business productivity

Generate income - fast - by creating a Power Hour for your business

Want to generate income in your business - fast?

Why not create a Power Hour: an online consultancy session, where people pay a one-off fee to pick your brain/get advice about a topic you have expertise in? 

In the short-term - where you may not be able to physically deliver in-person services due to the Coronavirus pandemic - it can help you continue to serve your ideal customers/clients.

In the longer-term, it can be a great way to generate additional income for business - without having to leave your desk/studio. 

It can also be a great way to deal with people who ask for help - but don’t seem to want to pay for your time. So the next time someone says: ‘I’d love to pick your brain about xxx,’ you can invite them to book a Power Hour. 

But how do you choose a topic for your Power Hour? What tech will you need to deliver it? And how much should you charge? 

That’s exactly what I’ll cover in this podcast episode - along with tips on how to promote your Power Hour. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

As with anything in your business, the more specific/niche you can be the better. So while you can offer a general Power Hour (where anyone can ask you anything about your expert topic) you’ll almost certainly get more take up if you hone in on a specific type of customer/client and/or a common problem your customers/clients experience. 

Here are some examples of Power Hours created by my current/former clients: 

So for example, Facebook ads expert Laura Moore has a power hour that focuses on increasing ad conversions.

Virtual assistant Catherine Gladywyn offers a power hour for VAs who are stuck on something in their business. 

Architectural technologist Jon Clayton has created a power hour for design and architecture

Amy Caiger has a Power Hour that focuses on helping business owners find their niche. 

If you have a product-based business, you can still create a Power Hour. You can either offer something that relates to the problem you solve. For example, I sell a Social Media Diary & Planner. Although I don’t currently do this, I could offer a content planning Power Hour for people who want help creating their content plan. I could offer these sessions to existing diary owners as an upsell.  Or I could open them up to anyone who needs help with content planning and offer the diary as an upsell at the end of a consultancy session. 

Or you could offer a Power Hour to other product-based businesses on how to do something specific that you are already doing successfully but they might be struggling with e.g. creating a marketing plan, setting up a shop on their website. 

How to deliver your Power Hour

You can use video-conferencing software like Zoom which allows you to share your screen and participants share theirs with you. You can also share documents and chat ‘live’ with participants. And you can send them the recording afterwards in case they want to go over anything again. Zoom starts from £11.99 a month. 

Alternatives to Zoom: Go To Meeting, Team Viewer, Join.me, Google Hangouts, Meet.me & BlueJeans.

If you’re worried your clients will be overwhelmed by the tech, it’s a good idea to send them written instructions and/or a video using a free tool like Loom showing them how to use it (including how to join). 

How to ensure your Power Hour is productive

To ensure the session is productive, I’d recommend you do the following: 

  • Create a dedicated page on your website for you Power Hour that includes information about the session and a link to book 
  • Use a tool like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling so clients can book straight into your diary 
  • Send a pre-call email on how to prepare for the session (including any information they might need to bring to the session) and an outline of how the call will be structured.. PLUS  instructions on how to use the video conferencing software from their phone/desktop. I’d recommend sending this information immediately after booking, then at least one reminder email before the call 
  • Send a follow-up email within 24 hours of the session, with a link to the recording, a short follow-up report with details of what was discussed and up to three key action points (one side of A4 should be plenty).  

These emails can be re-used and adapted - saving you hours of time in the long run. In fact, the whole process can be automated so people can book straight into your diary, are delivered the link to join the call and reminders before the call. 

I include template/swipe files for these types of emails in my How To Turn Your Offline Services Into Online Offerings masterclass

If you’re worried that what you teach/coach can’t be delivered online, I’ve personally worked with a pilates instructor, bread making teacher, psychologist, personal trainer and jewellery- making teacher - all of whom deliver their training/consultancy online. And if they can do it, so can you. 

How to price your Power Hour 

It can be tempting to base your pricing on what others are charging in your industry. But this can lead to you vastly undercharging - or even overcharging - for your services. 

Your pricing should reflect the transformation you can create for your client - not how long it takes you to prepare and deliver the session. So if you can share information/advice/guidance that can save them tons of time, money and/or help them generate income in their business - because you’ve spent years honing your craft - your price should absolutely reflect that. 

