5 Steps to Daring Greatly and Living Authentically

I was totally shocked when I realized I hadn’t written in my blog since July—yikes! I thought for sure I had written something in August— nope!  So I thought this post would be PERFECT to get me back on track.  It’s interesting how life throws these curve balls at you and even more interesting how you respond.  One thing I know for sure is that life is ALL about CHANGE—you have to simply just expect it and realize you absolutely have NO CONTROL What we need to do is simply prepare ourselves well with riding the waves… And that’s how this post came to be… the 5 Steps to Daring Greatly and Living Authentically…

It’s funny how things happen—because I certainly don’t believe in coincidences…  The whole month of July I was away traveling— only home for 5 days, and they weren’t even consecutive days!  And on my last trip working a very stressful 8 day event a friend showed me a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) video by Brene Brown—  it was so PERFECT—I laughed out loud and even dare I say—cried too…  And that’s where this title of  my article came from—Brene Brown who just wrote another book called Daring Greatly, How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I was lucky enough to be in the audience to see Brene on the new Katie Couric Show which is premiering this week.  Her focus is on how we can be vulnerable and how this will transform us.  Her background is a researcher and she’s a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College for  Social Work School.  She’s spent years studying, shame, and vulnerability.  She tells her story in the TED video, so check it out I won’t bore you with it here… She also did a follow-up TED talk which was equally inspiring and funny too. Her video is in the top 10 most watched video on TED.

What was even cooler is I was there because a good friend works on the show and surprised me by bringing me backstage to meet her. She was so gracious and as wonderful in person as on the show. They gave us all a copy of her new book, which I had her sign for me and I took a photo with her as well…  This was an inspiring experience for me, one that I will always treasure. I connected with her because she’s so left brained like me- we just want strategies and tools, we don’t want to have to deal with emotions, feelings and being vulnerable- yikes… As an aside—If you catch the episode of Brene, you will see yours truly for my 15 seconds of fame in the show- They did a man on the street and asked me a question—I had to answer the question- I feel vulnerable when…. So check out the show to see more…

Well guess what, this is the key to living a full and joyful life, not numbing or stuffing my feelings, but giving them space.  In fact I started rereading some terrific books by Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are, The Places that Scare You and When Things Fall Apart. All of her books are about being present, meditating and feeling and being with your emotions, but not letting them run your life…

So here in lies the real core message— these are the 5 things I learned from Brene on Daring Greatly and these are the things I’m striving for in my life so I can live it more fully, not matter what challenges I’m facing or going through…

1)    Overcoming Self-doubt

2)    Being more Authentic

3)    Practicing Self-Compassion

4)    Finding More Gratitude and Joy everyday

5)    Nurturing creativity, play and rest

If you can work on mastering one or two of these, you will live a much more joyful and full life. Of course mastering more than one, would be ideal. But you don’t have to be that ambitious, just take one step forward and tackle one of these today and let me know how you do!

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:

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  • 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.

Five Strategies to Make Your Products Stick

Having worked with lots of entrepreneurs to help them create their information products, I’ve discovered this easy way to increase your stick rate.  If you don’t know what that means, it’s how to have someone who bought your product keep it so they don’t return it.

Here are 5 proven ways that you can use one or more of them to increase your products stick rate and get more of your customers hanging onto the product they bought.

Strategy #1-  Create a Quick Start Video—This is huge— create a video and walk them through step-by-step exactly what’s in the product and HOW to use it.  What do they do first, second, etc.  This really works and will get them to understand the product and to consume it more easily.

Strategy #2- Create a Quick Start Guide—This is a printed guide that you create. The way I did this was I created the video script first, then I created the PDF guide.  Again, walk them through the product, all the pieces they have.  Next, tell them where to start.  I sometimes create two tracks- one for beginners and one for advanced.   I tell them how to consume and go through the product depending upon if they’re a beginner or advanced.  Then you can also give them some additional resources to help them, like links to software, tools, or websites.

Strategy #3- Create a Checklist—  This is a terrific tool that can either be a stand alone, or include it in your Quick Start Video or Guide.  An example would be for my survey product, I give them a checklist of all the things they need to do in order to create a survey.

Strategy #4- Create a Mindmap—If you don’t know what a mindmap is- check out this website– www.mindjet.com  I LOVE mindmaps and use them for product creation and for product launch’s. Again, I put this in my Quick start Video and Guide.

Strategy #5- Create a Flow Chart– These are along the same lines as a mindmap, people love flow charts and love to see how everything fits together.  Here’s an example of a flowchart- (Again, I put this in my Quick start Video and Guide.)

Take one or two or use all of them like I have in my product and all these will go a long way in helping you increase your stick rate AND help your customers use your product as well!

