Client Kudos: How a Yoga Teacher is Making Mental Health Less Taboo

Click image to read article about Mandy GivenMandy Given has one of those stories.

Heart-wrenching. Courageous. Moving. Inspirational.

TRANSFORMATIONAL.

It’s no accident the fates brought us together.

Mandy is a mom. She’s a business owner. And she’s a fearless messenger.

When we met in the fall, she suspected that her story needed to be tightened up & positioned strategically. She also knew she wanted a more professional sounding & looking website.

As we worked together, it became clear that in addition to a powerful story that would connect to potential clients, she had a message that would benefit the 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders.

That is a story worth pitching to the press, & Mandy was game.

Earlier this year, Mandy landed placements with her local paper & the local CBS radio affiliate in Boston, the country’s 8th largest media market (click the links to read the article & hear the spot). And she’s just getting started.

Here’s why it worked, & how you can do this too.

  • Clarity around message & story. Mandy came to me with her story so I could help her turn it into its most concise & compelling version. From there, we shaped & re-purposed it for different channels including her website & media pitches.
  • Media connections. I love it when clients like Mandy already have connections with journalists, That’s half the battle because if a journalist already knows, trusts & likes you AND you have a great pitch, getting placed happens fast & easy. You don’t need to have existing connections or relationships to get publicity. If you want more tips on how to start making your own connections check out my interview on The Carrie Roldan Show.
  • Craft a media-worthy pitch. Pitching the media is part art, part psychology. There are plenty of free resources on my blog (like this one & this one) & others (check out The Publicity Hound — better than a PR degree!) to help you pull your own pitch together. Or you can just hire someone & be done with it.  Here’s the email pitch I wrote for Mandy’s CBS contact — in less than an hour.

What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Hi <first name>,I’m Mandy Given and I’m the owner of Govinda Yoga Play, where I help children in grades 4-12 throughout Greater Boston & North Shore better cope with the stress of these uncertain times and the daily dilemmas of modern society. I’ve listened to your show and I believe I’d be a great guest for your audience.

Proposed Topic: What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Did you know that anxiety affects 25% of US children ages 13-18 (SOURCE: National Institute of Mental Health)? At the same time, anxiety is highly treatable yet only 20 percent of children suffering with anxiety receive treatment. Parents of children with anxiety can help ease their child’s worries, and it doesn’t always have to be with the use of powerful prescription drugs.

As a guest on your show, I propose discussing the following points:

  • How families can experience more peace & happiness in spite of these turbulent times
  • Simple, drug-free techniques anyone can use to change our chemical response to stress
  • How to avoid the dangers of your child, you or any loved one being misdiagnosed & over-medicated from the perspective of a parent with anxiety

Many of your listeners may struggle with anxiety or have a child or loved who struggles with it. They may not know that easy-to-learn techniques and alternative solutions to pharmaceuticals are available.

I’ve recently been interviewed by my local newspaper (Marblehead Reporter) and my goal is to deliver an informative interview for your audience. I’d be happy to provide you with sample interview questions at your request, as well as come into the studio should you decide to do a segment on this timely topic.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Mandy Given

xxx-xxx-xxxx

name@emailprovider.com

(I’ll break down this pitch with footnotes in another post but in the meantime study, rob & duplicate this format for your own topic & pitch. Or book a consult with me if you want me to take care of it for you.)

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. For goodness sake, DO NOT wing an interview with the press. Figure out your talking points & practice. Mandy & I sculpted the most meaningful & succinct points, then hopped on the phone to review & mock interview. If you’ve never done a media interview and you plan to make media relations a key branding & marketing strategy, get media training.
  • Re-purpose your media placements. It’s exciting to be in the press. High-five yourself. Not many people have the balls, tenacity or organization to reach out to the media. Share your news! Your co-workers, clients, partners, friends & family will be excited for you. Link to your press from your website. Add an “As Featured In” section to your homepage & include the logo of the media outlet. Post it on your Facebook timeline & business page. Print out the actual article, blow it up to poster size, laminate it & hang it on your office wall. Go for it, you deserve to toot your own horn.

So if you’ve got a newsworthy story to tell . . . I challenge you to reach out to the media.

If you need help pulling together a PR strategy & concise, compelling press materials, book a complimentary consultation so we can discuss what’s possible for you!

Client Kudos: How One Interior Designer Uses Video Storytelling to Launch an Online Program (& You Can Too)

My client Peg Kusner created an incredible story video when she launched a new innovative interior design program last fall.  Play the video to see what I mean, then keep reading because I’m going to give you some tips on how you can do this too without going over the top with production (or your wallet)!

