Authors, Speakers and Coaches – How To Fill Your 2014 Pipeline Early!

Authors, Speakers and Coaches - How To Fill Your 2014 Pipeline Early!Okay all you Authors, Speakers and Coaches out there, listen up! How nice would it be to have your first half of 2014 booked out and not be scrambling for opportunities right after the holiday glow wears off? Here are my top 5 tips for booking out your 2014 calendar early!

Go back to the well

If you have a great database like Infusionsoft, you have probably tagged people who you have worked for before. Give them a call or send them a letter announcing that you are finalizing your 2014 calendar and you don’t want them to miss out on the opportunity to get you again!

Contact them first

If you are an author, you can probably get on calendar for local bookstore signings now! Give them a jingle and ask who handles that and book early. Speakers, I KNOW most of you don’t like to do free little talks but it is an amazing way to grow your sphere and get more people in your database. Set aside one day a month to talk to networking groups, chambers of commerce or your local service clubs. You never know who will be in the audience that could get you your next big local gig.

Make a punch list of associations that you want to target

If you are anything like me, you tend to be more reactive than proactive. Instead why not target 20 or so groups that are your target speaking or consulting venues and start a campaign to get their attention. Give them a call to find out the contact person. Then send them a postcard with some great info that is helpful to them. Then send another. THEN send a letter with your information and ask for opportunities.

Set up a Google alerts with a “call for speakers” and one for “speakers wanted” for your industry

You wouldn’t believe how many places post upcoming speaking opportunities. Once you set up an alert it will email you daily with any new requests.

Start getting the word out there with webinars

You might not believe this but I hate setting up technical bits. Don’t even get me started about the difference between GoToWebinar and Google Hangouts because I don’t even know really what the difference is. That said, I like talking (A LOT) and love when I get to address a group that has a strong leader who they know like and trust. Set yourself up to get daily “Help A Reporter Out” updates and opportunities will pop up right in your inbox. These are media people and webinar hosts who need content and information from people like you!

Now if you have been a speaker, coach or author for any amount of time, you probably have heard one or two of these before…but are you DOING them? Pick one that you are going to ROCK THE HOUSE on and get yourself booked for 2014 early!

Social Media Tips For Speakers, Coaches and Trainers

Social Media Tips for Speakers, Coaches and TrainersAs a speaker, coach or trainer, you probably want to tell people all the time about how you can help them. You are probably excited about sharing “your” wins when your peeps do something they never thought was possible BUT…social media is a tricky beast and if you are not careful, instead of coming off cool, you can come off as taking credit for other people’s accomplishments!

Social Media Tips For Speakers, Coaches and Trainers

I KNOW, you are sick of hearing it, but the MOST important tip I can give you is to ALWAYS consider “what is in it for them” when you post! Having a never-ending list of your upcoming events, while great for you (and them if they attend) is a non-starter and will get you unfollowed, unliked and generally make you a pariah.

Here are a bunch of things that you can post which will give them a smile, help them or lift up someone around you!

1. Your how-to videos. Many speakers, coaches and trainers have videos already floating around out there that have nuggets of information. BONUS: Don’t just put them on the YouTube, make sure you upload them to Facebook on your business page and share a half an hour later to your profile.

2. Share your old blog posts. You would be surprised how adding “Article” or “Blog Post” before sharing to your Twitter or Google Plus will increase views. Those little words will let them know that you are not “selling” but “telling” them something.

3. Case studies. OH how the universe is telling me to get going on these. Case studies are great in video form (transcribed for your blog posts). Please make sure to let them know where your client started, what they did to improve and where they are now. BONUS: The reason why video is so great for this is that there are A LOT of lies out there on the internet and having a piece of video with a real person talking is amazingly powerful. For this reason you DO NOT want to have all of these be professional quality. Mix them up with some from your iPhone to keep it real.

4. OPS (other people’s stuff). This can feel weird, why would you send them to learn about someone else’s great info? First off, if they are truly looking for a coach, they are checking other people out already, just not with your blessing. Also, you want to become an authority in your industry and the easiest way to do this is to curate content from around the internet about your chosen field.

