Part Two – Now, Next & Later
This is Part Two of a long post sharing many of the insights I gained at the recent We Are Podcast Conference in Brisbane. You can read Part One here.
Whenever you attend a conference or event, if you can leave with just one of two major insights that you now you’ll expand upon, adopt and adapt for your own business, you’re ahead.
I can happily say I came away with several.
But here’s the really important point.
One of the dangers you now face is the Post conference, event or retreat KF - Ker-donk Factor (as I call it)
Your energy and excitement is likely to be peaking as you leave an event buoyant with fresh ideas. But then you go back to the everyday of your business and life and that sheen begins to wear away.
But not if you are prepared for the KF!
Your responsibility is now to harvest the fabulous ideas, to evaluate them and to prioritise them. To do this well, and thus ensure a high ROI and ROE (that’s return on investment AND return on energy) I recommend you have time and space set aside in your post-event calendar to go back through your notes with an open heart and mind.
Ask yourself, what needs to happen now (in the next 4 weeks), next (in the next 12 weeks) and later (in the next 6-12 months).
And then take some of that post-event time to underpin your new Action Goals with the strategies, tactics and timelines you need to bring them to life.
When you take the time to do this deliberately, the benefits are enormous. Create your own stepping stones to guide you forward into inspired action.
The Power of Panels
One of the many highlights of the We Are Podcast conference were the panels – 4 entrepreneurs on stage, answering questions from Andrew Griffiths, our MC. The variety of experiences and individual insights was thought-provoking and reinforced the fact that there is never one “right way” of doing anything. I’ve always stressed the importance of having “frameworks” to follow in business, rather than cookie cutter formulas, so this was a delight to see in action.
Some of the insights I took away from the Content Creation and other panels:
- Connection is what it’s all about – how can you best connect with your audience?
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint, consistent content creation is what we need to am for (and as I mentioned in Part One of this post, that consistency needs to fit your lifestyle and values, then it will be sustainable) Consistent content nurtures the relationship you’re creating with your audience
- If you’re stuck on what to create, go to Amazon and find the best selling books in your niche, look at the Table of Contents – there are your ideas!
- Putting your work “out there” is scary, of course as you can be rejected…. It’s much, much safer to stay “designing at the whiteboard” but you HAVE to put it out there or you’ll never help the people you’re here to help”. ( I recorded a short audio about this a wee while ago, with the Billboard” concept that helps you gather the courage to put your ideas out into the world – you can listen to that here)
- Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose! Whatever you create, always give thought to how you can use it in other ways – Podcast to You Tube, Blog Post to social media grabs or Infographic…
- Make sure you provide Pain Killers, not Vitamins!
- Ask, ask ask “what’s your biggest problem, pain, challenge right now”? and then consistently find ways t help solve that
- Great content that sells – solves a problem or helps to achieve a desire, is entertaining, is evergreen, tells a story and encourages the consumer to share it
- Batching is king
My biggest takeaways?
- Although I have been very consistent with my Podcast content, I’ve not embraced repurposing and I often fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to record interviews – batching is my new middle name for 2018!
- Although I’m a Podcaster at heart, I adore interviewing and having wholehearted conversations with my guests, but I need to re-embrace blogging too, as when get into it (like now, with these posts) I also love writing and I know my audience loves reading
Your Product Ecosystem
Ronsley is the creator of We Are Podcast conference and the founder of Amplify, a marketing agency in Queensland. He’s one of the warmest, big dreaming entrepreneurs’ you’re ever likely to meet and the session he ran was hugely valuable. That’s Ronsley in the selfie to the left.
I’m sure you’ve already heard about the importance of having a variety of experiences, services or products for your clients to invest in, from discovery to investment. In my world I call this an “Offer Staircase” and it’s at the core of the Progressive Engagement Plan framework that I teach my clients.
But I loved the way that Ronsley presented it and the Dating analogy he used that made the concept so very clear and I’m sure you’ll find this valuable as well.
This “Product Ecosystem” takes a traveller through the Know, Like and Trust steps before they decide to buy, mapping the content and products you can consider creating and providing at each stop.
At this stage, you’ve just been introduced, and you’re working on capturing the attention of your date.
In your business, this is when a potential client becomes a Follower or Listener. The content or experience you provide should:
- solve a headache
- Be easy for you to make/create
- Be easy to talk about
- Easily impress the recipient
In my business, this could be a checklist, perhaps covering the “7 best marketing strategies for attracting aligned clients to your Next Chapter Business”, solving the headache of “how do I find clients” which 99% of people experience!
I’d recommend that there is no barrier to entry at this stage – by that I mean, this is not an opt-in – there’s no requirement for an email address here, just a pure, useful helpful, valuable gift. (remember Sean D’Souza calling gifts and giving his secret weapons in Part One of this post?)
What might you create and give?
At this stage, you’re out on your first date, and you’re looking to be engaging and interesting.
In your business, this is when a potential client takes the step of becoming a subscriber and your content or experience should:
- Remove an obstacle
- Be low risk
- Allow you to spend time with your prospect and they with you
- Not requirement a commitment yet (don’t ask for a sale at this stage, it’s too soon. Trust that those who might be at a later stage already in their buying cycle will find out how to engage with you at a deeper level if they are experiencing love at first sight!)
In my business, this is my Confidence and Self-Belief e and audiobook that helps the reader/listener to create their own Confidence Kit as I’ve seen literally hundreds of times, that the key obstacle to Next Chapter Business Success is believing in yourself. This is a free product that takes a while to consume and it requires engagement on the part of the reader to get results.
What will you offer here?