I often recommend to my clients that video is like adding the match to the fuel of your story. I love that Peg went out on a limb and pulled together this mini documentary style video for her new program Beyond Your Kitchen Table. I’ve known Peg for several years now and this video captures her philosophy, brilliance and essence beautifully.

If you’d love to have a powerful piece of marketing like this, here are some tips.

  • Share who you are, why you do what you do and what you believe — Video can be far more compelling than the prettiest, most perfect website (even though Peg’s is gorgeous, it’s this video you really can’t look away from!)
  • No need to go over the top with production — Peg’s video is professionally done however it doesn’t take much equipment or lots of clever techniques to create instant connection, rapport & trust. You could accomplish something similar with a high quality phone camera (like LG) & a quality microphone. Hair, wardrobe, makeup — CHECK. Take some action shots, talk to the camera and BOOM. Superstar.
  • Challenge preconceptions about your industry — One of my favorite things about this video is that it challenges philosophies & tired practices in interior design. It also challenges my own beliefs about design (I can’t do it myself, it should look like a glossy magazine, I need all new stuff to pull something together that feels right). How did your beliefs about design change after watching?
  • Show what makes you unique — I’ve talked to Peg on the phone for years. I’ve discovered what has made her unique & special from our many in-depth conversations. I’m so glad she made this video so people can see and feel her uniqueness instantly.
  • Just having an amazing product or service isn’t enough — You have to let people know how you can change their lives. Why not do it in a way that instantly establishes your value & allows people to connect with you on a deeper level?

So if you’ve got a story you can’t NOT tell . . . I challenge you to get it on video.

If you need help pulling together a video-worthy story for an upcoming launch or to add some WOW to your about page or to create dazzling speaker’s reel, book a complimentary consultation so we can discuss what’s possible for you!

Is your revenue model killing you?

When Elise Grice ended up in the hospital with the West Nile virus, she and her partner Scott were three years into growing their successful branding studio Hey Sweet Pea in Austin, TX.

That’s when the couple and biz partners finally admitted that despite their growth and success, their dollars-for-hours revenue model was killing them physically and emotionally.

The silver lining in this case is that Elise and Scott were committed to finding a better way to run their business (get more of their story here).

In the coaching and consulting world, there’s no shortage of advice coming at you when it comes to getting clients and running your business. There’s oodles of information out there about packaging and pricing your offers, creating 6- and 7-figure businesses . . . and very little advice on how to do that without running yourself into the ground.

Because if you’re simply adding clients, adding to your workload, adding to your stress levels . . . how is that adding to your life? On the flip side, if you’re aware of protecting your “me time”, “family time” or “fun time”, growing your business can feel like you’re trying to summit Everest without an oxygen mask.

More or Leveraged?

I’ve been thinking about this lately as I’ve taken on a couple high-end clients who are getting the white glove service from me. They are great clients who I’m excited about. They’ve also made me keenly aware that because of the current state of my business and life (which are positive), I can only take on a limited number of “white glove” clients at any given time.

And when I learned about Elise and Scott’s story, a jolt of panic struck me.

What happens if I can’t personally deliver service to my clients?

Gulp.

I know several solo consultants, coaches and even small business owners who are facing down this same devil. Even when you have a team, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business is structured to run without you.

9 Revenue Models for Service-Based Business Owners

One thing I know for sure is that there is no “magic bullet” revenue model, just like there is no “magic bullet” marketing strategy (stop buying that BS). The model you choose depends on you, your values and your specific goals. That being said, if you’re a service-based business owner stuck in the dollars-for-hours hamster wheel here are nine revenue models to consider integrating into your core business.