5. Shoutouts. If someone in your network is doing something neat (whether you coached them or not), share it with the world. I cannot tell you how many times I posted something super that someone did and wound up with a whole string of comments talking about me and how much I had helped them.

6. Blog posts part deux. I have to say that I have seen some truly heinous posts with one or two sentences of information followed by two paragraphs about the author or trainer. Make sure your posts are filled with valuable and actionable items with the sales pitch as a minor function. Pitching is for after you have some interest.

7. Get them off of your social media as soon as possible. Instead of trying to get “likes and shares” on your Facebook, make them really cool offers for free help and get them to your offer page ASAP. In our case, we have a bunch of different free, amazing courses that they can sign up for free (like our Best Darn FREE Email Marketing Course EVER and our 100 Free Marketing Ideas). Our goal is to get them into our database, not to be the ones with the most likes of our pictures of cute kitties. Keep that in mind when posting on your social media.

8. Don’t just share something once. I have heard frequently lately that you have to share your posts and links at least 4 times to hit the majority of your audience. That makes sense to me as I am in Denver so things I post early are sometimes gone by the wayside by the time people in my timezone awaken. You should share your stuff at different times like evenings and mornings, weekdays and weekends.

9. Pictures of your audience. One self serving thing that is neat to share is pictures of your audience! People love to see themselves and BONUS: tag them on Facebook so they know are sharing!

10. Hire us to do a marketing consultation! Okay, now you know the ratio of amazing bits of information that you can have! You need to have a ratio of about 9 things for them and 1 thing for you. Once you have established some social capitol, no one minds having a little bit of sales at the end…:)

Business Services Marketing – Don’t Be a Victim of Social Media Disaster

Business Services Marketing - Don't Be A Social Media DisasterSocial media is essential for your service based business. It gives you a direct link to your customers and helps you find new ones. However, if your social media presence isn’t managed the right way, it can be disastrous for your company’s image. Here are a few of the most common disasters and ways you can avoid them.

Slow Response

Social media works well to help establish your good reputation but it can also destroy it. It’s a platform where your customers have a voice. What if one of them is unhappy with your products, services or practices? They can publish their complaint so that everyone can see it.

Damage control isn’t a big deal; it’s just part of social media. It’s not disastrous when someone complains about your company, but it is when you respond too slowly or don’t respond at all. Monitoring your social media sites is a 24/7 responsibility. When someone complains, you need to be there to address the issue.

Responding the Wrong Way

You can easily turn a slight bump in the road into a complete wreck by responding the wrong way to comments. If someone is rude or insulting, you may be tempted to respond negatively or be defensive. Even if the comment is completely out of line, a negative response makes your business look bad. Your response should always be positive and constructive.

You’ve probably noticed that you can simply delete comments that you don’t like. This can actually be more disastrous. To people who saw the comment before it was deleted, this looks very bad. You should only delete comments that are obscene, spammy, or excessively rude.

Selling, Selling and Selling

While the overall purpose of your social media presence is to boost your business, one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to overly self- promote. If you do this, you’re misunderstanding the real purpose of social media. Your customers are there to socialize, meet people, and share common interests. They’re not interested in being marketed to. If you blatantly promote your business too much, you’ll lose them. You also risk having people complain to the whole world about your social media tactics. Instead, think of social media as a way to build a stronger connection between your business and your customers.

The Wrong Spokesperson

To handle all of your social media tasks and maintenance, you should assign someone from your company to be the manager. Try to choose someone who is social media savvy and has experience on those types of sites. Keep in mind that one of the deadliest mistakes you can make is assigning the wrong person to this post. The wrong person is someone who might make the job too personal, talking about himself too much, or might make political, religious or other touchy comments. Your social media manager should know that his or her job is to represent the company in a positive way, and that’s all.

Social Media Disaster Prevention

The key to managing social media disasters effectively is to have a solid plan. Long before a disaster strikes, make sure that you know exactly how to handle it. Talk to everyone in your company who is involved in social media and make sure they understand the protocols and rules.