The Real “How” to Create Your Own Info Products

One of the things I’ve discovered is that there’s tons and I mean tons of information out there on how to create products and how to market them… Yet, the one thing I saw that was missing was something that was really clear and simple about “how” to do it…

So I came up with some basic principles that will help folks on how to do it—

  1. You have to survey your audience and find out what they want and how to they want it delivered and howto ot price it, which you can get that info from this blog— http://marketingimplementer.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/first-steps-you-must-take-to-creating-your-information-products
  2. Once you know which product to create- then you need to do research and find out about your competition- you can search on Google or go on Amazon.com and look up books with similar information and research their table of contents.
  3. Create your course outline with all the information you want to include in its, at this point you could do another survey, or send one out with this info to get some answers from the folks who will buy from you
  4. Decide how you will publish it—will it be an online course or a printed course, or will you create one from a webinar or teleseminar- lots of decisions here.  Don’t forget to ask questions about this to your list.
  5. Add Bonuses- don’t forget bonuses are good and often times sell your product for you
  6. Increase your stick rate—do this by adding a quick start guide to all your products

This gives you a quick and easy way to start you off on creating your next product.  Follow these steps and I know you will be incredibly successful. Don’t forget to ask some questions to your list- because you always want to give them EXACTLY what they want.

First Steps You MUST Take to Creating Your Information Products

One of the many services I offer is working with clients to help them create their products and then launch these products for them.  The question I always get over and over and over again is—“How do I know what product to create?”  This is an incredibly important questions and often hard to figure out and most of my clients before they worked with me used all sorts of Google algorithms and some even used the pasta method, which I wouldn’t recommend.  The important note here is most guessed and did many other things. The funny thing is THE best thing they could have done to find this out was right under their nose and I was the one that pointed it out to them…

Want to know what it is?  It’s doing a quick survey to your list and ASK THEM what they want. Alex Mandossian calls this an Ask Campaign.  Why note go out there and ask the very people who will buy from you what they want.  And even if you don’t have a list, you can still use social media and post your survey online and drive some traffic there or you could find a JV partner who would be willing to mail the survey to their list for you.

Here are some terrific questions to ask:

What’s the one must have product you would buy from me if I was smart enough to create and sell it to you?

What format should we offer this product to you so you can consume and learn from it effortlessly and easily?

  • Online course- videos, audios and transcripts viewable and downloadable
  • Printed Physical course that’s mailed out to you
  • Live webinar that was a 6 week course
  • Live teleseminar that was a 6 week course
  • Combined online course and live Q&A coaching calls
  • Other- (Please specify)

What price point would be you be willing to invest in this product? (Choose one)

  • $0 – $100
  • $100 – $250
  • $251 – $500
  • $501 – $1,000
  • $1,001 – $2,500
  • $2,501 – $5000
  • $5,001 – $10,000
  • $10,001+

This is THE best way to figure out what next product you ought to create for your list. And again if you don’t have a list, you could use social media and simply as one question—“What’s the one big challenge you’re facing today in your business?” and you’ll get some cool answers that will help spin you in the right direction to creating your next product.

If you liked this article, please leave me a comment. And if you want to discover more about surveys, check out this page– http://www.createamazingsurveys.com/gkic/

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.

Discovering How to Add Some Disney “Mouse” Magic Into Your Business

Here are my two favorite quotes from Walt Disney:

“Think beyond your lifetime. If you want to do something truly great. Make a fifty year master plan. A fifty year master plan will change your look at the opportunities in the present.”

“If you can dream it, you can do it!”

These quotes do an awesome job of giving you a birds eye view into Walt’s psyche and how he was able to accomplish so much in a given period of time. He was the epitome of driven and going after his dreams. After reading his book, “How to be like Walt,” I certainly was able to view how when you have a dream, you go after it and let NOTHING stop you or get in your way.

I had the recent pleasure of spending 3 days in Orlando and two of them I spent at Epcot, touring and learning all of what was in Walt’s plan and how his little city in Orlando came to be. It was a fascinating adventure for me.  I got an amazing glimpse into his mind of how he accomplished his dreams and the flip side, of how he wasn’t able to see his dream of his Orlando parks come true. Yet, how his brother Roy and his team made sure it came to fruition.  When I stood there, it was hard to believe that— he actually died before any of the parks were even build in Orlando—wow…

So I knew there were some lessons that not only I could learn, but that I could share with you… The one thing Walt was through and through was a salesman and here’s how he succeeded as one:

  1. Honesty- He was so honest and forthright and sincere, you couldn’t help but believe in him and his dreams. So how can you be more honest, sincere and forthright in your business?
  2. Enthusiasm– This is one I’ve got covered, when I’m enthusiastic about something it comes through my pores, people can see it written across my face and the same for Walt.  He was enthralled with his ideas and he was infectious and it was contagious, don’t ever forget that in your business.
  3. Confidence- Walt exuded confidence, even when his business was failing. It’s about having unrelenting faith in what you’re doing.  His confidence, like his enthusiasm was contagious and infectious.
  4. Courage- This is a big one- this biggest fear is the fear of failure and the fear of rejection, Walt faced this daily. After all his company was the first one to create cartoons as feature films, which was unheard of in Hollywood and his won his first of many Oscars for doing so.  His first cartoon feature film of Snow White, blew the critiques and audience goers away… He had courage for his vision and his belief in creating cartoons as feature films.
  5. Persistence– according to Walt, nothing that was worthwhile comes easy and he had to have perseverance and faith in his own abilities. So must you—don’t ever give up—or my favorite saying from my amazing Coach Debbie Phillips, (and Founder of Women On Fire) is “Don’t give up before the miracle.”

