How To Name Your Email Opt In Offer (So People Actually WANT It.)

Hey there, champ!

Remember when you'd pick a fight with your sibling, and your mom would make you apologize, only instead of a meaningful apology, you'd sneer, "SAWWWWREEE. What? I SAID I was SORRY!"

And then you'd get into even more trouble than you already were in?

Chances are good your mama said, "It's not what you SAID, it's HOW you said it."

And that applies here, too.

You've go to figure out how to phrase what your opt-in is so people actually WANT it.

How to name an email opt in offer

No one wants another PDF. Trust me.

But they DO want you to give them the steps to solving a problem so they can have an end result.

15 page PDF where they learn the essentials of creating a new visual brand?

PASS.

A mini-workbook with easy-to-implement strategies so they can get their branding right the first time (even if they have no graphic design experience at all!)?

YUP - sign me up.

The differences between those two descriptions aren't major, but they make a BIG impact.

What steps can you take to describe your opt in better and snag all those cool new subscriber-friends?

First, sell the benefit NOT the features.

Who cares if it's a 15 page PDF? I wanna know what I can GET from this thing - what has it done for me lately? - and what change it will make in my biz-life.

Next, ditch the word "learn"

Learning is not sexy. Having the actual result of that learning, on the other hand? Bow-chicka-bow-wow - that's sexy!

Finally, overcome objections right away

You already know the number one reason people believe it won't work for them - maybe they think it takes too long, or it costs too much, or they've tried other methods and they all stunk up the joint. Whatever that number one objection is, you can easily defeat it by letting your reader know, "Hey, I know you're thinking a visual brand costs BIG BUCKS, but that's not a problem - with this guide, you can get the brand elements you need about for less than $15!" Voila. Objection overcome. Curiosity piqued. Subscriber subscribed.

OK, friend, I hope that helps you see this in a whole new light.

Need help creating an opt-in so whiz-bang hot people can't HELP but subscribe? Get a one-hour strategy session HERE and we'll knock it out together. 

How And When To Raise Your Rates

So you need to raise your rates...

 

Right now, she's thinking, "You guys don't pay me enough to wear this thing on my head..."

Right now, she's thinking, "You guys don't pay me enough to wear this thing on my head..."


A while ago, I shared an informative and fun video on FB all about how, when, and why to raise your rates. 

It's here if you missed it - RAISE YOUR RATES!

You can go watch it, I'll wait here patiently until you're back if you like. 

*imagine hold music here*

OK, back with me? Cool. Now you know you can raise your rates, so I want to ask you a question.
 

What would charging higher rates look like for you?


How many clients would you serve? What would the average ticket be? And most importantly - 
 

How would it change your life? 
 

If you're like lots of entrepreneurs, you're not charging quite enough to be comfortable, and you feel like you're working your tush off to get enough clients to be profitable. That's not a great place to be. 

You want to raise your rates, but you don't feel like you CAN, because you're afraid you'll lose your client base, you're unsure if anyone will actually pay the new and improved rates, and you don't even know how to communicate the rate change in a way that makes sense and won't have everyone throwing rotten tomatoes at you and telling you to get the heck out of town, because who do you think you are???

This is how you do it. 

It's dead easy. First, change the pricing on your site and in your invoicing software. Step one is DONE.

Next, you write all former and current clients an email like so:


"In the past year, I've worked with SO many amazing clients - I am incredibly lucky! - and written killer copy for everything from a Bali health retreat to a freezer-cooking workshop to an indie pop group. 

I've spent thousands of dollars on education, and hundreds of hours reading, watching, and testing to make sure that the guidance, information and copy I provide for you is the very best possible. 

I do this not because I'm an education junkie. (I'm not. I love learning, but I'm not IN love with it, you know?) 

I do this because when you succeed, I succeed. 


When your site is DONE, and you can finally show up and get those ideal clients, I dance around my kitchen. When your blog posts blow up and get shared tons of times, I yell, "Whoohoo!" out loud, no matter where I am. (Ask my husband. It's true.) And when your launch makes tens of thousands of dollars, I PARTY. HUGE.

My words make you money. Like, a LOT. And I LOVE IT. 


I've kept my rates the same for about a year now - it's time for me to change them, and I've known it for a while, but I wasn't quite THERE yet. I want to help everyone possible, I want to WRITE ALL THE THINGS! BUT... I'm not the Robin Hood of copy (and you're not the Robin Hood of your field, either). 

So it's time, I know it, and here we go. I have adjusted my copy prices on my site - starting as of August 1, copy for a complete five page site, navigation direction and MUCH, MUCH more is $4250, and a single page - sales, services, about - you name it - is $1550. 

If you're like, "Aw, DANG. I was really hoping to hire you!", if you contact me and sign your contract within the next week, we can complete your copy for the original, lower pricing. I'll schedule your work between now and November, depending upon our mutual availability, and we can create a payment plan if necessary. Contact me directly by replying to this email if you're interested - I'd love to get you on the calendar and that much closer to clients, fame, and bigger profits, and I'm pretty sure you'd like it, too!

