We're so excited to announce our first episode of our brand new podcast, Connect Share Prosper! Check out the video of our first episode and find and subscribe to us on iTunes! Google Play and Stitcher are coming soon.
But first, a few quick notes on this week's episode...
Face to Face Meetings
The magic of building your network is not what you are doing in your group networking events but what happens outside of them. One crucial part of that is having face to face meetings with the people you are trying to form relationships with.
You have to be diligent about scheduling your meetings. Try to “stack” them which means putting a few back to back on the same day. This plays into your time management and allows you to also plan introductions between other people that you are getting to know.
This method is covered in “Five Plus One: The Entrepreneurs Formula for Success”. One of the major takeaways is to focus on connection. You need to focus on them, this will help establish that relationship. Be curious ask things like where someone grew up or how did they get into the business that they are in. Use a follow up question like “Could you tell me more about that?”. You can also try to ask about their competition. Thinking about those questions will help thinking about strategy.
Always follow up!
As you actively listen and are looking for opportunities to help, make sure that you follow up so that you don’t lose momentum.
Take Action Now!
1. Go get “Five Plus One: The Entrepreneurs Formula for Success”
2. Learn about B.O.N.D.
3. Take action and schedule a meeting with someone.
4. Join a Master Networks chapter and get involved.
Subscribe to our podcast, Connect Share Prosper, on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!
To find out more about Master Networks, visit www.MasterNetworks.com.
FIVE+ ONE - TARGETING PART 2, THE IDEAL CLIENT
By Guest Blogger Chris Angell
“Here’s the question you must answer: ‘Am I seeking, contacting and communicating with the right people?’ When you serve the right people, everything lines up and business grows exponentially” - Chas Wilson pg. 42, Five+ One
Not all clients are created equal. (I said this in my last post about getting more customers)
If you had a database of 1000 random people or 1000 ideal people, which would convert better? Which would you enjoy serving more? The answer is clear.
But for most of us, finding the ideal client is harder in real life than the exercise of writing it down on paper.
Over the past 6 years of consulting business owners, I’ve stumbled into what I believe is the best way to identify and proactively find these ideal clients. Let me share that with you here.
*Warning: this will require a shift in your mindset.
Most of the time, when asked to clarify our ideal client, we list things closer to the transaction like “qualified”, “Can afford it”, “People who __insert things you’ve said in the past here__”. You might even narrow it further with “Men” or “Women” who “make X amount per year” between “28 and 55 years old” etc. And that’s fine. It’s a starting point.
But for this to really work, I want you to look away from your business and what you sell and look to your own passions and what lights you up.
I believe what makes a client “ideal” is that they trust us and connect with us deeply from the beginning. In other words, they come into the relationship taking our lead, following our advice, looking to us for perspective. And the way to create that trust isn’t by telling them how good you are at what you do or trying to frame your product in a way that your demographic can relate to. You create that trust by having something in common with them.
That’s it. That’s the secret I stumbled into. Have something in common with them.
Have you noticed that when you meet someone who likes what you like, you hit if off like you’ve been friends for years. Trust is immediately present though they’ve hardly met you.
If you know what I’m talking about then you are ready for the next piece of this secret.
Most businesses try to be all things to all people because we think more people means more sales. But that’s not actually how it works.
I need you to narrow your focus. In fact, I need you to pick ONE passion, ONE interest, that you could talk about all day and all week long and never run out of things to say. THAT topic is what you want to build a tribe around. That becomes your “Point of Connection”.
Let’s say you have a heart for parenting (Insert your passion here). Now, you could build a database of 1000 random people (or even people who are 28-55 years old, who make $75,000+ a year, who live in your city and have bought products like yours before), or you could build a database of 1000 people who also have a passion for parenting. Which database of people will you have a more instant connection with?
Maybe your passion is fitness. Maybe it’s DIY. Maybe it’s instapots. Maybe Cancer awareness.
When you find others who have just as big a passion as you for the topic that inspires you, you have the beginnings of the ideal client.