I’ve generated over a million pounds in sales from the copy I’ve written for my website, sales pages, email marketing and social media. And the reason I’m able to create engaging content is because I spent the best part of 20 years writing and editing for national newspapers. PLUS I’ve invested huge amounts of time (and money) learning about copywriting - specifically for online business. This means I can look at a sales page, social media post or marketing email and immediately see what needs to be changed. Which is why I charge £500 + VAT for a Power Hour - not £50+ VAT.

That said, I haven’t always charged that fee. I started at around £99 + VAT and gradually scaled up as I got more experienced and gathered more testimonials. 

So start by thinking about the transformation you can create for someone and the impact that could have on their life/business.

It can help to spell out the return on investment for your clients. So for example, if I could give you some advice on your sales copy that would help 5x your investment, would you think £500 +VAT was expensive? Probably not. It’s all about how you frame it. 

But you do need to have the experience to match your pricing. You can’t charge £500 + VAT for your Power Hour just because someone else in your industry is doing it (well you can, but you may not make any sales).

So if you haven’t yet delivered any Power Hours it can be worth offering a number of discounted sessions so you can gather testimonials. I wouldn’t recommend offering them for free. People generally don’t value what they get for free. Which means they’re more likely to cancel/show up late to the session and less likely to implement your advice. Even a modest fee will ensure they have some skin in the game. 

How to promote your Power Hour

If you already have an email list - great.  Simply email your list, tell them about your Power Hour and (providing you’ve created the right offer for the right audience) you should get bookings. I’d also recommend doing some social media promotion too. If you have a blog/podcast/Youtube channel, it’s also worth sharing information about it there. 

If you don’t have an email list (or only have a small list) you’ll need to use proactive outreach. That means making a list of people you know (e.g. current/former clients) who might be interested in your offer. PLUS asking for recommendations/referrals from friends/colleagues. If you’re not sure how to get started with proactive outreach, the first module in my Build Your Online Audience programme focuses on exactly that topic (and includes email/message templates you can adapt for proactive outreach). 

Need help building your email list? Check out: 39 surprisingly easy ways to increase your email subscribers

I also have an email list building programme inside my Build Your Online Audience programme

Find out more about my Emergency Response Plan

Podcast shownotes

  • The context for this bonus podcast episode (01:44)
  • Find out about my Emergency Response Plan (4:32)
  • What is a Power Hour and how you can use it in your business (06:50)
  • Why Power Hours are great for getting rid of time wasters (8:37)
  • Why you should choose a niche topic for a Power Hour (09:04)
  • Examples of successful niche Power Hours (12:57)
  • How to create a Power Hour for a product-based business (14:11)
  • How you can use a Power Hour to upset and get future business (16:15)
  • How to use a Power Hour to decide if you want to work with someone (17:57)
  • How to deliver a Power Hour and apps you can use to deliver (19:30)
  • How to make sure your Power Hour is productive and take payment (22:10)
  • Tools you can use to make it easy to schedule a Power Hour in (23:04)
  • How to prepare people for the Power Hour (and why you need to) (24:54)
  • How to follow up a Power Hour and what you should include (27:10)
  • How to plan out a Power Hour call and manage expectations (29:29)
  • How to price a Power Hour and think of the transformation you offer (30:04)
  • Why you need good testimonials (and how to get them) (32:42)
  • How to promote a Power Hour (and what to do if you don’t get a response) (34:25)
  • How to promote a Power Hour if you don’t have an email list or audience (36:09)

Resources

Video Conferencing Software
Zoom
Go To Meeting
Team Viewer
Join Me
Google Hangouts
Meetme
Blue Jeans
Actuity
Calendly

Presenting software
Screenflow Mac
Thinkific
Teachable
Wistia
Vimeo
YouTube
Audacity
Soundcloud

Masterclass - How to turn your in-person services into online offerings

Masterclass - How to launch a playbook for your business

Other podcast episodes

[333]  39 surprisingly easy ways to increase your email subscribers (podcast)
[335] How to create a high converting lead magnet (podcast)
[343] The three audiences you must build to create a successful online business (podcast)
[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast)
[375] How to get your first 1K email subscribers (podcast)
[378] How to use hashtags to build your online audience (podcast)
[386] The four types of content to create that will help you make more sales in 2020 (podcast)
[390] How to stop overthinking your content (podcast)
[391] How to write better social media captions (podcast)
[392] How to get more engagement on Instagram (podcast)
[393] How to create engaging content when you only sell one product or service (podcast)
[Bonus] How to turn your in-person services into online offerings (podcast)

