5 Goals to Achieve This Year

If y0u’re up for it — I am going to push the envelope a little today and actually give you five goals to try to achieve by the end of the year.

Remember you are never going to know if you are capable of something if you don’t take that first step.

1. Go small

This may be a big one to start with but here goes-Downsize.  Look at all aspects of your business whether that includes employees, vendors or service providers.  If you find that there is a way for ONE provider to handle multiple jobs than cut back.  This may sound strange but sometimes less is more when it comes to project management as well as financial costs.

2. Take Time to Invest Fully

Make this the year that you completely focus on not only getting to know your customers but also their specific needs.  Once you make this commitment, find the best way to communicate.  Whether that is through a blog, social media, QR codes, or even a weekly newsletter; find out which option works for them.  There is no use in spending quality time and content on an area your customers do not even use.

3. Refresh your website

Take the time and really go through your website.  Analyze and make notes as you look over what you have currently.  Then, go on the Internet and find your biggest competitor.  Look at their website and make notes on what things stand out the most.  Once you do that, write a plan on what to change and a timeline to get it done.

4. Real Life Social Networking

Put some effort into networking by signing up for an industry conference or seeking out a local meet-up group. These are invaluable ways to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.

5. Put time for you on the calendar

It’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and inspired.  Be sure to reward yourself for specific milestones like a big client win, meeting a tough deadline, or working “overtime” for multiple nights on end.

Sticking to all of these 5 goals is a lofty for anyone. Follow the tips that ring true for your situation, and adjust as needed. Do you have other goals for your business this year?

 

The Productivity Secret That Will Change Your Life

One of the things I’m constantly struggling with: my plate is incredibly full. I just have way TOO many things on that proverbial plate and it’s constantly weighing me down.

I’m a Marketing Implementer, I help people get things done, and here I am, revealing to you my own challenges with getting things done.  Well, I’ve actually invested good money with experts to help me “organize” my office, my computer, and my life, as well as I got a new desk, bookshelves, and on an on. The interesting thing is after that expert gave me this “system” it wasn’t mine. So I had great difficulty in trying to use it and came across all sorts of obstacles that just reared their ugly heads a few weeks ago.

Before I tell you what happened, I actually would liken it to someone who’s trying to lose weight and just puts the weight back on—it’s because they’re not aligned somewhere with the process, or something just isn’t right.

Well that’s what I felt like, something with my new system just wasn’t jelling with me, it just wasn’t right. And unfortunately I didn’t really see that until the crap hit the fan last week and a few balls I was juggling just crashed—yikes—how did that happen?!

The cool thing is that I did ultimately find a solution, albeit painful to have to do so much learning—As Alex Mandossian has taught me—“You’re either winning or you’re learning!” No such thing as losing or making mistakes—my new lingo is “I’m learning.”

After the balls crashed last week, my wonderful client and mentor Alex Mandossian, pulled me aside and saw that I was obviously having some trouble.  He got to the root of it very quickly and explained to me about the benefits of “The Ivy Lee 6.”

In the early 1900’s consultant Ivy Lee approached Charles Schwab, President of Bethlehem Steel (not the investment company) and asked what it’d be worth to him if he could raise the productivity of his managers by at least 20%. Schwab didn’t have an answer but was definitely interested. This is where the “Ivy Lee 6” comes into play.  Ivy Lee taught him and his managers this proven technique.

Here’s THE productivity secret that will change your life:

Before you leave your office for the night, write down the 6 most important things to be done the next day and number them in order of importance. Prioritize.

Do the tasks from the most important to least important. I write these on index cards with the date at the top.  So have the card on your desk for the next day, and once you’ve finished one, take a highlighter (I like green) and highlight through it so that’s your sign it’s complete. Any unfinished tasks are rolled over to the next day.

