Do you know who your “tribe” is?

 

They are the people who really need what you have to offer. The problems that consume their days and steal their sleep are exactly what you solve. You have the expertise they need.

 

Defining your tribe goes far beyond age/gender/location. You need to know where they spend time, both online and offline. You need to know what they struggle with and what holds them back from asking for help.

 

Most of all, you need to know how to authentically connect with your tribe.

 

Find Your Tribe

Knowing who the people are that you can best serve is the first step. Another term for this is defining your niche.

 

Many business owners are afraid to claim a niche. They feel that by focusing on serving everyone, they will get more business.

Best Work Quote

Unfortunately, it’s not true. You can’t be available to everyone and still make a difference in the world. You have to find who it is you do your best work with and focus only on that group.

 

Key thought: When you include everyone, you attract no one.

 

Let me give you an example. Let’s pretend there’s a woman named Barbara Feinstein. She’s 40, with two teenagers at home. She’s a practicing Jew. Her biggest struggle is that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do when her kids leave home. She’s built her life around being a mom.

 

Which invitation is going to work best to reach her?

  • Looking for purpose? I can help. Contact me today!
  • Are you ready for an empty nest? Contact me for information on finding purpose after your kids leave home.

 

Obviously, it’s the second one! The second headline shows that you understand her exact pain point and are offering to help. The first invitation is too broad and doesn’t tell her what you actually do.

 

Now, the second invitation also excludes certain people. People who are young. People who don’t have kids. People who have a long list of post-kid activities ready to go.

 

But that’s OK!

 

In order to be relevant to specific people, you have to be irrelevant to others. That’s the only way you’ll be able to work with the people you love most and do your best work for them. You have to exclude some people to truly serve others.

 

Connect Authentically

Once you’ve defined who you can best serve, you have to reach out to them in a way that’s authentic and draws them in. There are several important steps to this.

 

Step 1: Talk About Them, Not You

I hate to break it to you, but people aren’t nearly as interested in you as you think. They’re primarily interested in what’s in it for them.

 

Therefore, when communicating online or in person, focus on your prospect. Talk about what pain they have. Listen to what they have to say. Talk about solutions you offer that matter to them.

 

Too many websites are all about “Here’s my education, here’s my awards, here’s my testimonials. I’m so cool, hire me!”

 

That doesn’t work. Effective marketing says, “Here’s what you’re struggling with, here’s what keeps you up at night. Here’s a solution you need. Contact me to get it.”

 

Step 2: Use the Customer’s Language

Being well educated in your field is great, but it can be a hindrance when you’re creating marketing. Specialists tend to “talk shop” instead of using the customer’s language.

 

Which makes sense to you?

  • “It’s really important to optimize your portfolio to minimize risk and maximize return. A mixture of mutual funds, short term T-bills, and government bonds would be a great mix for you at your age.”
  • “We want to make sure your retirement account builds value but also doesn’t lose money before you retire. I think a mix of fairly safe, high-quality investments is best for you at this time.”

 

Unless you know finance, the first paragraph probably means little to you. On the other hand, the second paragraph uses language you’re familiar with.

 

Sometimes we’re tempted to “sound smart” by using technical language. It’s a big no-no. If you want to really connect with your customer talk about their problems the way they do.

 

Step 3: Be the Real You

Finally, be yourself. Too many business owners feel the need to put on a mask and pretend to be someone they’re not. It never works.

 

Pretending to be extremely tight and professional when you’re truly silly and fun doesn’t serve anyone. Instead, bring your true personality into your work. Being authentic not only helps you feel more comfortable in your business, it helps your customers feel more comfortable around you.

 

People can tell when others are being fake. No one wants to work with a fake. By bringing your true personality and perspective into your business and marketing, you’ll be able to serve those who will work best with you.

 

Connect Authentically with Your Tribe

When you’ve defined who your tribe is and reached out to them authentically, you’ll find your business growing more quickly than you expected.

 

By identifying your niche and communicating in ways that make sense to them, you’ll be light years ahead of most of your competitors.

 

It can be hard to decide who you truly want to work with and how to be fully yourself in your business. If you struggle with narrowing your focus, I’m here to help. Sign up Here for The best tips on Visibility to your market today and you’ll receive 25 Ways to Fire Your Boss

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How Long Will You Wait to Live Your Dream?

Taylor Manning. Caleb Maddix. Do those names ring a bell?

 

If not, you’re missing out. Both of them are massively successful entrepreneurs.

 

And they didn’t wait until “the right time” to launch their dream.

