Posts

Showing posts from 2022

Fishing in the Wrong Pond

Image
Today was the third day in a row I heard from someone how hard it has been to find customers, clients, or an audience. Most of the time, when I hear this complaint, I start by asking which people they've been spending the most time with. There are usually two responses - either they've not been spending time with people at all, or they've been spending time with others in their profession. Both situations tend toward the problematic. Isolation for solopreneurs, freelancers, and artistic creators is often built into the path. The career, by nature, tends to favor solitude and can be a kind of lonesome existence. Much of the difficulty with these folks is balancing the need for quiet, creative space and the ongoing need to cultivate customer relationships and generate business.  But the group who spend most of their time with people in the same professional pond either have to adapt their services for peers and colleagues or find another pond. This is the situation that's

Interact Quiz Mastermind Oct 11-13

Image
If you've just met me, you probably don't know that I'm a fanatic about online quizzes, and my software of choice for such things is Interact. In this Coffee Break, I share some of the experimenting I've been doing with quizzes and some of the ways your business or organization could be using them to create valuable, memorable, interactive experiences for your site visitors and social followers. And I also want you to know about the learning you can do about the people who are attracted to what you're doing. All this is in preparation for an upcoming event next week that I will encourage anyone who is even minimally interested in quiz building to attend. The Interact Quiz Mastermind will be happening October 11-13 online, featuring some of the industry's best quiz builders and marketers. Don't wait to sign up. Just go to https://bit.ly/QuizMastermind to learn more and enroll. In addition to the expert instruction, you'll be offered some amazing deals on

Being Prepared for Introductions

Image
My business is almost completely driven by personal referrals. I'm being introduced or making introductions almost daily. Today, I remember when I was introduced, and I wasn't ready for it, resulting in blown opportunities, embarrassment, and a tarnished professional reputation. So the other reason for this topic...I've made introductions and had people come back to me asking me why in the world I thought that would be a good connection. The person who had asked me for the introduction was not ready to meet the person I introduced them to. Embarrassed and tarnished yet again. Your success depends on relationships. Professional relationships depend on things like clarity, intent, and preparedness. I've had people get mad when they ask me to make an intro, and I ask them to do their homework first. I'm just not willing to risk my rep by introducing someone to an esteemed colleague and having them show up unready. Preparedness suggestions within... #introductions #refe

Recording and Publishing a Video, Podcast, and Blog in Under an Hour

Image
I was asked today how I make these videos and podcasts so quickly. The short answer is that I cut corners. I don't make unique thumbnail images, my editing is light at best, I don't care if I say um or stammer, and I use the same templates daily for videos, images, and descriptions. The tools I use are Camtasia video recording and editing software from Camtasia, Canva Pro templates for graphics, a simple framework for descriptions, and automated distribution through Anchor. My content ideas most often come from conversations I've had within a day or two before and are not scripted or structured. I record the video with Camtasia using a template I made just for the coffee break. The template has front and end graphics, a pre-formatted title and text overlay, and a placeholder where my video will go. Once the video is recorded, I place it in the template, change the title overlay, trim the beginning and end of the recording, and add fades between the video elements. Then I re

What Are You Reading?

Image
Getting ready for my weekly book discussion with a friend Monday morning. We've been reading a couple of good ones. Most recently, we've been reading Originals by Adam Grant and The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. Both are beautifully written. Originals is more in line with my interests, and I enjoy following Adam Grant on social media. His posts are consistently worth reading. The Art of Gathering seems to have timeliness since we're only now more fully coming back together for face-to-face connection. How we learned to gather almost seems like it doesn't quite fit. I'm going to share some affiliate links for the titles mentioned here. Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World by Adam Grant https://amzn.to/3SLXRr7 The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker https://amzn.to/3SwEQZv Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose https://amzn.to/3C5pbsT The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie https://amz