I look forward to hearing from you, and I REALLY look forward to making you more money!

 - Misha"


That's how you communicate a rate increase, and I hope you're ready to raise yours. Got questions? Not sure how this works for your industry? Hit me up over on Facebook and we'll chat. 

Want a Quick Tip for Writing Better Web Copy? Become Irresistible!

When you're writing copy for your website, it's EASY to fall into the trap of just giving the bare-bones information about yourself and then waiting for the dollars to roll in. Only... they don't. No one calls. No one emails. The gaggle of enthusiastic new clients and customers you thought you'd have to beat off with a stick never shows up...

What the heck happened?

Here's what went wrong with your web copy and how to fix it...

how to write better copy for your website

 

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who wouldn't SHUT UP about themselves?

"I went to XYZ school. I like to salsa dance. I never wear green polo shirts. I lost fifteen pounds. I don't... I like... I want... I think... I... I... I..."

It's enough to make you want to yell, "HELLO, conversation is a two way street, mister! What say we talk about ME for a minute???"

Your readers feel the SAME WAY. When they stumble upon your site, or see a bit of copy you've sent out into the high seas of social media, and it's 100% "I - me - my" oriented, they will tune you out, or worse, unfollow you altogether.

The next time you sit down to write, instead of phrasing every single sentence with the I orientation, remember to make some (at least 50%, if not 75%) the YOU orientation.

Instead of:

"I want to teach you acrobatics. I love acrobatics, and I've studied acrobatics for many years, and because of this, I know that acrobatics are great for improving flexibility and strength. My method of learning acrobatics is 100% proven, and I will even promise you..."

Your copy becomes:

"Do you want to improve your flexibility and strength? Have you ever thought of trying acrobatics? When you learn this method of acrobatics, you're taking a 100% proven course designed to make you stronger, more lithe, and way better at acrobatic-like-activity in general. I've studied acrobatics for years, and my students love it, so you will, too!"

See how much more appealing and conversational that is? Instead of sounding like an I-focused jerk, you become a person they want to engage with and learn more from, because it seems like you care about THEM.

So give it a shot and tell me what you think! My clients love this, so you will, too!*

Want more red-hot advice just like this? Get it here - you'll be surprised at how easy and fun business can be.

Three Big Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Best Email Opt In Offers

So you want to write a great email optin offer - you want to create something so great that people are practically throwing their email addresses at you, begging to subscribe, right?

But it's not as easy as it used to be...

We're all suffering from email fatigue, and we no longer give our addresses to any opt-in with a pretty face, right? I mean, you can only subscribe to so many of those "One Quick Tip That Will Change Your LIFE!!!!" email lists before you start to get really wary - and your potential readers feel the same. 

Here are a few major mistakes to avoid so you can zoom past their skepticism and create an offer so good they'll beg for more (instead of rolling their eyes and scrolling past...) - 

Email Opt-In Offer Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague! 

Are they laughing at your opt in offer?! 

Are they laughing at your opt in offer?! 

 

1. The lame opt in offer. 

Back in the day, it was no big deal to get people on your list. They’d sign up for a tiny discount, or a quick tip.

Now, these things STILL DO WORK, but there are a few things to know about them.

First, for the discount thing to work, they have to be ready to buy from you right then and there. Ten percent off of a purchase I plan to make RIGHT NOW is cool. Ten percent off of some random thing from someone I don’t even know that I might buy from at some point in the future? Not gonna get my email. So, yes, this works for selling goods – assuming I’m familiar with you – but not so hot for services.

Also, when you start your relationship out on the discount foot, you’ve just created a relationship dealing on price. And you don’t want to do that – when the relationship is based on price, you’ve just gotten yourself in with a cheap-o. You know what happens next.

And now for the other idea – the quick tip.

The problem with this is that it’s been abused to heck and back and now people are really leery. WAY too many people promise an awesome, life-changing quick tip, and then it turns out it’s something you could have found out from a quick Google search, or worse – something you already knew.

Even if you’ve gotten their email address, you just lost their trust. YES, you lost their trust on day ONE of the relationship – how are they going to react when day ten gets here and you ask them to buy?

It’s gonna be Unsubscribe time, baby. Unsubscribe, Ignore and don’t even open, or worst of all – SPAM. Even if they signed up and opted in forty-seven times over, they will still label you as spam if you annoy them enough.

You don’t want that to happen ever, if you can help it. It hurts the deliverability of all your other emails, and if your stuff is no longer being delivered to the inbox, your chances of success are worse than those of your local Nigerian prince.

So if you’re going the quick tip route, this tip had better be GOLDEN. Make it like your actual best tip ever – if you’re a personal shopper, say, it can’t be something like, “Wait for a sale, and then clothes will cost less money.”

It’s got to be something like, “If you go to Bloomingdale’s on the third Thursday of the month, and ask for Jolene, she’ll take you to the secret hiding place where all of us stylists get our greatest deals!”

Now, some people worry that this is giving away the farm. But let’s be honest – what are the odds that I’m ACTUALLY going to get off my butt and go to Bloomingdales on the third Thursday of the month every month and scoop up discount stuff and never hire you? Very slim.

