My Blog

How to be Relaxed in Giving a Presentation

By on February 20, 2018

Be Relaxed Giving a Presentation?

OK, that title is a bit of a bait and switch. The truth is that you should NOT strive to be totally relaxed as you take center stage to deliver a presentation. 

A little bit of nerves is actually GOOD for your presenter vibes. I don’t mean the kind of nerves that leave giant armpit stains and melt your makeup (if you wear it). I mean the kind that makes you go through your presentation material for the 7th time, re-check the batteries in your clicker and have at least 1 crazy dream the night before.  

Don’t make my mistake.

I made the mistake once or twice of getting complacent and cocky and going in totally relaxed. I told myself, I know the audience, I know the material, I’ve got this, no worries. I was so relaxed and over-confident that I bombed. The audience can practically smell it when you’re too confident and phoning it in. What a horror!  

So, welcome those little butterflies in your tummy! They push you to work hard, be energetic and awesome.  

What worries me? The nightmare is never the audience or confidence in my material; it’s the technology. I usually over-prepare and pack everything possible in my car, even if the organizer says I don’t need to bring anything. I’ve already had the experience of having to use my own equipment because – surprise! – theirs didn’t work at the last minute and it would have been a disaster. The funny thing to note is that when you trust in their equipment, and it doesn’t work, they look at YOU to solve the problem. Hey it’s your machine that’s not working, why are you looking at me?? Because you’re the presenter and it’s your job to make this gig work. 

3 Easy Call To Action Strategies

By on February 13, 2018

3 call to actionWhen you’re writing a formal article, it is often the norm to end your piece with a simple call to action. It’s expected that you give great information first, and then use your closing to invite the reader to respond with a phone call, email, or visit. However, in the world of Email Marketing, if you wait till the end in your campaign, your call may never get read in the first place. 

 

Here are 3 pointers to get those customers and prospects to respond: 

  • Make your call to action block stand out with a “reverse color” mode – if your regular article is blue text on white background, your call to action block can be white text on blue background.  
  • Position your call to action much further up than the bottom. Ideally, place your call to action block above the “fold” or scroll line, so that your reader will see it before having to scroll. 
  • It’s OK to duplicate your call to action. People skim more than they fully read, so the first one may have zipped past their notice. Duplicate your call to action 2/3 down the page, or on the bottom. Depending on the total length of your campaign, displaying it twice may be acceptable but a 3rd time would be overkill. 

 

Try these strategies on your next campaign and let me know how it goes. Better yet, take a hands on training class so you get to learn and practice lots of best practice strategies like this. If you’re in driving distance of Morris County, NJ, sign up for a hands on basic training class in Constant Contact so you can learn, practice, and get your questions answered. Classes will be available every month in my East Hanover Learning Studio but class size is small and fill fast so you must pre-register and pay. 

Training Classes 

 

Can I Make You Some Money?

By on July 22, 2017

At some point in your business you may have been curious about coaching or mentoring programs. Whether you engage in a private or group program, the objective is to make you more money.

But when we consider participating, we all have the same doubt – what if I pay for the program and don’t make my money back?

That’s a valid point. So let’s run through a scenario.

Let’s say you currently bring in roughly $2,000 per month, on average. Maybe that’s all your household really needs. But you have some goals for your business and dreams for your family. Wouldn’t it be nice to make additional revenue to fund a renovation or vacation plans, or a better car?

Let’s say you decide to move forward with a program that sets you back $500 per month. Now you can only count on $1500 per month in profit because you’re paying for the program. It’s nail-biting time – what happens next??

Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? There are 2 possible outcomes – Fast or Slow.

Possible Outcome #1 – The Hare – it works right away and you gain results FAST.

Through this program, you learn how to gain new customers, optimize your prices, get repeat business. You gain new qualified leads and learn how to turn those leads into customers. By the end of the program, you’re now pulling in an average of $4000 per month.