Let’s add to this. Now that you have a “Point of Connection” you can add in those other details from before. So now you say your ideal client is someone who is interested in parenting WHO ALSO is 28-55 years old, makes $75,000+ a year who lives in your city and likes to buy the kinds of things you sell.
Can you see (or feel) the difference in CONNECTION by adding a “Point of Connection”?
Ok. Here’s where this gets really strategic for marketing.
I want you to build your database full of just these people. Why? Because:
This is how you grow a database of thousands of these ideal clients. Now you don’t have to be all things to all people. Now you feel genuine and valuable in your marketing because you know who you’re talking to.
“But Chris, I sell widgets. If I talk about parenting in my content, what does that have to do with what I sell?”
I get asked that question all the time.
I was speaking at Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and asked the audience what they were passionate about. A lady said “Empowering women”. I asked her what she sold. She said “leggings”. So I asked her, “What percent of women have leggings in their future?”
She laughed and said “a lot”.
Do you see? The sale will come. You are in a battle for attention and you will earn that attention much faster if you connect as a human, upstream from trying to sell them something.
I don’t care if you sell Ice Cream, or Shoes, or Insurance… if you can connect with others like you who have an interest in parenting __or insert your passion here__, then my question to you is “How many parents have ice cream/shoes/insurance in their future?”
Your job is to find those you can connect with the fastest and easiest SUCH THAT trust is present immediately. That only happens when you share a world view; when you come from the same tribe; the “Parenting” tribe or the “DIY” tribe or the “I survived cancer” tribe. A tribe knows its own. Being from the tribe, of the tribe, is the fastest way past the gatekeeper and the filters. It’s your ticket to earning their attention in a noisy, crowded marketplace.
Everyone sells insurance. Not every insurance person leads with their passion for parenting and lets you see that side of them. If you also have a passion for parenting, this insurance agent will capture your attention.
Do you see how this works?
A database of 1000 tribe members will be WAY more productive and enjoyable than the database you’re currently tolerating.
The secret to reverse engineering your ideal client, where people come to you instead of you having to chase and convince them, is to lead with your passion and find those who share that same passion.
Chris Angell is the founder of Groundswell Business Consulting, a boutique consulting firm and marketing agency that makes content marketing fun and easy.
*If you want to quickly earn attention with this kind of authentic marketing, maybe our done-for-you marketing service is a fit. You can check it out here.
By Chris Angell
FIVE+ ONE - TARGETING PART 1, GETTING MORE CUSTOMERS
“Technically you don’t exist and are out of business if you don’t have any customers, so it all comes down to finding and attracting customers.” - Chas Wilson pg. 38, Five+ One
When you have the secret recipe for finding and attracting more customers, you can write your own ticket. This is what small business owners are chasing. And there are plenty of teachers out there who have cracked the code in their own way and are now passing it on to you in the form of their courses and training. I’m sure you’ve seen a few of their Facebook ads. ;) (wink)
It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the options for finding and attracting more customers, especially when everyone seems to have a different recipe. But if we distill it all down to a word it would be “Attention”.
In the information age where everyone can broadcast on platforms like YouTube and Facebook and Instagram (insert your favorite platform here)... what we’re really after is attention. If we can earn attention then we have a shot at relationship. And if we can cultivate a relationship we can grow our database and our sales.
In a recent conversation with Chas Wilson he said, “The first stage of the selling cycle is to get their attention and awareness”.
The trick to this profoundly simple truth is in earning their attention with trust and relevance. Unfortunately many business owners are using outdated methods of marketing and sales that look and sound like everyone else. And when you look and sound like everyone else, you don’t earn attention. In fact, you are lost in the noise of the market.
Side note… this is why I love networking and the platform that Master Networks provides. When you’re face to face with people you get a real sense of who they are and can quickly earn their attention (or lose their attention if you do it wrong).