 

Taylor Manning started her freelance business during college. When she graduated, she didn’t even bother to look for a job. She knew that she had found what she wanted to do with her life – so she did it. At 19 years old.

 

Taylor became so successful that she now coaches other entrepreneurs, and makes more in a month than some people do in a full year. She flew past six figures per year by the age of 21.

 

Caleb Maddix is a 14-year-old entrepreneur who lives by the mantra “The gun that kills the most people is ‘gonna’.” He has heard countless people put off their dreams, saying that they will pursue a business when they get out of college, when they get married, or when they have more time.

 

He’s decided not to be that person. He says he sat down one day and realized that if he wanted to start a business, he could do it now just as easily as later. He’s been on dozens of mission trips and has seen what abject poverty looks like. His dream is to provide jobs for others, donate enormous amounts of money, and make a difference in the world.

 

What’s Your Excuse?

Neither Taylor nor Caleb let excuses stop them. Taylor could have said, “Oh, but I’m busy in school, I’ll think about this later.” Caleb could have said, “Oh, I’m just a kid, I’ll figure something out when I grow up.”

 

No one would have blamed them. And probably, no one blames you for the excuse you’re using either.

 

But what if you stopped making excuses?

 But what if you stopped making excuses-

What if you stopped waiting for “the perfect time”? What if you realized that you could start your dream today, and not some unknown time in the future?

 

What’s possible if you simply take action now?

 

Time Will Pass Anyway

In ten years, you’ll be a decade older whether you move toward your dreams or not. And trust me, you’ll wish you started today.

 

There will always be challenges. If you use challenges as excuses today, you’ll still be doing it in ten years. The circumstances will be different, but there will always be a reason not to start.

 

Will you let that hold you back? Or will you choose to be like Taylor Manning and Caleb Maddix, and take action where you are with what you have?

 

If you’re ready to act, I’m here to help. My Ultimate Cash for College program will help you develop the entrepreneurial skills you need to make extra money in school and beyond. Whether you want to start your own business full-time or just bring in extra money on the side, you’ll discover the strategies that make freelancers and entrepreneurs successful.

 

To learn more about the Ultimate Cash for College workshop, Sign up for 25 ways to Fire Your Boss today. Your dreams are waiting – now is the time!

The Death of Influencer Marketing

Great Exaggerations: The Death of Influencer Marketing

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” –Mark Twain

Over the last couple of years, as the FTC, FDA, and Google implemented specific guidelines for compensated posts on social media. Some large companies have gone public saying that influencer marketing isn’t giving them the returns they wanted.

This has caused some folks to despair. They have declared that influencer marketing is dead.

I mean, if an influencer promotes you on Twitter but has to use the hashtag #ad, you’ll lose the credibility an influencer is supposed to give, right?

Not quite.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is the process of having people with strong online followings review or promote your product or service. You focus on using thought leaders or other respected individuals to gain credibility for your offering.

Celebrity endorsements are a long-standing form of influencer marketing. So are sponsored blog posts, sponsored tweets, Instagram posts, and more.

Influencers can be paid or unpaid for their endorsement. Most of the time there is some sort of compensation, which now requires clear disclosure.

What IS Dead About Influencer Marketing

The reason that many organizations are fed up with influencer marketing is because they aren’t using people for their influencer.

They’re using them as a digital billboard.

So a major sports figure on Instagram holds up Gatorade. So a supermodel takes a picture with a specific face cleanser. Is that going to drive major sales of the product?

No.

We’re jaded. We know that Bryce Harper or Kim Kardashian or whoever is a paid spokesperson. We know they don’t use or care about the product. We’re not impressed.

That’s the problem with influencer marketing done wrong. You are obviously paying an advertiser. It doesn’t feel authentic. We keep scrolling.

How to Do Influencer Marketing Right

Well, if influencer marketing isn’t dead, how can you take advantage of it?

There are several tips that are vital. However, the most important aspect is your mindset.

Influencer marketing is about an authentic connection with another person’s audience.

 

If you remember that, you’ll do well. (Click Here for more on Building this!)

Find the Right Influencer

Choosing an influencer based merely on the number of followers they have is a losing proposition. Instead, ask these questions:

  • Does this person use my type of product or service in their life?
  • Are they the type of person who could genuinely promote or review my offering?
  • Is their audience similar to my target market?
  • How engaged is their audience?
  • Has this person shown the ability to inspire action in their followers in the past?

With the answers to these questions, you’ll have a short-list of influencers who may work well for your marketing outreach.