Get my  Instagram Engagement Playbook 

How to create an editorial calendar for your business (blog post)

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass)

Content Planning Masterclass

Join the Media Diary Owners Club 

Order your 2020 Media Diary here

Join my Build Your Audience Programme

How to add closed captions to your video using Rev and Kapwing

Join my get your podcast live in 60 days course 

#2021Sorted Buy your ticket 

How to create a high-converting lead magnet course

Buy my book Your press release is breaking my heart

Rev.com*

Kapwing

Social Media Video Engagement Playbook

Social Media Engagement Playbook

Instagram Engagement Playbook

LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

How to turn your in-person services into online offerings

If you deliver in-person consultancy, training or coaching in your business you will almost certainly have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Perhaps you’ve had client meetings cancelled. Or maybe you’ve had workshops/consultancy gigs postponed or put on hold. It could be that you’ve had to cancel live events/workshops of your own. All of which is likely to have an impact on the bottom line of your business.

Health always comes first of course. But with little sign of the crisis abating, it’s sensible to consider how you might offer online alternatives to your offline services. 

Not only is this sensible in the midst of a worldwide flu epidemic, it’s also a way to start generating passive/semi-passive income in your business - which means you can stop trading time for money (or certainly do less of it)).

In this special podcast episode, I’ll show you four ways you can start turning your offline services into online offerings. 

  1. Delivering in-person coaching online 
  2. Turn your coaching/consultancy programmes into online courses/memberships
  3. Turn in-person workshops into webinars/online masterclasses 
  4. Launch a playbook/ebook

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

  1. Delivering in-person coaching online 

Booked to deliver 1-2-1/group coaching in-person? This can easily be delivered online, using a free video-conferencing software like Zoom which allows you to share your screen and participants share theirs with you. You can also share documents and chat ‘live’ with participants. And you can send them the recording afterwards in case they want to go over anything again. 

Alternatives to Zoom: Go To Meeting, Team Viewer, Join.me, Google Hangouts, Meet.me & BlueJeans.

If you’re worried your clients will be overwhelmed by the tech, you can send them written instructions and/or a video using a free tool like Loom showing them how to use it (including how to join). 

To ensure the session is productive, I’d recommend creating a sequence of emails that includes:

  • Information on how to book in a 1-2-1 session with you (they can use a tool like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling to book straight into your diary) 
  • Information on how to prepare for the session including information on any information on what they might need to bring to the session. PLUS how to use the video conferencing software from their phone/desktop. 
  • Information on what to do after the online session (this might include a link to the recording), any action points agreed and follow up work 

These emails can be re-used and adapted - saving you hours of time in the long run. In fact, the whole process can be automated so people can book straight into your diary, be delivered the link to join the call and reminders before the call. 

I include template/swipe files for this sequence of emails in my How To Turn Your Offline Services Into Online Offerings masterclass 

If you’re worried that what you teach/coach can’t be delivered online, I’ve personally worked with a pilates instructor, bread making teacher, psychologist, personal trainer and jewellery- making teacher - all of whom deliver their training/consultancy online. And if they can do it, so can you. 

  1. Turn your coaching/consultancy programmes into online courses/memberships

Booked to deliver in-person training or a workshop? This can be delivered live, using a free video-conferencing software like Zoom (or one of the other examples mentioned above) which allow you to share your screen, share documents and chat ‘live’ with participants. 

With a bit of tweaking, it’s possible to make online sessions really interactive. Not only can you use the ‘chat’ function to ask and answer questions, but you can also share your screen with participants and they can share theirs with you, which means you can give feedback on literally anything. So if you’re a tennis coach, you can give feedback on technique. If you’re a pottery or sewing teacher you can check peoples’ creative work. And if you’re a singing teacher you can advise on pitch and tone. With the right technology, pretty much anything is possible. 

And you don’t have to deliver the training live. You can record the sessions in advance using video conferencing software like Zoom and/or a screencasting software like Screenflow (for Mac) or Camtasia for (PC) which allow you to talk over your slides 

You can host your video tutorials free using a site like Teachable or Thinkific.

But you don’t need dedicated software to host video tutorials/or an online course. You can upload them to a video hosting site like Wistia or Vimeo or simply add them as unlisted/private videos on Youtube. Any digital downloads e.g. workbooks, cheat sheets, checklists can be stored in a file hosting service like Dropbox or Google Drive (you can just paste a link under the relevant video tutorial).