So, while you’re in your 6 months of coaching, your revenue might look like this

month 1 month 2 month 3 month 4 month 5 month 6
revenue $2,000.00 $2,250.00 $2,500.00 $3,000.00 $3,500.00 $4,000.00
coach cost  $500.00  $500.00  $500.00  $500.00  $500.00  $500.00
profit $1,500.00 $1,750.00 $2,000.00 $2,500.00 $3,000.00 $3,500.00

 

Hey – that looks great! But now let’s look at the 6 months after the program and the annual totals.

month 7 month 8 month 9 month 10 month 11 month 12 12 month totals
$4,000.00 $4,250.00 $4,000.00 $4,250.00 $3,500.00 $4,000.00 $41,250.00 total revenue
0 0 0 0 0 0  $3,000.00 total coach cost
$4,000.00 $4,250.00 $4,000.00 $4,250.00 $3,500.00 $4,000.00 $38,250.00 total profit

 

Instead of making 24,000 for the year, even with the cost of coaching, you made $38,250.

Possible Outcome #2 – The Tortoise – It works – slowly…

That’s me, the tortoise. I take a while to get into a new way of doing things, so my results don’t come immediately. But here’s the great part: once you learn something new, you can’t UNLEARN it. As long as you TAKE ACTION with your new skills, they change your life forever. The point is not who’s going to get there fastest, it’s to LEARN–>DO–>GET RESULTS!

When I put my faith into a mentoring program in 2016, I was actually quite worried. Ok, I was terrified. It was a huge expense. What if my business tanks because I can’t recover from the cost?

But here’s what actually happened. Because I paid into the program, I placed my full attention on DOING what I learned. I practiced new skills even though I didn’t think I could do it. When I hit a comfort level with my new skills, my confidence went through the roof, my revenue climbed steadily, and now I can’t imagine what my profits would have looked like had I NOT invested the money.

In fact, I was put to the test. Two of my regular customers left my service, and instead of suffering from a below-average revenue, and panicking, I got my income back up in just 1 week, with my new skills.

Let me ask you a question – what would happen to your goals and dreams if you did NOTHING?

I pushed my fear aside and I learned what I needed to do to get closer and even surpass my goals. I want you to be brave and go for it. And did I mention, my program is less than $500 per month?

If you have goals, hopes, and dreams, you won’t get there by doing the same old thing day in and day out. Let’s talk about the possibilities! Email me at Susana at MarketingSisters (dot) come or call 973-585-6393. I’m so looking forward to chatting with you.

Your Top 5 Marketing Miseries

By on July 7, 2017

When I ask business owners how they feel about marketing their services, here are the popular answers I get, and what I know they really mean.

You say – Marketing takes too much time.

What you mean is “I don’t set aside the time for marketing because I don’t believe that it’s going to get me anywhere. If I spend an hour on marketing and nothing comes of it, I’m frustrated that I could have used my time more productively.”

The key here is to set aside a modest amount of time each week. Doing it every day feels like you never stop; and doing it once a month is a lot of time spent away from other business operations. Plan WHAT your business actually needs to market in order to yield results, and break it out into weekly chunks. Knowing that 1.5 hours on Friday morning or Sunday afternoon is “marketing time” works best to get you into a routine.

You say – It’s overwhelming

What you mean is “There are so many ways to spread the word – I have no idea what tools to use and whether they are appropriate for my business so I waste time looking at everything.”

Take some time to consult with a marketing pro to discover what you can STOP doing and what 1 or 2 channels you can devote your time to. Often we listen to what everyone is into and we feel we’d better dive in as well. Choose channels that makes sense for YOU – toss everything else. You’ll note I do not spend any time in Pinterest. It doesn’t make sense for me and I don’t care for it.

need help with marketing

You say – It’s Confusing

What you mean is “Even if I choose 2 or 3 marketing tools, I don’t know how to use them well and I waste time trying to learn on my own.”

