Are you struggling with entrepreneurial overwhelm? It’s a wall that most, if not all, business owners face at some point. Did you know that you can achieve greater success and business efficiency by actually doing less?
The secret is to identify the tasks that result in the highest-value results for your business, focusing the majority of your attention on those tasks while finding a way to focus less on the other tasks.
Here’s a five-step system to working less while achieving more growth in your business.
Step 1: Identify your “20%”.
The Pareto principle (AKA “80/20 principle”) states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. So the first step is to identify those 20% of tasks that drive the 80% of revenue for your business.
Which of the tasks you complete on a daily basis result in the most revenue? It might be making sales calls or meeting with prospects. It might be focusing more of your energy on the 20% of clients who pay you the most money or attracting more clients like them.
In order to identify this 20%, you might have to take stock of your day with a time tracker like Toggl Look through your tracked time and see which tasks are those that truly drove results for your business that week.
Alternatively, you can also download a free productivity template that I’ve created and still use myself to stay focused on my 20%.
Step 2: Eliminate unnecessary tasks.
As business owners, we face constant interruptions like questions from staff, emails, and texts that often does very little in terms of growing your business. How much of this is really necessary?
The truth is, certain tasks do nothing at all for your business except take your attention away from high-value tasks.
Take stock of your daily routine and identify which of these tasks can be completely eliminated from your schedule––tasks which bring no value to your business.
For things like checking emails or your business’s social media pages for new comments or inquiries, instead of jumping to your phone every time a notification comes up, it’s best to block off one or two chunks in a day to complete these tasks or delegate the responsibility to an assistant. This can help you stay focused on the task at hand, so you can become more effective.
If the problem is that your staff or clients seem to ask you the same questions again and again, focus on creating a more effective onboarding system, like recording short videos demonstrating the answers or processes they’re asking about.
You can also have your team create a document with frequently asked questions and answers which will eliminate the time you spend answering these redundant questions.
Step 3: Automate tasks.
There are many tools that you can use to automate redundant tasks, like lead capture and automatic followups with leads and clients.
One example of this would be automatically following up with leads when they submit a contact form or inquiry form on your website.
You want to use an email marketing software that allow you to create a response that is sent automatically to any lead who submits a form on your website. You can use basic email service providers (ESP) like SendGrid, aWeber and MailChimp or you can choose intelligent marketing automation like Active Campaign.
What won me over to Active Campaign is it lets you send follow-up emails that adapts to your customers’ behavior, so you send the perfect message at the perfect time. You’ll have happier customers and higher lead conversions. And it doesn’t require a huge learning curve like some other platforms.
The automatic, immediate response helps to convert more leads into clients (studies show that the more quickly you respond to a lead, the more likely they are to convert)––but it takes care of this process instantly and automatically!
If you’d like to receive a free marketing automation assessment sign up for a 30-minute discovery coaching call with me.
Step 4: Delegate the rest.
Delegation might seem like a scary step to take if you’re a solopreneur, but hiring staff is necessary to scale your business and take your income to the next level. Identify the low-value tasks that keep your business running and cannot be eliminated or automated.
Some examples might be data entry, responding to simple emails, and answering questions that come through your business’s social media pages. Then find a way to outsource these tasks, even if only for 5 to 10 hours per week to start off.
You don’t have to start off with a full-timer. An affordable virtual assistant can help you with certain tasks that will free you up to make a greater impact on the 20% of activities that generates 80% of your business.
Step 5: Observe and adjust.
Going through this process involves a lot of growth, evaluation, and reevaluation. What works and what doesn’t?
For best results, evaluate your business efficiency and revenue four weeks after implementing this system and see where you stand. Making incremental progress each week can add up to transformative change at the end of each quarter and year.
QUESTION: What is your best tip that has helped you work less and achieve more in your business? Share your comments and questions below:
When people ask you, what do you do?, do you have a clear, simple elevator pitch in your back pocket or do you find yourself stumbling on your words?
If the people you’re talking to look confused, it’s time for you to ditch your old thirty second commercial.
When you’re talking about your business you’re introducing your brand to the world. If you say what everyone else does, you sound like a generic brand which can only compete on price.
Here is a simple 4-step formula to help you craft a new elevator pitch that gets your message understood and remembered:
#1. State the problem you solve.
When you lead with a specific problem it immediately grabs the listener’s attention who struggles with that same problem, or knows someone who does. You want to articulate the problem you solve in one sentence.
My Problem Example: A lot of business owners are great at what they do, but not
so great at marketing what they do.
#2. Summarize the solution.
In one sentence introduce the name of your solution (or company name), who you help, and the transformation outcome result.
My Solution Example: My online program, Power Biz Academy helps entrepreneurs attract high end clients just by following our 5-part Client Growth System framework.
