April, 18 2013
Word of Mouth
I visited an extraordinary "healer" yesterday. This woman performs bodywork, which is unlike anything I've ever experienced and I felt powerful results almost immediately. I have since passed on her name to a couple of individuals who have already contacted her. When you are this good, people cannot wait to tell others. It comes as no surprise to me that this person is already squeezing in clients and has decided to limit her practice because she simply cannot do anymore. No doubt she could take her business in a number of directions but that's not the subject at hand. I'm writing about marketing -- Word of mouth is the most powerful tool any of us have. It's not magic: be simply terrific and people will be happy to tell others.
Lately I have been asked by a number of people to help promote them. I didn't want to and I wasn't about to send e-mails to others telling them that i had attended an event or bought a service, etc. This tactic seems to be the promotional choice of many coaches. They advise their clients to keep asking for business...do another e-mail blast...ask someone to blast for you. I AM SO TIRED OF THIS! It is totally conceivable that these businesses acquire customers this way but I am sure that their business is "wide" not "deep." I find myself unsubscribing a lot these days and I discontinue to use the service or visit the website of those who seem to torture me with their messages and the friends' messages for them. I caution my coach colleagues to re-think what they encourage their clients to do. I know that some of them seem to be making oodles of money but the personal image cost is far too great.
Just tell your clients to BE good. Be really, really, really good at what you do. Market yourself appropriately but do notice where the "pest" factor might kick in.
I believe we build relationships in our businesses. Always maintain respect and integrity.
March, 22 2013
I have always struggled with results. I choose to believe that I offer my clients a powerful return on their investment but then, many times, I am unsure of what difference I may have made to them even though I retain clients for years and I have many more former clients, who continue to stay in touch with me to update me on their progress.
I think it's helpful to spend time deciding what outcomes you would like to achieve.
I have a regular occurrence, which assures me that I'm on target. I can talk to a client for a considerable amount of time and then prescribe a course of action and then said client says, "I thought of that." Hmmmmm...maybe they did but most time I think that they think that the idea I've suggested feels so comfortable and rings a tone of accuracy that they are willing to proceed. Is that an ROI? I suspect that may be the most significant result of all. However, I always seem to want to quantify a result even though I know that if a client jettisons a time-consuming avenue of work that is not paying him/her sufficiently it may show less $$$ coming in and more time to pursue more profitable and significant sources of income.
I ask my clients at the beginning of every project exactly what they would like our consultation to produce. I want to make sure that we are on the same page when it comes to desired results. Then if we surpass that or bring in an added-value -- well, it's all to the good.
It is always worth investigating what you do, why you do it and how meaningful it is to those who pay you. Also good not to stew on it.
February, 11 2013
My oh my oh my...sometimes not a pleasant thought. We have heard so much about taxes lately and, because many people find doing their taxes and PAYING their taxes so onerous, I thought it might be a good idea to "re-frame" the discussion.
First of all, paying taxes wasn't always considered a horrible prospect. I'm a pre-war (World War II) person and people were very patriotic back then. My father was a doctor, who was considered upper middle class, and he and his accountant seemed to almost look forward to the deadline. He planned for tax time and even hoped he would have to pay more because that meant that he had had a busy year.
I remember my first trip to my accountant after I was single again (my ex-husband had always done the taxes when we were coupled) and I was o.k. with it.
But over the years, I felt that it was less and less fun and I became very disconnected from the purpose of those taxes.
Politicians don't help. Taxes and fear seem to go together. Lots of people cheat. It has become a divisive topic and that's really too bad. We live in a great country and our taxes can help us. They don't have to be seen as paying for things that we don't want (like for me, it's conflict and fighting, which I hate to see my money supporting but that's the way this cookie crumbles) but many, many items and projects, which help a lot of people. Our Democracy depends on each of us doing our part...Wish I could do more!
January, 31 2013
I found that my blog was out of commission for a while. It's now JUST FINE! Thank you Jason and Mosaic Technologies -- they are the best!
Today when I was driving to a local Farmer's Market with my dog, he accidentally stepped on the button to lower the window of the driver's side of the car. I couldn't then and I can't now get it up. And it's quite chilly these days. Aaaargh! I can growl but then I just go about my business and I know I'll figure it out.
These little issues used to have me on my knees. Now they don't -- so much -- I should definitely qualify that because I'm human and they sometimes still do. Yes, mechanical problems, home repairs, computer glitches, etc., are annoying -- I don't want to take the time to have a mechanic fuss with the window and I sure don't want to pay for the repair. However, it's just life and, as they say, (though no one knows who started the saying from what I can tell) Life happens when you have other plans.
I practice meditation and yoga but more I'm just at the age where I recognize that the drama and handwringing don't do any good. We do need to handle the angst that's for sure but it all fits if we just take a breath, use our noggins, call for help, and let the good times roll.