I hear you! There seem to be new tools every week! And then there are tools to make the other tools easier! But the answer is not to give up and use nothing. Seek out an expert in 1 tool and learn as much as you need to. You can take an online course or schedule time with a specialist or attend a webinar. Then go on to the next tool after you feel comfortable with the previous one.  Don’t try to learn it all! The top 2 or 3 marketing channels should get 80% of your marketing time.

You say – I Hate Marketing

What you mean is, “If I’m going to spend time doing something, I need to see results. I didn’t open this business to spend time away from my customers.”

Absolutely!  I usually compare marketing to gardening. In both cases, the initial work may be tedious and even repetitive. You have to do a lot of nurturing, weeding, and most of all, waiting. Who ever put a tomato seed in the ground on Tuesday and pulled out a tomato on Wednesday?  The waiting is the worst, but keep the gardening analogy in your mind when you get frustrated with waiting for results. The key is to feed your garden so the results are awesome!

You say – It doesn’t attract enough good customers

What you mean is, “Marketing does bring in more calls, but sometimes I waste even more time closing a sale or servicing a problem customer, when marketing was supposed to make things easier.”

What’s happening here is that your marketing message may be too general. Understand what type of customer you would LOVE and then write your message only for that type of person. You want to serve people who ask, but not waste time and energy attracting and dealing with prospects who are not the BEST you can possibly engage.

Does this clarify things a bit? I offer busy and frustrated business owners like you a free Discovery Call. That’s 30 minutes on the phone to explore your frustrations and challenges, hopes and dreams, and see what your next steps might be.

Set up a call here: https://calendly.com/susana-f/discovery

Modesty Has No Place In Business

By on May 30, 2017

I get it – modesty works when we’re referring to how you dress for a specific occasion or situation. Modesty works in certain social situations. But modesty has no place in business!

I speak to a lot of women who have owned their business from a few weeks to a few years. I often hear, “It’s not a big deal for me to deliver this service so I can’t really charge too much”.

Huh?

Since when do we charge in regards to how much trouble we take for a customer? This has no weight in determining your price structure.

Women's group mentoring program for service based businesses

I hear, “this is so easy for me”, or – “it really didn’t take that much time at all”. That’s the reason they offer for their below-average price. But it’s a completely irrelevant reason. I was not immune to this myself at the start of my first business. Teaching seniors how to copy and paste into their beginning PC lessons was definitely not a big deal for me and my inclination was to charge very minimally until a business coach said, “it’s not a big deal for you Susana, but it’s so incredibly valuable to them; that’s why you need to charge according to the benefit you give them, not the trouble you’re taking”.  As you can see, it’s a powerful lesson that I never forgot.

Let me tell you about the day when it was crystallized for me. I had been running my PC lessons business for about 3 years and had been training this single woman in her early 60’s. We covered “simple for me” topics like searching the internet, changing the printer ink, and staying safe by keeping her anti-virus current. At the end of the lesson, she gave me her check for the usual amount. I kept thinking I could easily do this for half the price, but I did have groceries to buy… when all of a sudden, she said, “I don’t know what I’d do without you; I have no one else to help me.” And before I could respond, she started to cry and gave me a big bear hug! Then she said the most amazing thing, “I wish I could give you more money!”

See, the effort for me was minimal to normal but the power of the value for her was immense. I could have done it for half, and she gladly would have paid me double!

It doesn’t mean you should go crazy and gouge people – it simply means you need to explore what your customer’s situation is all about. What’s going on with their lives? People say, “I can use your services” but do they really mean it? When they won’t pay, they don’t need.

You want to speak to people who truly value what you have to offer. They either need it badly to solve a huge problem, or they desire it greatly because it’s something they’ve always envisioned. The only way to figure out if they’re a good candidate is to have an in-depth conversation. Ask plenty of questions to determine the true value of your service as it relates to them. If they just think it’s “cool” or fun or nice, they will always think your price is to high. But it’s not! They just don’t have a great need or deep desire.