This is exactly what I did for the BETA launch of my online podcasting course: Get Your Podcast Live in 60 Days. 

You can use these resources to create audio files/podcasts (or use a digital recording app like Audacity). These can be hosted on any of the platforms above or you can upload them to Soundcloud. 

Think what you teach can’t be delivered online? Check out an online course site like Udemy where you’ll find digital resources on everything from surfing to singing to gastric bypass surgery. 

Want to learn more? I cover how to launch an online course/workshop in my online masterclass How To Turn Your Offline Services Into Online Offerings masterclass 

  1. Turn in-person workshops into webinars/online masterclasses 

Run your own live workshops/events? This can also be delivered live, using free video-conferencing software like Zoom (or one of the other examples mentioned above) which allow you to share your screen, share documents and chat ‘live’ with participants. 

While I’d recommend promoting live events/workshops at least 12 weeks ahead, you can promote webinars/online classes less than a week before the event. In fact, promoting them too far in advance can mean you actually get fewer people showing up (people just forget about it). 

To ensure your webinar is productive, I’d recommend creating the following sequences of emails: 

  • A four-day promotion sequence - promoting the webinar to people and telling them what will be covered
  • A sequence of reminder emails  - reminding people about the webinar and any preparation they might need to do (setting a pre-webinar task can be a great way to keep people engaged before the session)
  • A sequence of follow-up emails that deliver the recording, slides, handouts (and any other resources shared during the session) and offer and upsell to another product/service

I include template/swipe files for this sequence of emails in my How To Turn Your Offline Services Into Online Offerings masterclass  

Don’t have an email list? Read: 39 surprisingly easy ways to increase your email subscribers.

You should also promote the webinar/online masterclass across your social media channels. I included samples of the kinds of posts you might create in my How To Turn Your Offline Services Into Online Offerings masterclass 

Once your webinar is recorded you can turn it into an automated, on-demand webinar using a tool like Ever Webinar. 

  1. Launch a playbook/ebook

Launching a playbook/ebook can be a great way to turn your knowledge/expertise into a valuable resource you can sell - without leaving your home office. A playbook/ebook is a digital download, typically of around 3-5000 words that solves a very specific problem for a very specific type of client. 

I go into much more depth in my how to launch a playbook for your business online masterclass. 

There is some work up front in writing the download. You may also need to invest time and/or money (if you don’t have the expertise yourself) for professional-looking design. 

But once you’ve created your playbook/ebook - and automated the purchase/delivery process - you can (quite literally) sell it in your sleep. In the first few weeks of launching my Instagram Engagement Playbook, I sold almost 300 copies. 

While you’re unlikely to make millions from a playbook/ebook (unless you already have a large audience) it can be a great way to attract qualified leads you can upsell to more high-ticket products.services. 

Ideally, you’ll sell your ebook via your website (which means you can track who is buying from you and, crucially, get their email address for upsells/cross-sells) using a resource plug-in like Woocommerce or Shopify. To deliver the playbook/ebook, you’ll need to integrate this with your email marketing software.

Converting the naysayers

If you are taking services online that you have previously delivered offline, you may come up against some resistance from clients who don’t believe online training/coaching/consultancy can be as effective as offline. 

It’s a good idea to create content that educates your clients on the benefits of online learning PLUS how it works (often resistance is based around fear e.g. of not being able to use the tech), Demo/sample videos can also help (once people understand what an online class might be like, they’re usually happy to get on board). Finally, gathering testimonials from your clients will also help a lot. If you can get testimonials in which they explicitly talk about how they were concerned about online learning, but their fears were totally unfounded that is ideal.

Podcast shownotes

  • About this bonus podcast episode (01:04)
  • The four different ways you can take your business from offline to online (5:23)
  • How to deliver your in-person workshop or consultancy online (6:46)
  • Software to use for video conferencing and explaining the tech (7:49)
  • How to streamline and automate the booking process of your online course (9:55)
  • How to follow up your online sessions and what people need to know (12:01)
  • Why you can deliver any type of training online (14:09)
  • How to turn your in-person coaching/consultancy into an online course (14:49)
  • How you can use video to give people feedback on online (16:30)
  • Apps for presenting your content online and how to keep it simple (17:30)
  • How to turn your in-person workshops into webinars/masterclasses (21:57)
  • Why you don’t need a long lead time for promoting online webinars (23:52)
  • Emails that you can send to promote your online webinar (24:50)
  • Using your follow up emails to upsell (25:44)
  • Why you need to have people on your email list (26:20)
  • How to resell your webinar and use it in your sales funnel (28:49)
  • How to generate sales and leads by creating a playbook or ebook (29:40)
  • How to convert clients who don’t think it will work online (32:20)

