There are two scenarios that beg for an up-level.
1. You’ve reached a plateau in your business and things just aren’t changing no matter what you do
2.You’ve set a really big goal for yourself and your business and your current systems and offers don’t support that type of leap.
An up-level generally requires a stretch of some sort – which can be both scary and exhilarating. An up-level can also mean more recognition, credibility, visibility and money. All good reasons to consider up-leveling your biz.
There are three areas to look at when considering up-leveling your business: Systems, Pricing and Mindset.
By systems I mean two things. The technical elements, like your website, platforms and automation. And the support team you need to help you implement your vision.
Technical up-leveling often happens in stages. Take a look now and see if your current website, email provider, online course platform and ability to automate are serving your needs now and if you were to grow.
A colleague recently was struggling to create opt in pages via her newsletter service and there were so many limitations she just couldn’t get it to reflect the quality of her programs. Once she up-leveled the page building platform, her opt ins increased 600%. The truth is, outdated systems or small thinking approaches can cost you your dream.
The second part of this is building a team. Hiring people who can implement your vision, build those pages and do those things that take you hours to figure out. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is often someone’s first up-level. I remember way back when I hired my first VA. I was blown away by how much and how fast she could get stuff done. It freed me to do the things I’m best at. It will you too. And you can add more people as you go.
Periodically it’s important to review your offers and see if they are still aligned with who you are becoming. As we spend time in business our experience grows, our name recognition grows and if our prices don’t grow along with us – it will start to undermine our position.
Are you giving too much for too little? Are you bringing in enough to hire that Virtual Assistant? Maybe it’s time to give yourself a raise.
Another way to up-level pricing is to create high-end offers. High-end offers include things like a VIP day or a high-end mastermind. It could be a transformational retreat or even a VIP upsell on a current group program.
Creating a high-end offer is a really interesting stretch for many. As you create a high-end offer you may find you have to change your fees for one-on one work. That private work needs to be priced 2-4 times higher than your high-end program. I’m currently playing in this arena and trying on pricing for a not yet designed high-end mastermind. It will mean at least doubling my current rates for private mentoring – aahh, there is the stretch!
Up-leveling your business, whether small steps or big leaps requires you to trust. Trust yourself. Trust that you will do what it takes to succeed. Trust that you are indeed worthy of having more help, more income, more time off and fun.
The saboteurs will show up. They always show up when we stretch into new territory and they whisper lots of lies in your ear. Your higher self knows the truth. You are absolutely worthy of whatever you can dream.
Treat yourself with loving compassion and encouragement. You can grow your business and you can grow yourself to meet the new visions and new challenges.
You don’t have to always promote your own product, program or service to attract an infusion of cash. You can also earn revenue by promoting other people’s products and programs.
If you aren’t yet familiar with the term ‘affiliate’ or J.V. partner, it’s high time you make its acquaintance. An affiliate or J.V.partner is someone who promotes your products and programs in exchange for a commission, visibility to your audience, promoting them in return or any combination of those things.
Being an affiliate or JV partner promoting someone else is one of the easiest ways to bring in additional revenue. There are three ways to do this and a couple of important things to keep in mind as you choose who to promote.
The 3 ways to earn:
1. Be an affiliate for someone during their specific launch. This is one of the most lucrative options. You will be provided with free content and lots of marketing copy to use and their launch is all about creating energy and buzz so it is time limited. They might even offer an affiliate contest and you can win cool prizes on top of the affiliate commission.
2. Create a recommended products and programs page on your website. List products and services you use and love and would recommend to clients. Sign up to be an affiliate for each of them and attach your link. I recommend buying a domain name specifically for that page, something like “your-name-recommends.com”. That way it is super easy to refer an audience or clients to great service
3. Post a graphic on your home page that links to a favorite product or service, with your affiliate link of course. I do this on the Coaching Toys store home page for 3 affiliates I’m fond of: Choice magazine, The Coaching Tools Company and CoachGlue.
Choosing who to promote
The best products, programs or services to promote are ones you use or have first hand experience with. When you bring your personal experience, passion and enthusiasm when you talk about it, you will do well.
Here are several questions to consider in choosing who to promote:
- Is it a natural fit for my audience?
- Would it add value to my audience?