Modest pricing and under-charging is NOT the answer to get those people on board. It doesn’t matter what low price or deep discount you believe will entice them – if a customer truly is not attracted to your service, no price will get them on board.

women business owners, service based business, group mentoring for womenSo go ahead and stop trying to lure and please the casual observer. Go after those who have a true need and attraction. These are the people who will be thrilled to pay your un-discounted, full price. They want the RESULT more than they want to save a few dollars.

It’s your business – it’s no time to be modest.

Do you feel uncomfortable or confused when it comes to pricing your services? Why not schedule a free 30 minute Discovery Call with me? I help women entrepreneurs become knowledgeable and empowered around their Pricing, Marketing and Sales skills. Email me at Susana@MarketingSisters.com and let’s chat.

Customers looking for a freebie? Have this sentence ready to go…

By on April 5, 2017

When  you are a service provider, there is no shiny gold product to dangle in front of your customers. Your product is your talent,  your experience, your skill level. It’s also your personality and creativity. Because your “product” is invisible, and because it always sits in your brain, your customers may not fully appreciate its value.

C’mon, you know this stuff like the back of your hand. Why can’t you just tell me the answer at no cost?

Well, there is a cost associated with your services. It’s the cost of you learning this material, it’s the cost of you spending years delivering it and perfecting it. It’s the cost of your working hard to make it more creative and wonderful. And if you have licenses or certifications behind it, that’s a cost factor as well.

Let’s see. Why don’t you try going to a restaurant and asking the chef for the recipe of his special? Fat chance he’ll deliver that to you, since it may have taken him years of learning and experimenting to design that recipe. Why should you have it at no cost?

Your prospect clearly does not realize that it’s a form of disrespect for him or her to ask you for your secret sauce for free. Yet, that’s what it is. So giving in means that you agree that there is no real value. And that’s not true at all.

So – what can you do when your customer is face to face with you, and asks for you to share your knowledge for free?

Watch this.

 

Double or triple your leads in the simplest, most organic way

By on March 31, 2017

All too often, we put a huge emphasis on technology, when in fact we need to remember that people do business with people. The most gorgeous website in the world will not guarantee that prospects will reach out to you. I hear business owners lament the sad state of their website – blaming their low revenue on the fact that their website is out of date or perhaps not present at all.

Listen – you can build a business without a website at all! While it’s beneficial to have a beautiful, functional, and current website, all to often we blame the broken or old website for the lack of customers. That’s just our way of not wanting to face the truth and face prospects the old fashioned way.

The most tried and true method of growing your list is to GET OUT (of your house and your comfort zone) and present valuable information about your industry and expertise in a seminar, workshop, or webinar. Partner with other synergistic businesses and “put on a show”. A presentation that is down to earth and packed with easy to understand and actionable information will get you more leads than 100 social media posts. You know how you like to taste that free sample at the store? Your presentation is the “taste” of what you bring to your business prospects. Be real, speak their language, and pack on the value. Then ask them to sign up for your email or follow you on social – or better yet – offer them a free consultation.

If giving a talk is something you aspire to someday, and you need to start with baby steps, then get out and go networking. Try a new group or revisit an organization you attended in the past. Introduce yourself, listen to what others do for a living, and see if there’s anyone you can introduce them to.

Some women entrepreneurs find the thought of walking in alone in a room full of strangers to be terrifying. Ok, baby steps again – start with a very local or very small group. Find a peer to attend with and carpool together. Believe me, if you walk in alone to a new chamber meeting, no one will mistake you for a bar hopper looking for a social encounter! We all attend networking events for the purposes of growing our professional contacts to develop our business. We all have the same challenges and the same goals. We’re all there on the same agenda. So – stop wasting time feeling self-conscious because everyone there feels at least a little bit awkward, too. It’s no excuse to stay home and miss out on all the opportunities for meeting new prospect or potential strategic partners.

Check the web and find a new group meeting for next week. Place it on  your calendar, stuff your bag with business cards, and GO! And let me know how it went!