Resources

Video Conferencing Software
Zoom
Go To Meeting
Team Viewer
Join Me
Google Hangouts
Meetme
Blue Jeans
Actuity
Calendly

Presenting software
Screenflow Mac
Thinkific
Teachable
Wistia
Vimeo
YouTube
Audacity
Soundcloud

Masterclass - How to turn your in-person services into online offerings

Masterclass - How to launch a playbook for your business

Other podcast episodes

[333]  39 surprisingly easy ways to increase your email subscribers (podcast)
[335] How to create a high converting lead magnet (podcast)
[343] The three audiences you must build to create a successful online business (podcast)
[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast)
[375] How to get your first 1K email subscribers (podcast)
[378] How to use hashtags to build your online audience (podcast)
[386] The four types of content to create that will help you make more sales in 2020 (podcast)
[390] How to stop overthinking your content (podcast)
[391] How to write better social media captions (podcast)
[392] How to get more engagement on Instagram (podcast)
[393] How to create engaging content when you only sell one product or service (podcast

Get my  Instagram Engagement Playbook 

How to create an editorial calendar for your business (blog post)

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass)

Content Planning Masterclass

Join the Media Diary Owners Club 

Order your 2020 Media Diary here

Join my Build Your Audience Programme

How to add closed captions to your video using Rev and Kapwing

Join my get your podcast live in 60 days course 

#2021Sorted Buy your ticket 

How to create a high-converting lead magnet course

Buy my book Your press release is breaking my heart

Rev.com*

Kapwing

Social Media Video Engagement Playbook

Social Media Engagement Playbook

Instagram Engagement Playbook

LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

How to make sales from goody bag marketing

Providing free items for goody bags can be a great way to get your products in front of prospective customers, but putting them in the bags is not enough. It’s up to you to convert those leads into sales.

Read on to find out how to make sales from goody bag marketing.

1. Don’t assume the event organiser will do your marketing for you

Many event organisers are happy to share photographs/video of goody bag products on social media - and even email their list about it - but never assume anything. Make sure you're clear on where and when they will be sharing photographs/video of your products before the event - ideally before you agree to provide them. If you have good quality images/video of your products, make sure the event organiser has access to them prior to the event.

2. Connect with delegates ahead of the event

Many organisers create dedicated Facebook groups, Twitter lists and host Facebook Live broadcasts ahead of their event. While most event organisers won’t want you to spoil the surprise by sharing pictures of the items you’re providing for the goody bags, they should be happy for you to introduce yourself to the delegates, mention you are supporting the event and drop a few hints about what to expect from you. You can join the Content Live Facebook group here. The Twitter list is here. We are also hosting a series of Facebook Live broadcasts ahead of the event. 

Goody bags

3. Attend the event if you can

Putting your products in goody bags is a great way to get prospective customers interested in your products. But when it comes to converting interest into sales, nothing is more powerful than being able to talk to people about your products and answer their questions. Most event organisers offer discounted tickets for event sponsors (including those who provide products for goody bags). If you attend the event, you can also create ‘live’ social media content (e.g. Instagram Stories, Facebook/Twitter updates) and tag in delegates in (perhaps even wearing/using your products) which is a great way to stay top of mind.

4. Create your own social media campaign around the event

Most event organisers encourage delegates to share ‘live’ content on social media and provide a dedicated hashtag for guests to follow. So make sure you get active on the dedicated hashtag before, during and after the event. Remember also that even people who aren’t attending the event will be following along on the hashtag. So take some time ahead of the event to gather photos, video, blog posts you can share. The dedicated hashtag for Content Live is: #2019Sorted.

5. Follow up with delegates after the event

Most event organisers create a delegate list, which means you can follow up with delegates and ask them how they’re getting on with your product(s). This is a great way to carry on the conversation after the event. You might even be able to follow up with a discount code or voucher they can use for their first order. If you create a special code - just for that event - you’ll be able to monitor exactly where your leads are coming from.