- Do I have first-hand knowledge of the quality and fully trust the product/program/service?
- What is the commission rate?
- Will it compete with my programs or services?
- Will their launch dates compete with my own?
Now, go find someone to promote. Seriously, promoting others can add $1000’s to your bottom line. It’s a strategy worth adding.
Icebreakers are often silly, light and playful, right? So, why do we use them, especially when there is an intense agenda, serious learning on the docket or significant training goals to be met?
Here's three reasons why ice-breakers are an absolute staple for trainers
1. Connection and Relaxation
An ice-breaker gives participants a way to meet, connect and get to know a little bit about each other. People learn more easily when they know each other, and when you are all being a bit silly, you RELAX. It's harder to make up the internal stories that separate us when you feel connected and relaxed.
2. Expands Capacity for Learning
If you have been working with intense information; technical, emotional or strategic, participants can reach that place of "too full". Taking a break with an icebreaker, especially ones that are physical, humorous or down-right silly provides breathing room and that translates into – okay, I'm ready for more.
3. Energy and Motivation
Whether it's early morning and participants are just getting going or the lull after lunch an ice-breaker can breath life into the room. It can get people moving, engaged, energized and ready for the session.
Bottom line – ice-breakers can facilitate intense learning, support goals and make an intense agenda more digestible.
Having an ice-breaker tool ready when you need it, saves time and will make your event more effective and memorable.
Check out the ice-breaker tools in the Coaching Toys Store! Ice-breakers
Marketing is essential and the truth is, some of the things you try will work and some won’t. When you have a string of actions that don’t work it can lead to “marketing burnout”. One of the definitions of burnout is fatigue or frustration from devotion to a cause that failed to produce the expected reward. Signs of “marketing burnout” are similar to other types of burnout.
You might feel exhausted and start experiencing some work avoidance behaviors. You might feel disconnected from your passion and even wonder if you are on the right path. It can affect your mood, appetite and even relationships. It’s really uncomfortable to find yourself in this state.
As entrepreneurs, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be successful. This can create a sense of urgency. A constant stream of thoughts that come from a place of urgency, gotta get this done today, what if it doesn’t work, I don't have enough time or resources dumps stress hormones into your body. These hormones, cortisol in particular, wreck havoc on your mind and body. And science tells us we have on average 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day, just imagine if a large percentage of those thoughts are triggering stress – holy buckets!
Before you get too alarmed, know that burnout is a normal response to ongoing stress and frustration and there are steps you can take to get back on solid ground and even prevent burnout in the future.
Strategy #1 – Relax
Meditation, mindfulness practices and massages are incredibly helpful but the real key is to learn to relax WHILE you are performing activities.
The stress response comes from an internal alarm that there is a threat of some sort. The alarm sets off a series of reactions that prepare the body to either fight or flee. All of this worked great when we were dealing with lions and tigers and bears but not so much when its in response to deadlines and expectations and internal pressure. A key player in the communication of stress is the vagus nerve. It runs from the roof of your mouth to the back of your head and branches into the thoracic cavity and down the spine to your pelvic region. The cool thing about this nerve is that it has two way communication.
Two ways to relax in the moment:
1. Use a timer set to frequent intervals. When the timer goes off, take a couple of minutes to relax your pelvic area (hips, sitting bones). When you relax/release/soften the core muscles in this area it sends the message up the vagus nerve that there is no threat and the brain can turn off the cortisol.
2. If you are looking at something or someone – even giving a talk on stage, take a moment to widen your peripheral vision and soften your focus. This too can stimulate a relaxation shift.
Strategy # 2 – Aerobic Exercise
You know this one I’m sure. You have heard it over and over that it’s important to get exercise. Exercise helps manage stress, it increases serotonin and gives you a way to work off the stress of a failed marketing campaign. No matter how busy you are – take time for aerobic activity at least 3 times a week.
Strategy #3 Self Compassion & Perspective
Getting mindful of the internal stories, beliefs and expectations that feed the stress machine is critical. I think one of the big internal stories related to marketing burnout is: because my marketing failed – I am a failure. On the heels of that one is: nothing I do will will work, my work isn’t good enough, I should just give it all up. Can you feel the pain and stress and anxiety in these stories?
