by Cara Lumen
A long time ago, I used to temp and every time I did not have an assignment I taught myself another software program. It felt like I was “working” even if there was no immediate pay for what I was doing. The “pay” was that I was increasing my skill set and making myself more valuable to others. So if by any chance you’re in a “down time” right now, here are five easy ways to revitalize your business starting right now.
1- Get clear on who you serve
I know, this is a Marketing 101 concept but lest we forget who we serve, give your target audience some serious thought this week. Times change; life changes. What has changed for them, what is keeping them awake at night and what can you do for them? It may be that you keep doing what you’ve been doing. But it also may be that you can see something new to add, or some way to bundle what you already do. For instance, I know how vital signature products are to establishing your expert status so I created targeted Signature Product Development coaching packages that focus on one information product at a time – an ebook, teleclass, or article and blog posting campaign, plus a special coaching package for writing magnetic landing pages. And besides these coaching packages the templates I use in these coaching sessions are turning into a book! What can offer your target market that you are not offering right now?
2-Increase your skill set
I just pulled two business books off the shelf that I have started but not finished. And I know there are two more by my reading chair. And I just ordered Seth Godin’s Lynchpin and Mike Dooley’s infinite Possibilities both of which I’m eager to read. And I’ve subscribed to some great new blogs and every day I learn something new from them. Brian Clark’s fabulous copy writing advice on CopyBlogger, Icon Seth Godin, Chris Brogin, Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger, 20-year old Glen on viral marketing at ViperChill and I always read Mike Dooley’s Notes from the Universe for inspiration.
Consciously schedule time to read for business. I spend a half hour every morning reading these new blogs and often taking action on their suggestion right then and there. Read one new business book or trade magazine a week. I get so excited every time I read Entrepreneur Magazine that I come away with a whole fistful of ideas either to write about or do.
There is so much information on the internet- blogs, free calls, groups to join like Third Tribe Marketing. Decide what resources you want to use to keep up with trends and current events so you can keep your business flexible and responsive. Check out Mashable for updates on new things coming through in social media or The Daily Beast for current events Find the places that give you the information you need to better understand your target audience. Learn a new skill set for your business or get a better handle on how to get the most benefit from FaceBook or Twitter or Linkedin.
3-Increase your value
I’ve got eight blog posts sitting here that I’ve written in the past two days. Posting them would be a good move. I posted an article in a new place for me www.selfgrowth.com and did all the backend profile page stuff that included listing my web page and my blog. I took four of those un-posted posts and put them into the idea bank for a radio show “How to Stay True To Yourself in the face of Negative Feedback” on Blog Talk Radio
And I created a new Magnetic Idea Tracking System to track my blogs, article posts and radio show topics so I can leverage my ideas from one to another. And I have an idea for a new information product that in one sense already exists but just not in one place yet.
And I’m still sitting in my home office making my business more attractive for the people I am meant to serve.
4-Reach out to others
Here’s where the majority of us need help – we need to find ways to consistently reach out to others to build a relationship of trust – to build a community if you will. I just joined FriendFeed www.friendfeed.com and connected with someone I haven’t talked to in a long time. I will take time today to write her in greater depth. I joined The Third Tribe and it has such great information and support in there all ready that I have literally scheduled specific times every week to go on and meet people. I also want to go find blogs I like and post on them. My list of opportunities grows longer.
5- Leverage Your Ideas
One idea can wear many costumes. This blog post sprang up from my response to something Chris Brogan wrote on his blog that I subscribe to. Let the news trigger ideas, let your own personal experiences and insights trigger ideas. Then offer those ideas in different packages. Forward a link to something you’ve read to a person you want to reach out to, add it to your next emagazine, and include it in a blog post. Write your version of an existing idea. Write a book review of the book you just read and post it and send it to the author. That’s why my Magnetic Idea Tracking Worksheet came into being so I can track and leverage ideas as well as the shape those ideas took.
The wonderful thing about blogging is that within each post you get to link to other articles and posts you have written or products and services you have to offer. One blog becomes a much greater resource as you add links to references and opportunities.
To take advantage of these five easy ways to attract more people to my business my week could include
- Write and post one blog post every day (you can schedule these to go out on specific dates you know)
- Read the blogs of the people I have chosen to follow every time a post arrives. And allow myself time to cultivate any ideas that may spring from them. (That’s important – act on what you learn)
- Read one business book of my choice every day for at least a half hour
- Write one personal note to someone somewhere to strengthen our relationship every day
- Spend one hour every day developing a new information product. This could include my radio show concepts, my article and blog ideas, my overall Magnetic Idea Tracking Worksheet
- Submit at least one article a week to a major submission site. Start with www.ezinearticle.com
You need to work ON your business as well as IN your business. Pick one of these ideas that appeals to you and work it till you own it. Then pick another one. You don’t have to do them all at once. One step at a time will do nicely. But do take that one step – today. There are people out there who need what you have to offer. Help them find you!
©2010 Cara Lumen