It may sound incredibly simple, yet for me it was amazingly effective.  After my first week was done—oh my gosh, I had a stack of cards on my desks with lots of green on them. Just being able to visibly “see” what I’d done that week was psychologically empowering. I left my office Friday on a huge high.

The key is picking the 6 things that will give you the most results for the day, and write them down very clearly. For example— Don’t say— “Call several people to connect with them about our product launch.”  This is better— “Call Susie to tell her about our product launch” or “Call 3 key people who will promote our product launch…”

Using the “Ivy Lee 6” also utilizes the power of prioritization and requires you to number your tasks in order of importance with your most important tasks done first.

Don’t wait, try this now— I know you will be amazed at how this works and leave me a comment and let me know how I can support you to be more productive.

And if you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

  • Stuck in your business and not being able to increase your profits fast enough
  • Frustrated your launch didn’t go as well as you planned
  • In need of some help and guidance with your launch
  • Finally ready to create your online marketing funnel and don’t know where to turn
  • Searching simply for some strategic online marketing help, and hand-holding from an expert who’s got proven experience and helped thousands already….

Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here and check out how I can help you and schedule a free 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

How to Take Bigger Risks This Year

Something fascinating happened to me a few years ago that was worth repeating. I had this experience that totally changed my perspective on how I would think and do things in my business and my personal life.

Here’s what happened—

I had decided to go to the DMV, yes everyone’s favorite place to make jokes about.  I had been putting it off for almost a year and I had to finally deal with getting a new title. I actually wanted to cross if off my to-do list!  (I had paid off my car loan—yeah, and needed to get the lien holder name off my car title.)

I had a phone meeting that day with a colleague and as we were wrapping up I said that I had to head out to the DMV. It was 11am on December 30 and she thought I was crazy and said good luck; it will probably take a few hours.

Well, I had positive thoughts running through my head as I was driving over there that I’d be in and out in 30 minutes.  As I got into the parking lot it was NOT looking good. I found one of the last parking spots.  And at this lot, there are no meters you have to go to a central machine to pay for your parking. Now this was a HUGE lot and there was a doubly huge line just WAITING to pay for parking.

Here’s the part of the story to take note of—something just switched on in my brain when I saw that long line.  My brain went into high gear calculating how best  leverage this situation.  And at that split second, I decided to count the number of people in line to pay the machine for parking—there were over 15 people. AND the kicker is as I waited in this line to pay for parking— I thought ALL of these people WILL be ahead of me in the DMV.  So I made a mental note of the person in front of me—a young guy with a red hat (this will be important later.)  And that’s when I made the rash, big risk decision to leave the line and make a run for the DMV.

When I got into the DMV, there were only 2 people in front of me at the desk—double yeah!  The bigger risk I took was I bet big that I would NOT get a ticket because I’d be in and out of the DMV before I would have even reached the head of the line at the parking machine to pay for parking.

Guess what—my taking a bigger risk PAID OFF! I WAS in and OUT of the DMV in 10 minutes, and it was FREE to change my title! I had two options—pay $60 and wait to get a new one issued, or for FREE, they’d make a copy of my title, cross off the lien holder and put it in my file.  So of course, I chose the FREE one. No need to get a new title until I sell my car, which won’t be for a long time!  The important thing for the DMW was that there was no lien on the title and that I owned the car.

As I walked by the parking machine line, the young guy with the red hat who was in front of me was now #4 in line to pay. So the important lesson is I would have STILL been in line if I had stayed and now I was done and was able to hop in my car and go home! The only thing it cost was gas to get there and 30 minutes of my time!  Seriously I was home by 11:30 am.  So by me taking a bigger risk, risking getting a parking ticket because I bet I could be in and out of there before I’d even get the chance to pay for parking.  AND—looking at that line thinking how would a policeman even be able to tell or bother giving a ticket with SO MANY PEOPLE still in line.

The lesson I’d love for you to take away— is —To Take Bigger Risk’s, think BIGGER for yourself, your life, your business. Don’t be stuck in your old ways. Look for ways to save time, money, and leverage yourself, your time and your people who work with you.