  1. Licensing – you don’t have to be an inventor or software developer to license your intellectual property. Service providers often follow a process to deliver services. When you’ve designed that process, you want to protect it (so speak with an attorney who know IP law). Once you can prevent others from using your process without your consent, you can commercialize your IP so others can use the process for a fee. World-class branding expert Sally Hogshead and creator of the Fascination Personality Test combines this approach with several below. How can you leverage your process and intellectual property so others can use it to grow their business?
  2. Aggregator – Collect information on service providers in your industry and pull them under one brand. For example, if you’re a holistic health provider, aggregate a network of wellness practitioners. You have the option to charge providers a monthly fee to join the network, consumers a monthly fee to access the network or both.
  3. Subscription/retainer – How can you shift your clients into longer-term work? You can go more high-end and enroll clients into a Done For You style contract or mastermind for a year or more. If you have a team, have one of your star players facilitate or deliver the service. Or, you can make it low-cost, hands-off where clients access content or use a tool for a monthly fee (think Netflix for your business). Either way, what resources do you already have in your business that can provide you with recurring revenue even if you’re away from your business?
  4. Online Courses – Can your audience learn some aspect of your service for themselves? Turn it into an online course, like Elise and Scott. Create an automated marketing and sales funnel. It takes work and effort upfront to get all the moving pieces together but it’ll be well worth it when you see orders coming in even when you’re at the golf course, on the slopes or at the beach. You can even get others to help you sell your course if you’re willing to share a part of the revenue (see #9).
  5. Assessments – People love to assess things. If there’s some aspect about your business that requires your clients to assess their personality or their business, create a tool that allows them to do that. That’s what Sally Hogshead has done with her Fascination Personality Test. She offers a free version that gives a basic assessment and a paid version that goes deeper. The free version makes a great lead magnet so even if someone doesn’t take advantage of the upsell to the paid version the first time around, she can offer it again (and again). She makes money on this assessment by charging a nominal fee for a user to get the deeper assessment. She also makes money on it by licensing it to partners. Brilliant!
  6. Property – If you rent or own office space, do you need it all or can you use it in different ways? I know a business owner who has a gorgeous salon and photography studio. She rents it out to a national clothing retailer for fashion events. She also gets hired to photograph the events, do executive head shots, etc. She’s figured out how to leverage her many assets to inject some extra cash into her pipeline. She’s still pretty involved, but if you have property you can rent or time-share, it’s another way to make money without having to be present. What about personal property? One of my clients has a vacation property that she rents throughout the year. I own a condo that requires minimal management from me and provides monthly income. Your business doesn’t need to be the only way you make money.
  7. Employees – If you have a team, how can you loan them to other businesses? You could hire them out to run workshops, trainings or skills development that you already offer. It’s packaging something that already benefits your clients and delivering it in a different way.
  8. Books – You’re probably not going to get rich by writing a book, but it’s a great way to get your ideas and message to the masses, elevate your brand, promote your business, establish your expertise and yes, make some money. If you don’t have the time to sit down and write, hire a ghostwriter. Loral Langemeier told me she doesn’t write her books (she doesn’t have time). She dictates them then gives the recordings to someone else to pull it together and shepherd it through the publishing and distribution process. In today’s marketplace you don’t need to be a multimillionaire to model Langemeier’s approach.
  9. Affiliate/JV Partnerships – If you enjoy collaborating, get someone to help you market your services and share the revenue. Creating affiliate and joint venture partnerships is a leveraged way to get your intellectual property (book, courses, assessments, tools, etc.) to a wider market without you having to be there. Sally Hogshead licenses her Fascination Personality Test to a select group of service providers who align with her brand (these licensees are able to apply their brand to her product and keep a greater portion of the sales revenue, minus the licensing fee). She also allows affiliates to sell the test and earn a commission every time someone buys, without requiring them to pay the licensing fee. Who do you have in your network who would be willing to promote your services and IP to their community?

I know many consultants and coaches who love to work privately or in intimate settings with their clients (myself included). I’m not saying you need to abandon your core revenue model, but when you restructure or leverage some of the assets you already have, you can have more time to enjoy what matters most to you, or give yourself some cushion if (god forbid) something goes wrong.

If you’re ready to increase your client base, add leveraged income and simplify your business, apply for a complimentary consultation so we can explore what makes sense for you.

What other revenue models are you using to create leveraged income in your business? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

Resist “The Drift” on Your Coaching or Consulting Business (Part 2)

clock-1031503As promised in my last post, here’s my guidance and an action plan to help you make 2017 your best year yet. It all starts with focusing on the next 90 days and applying these six steps so you can implement and get results quickly.

Let’s do this!

Decide what you want

I know this sounds simple but it’s also a step I know I tend to overlook. It’s a lot harder to work toward something if you’re not sure what it is. No need to overthink it or make a lengthy list either. In fact, what my clients find helpful is thinking about the big goal then breaking it down into 90 day achievements. A couple of years ago, Wendy Sabin (hi Wendy) helped me understand the brilliance of this in my own business. We got together in early spring and after mulling the question over I realized what I really wanted was to find a way to generate more than enough money in the summer to pay for a few weeks of summer camp for my kids and enjoy vacation time with my family. We made a simple plan and it happened. Having immediate and concrete goal gets you in gear.

Who do you serve BEST?

Earlier in this series I talked about identifying the problems you love to solve and for whom. The other piece of this is figuring out what slice of your market gets the BEST results from working with you. What characteristics need to be in place in order for this to happen?

How do you serve the BEST?