If I DO choose to go one month, I’ll find out that you’re an extremely legit person and you gave me a great tip.

I will like you. I will trust you. I will still need your services, because remember – I looked up personal stylist services because I suck at buying clothes for myself, and when your next email comes in telling me about your signature service? I will be THAT much closer to hiring you.

OK, now SECOND overall mistake to avoid –

 

2. The one size fits all strategy.

This is a huge one – assuming that the opt in you’re creating now, today, for your specific business and your specific ideal client has to appeal to everyone from your BFF to your mom to your plumber to your great-aunt Nelda to your priest to your kid’s teacher… etc. You get the point.

When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one, and by making a super generic opt in, you will be doing just that.

If you’re a photographer and it’s like, “What to wear to your shoot” and the answer is “you can wear jeans to any shoot at all!” Well, if I’m a bride, that doesn’t apply to me. If I want trendy family photos, that doesn’t apply to me, if I want corporate headshots, that doesn’t apply to me – again, you get the point.

What WOULD work is – let’s take that corporate headshot idea – what would work is something like, “17 outfit ideas to wear for your corporate headshot session so you can stand out from the crowd but still look totally profesh.”

Which would you opt in for when you needed fresh headshots? Obviously, the second one.

Now, let’s say that you’ve decided you’ve conquered the corporate headshot world, but you ALSO want to take on family portraits. You can take the same structure, change up the content a little bit, and in almost no time at all, you can add a new opt in called “11 outfit ideas to have the easiest, cutest family photo session ever”. Drive new traffic to it, put a little tag on subscribers or segment it however you like, and voila – you have a whole additional list of folks to sell to.

Do not fear specificity; specificity is your BFF.

This brings me, to mistake number THREE –

 

3. Fearing the tech.

A lot of people don’t put together an opt in because they don’t know HOW, or they don’t know how to get it automated, or… I don’t know. Some fear of the tech holds them back.

This is something people get tripped up with a LOT, but it is a super simple one to get past.

No matter who your email provider is, if they’re worth their salt at ALL, there’s a resource library. There’s a team of customer service professionals who are paid money to answer your questions and not laugh at you no matter how dumb the question is. And trust me – I know, I’ve called my providers with some super basic issues.

Barring that, there’s YouTube and Google, and if you’ve ever felt alone in the world, you will STOP feeling alone when you google whatever your issue is and realize that 63 people have dealt with it before, and PS, here’s the way to solve it.

If you can’t even GET that far, find your smartest entrepreneur friends and get them on the phone. When I don’t even have the vocabulary to look up a solution in ConvertKit, I call my friend Alycia, describe the problem to her, and she either tells me how to solve it or she tells me the words I need to Google. I am lucky to have such a friend, and the price I pay is when she can’t quite word something, she’ll call me and I’ll help her out. You know you’ve got a friend like that, so lean on them when you must. Your income literally depends on it.

Yes, I MEAN THAT.

When you ignore your list and let fear or uncertainty get in the way, it’s like you’re turning off the money tap that could be flowing into your business. So stop fearing email, tackle this once, tweak and improve from there and watch the money come in.

All right - enough about email sins and deadly mistakes. If you want to play along and build a killer email opt in offer of your own, subscribe here and we'll work through the steps together. 

Sound good? Yes, you, too, can build an incredible opt in offer and an Uncommonly Good Biz!

- Misha

How to write a blog post FAST! AKA what I learned about creating content from Food Network.

So you want to know how to write a blog post even faster, right?

how to write a blog post fast

Hey, business blogger friend! Woohoo, you're so excited to write your next blog post, aren't you?

I mean, blogging is GREAT - it can boost your SEO, it helps build authority with the potential clients who come to your site, and it's a fun way to get your opinions and insights out into the world.

BUT...

It can also be a total pain in the butt. 

If you're not careful, between the research, the writing, the editing, and - if you're a DIY-er like me - creating the graphics, making a single blog post can take a whole day!

Here's what I do (and the method I teach my students in The Academy) to write entertaining, informative, and effective blog posts FAST. 

I think about the Food Network. 

OK, OK, I don't sit there and think about the Food Network every time I go to create a piece of content, but I DO use some tips I learned from all of their shows. 

Check it out - 

ONE - Mise En Place like a boss. 

On just about every cooking show, you'll see bowls full of prepped ingredients - that's mise en place. This means everything in its place. Chefs use it to make sure all their stuff is ready to go so they don't waste time stopping to chop an onion when they're in the middle of making their dish. 

You can use the same idea. If you've got a few pieces of research, pull up all the articles at the same time and LEAVE them up. Read them quickly and leave them open so you can jump back to them if you need a quote or an idea.

If you've got items you want to link to, collect them all in a secret Pinterest board so you don't have to go hunting for them later. 

TWO - Get a recipe.

When you're improvising in the kitchen, things can either turn out GREAT or they can be a disgusting mess. Chopped is a perfect example of this - "Here's a plantain, grape Nerds, a fifth of vodka, some corn meal, and edible confetti - make them into a dessert." Wait, what?