What I want for you is to have an amazing year every year. I keep doubling my business — And I am even more thrilled and I will take even bigger risks moving forward, and the goal is to triple it. And I know I will do it by thinking bigger and taking bigger risks.

Here’s to monetizing yourself and your business and making your business outstanding!

The Simplest Secret to Getting More Clients/Customers (AKA More conversions :-)

Top Secret Shannon McCafferyBeing in marketing for what feels like a lifetime, the ONE things all my clients struggle with is how do they get more new clients/customers? And– how do they get  more people to convert on their websites and get into their marketing funnel?  I’d like to tell you that the REAL answer is incredibly sophisticated and complicated. But, it’s really not, it really IS simple, what I’m about to reveal to you.  And you have to understand that this is not rocket science and it’s something you probably already know. ..

The SECRET to getting more Clients/Customers- is you HAVE to BUILD a RELATIONSHIP with them FIRST– BEFORE you ask them to buy from you- that’s it. And the age old example that always hits home is you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, so why are you doing that with your marketing?  When you get them into your funnel, don not immediately ask them for money.  Date them, send them emails filled with value, build their trust, give them interesting tips, strategies and information that they can use right away in their business, their lives.  And honestly after you’ve sent them 7  to 10 emails THEN ask them to buy something from you- and not anything really big either.  And often times I will tell my clients to start by putting the sale in the P.S.– not even in the body of the email.  (Actually this is a terrific strategy missed by many people- not using their P.S.- many people read that first BEFORE even reading the body of the email!)

Once you get this concept, then we can plus it up– look into your so-called “war chest” and find some cool things you can give away to them to build their trust and a relationship with them.  Next, be a REAL person to them– don’t just give them valuable information, tell them about yourself, give them an entertaining story about your kids, your partner, your dog, the trip you just took– CONNECT with them on another level– again it’s about building a relationship with them.  And also encourage them to connect with you on social media where you can then connect with them and build your relationship even further.

Some specific takeaways for building a relationship with your prospects to turn them into clients:

1) Core- Build a relationship with them

2) Entertain them with good stories, antidotes, inspiring quotes, funny pictures, etc.

3) Reveal things about yourself- really connect with them- be personal- talk to them one on one like you’re having coffee with them

4) Give them valuable content they can take and use right away

5) Don’t try to sell them anything until you’ve done the first 3 well- so after about 7 to 10 emails or so

6) Treat your prospects, clients/Customers as you would like to be treated

7) Communicate with them on a regular basis- at least ONCE a week, if not more

8) Covet thefolks on your list and keep doing the above and you will have them investing in your business AND you will have clients/customers for life

As I said, it REALLY is that simple to get new clients/customers- just focus on BUILDING a relationship with them.  Trust me, it really does work, and let me know how you do– I’m here to help! 🙂

What Do Your Customers Really Desire?

I wanted to continue my blog from last week where I discussed “What Your Customers Want to Buy,” followed up by this week where the focus is on “What Do Your Customers Desire.”  This questions are incredibly similar because a lot of the focus is out the outcome, not exactly a product or service. Remember people buy on emotion and then they rationalize with logic AFTER they purchase.

That’s why what I’m about to tell you is REALLY cool and important. If you’re a student of Direct Response Marketing or a copywriter, or student of marketing, you’ve probably heard of Victor Schwab. If you haven’t, shame on you- get on Amazon now and buy this book— How To Write A Good Advertisement

In the book he has a ton of terrific stuff on how to write copy and ads that convert. The one thing that caught my eye and made a huge impact on my was on page 47 where he talks about what showing people an advantage, yet it helps when you know what those advantages are.  So here’s his list of people’s desires and what they want to gain, be, do and save:

1) People want to GAIN:

–      Health

–      Time

–      Money

–      Popularity

–      Improved Appearance

–      Security in old age

–      Praise from others

–      Comfort

–      Leisure

–      Proof of Accomplishment

–      Advancement- business, social

–      Increased enjoyment

–      Self-confidence

–      Personal prestige

2) People want to BE:

–      Good Parents

–      Social able and Hospitable

–      Up-to-date

–      Creative

–      Proud of their Possessions

–      Influential over others

–      Gregarious

–      Efficient

–      First in things

–      Recognized as authorities

3) People want to DO:

–      Express their personalities

–      Resist domination over others

–      Satisfy their curiosity

–      Emulate the admirable

–      Appreciate beauty

–      Acquire or collect things

–      Win others affections

–      Improve themselves generally

4) People want to SAVE:

–      Time

–      Money

–      Work

–      Discomfort

–      Worry

–      Doubts

–      Risks

–      Personal Embarrassment

My recommendation of what to do with these lists, is in your marketing promotion and copy, ensure that you tie into these advantages and focus on one or more things of what people want to gain, be, do and save.  And if you can do that, they will buy from you.

I’ll leave you with this terrific quote from Napoleon Hill (and if you don’t know who he is- buy his book here—Think and Grow Rich. It was originally published in 1937) “There are no motives to action: Self-interest and fear.” So to me he’s saying that people buy out of self interest- to gain, be, do and save and out of fear. Hence so much copy is fear driven and focusing on our problems and that’s why everyone has the perfect solution for us because that’s how most of us think.  When asked what we want, it’s easier to know what we don’t want which then gets us to what we want… Happy thinking, discovering and figuring out your customers desires!

What Do Your Customers Want to Buy?

I’ve been asked this question over 1,000 times— what do my customers want to buy? And another questions I get is– how can I figure out what product or service to create so that they will buy it from me?  And I get a gillion more.  Here’s the real scoop on what people want to buy and I want to give you as much information as I can so you can be incredibly successful with creating the best products and services for your clients and customers.

I stumbled upon this book years ago—7 Steps to Freedom II: How to Escape the American Rat Race, by Benjamin Suarez. It’s a rather dated book, published in 1994, and a very BIG hard back book, so I wouldn’t travel with it.  This book is awesome if you’re considering doing direct mail and if you want some real insides on how people buy, and what to sell, how to make money formulas to be profitable, it’s a really good step by step- albeit dated.

What I want to share with you was the ONE thing that I got out of this book and it was his whole discussion and presentation of “Why people buy.”  So here are some key takeaways for your business:

Generally speaking people buy to spend money, be affluent, feel good and to avoid and solve the problems they’re having.  They don’t want to buy things that are hard work, cause risk or that are time consuming. I’m talking about the majority of people, not the 5% of entrepreneurs like you and me. The key is people want “Quick and Easy” solutions.

Here’s a list according to Benjamin Suarez of what people want to buy for:

  1. Immortality and Survival
  2. Power
  3. Love
  4. Money
  5. Recognition
  6. Acceptance
  7. Parental Success
  8. Career Success
  9. Marital Success
  10. Health
  11. Success in Competitive Games
  12. Avoidance of Hardships
  13. Recreational Fun
  14. Avoidance of Unpleasantness

Knowing this list above is hugely important. This gets into the psyche of the REASONS people buy and the “things” they buy for.  After I read this list, it made so much sense to me.  So the next time you’re gearing up to sell or promote a new product or service, take note of these things above and in your promotion and copy address one or some of these that fit.

Also, take a look at this list and it might also help you figure out which product or service to create. We already know the popular markets like Health and wellness, weigh loss and physical fitness, and of course love.  But don’t forget about recognition, immortality, acceptance, fun, and making money!

AND if you need any help with trying to figure out what next product or service to create or offer, check out my latest presentation on the 17 Ways to give your customers exactly what they want—Never Guess Again what your next product or service will be.

