Posts Tagged 'small business'

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 Having great information on an outdated topic isn’t going to produce sales, nor help you leverage your time.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

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Money is Energy, For Better or Worse

Not that long ago I was having some serious money issues. I had moved into a state of serious de-funk. The money wasn’t coming in and all I could do was worry about all of the money that was needed to be paid out. This overwhelming fear is paralyzing and trust me, it sneaks up on you like black cat in the middle of the night. sb10062911g-001

The problem isn’t so much the fear itself which can take your breath away, but mainly what it does to your money flow. You see, the more you worry about where money will come from or how you are going to get it. The less money is going to come to you. I know, it really stinks and it seems unfair, but it’s true. Money is energy.

It took me quite some time to actually know this to the point of living it. When I was having my bad money energy days, I was scared and fearful, but I knew that I had to do something to change it. So I first made a decision to make it through that time period, believed that it would all be okay, and worse case scenario I’d lose my perfect credit. In the end, I didn’t die and no one else was harmed. (That’s always my measure of “we can make it through this”). Once I made that decision I started making other decisions that would bring in money, I even did work I didn’t particularly enjoy just to have the money flowing back in.

Within two short months I had one of the best months I’d had in over three years. Although it wasn’t all from the ways I wanted it to come, it was there. Then I realized that three consecutive months like this made my money energy become really free and a few moments I had to stop and actually notice “hey, I am not worrying about money, and money just keeps coming in.” I have to tell you, it’s a great feeling.

So, if you are in that space of worrying about money. Go out and make some money. I truly believe in this, even if it’s not the way you want to be making money, just do it anyways so you can free up that energy to let abundance flow. green-money-lg

A few months after my money flow began one source of money started to slow down, and I could feel that fearful voice trying to creep back in, but whenever I heard it, I just remind myself that I am trusting that the money is there, and remember the feeling of all of the abundance flowing into me. It’s funny because the money has been shifting now to come from the sources in which I enjoy generating the money from, but it only started happening because I gave myself the time and space to free up the energy needed around my money worries.

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Perceived Value: High Price or Low Price

Since I started loving marketing I always pay attention to random things that make people tick. One of those things is pricing.

There are a few theories on pricing products and services. One is that you price low to get more customers and build your pipeline. The other is price high, work with a select group of people and make more for working less. Either works, it just depends on your own personal style and lifestyle preference.

I’d like to think that I am in the middle, I don’t want to be the most expensive, but I don’t want to be the cheapest either. But that’s also how I like to shop. Think about when you go and buy something.shopping

The other day I went into a store to pick up a basic electronic piece. There were six or seven versions of the same product but in price ranges from nineteen dollars to seventy-nine dollars. I thought this to be a significant price range for what I was looking for, but being the middle shopper that I am, I went with the middle price range. I figured the cheap one was too cheap, and probably wouldn’t be as good as the middle one, and the higher one had too many extras that I didn’t need.

So, who are you? I know some people always go for the most expensive and I know others who always go for the cheapest. Perhaps, you don’t even look at price at all, there are those kinds of people too – they need it so they buy it.

Look at how you shop for things, I can almost guarantee the same will be true for how you work with people who are service oriented. More than likely people will judge you by the same means as well.

It’s important to know where you stand with the price point on the service you offer.

Regardless, price says a lot about you. Think about how you view the cheapest product, or the most expensive one?  I know that I tend to spend more on my jeans than any other piece of clothing, and I don’t have too many jeans but the ones I do have I love and treasure are the ones that I paid more for. Those clothing pieces I truly value, the cheaper ones that I picked up on the fly aren’t kept around as long, and I am not as worried about getting ruined or messed up, but you better believe I am more protective over the higher priced pieces that I own. And, do you think I feel better when wearing those pieces – you better believe it.

Think about it. Have you splurged on a piece of jewelry or clothing?  If so, when you wore that how did that make you feel? The same will be true for your services. If someone is paying you more money for your services than someone else in your industry, do they expect more from you? Probably so, and that expectation alone could have all the difference in their outcome.

Now I am not saying to go out and raise your prices because honestly that’s a bunch of baloney too that everyone who has really high prices tells you to do, what I am saying is to charge what you worth, believe in your value, and you’ll soon find that others will believe in you too.

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Don’t try hard, try easy! (Go from struggle to ease in your business)

This is one of my favorite sayings and I repeat it to myself all of the time. I have Baron Baptiste to thank for yoga-12saying it, and my sister for repeating it over and over again. (Baron Baptiste is a yoga guru in case you’ve never heard of him.)

Don’t try hard, try easy!

When Baron says it, he is reminding us not to struggle in the pose and don’t make it harder by trying more, instead – make it easier. I remind myself of this when practicing yoga, but I often forget about it in my business.

Yesterday, I was running around like a headless chicken and my sister was relaxing on the porch and reading a book. I commented, “I must be doing something wrong.” She laughed at me and replied with “I don’t believe money has to come from working hard.” Gulp. Do I?

I was once again reminded of the saying “Don’t try hard, try easy.”

Sometimes we want to push, force, and really MAKE things happen, but normally that isn’t the best or brightest way to actually get things done. When we try hard, we tend to get in the way, make things difficult, and cause MORE stress for ourselves. easy

So I encourage you to take this saying with you and when working on your business “don’t try hard, try easy.”

Things can be done with ease and effortlessness, we just have to move out of the way, trust process, and take inspired action instead of ego reaction.

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Getting OVER Your Fears of Sharing, I Mean Selling.

I have come to realize that selling is sharing, especially when done in an authentic way. There are many conscious-entrepreneurs, including myself, that find it hard to “sell” their services. It is unfortunate, because as a ConsciousPreneur you have a gift that serves the world through your business. If you don’t share what you are doing, your business won’t be around for long.

When you start shifting your perspective on selling and start seeing it as sharing, you can remove the internal barriers that go hand-in-hand with selling something. It would probably be a good idea to revisit your beliefs on selling, what did you hear as a child, how were sales-people viewed in your home?

Let’s brainstorm all those selling beliefs that may be lingering around in your head stopping you from being an incredible success.  Take a minute and really think about this, some of the things I heard growing up include the following – of course these aren’t to me, but just what I heard or the things I felt.

Sleazy salesmen. salesman

Oh don’t try to sell me anything.

I don’t want to be sold.

Hide, there’s someone at the door trying to sell us something.

Behavior – (Avoiding the salespeople in stores, etc.)

They are always trying to rip people off.

I am sure I am getting shanked (insert your own word here) on this deal.

 

All of these little things that live in our heads can really stop us in our tracks when we begin sharing what we do in our conscious business. Be mindful that these prior beliefs can really deter your success and when given an opportunity to “share” you hear these voices.

Don’t be alarmed, many of us grew up hearing a lot of things just like what’s listed above and much more. The point is, they were not talking about you, and I guarantee if any of these people really did the terrible things our parents said, we wouldn’t want to listen to them, but YOU are a conscious business owner and without sharing what you do, you are literally being selfish and withholding those wonderful gifts that you have to offer the world.

Be of service, share what you do, and watch yourself prosper. You have every right to share your talents, gifts, and skills with the world and when done authentically all you are doing is sharing.

One of my favorite people to follow on this topic is Tessa Stowe, you can check out her upcoming monthly workshop here. This month it is about “Selling Your Value, not your product.”  If you have any reservations about selling yourself, you definitely want to check out the work she is doing.

 

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Writing for Business

There are many reasons why writing can help increase your business and for many it is often a fun and easy way to do marketing. (I included.) I find writing to be one of my easiest forms of marketing, from my weekly ezine, to blog posts, to articles. I even enjoy writing new web copy. Perhaps this is from years on working a computer and now in a final year of a master’s program where I am expected to write a new fifteen page paper every ten weeks a simply blog posting doesn’t seem to daunting. But don’t let my experience scare you aware from it, anyone can make writing a priority. writing-2

No matter what your previous experience, it can greatly benefit your business, especially if you enjoy it and will make it a priority. Once you get in the grove of writing you’ll find you can knock out articles or blog postings pretty quickly. I definitely recommend getting into a writing flow and writing more than one at each sitting. Once you start writing, it will just start flowing.

Here’s a few tips on where to get content for all your future writing endeavors.

1.     Look at questions in your email inbox? What are people asking you to answer?

2.     Write top 10 lists.

3.     Explain “how to” do something related to your niche

4.     Tell stories and share examples

5.     Do a keyword search in google and find out what people are searching for

6.     Keep up with twitter posts, set up an advanced search to alert you to certain key words or conversations

7.     Do comparisons, like two of my previous posts – comparing constructing a building to building a business or how yoga and entrepreneurship go hand in hand.

Those are just a few ways for you to get inspiration on what to write about. Like I said, once you sit down and just start doing it, it really isn’t that hard.

I’d love to know what you are writing about, post your blog or ezine article links in the comments below and share your writing talents with the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there Money in a System?

Have you heard Beth Schneider from Process Prodigy say “The Money is in the System” – huh!? Sure it is. But no, really, I actually started thinking about this and realized wow, I don’t have any systems. So,  I have been taking the time to really figure out what it is that I do, how I do it, and how I can make a system out of it.

A few weeks ago, I created this glam system spreadsheet outlining all my daily, weekly, and monthly activities and I have to say WOW! Maybe Beth is right!? 

I’ve been working my system now for a few weeks and I’ve seen my productislot-machine_2vity DOUBLE and now I am working even more on the RIGHT things instead of scattered from one semi-effective task to the next.

Do you have systems in place? Do you even know what systems are needed to run your business like a well-oiled-machine? I didn’t either, but don’t worry, it isn’t as hard as you think and taking the time to figure it out may just be the answer you’ve been searching for. A system can SAVE you time and MONEY, along with increasing your revenue and productivity. I mean how much better can it get?

I have to say, when Beth now says “The Money is in the System” – by golly I think she’s right!