If you want to write your blog posts FAST, you need a framework (aka a recipe) to take all of your random thoughts and turn them into a cohesive, convincing piece of writing. Tell yourself you're going to share the five most important things about your topic, then write those five things down. Boom. Those are your body paragraphs. Add an intro paragraph and a closing paragraph with call to action and you're halfway done. There are just a few more steps...




THREE - Use tools to speed up the process. 

OK, if you've ever watched Iron Chef, you know about the blast chiller. You want to make lobster bisque into ice cream in thirty minutes? Then you're going to need to cool things down ASAP. That's where the blast chiller comes in. And guess what? None of the chefs are embarrassed to use this particular tool - it's just a thing that helps them get their work done quickly. 

This is where Canva.com comes in - if you need a great graphic (and you DO need a great graphic, trust me) and you aren't super quick with InDesign or you don't want to wait for a graphic designer, Canva's got your back. Once you've got the key points of your post lined out, jump over to Canva, get a cute template, change out the photo, pop the information in, and Ta-freakin'-Da, you've got a beautiful, Pin-worthy graphic like the one above done in 10 minutes flat. And it's either FREE or very cheap (the Canva for Work upgrade is totally worth it).

Some people talk smack about Canva, but not me. You know why? Even if it's not totally custom, DONE BEATS PERFECT every single time. 

FOUR - Fill in the details.

Before the chefs give their dishes to their guests (if we're talking Ina Garten) or their judges (if we're talking Beat Bobby Flay), they make sure all the food is plated properly and add the finishing touches. They add sprig of herbs there or a spoonful of remoulade there to take the dish to the next level - they DON'T, however, go and throw a turkey leg on top. 

You're going to do the same. Now that your graphic is done, return to your post. You've got your intro and outro done, so now it's time to fill in that body. Remember the five important things on your topic? Go to each one and write 2 to 3 sentences supporting each idea. That's it. Make sure they're entertaining or informative sentences, but that's ALL. We're not trying to write War and Peace here, we're blogging. If you want to go back and throw in a witty anecdote or two, even better, but then STOP - you're almost done and you don't need to keep adding. 

FIVE - Edit ruthlessly but quickly.

Food Network chefs - heck, chefs the world over, really - never let food go out without one crucial step. They whip out their tasting spoon and test the dish. You can't send your stuff into the world without checking it, either. 

A lot of people get tempted to just hit Publish because they want to be done with the whole thing, but you're better than that - when you're writing for your business, you need it to be polished and presentable, so you MUST edit. 

Read it out loud once, then go get a drink. Walk around. Come back five minutes later and read it out loud again. Bits that don't make sense? Cut 'em. Stories that seem kind of rough and off topic? Delete. While writing this post, I started to add a story about Cutthroat Kitchen, but it kind of wandered and didn't support the idea, so I got rid of it. Don't be emotional about this part - editing makes your post stronger. 

SIX - Share shamelessly. 

When the TV chefs are finally setting their dishes in front of the world, do they ever say, "Here's the soup I made." HELL NO - they say, "Today, I've prepared for you a locally sourced vegan Peanut and Pumpkin Goulash topped with Chilled Mushroom Gastrique and Bell Pepper Confit. Enjoy"

(That's not a real dish - I just made it up.)

They are proud to put their work out there, and you should be, too. That means you've got to SHARE, baby - share shamelessly. Share it on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, in your emails (HELLO), mention it on your Facebook Live, read it on YouTube - whatever it takes. You've got great ideas to put out into the world, but no one can appreciate them if you don't share them. 

That's The End!

Now that you've learned the secrets to writing your next blog post FAST, you're ready to get consistent. Blogging regularly helps boost that SEO sky high - and who doesn't like that? 

Thanks for checking out this post - if you enjoyed it, would you please do me a favor and share it on Pinterest? I appreciate it!

Here's to building an Uncommonly Good Biz!

- Misha

PS - If you're a service based creative entrepreneur, and you're into this new way of writing entertaining, informative, and effective (as in, they help you SELL MORE) FAST, come check out The Academy. We meet once a week to focus on this very thing - helping you write blog posts that get your business the attention and love you deserve. Oh, and if you like the idea of writing but don't love editing, you can get professional editing included, too. 

You also get free training on other forms of business communications - everything from tips on better emails to best practices for Facebook Live - in our monthly trainings, AND we have a good time while working together, too. 

Interested? Join the fun here - THE ACADEMY

ARE YOU BETTER THAN A GAS STATION HOT DOG

Well, are you? I hope your answer is, "Um, YES, OBVIOUSLY I am better than a gas station hot dog."

But I gotta tell you, sunshine, sometimes what you're putting out there doesn't sound like you actually believe it!

Let me back up for a second. It's STORY TIME. 

