by Cara Lumen
I used to do temp work. And every time I was without an assignment I learned a new software program – I upgraded my skills to make myself more valuable as an employee. I still do that with my own business. When there is a lull or I perceive a need to make a change, I look around to see what I need to learn next.
Create your own curriculum
There’s always something more you can master. If you are a natural marketer, study your administration skills and streamline them. If you know that networking is a valuable strategy and you have yet to successfully find your comfort zone with it, study that and make your version of it happen. It’s always easy to go learn more about what you love to do, but don’t neglect those skills you would do well to strengthen. Be willing to include them in the curriculum you create for yourself.
Is your marketing foundation in place?
If you don’t have a strong who and do what statement, if your Red Velvet Rope policy is not in place, if your target market is not well defined you have to start there. You cannot leap off and create a web site or start writing an ebook until you know why you are doing it and for whom you are doing it. You may benefit from having a coach help you move through these defining stages. An outside eye can often identify what you are too close to see. You have to lay a strong foundation for whatever it is you need to do next.
What strategies have you mastered?
When I became a Book Yourself Solid Coach I discovered I had mastered the more complex self-promotion strategies of Web, Writing and Speaking but I did not have the mandatory strategies in place. I went to work on my Networking, Referral, Direct Outreach and Keep In Touch Strategies. Some are easier for me to do than others, but they are all in my self-curriculum
Can people find you and start to connect?
The whole point of business is to build relationships with others so you have to find a way to meet them and greet them. Online we use a web site with a strong opt in offer to create that initial connection. If your foundation is in place you are ready for a web site. Get some guidance and coaching on this. It will save you time and money. You need to install the most effective back ends like your shopping cart and autoresponders and learn to use them. You need to create compelling opt in offers, and write content that pulls your visitors into your sphere of influence. Writing for the web is a specific technique you can learn.
Take the technical aspects one step at a time
Ok, I put off learning audio for a year. But I did learn it and it was actually easy after I moved through it and is invaluable to know. I’ve worked in Camtasia, I create my own web site in DreamWeaver, I can work in CoralDraw and Photoshop, I use PowerPoint all the time for my teleclasses, I can edit my teleclasses in SoundForge but video still sits there like some huge challenge. I just need to take it one more step at a time. And I probably need to get help from a coach or take a class or find some good on-line video to teach me. And yes, we need to push out of our comfort zones and master some of these wonder technical opportunities because once we do a whole new place to play opens up for us.
Learn from Others
There is so much great information given away for free on the internet. Find a few people to follow and sign up for their blogs, listen to their interviews and take notes. New book author interviews are a fascinating source. People promoting their workshops give away tons of valuable information. Be selective. Find the people that deliver good content and make it a habit to tune in to their calls.
Enroll in a class
My first teleclass was a two month marketing class. Since then I’ve had training to become a certified teleclass leader, an information product development expert, a Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Coach. I’ve taken classes on podcasting, radio publicity, and attracting traffic to your web site. I have volunteered in learning environments as a team leader where I got to deepen my knowledge, expand my coaching/leadership skills, make great connections and learn from the participants. On line courses range from one call to 15 weeks or longer. They are usually recorded and are packed with valuable information. Learning online is easy, fun and cost-effective.
Get a coach
A coach will keep you on track, guide you where you want to go, hold your vision and keep you moving toward it. A coach will help you move through your barriers, help you identify and develop your strengths, and get you up and running in a business that you love to do. If you want to make rapid personalize progress, 1:1 or mastermind group coaching is the way to go.
Teach what you need to know
A few years ago I wanted to expand my article writing strategy so I created a teleclass to teach others how to write magnetic articles and in the process upleveled my knowledge and my own participation in the strategy. As I explore and strengthen my own skills I create teleclasses in which I teach others small segments of the marketing process or the process of creating compelling information products. Teaching helps me own the material and it creates interesting products to offer my clients.
Keep your curiosity vibrant
I love to learn so whenever something peaks my interest I go learn at least a little something more about it – enough to know whether I want to explore it further. Keep an eye out for what’s new and interesting. You don’t have to pursue it but at least understand what it can do for you. As a business coach I have to know at least a little something about nearly everything that will show up for my clients and if I’m not knowledgeable I must have a resource in place. Look at your business. See what you need to know and sign up for something. Whatever you need to know next – go learn it!
© 2009 Cara Lumen