Episode 136 - How to grow your business without working for free

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player above.


As business owners, we often feel the pressure to give away our work for free. For new service providers, it can feel especially tempting.

This idea does make us feel good in the short term, however, they can lead to stress later on when we are desperately trying to get more money to feed our families. Join Kristin and Jeff as they look at three things will allow you to help people while growing your business.

Networking

Share your knowledge

Build your own business

 

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Episode 130 - The one thing every proposal must have

 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player above.


Kristin and I have both created many proposals in our 30 years of experience.  We have seen a growing trend in proposals. Listen to today's episode as we discuss this trend and why, if you use it, this tactic it is hurting your business and different ways to change it to your advantage.

What we talk about in this episode

  • Kristin's Trade show blues
  • The problem tactic that needs to be fixed: Proposals without end dates
  • Why is it used?
  • Other times we have seen it
  • Problems with the tactic
    • Either risk future margins or unduly raises the price you can offer today
    • A customer accepts your offer 5 years down the road
    • Focuses time and energy on inquiries that might never be hot leads
    • lose scarcity advantage
    • Might cause 
  • Counterpoint: Should you use it?
    • You have anchored the price in their head (Sticky prices)
    • Really need...
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Episode 118 - The basics of Online Summits

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player above.


Kristin and I are always looking for ways to grow our online business. So we have started researching creating an online conference or summit.  They offer much of the benefits of a real-life conference with networking and sales. However, the can be put together at a fraction of the cost.

  • What are they?
    • More advanced than other forms of outreach content. However,
    • Online only conferences
    • Typically, free content for a limited time
    • Typically sells with lifetimes sales product “All-Access Pass”
  • What are they good for?
    • Building your authority
    • Building your email list
    • Creating a product to sell
      • Possibly evergreen
  • And What do I need to do them?
    • Ability to record the video interviews
      • Hangouts / Skype
    • Platform to deliver the content for free
      • Could be embedded YouTube Videos
    • Platform to upsell the content
      • Redirect all old...
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Episode 113 – Why you need an avatar

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.


Small business owners can be funny. We spend so much time trying to find better ways to run our businesses, we overload ourselves and get overwhelmed and avoid getting the basic work done that our business needs. We need to a few strategies when starting that we have to get done and in this episode, we are going to explain one, avatar.

Yes, we have talked avatars before

Back in Episode 4 - Who is your ideal customer? and we also talked about your avatar in the sales process in Episode 79 - The 4x4x3 Insight Guide for Sales. If you do not believe us, Russel Brunson covered the subjects in Dot Com Secrets and more in his follow up book Expert Secrets.

The truth is Avatars, Ideal customers, or Perfect customers are not a secret

So Kristin and I decided to do an entire episode talking about why having an avatar is important.

  • Enough people still...
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Episode 112 – Tips for a successful launch

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The human brain is funny. It will do many things to protect us. The worse thing it does is lie to us on our behalf. And to be honest Kristin and I see this a lot when business owners share content or try and sell online.  We tell ourselves we are launching, however, we are really just checking off a to-do list item. 

Sharing on Facebook and saying we are done is a failed launch!

Even if we get a few people into our sales process and make a few sales and most people will not do even that. They will complain that they tried to do it and the people just did not want it. The Truth is we just lied to ourselves, we spent so much time creating something of beauty for the world, we spent no time trying on the marketing and sales process. We wished for success and did set ourselves up for failure.

Start planning for your success

Join...

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Episode 102 - Small Biz Speaking Tips with Aurora Gregory

Public speaking is an important skill for small business owners because it gives us another opportunity to show the world we are an authority and is great free publicity. In this episode, we discuss small biz speaking tips with Aurora Gregory, co-author of Get Picked and owner of Aurora Gregory Consulting.

About Aurora

As an 8th grader, Aurora was a finalist in a speech contest. She didn’t win but that just might have been the start of her career as a communicator. Some of the biggest brands in business have worked with her to get their message right, create communications programs that connect with target audiences and set marketing strategies – all achieving stellar results. Aurora’s gotten high marks as a communications trainer, helping people develop skills to deliver their most important messages to customers, media and presentation audiences. She has years of experience in leading speaker’s bureau programs that have placed hundreds of speakers at...

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Episode 97 - How to deal with unhappy customers

None of us want to deal with unhappy customers but it is inevitable as a small business owner. In this episode, we discuss how to save your sanity and your reputation next time you must deal with one. 

Before you respond

Many of us get a negative email, message, or review and want to instantly respond while we are seething mad. Probably not the best way to respond. Before you reply:

  • Breathe
  • Empathize
  • Do not take it as a personal attack
  • Think of solutions

How to respond

  • Listen objectively and get to the root of the problem
  • Come up with a quick resolution
  • Implement the resolution quickly
  • Don't be a pushover
  • Sometimes you cannot make them happy, no matter what you do

Sometimes you must fire customers

If a customer is too demanding or gets out of line, you can fire customers. Make sure you have disengagement language in client contracts where applicable. 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.

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Episode 96 - Pricing your products

Small business owners typically struggle with pricing their products, especially digital products. In this episode, we discuss the factors that must be considered when setting your prices.

For more information about pricing your services, check out episode 90.

The components of pricing

There are four components of pricing:

  1. Direct materials - These are the materials that go into each unit of your product. This might be the cost of a product that you have someone else manufacture for you or bonus items you give away with the cost of a digital course (maybe you mail a welcome packet or t-shirt). Direct materials can also be the cost of software that is incurred on each sale (if you are selling software as a service or other products with incremental software costs).
  2. Direct labor - This is the direct cost of labor to make or provide the product. An example of this would be the cost associated with your labor to record videos for a monthly membership site like Small Biz HQ. This would...
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Episode 95 – Get the most out of your vanity metrics

Why do we always look at numbers that mean very little?

Vanity metrics are the numbers that push most online businesses. However, they are just that vanity. They can make us feel great when they look good or grow.  However, if they are low then we feel horrible. It makes us what to stop.   

However, we need to remember that good or bad they mean nothing on their own.  Views, downloads, likes, views, and hearts all mean nothing on their own. 

VS what we need to know

What we need to look at is revenue, customers,  conversion, cost or ultimately profit. 

However, when we start a business those numbers are bad.  They are the numbers of "old" business.  They are not as sleek and sexy as these more modern metrics that make us feel like we are at least helping others even if we are not yet making money.

We understand 

We are looking for validation as well.  We want profits.  However, we do this to help people....

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Episode 93 - How to automate your appointment scheduling

Scheduling client meetings, interviews, and other appointments can be time-consuming. In this episode, we discuss appointment scheduling apps that can help you save time and get paid faster.

Why should you consider an appointment scheduling app?

There are many reasons to use one of these apps. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Allows clients to schedule appointments with you without the back and forth of email scheduling.
  2. Allows clients to pay for appointments before the meeting.
  3. Automatically sends appointment reminders.
  4. Allows clients to reschedule if needed.
  5. Allows you to set up classes or workshops with multiple attendees.

You can also use these systems to book other types of appointments like discovery calls and podcast interviews. Really any situation where you need to meet with someone else, you can use one of these systems. 

Key features

There are a lot of apps out there. In this episode, we only discuss a few of them. When looking at different systems, you...

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