You’re in the dating period now, you quite fancy each other and you’re working towards a higher likelihood of commitment 🙂
In your business, this is when a subscriber moves towards becoming a prospect – that the approximately 10% of people who are in your audience who are likely to actually invest more than their energy and attention, they’re now likely to invest their hard earned money with you. It’s a big step and your content or experiences should:
- address an aspiration
- let you really get to know one another
- allow you both to enjoy the process
- and at some point have “the talk” about taking things further…
In my business that is a short free program that walks my prospects through my 5-step approach to business building, accompanied by short videos and worksheets. This guidance and training will help address the aspiration of having a strong and clear business and marketing structure. Again, this will take some commitment on behalf of the prospect and it will also highlight the next step to take with me.
What will you create at this stage?
You’ve been introduced, gone on your first date, spent time together and decided – you’re the one for me! At this stage of the relationship, you now have a paying client or customer by helping them to:
- Pursue a desire.
- Choose between options
- Provide a specific outcome
- Provide continuous feedback so you can improve the experience
In my business these choices to pursue the desire to create and expand a successful business that blends purpose, values, contribution, and fulfillment with earning a regular income include Masterminds, Retreats and Clarity Sessions depending the time of year.
What can your clients invest in with you? What are their options?
This was a wonderfully clear layout of the process from discovery to investment in our business – so easy to adapt. Can you see any gaps in your business?
My biggest takeaway?
My #1 gift, the Confidence and self-Belief e and audiobook, caters to the LIKE stage, removing an obstacle, but not the KNOW stage, solving a headache, and I need to move it along the track.
I’d forgotten that I have a whole host of other pieces of free content that I can bring back into my own Offer Staircase and so that’s one of the actions I’m taking in the “Now” (next 4 weeks) category of Post Event action.
I bet you'll also find plenty of content to share if you interrogate your computer hard drive...
Putting JOY and FUN back into the heart of your business
The effervescent Merrymaker Sisters, Emma and Carla, bounded on stage and infused each and every one of us with a dose of joy
The girls are founders of a web-based wellness business that helps more than 1.5 million people each year to live healthier, happier lives with their books, app, podcast, real food recipes, articles and speaking gigs.
And the secret of their success? Creating Superfans with five simple steps that have LOVE at the core and FUN at the heart of their business.
How refreshing it was to hear their philosophy and feel it completely resonate. You CAN make a living doing what you love!
Here’s a quick summary of their 5 steps to a developing a committed, interested and inspired audience.
Be your amazing self
- Share real stories and real vulnerabilities, live videos, what’s happening behind the scenes, now
- Surround yourself with people who accept you just as you are
Devotion and Commitment
- It’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it so show up and with 100% enthusiasm
- If you actually want to be there, your people will want to be there too because your energy transfers to your audience – it’s tangible
- Find your people and love them hard – appreciate and compliment them on progress and achievements
- Ask, how can I help, frequently and then let them know what you’ve created to provide that help
- Get on the phone or skype and talk to your clients and customers
- Pop something in the post and send personal emails whenever you can
- Give with no expectation of receiving
- When you expect a return and don’t receive resentment kicks in and that feels horrible and your people will also feel that horrible energy and vibe
- Create for the love of creating – that’s the new content strategy
Surprise and Delight
- Simple add-ons that go the extra mile – make these a part of your business strategy
- Ask yourself – what would create an exceptional and memorable customer experience that YOU would love and then do that
- The girls gave the example of hand signing 1000 pre-ordered cookbooks and personally wrapping each one, popping confetti inside for each recipient
Simple, powerful, wholehearted strategies that have seen the Merrymaker Sisters business soar and most importantly, have allowed them to stay aligned with a key value – to have fun and enjoy their work.
A caveat – the girls do acknowledge that hard work and hustle are an integral part of their business, of any business, at times. That’s reality. But the balance comes from pure enjoyment. Their adage is “if it’s not fun, we don’t do it”.
You hear a lot about authenticity in business, so much so it is often seen as a measured strategy in and of itself. Not with these girls.
And not with you ether methinks… You’re creating and expanding a genuinely wholehearted Next Chapter Business.
Me too 🙂
So much more…
There was so much more shared over the three days and I just can’t squeeze it all into two blog posts.
So what I will focus on in the coming days, weeks and months… is practicing what I’ve learned, and what I already know in my heart, to an even higher degree.
What do I mean?
I’m going to provide you with the most hugely useful and valuable content and experiences I can, to help you relieve your headaches, remove your obstacles to success, address your aspirations and pursue your desires. More blog posts and resources and webinars and guidance delivered to you through this website and via my Next Chapter Newsletter – you can subscribe below so you never miss a thing!
I’ll continue to add to this mix inspirational stories from women just like you who have stepped into their next chapters with a heady mix of fear and hope in their hearts and are happy to share the details of their adventures, what’s worked, what hasn’t and how it all feels through my Podcast.
And I‘ll combine these with connection to other women who are also on this Next Chapter Journey right alongside you through my Facebook Group – a Community of like-minded, wholehearted women. It’s an oasis in the online world, a quiet, reflective and expansive space.
I’m committed to helping you to develop the clarity, confidence and marketing skills to build a business that serves you just as much as it serves your clients and customers. A business that provides you with fulfillment, significance, enjoyment and an income.
And I am also committed to helping you combine your business with a Next Chapter life that you love as well. One that has you exploring new possibilities and ways of being that resonate with you.
I’d love to know, what is your biggest challenge at the moment and how might I help? If you can take a moment to email me with your thoughts – firstname.lastname@example.org, it will help me in my quest to create quality content and support and thus, help you and many other Next Chapter women too.