Is there enough business to go around?

Is there enough business to go around?

“What if she gets the business over me?” “My business is already struggling – I can’t compete with another company.” “Maybe I don’t have what it takes – she seems to be doing so much better than me.” Have you ever heard yourself saying (or thinking) one of these statements? When I first started out in business, I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time watching other entrepreneurs. I’d check out their offers, read their sales copy, follow them on Twitter and analyze their every move. At the time, I was an equal opportunist – I observed everyone that I found remotely interesting or who I deemed to be successful online. But, over time, I started to get almost fixated on watching my competition. What were THEY offering? What did THEY have to say about something? What did THEIR website look like? I wasn’t doing it out of malice – it was purely based in fear. Fear that I would never be good enough to compete with them. Fear that if I didn’t keep tabs on their every move I might miss something critical that would either adversely affect my business or cost me a great opportunity to do something similar with my business. Of course, as we’ve talked about a few times on this blog, this lead to me creating a bit of a me-too brand that was more a reflection of my competition than of me. And big surprise here – I wasn’t very successful in that iteration of my business. No wonder of course – the brand I built wasn’t mine. But I digress. What...
Are you overlooking the obvious?

Are you overlooking the obvious?

You may just be. It’s not uncommon – particularly for women. I see it again and again. And it’s a profit killer, a happiness zapper and a business buster. Can you guess? (it’s going to seem too easy once I say it…) The most obvious business strategy in your arsenal is to leverage the expertise and strengths you already have. Huh? That’s it? Yes. Because a good number of you aren’t doing it. You’re making it way too hard, too complicated and too much work. When easy is just around the corner. I had an awesome conversation with a business owner today. This woman is smart. Good at what she does. Savvy about business. But she’s been running two seemingly unrelated businesses and neither are reaching the success levels she wants. She’s thought about getting out of business A before, but that’s where the money is. She wants to do business B but can’t seem to get traction. The irony is, once people start working with her on Business A – they start asking for services from Business B. Confused yet? She had it in her mind that they were two totally separate entities. That they couldn’t talk to each other. She loves doing the work of both – but doesn’t like feeling that operating one was coming at the expense of the other. She thought it wasn’t working. I knew she had an incredible opportunity to leverage both and create a powerhouse, unique brand that very few could compete with. You’ve likely heard me talk about finding your unique selling proposition (USP) or your Brand’s Brilliance Factor –...
How to get over the haters

How to get over the haters

You’re in business to make an impact and an income, right? You know that you’ve got to have a compelling message or you’re sunk. You know that you can’t possibly serve everyone – that’s why you have a niche. And you know that great brands take a stand for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to turn people away. You get this logically. You’ve heard a million marketers tell you how important it is. But emotionally? Well, that’s another story. Because when that first nasty email comes in – it stings. Big time. You open up that unsubscribe note, hoping it’s a simple “just getting too many emails right now” only to see someone literally lambaste you over email. And in that moment, your stomach drops, your face turns red and you immediately think about giving up. It can’t be worth this, can it? My first nasty message sent me into a spin for several hours. I was accused of being a slimy, sales person with no integrity. She called me a liar, a fraud and a con artist. All because I sent out an email to my community announcing…wait for it…a new program for sale (the gall of me and my business!). As my eyes blinked back the tears, I wondered how anyone could be so nasty. So mean spirited. And then I immediately wondered if she was right. Was I nothing better than a sleazy, online marketer looking to swindle my community out of their hard earned money? I regrouped and asked what was really true about her message. Not much I’m afraid. Yes, I was...
7 strategies to uncover your brand’s voice

7 strategies to uncover your brand’s voice

Does your brand sound like you? Do people know it’s you before they get to your byline? Do they share your messages with love, exclaiming your writing magnificence? Do they eagerly await your next blog post or email message? No? Then you’ve got a brand voice problem. We’ve been talking a lot about digital copycatting and what a muck-up it is for your brand. In the Cure for the CopyCat Brand, I identified five key ways digital copycatting shows up. One of most common ways is what I call, “The voice of.” This is when you lose your own voice and starting sounding like somebody else – a mentor, a friend, a colleague or your competition. This happens fairly easily and often subconsciously. It’s usually a result of spending a bit too much time watching/reading/listening to others and getting swept up in their particular style. Maybe you love their sassy, no BS approach or their very melodic, almost poetic writing style. Or maybe you love the way they inject humour throughout the post, leaving you smiling all the way to the end. Or maybe you’re in awe of their ability to create such thought-provoking and inspiring prose. It’s all about their brand’s voice. A voice so clear and so THEM that you know it a mile away. You’ll read something without a byline but instantly know it’s them. You look forward to reading everything they have to say – and actually light up when you see an email in your inbox from them. This is the power of a brand’s voice. It’s ability to connect and to persuade and...
Setting Me-Too Brands Ablaze

Setting Me-Too Brands Ablaze

A fire was lit yesterday. After yesterday’s teleclass, “The Cure for the CopyCat Brand,” women started emailing me saying that they’ve had elements of their brand copied. And some even had the courage to cop to the fact that they had done it themselves. Brilliant. It means that people are starting to think about it. And that’s a good thing. Because frankly, I’m just sick of the me-too branding popping up every where I turn online. Branding is about differentiation and finding that unique point of interest that sets you APART from others who do what you. It isn’t about doing what everyone else does just because that’s the trendy thing to do. I want you to dig deep and have the courage to figure out your own bold brand message, style, personality and voice – and then bring that forth in your business. I want you to take the principles of what works online and translate it to your business without needing to copy and paste. I want you to trust yourself enough to defy convention and blaze your own trail forward. I want you to believe that you have something important to say. I want you to do the work. Great brands weren’t built overnight. And they sure to hell weren’t built from any blueprint or formula or cut and paste model. Steve Jobs never said, “look at what our PC partners are doing – let’s just pick up those elements and change a few words and colours, and slap it on our site. If it works for them, it’s going to work for us.” Apple is...
The What Not to Wear Guide to Attracting Customers

The What Not to Wear Guide to Attracting Customers

\This is a guest post by Janice Johnson A picture speaks a thousand words. Within seconds of seeing us, people start forming opinions based on our appearance – how we put together our hair, makeup, clothes and accessories. It might not be fair, but it’s human nature. Take my simple little test and you’ll see how naturally it works. You have to hire an accountant based on the shoes she is wearing; this is all the information you have. Pick the shoes your future accountant wears. What words came to mind when you selected your accountant’s shoes? Did you think of words like: smart, competent, tasteful, classy, sporty, traditional, trendy, outrageous, casual, feminine, old fashioned, qualified or unqualified? Regardless of the words you thought of, you labeled or branded a pair of shoes and to some degree, the make-believe accountant wearing them. While there is no “right or wrong” shoe, in your mind there is a shoe that shows off a particular image or brand better than another. And the shoe you expect your accountant to wear may not be the shoe that I expect my accountant to wear. The point is certain styles give off certain vibes to different people. Try the exercise again but this time, what shoe would you pick if you were hiring an interior decorator. Interesting how the shoe changes, huh? Now put the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. What if someone is judging your shoes? Want to ensure you don’t lose out on potential work because of what you’re wearing? Here are three simple tips you can follow: Tip #1:...

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