Neurodiversity and Entrepreneurship - Ross Murker

Image
More and more entrepreneurs are discovering that their quick-start tendencies, fast-moving attention, and attraction to doing things their own way instead of following convention are indicators of neurodiversity. For many, this realization brings an understanding of why past situations may have been so difficult for them. Ross Murker's is one of these stories. After beginning to suspect and self-diagnose his own tendencies, earlier this year, he officially received a spectrum condition diagnosis.  This confirmation answered many questions he'd had for years - difficulty with socialization, holding a steady job, and wondering why success had eluded him. In his story, we'll hear how he found his way from being unmotivated in school, serving in the military, bouncing from career to career, and eventually finding his way into entrepreneurship. Find Ross on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RossMurkerSuccessEngineer And to enroll in his new community, visit https://plusonegoo

Knowing When Change Is Necessary

Image
Sharing the podcast panel today at Founded in FoCo, I was struck by how each of us on the panel had been through major path changes in our lives and careers. In our own way, each of us had decided to turn our backs on convention and move in a self-determined direction. And just before the panel, I'd had a wonderful catch-up conversation with a friend I hadn't seen in a few years. I was struck by a similar story that she told of finally reaching the point where she could no longer tolerate the way life had become and was motivated to make some significant changes in her career. For me, one pattern has been to hold on to circumstances that my soul wants to leave behind, and I have to get to a place of serious discomfort and rage before I'm willing to start letting go. As I've gotten older, I've wondered if there aren't earlier warning signs that I could pay attention to before getting to the point of severity. In this Coffee Break, I share some insights I've s

Is the Market for Your Topic Saturated?

Image
I've been asked three times this week if it's too late to get into content marketing, or more specifically, YouTube or podcasting. My answer is no, it's not too late. The days of easy audience building on those channels may indeed be a thing of the past, but there is still room for every unique voice out there, especially if they have a new angle to share or a specialty that hasn't been widely discovered. I think it's smart now to be more narrowly targeted with your show topic. Most of the general topics have been done into the ground, but the niches within those topics may have never been touched. Do your research and see what gaps there are in your specialty area. Make your channels about that. Fill in the gaps with your knowledge and point of view.  I see the online realm as a mosaic with an untold number of unique tiles. Your tiles are just as important to the composition of the picture as all the rest. The one thing that hasn't been saturated yet is your ma

If You Want to Start a Podcast

Image
I'll be participating in a panel discussion on podcasting this Friday, September 30, 2022, for the Founded in FoCo event. If you're located in Northern Colorado and would like to attend, the free event is detailed here: https://foundedinfoco.com In getting ready for the panel, I've been going over my own experiences in podcasting. I did my first in 2010 as a part of a home recording content channel I had. It lasted only for about a dozen episodes before life interrupted, but I remember the learning curve back then was very steep, and the pieces that had to be put together were numerous compared to blogging which took about ten minutes to set up. My next podcast happened in 2017. Making Your Own Way was a podcast that featured interviews with many of my friends and clients who had decided to leave behind the conventional career and life paths and forge their own. Make Your Own Way also lasted for about a dozen episodes, and I changed the podcast's theme to The Reset. The

Mindreading and Ideacide

Image
Some of us believe that we can turn our successes into formulas and that if we can just figure out what people want to see and hear, they'll want to consume the content we create. We study analytics to see any patterns of predictable behavior to replicate what has already been successful, only to find that we could release the exact same video on two different days and get two entirely different reactions.  Yet we keep looking for the magic formula - that one piece of virality that will push our visibility from obscurity to influencer overnight. We study trends and attempt to read the minds of potential content consumers, trying to know in advance what they will be in the mood for and then bending our creativity in that direction.  It seems that of those who have been successful, extremely few were overnight. The majority of people who have grown large audiences have been consistently releasing the best content they could muster, and the audience decided if it was interesting or no