I was out and about this morning, grabbing a coffee, dropping off some mail at the post office, putting gas in the car... and the whole time I'm thinking about growing business, and the POWER OF A GREAT MESSAGE and why can't more people STEP UP and SAY WHAT THEY NEED TO SAY? Why is it when they get in front of their keyboard or video camera they freeze up and talk like mewling kitties instead of SPEAKING OUT and SELLING LIKE TIGERS?

And then I saw this sign. 



Ladies and gents, that's not a gas station hot dog, no no no. 

It's a CHERRYWOOD SMOKED BACON SAUSAGE. And apparently it's SMOKIN'. 

Now, let's talk this through. 

You and I both know three things - this is a gas station. That's just a hot dog. And it's probably STILL NOT DELICIOUS. 

HOWEVER I also know ONE MORE THING. 

There are tons of people out there who will see this, be intrigued, and BUY THE FREAKIN' THING. 

So good for you, gas station marketing team. Good job describing this item in a new and interesting way, and good job grabbing my attention. 

OK, so how about YOU? What product or service are you offering that you're still just describing as a plain ol' hot dog?

And HOW CAN YOU CHANGE things up to turn it into a fabulous offering that makes your ideal clients salivate?

It's dead easy. Instead of talking about your products and services in the easiest, most common way, you OFFER PEOPLE THE BEST POSSIBLE RESULT. 

You're a massage therapist? Then you're offering an hour of spectacular bliss and relaxation unparalleled. 

You're a business coach? Then your program will help people get results faster than they even thought possible - results SO incredible their fathers will finally cry tears of pride. 

You're a social media specialist? Then your services will produce a list of fans who are positively giddy to like, share, and comment on your clients' offerings, and every post will be more clever than Taco Bell. 

Get what I'm saying?

How to know what you really offer



If you're not communicating your message in a way that's consistent, interesting and BOLD, you are missing opportunities left, right and center. 

So I'll ask again - are you better than a gas station hot dog? ANNNNND are you presenting yourself that way on your site and in your media?

If your answer is YES, then you go, you cherrywood smoked bacon sausage, you!

If your answer is NO, then you should probably take the time to figure out why the heck not. 


Need support on this? I am putting the finishing touches on my Uncommonly Good Communications course, but in the meantime I can help you one-on-one.

Go here and get a Strategic Copy Consultation. In sixty lightning-fast minutes, we'll go over the copy on the top five pages of your site and your main forms of social media. We'll find all the holes, dead areas and boring spots where people fall out of love with you. 

You'll walk away with pages and pages of notes on what you can fix IMMEDIATELY to clear up confusion, appeal to the people that matter and get you back on track to dollars dollars dollars. 

Let's get together and make your biz Uncommonly Good in no time. No need to roll around on the gross hot dog warmer of a boring business any longer - people will want more more MORE of you and you won't even have to wear a bun. 
 

Want to be Irresistible? You've got to change one simple thing...

HOWDY, YA'ALL. ARE YA FIXIN' TO HAVE A HOOTENANNY OF A TIME THIS WEEKEND?

Holy GEEZ, that was uncomfortable. And yes, I'm aware the sentence didn't even really make sense, but it was super hard to write because THAT'S NOT MY REAL VOICE. 

When I write a blog post, or a status update for social media, when I make a video for you, when I send out an email or create a blog post or even write a birthday card?

I write JUST like I speak. And you should, too. 

Why? Because when you show up as yourself - no matter the medium - you attract people who like you for you, people who dig your vibe, people who are going to be DREAM-TASTIC to work with. 

And when you DON'T show up and write/speak/sell as yourself, you attract... crickets. Well, either the crickets or the clients who are only here for the commodity and the price tag. Just so you know, BTW, those are the kind of clients that will put you through the ringer, demand way more than previously agreed upon, and then STILL ask for a refund. Why? Because to them you're just some THING, just THE MAN, just some faceless COMPANY, and let's face it - we all know that doing business with a company (I'm looking at YOU, my internet provider!!!) is terrible, so we almost go into the transaction looking for a fight.

Look at all the folks in your field who you really admire - you know, the cool kids you follow on Facebook. Chances are good that the ones you connect with the most are really, really comfortable in their voice whenever they post. 

From the sales leader who tells horrible jokes (but he know his stuff so well you kinda don't care about the puns!) to the design business coach who has a tendency to swear and tell off-color jokes but advice so priceless you don't even care, to the lifecoach who is super sparkly and not afraid to speak directly from his heart so you just want to listen to every single thing he has to say - all the people I simply can't get enough of have very distinct, interesting voices and people can't seem to get enough of them. 

Go check out your favorite peeps and see for yourself, and then give it a shot. 

Are you sarcastic? Do you love to make jokes? Are you an incredible storyteller? Whatever YOUR special sauce is, please do me AND YOURSELF AND YOUR BIZ a favor.

 

The VERY NEXT PIECE OF CONTENT you create? Create it in your voice, and then see how great  the response is  - you're going to be pleasantly surprised. 

 

Do me a favor, will you? If you've got a friend whose posts are... less than fun to read, shall we say, go ahead and share this with them. They'll appreciate the help, and you'll appreciate their newfound awesome writing!