There are hundreds of more lessons to be learned from Walt Disney, I just hope you can grasp these few and implement them into your business and your life.
And don’t forget to tell me how you do!

What’s Holding You Back From the Success You Deserve?

This question I’ve been asked countless of times from coach’s, mentors, therapists, and many an event speaker. In fact, I just got back from listening to Larry Winget speak at the Glazer Kennedy Super Conference in Dallas and his approach was more like a baseball bat to the forehead, but I think it worked.  I know I GOT it- what he was saying… let me explain…

If you don’t know Larry he has several best-selling books out there- one called- Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life, my other favorite is- You’re Broke Because You Want To Be. He has an interesting no holds bar approach to success and creating a better life for yourself. His approach for me was very refreshing and different from other personal development type folks out there.

The real thing that’s holding you back from your success is honestly, well— YOU!  I know that, I’ve known that about myself for a while.  If I don’t like my life, I have no one to blame but myself, I’ve created it. And I KNOW I will get a lot of people who won’t like this post, but guess what I’m ok with that.  I want people to either love me or not. I’m not crazy enough to want everyone to like me, I know that’s not possible, and I’m really ok with that.

So if you’re still reading—here’s a transformative exercise you can do right now to kick your success in high gear— Take about 20 mins and get out 3 sheets of paper.

  1. First piece of paper-  Write down where you are in your life right now—in specific areas like finance, physical, spiritual, relationships, business, etc.
  2. Next, write down where you WANT to be
  3. Last, write down what you have to GIVE UP in order get to where you want to be—

The real key here is STEP 3—Writing down what you will GIVE UP.  Most people create a plan of HOW they will get there, not realizing that they may need to give up some things in order to get where they want to go. This is how you will reach true success—giving up whatever is making your broke, unsuccessful, unhealthy, and whatever is keeping you from being financially successful.  This is huge.  Don’t want, do this exercise now and let me know your thoughts and how you do.  The last key is you have to really want success bad enough to do WHATEVER it takes to get there. Come join me, let’s do that in 2012 together!

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.

 

 

How to Ask Questions in the Right Order

You know the whole chicken egg theory, what came first.  Well when you’re creating your questions for a survey, this can also be true.  Experts argue whether you should ask demographic information up front, at the end, or not at all.  Then others argue about whether they should be optional to answer or not.

What I know after doing surveys for over 20 years, is that the right order of your questions does matter.  And the best order I’ve found is to:

  • Ask easier questions first
  • Move into more complicated questions that flow
  • End with asking easier questions again.

For example, do they get your newsletter, will they want the product as an online course, or as a printed book with audio and videos?  So, you would start off asking questions like:

1)    Which of these materials do you receive from me each month? —- List multiple choice of all they might receive from you—like a printed newsletter, eNewsletter, weekly email, monthly phone call, etc.

2)    If you receive our newsletter, what in particular attracted you to sign up for it? You could leave this open ended or you could give them a list of 4 – 5 reasons of why they receive it and they can either check one or check all.

3)    “If we were to offer a specific training and product around —– how likely would you be to purchase?” (Or you could say, rate how interested you would be to purchase it.)  On this type of question you’d add a 5 point scale to gauge their interest level, from highly likely to least likely and the points in between.

4)    “We’re considering creating an online course, and would love your feedback. What type of training would be most helpful to you?”  Here you would then add some multiple choices for them to choose, like only online course, or an online course with live monthly coaching, etc.

It’s all about order, you start off asking easier questions. It’s best when one question flows into the next.  Also I find it’s easier to END with the simple questions like the demographic information that is SO helpful to get on surveys so you can get a good snapshot of “who’s” answering your survey. Here are some examples:

 You are:Female
Male
 What is your age range? Under 20

20-24

25-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70-79

80+

These types of demographic questions are terrific to add to your survey and I find them best to put at the end.  Some folks prefer to put them at the beginning, I honestly don’t think it makes a difference. And I have had them required to answer and optional.  If you really want to know the info, than don’t make it optional. However, do your best to keep the survey anonymous, this way you will be assured the information is truthful. Again, the order of your survey is important because it has to flow from start to finish. And your questions are key, they need to be easy to understand and answer and you can build off of each question. This way those that respond will be able to get through answering your questions quickly and won’t quit in the middle or from the start because they’re confused or the questions are just too complicated.

If you need help or want to discover  more about using surveys in your business- go to –  Never Guess Again