What’s A True Fan Worth?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce.” Kevin Kelly

How cool is that?

Clients and buyers who will scoop up EVERYTHING you offer up.

How many of those do you have right now, this minute?

And how would it change your work—not to mention your life—if you had more? Many more… Continue reading

Ditch The Lemonade Stand Mindset

Ditch The Lemonade Stand Mindset 06 15 2015In my first company, we quickly outgrew our office space. Expansion wasn’t an option and to make things worse, we were in the midst of a booming commercial rental market. We scoured the city with our broker for months, searching for the right combination of space, location and price. When we finally found the perfect spot, it came with an outsized price tag that gave me pause. A very long pause.

As I sat with that contract—pen poised in my hand—the reality of signing up for a $639,000 debt truly hit me. No matter what else happened, I’d be personally on the hook for over half a million dollars.

There would be no turning back. Continue reading

The Art Of Selling You

The Art Of Selling You 06 08 2015Yes, there’s a science to selling and marketing. And yes, there’s a book for that. Or 240,372 of them according to Amazon.

The science says you take specific actions. You return calls and emails swiftly (as a form of respect, not because your client necessarily needs it). You work ethically with the long-game in mind (because you’re building clients/buyers and a business for life). You’re consistently helpful (the rule of reciprocity says it will come back to you). And you share social proof (because we want what people like us have). Continue reading

The Secret Weapon To Loving Your Work

Love saving workaholic peopleYou started your business in a blaze of excitement and unbridled optimism.

You were beyond thrilled to get your first (and second and third) client and bent over backwards to make sure they were happy.

You did most everything yourself because hey—it costs money to hire people and you’ve got a big nut to hit every month.

Before you knew it, you were doing your client work, coding your own website, writing blog posts, trying to make sense of social media and learning QuickBooks. Oh and there’s that book/training/workshop/speech/webinar you’ve been jonesing to develop but keep putting off. Where would you find the time? Continue reading

When Your Bio Needs A Makeover

Photo Credit: The Pet Collective

Photo Credit: The Pet Collective

Does reading your bio make you feel confident, happy, excited to be you? (Can I have a “yeah, baby”?)

Or does it make you cringe, frustrated that it doesn’t really capture you—your savvy, your style, your contribution to the planet. It’s got no sizzle…

Can we talk makeover?

Sure, you can hire yourself a bio writer (there are clear advantages to getting a fresh perspective), but maybe you want to take a stab at it yourself first. To get clear on EXACTLY what will sear you into the collective memory of your sweet-spot audience. Continue reading

Why You Need To Pick One Thing To Be Brilliant At

Why You Need To Pick One Thing To Be Brilliant At 05 11 2015I used to spend summer weekends in a small Michigan town about 70 miles outside of Chicago. There wasn’t enough local or seasonal demand to keep certain kinds of shops in business, so you’d buy your landscaping supplies, do your laundry, rent videos and buy chocolates (seriously) all in the same store. The kitsch was part of its charm.

But the world has changed. Continue reading

Being Your Own Evangelist

Being Your Own Evangelist 05 04 2015It’s a tricky thing being your own evangelist.

Crowing to the rooftops is not such a stretch when you’re selling your snazzy new product or the team of awesome people behind you.

Bragging on someone—or something—you’re excited about comes effortlessly.

Where it gets sticky is when you need to sell YOU. Continue reading

The Right Way To Ask For Testimonials

The Right Way To Ask For Testimonials 04 27 2015I still remember the best (unsolicited) testimonial I ever got. The CEO was positively giddy with relief after my team and I had pulled her out of a bet-the-business problem that had consumed us all for months. She turned to me and said “If I ever go into battle again, I want you right next to me.”

I wrote that down and carried it around with me for years, pulling it out whenever my confidence needed a little bolstering.

See, here’s the thing: testimonials aren’t just a come-hither promise to hawk your services. Continue reading

If You’re Not Turning Down Work You Don’t Have A Brand

If You’re Not Turning Down Work You Don’t Have A Brand 04 20 2015When I was looking for a job years ago, a friend gave me this advice: “Your goal is to get the job. Then you can decide whether you want it or not.”

That never quite felt right to me—why should I try to convince someone to hire me when I was certain I didn’t want the job? Especially when I genuinely liked and respected the team doing the interviewing. It felt like a con job and I just couldn’t do it.

Turns out that inability to fake it came in handy when I started my first company. And my second. And my third. Continue reading

What To Do When The Universe Isn’t Cooperating

What To Do When The Universe Isn't Cooperating 04 13 2015You’ve got a plan, a vision even.

It might be bold—say hitting the New York Times bestseller list.

Or finally breaking six or seven figures in your business.

Or maybe you’ve got more modest aspirations—like getting your first client in your new gig.

But it ain’t happening. Continue reading