start off very simply and create a loyal readership…here’s how. Just follow these easy steps:
1. On Sunday evening, choose one of your customers. Not just any customer, pick one that you resonate with, someone who is loyal and vulnerable. Choose a person you really enjoy helping and someone who touches your heart with their problem or situation. It is absolutely critical that this is a real flesh and blood person you have worked with or you know connects with your work.
2. Focus on this customer or client and jot down some of the issues that are challenging her this week. Because you know her well, you can tune into her easily. Why does she do so well with you? Does she trust you? What is her problem? How is she coping?
3. Holding her in your mind, go to your computer, open your email account and write her a note of encouragement. Acknowledge her situation, speak to her needs and give her 3 to 5 mini tips to help her cope. You will be amazed how easily your mind will provide the tips for you to share with this special client.
4. Do not send this email!
5. Go back and take out her name, so that the email says “Dear____________” instead of “Dear Mary”. Continue to revise the email as if you were sending it out to 10 Marys. Let you heartfelt encouragement reach a bigger audience. Take out personal references and generalize your advice.
6. This letter is the heart of your message right? There you go, that wasn’t so hard was it? Now take this letter and cut and paste it into your blog so you have a hot and relevant blog post.
7. On Tuesday morning, you will send your newsletter (it is more likely to be read on a Tuesday, Monday email boxes are usually filled with nonsense from the weekend). All you do is copy the first paragraph or two of your blog post into the email builder on your list server (Aweber, Get Response, Mail Chimp). You will say, “To read more, click here:” and create a link so that your readers will be directed to your blog to read the rest of your post.
8. You can add an encouraging word for their week and then sign off, Love……
9. Add a PS that says… .“If you like this article, I always appreciate Shares on Facebook and Retweets. Mwah!” Then hit the send button.
10. Start with step 1 and repeat. After three cycles, you will have three “characters”, generic clients you have created to inspire and teach through your writing. Then you simply repeat the whole cycle. The personal nature of your emails will dramatically impact your prospects. They will feel heard and valued. Then you have a chance to sell them something….emphasis on “chance.”
Clients are still turned off by sales attempts. You need to educate them about the value of your service and inspire them to buy. I know that. But you will find that 75% content rich emails and 25% sales letters will yield a far better result in creating long term faithful customers who tell their friends about how FAB you are.
Now, go back and re-read this email. I followed the exact steps I am telling you. The client I have in mind is a successful brick and mortar (non online business owner) who is over 70 and intimidated by the internet. I simply brought her into my mind and then created the tips and steps for her. I then went back through, changed the names to protect the innocent and sent it to all of you.
Some will resonate more than others. If it didn’t hit you between the eyes, it probably was still helpful, right? You might recognize yourself next week! LOL
Oh….why do I use my Gmail to write my blog posts and newsletters? A little trick of mine. It feels more personal and for some reason feels easier to write a letter than to compose a BLOG POST. Writing to my clients, who I really do love, flows better in an email format than it does when I am staring at a blank Word doc. This is the second such “email/blogpost” I have written this Saturday afternoon. It doesn’t take long….the work is all in picking your target client/customer and “feeling in” to their needs.
You can do this. You MUST do this. Your people are starving for your info/product. Befriend them and they will buy from you….when they are ready. Many of my clients tell me they have been reading my posts for months before they contact me for a complimentary consultation.
Remember in Part 1 of Why You Have To Talk Really Slow To On-Line Baby Boomers, you can easily use your weekly newsletter (you do have a weekly newsletter don’t you? If not, watch for part 3 of this series.) as the hub of your blog strategy.
Once you have that newsletter article posted on your blog, you simply need to add a second blog post per week and you don’t need to write anything in order to get that done.
Here a a couple of my gold nugget tips for easy blog posts:
1. Do a monthly book review: Pick one of your FAVE books, remember your clients and prospects like to read the same stuff you do. Just write a short review of what you liked and didn’t like about the book. Just 100 words or so is plenty.