In your new elevator pitch you want to limit your communication to one key point of differentiation.
My Differentiation Example: Online programs are notoriously difficult for members to get personalized attention. Our Academy members don’t have to waste countless hours searching and waiting for answers. They’re guaranteed personalized attention every single week on live coaching calls.
If you’re in a 1-1 conversation you want to end with a question, so you can engage them in the topic of your conversation. However, if you’re introducing your elevator pitch to a group of people, like at a networking event, you should pivot to a clear call to action.
My Engage Example: Have you experienced any type of online coaching or training before?
My CTA Example: To test drive the Power Biz Academy for free just go to www.PowerBizAcademy.com
Remember your goal isn’t to share your entire scope of services. It’s simply to get them thinking, Huh, tell me more on one specific service.
It’s also important to note that it is worth spending the time to craft a compelling elevator pitch that clearly communicates your brand.
Just imagine you investing 1 Million Dollars to advertise your 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl. You wouldn’t settle for the first thought you jot down as you rush on to your next thing. So get started now and test out your drafts in the comment box below.
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SHARE your new elevator pitch here
Interesting story I wanted to share with you for your business this week.
My son Thomas and I recently began the college tour process. (Even though I’m not ready to let him go yet!)
The best visit so far was St. Joe’s University because he got to sit down with one of their admissions counselors where they gave him a personal critique of his essay.
This was a pivotal breakthrough for him.
He had been laboring for months now writing and re-writing his college application essay. He was ready to hit send until …
The admissions counselor gently pointed out that although he had a lot of great stories in the essay, they were getting in the way of letting colleges get to know the core message of who he was.
In other words, he needed to stick with one core “marketing” message and get rid of the other stuff that was just getting in the way.
I thought this was a great lesson for marketing your business. So, my challenge to you this week is:
Do you know what’s getting in the way of more customers saying yes to you?
In my experience having helped hundreds of business owners overcome this very challenge, I have found what gets in the way are these seven things:
7 roadblocks that’s making it hard for your ideal customers to do business with you:
1. They haven’t heard of you.
2. They don’t remember you.
3. They don’t get what you do
4. You sound the same as everyone else.
5. They didn’t get to know, like, and trust you.
6. Your offers aren’t appealing enough to them.
7. They lack confidence in making a buying decision.
If you’re struggling in any of these 7 roadblocks or you’re uncertain which ones are getting in your way, I’m offering a complimentary Marketing Roadblock Assessment Discovery Call. Just sign up here:
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QUESTION: Want to know whether you sound the same as your competitors? Write your short elevator pitch below and we’ll share our feedback.
Fill Your Seminars with These 12 Tips
Holding seminars is one of the most effective ways to attract high end clients to your business. Letting your audience spend spend several hours with you in a face-to-face, in person, teaching capacity is the fastest way to build the know-like-trust factor.
The problem is, most business owners and firms just don’t know how to fill live seminars and so, end up missing out on the opportunity to get in front of your most engaged type of prospect.
When I started out as a business coach live seminars was the core method I used to fill my practice with high end clients. In this blog I share tips from myself along with 11 other seminar marketing experts to help you plan a successful live seminar event.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #1. Filling Your Workshop Room Starts With A Great Event Name
Daphne Bousquet says “Your title should contain the promise of a BIG BENEFIT. If your event name is “blah”, your audience will assume that your content is “blah” too. Nobody wants to go to a boring event. Make sure you spice up your event name with a big benefit.”
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #2. Promote A Seminar Series
When I started seminar marketing I found out a lot of people wanted to come to my event, but couldn’t make the date, so then I decided to promote a seminar series.
I didn’t offer the same seminar on 3 dates. Instead, I offered a different piece of the same theme. By doing that I was able to get traction from people who registered for all 3 events up front.
Many ended up bringing friends and colleagues to the second and third leg of the seminar series. Plus, having 3 different seminar titles made it much easier for me to have a good reason to keep inviting the same people to a different seminar title, but same core topic.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #3. Create a Great Agenda
Rob Hard from Business Travel advises that once hosts understand that people enjoy attending events, it is important to create a program that is worth attending. The agenda should be focused on a single theme as to not overwhelm attendees, but should have enough variety to maintain attendees’ interest.
For example, the following sample half day seminar schedule considers the meeting attendees’ needs from food to breaks to presentations:
8:00 a.m. Arrivals and Breakfast
8:45 a.m. Welcome Message
9:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Panel Discussion
11:30 a.m. Closing Remarks
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #4. Choose Your Target Group
Camilla Heidenreich Bommen advises to make sure you invite the right customers when it comes to geography, type, size etc.
