Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Create Your Own Information Products to Leverage Your Time & Reach More People

When I first got into the world of coaching I was amazed at the number of products that others had created and what an incredible tool it was to reach more people and leverage your time. Personally, I’ve invested thousands, and I mean thousands in information products. (I have a whole cabinet full!) They are great resources to have and I go back to these over and over again to continue learning from them. I find that I’m always in a different place and learn something new no matter how many times I’ve heard it. I’m always investing in new information products and rotating through the old ones in my car.

Information products contain a lot of valuable information and generally they are less expensive than working with the coach or individual one-on-one. For the consumer it’s a great value, and for the producer it’s a great use of time and energy.

Creating your own information products should be relatively simple. All you really need is good content, an audio recording device (or video), and a fulfillment house to take care of shipping the orders out to your clients.

The problem I see is that many people turn this into a complicated process. They go back and forth on what type of information they want to share, or if they even have enough information to share. Ironically I used to think I couldn’t talk for an hour, now I could go on and on. Each of us has unlimited knowledge within us and could quickly produce a product of the top tips in your industry.

The key to producing a successful information product is to create products around topics that people want and are interested in. Having great information on an outdated topic isn’t going to produce sales, nor help you leverage your time. If needed, choose five topics and poll your network on what they’d like to see next from you.

Whatever you do, don’t delay taking advantage of this type of leverage in your business. Information products are a great way to share your expertise, help you reach more people, and get you working less while still serving more people.

To find out about the products I have created visit www.andreacostantine.com/products

Simple Tips for Increasing Your Blog Readership

First of all, the best kept blog in your industry isn’t going to serve you very well. The majority of time I see people make a few common mistakes with their blog. First, they don’t let people know about it – it’s hidden on their website, not connected to their site, or they just plan don’t mention it. Second, they don’t have an RSS reader and third, they aren’t consistent.

Here are a few simple tips on increasing your blog readership:

1.  Post your blog everywhere! Add your blog to blog directories, have it feed into Networked Blogs in Facebook, add it to your Linked In profile, put a link to it in your signature line in your email.

2. Drive traffic there with each new posts. Every time you post you should post about it on your different social networks and drive traffic back to it.

3. Add an RSS reader to your site and make it VERY visible and easy for people to subscribe to your blog – that way they get notified every time you have a new posting.

4. Grab traffic by posting on other people’s blogs with interesting comments.

5. Create a blogging circle with a few other colleagues that blog and comment on their posts and “Digg or Stumble Upon” it to get outside traffic. (These sites let you rate the posts)

6. Post interesting content on a regular and consistent basis. Whether once a week or every day, the key is consistency.

7. Engage your readers, ask your readers to comment on your blog and participate in the conversation.

8. Poll your readers and write content based on their questions.

9. Propose to be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog.

A blogging expert I highly recommend is Michelle Salater and her team at Written By Sumer www.writtenbysumer.com


Friday Featured Client Spotlight – Susan Hyatt, Business Giving Strategies

There are some people who you meet and you know instantly that they are the expert in their industry and there would be no other choice but them, Susan Hyatt is one of those people.

An expert in understanding effective strategies of linking businesses and non-profits together in a way that  brings massive results to both sides, Susan has years of experience working with non-profits to help them strategize.

“Susan specializes in community involvement audits, strategic planning to integrate community and business goals, and designing unique all-win community involvement initiatives. She loves clients who are motivated by the business value created by social responsibility and are committed to Doing Good AND Doing Well.”

I’ve seen firsthand the incredible expertise that Susan brings to her clients, with creative and outside the box thinking, she helps her clients move away from the typical “turkey dinner” fundraisers and into a new way of co-creating with their business partners.

She helps both the non-profits and corporations to find ways that will benefit their business and bring a greater good to all.  I never met an individual so skilled, experienced, and passionate about their work in this industry before – she’s a unique and dynamic individual who with one single conversation could change the way you think about giving of your time, money, energy and resources.

Typical clients include both corporations and non-profits, be sure to check out Susan’s website at www.businessgivingstrategies.com and register to receive her free report “Great Gifts That Make a Difference”

How much marketing is too much? When do you become annoying?

Well, that depends and there’s a few things you should consider. Statistics show that people need to hear a message anywhere from 9 to 29 times before they actually make a decision and decide to move forward. So, when marketing a particular product, service, or program has your target market seen your message that many times? Generally they don’t.

Ironically, since we are doing the marketing we feel that we are being annoying and sharing it too much, sending out too many emails, and overdoing it but in all honesty we are all busy with our lives and we don’t actually see or hear every message that comes across. Think about this, do you read every email in every detail that you get? Probably not.

I’ve had good friends who were marketing a product or program and I didn’t even know, I somehow missed their messages, invites, and updates about it. Why? Because I’m not always looking and something really has to grab my attention before I pay attention, plus, we are busy we may actually see it but within a matter of seconds we forget. This isn’t intentional or saying what you are offering isn’t important, it’s more that we just have too many things going on in that brain of ours.

There is a point when it’s too much, usually it’s too much from someone who you’d probably never do business with or don’t need what they offer. But when someone we really like and has a service that we are interested in, it’s generally not annoying. I find that when people get annoyed they probably never would have done business with you anyway.

More often than not people are marketing too little and not too much. I rarely find that someone is overdoing it in their marketing, trust me I could probably tell you to double what you are doing and you still wouldn’t be annoying to your loyal and true fans that are just waiting for you to offer something juicy and delicious so they can sign up for it, but then again you’ve got to get it in front of their radar.