At Content Live we include a picture, social media handles, website address and email address of every delegate in our programme.

What is a mastermind group?

If you like the idea of being part of my membership community (or are already a member) but feel you need more personalised support, you may be better suited to one of my mastermind groups.

But what exactly is a mastermind group? And how can being part of one help you grow your business? Read on and find out.

What is a mastermind group?

A mastermind is a group of business owners who work together to achieve their business goals – offering feedback, support and accountability along the way.

The group can meet online or in person (or a mixture of the two). My mastermind group(s) do a mixture of both - meeting up to twice a month online (using the video conferencing software Zoom) and three to four times a year in person (in London).

Top and Rising Talent live mastermind day in London
I host a quarterly 'in person' meet up for my mastermind group in London

How is a mastermind different to business coaching?

While there may be some 1-2-1 coaching involved in a mastermind, most of the important work takes place in a group setting where you each get a chance to take the ‘hotseat’, present your business challenges and get feedback from the rest of the group (and the mastermind group leader - in this case, me).

And in between mastermind sessions of course you’re supporting each other and keeping each other accountable.

One of the best things about being part of a mastermind is challenge. Having people ask you why you are doing something a particular way (or doing it at all) can feel uncomfortable at first but will ultimately save you time and money.

Why do you offer a mastermind instead of a coaching programme?

Having done 1-2-1 business coaching and taken part in dozens of masterminds, I feel masterminds are a far more effective way to accelerate your business growth.  

Working in a group gives you access to more ideas and inspiration (whatever your dream is: writing a book, starting a podcast, hitting your first five or six figure month…someone in the group will have been there).

Listening to others and helping them with their business problems, helps you get better at solving your own business challenges.

Knowing that you have to show up regularly, and share what you’ve been up to – with people who actually care about you and your business – helps you stop procrastinating and start taking action.

Being part of a community of like-minded, ambitious business owners means you’re surrounded by people who will pick you up when you’re down and  – more importantly – lift you up when things are going well.

Being part of a supportive community -people who really understand you - can be a real gamechanger for your business

Why isn’t there a set curriculum to follow?

The idea of a mastermind programme is that it’s tailored to YOUR needs and goals – not anyone else’s. The last thing I want is for you to feel frustrated because you’re having to watch video lessons and/or attend masterclasses that don’t feel relevant to your business right now.

I want you to stay focused on what’s right for YOUR business and not get distracted. While one of our monthly calls will be focused on one of the key areas I believe you need to focus on to grow your business (money, audience, authority, visibility) the other will be left open for masterminding, so you can explore the challenges that are most relevant to you.  

How long will I be part of the mastermind?

The minimum commitment is four months but to achieve optimum results I’d suggest a year.

Why work with me?

Over the past four years I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners helping them solve their problems and grow their businesses.

I’ve also achieved everything you’ll cover in the programme: creating multiple streams of income, building a large and loyal audience, building authority (through speaking, podcasting, publishing a book) and getting high-profile press coverage – all of the things that get you to six figures.  And I’m happy to share the strategies I used to get there (and the mistakes I made along the way – so you don’t have to make them too).

What kind of results can you expect from working with me?

I’m not into fluffy stuff…I want you to gain outcomes that will have an impact on the bottom line of your business.

So, rather than tell you what you’ll gain, let me show you three positive outcomes I’ve gained from being part of a mastermind group.

  • 40k in revenue: from a single idea someone gave me for generating additional income from live events
  • 10k in membership revenue: after launching an online ‘open day’ allowing delegates to experience my membership before they join – and idea that came from a mastermind
  • 14k in sales: after someone challenged me in a mastermind to create an upsell for my 2018 Media Diary

These are all ideas I could implement without leaving my home office and/or trading time for money. and are the kinds of shifts I want to see you making as a result of our work together.

Ultimately, though, it’s down to you. As with anything in life, you’ll get as much out of the programme as you put in. But if you're willing to set goals, take action on them, and take advantage of being part of an incredible group of business owners,  you can accelerate your business growth by years. 

Interested in joining the programme? Book your discovery call here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I think when you send me a stroppy email (and why it's a PR issue)

While I get tons of lovely emails from people thanking me for the content I share on my blog, podcast, webinars, social media and other free channels, I get at least one real stinker of an email every day.