“Ok, Chris. I agree. Earning attention through trust and relevance is a good plan and it feels right when you say it. But how do I do that?”
I’m so glad you asked ;)
I call this tribe building and it’s the simplest way to “hack” trust and relevance in a genuine and valuable way.
Not all contacts or customers are created equal. Some customers you have a stronger connection with than others. Some are easier to lead. Some buy faster and buy more.
What I’ve seen in my 17 years of business is that we like those who are like us. This is what it means to be part of a tribe. We have many tribes we identify with. But when you can find what I call your “Point of Connection” you quickly earn attention and trust.
Years ago I was teaching a class on tribe building and I asked the class to share what they were passionate about. In the middle of the room a lady raised her hand and said “Scuba Diving”. Without hesitation (and I didn’t call on her), a lady in the front right of the room turns around and excitedly says, “You like Scuba Diving? I like Scuba Diving!!” and they proceeded to have a short conversation in the middle of my class.
It perfectly illustrated my point that when you have something in common with someone else, a “Point of Connection”, you quickly pierce through the noise. Trust is immediately present, often without warrant, simply because you share a common interest and you come from the same tribe.
But if you market to the world like everyone else and lead with your product or service, leaving out HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD AND WHAT YOU VALUE, you will miss the opportunity to quickly earn attention. You will be sentenced to slog through expensive marketing campaigns and never ending networking where nothing you do seems to work.
If you want to break that cycle and quickly earn attention then here are 3 steps to get started:
One, start with your own passions and values.
Too many businesses are trying to be all things to all people. You MUST start with you. What do you care about? What difference do you want to make? How do you see the world?
This can be scary for businesses because when you think about narrowing your audience you immediately feel like you’re cutting off potential sales. But if you can stay present to the importance of earning attention, you’ll see this is crucial to your success.
Now, I’m not saying that if you love an obscure past time like underwater basket weaving that you should lead with that. Find the most passionate interest you have that the biggest number of others could have and start there.
Example: If you sell widgets, like so many others do, and you market to everyone “Hey, I have a great widget that will save you time and money” you will sound like everyone else.
But if you say “Are you a mom who’s squeezed for time and hardly has a minute to herself? Then maybe this widget of mine can help.”
If you’re a mom and have shared in this struggle of time and sanity, and you lead with this “Point of Connection” you will earn trust faster than if you don’t lead with that “Point of Connection”.
And if this were your example and you were afraid of losing sales, I would simply ask you “What percent of moms have this struggle and can benefit from your widget?” And you would say 90%.
This “Point of Connection” creates empathy and empathy feels good to the one who receives it.
Build a brand and narrative that alludes to these passions and values.
Once you have your passion or interest clarified, you want to build a brand around it. Now you probably already have a brand for your business. But I want you to think of this like a YouTube show or a show on your favorite network. While your business brand may be NBC, you have other shows inside your network that appeal to different audiences.
You want to name your show something that appeals to those in your tribe. For example, I have a real estate agent client in California who has built a local tribe around a brand called “Loving Life in Camarillo”. That’s not his real estate brand. But you can see how that would appeal to a certain audience.
He wanted to help people move from living in overwhelm to loving life. When we grew his fanbase on Facebook we targeted people interested in parenting. How many parents feel overwhelm?
His page quickly grew in fans through this narrative because he got their attention and now creates valuable community content for the fans on his page.
Start broadcasting that message in your videos, blog posts, podcast episodes, Facebook posts. You have to LEAD with this “Point of Connection”, not treat it like a footnote.
The name of the game is content marketing. You must be consistent in creating content that connects with those you seek to serve. This is the biggest stumbling block with most businesses. They run out of things to say. They don’t want to go through the learning curve of technology to learn how to use Facebook or YouTube or create their own Podcast. Or they simply don’t have time to take this on because of the demands of their business.
But this 3rd step is crucial if you want to earn attention. If you don’t consistently create content, how will they find you? How will they know you’re from the same tribe? You’ll look and sound like everyone else. So you must find a way to begin sharing your message with the world. And as you do, people will start to find you and pay attention to you because what you say feels genuine and real and connects in a way that no one else’s marketing does.
This is the secret to quickly earning attention. We’ve made marketing far more complicated than it needs to be. Be human. Be you. Lead with your passions and values and watch how your tribe finds you.
*If you want to quickly earn attention with this kind of authentic marketing, maybe our done-for-you marketing service is a fit. You can check it out here
FIVE+ ONE - TARGETING PART 6, STEP 3: COMMUNICATE
By Guest Blogger Chris Angell
“The fortune is in the follow-up. I have learned in my business that most, if not all, of my competition fails to follow-up. You will win or lose in the follow-up. Communication is your chance to provide additional information and education.” - Chas Wilson pg. 62
I always hated follow-up. It was time consuming and it felt needy. If they didn’t buy from me the first time, I wasn’t going to chase them or beg them. If they couldn’t see the value then it was their loss.
Except… that is was my loss.
I was good with people when I was in front of them. But follow-up felt forced. I didn’t know what to say on their voice mail or in an email. “Hey, do you want to buy yet?” See. That feels forced.
Over the years I’ve honed what works for me and now through my agency help others to follow-up in a way that works authentically for them. Here’s the secret to follow-up that isn’t needy, adds value and positions you as the authentic expert…
Have a conversation with someone about all the Frequently Asked Questions people have about your product, service or industry and record it on video.
I have found that the biggest hurdle to entrepreneurs getting into video is it feels unnatural. However, conversations are natural and easy. When someone asks you about your product or service or industry it’s very easy for you to talk to them. Most people know they should be doing more with video. This is the fastest path to you creating helpful, authentic and engaging video.
“But what equipment do I need? I’m not great with technology.”
That’s okay. Can you hit record on your smartphone? Using a tripod and a simple external microphone that plugs into your phone (I like this one for $12 on Amazon), you’re good to go.
“But who will ask me these questions?”
First make a list of all the questions you get asked or that are asked in your industry. Then simply have someone like a friend, coworker or Master Networks member ask you these questions. Don’t rush your answers and keep it conversational. It would be best if the person you have ask you the questions is easy to talk to.
For ease of editing just hit record for each new question. Within 20 minutes you could have 5 to 10 FAQs recorded.
“How do I use these FAQs in my follow up?”
There are 2 ways I would use these FAQ videos.
First I would create a blog post out of them. Upload the video to your YouTube channel and then embed that video in a blog post on your site. Your blog post doesn’t need to be more than 500 words (you don’t have to write on your blog post at all if you don’t want to). I would broadcast email your database once a week with your latest FAQ video. Your database may not be current leads, but as they watch your videos, it’s highly probable that it will spark a referral or that they forward it to a friend who needs you services.
Second, I would send an email per FAQ to your current prospects who haven’t purchased everyday to every couple days (you decide what feels comfortable to you). In the email, link them back to your blog post so they’re on your site and can browse after they watch if they get curious enough.
Final suggestion… always make sure you have an invitation back into your sales cycle at the end of your blog post. This could be a link back to a capture page or a checkout page. Use this FAQ post to re-engage your people.
Follow-up doesn’t have to be “do you want to buy yet?” Follow-up can add value, educate and even move the sale along when you come from a place of contribution. The fortune is in the follow-up!
Do you have questions about the strategies mentioned in this post? Leave a comment below and I’ll circle back to answer your questions.
*Don’t want to do this on your own? Maybe our done-for-you service is a fit. You can check it out here.
Hiring the right person is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face. Most entrepreneurs think that they can do it all and have been doing it all; therefore, they don’t want to relinquish control. Many times entrepreneurs become frustrated because they are stuck in a cycle of not having enough time to do everything and not having enough time to hire someone. In small businesses, every person that you hire has the potential to make a significant difference in the business and they have the potential to generate more money. Yet, every person that is not hired has the potential to cause frustrated and unhappy customers.
Is it really time to hire? Do you have time for your life or are you working yourself to a frazzle? Time is precious and is something that you can’t get back. Are you stuck in survival mode because there isn’t enough time in the day, and therefore, you are merely doing the things that have to be done? When you get stuck in survival mode there is no opportunity for growth, and with no growth you can lose your passion and even go out of business. When your work starts to suffer, it’s time to hire. If you start receiving customer complaints, it’s time to hire. One bad comment can wipe out a hundred good comments. Ask yourself, can you afford to hire, better yet, can you afford not to hire?
If you’ve determined that it is time to hire, now the question is whom do you hire? The key to hiring is clarity. Can someone take something off your plate? What is their job description? What kind of hire do you need to make: part time, full time, or virtual? Virtual assistants have become extremely common, and they can be cost effective. If they already have a defined skill-set, you don’t have to train them. You don’t have to create office space for them, and you only have to pay them for the time they work. When hiring, create the job description that describes who you want, share that with your sphere of influence and you’ll find the right person.
~Chas Wilson: to learn more, visit my weekly podcast CLICK HERE
You can’t crush your competition until you know your competition. You can’t set yourself apart from your competition until you know your why. Why did you choose the business you did? Your why is your unique value proposition, which is the linchpin of your business. It tells your potential clients what problems you solve and what they can gain from you. Your why triggers an emotion in your clients that compels them to do business with you over your competition. Name your why and claim it. Write a mission statement that explains your why, and then compare your why to your competitor’s. Do you stand out?
To insure that you stand out, write your unique value proposition. First articulate why you are in business with a Mission Statement and then identify the people that your product is BEST suited for. They are your best clients and they will be your advocates. By narrowing your target audience, you are able to identify the key benefits for that particular group, which will, ultimately, yield more business than you would have by trying to appeal to the masses. Be honest with your target audience and inform them of what your product or service will DO and what it does NOT DO. You do not want to lose your credibility and send your clients running into your competitor’s arms.
Draft, test and compare your unique value proposition. Once you have settled on a simple concept, broadcast it everywhere especially to your Master Networks chapter members.
~Chas Wilson: to learn more, come to Connect 2017 - April 28th & 29th in Dallas Click here for more info.
As an entrepreneur, you have the capacity to create your own business culture, whereas, those employed by others must learn the culture that already exists, and how best to navigate it. As we all know, some cultures can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to change. As the leader of your company, each new person you bring in has an impact on your company culture, so finding people that reflect the culture you want within your business is crucial.
The most powerful voice you will ever hear is YOUR voice; yet it can sometimes be the most negative. Therefore, it is important to add advisors who will have a positive effect on the culture of your business and eliminate people that have a negative effect. It is said that we reflect the top five people with whom we spend the most time. So be honest with yourself; ask yourself the hard questions to be sure you have the right mix of key people. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are they influencing you? Are they lifting you up or bringing you down? Are they givers or takers? Are they energizers or energy drainers? Do they reflect the type of attitude you want to have? Do they think in step with your goals? Do they conduct themselves in a way that supports you and you company culture?
You are going to want people on your board of advisors that are knowledgeable about your business and can offer creative insight. It is always healthy to examine your organization and processes to uncover those things that aren’t working and brainstorm solutions together. You will want people who are open and honest, who ask the hard questions and share their experiences; this communication is critical to the health of your business. Ultimately, you'll want people who will hold you accountable and empower you. With the right people in place on your board of advisors you will be best positioned to achieve success.
~Chas Wilson: to learn more about listening to yourself and your board of advisors, come to Connect 2017 - April 28th & 29th in Dallas Click Here for more info
Moving from being an employee to an entrepreneur can seem difficult, however, changing your mindset is the key. You have to take ownership and own your business. What are you focused on? Is it positive or negative? Are you focused on the here-and-now or are you stuck trying to run your business in the past with the mindset of an employee? Attitude is everything and it is a choice. How will you make the choice to have a positive attitude?
In the mindset of an entrepreneur, you have to embrace freedom and have a deep respect for it. Through self-determination and assertiveness, you will be able to identify and reach your goals. It is crucial to have positive people in your inner circle that will hold you accountable to reaching your goals, as well as collaborate with you. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Successful entrepreneurs are focused on the outcome of their goals and they take action to achieve them. If they fall, they get back up. They know that mistakes are essential in order to learn. You cannot become an expert overnight and you acquire your expertise through learned experiences. Knowledge is power and it will propel you into the mindset of an entrepreneur.
~Chas Wilson: to learn more about the Entrepreneurial Mindset, come to Connect 2017 - April 28th & 29th in Dallas Click Here for more info
Being a pioneer is the heartbeat of a successful entrepreneur. A pioneer sees what is possible even though it doesn’t exist, and then they have the courage to create it. Pioneers are learning-based people and they will soar to the top. Ignorance-based people don’t, while they can be smart, they know what they know but ignore everything else. Pioneers aren’t afraid to do the things others are afraid to do. They don’t just have ideas; they take action and implement their ideas. Inconvenience and discomfort are two of the biggest obstacles of implementation, but they are crucial to success and generating business. A mere 30% of your time should be dedicated to generating leads. Ideally you want to serve more people in less time.
Corporate businesses focus on branding to generate new business; however, branding doesn’t yield the same success on the local level. People do business with people they know, people they like and people they trust. Trust should be the core of service-oriented businesses. Once people trust you, they will respect you because of your track record. People also do business with people they are referred too. Referrals are viral marketing, word of mouth, and it is the most cost effective business practice. You want people to think of you and recommend you. You want a core of advocates that are marketing for you, and you do that by networking and building a database.
Your database is the engine for your business. The Relationship Development System (RDS) is more than a database; it is what allows you to develop relationships that empower you and your business. Next to you, the RDS is the most important asset in your business. Commit to building an effective database, by using adequate software like Next Level Suite. Then hire a database manager, someone who will input into your database. To grow the database, identify people you want in your database. Capture and input the personal information of everyone you know. Then categorize your database by their connection to you. Communicate with your database frequently, but make your communication brief. As you communicate build an area of expertise and share success stories and testimonials.
Your business is your database. Build your business as you build relationships in the community.
If you are looking for a database CRM I recommend www.nlsuite.com
~Chas Wilson: to learn more, come to Connect 2017 - April 28th & 29th in Dallas Click Here for more info
If you fancy yourself as a leader and there is no one following you, then you’re just out for a walk. A leader has people behind them asking where they are going. Leadership is the act of effectively directing people. The true nature of leadership is service. In a leadership role, the first thing you ask is how can I help? Never ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. Ultimately, effective leaders develop other leaders, which is the law of succession.
There is an art to leadership and leaders exhibit certain traits and skills. Leaders are credible and don’t live in fear of the past. Credible leaders have goals and plans. They are also intuitive because they can make assessments about situations and are able to see where it is going. Then they have the ability to easily adapt without cowering to change. Intuitive leaders take nothing for granted and make the most of their assets.
Leaders have a specific purpose and role for everyone on their team. They also have clarity; they know where they are going and how to adequately communicate their vision to their people. Leaders maintain an open system and allow their followers to give input and feedback. In the midst of chaos, true leaders are steady and calm; they know how to simply be still and find their purpose. They are confident and aren’t afraid to face reality. Great leaders are also competent and know their business; they have set budgets, schedules and deadlines and know how to adhere to them. Finally, a leader worth following has conviction; they stand for what is right. These skills and traits can be learned. If being a leader doesn’t come naturally to you, you still have the capability to learn how to be an effective leader.
~Chas Wilson: to meet other leaders come to Connect 2017 - April 28th & 29th in Dallas Click Here for more info
Chas is President and Co-Founder of Master Networks Inc. He is known for his entrepreneurial spirit and out of the box thinking.