Archive for the ‘Content Creation’ Category

7 Steps to Moving from Idea to Action

When I first started my own business, I was excited!
I had spent 15 years in corporate America and had “escaped”.
I was still sane, not all my hair had turned grey, and now I
had the chance to pursue my dream to be a professional coach,
and help people realize their own dreams.

Business started out better than I had expected. I was making
great contacts, connecting with people, getting clients, and business
was growing fast! With all the momentum and excitement of a
growing business, I started coming up with many great ideas on
products I could develop, workshops I could teach, and articles
I could write. Daily and weekly the ideas would come fast and
furious, and they were brilliant! I would literally feel overwhelmed
with excitement of ALL the things I could do!

But as the days and weeks went by, I noticed that the ideas were
coming, but the action was NOT. It was exciting, but then I realized
that this flood of brilliance was actually paralyzing me. How could
so many ideas containing so much opportunity be paralyzing me?

The ideas were so creative and forthcoming, but I couldn’t decide what
to do first, nor focus long enough to develop and implement a plan.
I started to feel scattered and was becoming less productive.

It wasn’t until I explored this further that I realized this is a
common phenomenon with new entrepreneurs. It’s a phenomenon I
call “Idea Overload.” The bottom line is, while our never ending
well of ideas could be an incredible asset, many entrepreneurs end up wasting so much time in the idea generation phase, they never end up getting anything done. Soon they are falling further and further behind.

To help get control of my “Idea Overload,” and use my ideas to grow my business, I developed 7 Steps of Moving From Idea to Action. They are:

  1. Keep an idea journal – Get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. This will free up your mind to receive new ideas and allow you to focus on the ones that are most important. It will also take away the fear you may forget those ideas because now they are documented for when you are ready to pursue them.
  2. Accept that you DO NOT have to act on all your ideas NOW – You will then be able to release the stress of that urgent feeling to act immediately because you KNOW your ideas will be there when you are ready.
  3. Get clear on your “what” and “why” - You have to be clear on what you want in your business and why. This will open your mind to bring new ideas that tie to these goals. When you can tie your ideas to your bigger goals, you can focus in on what you should pursue.
  4. Prioritize – Choose one or two ideas that best align with your “what and why” and stick with them. Don’t panic! Your other ideas are still there and you can pursue them once you have accomplished the others first.
  5. Make a plan and GET TO IT - Don’t wait for your plan to be perfect to take action. In fact DON’T ALLOW for it to be perfect before you start. It’s going to change anyway! Yes, it’s important to have some idea of where you are going, but only to act as a guide. If you wait for it to be perfect, you will be stalled in the planning phase and won’t move into the action phase. This is the key! Get to it RIGHT AWAY! The longer you wait, the less likely you will act!

  6. Schedule time in your calendar and do something everyday – Commit to doing something toward your ideas everyday. It is imperative to put it in your calendar, in INK, and treat it as a high priority item.
  7. Expect obstacles and DON’T GIVE UP – We all know that anything worth having is going to have its challenges. Challenges, however, can be the killer of action. When we hit a road block, the frustration and additional effort to overcome the road block could be the one thing that stalls us. Resolve to expect challenges, meet them as they come, and don’t give up.

These 7 steps will shatter your “Idea Overload” and take you from inaction to action. Make up your mind to do something with your brilliant ideas!

When you act upon your ideas, you’ll gain confidence, inner security, self reliance, and a willingness to take action again when future occasions arise. When “Idea Overload” overcomes you and you don’t act, you lose confidence and will be less inclined to take future risks when opportunities arise. Activity feeds one, inactivity feeds the other.

NOW is the magic word of success. Resolve to go out and do something with your ideas TODAY.

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How to Create Valuable Content in 30 Minutes or Less

For some people content creation is a welcomed task.
For others it creates panic and doubt.

But in our business, content is a necessity.

You will not be able to build your business
to the level you desire without your ability to
deliver free and paid tips, strategies, how to’s,
and other resources to address your target
market’s needs.

This is non-negotiable.

Content is used for four primary purposes:
- to grow your list
- to nurture relationships
- to convert prospects to paying clients
- to generate income through the delivery of your
products, programs and services.

You will want to have an abundance of content
that you can deliver in various forms
(written, audio, video) to serve these four purposes.

If you struggle with content creation,here are
a few simple strategies to EASILY create tips,
tricks, strategies and how to’s for your
prospects and clients.

1. Start small.
To build your “content creation muscle”,
write something as simple as a “tip” -
a 150-350 word ‘mini article’ that offers
value in the form of strategies, resources,
tips and how to’s that adress your target
market’s needs, interests and wants.
Tips can also be thought provoking
and inspirational.

2. Think of a question that your ideal client
would ask you about their biggest problems
and answer that question.

3. Think of one particular person who is a client
or prospect and write as though you are talking
to them.

4. Answer in a conversational tone.
Write the way you speak. If this is a struggle
for you, try recording your answer and then
transcribe it.

5. Keep it tight. The problem usually isn’t that
we don’t have enough to say, it usually is that
we have too much to say.
Once we get on a roll, the information
keeps coming and coming. We do not
know where to stop. We end up with
too much information and get confused
about what to keep in, and what to
put in another ‘tip’.

Before you write your tip,
think of one, two or three points to share
to answer the question. Then make only
one or two comments about those points.
This is will allow you to keep your tip focused
and tight, and keep you from running away
with too much content.

Following these few simple strategies will help you
to build your “content creation muscle” so
creating new content becomes an easy task.

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10 Epic Content Ideas

It’s true – we are living in the age of content marketing.

This content marketing age has created a plethora of articles all over the web. More businesses get involved every day and this is making the online world a noisy and crowded place. A recent estimate states that 86 percent of business-to-business companies use content marketing.

The competition for attention out there is huge. In order to stand out, you have to make yourself heard and this means going big or going home. Posting blog posts here and there is not enough. You have to get out there with unique and outstanding content that sparks conversation.

In other words, it’s time to go epic.

Below are 10 monumental content ideas to implement for your business. Use them effectively and you will get noticed and display a voice that will garner the attention of your target niche.

1. Write in-depth, well-researched blog posts.

In this crowded internet culture, your blog posts really need to stand out. The best way to achieve this is to research well and write your posts to be as in-depth as possible.

2. Create a sizeable list of tools and tips for your industry.

Lists are very popular. People love them. And they really love them if they provide valuable information that applies to their daily lives. This is why creating a list of tools is a huge content idea.

Brainstorm some topics to create this list of tools and tips to use in your own campaigns.

3. Conduct your own original research and get published.

People create great content using the research that others conducted. But think about the kind of content you could create if you published your own research. You would attract readers, plus you could link your website to a ton of blogs in your industry.

4. Experts make great partners and help create a strong resource.

There are two essential benefits to creating content with an expert partner.  It’s an opportunity to develop an associate relationship with a key influencer and it gives you access to their network for promotions, launches, etc.

When considering the type of content, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t really matter. It could be an exclusive interview or an hour-long webinar. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s epic.

5. Produce a video series.

Video series are really taking off in the online world. People are watching videos online at an impressive rate. This is an excellent time for a business to invest in this area. Video apps and social media have made producing and sharing videos easier than ever so it’s an excellent time for you to use this medium to your advantage.

6. Conduct interviews with experts in your industry.

This is a great idea for several reasons:

  • It allows you to connect with various of experts in your niche.
  • By contributing, these experts are more immediately aware of your brand.
  • By contributing to your content, it’s more likely that they will share it with their audiences.

Research about 10 to 15 experts in your industry and then request an interview with them on a specific topic. Use the same topic for each interview. When you’ve completed conducting of the interviews, put them together into a compilation content piece.

7. Publish and share an eZine with your audience.

The old tactic of a magazine made new in an online format. A new spin on an old device, updated for the online world, could be an effective move in your business.

8. Make Slideshare presentations with your blogs.

This type of content re-purposing can require some effort, but if done right, it could lead to major rewards for your business.

Ann Hoffman used Slideshare to gain 243,000 views on her blog in 30 days. A great example of how using other formats to publish content can bring effective and successful results for your business.

9. Make a book from your blogs.

By publishing a book, you can immediately increase your authority in the industry.

Have you spent large amounts of time on blogging? If you answered yes, then you probably have enough content for a book draft. Put together related blog posts into a book and then self-publish.

10. Post new, engaging content every day.

Sometimes to really get attention, it’s not so much what you’re delivering, but how you’re delivering it. If you are thinking that you have done everything in your power to publish incredible content, then maybe you should try to increase your content through quantity. Just be sure that the quality is still on par.

Prodigious content can have a massive impact on the success of your business. If done effectively, it will bring traffic, increase awareness of your brand and help you gain new customers.

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A Critical Success Metric for Your Business

How do you measure the success of your business? What metrics do you look at when determining if you are on track toward your goals? Do you look at time spent on marketing or other business activities, time spent with clients or potential clients, conversion rates, expenses and of course, income? Thinking about my own business metrics got me thinking about another metric to include. That metric is how much we give.

I believe that how much we give is in direct proportion to how successful we will be. This doesn’t mean we foolishly give away all of our time or goods. We should be prudent and plan our giving strategy just like we plan our other business strategies.

Have you ever heard a successful business person say they gave away too much? The laws of success and the laws of the universe reward giving, and therefore I affirm giving as a powerful business strategy.

Giving provides us with the following:

· It allows us to gain the attention of those we want to serve.

· It allows our potential clients to get to know us, and become more familiar with our offerings.

· It develops a favorable impression in our prospects’ and clients’ eyes.

· It allows us to develop solid relationships over time.

· It allows us to get to know what our potential and existing clients need.

· It tangibly shows we have the knowledge, expertise, PRODUCTS and SERVICES to meet their needs.

I strongly believe in the principle of GIVE, GIVE, GIVE. Smartly and strategically.

When we give, we serve.
When we serve, we are rewarded – financially and intrinsically.

Do you have a giving strategy? What do you give and when?

I suggest planning your own giving strategy and watch what happens. Consistently give value to your prospects and clients through articles, special reports, audio programs, video clips, telecalls, webinars, workshops and qualified complimentary consultations.

Plan in advance, perhaps for the entire calendar year, to give something of value to your prospects and clients once or twice per month and watch your business grow.

Sure, there’s buzz in the industry about “giving it all away”. But honestly, can you really “give it all away” in a 500-word article, a one-hour teleclass, or even a three-hour workshop? Or instead, will you simply be educating, compelling and drawing people to you, and converting more prospects to clients?

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Marketing Strategy: Be a Thought-Leader

Trust is the #1 question on the mind of any prospective client.

In order for someone to purchase your products or services, a prospective client must first feel that they can trust you. Waiting until we’re talking about the sale is a big disservice to ourselves and our prospects. A good way to build this trust is to set yourself up as a thought-leader.

Being a thought-leader is providing valuable information, fresh ideas, new perspective, or solutions to ongoing problems. The key is to get inside the heads of your best customers and prospects so you can find out what you need to know. If you learn what issues they are struggling with, you will be able to design the content that will be the most help to them.

Thought leadership in marketing is a way to build trust and show that you’re a valuable resource to your prospective clients before they actually require your services. As a thought-leader, or expert, your prospective market will turn to you for the information and guidance they seek.

Knowing your target market is essential to succeeding as a thought-leader. Key questions to ask yourself: What do they want and/or need to learn? Where do they go for information? How can you become their go-to source?

As a thought-leader, your content will be the answer to their problems. The emphasis should be on sharing your know how without ever mentioning your company or products. Regularly adding value will set you up to be the expert your prospects will seek when a sales opportunity arises. The best tactics for sharing this value-added content are the following:

-Blogs
-White Papers
-E-books
-E-zines
-E-newsletters
-Infographics
-Facebook
-Linkedin
-Twitter
-Webinars/Seminars
-Research and Survey Reports
-Podcasts and YouTube Videos
-Charts and Graphs
-Wiki’s, Forums, and Groups

Positioning yourself as a thought-leader is a powerful marketing strategy. Become a known expert for the beneficial information you provide to your market.

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Quick Tips on How to Create a Compelling Special Offer to Grow Your List

Creating a special offer can be a big task, and can overwhelm and paralyze people.  And yet this is a very critical element to your business. In fact, you MUST have a special offer (numerous ones) to attract your prospects to you and grow your list.

I remember my first special offer took me approximately 35 hours to create.  I toiled, tweaked and labored over that thing because I was doing it on my own with no support or guidance.
I’m happy to say that now I have about 10 special offers that didn’t take me 35 hours to create. And you can too.
So that you don’t have to toil next time you create your special offer, here are 10 tips to make it easier:
  1. Have a compelling title – This is what gets people’s attention.  It can be the best special offer ever and get overlooked because it does not attract your market’s attention. Make your title be about avoiding a BIG pain or seeking a GREAT benefit.
  2. Have an attractive cover – Even though we are not supposed to, yes, we do judge a book (or special offer), by its cover.
  3. Give plenty of value – You would think this goes without saying, but the LAST THING you want to do is leave your reader feeling cheated – even if your offer was free.  You don’t have to give away all your secrets, but make your reader feel satisfied with the information they have received.
  4. Be conversational – Be personal and conversational so the reader feels you are talking to them and that they are getting to know you.
  5. Create aesthetic appeal – Take the time to add white space, photos, quotes and other elements to add aesthetic appeal to your report.
  6. Grab their attention – Make sure your opening pulls the reader in right away by addressing the problem and letting them know what solution you will be providing in your report.
  7. Structure your report – First addresses the problem of your reader and the ramifications of that problem. Then address the solution and the benefits of that solution.  Be sure to make mention throughout of how your products, programs and services provide the solution they need.
  8. Have a call to action – What steps do you want the reader to take next?  Contact you for a consultation?  Download another free offer?  Invest in a program?  Be sure to tell them what you want them to do next.
  9. About the Author – You can put this at the beginning or the end, but let people know more about you. Be sure to make the connection back to them and their needs.
  10. Consider putting your special offer in different mediums – Consider putting your special offer in audio or video form to add variety.
I hope these tips make your next special offer easy to create. If you like this information, you can get 52 more tips like this here www.TakeOneStepForwardToSuccess.com

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A Quick Tip on Easy Content Creation

We’ve all heard it said that ‘Content is King.’ It’s true, especially in our business.

The more our business is ‘relationship based’, the more our prospects and clients will need to get to know us before they will do business with us.

So how do we do allow our prospects the opportunity to get to know use before they buy our products and services?

By providing tips, tricks, strategies and resources in the form of ‘education-based communications.’ By speaking to them about their greatest needs, interests, and wants,we develop relationships that lead them to become our clients.

Content creation can be a real struggle for some people, but it doesn’t have to be for you. In the past I’ve suggested that you start building your content creation muscle by writing “tips.”

A tip can be as short as a 150-350 word ‘mini article’ that offers value in the form of strategies, resources, tips and how to’s that adress your target market’s needs, interests and wants. Tips can also be thought provoking and inspirational.

Tips are welcomed in your prospects’ and clients’ email boxes because they are quick and easy to read and provide value. And getting into the habit of writing success tips will make your other writing projects easier.

Here’s a simple way to format your tip:

Open by addressing the problem.  Say that you have 1, 2, or 3 tips, tricks, strategies to address the problem (mention the problem) and provide a solution (mention the solution).

  • propose solution/thought/perspective #1
  • share one comment on that solution/thought/perspective
  • propose solution/thought/perspective #2
  • share one comment on that point.
  • solution/thought/perspective #3
  • share one comment on that point.

Close by reiterating that implementing these tips, the reader will eliminate their problem (mention it) and gain the solution (mention it). And viola! You have a tip!

But here’s even more good news.

By using this model, you can create a variety of other products on different topics, both large and small. If you want to create larger products like special reports or audio trainings, you can add additional solutions/thoughts/perspectives, and go deeper into each of them.

For example, you can create three tips on a particular topic such as stress reduction, weight loss, goal setting, communication, improving your golf game, or making money, add an intro and a close, and make it a valuable special report.

Take that same information and record it and you have an audio product.

Get started today creating content and writing your tips!

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Content Creation Made Easy

If you struggle with staying in touch with your prospects and clients on a regular basis, join the club.

I hear from my clients that this is one of their greatest challenges. They worry, “Once I get a potential client on my list, then what?”

To address this concern, I encourage my clients to provide ‘tips’ in various forms (written word, audio and video) to their prospects and clients.

Tips are short ‘snippetts’ of information that provide value and are related to your target market’s greatest needs, interests and wants.

Tips are welcomed in your prospects’ and clients’ email boxes because they are quick and easy to access and provide value. And getting into the habit of creating success tips in various forms (written word, audio and video) will make your other projects easier.

Here are some ‘tips’ for creating your ‘tips’.  :-)

1. Remember, a success tip focuses a particular problem and provides a simple solution.  Simply put, it gives VALUE. It is not an advertisement and is not full of fluff.

2. Ask yourself, “What sort of tip can I offer to help people? What are they struggling with and what solution can I provide?”

Here are a few suggestions:

- reducing stress

- staying healthy

- controlling your thoughts

- being a better communicator

- eliminating conflict

- closing a sale

- being more organized

- setting goals

- providing better customer service

3. Format your tip like this:

- open with a short paragraph that addresses a problem.

- offer a solution (one, two or three brief points  o address the solution), and

- close with a reference back to the problem and how using these tips are sure to help.

4. Put it into your email system, and send it to your list as a free gift.

5. Send one every 5 – 7- 10 days, and you will be offering your prospects and clients amazing value, plus you will be building strong relationships!

6. Place your tip on your blog site and you will have new content there on a regular basis.

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How to Incorporate Teleseminars into Your Business

Despite our resistance,
if we are working with clients
beyond our local geographical boundaries,
we must accept the fact that
we are in the internet business.
And the sooner we embrace this fact,
the more successful we will be.

At the end of the day,
people want to do business over the internet
with people they have a feel for -
people they can trust.
They want to know there is a real person
on the other end that cares about them
and their issues.
And teleseminars and webinars
(plus other audio and video training)
are a great way to do that.

Here are several important tips
to consider when incorporating
these types of trainings
into your business:

1. Keep in mind that it is always best
to speak to your market
about their greatest issues
and needs.
Giving them a SOLID
(and that is the key word)
sample of you, your teachings,
your philosophies, and your solutions
to their needs will draw them to you.
And you can easily do that via
informational teleseminars
that lead them into the next phase of
engagement with you.

2. Not sure how to create a teleseminar?
Here’s what you do:

-Write down your target market’s
key areas of concern.

-Write down two to three solutions
to those key areas of concern

Here’s an example:

As a marriage coach of parents
with young children, your clients
mostly deal with:
- effective communication skills
- conflict resolutions skills
- keeping the romance alive
- co-parenting skills

In the teleseminar, you will cover
each of these topics briefly by talking about
a few things your prospects
and clients can do to address these areas.

For instance:
- for effective communication,
you talk to them about the importance
of their words, tone and body language.
- for conflict resolution,
you talk to them about active listening,
paraphrasing and clarifying questions
- for keeping the romance alive,
you talk to them about what’s realistic
to expect, the different phases of marriage,
and how to date each other again etc.

- Outline your presentation with
main points and sub-points

Obviously, you cannot go into great depth
within one hour, so you give them a way
to get much more information and
greater support from you in these areas
through your other offers.

3. Use this information and format
to create your teleseminar by delivering
a nice balance of information, combined with
questions, time for reflection
and time for sharing.

4. Use graphics where ever necessary as it
increases retention – HUGE!

5.  Create a compelling title.
For example, a title like
“From Smoldering to Smoking -
4 Simple Secrets to Put the Romance
Back in Your Marriage” will probably get
your target market’s attention.

6.  Create compelling copy to attract
their attention
(use a copywriter
if necessary as it is ALL ABOUT
getting your prospect to your event).

7.  Practice, practice, practice.
Nothing takes the place of preparedness.

8.  At the teleseminar, let them know
how you want them to engage with you NEXT.
They don’t know unless we tell them.

I hope you find this information helpful. Tell us about
your experience teleseminars and webinars.

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How to Write a Great Article Fast

Here is a simple, yet very effective outline
for writing your article:

1.  Open - Address the problem and tell them
what solution you will provide.  Here is an example:

“Do you sometimes feel like life
is controlling you instead of
you controlling it?
Like there is never enough time
to get it all done, and with no end in sight?
The evolution of technology
is supposed to make things easier and faster,
but instead we just add more to our already
overflowing plates.
Then at the end of the day,
we plop down with barely enough energy
to put up our feet knowing that
tomorrow brings more of the same -
scratching things off a never ending
‘to do’ list.

If this sounds like you,
and you are ready for a change,
here are 5 simple strategies
you can implement right away so your
‘to do’ list gets complete,

you feel ahead of the game,
and you have energy and enthusiasm
at the end of your day:”

1. Body - Provide the solution by sharing
a paragrah or two about each of the 5 tips.
Number or bulletize your tips.

2.  Close – Sum up your article and give a call to action.
Here is an example of a close:

“By implementing these 5 tips
you will notice a dramatic difference
in your stress level, energy level
and happiness level.  Afterall,
today’s technology and latest gadgets
are designed to make life easier,
not to add more things to your already
overcrowded plate. So make a conscious
effort not to replace one completed task with
more ‘to dos’.”

3.  Bio - Add a paragraph about yourself, a
a link to your website, and contact information.

4.  Title – Give it a catchy title, and you are good to go.
Often times when you are writing, your title
will magically appear.

5. Call to Action – You may want to add a simple
call to action that gives people another resource or tells them
how they can engage with you further.

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