Some senders are complaining about me sending too many emails (or even not enough). Others have taken umbrage at a word or phrase I’ve used in an email or on a sales page. It might be that they have a gripe about one of my products/services (perhaps justifiably so - nobody’s perfect).

But what they all have in common is this: the sender has clearly not thought about the impact of their email on their own business.

I’m only human. So when someone sends me an email that’s rude - or passive aggressive - I can’t help but go and check them out. I visit their website, their social media channels and anywhere else they appear online. And their name gets lodged in my brain...for all the wrong reasons. Which means the next time someone asks me to recommend a legal expert, a personal stylist, a jewellery designer (or whatever they happen to do for a living), I’m unlikely to recommend them.

In fact, if their email is really spiteful, I may share their website with a friend/colleague. However much I might want to be the bigger person, emails like this hurt and I might need to vent. 

I share this because when you run your own business, it’s easy to forget that you’re representing your brand at all times. It’s also easy to forget there is a real person reading your words - who might make a snap judgment about you and your business on the basis of your email - one that doesn’t really represent who you are. And is it really worth damaging your reputation unnecessarily?

With that in mind, here’s my tips for better email communication.

1.Use the unsubscribe button

If you’ve signed up to someone’s email list, then find the content is no longer relevant to you, there’s no need to email them and tell them they stink. Why not just vote with your feet and unsubscribe?

And if you think you’re getting too many emails, do you really need to send a stroppy email demanding to be taken off the list? Either unsubscribe or send a polite email along the lines of ‘I noticed I’d been getting a lot more emails from you than usual recently and I’m finding it a bit overwhelming.’ We often find that people sign up under more than one email address, for example, which means they end up getting everything twice (or more) - something that is easily resolved.

2.Leave your email in draft for a few hours (and/or get a friend to read it)

Writing a ranty email can be a great way to get your frustration out, but once you’ve hit ‘send’ you can’t take your words back. So leave your email in drafts for a few hours and come back to it when you feel a bit calmer (you may find you no longer want to send it at all). You might also want to send your email to a trusted friend to give you objective feedback before you hit ‘send’. If I have a difficult email to write I usually ask my assistant Jo to read it and give me her honest opinion - before I hit send.  

3. Remember you’re writing to a real person

It’s easy to be offhand with a stranger - particularly someone you’ve never met face to face (although you might - see point 5!). But remember that a real person will pick up that email - someone with feelings, just like you. Treat them with respect and compassion and you’re far more likely to get what you want.

4.Keep things in perspective

So you ordered a book and it hasn’t arrived. Your appointment was changed. You didn’t receive email instructions for the event. Yes, it’s annoying but is it worth damaging your business reputation over? 

Of course you should speak up when you don’t receive the kind of service you were expecting, but sending a stroppy email isn’t going to get the situation resolved any quicker. A polite ‘I ordered my book last week but it hasn’t arrived - please could you look into it?’ can get you the same outcome - without damaging your business reputation. 

And do try to establish the facts before you go in guns blazing. We recently had a very angry email from a fellow small business owner insisting we cancel their order for my Media Diary. It turned out they hadn’t even ordered one!

5. Be nice to everyone

You’ve heard the phrase about being nice to people on the way up as you might meet them on the way down....? There’s so much truth in that. And in an online world that's getting smaller and smaller, you never know who might be connected to who - which means sending stroppy emails can come back and bite you on the bum. Much easier to be nice to everyone. 

6. Apologise when you’re wrong

I’d be the first to admit I’ve lost my cool and send the odd email I wish I hadn’t. But I’ve soon as I’ve realised my mistake, I’ve emailed the person and apologised.  When you take responsibility for your actions and apologise people generally admire you for it. 

 

Want to join the Build Your Online Audience programme but don't have the budget? Here's how

So you’d like to join my programme and membership community, Build Your Online Audience. You know it would be great for your business. Trouble is, it feels out of your budget right now.

If this sounds like you, the first thing you need to do is reframe the problem. Instead of saying ‘I can’t afford it’ ask yourself ‘what could I do to make it affordable?’

With that in mind, here’s ten ideas to help you raise the funds to join my Build Your Online Audience programme - ideas several business owners have already used to fund my live events, courses and coaching. 

1. Get in early

Currently the Build Your Online Audience programme is £240.  So get it early and bag yourself the very best price. You can join here.