2. Start collecting Affiliate partners. There are coaches, consultants and business owners selling all kinds of recorded material that your audience would like. They will pay you a percentage for sales from your site. Post their material once a month. One new partner per month. Ask them to provide you with a 200 to 300 word post. Voila….instant article! (I lead the blog title with Catherine Recommends, for these posts)
3. Find an entertaining YouTube video your audience would enjoy. YouTube is the best. Cute animals, adorable babies, inspirational TED talks, you name it, there are countless FAB videos out there. It is simple to clip the “embed” code and add it to your blog.
4. Reprinting Colleagues’ Blog Posts and Articles. A great strategy is to google topics your audience enjoys. When you find a blog with an article that entertains you, simply email that person and let them know you are reprinting their article on your blog. Simply adding their bio at the end with a link to their blog will create a great alliance for you. (Think of it, wouldn’t you be flattered if your article was picked up by another small business owner?)
There you have it. Four simple ways to post on your blog regularly without having to strain your brain and write when it is not easy for you. Remember, the power of your blog is that your people can talk to you. It is critical that you hear what they have to say so you know how to reach them with your materials and offers.
Stay tuned for Part 3 for tips on how to stop procrastinating and get yourself an easy newsletter plan for your list.
Wonder how your internet savvy measures up? Take this free quiz and find out for yourself: What’s My MQ?
Do you know that the fastest growing demographic on Facebook in the US is women over 50? Baby Boomers on-line have a unique set of challenges getting the lay of the land. Many come on hoping to find a pot of gold in a personal service business.
I am smack in the middle of that very demographic and I have countless examples of how my peers struggle to do what some of you think is as routine as taking a shower.
Want to try out this theory? Simply stop women in the grocery store next time you are out and about and ask them, do you go on your computer every day? You will be stunned at how many say no. (Plus, isn’t it staggering to see how much of your potential client market is untapped?)
Now, if you are like me, you LIVE on your computer. Writing, reading posts, commenting on posts, researching articles, meeting in on line class rooms to learn new skills, chatting in on-line chat rooms with experts and gurus and of course, checking email and your on-line calendar to keep track of yourself.
That is not true of your potential circle of influence. You have to find a way to make your clients and customers feel comfortable on line if they are going to do business with you.
I became enchanted with the on line community a couple of years ago while I was recovering from cancer. Virtually home-bound for well over a year, if it wasn’t for the on-line community I don’t know how I would have made it.
I worked with coaches and mentors I met through on line resources. I started my first blog because I was not able to call or write to multitudes of people. I always felt SO loved each time I posted about my experiences. Just knowing that the 100 or so supporters who read my posts would then think warm and healing thoughts toward me.
Believe me, I KNOW the value of creating a vibrant relationship with real live people at the other end of the wired and wireless network. The trouble is that most women in their 50′s do not have the savvy to leverage their on-line time profitably. You have to find a way to connect to that huge pool of searching females.
That is where you come in. The fact that you are reading this very article is significant. You are looking for a solution….like most of us do at the beginning of our internet explorations…and you found Blog Angel.
Blogs are the best way possible to connect with the people interested in what you are providing or selling. Let me repeat that… Blogs are the BEST way to go.
Why? Here You Go:
1. You can blog for free. Especially for beginners. My first blog was on WordPress.com I am a big WordPress fan and while I use their paid service now, the free service was more than enough for me at first.
2. You have COMPLETE CONTROL when it comes to making your work, ideas and products known. Unlike a typical website where you need to always go through a web designer, you can publish anything you want instantly.
3. There are ready made blog designs that you can easily easily download and use. I love the theme I am using here. It is the third one I tried. WordPress has created a “fitting room” approach.
You get to pick new themes and actually try them on….see what your blog looks like with a different background. Here is another version of my blog. In SECONDS and with the press of one, no make that two buttons, I can create magic.
4. You can see exactly what your readers are looking for by checking on your daily statistics. I was amazed at how well this works. Once I noticed that someone typed, “Why Can’t I Meet My Soul Mate?” in the google window. I wrote an article called “Why Can’t I Find My Soul Mate?” Now my article is number 1 on google for those search terms. Cool, huh?
5. You can take action steps, get known on line and not have to WRITE all your posts. I realize that not everybody is like me. I LOVE to write and can’t get enough of it. I publish on several blogs as well as teach others how to do it. BUT….there are clever ways to get around the writing bug. To read all about them, watch for part two of Why You Have To Talk Really Slow To Baby Boomers On Line.
Wonder how your internet savvy measures up? Take this free quiz and find out for yourself: What’s My MQ?
This is a guest post from Michael Hyatt of Intentional Leadership
When you are building your business presence with your blog, it takes time to “get deep.” As you aim to get 50 blog posts up and attract your readers, it can be a long dry journey if you have the wrong mind set.
The question is this: Which type of thinker are you? Maybe it’s time to do some honest self-evaluation. Better yet, ask those closest to you.
As I (Michael) was running this morning, I noted eight characteristics of abundance thinkers:
- They believe there is always more where that came from.
- They are happy to share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others.
- They default to trust and build rapport easily.
- They welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
- They ask themselves, How can I give more than is expected?
- They are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.
- They think big, embracing risk.
- They are thankful and confident.
I also noted eight characteristics of scarcity thinkers:
- They believe there will never be enough.
- They are stingy with their knowledge, contacts, and compassion.
- They default to suspicion and find it difficult to build rapport.
- They resent competition, believing it makes the pie smaller and them weaker.
- They ask themselves, How can I get by with less than is expected?
- They are pessimistic about the future, believing that tough times are ahead.
- They think small, avoiding risk.
- They are entitled and fearful.
The truth is that, for most of us, we are not either / or. We are a little of both. I certainly want to grow as an abundance thinker. Reviewing these characteristics has given me some clarity. How about you?
Question: How do you see these two ways of thinking impacting your world? You can leave a comment below:
This post brought to you by The LOA in Love Club, the World’s First $10 All-Inclusive Love Coaching Club. http://EFTCupid.com
I have come along way since my first little blog 4 years ago.
I became a blogger because of a health issue I was dealing with. It was during this time that I was moved beyond tears with the intimacy and connection that I felt with the internet community. I wasn’t interested in increasing blog traffic at the time.
It was out of necessity that I learned how to build a successful blog.
I will never forget dear Andrea in Minnesota. I was woefully underweight and fighting my way back to wellness and writing about it on my blog. Andrea actually overnighted me cinnamon rolls from her favorite bakery….all the way out to San Diego.
She said she put 5 pounds on every time she even walked by the bakery, so she sent me a whole dozen to fatten me up.
Truth be told, I couldn’t eat them very well. They were so rich for my delicate tummy at the time. But the LOVE I felt from a perfect stranger when my own friends and family struggled to help and comfort me meant the world to me.
Throughout my illness and recovery, I adored my internet connections. These were real people in real time who LOVED me.
The late night chatrooms were a lifesaver. There were always people around to talk to about what was going on. I joined Facebook in 2008 and began connecting there too. Because I was homebound for so many months, the internet became my neighborhood.
I started my business with a typical website, you can see it here: http://catherinebehan.com It is a lovely little website and I enjoyed it, but I was just about the only one!
I didn’t understand how important having a dynamic site is to building my list. I had an opt in window but if no one finds your site, no one can opt in.
Now I use my blog for everything. I always have 2 or 3 optin opportunities hidden in plain site in my posts and on my page. My strategy is to train my prospects to click on links. I sprinkle links throughout my material and offer benefits and rewards for clicking.
Take a look at this page and see if you can spot the opportunities:
Hint: There are 5 opportunities to click in the above post….did you spot them all?
Hint 2: See how I lead you through curiosity to check out my blog? Building traffic is a set of specific steps to follow. What do YOU do to bring traffic to your site?
Off to create a little magic!
Oh, BTW, the best news is that now I built my own membership site with a chat room where MY lonely lovelies can come chat with me and others who will love them through their singleness. How perfect is that! Check it out: http://LOAinLoveClub.com