Why Ideal Customer Exercises Aren’t Enough


July 25th, 2014

There are aspects of my business when quick and good is “good enough,” because I know speed to market is crucial.

However, when it comes to knowing and understanding my core audience, there is no such thing as “good enough.” What I’ve learned—after many years, many products and many successful promotions—is that having only a surface understanding of the people I want to work with is not going to help me create a best-selling product.

If you were anything like me in my early days of running my business, you might have a decent sense of your audience, collected from a combination of gut feeling and any number of ideal customer exercises.

Here’s the challenge: I’ve been through just about every ideal customer exercise out there, and I’ll tell you: every single one is missing two crucial components.

Together, these two steps will help you relate to your customers on a much deeper level, giving you more engagement, better conversions and increased sales.

Here’s the best news: I’ll also show you how to integrate these two steps into your everyday business so you can gather a ton of useful information in just about an hour a week.

Discover what I mean in this week’s video:

For your convenience, you can also download the transcript and the audio for on-the-go access. Just right-click and choose “Save File As…”:
Audio File | Transcript


One Thing You Might Miss When Serving Your Customers


July 18th, 2014

Have you ever noticed how simple business ideas can pop up when you least expect it?

My husband and I finally decided to take back our dining room, which had become a storage facility for our business. (It drove me *crazy* to walk by and see all those boxes instead of the dining room I’ve always wanted!)

I finally had enough, and Chris and I went to recently a furniture store to buy a new dining room table and chairs.

As many of you know, I am passionate about overdelivering for customers. It’s a concept I teach, and one I put a ton of energy into practicing.

I found myself disappointed with this boutique—but not because of what you might think. Their in-store customer experience was incredible.

Instead, it was one simple thing they missed that not only left me unsatisfied, but it also left a huge amount of revenue on the table for them.

Find out what it is in this week’s video.

Make sure to leave me a comment below the video! I’d love to know what you think about this this key component, too.


Breaking Free: 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Daily Routine


July 11th, 2014

Greetings from San Francisco Bay! This week’s blog is coming to you from Alcatraz Island, to be exact, which was once home to some of the most notorious criminals in American history, including Al Capone. Not exactly where you thought I might film my next blog, right? :)

While on a northern California adventure with my family, I thought “the Rock” would serve as a perfect venue for my latest video. Believe or not, we as entrepreneurs and business owners have one big thing in common with the prison’s former inhabitants:

We all truly value our freedom.

In fact, many of us go into business for ourselves because we wanted to experience a greater degree of autonomy. But every now and then, instead of freeing you, your business has you feeling like you’re stuck in chains.

If that’s the case, this video is for you. :) I’ll share three rituals to help you get more out of your daily business routine, and break free of the habits that may not be serving you.


3 Video “Aha” Moments from the Road


July 2nd, 2014

This week I want to start off with a formula: 2 weeks of filming + 2 different coasts + 3 separate locations = numerous plans that all had the potential to go awry.

Enough to make your head spin, right?

That pretty much summed up my last few weeks as I tried to juggle writing scripts, working out logistics and getting myself prepared to be in front of the camera.

In the middle of this marathon, I had a bit of a reality check about the power of this medium.
I want to share it with you, along with a few powerful strategies for getting the most of every video you film.

If you’re using video with your customers (and I hope you are!), I think you’re going to find these 3 distinctions really useful for putting together videos that create a heartfelt connection with your customers.

Also, as someone who stresses out about making the perfect video—every time—I also hope you find this week’s blog useful for finding a little bit of calm in the chaos, which will help you film a better, more authentic video every time.

Make sure to leave me a comment below the video! I’d love to hear your thoughts—and your tips for filming a great video. (I’m always on the lookout for new distinctions!)


Are You Holding Yourself Back?


June 27th, 2014

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from my two boys—especially how to be fearless, and play full out.

It started from when they were babies jamming everything into their mouths and continues today when I watch them face new experiences undaunted. Facing a scary overgrown pitcher in Little League? Check. Skiing down Mammoth Mountain’s black diamond trails? Check and check.

We were all fearless kids once. So at a certain point, many of us likely realized there were consequences to some of our actions, and we slowly started to pull back.

While that serves us in certain parts of our lives, that hesitation may be holding you back from delivering your best work.

In this week’s video blog, I want to remind you of something you were innately born with. It can make the difference between you reaching your potential now—or missing a big opportunity that could be right in front of you.

Enjoy the video—and let me know in the comments if this video struck a chord with you.


Do You Make This One Mistake in Your Business Planning?


June 19th, 2014

I am knee-deep, head down, 175% focused on a few big weeks of filming I have coming up. With so much going on, sometimes it just feels like there’s not enough time in the day!

In fact, as I write this, I’m skipping lunch to wolf down a Pure Protein Peanut Butter Bar. And apparently I’m not alone—one-third of us feel so time-crunched we don’t take a lunch break at all.

Where is our time going? And how do we get it back?