2. Offset the costs with an event/offering of your own

If you want to invest in your own learning, how about hosting your own live workshop or opening up a number of consultancy slots to cover the costs of your training? If you run a product-based business, perhaps you could host a pop-up event in a local market, office or co-working space. Plenty of venues rent out space by the hour at very affordable rates (my personal tip: try schools, colleges, and churches) and you can put together a sales page on Eventbrite in minutes. Start thinking creatively and the possibilities are endless.

3. Host an online event or sale

What do you already have of value in your business? Perhaps you have some information products i.e. courses/webinars/videos you could bundle together and offer at a special price? Something you could teach in an online class or webinar? Or products you could bundle up or offer at a special price for a limited period? I’ve yet to come across any business owner who doesn’t have something to offer.  No need for fancy landing pages or software- a simple email or web page will do (our Pop-Up Christmas Market (in 2017) - which we put together in less than 24 hours - is a good example of how to create a 'sale' without any fancy resources). 

If you need to raise funds consider bundling up your products/services to create a new offer

4. Get more customers/clients 

Yep you heard me right. Work out how many new clients you’d need to attract - or products you’d need to sell - to cover the cost of your membership. Then ‘reverse engineer’ the process i.e. work out how you’re going to making it happen. If you run a consultancy or coaching business, this can be as simple as emailing your existing/previous clients to ask for referrals (or offering an additional service or ‘upgrade’). If you have a product-based business, you might consider hosting a special sale (see number 3) or hosting a pop-up event.

5. Get someone else to pay for your membership

Do you have a client who would benefit from you being part of the membership? If you can show how it could have an impact on their bottom line, you may be able to get them to contribute towards the cost or even cover the lot? If you have multiple clients who would benefit, you may be able persuade them to split the cost. Several of my own team members (all contractors with multiple clients) have done this successfully to fund their own training/personal development costs. 

6. Look for money ‘behind the sofa’

  • Are you paying direct debits for services you no longer use?
  • Do you have any tech/equipment (or anything at all in fact) you’ve been meaning to sell on Ebay?
  • Is there a dress in your wardrobe you meant to return but didn’t get round to it?
  • Do you have money sitting in a bank/building society account you no longer use?
  • Is there any unnecessary expenditure you could cut out right now?

Devote an hour to looking at your ‘money leaks’ and you might be pleasantly surprised how much cash you can gather together (I recently claimed back £82 that had been sitting in a dormant bank account).

Headphones on a white table with a pink notebook and iphone
Spend an hour looking at your 'money leaks' and you may be pleasantly surprised

7. Offset the cost of your membership with sales to other members

As a member of the Build Your Online Audience programme you’ll be encouraged to do business with other members. We do this in a number of ways - from the weekly #sells thread in our private Facebook Community (where members can post about their products/services) to online events like the Christmas Pop-Up Market. In fact, I actively encourage members to set themselves the target of making back the cost of the programme (at least) through sales to other members.

Amanda Overend, founder of Books and Pieces, academic coach Lucy Parsons, Corporate Cakery founder Samantha Whittingham and animator Beth Searle are amongst those who’ve made their membership fee back in sales to other members (and myself).

I have previously ordered bespoke cookies from Corporate Cakery to send as Christmas gifts to my top customers. 

I hired animator Beth Searle to create a stop-motion video to promote my 2018 Media Diary.

 

I have also bought (and received!) Christmas presents via designer and photographer Emma Mapp, jewellery designer Sally How , online gift shop owner Pragya Agarwal and Jessie Wilson.

Are you up for the challenge?

8. Consider if there is anything else holding you back

When prospective members tell me they don’t have the budget to join the Build Your Online Audience programme, it’s actually rarely about the money. When I dig a little bit deeper there is usually something else going on: perhaps they don’t feel ready for the membership are worried they won’t have the time to make use of the resources or they’re not convinced it will get them the results they need. So do ask yourself if there is anything else holding you back.

These are the most common concerns people have about joining the Build Your Online Audience programme. Do any of them sound familiar?

9. Put your Big Girl / Big Boy pants on

You’re an entrepreneurial sort - otherwise you wouldn’t be in business. So if you really want to sign up for the Build Your Online Audience programme, I believe you’ve got what it takes to figure out how to get yourself there. If you've tried some of the ideas above (and maybe you have some of your own) but still can't raise the funds, you may need to set it as an aspiration for the future - but at least you can say you've tried (and made some money to put towards your membership). 

Want to be a 2020 success story? Join my programme and membership community here.