Chat soon - 

Misha

Get Back to Basics - Join the live challenge!

YOU DON'T NEED ANOTHER NEW TOOL.

This woman is face-palming because she spent WAY TOO MUCH on biz tools she never used. 

This woman is face-palming because she spent WAY TOO MUCH on biz tools she never used. 

 

You don't need new software, a new program, a new book - none of that. Not right at this moment. (Unless it's one of mine, in which case you should TOTALLY buy it. *wink*)

But... You're ready to move up. You want to improve. You NEED to get better, and it needs to happen STAT, right?

How can you move forward without dropping a couple thousand dollars on all the newest, shiniest tools available right the freak now? I mean, you NEEEEEED that stuff, right?

Nope. Not yet. Right now?

YOU NEED TO GET BACK TO BASICS.

It's back to school time here in the USA, and you're either running around trying to find your kid a 14 pack of purple, brand-name-ONLY glue sticks and a sweatshirt that's the right shade of blue (because the last one was too babyish, MOM. Are you trying to make the other kids tease me??!?)

Meanwhile, the tape playing in the back of your mind is saying, "Once my little hellions - I mean, darlings are back in class, I'll FINALLY have time to concentrate and grow my biz again."

OR - if you don't have kids to buy a crapton of clothes and supplies for, you're probably STILL thinking of back to school time as a time for evaluation and growth because for at least thirteen years of your life, Back to School time meant new beginnings, new education, and the start of major growth.

So...

What are you going to do to grow your biz?

Will you... jump on a new social media platform that "everyone" says you have to try?

Will you... sign up for a new program to learn a whole new way of doing business?

Or maybe you'll... read all those business books you started on your kindle (but didn't finish because they're actually quite boring)?

If you're considering any of these generally somewhat worthwhile activities in the next week or so-

ALLOW ME TO CALL A TIME OUT.

You may be used to dumping a ton of money into education and business tools, and that can be GREAT. 

But sometimes? (Here comes the painful truth bomb - watch out because it will HURT.)

YOU'RE JUST BUYING THAT STUFF TO AVOID DOING THE REAL WORK. 

Yeah, when you buy a new book it FEELS like you're doing the work. When you grab a free PDF download and tell yourself you'll get back to it later when you have the time, it FEELS like you're accomplishing something. And when you scroll through your Facebook feed for the eleventy-billionth time, it FEELS like you're doing it to connect with potential clients, but deep down?

YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THAT'S NOT THE TRUTH. 

When you engage in the stuff that FEELS like work (but you KNOW it isn't if you're honest with yourself), you not only waste time - you waste energy, and you burn yourself out to a point where you get really really really close to failure. 

THIS IS THE REAL, HONEST, TO-THE-BONE TRUTH. 

Every hour you spend wasting time, money and energy on nonessentials you KNOW you don't need brings you one hour closer to a full and complete failure. 

Oh man. Not the F word! We hate the F word! We bought all that stuff and spent all those fluffy hours so we could avoid the F word, right?

NOT ANYMORE, LADY. NOT ANYMORE. 

 

The Back to Basics Challenge is here to change all that.

Instead of forcing you to learn 5% of something new (so you'll fall into the trap of wanting to know more and, duh, buy a new product!), the Back to Basics Challenge will focus on what you, personally, have had success with in the past but just can't get into gear with again. 

If that's blogging, you'll focus on writing killer, SEO boosting blog posts.
If that's creating red-hot social media messaging, you'll make more of those messages that make people DROOL to know more. 
If that's crafting an email campaign that leads you from "Who's this chick?" to "YEAH, DUDE, I NEED TO HIRE HER!", then - you've got this by now - THAT'S WHAT YOU'LL BE WORKING ON. 

And if NOTHING has ever worked for you, then you'll get a topic and method prescribed for you. 

All you need is the desire to ACTUALLY DO THE WORK and some time Every. Single. Day. the week of August 29th through September 2nd, 2016. 

This particular challenge - designed to get you back to FOCUS, ACTION, and PROFITABILITY is - you're going to like this - is FREE. 

Want to know MORE, grow MORE and make MORE? GO HERE and GET ON THE LIST. Like NOW. 

GET BACK TO BASICS

You have NOTHING to lose and ALL THE THINGS to gain. Get it, girl.

How To Improve Your Social Media Presence - Really.

EVERYONE AND THEIR JAMBERRY-SHLEPPING AUNT HAS A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.

But not everyone is GOOD at it. More than ever before, you need your content to be EXCELLENT. 

Because if it's NOT, there will be no one to see it but you and the crickets, right?

Here are some QUICK TIPS you NEED TO KNOW. 

social media tips

1 - CARE ABOUT YOUR PRESENTATION
Spell and punctuate correctly, and lay off the LIT AF BAE YOLO whatnot. I know I'm stating the obvious here - I KNOW IT. But nothing says "unlike me - I don't care about what I'm saying!" like simple errors. And inauthentic slang, while fun in, oh, text conversations that annoy your twelve year old, is not endearing long term. You're not buzzfeed, so you don't have to talk like that to get attention. If you wouldn't say it in real life, don't say it to be "hip".