I don’t have all the answers yet, :) but I do have one secret to share with you to help you create more leverage in your business. I hope it will help you become more efficient, so you can make time for the things that really matter—business-wise or otherwise.


Being the Best: One Distinction You May Not Have Thought Of


June 13th, 2014

I’m a little nervous about this week’s blog post because, as you’ll see, I did something a little bit different. (Including wearing workout clothes and not doing my hair!)

But here’s what happened: inspiration struck and my video guys weren’t around. As any good product creator (or marketer!) knows, you can’t always schedule your inspiration. So I grabbed a friend and my iPhone and filmed this video for you right there and then.

My inspiration came from a mind-shifting training I just attended, put on by my friend, NFL standout and acclaimed speaker, Bo Eason. The event was called “The Best,” and, as a textbook overachiever, the event really resonated with me. :)

A had a really big “aha!” after the event that I wanted to share with you. I hope you’ll forgive the distractions—wind, trucks, etc.—because I thought you would ultimately get a lot out of this message.

As always, let me know what *you* think and leave me a comment below the video. I love hearing from you.


3 Keys to Generating Content that Gets Results


June 6th, 2014

Did you know that in 2013 Tumblr.com alone housed over 101.7 million blogs?! That’s a mind-boggling number: 101.7 million. And that’s only for Tumblr. Imagine all the other blogging sites out there, plus all the bloggers who host their own sites. Huge, right?

So this got me thinking: When you’re competing with so much noise in the marketplace, how do you make sure your content rises above the noise and truly resonates with your audience?

To answer this question, I recorded a new video for you. In the video, you’ll discover my 3 personal keys for creating content that’s both memorable and effective enough to cut through the noise and get heard:


Where Football Meets Philosophy (and Business!)


May 27th, 2014

As you probably know, I’m a big NFL fan. I love all sports as a great metaphor for business and life, but I’m a particular fan of football because I love the framework: It’s about preparation, hard work, execution, achievement and team.

I recently came across a copy of a commencement address given by Philip Rivers, the Pro Bowl quarterback of our team, the San Diego Chargers. (Go Bolts!) :)

During the address he shared his personal motto—a philosophy that has shifted my perspective and my approach to business. When I read it, I realized how often I’ve let it get in my way or hold me back from making progress.

It’s a very simple concept, but the implementation can have tremendous results.

Click below to watch my latest video for you—and leave your comments for me below. I love to hear your perspective and thoughts. (I read all of them!)


Use This One Strategy from Amazon.com to Convert More Sales


May 13th, 2014

Testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use to grow your business. Why? Because, as Dr. Robert Cialdini put it in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “People will do things that they see other people are doing.”

Think about it: which do you trust more, the customer reviews on Amazon.com, or the manufacturer’s description of the product? That’s the power of social proof in action.

Testimonials

When it comes to collecting social proof for your products and services, you need to do two things:

  1. Make sure your customers get results.
    The key to paving the way toward great testimonials is creating a product or service that creates the results it advertises. When you make a promise and deliver on it, your customers will have nothing but good feelings for you and your business, and will be happy to pay those good feelings forward in the form of a testimonial.
  2. Ask your successful customers to film testimonials.
    Although you will have some enthusiastic customers who may spontaneously whip out their iPhone and film a video for you, you’ll need to ask your best customers to film testimonials for you. Video is best, although a written testimonial with a picture is better than none.

To make sure you get the outcome—and to help your customers feel comfortable delivering their video—you’ll want to give your customers a structure to follow. Ask them to cover:

  1. Their Story: Who they are, what they do, where they live and what problem they were facing before using their product.
  2. The Product Testimonial: Their experience of using your product. What did they use it for? How did it work? How did it make them feel to use your product or service?
  3. Their Results: What did they experience as a result of using this product? Ask them to get very specific in terms of economic results, marketing results, personal results, etc.

The most effective testimonials tell a story and stay very specific. It’s best when they’re narrowly focused on one or two key ideas. The sum of all your testimonials together can tell a more broad story, but each individual one needs to be specific.

Finally, make sure each of your product “heroes” signs a waiver granting you permission to use their testimonial in your marketing. I’m not a lawyer, so you should consult yours to get a waiver written up for your testimonials—and to make sure they are sharing information that’s appropriate based on FTC guidelines.

Testimonials, case studies, and results statistics not only help your leads trust you and your offer, they also differentiate your business in the marketplace. Our surveys show that more than 80% of businesses have fewer than 10 testimonials from their customers, and 60% have fewer than 5 case studies.

This means that if you can back up your business’s products or services with testimonials, you’ll quickly stand apart from others in your industry who lack that proof—and you’ll become the credible authority in your marketplace.

Share with me in the comments: what are some of your favorite examples of social proof in action, either in your campaigns or in campaigns you’ve seen elsewhere?

(And check in with me next week when I’ll share a tip for collecting testimonials on auto-pilot!)