Camilla says, “We are privileged as we have a good CRM solution in place, making it easy for ourselves to create dynamic selections that’s always up to date. In short; we define the criteria once, and can reuse or change at will.”
In our CRM solution we can target all the people on our list whose role is in Sales and Marketing and invite just those people to our sales and marketing seminars.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #5. Set a Registration Goal
Lindsay Kolowich said having a goal will inspire you to hit it, and help you measure success. In order for us to break the Guinness World Record for webinar attendees, for example, we knew we had to hit almost 50,000 registrants.
You should track performance on at least a weekly basis to see whether your marketing efforts are moving the needle. That way, if you need to dial up your promotion due to low initial registration numbers, you’ll know what to do to fix it.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #6. Offer Incentives for Early Registrations or Arrivals
Early-bird discounts are a must for priming early registrations for many business-related events says Jeff Kear.
But also consider giving away books, discount coupons or other value-adds to people who sign up early. And extend your early-bird registration at the last minute to give bargain-hunters a second chance.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #7. Call Prospects and Current Clients
Yes, pick up the phone and call prospects and current clients to let them know what you have coming up. Creating a real connection will improve the chances that they actually show up says The Wellness Business Hub.
Emails are great but being able to chat with someone and concisely explain the reason WHY they should attend is a sure fire way to get them to commit. Talking on the phone also opens up the lines of communication and quickly builds trust.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #8. Marketing Partners
Marketing partners are an often overlooked source for boosting event attendance says Mike Schultz and John Doerr. You can, for example, partner with two other firms and pool your resources and mailing lists to increase response and then deliver together. Besides having extra names to market to, your event will have a multi-faceted presenter list which can often increase attendance in and of itself.
You can also co-market the event with a trade association, get the event notice listed in your partner’s e-newsletters, work with a college or university to sponsor the event, or any number of other partner strategies. For example, a network security service firm we know partnered with the FBI to run their seminar on the new security issues facing firms. The event pulled better than anything they had ever done before.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #9. Presenter Bios
Don Cooper of The Sales Heretic says biographical information establishes the credibility of the speakers. Potential attendees don’t really care about a speaker’s bio, but ironically, if it’s not included, they’ll wonder who the heck this person is.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #10. Promise to Solve a Problem for Them.
According to Justin Roff-Marsh, Founder of Ballistix, when it comes to structuring your content, you can’t go too far wrong with the old maxim: tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em; tell ’em; then tell ’em what you’ve told ’em!
Unless you’re a natural comic, I suggest you skip the ubiquitous joke and begin with a promise. Fact is, the best way to get your audience’s attention is to promise to solve a problem for them. (i.e. tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em.)
Once you’ve made this commitment, it’s simply a matter of showing them how they can solve this problem — preferably using the model we discussed earlier. (i.e. tell ’em.) Once you’ve fulfilled your obligation (and exceeded your audience’s expectations) simply summarize your key points and conclude by reminding them that the problem they came with no longer exists! (i.e. tell ’em what you told ’em.)
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #11. Harness the Power of Visuals
Plum Direct Marketing says continuing with the effectiveness of videos to showcase speakers, videos can also be used to market other aspects of your seminar. Videos are easily shareable and rank highly in Inthttps://blog.plumdirectmarketing.com/7-ways-to-boost-seminar-attendance-with-social-mediaernet searches. They are a cost-efficient way to grow anticipation and buzz leading up to an event.
A highlight reel from prior seminars is https://blog.plumdirectmarketing.com/7-ways-to-boost-seminar-attendance-with-social-mediasimple and easy to put together. Seminar registration will surely increase when a video that is pleasing to both the eyes and ears is released to your seminar Facebook and Twitter pages. It creates a rare opportunity to communicate the energy of a live seminar.
Fill Your Live Seminars Tip #12. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up
The money is in the follow up says Daphne Bousquet in her article Improve Your Seminar Attendance With These 6 Simple Tips. Seriously.
It’s important to follow up. According to McGraw Hill, 80% of the sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact, yet only 10% of the people make 3 contacts or more.
You have to keep getting your workshop out in front of your prospective attendee. Did you tell your potential audience about your event more than 5 times? More than 10? That doesn’t mean to barrage them with spammy emails. Mix it up.
In closing, I’d love to hear what you thought of these twelve tips on filling your live seminar. Do you have a great strategy to share that helped you fill your seminars? Share your questions and comments below.
Every business has competition — both directly and indirectly. So, how should you deal with competition in your industry?
This is a hot discussion in many social media groups. Recently, I noticed a thread on Alignable on this very question that garnered over 1,100 comments. Many people joined the bandwagon that you shouldn’t worry about competition and just focus on making your customer happy.
I agree and disagree.
I’ll also throw in some pushback because I don’t believe that’s enough.