The Anatomy of Creating a Survey

Over the last couple of weeks, we have gone over steps how to know what your clients/customers want through creating surveys and writing out our questions.  Today, I want to put all that information together and show you the anatomy of a survey.  Other people might try to make this process really complicated or complex, yet the process is REALLY simple. And if you follow this process, I promise, you will discover EXACTLY what your customers want and then all that’s left to do is to create it!  So after you’ve created your survey- here’s what you need to think about and plan:

Survey Time Frame

In order to get the best response from your prospects, the lifespan of a successful survey is between 7 to 10 days.  Think about this 7 to 10 days time frame as a mini launch.  By keeping this prospective, you will be able to plan every single detail to make this successful.

Communication

By setting up the time frame of 7 to 10 days, you will want to send out 5 – 6 emails throughout this time.  Try to avoid emailing everyday, which could be viewed as spam.  Instead, try to send an email every other day.  Within these emails, you will want to include:

  • Why you need their help
  • Focus on your gift you want to give them (See more below)
  • A Short & Sweet Reminder about completing the survey with the link at least twice in the email
  • Always add a P.S. to your emails

The key to remember about the communication part of this process is make each email compelling so your prospects will provide you with good, solid feedback.

The Gift

Always give a gift to those who answer your survey. It is the best way to not only motivate but also to thank them.  Time is a gift to most people and therefore you want to reward them for giving you some of their precious time.  The best gift idea is something of value and compelling that you think they would want.  I like it to be electronic so it’s easily downloaded- like an eBook, eReport, MP3 audio, video, etc.

Analyzing

The last part of this process is a favorite of mine-maybe because I am a true survey geek!  All your prospects have turned in their surveys and now it is time to dig into their responses.  .  In fact, if you have used a survey tool like Survey Monkey or Zoomerang, they make analysis SO easy.  I love these tools because they do ALL the number crunching FOR YOU!  In addition, they put them in these cool graphs too.

So take advantage of your online survey tool and crunch your numbers, really taking the time to read all your date.  Pay special and close attention to all your open-ended answers.  And then use the information in your business, in your marketing—USE IT!  That’s why you created it and sent it out. So many people forget about it and don’t use that information—it’s a goldmine- use it!

Want more information about using surveys in your business? Check out—www.NeverGuessAgain.com

Already know you want to invest in a program that will show you exactly how to create surveys and use them in your business so you know exactly what your customers want?  Check out my interview with Bill Glazer where we discuss how to give your customers EXACTLY what they want.

 

 

It’s All About the Questions

There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.”

This quote says it all when it comes to the topic of this week’s blog.

It’s ALL About the Questions!

This is actually STEP 2 – AFTER you figure out your goals and outcomes of what you want from doing your survey. Creating questions for your survey products is incredibly important because it will shape the answers you will receive and ULTIMATELY what you will be able to do with that information.  Through this questioning process you will step closer to finding success in your business.

Step # 2 –It’s ALL About the Questions!

When you are coming up with questions, there are SO MANY types of questions to choose from. So let’s start with this— phrase:

“Short, Sweet & to the Point”

One way to keep questions “Short, Sweet & to the Point” is to use open-ended ones. These are the questions that will bare the most fruit for you in your surveys.  A lot of researchers and statisticians don’t particularly like open ended questions because they are the most difficult to measure because each answer is unique, so when sifting through 10k open ended answers, it can be overwhelming in going through all of them. So I highly recommend using open ended questions when you:

1.  Want detailed information in the respondent’s voice

2.  Don’t have good solid answers to create a multiple-choice—because a lot of times you can miss an answer because you didn’t give them one they would have chose. (When you create multiple-choice you’re forcing them to answer your answers that you’ve created.)

The real key to using open ended questions is they can really help not only shape your business, products, etc.; they can also shape YOUR MARKETING.  They write the answers in their voice and will give you key words and key phrases that you can use when you market to them.

Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind as you create your questions.

