In my prior two posts, I mentioned the #1 worst marketing mistake ~ not providing your contact information in every type of communication you have with people, so that it is easy for them to get in touch with you.
That way, you don’t miss out on potential clients, customers, referrals or joint ventures.
About 3 years ago I thought I found my business guru, the person who was going to help me turn all my gifts and talents into the “6 figure business” I desired, while only working a few hours a day. She had a system. All I had to do was believe in myself enough to pay her money and follow her advice. If I believed and followed well enough, I too could have a beach house, a Tesla, and all the vacation time I wanted.
A question that I’m frequently asked is “How do you learn all this stuff?” That’s an easy answer. I read constantly.
So today I’m going to share with you the just some of the authors that are stacked up on my desk, my bedside table, and in my computer bag; I’m going to let you in on “what I’m into” right now!
Life. There is so much that we could be doing. My friend, mentor, and co-author Dr. Mary Kay Stenger says that we are human beings, but we turn ourselves into human doings. And much of the doing is driven by the “shoulds” we shovel onto ourselves and accept from others.
There’s no such thing as standing still anymore. The world is changing fast. Reinvention never stops. Updating your personal brand and your expert platform never ends.
You are never too old to reinvent yourself. One of the people who made a huge impact on my life was my high school history teacher, Mr. G. He wasn’t the average teacher. He had attended—and dropped out of—that same high school when he was a teenager. He enlisted in the army and retired with the rank of colonel. Then he took the GI benefits and went to college to become a teacher. And just like that old Welcome Back Kotter TV show, Mr. G. came back to the same school where he’d been a drop-out to teach and inspire a new generation.
Of all the public speaking opportunities available to us, the one that many people feel most uncomfortable with is networking.
This discomfort can occur at official networking events, in casual conversations that happen during breaks at conferences and meetings, and even in social conversations.
Presentations and speeches are prepared in advance. Sales calls are often scripted; but networking requires seat-of-the-pants flexibility and a go-with-the-flow mentality to be successful.
For nearly 13 years I had a job that I could not leave. The work was satisfying. I was recognized for my effort. But the pay wasn’t great. In fact, the organization was struggling, and in the last half-dozen or so years of my employment there, my salary decreased each year. Every employee would work harder than the year before as we’d try to keep the doors open, and each year we’d receive word that we’d have to take a furlough week or two—essentially an unpaid vacation. The promised retirement account sat unfunded. Emails would circulate at year-end stating how the leadership team had taken pay cuts and letting us know that health insurance contribution would increase, and there’d be no raises. And yet almost no one left.
How do you prove your Fresh Start Success is the real deal? Consistency. Show us day-in and day-out that you’re who you say you are and that you’re making steady progress on your Fresh Start Success goals.
That’s why it’s so important to be consistent, both in how frequently you post on social media and in what you say. Let me break those two ideas down because they’re related and important.
No one likes to be stood up for an appointment. That’s what it feels like when someone who is interested in learning more about you, going deeper into your content, or connecting with you personally, goes to your Facebook page or your blog and finds out you haven’t been there in months. They made the effort to show up—and you’ve got to show up, too.
Start to live your Fresh Start Success in public. Go to networking events in your field and introduce yourself with your new specialty (and your new business card). Join the professional associations and business groups for your type of business. It will feel strange at first, especially if you spent many years in your former role and your old position was a big part of your personal identity. But as you slip into this new person you’re becoming, repetition will make it easier to represent your new self to others (and see yourself in a new light).
Make sure your online persona matches your reinvention. Do you have a website for your new business? How does it represent you and what you offer? Have you updated your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles to accurately reflect who you are now and what you’re doing?
It has long been my contention that everything is based on relationship.
On a personal level, we prefer to spend time with those whom we like (or love).
On a professional level, we prefer to be in business, and do business, with people we know, like and trust. In fact, those three words, know, like and trust, are so vital to building strong business relationships that they have become a cliche in the marketing world.
So how do you create the relationships that result in know, like and trust?
So you’ve picked your destination. Great! Now, it’s time to shift people’s perception of who they think you are. That’s important, because if they don’t know you’ve made a change or can’t see you in a different light, they can’t help you succeed.
There’s a reason for stereotypes and pigeon-holes. They are ways our brains create a filing system and know where to put people in our mental map of the me-centered universe. ‘Bob the accountant’, ‘Jane the teacher’, ‘Bill the dentist’, ‘Anna the engineer’—these are all short, easy ways we keep straight all the hundreds of people we meet and know. Stereotypes come in when we create a one-size-fits-all description of what someone who is in a certain job or profession is like. ‘Accountants are risk-averse and detailed-oriented’ or ‘IT people like to solve problems and are introverts’—you probably could fill a page with your own version of professional stereotypes if you gave it some thought.