2 - GENUINELY GIVE A RAT'S PATOOT.
CARE about your business and care about your content. 
People can smell a shill a mile away. If you don't want to even BE a hairstylist anymore, or you think writing status updates is dumb and not going to work for you, guess what? People will know. And you're right - IF YOU BELIEVE IT WON'T WORK FOR YOU, IT WON'T. 

3 - MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE CRY.
And if you can't make 'em cry, make 'em laugh. The point here is to make your audience members FEEL. Think about the posts that get shared the most - is it stuff like, "We are having a sale on mopeds, you like mopeds, come buy a moped!" Heck no. It's videos of dancing babies and stories about dogs that find their owners after two years and 500 miles. 

If you have something to say, say it in an interesting way and people will care roughly 374% more. TELL A STORY. People love stories. "Hey there, sailor! Mopeds bring you all the chicks, so come on down and get yourself a red hot chick magnet TODAY!" is a lot more compelling than the first message, right? 

How about, "Lieutenant Sergeant Marty McGreevy, veteran of nine wars, came home to see his family for the first time in two years today, and they surprised him with the moped of his dreams. In honor of his service, we're having a one day Lieutenant McGreevy sale with a portion of the proceeds going towards paying off his moped - join us in giving back to this great guy!" Well, holy cow, you kind of want to buy a moped now, don't you?

(By the way, I should mention I'm not 100% sure what a moped is and I'm pretty sure there's no rank as lieutenant sergeant. Full disclosure on that.)

4 - RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A VISUAL WORLD. 
If you can't make em' cry, and you can't make 'em laugh, give them something interesting to look at. It can be a great photo, a cool graphic with text or if you really want to be on trend, a fun-to-watch video. Yes, you CAN step into video. No need to fear it.

5 - DON'T QUIT!
"Well, I tried XYZ, but it didn't work for me, so *long, exaggerated sigh that makes me want to jump out a tenth story window* I guess that doesn't work anymore. HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU TRY IT? OK, so time for me to get mean here, but if you've tried it anything less than 100 times, or consistently for one full month, I don't want to hear this anymore. EVER. Got it? Things take TIME, and if you don't want to recognize that - if you want everything to just work on the first go - then you don't have a very good grasp on reality and you're going to be sorely disappointed in the business world. REMEMBER THIS - the Thighmaster is still for sale. It's not going gangbusters anymore, but SOMEONE IS STILL BUYING THIGHMASTERS, so don't come to me and say, "Photos of puppies are so 2014, that tactic doesn't work anymore". 

which brings me to number 6 - the MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL. 

6 - FORGET TACTICS. 
You can learn all the tactics - in fact, you can fill up your entire DAY reading tips, tricks, tactics, hacks, and so on - but TACTICS WON'T DO THE WORK FOR YOU. If you know me at all, you KNOW what I'm about to say here, but WHAT WILL WORK is... (major drumroll here!) BEING YOURSELF AND COMMUNICATING IN AN AUTHENTIC AND BOLD WAY. Show the freak UP and DO THE WORK. I swear to you, it feels 532% less like work and more like fun if you're being yourself in your communications, so you won't even MIND discarding the tactic mindset and digging in for real. 

Want to be EXCELLENT? 

Tell the stories. Write as you speak (properly!). Make it interesting and cool to look at. NEVER STOP. And BE YOU. 

That's all you've really got to do. 

Do me a favor, would you? If you like this information and you want to make sure you see more of it, or you just think I'm funny and want to encourage my shenanigans, go HERE and get on the Uncommonly Good List.

Oh, and you'll receive a fresh-off-the-imaginary-presses copy of "It's NOT About You" - my guide to writing an About Page that clients actually WANT to read. 

Have an Uncommonly Good day!

 

-Misha

 

Tired of Fakers, Posers, and Biz Bullshhh... Liars?

THE NUMBER ONE ABSOLUTE FIRST THING I'D SAY IS, "TIRED."

If you asked me how I feel about sales, marketing, advertising and social media, yada yada yada TODAY, yeah, I'd say I'm pretty freakin' tired.

She's so tired of scammers she can't even undress to take her bath. 

She's so tired of scammers she can't even undress to take her bath. 

Tired of FAKE. 
Tired of LIES. 
Tired of scare tactics. 
Tired of fire sale mentality.
Tired of E-Z Tips!!! that only worked once in the history of the world. 
Tired of third-person, click-bait, BULLPLOP headlines

and most of all,

Tired of false professionalism that people put on like a cheap suit in the name of making a buck.

You know what? You're a pretty smart person, so I bet you're tired of these things, too.

SO WHAT DO WE DO? What's the magic pill that can turn things around? There's nothing that will change things, right?

Wrong, dude. There are a few key things to do here and they're really super simple.

- Be YOURSELF - a Bad-A and BOLD but TRUE VERSION OF YOU.

- Be HONEST in your dealings and communications, even when it's hard.

