Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You are smarter, faster, stronger & better than you think

A friend of mine recently shared a story about a moment when he was a child and was feeling very proud of himself. He ran out of an exam to share with his mother how great he felt about the work he'd just done. His mother quickly told him to tone it down and explained that it is wrong to think so well of yourself.

Can you remember a similar situation where you had thought you'd done a great job, only to have your sails trimmed by someone you looked to for affirmation?

Whatever your story is, it's probably continuing today and needs to stop. You can't doubt your talent. You are magnificent, remarkable and need to return to loving who you are and what you do.

Sure, sometimes you will behave less brilliantly than you like - but your perception of yourself shouldn't reflect these times, but how great you actually are.


1. Discover your uniqueness and work in it
2. Become less reliant on the good opinion of others
3. Get clearer about what your purpose is, and remind yourself of this often

You are amazing! Believe it and be it.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reality Rocks!

The world has gone digital. Let's take advantage of this and go physical. While everyone else is sending emails and getting lost in 'inbox overwhelm', why not send people real things?

As thought leaders we sell intangibles. As speakers, trainers, facilitators, coaches and mentors we create invisible things. We sell 'ideas'. It is critical to create touch points with our clients, physical and tangible elements of your business that people hold and experience.

Here are 5 things you can do to make things more tangible:

1. Create Audio CD's and DVD's and give them away. Of course you can sell them but they are also great $25 items that help you sell $25,000 services. Don't be afraid to give them away.

2. Write books! I know, easier said than done. It really isn't that hard. A book a year would be a fabulous target.

3. Get a nice letterhead. Seriously, in the age of digital, a quality letterhead or piece of stationery is the new difference. Make sure it positions you in some way and is not just bought at a gift shop.

4. Send other people's books. Buy books and audio programs for your clients and send them as gifts. Once again, this is a small price to pay for a bigger potential opportunity. You know that a thought leader's day is priced at a premium rate, so if a book helps you to sell one day, you can afford to send plenty.

5. Send colour scans or rip outs from magazines and newspapers. I have taken to sending real articles or buying several copies of a magazine and sending those.

So, spend some time thinking about some of the things you can adapt to make your business more tangible.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Forced Commitment

There is nothing like a looming deadline to get you focused and into action. Basically, if left to my own devices I will sit and play with the kids all day, go to the movies, lose myself in a book, or have endless coffee stops with friends.

Equally, in business, if I allow myself each day to just make up what I am going to do, I won't make the best use of my time. This is why I force commit myself in advance.

This idea of forced commitments works well from a personal productivity point of view. Such as schedule time with myself, schedule time to exercise, etc. The idea works equally well for the business as well.

In a practice-based business, the revenue is attached to personal energy and activities. If you don't work, you don't earn. This is not a problem because you earn a lot of money, work for 10 years, invest your income in capital growth assets and you never have to work another day in your life unless you want to. You don't need to buy into the myth of the e-myth, which is that businesses equal freedom. (Often business owners feel the exact opposite).

However, you do need to keep the commitments up. Here are some ideas for commitments.

  • Pick a date and advertise a public workshop, then work like crazy to fill it.
  • Set aside a day each week for 1-on-1 meetings, then fill up the day.
  • Commit to 2 networking events a month and to 1 showcase event every two months.
  • Schedule a 90-day luncheon, then worry about who will come, etc.
  • Commit to more staff than you need and then work like crazy to make their investment a dollar-productive one.

The business of thought leadership requires a high level of personal commitment. Stay on the ball by committing to more and then meeting the commitments.

So what are you waiting for? Commit!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to get people talking about you

There is nothing better than word of mouth advertising. Happy clients raving about you is the single most effective way to grow a practice based business. Mortgage brokers, real estate agents and financial planners have known this for years. Thought leaders should also tap into the business accelerating power of referrals.

Here are five things to think about in creating more referrals.

* Ask for them
* Focus on six people
* Teach people how to refer you
* Be great
* Don't be too smart

Ask for referrals. When people sign up, have them complete a form that provides them the chance to refer. Next time someone gives you praise for what you do, thank them and ask them if they can think of anyone who may also benefit. Don't just bask in the praise.

Focus on six people. We can manage only so many relationships. Find six people who are already working with your ideal clients and start to create value-based relationships with them. If you help enough people get what they want then eventually you will get what you want. And remember to sell through them, not to them.

Teach people how to refer you. Coach these six people about your positioning but start by understanding theirs. Don't just expect them to refer you. Teach them by example and get them business first.

Be great. Honestly the sure fire way to success as a thought leader is to keep refining your message and your method. Do good stuff and get better at doing it and you will build a reputation that creates referrals.

Don't be too smart. People don't refer clever people or charismatic people, they refer reliable people. When your reputation is at stake you want the person to do what they say they will. The basics of say please, say thank you, do what you promise and manage expectations are essential in creating a referral based business.

In summary, get good, get known, sell through six and take care of the basics. If you want to build a referral business, refer others.