I know you’re smart, multi-faceted and multi-skilled. This is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you can do many things well. A curse because it’s easy to morph into someone who does a lot of things, some of which you really would rather not do. So if you realize that you have a bit of a sandwich board structure going on with your business and it’s dragging you down, it might be time to reassess. I recently heard a brilliant way of figuring out how to reframe this question.

What are you so confident you can do for your clients that you’d be willing to do and not get paid UNTIL after they got results?

Focus on THAT, and watch your business double, triple or more.

Pick NO MORE than two marketing activities

Here’s a mistake I’ve made (and I should know better) and I’ve seen other consultants and coaches make. There’s 100 or more ways to market your business and it’s easy to get caught in the self-defeating cycle of trying too many tactics at once. But not every tactic makes sense for yourbusiness. You need to think about your business model, your assets and the marketing that you actually like to do. The idea is to find one or two marketing activities and go deep. Focus on these tactics and ONLY these tactics for the next 90 days.

Track your progress

OK, I have to admit. Tracking and metrics is NOT always easy or fun . . . but think about it. When you’ve actually tracked your progress on anything – whether it’s revenue or physical training or nutrition – you accomplish your goals right? That’s because data helps you make better decisions. Information allows you to prevent massive drift. When you see yourself starting to stray off course, you catch it early and you can get back on track well before you’re a mile out to sea.

Analyze, streamline, repeat

Once you have the data on what worked well, then you can focus on making those things work better for even better results. Yes, you can always try new tactics, but figure out the foundation first before trying to learn and layer new things onto it. Don’t overthink this. Do you like to talk? Do you like to write? Do you like technology? Do you like making connections and forging relationships? Mold your marketing foundation around what comes naturally to you. For example, if you like to talk, speaking needs to be part of your marketing foundation. And speaking can encompass more than being on stage. Interviews, networking, webinars, videos . . . what kind of speaking do you want to focus on?

So here’s your super simple planning template for 2017.

Write down . . .

  • The ONE thing you want to achieve most in the next 90 days
  • The 2-3 objectives/goals you need to hit in order to accomplish it (Hint, use the second & third bullets to help you define this)
  • The 1-2 marketing activities you do well & get your results
  • The specific action steps you need to keep moving forward

If you need help mapping out your own custom plan so you can implement & get results like a MOFO in the next 90 days, schedule a free Simplify Your Business Session now.

 

Resist “The Drift” on Your Coaching or Consulting Business (Part 1)

raftingIf you haven’t already, it’s a good time to think about how you can simplify, leverage and work smarter as we cruise into another new year.

I’ll get to that in a moment. But first, a story . . .

Years ago, I went on a white water rafting trip with some buddies up in The Forks of Maine (yep, that’s me in the back under the arrow). The first day we paddled our arms off through class IV rapids on the Kennebec River. There’s something so thrilling about eight people sitting on the edges of a rubber raft paddling in unison as big water tosses you around like a cork. It takes great focus on doing the ONE thing that’s going to get you down the river without falling out or flipping the raft. As long as you paddle at the right time and stop paddling at the right time, you’ll avoid going for a violent swim.

On day 2 of our trip we went rafting on the Dead River. Even though the water on the Dead River seemed tamer than the Kennebec, we made a paddling error that pinned the side of our raft against a huge boulder in the middle of the river. The water pushed the ends of the raft around the boulder as we all tried to scramble to the top of the rock but one by one we all tumbled into the water.

I’ll never forget the rapids pushing me down and smashing me into the rocky riverbed. I couldn’t believe how fast I was moving compared to how slowly our raft seemed to be going downstream just moments ago. I popped out of the water just in time to see that I had missed my chance to get into another raft. Other rafts were within my sight but they felt miles away as I rapidly drifted downstream.

Then I heard a man screaming “SWIM. SWIM. SWIM.”

And I finally realized I was just floating along. No wonder I was at the mercy of the shockingly swift current.

I swam like a mad woman until I felt someone hoisting me out of the water and into a raft. I was stunned and exhausted.

I was also alive. Damn that was close.

Many entrepreneurs experience this with their business. They get pushed down and around by external forces and find themselves far away from where they thought they’d be.

At best, it’s disappointing and exhausting. At worst, it’s a terrifying fight for your life . . . or at the very least a fight for your livelihood.

Michael Hyatt, virtual mentor & author of Platform, calls it “the drift.”

This time of year you may be picking up your head only to realize you’ve drifted away from where you intended to be at the start of the year.

If you feel that you’ve drifted off course, stay tuned. In the next email I’m going to give you guidance and an action plan to help you get back on track now so that you can go avoid swirling around in an eddy in 2017.

If you’d like to minimize your drift and take control of your business like the boss you already are, take advantage of my free Simplify Your Business Session.  

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