 

The #1 Mistake Women Service Providers Make

By on March 17, 2017

Women who run a service based businesses provide consumers and other businesses with expertise and professional experience in areas we simply can’t handle ourselves. Yet when it comes to pricing their services, there is a huge challenge! How do you put a price tag on your talent and skills?

Many women entrepreneurs make this common mistake – they charge by the hour. Seems to make sense – why is it wrong?

  1. you place full control over the revenue you make into your customers’ hands. “I’ll only need 1 hour of your time”
  2. it downgrades the talent, skill, experience, and expertise of the business own to merely units of time spent with the customer.
  3. it does not reflect the true value of what the customer received – their problem solved, their challenge overcome, their obstacle surmounted.

Watch my video on Facebook on this topic.

https://www.facebook.com/RightClickAdvantage/videos/1443461022331621/

Women Entrepreneurs Need to Embrace Their PMS

By on March 3, 2017

When I was designing the kind of program I would love to join, I made sure that it included all the key components, in terms of HOW it was to be delivered. I felt that getting the word out about your business to the best prospects is so crucial to the success of any business, that it should be all about the various forms of marketing you can use to see great results.

But while giving strategy sessions to customers, I often discovered there were other ingredients that where either missing or mis-aligned in their business – namely how they were pricing themselves and whether they had a consistent sales process.

Women are particularly guilty of being too shy in pricing their services appropriately, and sales is regarded as too aggressive. I’ll admit it – I was guilty of this as well.

Pricing – Marketing – Sales – this is the PMS that women need to embrace. First, let’s talk about what your prices are and how you’re setting them. Your prices are part of your marketing message, believe it or not. They are a large factor in how your prospects perceive the value of what you offer, so consider whether your prices are sending the wrong message.

Marketing is more than the words you use toward the people who need to hear them. Marketing takes into account words, photos, tone of voice, videos, logos, even the clothes you select when standing in front of a customer.

Sales is not about forcing people to buy what they don’t want or need. It’s about finding the people who truly need your service and making it clear that you are the right person to provide the service. Sales is about having a consistent process of identifying best possible customers and reaching out to them to start a conversation to see if you’re the right fit to work together. After all, marketing without the sale is just communicating.

So ladies, to be a successful business owner, you need to embrace your PMS – pricing, marketing, and sales – to build your business to consistent profit and growth.

Why Your Marketing Should Reflect Your Value

By on February 28, 2017

I’ll bet you’ve seen it or perhaps have even done it yourself: your website, brochure and social posts talk about how you have awesome skills and are a seasoned expert in your field. Then you turn around and quote a low price, because you assume (hope) that will get you the sale.

Wrong!

Your message and your price must be consistent. Your price is part of your message!

If you needed to have surgery, and you saw the website or brochure for a surgeon who stated she was very experienced, up-to-date and skilled, you’d be tempted to call her. But then you notice that she offers procedures as low at $50.

And you’re thinking, “Not with my body, you don’t!”

Who even goes to the hair stylist who charges $10?? I won’t.

It doesn’t mean you should be the most expensive; it should simply mean that your price and your message must be in sync – connected – and backing each other up.

This is only one issue I spot with women entrepreneurs. I suffered from that same ailment and it took a kick-ass mentoring program to wake me up from the self-sabotaging I was practicing.

I paid into that mentoring program because I needed to do business the way it would help the most customers, and support me as well.

I paid – a lot! And I paid attention! I learned so much and I’m dying to share my marketing expertise plus my newly learned skills with others just like me.women entrepreneurs, woemn business owners, private coaching, group coaching

My Sisters in Entrepreneurship Marketing Mentoring Program is open to strong, independent women business owners who are ready to create a huge impact toward getting the results they dreamed about. My Marketing Sisters will receive PRIVATE coaching as well as PEER mentoring, during an intensive 6 months, and put everything they learned into Accountability exercises.

Please email Susana@MarketingSisters.com if you’d like more information.