Have you ever considered how the people you know have already pigeon-holed and stereotyped you?
I had coffee with an acquaintance who also is a therapist. She was sharing how she sees more and more clients who are stuck in their work and how their inability to leave causes them to go into survival mode, resentfully counting the days until retirement. This stress of feeling stuck professionally wreaks havoc in many other areas of their lives, including physical and emotional well being and the ability to foster and maintain fulfilling relationships. Living in survival mode causes them to come up with strategies to cope, many of which may be considered passive aggressive or manipulative.
So there you are at a networking event or in a social situation, and someone asks you that dreaded question, So what do you do?
Maybe you are past the point of dreading that question (which is another subject altogether), and you can handle the answer with confidence and ease.
Whatever your answer may be, what’s the next best way to follow up on your answer? It is not to ask for a sale!
Realize that ‘marketing’ is actually a different way of saying ‘communication’. When we say ‘marketing’, we’re covering a wide range of activities that can include: social media, newsletters, in-person conversations, networking (in-person or online), speaking to groups, direct mail, traditional advertising, public relations, video, and more.
What’s essential is that you find a way to do two very important things: Redefine yourself to the world; and Create a personal brand to stand out and be remembered. Creating a personal brand will take you a long way toward getting colleagues, customers and the media to see you in a new light.
So how do you do it? Glad you asked!
Every time we tell an audience that “change is uncomfortable,” Gail thinks of the parakeet her friend Lorraine used to own. Lorraine’s parakeet was very tame. She would let it out of its cage, and it could fly around the house. One day, the parakeet landed on the floor in the middle of the kitchen. Lorraine’s springer spaniel swallowed the bird in one gulp.
In the next instant, Lorraine’s teenage son dove across the kitchen and tackled the dog, giving it the Heimlich Maneuver. Up came the parakeet—alive and unhurt—but looking rather bedraggled and confused.
Recently one of my newer clients asked me for advice on how to stay calm at an up-coming event, when she had to sit through another person’s talk before giving her own business presentation.
Since she already struggles with nerves and a shaky voice even when she doesn’t have to wait to speak, she was really worried about whether or not she could even give her presentation under those circumstances.
“Christine” (2016). Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia, J. Smith-Cameron, Timothy Simons, Kim Shaw, John Cullum, Morgan Spector, Jayson Warner Smith, Kimberley Drummond, Lindsay Ayliffe, Ritchie Montgomery. Director: Antonio Campos. Screenplay: Craig Shilowich. Web site. Trailer.
Staying on top of things when we’re under constant pressure to perform can be challenging enough, even under the best of circumstances. But, when we add to that issues of unresolved ambition, the pursuit of integrity, personal problems and health concerns, we might easily be pushed over the brink. Such is the case for a troubled television reporter seeking to do worthwhile work and make a name for herself in the disturbing new biographical drama, “Christine.”
Join BEN CEO and Mentor Lewis Schiff at this free, online training: How to Build a 7, 8 or 9 Figure Business Around Your Personal Strengths While Doing LESS Work Than You Do Now.
Jim Masters of CUTV News recently interviewed me. Among the many questions he threw my way, he wanted to know what drives me to do what I do.
It is really very simple.
I am passionately committed to helping people unleash their unique and authentic voice and gain confidence and ease in speaking in public, so that they can realize their full potential and live a rewarding life full of true meaning.
I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me that she had lunch with several women in their late 50s and early 60s who were discussing their “Dream Jobs.” I couldn’t believe it. Most women would be planning for retirement, but instead, these ladies were dreaming about their perfect job.
Why the mindset shift? I believe it’s because many women have spent their lives living someone else’s dream. By midlife, the kids have probably left home and the spouse may be approaching retirement and looking to slow down. Many women are finding this to be the ideal time to explore, reinvent, and try something totally new.
Are you sometimes hesitant to open your mouth, even though it is something you really want to say?
Are there too many opportunities you have missed as a result?
I am totally dedicated to helping you to gain confidence in speaking to others, so that you can reach your full potential and be able to freely share your gifts with the world.
In the bad old days of the former Soviet Union, that government periodically announced, with great fanfare, a new Five Year Plan that was to result in what it called A Great Leap Forward. The idea was to shore up (yet again) the faltering Soviet economy, usually through a variety of repressive and draconian measures that always fell far short of the stated goals of the plan.
Fortunately there is another type of Great Leap Forward. It can occur after a period of gestation, of persistent preparation and work behind the scenes that enables a break-out event or series of events to burst into public view.