Build the Relationship

No one likes to be used. While some people are willing to be used for the right amount of money, their reviews or endorsements won’t be as authentic.

Instead, research the people you are considering as influencers. Find out what’s important to them. Investigate their guidelines for promotion, if they have any posted.

Then, reach out authentically. Talk about why your product or service would benefit their audience and share why you chose them as an influencer instead of someone else.

Keep the Conversation Going

Don’t see an influencer relationship as a one-time advertisement. Instead, engage with the new audience and the influencer over time. Find a way to connect that serves both you, the influencer, and the audience.

Can you offer coupons from time to time? Can the influencer ask his or her audience for feedback on your behalf? Can you answer questions?

Whatever you can do to keep the relationship strong over time will pay off in the end. Many times, a consumer has to see or hear about your product or service multiple times before they’re ready to buy. By keeping a conversation going, you’ll increase conversions.

Find Advocates

The best influencer marketing feels like consumer advocacy. It’s something that truly fits the influencer and his or her audience, and it’s beneficial to that target market.

When you find a few great fits and build those relationships over time, you’ll get incredible returns that will far surpass those big-name companies that are paying for a famous person to pose with their product on Instagram.

In short, influencer marketing is alive and well – if you do it right.

Got Skills? Transfer Expertise from Your Job to Your Business

 

Do you feel overwhelmed at the thought of starting your own business? You’re not alone. Many people think that entrepreneurship is very risky – although, in some ways, it’s more secure than a day job.

 

What you may not realize is that you’ve gained tremendous skills from your current job and your daily life that can help you succeed in business. When you think creatively about what’s needed to run a business, you’ll realize you have many more skills than you think.

 

The Easy Step: From Job to Freelancer

In many cases, the job you have now is a service that’s needed by many companies all over the country – or all over the world. With the expertise you’ve gained, you can do work for clients on a freelance basis.

 

This shift is the easiest in terms of skill transfer, but it can be challenging to implement. In some companies taking clients in the same area as your job will be seen as competition and will be disallowed. If you aren’t able to build your business while working, focus on gaining marketing skills and perfecting your craft while saving money to make the leap.

 

When you make the jump to freelancer, you may find that your old company becomes a loyal client!

 

Skills Needed For Entrepreneurship

Maybe you’re not in a job that can become a freelance gig, or you simply hate your job and want to do something else. It’s time to start evaluating the skills you’ve gained and how you can apply them differently.

 

Organization

Keeping all of your paperwork in order and making sure your clients are properly cared for takes a lot of organization. In all likelihood, your current job requires you to stay organized and on top of details as well.

 

To build on this skill while you’re still working, learn to document processes and investigate what organizational tools work best for your personality and style.

 

Leadership

When you start your own business as a solo entrepreneur, you may think leadership isn’t that important. Actually, it is – starting with self-leadership and extending to traditional management and leadership as you grow.

 

Self-leadership includes things like internal motivation, time management, and staying on task. Traditional leadership includes communication skills, giving constructive feedback, and handling difficult conversations. Most jobs give you many opportunities to work on these skills.

 

Marketing

One of the most important skills in business is the ability to let other people know what you do in a way that encourages them to want to learn more. You may think that if you don’t work in the marketing department, you don’t have any marketing skills.

 

In reality, marketing is all about making genuine connections, finding out what people need, and serving them to meet those needs. Practice your listening skills, discover what the people around you need, and find ways to meet those needs. Do this in person, on social media, and through email.

marketing quote

 

Not only will you gain valuable marketing skills, you’ll be building priceless relationships that can help you for years to come.

 

Resilience

Many people don’t realize that mindset and resilience is a key business skill. They’re too focused on getting a degree, becoming a manager, or leading the company in sales. The truth is, without the right mindset you won’t succeed in your job or in business.

 

The right mindset includes believing you can succeed, anticipating problems and how to overcome them, managing your emotions, handling fear of failure, and overcoming imposter syndrome. Often, these mindset changes require outside help from a coach – you simply can’t overcome your blinders without an objective view to help you.

 

Ready to Go From Job to Business?

While I’ve only scratched the surface of the transferable skills that come from a job, you are probably encouraged that you’re more ready for a business than you thought.

 

If you’re ready to make the move from a job to a business, you’ll need someone to help you apply your skills in new ways and work on your mindset challenges. You can join the amazing individuals and businesses that have worked with Plan to Succeed Coaching and started or grown a company. With an average return of multiple four figures can you afford not to start?

Contact me at 910-493-3527 today!