- Give VALUE - offer what people are thirsting for instead of cheap crap shored up with shock and awe

- KNOW YOUR WORTH and stick to it. You're not doing anyone a favor by screwing yourself and your family over.

- DIG DEEP when others have gone shallow

- CREATE REAL INTEREST by providing true insight instead of going for parlor tricks

AND OF COURSE

- PROVIDE AN UNCOMMONLY GOOD EXPERIENCE THROUGH AND THROUGH because you, your business and your clients deserve nothing less. No need for shoulder pads and a cheap-o briefcase to look professional - give world class service and YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL.

If you're sick of snake oil, don't sell snake oil.

If you're tired of shams, then SHOW UP and BE TRUE.

Are you with me? Can I get a HECK YEAH for the new old-fashioned way of doing business?

I'll say it first - HECK YEAH! If you agree, add your own HECK YEAH in the comments, and maybe even share this post with your friends.

Are you WITH ME? Want more straight-up, no chaser biz advice like this? Then jump on the list here and you'll get it - hot off the presses and straight to your inbox. 

 

WANT YOUR OWN MAGIC SALES POWERS?

Learn from TARGET - Improve Your Sales..png

YOU'RE SO NOT ALONE. 

REMEMBER THAT TIME YOU WENT TO TARGET JUST TO GET DISH SOAP AND YOU WALKED OUT WITH $112 WORTH OF SCENTED CANDLES, MASCARA, A NEW SEQUINNED T-SHIRT AND. AND. AND...

Right now you're like, "YES! I remember that because it happens every stinkin' week!" and "How did you know?"

I know because it happens to all of us, dollface. Good, bad, young, old - none of us are immune to the charms of Target.

I think I've figured out what their voodoo magic spell is - the thing that makes us buy MORE than we intended to and not even really feel bad about it. Want to know what it is?

It's super simple. They make is EASY for us to buy. The store is well lit, the aisles spaced wide enough to avoid cart collisions, there's often a Starbucks inside so we're already happy from the Flat White we're sipping, and the stuff we need is right next to an adorable photo frame or cotton candy candle in a supercute package.

This is all completely calculated, I'm sure. The Wizard of Target has created it this way so we have a great experience and spend more every. darn. time.

So how can you apply this sales magic to your business?

Step ONE - Determine all the sticky places in your transactions - and make them unsticky.

What are the places where clients have been frustrated or even just confused in the past? Is it your pricing system? Your policy of never selling a la carte items? The way you absolutely refuse to have sales meetings on Thursdays? I'm not saying you have to change your pricing or your policies but communicating them clearly again and again (and again!) will make the clients feel like they're in a well lit store - nothing dim or confusing to turn them off.

Step TWO - Give them the space to feel special.

There's a store that's similar to Target that I just WON'T shop at - you know the one I'm talking about - because I hate the experience. I feel like they treat their products and their employees AND their customers like a commodity - or cattle even - and every time I've been there, it gives me an icky feeling. Because it's poorly lit. Because the carts are wobbly and grimy and the aisles are just a little too tight to fit two carts passing each other.  Because the cashiers don't even make eye contact. Why would I want to shop there just to save .12 on paper towels? I refuse to run my business that way, and you should, too - treat every client like they're your only client. It's not hard or expensive to be genuinely happy to talk on the phone with them. It's not impossible to send them a thank you card after a session. And it's not too darn much to wish them a happy birthday on Facebook when you see it's their special day. These are tiny things - showing them YOU CARE makes a huge difference.

Step THREE - Make it pleasurable to work with you.

This is your chance to bring a latte into the equation. No, I mean literally. Got an early morning meeting? Bring your client a chai tea! There's no better way to warm up to one another (no pun intended) than by sharing a beverage. Leading your fitness clients through boot camp in the hot summer time? Have icy cold water bottles waiting in your car. Share your organic mosquito repellent while you're at it. And when you're having your big sales session, bring some fresh baked muffins or cupcakes or green smoothies to share.

Simple Psychology Tip! A hungry client is not going to spend a ton of money. A client sipping on their favorite beverage, though, will be in a much sunnier mood.

Step FOUR - Put their oh-so-cute wants right next to their actual needs.

No one NEEDS another necklace or a coffee table album of photos. But those are the products clients ooh and ah over. Find the thing that your clients WANT and put them with the stuff they need - if it's a USB with digital images that they feel like they need, but they just can't justify the $2000 cost, package it with the album that made them tear up and it's suddenly irresistible. If you want to sell more necklaces, but clients are wishy-washy about the price tag, package them with a pair of simple earrings (aka Great Gifts for Grandma!) and watch people's attitudes turn around.

See, we small business owners CAN use the magic that business giants create - we just have to decode it and fit it to our needs.  Simple steps to making your transactions run as smoothly as Target WILL make a big increase in your bottom line - I pinkie swear this is true. I know this works  - I've got a cart full of goodies and a latte to prove it.

Now that I've got Target's magic all spelled out, how are YOU going to use it in your business? Leave a comment here letting us know and share this with your Target-addicted friends- they'll be glad you cracked the spell for them!

xoxo

misha