Professional and Business Services Marketing – How Writing Good Email Subject Lines

Professional & Business When you are doing Professional and Business Services Marketing, it may surprise you to know HOW MUCH having a good email subject line effects open rates and engagement with your messages.

Email newsletters were once all the rage and eagerly anticipated by your readers. Unfortunately, the world has now moved on and most people have overflowing inboxes that demand attention. This leaves your little email message out there fighting against hundreds of other emails competing for interest.

Now, we spend A LOT of time working on marketing campaigns for Doctors, Lawyers, Financial Planners and other business professionals and one thing that I have noticed…. they are VERY factually correct which is not necessarily good for driving excitement and sparking interest!

So does this mean your email subject lines have to be dry as dust or wildly provocative to be opened…not on your life! There are middle grounds where you can still maintain your professionalism without putting your readers to sleep.

Creating Urgency To Get Opens

I want you to check out your email inbox and see if you attracted to opening an email newsletter that just says November Newsletter. I am sure you have a myriad of things to do today and figuring out if there might, may be something good in there is probably not a great use of your time!

November Newsletter from ABC Financial Company (names changed to protect the guilty) OR
Urgent…Make sure you know your tax options before Dec 31 makes them obsolete

Using Your “From” Email

I find that a LOT of our professional peeps feel like they need to put their name in the email subject line. That is TOTALLY unnecessary as long as you make the From field the pro’s name.

Dr. Jones… Medical Update from Dr. Jones
Dr. Jones… We want to keep you healthy! 5 things you can do to keep germs aways

Finally, PLEASE change the text that says “Having trouble viewing this email? Click here”. This is standard text that appears at the top of your email template and which shows up on many email readers. You are missing valuable real estate by not changing this to something that would be interesting and tempting to get your emails opened.

We find that licensed professionals are SO concerned not to step a toe into interesting that they sabotage their marketing efforts. Being professional and informative does not have to be stuffy and boring. Take a little time to match your pro style with some great email subject lines and you will have a winning combination!

Video Marketing – How Your Service Based Business Can Use Video to Drive Sales

Video marketing isn’t just for Internet marketers and online businesses. It works wonders for service based businesses as well. Videos help you deliver your message to your customers and can get you massive exposure if done effectively. Producing your own videos and publishing them worldwide is extremely easy, which puts this kind of exposure within the reach of any business, no matter how small.

Why You Need Video

Video Marketing for Service Based BusinessesVideos are extremely popular online. They offer another format for people to consume content and it’s one that people enjoy. Videos are budget friendly and easy to produce on your own and give you an edge on the competition, especially if your competitors haven’t yet figured out how powerful videos can be.

Studies also show that videos increase conversion rates dramatically, so it’s a great way to boost sales.

Video Production 101

The main reason so many companies don’t start making videos is that they don’t know how. They also don’t understand how simple it is. You don’t need any production skills or a directorial background to make videos that are entertaining and effective. A few types of videos you can make include:

  • A video tour of your store or space, showcasing various products or product lines
  • Meet the team’ videos where a team member or associate introduces some aspect of your business
  • Helpful tips related to your service based business that your customers can use
  • Customer testimonials telling how your products or services helped them
  • Interviews with experts in your field
  • Tutorials on how to use your products or services
  • Behind the scenes on how your service or industry operates

Marketing Your Videos

There are lots of places to publish your videos where they’ll be seen. One of the best is YouTube, which is one of the world’s most popular websites. Start a YouTube channel and upload your videos there. A great way to market your videos on YouTube is to interact with other users, commenting on their videos and becoming friends with them through the site.

Another effective way to use videos is to embed them on your website. A good introduction video works well on your site’s front page. You can also embed videos on whichever social media websites you use like Facebook and Twitter.

You can also show your videos in your store or office on a video monitor. This gives customers something else to do in your space and helps to sell your products and services. Customers may have come in looking for one product or service, see other products or services on your video screens, and then go on to buy additional items or services they didn’t realize they needed.

Keep It Simple

The biggest mistake first-time video producers make is trying to tackle too much at once. Keep your videos simple. Each can be as short as a few minutes long. Cover just one topic per video and focus on quantity. The more videos your business has out there in cyberspace, the more exposure you’ll get.