In my opinion there are several ways you can and should deal with your competition. As a business owner you need to know how you’re different than your competitors in order for you to communicate that effectively.
Otherwise, your would be customers won’t know what the difference is between picking you or 20 other competitive businesses like yours. And, when that happens, people often make their decisions based on superficial reasons.
So, my advice is:
#1. Learn from your competitors.
Look for new business opportunities as you study your competitors. You can learn a lot about buying trends and buyer behavior by looking at the offerings, pricing, messaging and marketing tactics your competitors are doing.
What can you improve or add to up level your business?
Think about Blockbusters. They apparently did not take this approach to their competition to notice that buying behavior did indeed change. Consumers now preferred having instant access to viewing movies the way that Netflix offered.
If Blockbusters added that to their service offerings they could have still been in the game with Netflix as well as new players on the market like Amazon, YouTube Red and others.
So, what if you’re competing with the big box stores? How can you compete with the “big boys?” This is a big topic, but one tip for this is…
#2. Don’t believe you can’t compete with the big box stores.
You may not do the same volume of business they are able to do nationally, but you can carve out a loyal niche market and still grow a thriving local business.
Find a key area that you can differentiate from the big box stores. There’s more I can say on how you can stand out and differentiate here.
#3. Consider which competitors could actually make great potential joint venture / affiliate partners.
Perhaps your business really excels at one or two lines of service and some other services you offer might be the cause 80% of your headaches. Why not team up with another business you can cross promote as strategic referral partners. That way, you can focus on your low maintenance services and eliminate a lot of unnecessary headaches along the way.
#4. Use your competitors as an asset, not as a liability.
If you find yourself feeling discouraged and defeated by your competition, then they become a liability. But, if you learn how to use your competitors to help you define your WOW factor, then they become an asset to your business.
You want to nail down your one core message that communicates your overall WOW factor, but you can have multiple selling points when it comes to communicating the differences between a specific product or service that you and your competitors offer.
Often the best way to study your competitive options is to become one of their customers. It’s difficult to develop your unique value proposition without knowing exactly what it’s like to do business with some of your competitors, so do your due diligence on studying your competitors from a buyer’s perspective.
Whenever I have done this I often find critical details you just don’t discover simply from reading your competitors’ web pages and marketing materials.
I’ll give you an example of how I applied these same tips in defining the WOW factor for one of my own specific service offerings called Power Biz Academy.
Power Biz Academy is an affordable solution for busy entrepreneurs who wants to focus on attracting more clients, but may not be ready yet for 1-on-1 coaching.
Members receive weekly group coaching with me, (not with a junior associate), plus weekly video training and lots of downloadable templates and cheat sheets to help you implement the key actions that will move the needle in growing your business.
The core WOW factor that I could use to stand out when choosing an online marketing coaching program is this:
Experience Matters. Members receive the added unfair advantage of deeper insights I’m able to offer from my unique background and experience having started, turn keyed and sold 3 other businesses since 1992. It’s hard to get that from facilitator/coach who simply went through a “coach training” program.
As far as the comparing other online business coaching programs, we all offer similar deliverables like:
- Access to on demand video training on sales and marketing strategies
- Making content accessible from mobile and laptop
- Providing downloadable cheat sheets, templates and action plan checklists
- Offering weekly group coaching calls for members to ask questions and get coached.
However, only by studying other competitive solutions from a buyer’s perspective I was able to discover the #1 differentiating selling point that proved to be the key missing ingredient in helping my members achieve their desired transformation.
Want to know what that is?
(drum roll please …..)
When you join a lot of the other competitive options, the group coaching might sound like the same feature, but you’re often on the call with 50, 100, 200+ other people. (Yikes!) … which by the way, I’ve also never read a competitors’ sales page point out this important detail when presenting their online coaching solutions.
Being on a group coaching call with 50+ other people means you’ll be hard pressed to get your turn and attention. You could have a burning question or desperately want to get coached on something, but end up having to wait weeks or months to get your turn. When you’re having a problem in your business however, timeliness matters.
So, when I explain that I limit enrollment in my program to small groups of 6-12 members, people immediately see the value and the massive difference this level of personal attention would make on their business. So now, their decision isn’t based on silly, superficial things like the colors on my website.
Instead, they’re making smart decisions between whether they want a coach who was only “trained” in business vs a coach with 25 yrs of entrepreneur background?
Do they want individualized attention on weekly group coaching calls or do they want to risk never getting coached or their questions answered?
#5. Don’t stress or obsess over your competition.
Although we did talk a lot about how to deal with competition in your industry, you want to do the suggested tactics above without stressing or obsessing over your competition.
Don’t forget you have existing and past customers who already love you and your company. Focus on how you can make your customers even happier.
QUESTION: What’s your opinion on this subject? Share your comments below.