The first step is to notice the stories. The second is to bring some compassion to them and begin to tease out the fusion between you and your marketing strategies. I know that you are not your marketing and it might take you awhile for you to embrace it too. Get some help from your coach around this if needed.
When it comes to marketing – well actually anything in life – it’s important to get clear about what you can control and what you can’t. Look at your marketing from that perspective and get some input on your expectations. I remember the first time someone I admired really spelled out the numbers in concrete terms (percent of an audience that will sign up for comp session, how many of those will show up and how many will convert) it was a huge aha. I had very unrealistic expectations – it gave me perspective. Get some perspective for yourself.
Strategy #4 Rest and Renewal
To begin to reconnect to your passion, your vision and your value it’s important to take a break and tend to your heart and your spirit. Your body desperately needs a break from the constant cortisol dump. Get plenty of rest, give yourself office hours and stick to them, take a vacation, get out in nature, nurture other interests and do things that 'fill the well'.
Remember – it's temporary!
When you recognize that you are experiencing marketing burnout – be gentle with yourself and create a plan to get back to the heart and soul of who you are. Remember – you are not your marketing. It’s a temporary state. When you are re-grounded, simply try something new and notice what worked and what didn’t. Marketing is after all a grand experiment.
Your momentum is driven by your “Will”, the energetic force that gets you into action. It helps you actually get your ideas created and implemented in your business. The six stages of “willing” described in The Act of Will by Roberto Assagioli offer a helpful framework, especially if you are stalling out on your project. Knowing what stage you are in can provide insight on how to get back into action.
Purpose, Motivation and Intention
As you think about business strategies and products you might create, it’s important to have them aligned with your purpose and to make sense in your business model. You also want to feel excited about it. Creating from purpose arouses motivation. So your first question in response to a product or business idea is “why am I wanting to create this?”
Once you have an idea, exciting as it is, take some time to reflect on it from both a strategic perspective and from an intuitive one. I often invite clients to imagine the idea completed and explore what that looks like. Where does it take them, what doors open up etc. Products often have a life of their own so the important question to ask yourself: “Is that where I want to go?”
Choice and Decision
Once you have deliberated and are clear that yes, this idea has energy and it will take you and your business where you want to go, you make the decision to pursue it. The decision is not about “trying”, it is about a commitment to do it.
Declaring your choice and your decision in the form of an “I Will” statement activates it. It is about embracing certainty, faith and conviction. It is often helpful at this stage to post your “I Will” statement where you can see it. Making it visual also empowers the statement so consider creating a collage or draw a picture of your finished product.
Planning and working out a program
This is about breaking your project down into steps and setting milestones for yourself. This process outlines how the action will unfold, deadlines to meet and resources needed.
Direction of the execution
You have your decision, commitment and plan. This stage of “will” acts as command central and directs the action. It harnesses your energy, talents, imagination, intellect and heart to move forward.
If you feel stalled with your project – take a moment to reflect on each of these stages to identify where the problem is. Are you motivated by purpose or calling? Is it the right project for you? Have you fully committed? Do you have a workable plan? Once you know whats going on you can correct it.
If you haven't yet signed up for the online World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS) – Do!
Last year was awesome and this year they have another super lineup you'll likely be interested in. I've also heard that sessions are reaching capacity quickly.
The speakers include:
- Marshall Goldsmith-Global Thinkers, 50 award winner.
- Ken Blanchard-Business & Leadership thought leader.
- Carol Kauffman-CEO of Harvard Institute of Coaching.
- Judith Glaser-Conversation Intelligence guru.
- Liz Wiseman-Mulitplier Leaderships & Thinkers, 50 award winner.
- Mark Thompson-CEO of Virgin Unite and Richard Branson's coach.
- David Peterson-Global Head of Leadership & Development at Google.
- Jim Kouzes-Leadership guru.
- Jim Clifton-CEO of Gallup.
- Peter Cheese-CEO of Chartered Institute of Personnel Development
Each year the WBECS event offers a complimentary set of world class sessions you can attend online at your convenience. Pick the sessions that you most resonate with and that are most relevant to you right now. The value I have received each year has been excellent and well worth the time invested.Here is the link where you can register: WBECS
I hope you are able to join at least a few of the sessions during May!