1.  Are you questions short or wordy?

  • Simple and concise words are the best to use

2.  5th Grade is your target when it comes to the understanding level.

  • Do not make assumptions
  • Everyone needs to understand them

3.  Stay Away From Complicated.

  • Complication will lead to people not wanting to participate in your survey

4.  Keep your goal and the main thing you want to achieve in mind.

Next week, I am going to take you deeper into how to create those easy and inviting questions that will give you the answers to help shape your business.

PLUS– FREE 60 Minute One On One Call with ME!

If you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

  • Stuck in your business and not being able to increase your profits fast enough
  • Frustrated your launch didn’t go as well as you planned
  • In need of some help and guidance with your launch
  • Finally ready to create your online marketing funnel and don’t know where to turn
  • Searching simply for some strategic online marketing help, and hand-holding from an expert who’s got proven experience and helped thousands already….
  • problem or issue isn’t listed here… I know I can help….

Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here. I want to give you a  FREE 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

Are You Hard Wired To Fail?

Do you ever set important goals and then find yourself really struggling and not being able to meet them?

I used to have MANY sleepless nights when I first started my business. I would freak out about where my next dollar was going to come from or how I’d finish a project or what to do about x, y and z, it was endless. Worry was taking over my life.  Until I was able to read some terrific books on worry and learn about ways that really helped stop me in my tracks and enabled me to push past my worry and fears to create more success for myself.  The thing is there was definitely something stopping me and a lot of times I had NO clue what it was.

Have you ever felt like something was stopping you? You may be right: your subconscious mind can influence in you subtle ways to keep you from achieving your goals!

Here’s how it works: when you experienced a challenging event as a child – even something as seemingly small as your third-grade teacher yelling at you for asking a question in class – your subconscious downloads the details of that moment and marks the memory with a trigger. It’s like there’s a trigger in your mind saying, “There’s trouble here!”

If a new event activates that trigger, the creative problem solving part of your brain shuts down – stripping you of all the resources and capabilities you should have. So you stop moving forward. And you may not even understand why you stopped because it isn’t a conscious decision. Your subconscious is the one that decided to shut you down.

Want more information about how past events affect current performance, even without you being aware of it? Join my friends and colleagues Jack Canfield (America’s Number One Success Coach and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” author) and Pamela Bruner (Business Success Coach and EFT tapping expert) for a free video, “Are you Hard-Wired You To Fail: What’s Stopping You From Succeeding.” Details here: http://tinyurl.com/6o3d3u3

How to Give Your Customers Exactly What They Want

Technique #1:  Start With Your Outcome, Not Questions 

This week I want to challenge you with this thought: “Think Outside of the Box.”  The topic of this blog is a little different and will require you to think outside of the box.

Diving right into it, I do not want you to think about all the questions to put into your survey.  I want you think about the outcome first!  So many people fail before they hit the ground running with their survey because they think “Questions First.”

Think about it…before creating and writing questions, you need to know what you want from them first.  Therefore, in hindsight, your first question to ask is: “What is your Outcome.”  and “What’s your goal, what information do you need, or what kind of problems in your business will a survey help you with?”

Once you figure out your outcome, the next step is coming up with some objectives.  It is very important to limit your objectives to two for the outcome.  By limiting your objectives to two, it will help you in the end with coming up with specific questions.   Another reason for keeping it to two objectives is to follow my number one rule with surveys:

Less questions is more! No more than 15 Questions!

To help you out, I am going to give you some examples of good outcomes and objectives to get your creative juices flowing.

  • I want to get new testimonials – at least 10.
  • I want to find out what keeps my clients awake at night.
  • I want to know what my client’s biggest challenge is.
  • I want to know what my customers like and don’t like about my newsletter.
  • I want to know what kind of topics my customers want to read about in my blogs.

So your homework this week is to take the time and come up with some serious outcomes that you’d like to get for doing a survey to your prospects and customers.