Changing the Experience of Life

Image
Don't worry about the future. Learn to find a better feeling right now. It's amazing to see how the body-mind resets itself automatically when the fixated focus of our awareness lets go of a troubling thought. Today I'm working on taxes. My first reaction to taxes is usually dread. I dig up old memories of not being prepared, owing more money than I had, and facing penalties and debt. Remembering those things freaks me out a little. But I don't keep my focus there. As I sift through receipts, bank statements, and calendars, my awareness shifts to a larger story of my past year.  All the people I worked with were happy to pay me to work with them. All the things I was able to buy for myself and my family. All the ups and downs I made it through. As I start to think of all these other things, my feelings change. In this Coffee Break, I share my opinion that we get too wrapped up about creating our future through thinking that we forget we're actually creating our pres

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

Image
What if you don't know what you should be doing? Or if you don't have a clear sense of your life's purpose? Or what if it's no big deal and you just need to do anything for money for a little whole? All good questions that are the topic of today's Virtual Coffee Break. If you're at a place where you don't know what's next, but you do know you need to change direction, there are a few things I'll encourage you to do. 1. Make a list of all the things you don't want to do. Sometimes this shakes the cobwebs loose and makes you aware of things you truly want. 2. Follow your curiosity. Don't judge it; go with it and see where it leads. It kills cats, but not humans. 3. Line up for more education. You don't have to get a degree, but you can find an interesting subject and start learning more. 4. Find someone who is not financially or emotionally dependent on you and tell them honestly how you're feeling and ask if they have suggestions or gu

Celebrating Success: Nicole Murphy, Grace Yoga and Wellness

Image
Today, I visited Grace Yoga and Wellness in Loveland, Colorado, a business owned by my friends Nicole and Ryan Murphy. I've been inspired by their story since I've known them, but today I'm even more inspired after seeing what their business has become. To learn more about them and the business they've created, I'm going to recommend visiting their website, https://lovegraceyoga.com   You can read their story there and see where faith, vision, courage, and hard work can lead. Even if you're not a local resident, I'd encourage you to just hear and see what they've created.  If you are local, you need to go for an in-person visit sometime soon. There is something there literally for everyone. I wish Nicole, Ryan, and all others associated with Grace Yoga and Wellness a happy 11th anniversary in business. You've achieved something that most small business owners and founders never reach, and your success is well deserved! #smallbusiness #yoga #lovelandc

Jobs, Kindergarten, and Cover Photos

Image
  Friday potpourri... Sometimes we need to find part-time or full-time work to do to cover financial bases while we build a career, a business, or finish a passion project. My encouragement is to think strategically about the jobs you apply for and see if they can be one of the stepping stones in the direction you're already going. Want to be a professional speaker? Look for jobs within organizations that will be important partners as you pursue speaking opportunities. All these organizations require people with a variety of skills and experience. See if they have an opportunity for you that will also help you build your network for future opportunities. Also, stay tuned for a recorded version of my talk, Marketing LEssons, from the First Dau of Kindergarten. I gave that presentation again today, and it's fun to see the aha moments happen as people realize they've had all the relationship skills they need for marketing since their earliest friendships. Finally, you're m

Jess Kotzer on Social Media Animation

Image
The most common challenges I both experience and hear about social media are that it's overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. It can be repetitive work with mundane tasks lined up for days. Today's guest offers an option that many may find helpful in getting their social media task list under control. Jess Kotzer has been involved in digital marketing for several years and she's discovered a large number of tasks that can be easily automated so that entrepreneurs can get many hours of time back. In this short introduction, Jess shares some ways you may already be using automation in your email, scheduling, and basic social media posting, but she takes it many steps further, giving us a glimpse into how a tool like Airtable can be used to automate an entire content production and distribution workflow. If you have questions about how you might use automation to take some of your most overwhelming tasks off your plate, Jess is the first person I'll send you to. #soci

Ready for a Fall Project?

Image
A warm and blessed Autumnal Equinox to you! Today actually felt like Fall here - a high temp of 58F, some steady afternoon and evening rain, and the desire for something warm for dinner all seemed seasonally appropriate. It reminds me that I get busy this time of year as people realize it's time to start taking their project dreams off the shelf and get working on them. The majority of my coaching clients are people who want to make things and then make money with those things. The most common examples are blogs, podcasts, books, YouTube channels, and small businesses. Some people are asking for help with planning the upcoming year, or expanding their vision for something they've already started. All I can say is that I always look forward to this time of year and the people who ask me to help them get these things done. The hard part for me is turning people away, but coming into this busy season, I only have space to take on a few new coaching agreements. If you'd like to

Attracting Your People

Image
Why spend time on things like values, vision, and mission for your work? Because those are the subconscious thing people are attracted to. Client avatar worksheet is impossible to finish, or it just doesn't work? Maybe you need to spend some time clarifying your values video and mission. Maybe you could work more on articulating your specialty. Then the people who need it will be easier to find. Are your values front and center in your messaging? Try that and see if people are drawn to them. Do you try to hide your personality in the interest of being more professional? Maybe that is keeping people from seeing you and becoming interested in what you're doing. Are you reluctant to share your truth because some people might be offended or excluded if you do? Maybe that is what is keeping people from finding and seeing you. Attracting clients to your work isn't rocket science. Don't make it harder than it has to be. #customer #marketing #values 

Course Checklist Lead Magnet Template for Canva

Image
In a morning conversation with an online course client, the topic turned to creating a lead magnet to promote her course and to bring people to the enrollment page. She's done PDF ebooks for email opt-ins before, but she doesn't have the time to do anything that elaborate for the course. I showed her a simple checklist I use for my Quiz Quick Start course and how I put it right on my course enrollment page. I also made a Canva template for a checklist that you can use to build your own. You can see my Canva checklist design here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFG-soc_Vg/view?utm_content=DAFG-soc_Vg&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink You can download a blank checklist Canva template here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFMtCWqng0/MRhNzjG2_SeBG6CJT2MO7w/view?utm_content=DAFMtCWqng0&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink&mode=preview Canva is a product I use every day. I'm also a Canva a

Better Results in Less Time

Image
After finishing the three courses I released over the summer, I took Robbie Samuels' advice and took a month off from production. (He talks about this in his wonderful book, Small List, Big Results that you can get here with my Associate's link: https://amzn.to/3xyGkKg ) I've read the book a few times and this was one of the practices he suggested that stood out.  The time off isn't necessarily idle time. It's time to reflect on what I learned and to identify parts of the process that I could improve. One of the things I have become aware of is how long it takes to edit course videos. As I looked back on the three projects, I realized that shooting the videos took very little time. I could record 5 - 6 lesson videos in an hour. Each course had about 30-45 lessons, so my video shoots accounted for between 8 and 9 hours of work. Editing the same 5-6 videos added about 2-3 hours of production time, so looking back over the process, I could have gained around 25 hours

From Aha Moments to Uh-Huh! Moments - Erica Holthausen & Audrey Holst

Image
If you're an entrepreneur and you've tried other people's blueprints, you may have found that their steps didn't work for your business. In this topical deep-dive, Erica Holthausen of Catchline Communications and Audrey Holst of Fortitude and Flow return to talk through some of the reasons for this phenomenon. In this episode, we talk about: ** Finding Your Business Fingerprint Instead of Buying Blueprints ** The difference between Aha moments and Uh-Huh moments ** The inner nudge toward transparent pricing ** Finding the business practices that feel best ** Entrepreneurship without training wheels ** Learning to listen to your body's messages Find Audrey at https://fortitudeandflow.com/ and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/audrey-holst/ Erica is discoverable here:  https://www.catchlinecommunications.com/ and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericaholthausen/ Franklin Taggart's blog: https://franklintaggart.com and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.

Stuck In Traffic

Image
If you were watching out for the new episode with Erica and Audrey, it will be coming out tomorrow. Today was a mess. Monica needed a ride to a conference in Denver and I thought it was only going to take a couple of hours to get there. It ended up taking almost five hours today. One of the challenges I have in common with most of the solopreneurs and freelancers I work with is the possibility of chaos in my schedule. The Google Calendar looks sweet with all the colored boxes, but life's boxes are not as pretty. It's easy to get thrown off schedule, and recovering from those unexpected turns takes some time. So plan B was to come home and edit and release the E & A show tonight. When I got home, I had a dog to walk and feed, and a kid to pick up, so I'm now on to plan C which is to get a good night's sleep and finish and release the episode tomorrow. You won't want to miss it! #efficiency #solopreneur #freelancer  

Opinion? Or Universal Truth?

Image
I'm not sure why my comment was the one you felt it necessary to reply with a very vocal and highly capitalized opinion, but goodness! I didn't mean to ruin your day by telling someone I liked what they said and how they said it. Dear friends, we've got to get some perspective here. Our preferences and opinions are not universally true and applicable to all other human beings. Relax! I share my opinions pretty liberally here and I'm guessing that mine are too innocuous to draw much enemy fire. That, and I have an extremely small audience who doesn't have time for feedback. But dang! Universal truths could probably be contained in a very thin book, and could easily be challenged until there isn't anything left but a front and back cover. So why do we feel it necessary to put a goat's head on anyone who doesn't agree? I'm starting to wonder if our disagreements are built into the design of the universe for population control. Yours truly, Willing to be

Do You Need an Email List?

Image
I've built several email lists over the years for various enterprises. My music email list grew to about 3500 people over 20 years. This isn't huge compared to the efforts of others, but it was grown a couple of enrollments at a time when I was playing for small audiences consisting of mostly the same people. My current email list is less than 500 people, and I write only a few emails yearly. Most of my marketing for coaching is face-to-face, and I've not had much to promote through email. I'm not someone who will tell a new business owner that they MUST do anything regarding tools and tactics. I think we need only to concern ourselves with two questions - how will we make and maintain connections with customers, and do our methods work adequately? My social media experience goes back to MySpace. I've experimented with every platform except WhatsApp and Snapchat. None of the social media platforms have been as reliable as email for reaching people I need to stay in

Strategic Volunteering

Image
A recurring FAQ in my world is, "Where can I meet the people I need to know? They aren't at the networking meetings I go to." I remember back when I was in corporate sales and consulting that the place to meet new contacts was the country club if you could afford it. I couldn't. There were gym memberships, social clubs, service organizations, and other places, too, but many of those placed limitations on using their meetings and venues for making business contacts. One of the places I've had the most success meeting the right people for the opportunities I seek is through volunteering. I share a few of my favorite volunteer experiences in the coffee break, but if you'd like to come up with a volunteering strategy to further your goals and dreams, schedule an IdeaBurst session with me. This is a one-time 90-minute coaching session in which we'll clarify your goals and find the relationship opportunities to help you succeed. https://bit.ly/IdeaBurst to sche

Let's Make a Scene!

Image
Thanks to Jess Kotzer and the Self Pub Hub group for giving me a place to share some POV tonight. If you're an author considering self publishing, you should check them out here: https://www.selfpubhub.org/ A couple of insights came to me tonight as we discussed authors' marketing ideas. One was a reminder of something Tom Espinola, the producer of my CD Falling All The Way, told me. He suggested that one of the ingredients for my musical success would be to create a scene for my kind of music in the area. I think this may be one strategy with merit as we continue to navigate the impact of the internet on all things creative. Right now, most of us creatives are working in silos, only looking up to see what other people are doing. I think those of us who learn to leverage the amazing collaboration potential for audience building and promotion will have an advantage. We need to make a scene. More about this in the Coffee Break and insight into how collaborating to make a scene co

Lost Weekend?

Image
This weekend didn't go according to plan, at least my plan. 

Done Worrying About the Future of the Arts

Image
 For as long as I can remember, I've heard conversations and opinions centered on a deep concern for the future of the arts. As an artist myself, I've participated in many of these conversations, and there have been times I've been deeply worried about where fine arts, in particular, are headed. But I've recently started to see that worry as misplaced. There are a couple of indicators that fine arts remain alive and well. One of them is the ongoing high visibility arts are finding in the online realm. Maybe it's because I've followed so many artists and arts organizations on my social media, but I'm impressed by both the quality and quantity of artistic expression I see there.  The other indicator I see that encourages me is the accessibility of some of the world's major players in every field of art. People interact with creative artists like author SE Hinton, multi-disciplinary star Isabella Rosselini, Pee Wee Herman, and many others. I remember the th

Success Strategies for Sensitive People

Image
 I took the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) forty years ago to find that I'm an INFP. Think what you want about that, but I'll just use it as a reference to say that my personality tends to land on the side of high sensitivity, empathy, and intuition. Truth be told, I find most marketing and sales techniques difficult to carry out and sustain for any length of time without ending up feeling completely exhausted and at odds with my own core values. The challenges I've had in all of my career and business efforts are mostly around finding ways to succeed while honoring my strengths and personality traits instead of ignoring them and playing through the pain. For me, the key to succeeding has been to focus on building high-quality, strong relationships with people and delivering service worthy of referral. It has worked, but it took time to figure out and build a system around it. An interesting observation recently is that the people who have been finding their way to my coaching tend to

Waiting for a Change to Come

Image
 As I write this description, the north wind is picking up outside, and our temperatures here are about to plunge about 40 degrees in the next hour.  This is a welcome respite from a Summer that has had more 90+ degree days than any I can remember in my history. For the past two days, my son has been released from school two hours early due to the high heat and lack of functional air conditioning in the schools. It has been a long, hot summer. We'll finally have a noticeable break from the extremes for the next few days. More seasonably cool temperatures are expected, and we may start to see some leaves change color. A welcome respite. It reminds me of the seasons I have in my business and how sometimes the dry spells last longer than is comfortable. We tend to forget that our enterprises happen in an environment that sometimes generates extremes, and we must be prepared for any of them. In the Coffee Break, I reveal my own circumstance of coming out of a period of high creative ac

Trusting Your Instincts (AKA Your Gut)

Image
I've always felt that my intuition and hunches are reliable, but I've been told to be more reasonable and logical in my decision making. Reason and logic are great, but they haven't been as reliable as my intuitive intelligence. In fact, when I've chosen the reasonable path, it's often been a dead end. I still don't know what to make of Human Design. My woo meter is off the scale, but every time I turn around, it's affirming something about me that is eerily true. Trusting my hunches is one of those things. The implications of this realization run wide and deep, explaining why the tools and tactics of other types don't work for me, and how I need to create my own based on my own inner guidance. Sound familiar? If so, https://bit.ly/BestNextStepCall to schedule a conversation and see what your personality has been trying to tell you all along. #humandesign #intuition #hunch 

Tell a Better Story

Image
 Life is a story you tell yourself. Don't like it? Tell a better story. Considering I'm a Wyoming native, it's taken me long enough to find the Longmire series of novels by Craig Johnson. It's nothing crazy, but there were a few decades where I didn't read any fiction until I realized I was becoming a dull boy and signed up for Audible. God knows I don't have the patients to sit down and actually read for pleasure. I recently read the Longmire book called the Western Star. The story was set on a train that was traveling from Cheyenne to Evanston, Wyoming, across the Southern part of the state where I spent many growing up years. The last time I saw my grandfather was in July of 1969 when he dropped my mom, my sisters, and me at the train station in Evanston to take the Union Pacific passenger service to Cheyenne, where my dad was working for the Summer. Gramps had worked on that railroad until retiring just a few years before. Craig johnson's depiction of th

Closer to Perfect Than Done

Image
If perfectionism has been something you work with, you've probably heard in recent years that "done is better than perfect." I'm guessing the roots of this motto are from the lean or agile movements. God knows I haven't had a software upgrade in decades that worked as it should from day one. This all started today because the computer I've used as my main video workstation for the past four years has started to sound like a jet engine preparing for takeoff, and the monitor crashes from overheating are becoming more frequent. Planned obsolescence has become so normal that we tolerate less than mediocre products as if there isn't a higher possible bar. SaaS services have been offering similar experiences. Short beta tests that don't address most of the bugs are released into the wild, where people like you and I are the second and remaining phases of development and testing. And I mention several of the Saas subscriptions I use have started charging more

Make Something Worth Driving For

Image
If you're ever in Longmont, CO, stop in at Babette's Artisan Bakery for a breakfast or lunch sandwich, some wood-fired pizza, and don't forget to wrap up a loaf or two of their amazing sourdough bread to take home with you. Find their hours and more about them here: https://www.babettesbakery.com/ We found out about Babette's from some foodie friends who would drive from their home in Genessee, about an hour away, to stock up on their favorite bread and desserts. We've been going there for the past several years, including the pandemic years, and we tell everyone we know about it. Yes, their food is expensive, but we've already spent the money on gas; we'll pay what it takes. It's that good. There's more about Babette's in the Coffee Break today, but I wanted to make the point that if you focus on exceptional work, people will do whatever they must to get it. Make your first priority mastering the craft of what you do, and don't settle for a

Duh, It's the Relationships!

Image
All the recent changes in my life have me reflecting on what matters most. Figuring out what I'm doing now that I'm only doing one thing. I want to do it well. I looked back at all I've done for the past 13 years, and the one thread that keeps showing up is helping people start and build strong relationships. This hasn't been limited to one area of my life; it's come up in several. And it's also been the common thread in all of the work I've done with people in my coaching role. Identifying the key relationships they need and then finding ways to cultivate them. Relationships are the context for everything we do as humans, and yet we often do our creating and planning outside of that context. Then we wonder why our efforts fail or don't land quite as we'd hoped.  And the same dynamics at play in our personal relationships also show up in our professional relationships. They go through similar stages, are affected by personality and preferences, and r

Targeting Underserved Niches With Your Content with Scott Schang

Image
What if 96 percent of people looking for a service like yours were ignored by the top-performing competitors in your industry? By now, the easiest to find customers in your industry are finding the companies who can afford the most expensive ads, keywords, and the top of page one on Google. But imagine if you found a closet full of bankers' boxes with people who wanted your service but couldn't access it as easily as the customers your competitors have the resources to reach. Wouldn't it be worth it to find ways to serve them? That's what Scott Schang did. He used blogging as a way to teach people who had been refused mortgages on their first try how to succeed on their second. The sales in his division tripled. Now Scott teaches other mortgage vendors how to reach their customers through content marketing using blogs, videos, and other channels. He's taken his most successful content and packaged it so that other people in his industry can share in the success he&#

Has Audience Building Changed for You?

Image
Today was a day full of great conversations. A recurring theme today was the question of how audience building has changed for people over the past few years. We also wondered aloud how the pandemic and quarantines have impacted how we attract and gather people to our causes. In my case, my enjoyment of participating in social media has changed pretty drastically in the last few years. It used to be a more enjoyable and manageable activity. Still, it has gotten increasingly sophisticated and demanding, and it's hard to know how to reach people there without just sending them DMs. The number of content options has also made it challenging to know how to reach people. I know I can repurpose TikTok videos as Shorts and Reels, but whatever happened to just posting pictures, and why aren't as many people seeing them? The strange thing is that visits to my blog have increased over the same period. And again, I don't know why. I haven't increased sharing of my posts. In fact,