Be DIFFERENT. Stop following the mold.

There’s only one way to stand out in a crowded marketplace and that’s to be different.

It’s a dangerous path to think that following or modeling what other people are doing and using it as your own will help you stand out. While I do agree and recommend that you should see the current trends, what’s working and is effective and integrate it into your business – however, I do advise that whatever you do, that you do it in such a way that it really helps you stand out from the crowd!

Fitting in and following the status quo won’t make the big splash that you need to really create a buzz. To be remarkable you’ve got to do things a little different and I don’t mean you need to be grandiose, I simply mean that you just add more YOU into your business.
Each and every one of you is remarkable in your own unique way, are you letting that shine through? I find that many people hold back and withhold themselves and for fear of rejection or some other scenario that they don’t really let people know how remarkable they are! Don’t let this happen to you.

Be the best that you can be, and let it show! Remark-ability goes a long-long way. I believe there is no faster way to grow your business than to truly over-deliver, provide exceptional service, and gain a following of RAVING FANS!

If you are wondering how to do all of this, start with stepping up your service. Implement some systems so when someone comes into your pipeline that you immediately follow a remarkable service plan! And if you really need help, stay tuned as I’ve been working on a BIG project that’s sure to knock your sox off…more to come in February! J

Marketing on a Tight Budget (Or without one at all)

If you’ve wondered how to effectively market your business when you don’t have a tight budget, or maybe even no budget at all – do not fear. There are plenty of ways to market your businesses without paying a dollar. And there are plenty more ways that will just cost a couple of dollars!                                                                                         

Now, where to focus your low-marketing budget efforts when this is the case. Well, you’ll hate this answer but it’s entirely up to you. Whenever you have a low budget or a low amount of time, you’ll need to assess where you are the most effective and what works for you and your business. If you don’t know what’s effective you won’t know where to spend your time. (If you need more help with this part of the process, I highly recommend my downloadable workshop, Design Your Effective, Step-by Step Marketing Plan – http://www.andreacostantine.com/marketplan ) When you do know what’s effective, then here is where you need to focus your efforts.

Just to name a few free ways of marketing – there is social networking, blogs, forums and online communities, writing articles for online publications such as ezinearticles.com, speaking at local groups or networking events, joint ventures, press releases and other pr strategies, and remark-ability marketing or what I can sensational service and word of mouth.

A few of the low costs marketing strategies include electronic newsletters, networking (some of these are free too), leads or referral groups, business cards, brochures, flyers, free introductory events, and ads in smaller localized publications.

The strategies are endless, I suggest you pick a few to start off with and then tweak as you go along and figure out what works for you. If you’d like to know more on this exact topic and you live in Denver, check out this VERY low cost marketing workshop I’m doing with Conscious360 University. http://conscious360.com/content/c360u

I’d also love to hear what strategies you are implementing that are free or low cost and that are working for you!

Social Networking Tips & Strategies for the Entrepreneur

When I recently surveyed my subscribers I was flooded with questions regarding social media, everything from how to make it effective, how much time to spend on it, and tips to automate. Here are a few tips and strategies that will help you your social media marketing efforts become more effective.

Can I link my Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In account? Yes, you can! You can link all of these accounts together, there are a few ways to do this. One of the easiest (and it’s also free too!) is www.hootsuite.com – it’s very easy to add all of your networks and then post in one place. This allows you to schedule and automate your status updates. The second free option is www.tweetdeck.com another tool I use daily. This doesn’t allow you to schedule your posts but you can see what’s happening in Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In all at the same time.

How often should you promote your upcoming events on social media and where? Personally, I post my events to all of the sites that I use: Facebook, Linked In, and Meetup. I also put them on my website. I generally start promoting them (lowers cost events) about a month in advance and remind people weekly at first, and then as we get closer to the event every couple of days, and finally every day for the last few days leading up to it.

What is a post of value on social networking sites? I encourage clients to use the 80/20 rule. 80% sharing information, resources, and inspirational messages or personal content and 20% marketing your services and your offers. What’s of value? Well, that’s for you to decide. The #1 rule is to keep your content related to your target market. Don’t try to talk to everyone, instead focus on the key people and share what they’d be most interested in. Me for example, I wouldn’t post information on being an employee, getting a job, or interviews because it’s not my target (soul) market.

How do I put together an effective social media strategy?  First, you need to know who you are marketing to – who is your target market? Too general of a target market makes for tough social media marketing. Second, create a plan and stick to it. Consistency is key here. Commit to 20 or 30 minutes a day and instead of just window shopping join in the conversation and engage your contacts.

How do I offer products and services in social media without sounding like an ad?  Well, if you follow the 80/20 rule above and you aren’t selling all the time, it’s okay to offer your services. A few tips though, in Facebook don’t sell to someone in your friend invite and don’t immediately sell to someone who you just friended.  In twitter, don’t use an auto DM to sell to new followers.

Evaluating social media – is it working? Here’s the thing, social media works – however, I don’t believe it’s an overnight cure to your marketing problems. It won’t bring you a flood of new customers overnight and it won’t fill your pipeline in 30 days. The key is consistency, it took me about 7-8 months of consistent social media marketing to start seeing a return on my investment. You have to build trust, and sometimes it takes a little longer in social media. Now that people know, like and trust me I have an easier time being successful in my social media marketing, but I caution – this isn’t an overnight fix. Give it time, it’ll work if done effectively!

I’d love to know what other questions you or what comments you want to share about these tips. And if you like this post, don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed.