So, yes, I know you've been told to do a newsletter and/or a blog. Every week, every other week or every month you are required to write an article. I can't tell you how many clients I've had that dread that moment when they have to sit down and write their newsletter or blog. It's like pulling teeth to get some people to do this.
So, first let's talk about the purpose. What IS the purpose of a newsletter or blog? Well, there isn't just one. Here are a few and maybe you have more, so please let me know if you have others.
PURPOSE OF NEWSLETTER OR BLOG
1) Drive traffic to your website
2) Create relationship with people who are already interested in your offer
3) Create a list that you can approach with opportunities to move through your marketing funnel.
4) (this is one many don't think about, but it's SO true) Introduce people to your unique message as a coach. Open their minds, get them to think about what's possible. A newsletter is an opportunity for you to give them a taste of what it's like to work with you. Share what you bring to the table…your wisdom, intuition, kick butt attitude etc… It's all important for them to get.
What's it going to take?
Coaches know that newsletters and blogs are an important part of marketing their business. So, what keeps them from sitting down and writing? What's it going to take to make this happen? Most coaches would say time, ideas, etc…
Plan in advance!
You don't have to do your newsletter or blog right before every publication. You could write a series and have 10 of them completed at the same time. Your series could be based on a concept that you want clients to understand BEFORE they get to you. Prepare them for your services. Open their minds in 10 articles. You could even write an entire year all at once and then it'd be done!! If you plan in advance it can all be done without having to pull teeth to make it happen.
You don't have to be a prolific writer in order to have a newsletter. It's not about writing! It's about your brilliance as a coach and helping people see what's possible in working with you. Helping them learn what they need to know. Helping them open their minds, stretch, and take new steps that start opening doors.
Use your newsletter or blog to communicate your purpose. Let others get to know who you are as a coach. Just sit down and write all that out. Write out as much as you can and then you'll have it all done!
Kristen Beireis is the Trust Marketing Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. She works with elite life-changers who are so buried in marketing they are leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table. Kristen and her team free coaches up to earn those hundreds of thousands of dollars without breaking a sweat so they can focus on helping others make positive changes.
March 18, 2010
Today, as I opened my Skype window to "check in with my Skype buddies" and see what has been happening over the weekend, I found this message waiting for me.
"Hi Carol, I am from website design and development company based in India. As you arrange public conference so you must interacted with the people of same field. I am looking for business opportunities, can I get references from you."
My response was: I'm sorry I am not able to provide any references for anyone that I have not done work with. You see, I'm a networking coach and I do believe in helping others achieve their goals but before any business is referred to anyone, a relationship must be built. You must get to know, like and trust the person you are referring and you must also be willing to take care of the person you are making that referral to.
One of the reasons why I opened this Skype Room was to give people the opportunity to interact with one another, to learn more about each other, personally and professionally. Learn how the other person does their work, find out what their work ethics are and generally get to know one another.
My network is important to me- I will not jeopardize the relationships I built my referring someone to any of them without knowing (1) if my network contact even needs their service (2) would be willing to talk with a new vendor (3) or is in the position of being able to pay for the services that are being offered. On the other hand, for the vendor that is referred, I want to know that they are ethical, going to do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it and not be pushy with my network. The only way I can make sure that happens is to take TIME to get to know the people I am referring. Nothing should be rushed; it's not a "nice to meet you and now buy from me" situation. That's no better than running around a networking event just handing out your business cards and saying buy from me. I just won't do that and I won't apologize to anyone for not doing that.
I would be totally out of line to refer a new vendor to anyone in my network just because the new vendor told me they want more business. You know, the whole world wants more business. Networking is a tremendous way to get new business, but you do need to know the proper way to do that. Networking is work- you have to "work" at it - the rewards often are tremendous, but it does take time. Just because you want something, does that mean you are going to get it? Of course not, work at developing those relationships. You may be pleasantly surprised how much you receive by doing this but don't be alarmed at the amount of time you have to spend networking to get these results. It's not instantaneous gratification! A good point to remember is that what is most important to YOU, may be of no importance at all to THEM - the tune you should be listening to is WIIFT (what's in it for THEM) not WIIFY (what's in it for YOU).
"Thanks Carol, I will try my level best to become a member of your network and you will certainly get to know more about me if you look at this website [website link]"
Apparently my message wasn't quite clear enough, because this new person wants to send me to their website to learn more about them. What happens at the website is that I find out about the business, but what does that tell me about the person? People do business with people, not businesses. That's why it is important to make sure people understand you and how you work - how you take care of your clients, what makes you stand out from the competition? Why should I do business with you? How are you going to solve my problem(s)?
"Can I join your public chat?" Yes, you may join my public chat and yes, I would like to get to know more about you. Just remember, it takes time - share some tips, chat with the members of the chat room and get to know them. It's ok to share your website on promo day (read the blue guidelines to find out what days that is permitted) but generally participate in conversations! I welcome anyone to come and join in the conversations in the Skype Room - you can find it very easily at http://www.runlancaster.com/skype-room/networking or you may request to connect with me via Skype and I can manually add you into the room.
Please do yourself a favor and don't ask someone you just meet to refer business to you. Take the time to build the relationship - it will be much better for both of you to know the type of relationship you are part of - knowing that the other person is looking out for your best interest as well as for the referring party's best interest.
"When do I get to talk about me - doesn't the person I'm meeting want to know what I do?" I just read a blog post from Michael Port, who has an audio that tells you better than I can how to do this. Listen here
I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic - please post them in the comments section below! If you really like this post, and want to Tweet about it, I'd really appreciate that too!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 8,500 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,000 "friends" on FaceBook and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116
March 15, 2010
Did that make your mouth water? Then you know what it feels like to want something that is a little outside the mainstream. People who like anchovies on their pizza crave the unusual flavor of those tiny, salty fish. Sure, they might order one without anchovies, but they're much more likely to enjoy their favorite pizza along with other people who enjoy anchovies.
And isn't that what we're after with a strong blog for your group coaching program - writing that makes people crave a focused, beneficial experience?
Any coach can offer a life purpose or a career improvement coaching group - but what about a life purpose group for atheists? Or a career development group for people who are retiring? These combinations might even sound a little contradictory, but I can guarantee you that there would be eager participants in both groups.
Your blog can reflect your "anchovy" by featuring articles that appeal to the special needs of your group. Do the atheists need resources for life purpose that don't have a religious tone? Perhaps, they need meditation techniques that are void of spiritual overtones. Do the soon-to-be-retired need information about careers that offer flexibility for travel during retirement? They may need ideas about how to combine caring for older parents with juggling work.
Here's the great news about appealing to a special group: the blog posts are MUCH easier to write! Your group's needs are obvious and specific when the anchovy is the priority. The first suggestion I give any blogger is to learn how to "write tight." That means you should make one strong point per post and make the intention of the post clear. It can be very difficult to do that when writing about broad topics. Writing about your anchovy helps you jump that first "write tight" hurdle with ease.
image credit: roland
What's your anchovy? What makes people crave your group coaching experience? How can you imagine "writing tight" about your anchovy?
Is your online presence energizing you or overwhelming you? Laurie Foley is an online presence coach who helps people and organizations thrive online. With more than 25 years of technology experience and 15 years as an entrepreneur, she is a resourceful and intuitive guide for creating a strong personal brand. Besides writing as Group Coaching Mastery's Blogging Expert, you can find Laurie at http://lauriefoley.com and on Twitter as @lauriefoley.