Coaching Programs, Warnings on JVs and Reason Why You Need to Have a Hotseat Event
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I just did another Hotseat event in Dallas. If you’re not doing something similar, you need to START!
First off, you generate some revenue on days that you may have been doing nothing. I intentionally scheduled this one the day after a speech so that I could ‘sell’ any of the unused seats to the members of that audience.
Second, I learn as much from these meeting as my attendees do. Maybe not in the same areas, but I always walk away from the hotseats a bit smarter and with some really solid relationships established with the group members.
Third, you can turn these into a product. I did not do this in Dallas this time, but in the future I intend to bring my smallest DV camera to record the event. The questions are almost always good and the product basically creates itself.
Fourth, you get an idea about who your customers REALLY are and what they’re thinking. As opposed to thinking you know what your customers’ feelings are, in this case you have real life, direct contact with people who are giving you money. You bet you’ll learn what they are REALLY thinking and feeling.
So, do what I’ve done. Set up a site to sell people on attending a HOTSEAT that you hold. I charge $500 for each slot. For some people this may sound high. For some, it is. If so, adjust the figures to reflect your market and what you teach.
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The Departed – Great movie, go see it. Scorcese will get nominated and win his first oscar – finally!
The Last King of Scotland – Powerful film. Forrest Whitaker will also get nominated and will PROBABLY win
Man of the Year – Not as bad as the critics say but still better as a rental.
Science of Sleep – Weird film. It got close to 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I’m still confused about it.
Marie Antoinette – Great cinematography, great costumes, VERY SLOW. I like Sofia Copola but this was like her acting performance in Godfather III
There are a lot of people who do JVs with everyone and their brother. Whoever comes to them and makes an offer, they’re in! In my opinion, BAD idea.
Right now there are only two people who I am doing any type of JV with. Those two people are Bob Bly and Terry Dean.
Let me tell you WHY I only do business with them.
1. I have known them both for a number of years.
2. I know that they are good teachers.
3. They both know there subject matter inside and out.
4. They keep current with their subject.
5. I am 1000% certain that they are people of integrity.
6. I know they will treat my customers as good as I will.
7. They care about TRULY helping people.
8. They aren’t solely interested in making money.
9. Both are interested in really seeing people USE the material.
10. I consider them both friends.
I get approached (as I’m sure many of you do as well) with offers to promote or do JVs with people. I turn virtually all of them down. For a good reason.
I have a LONG view of business. For me, it is NOT all about making the money right now. In fact, I PREFER just the opposite.
Like a lot of people, I have a licensed piece of software called WebMarketingMagic. I NEVER encourage people to pay for it on a yearly basis. I prefer for them to pay monthly. Why? Two reasons.
First, they are more likely to use and keep paying if they pay monthly (for a reference on this topic take a look at: www.HBR.com and search for Pricing and Consumption). Secondly, I prefer taxwise to receive money in installments not in a lump sum.
If you believe like I do that taking the long view in business is right, then I suggest you select your JV partners very carefully. Making a quick buck right now may hurt you in the long run.
I frequently tell the story of how I got burned by a fairly well known entity in the internet marketing community. This person spoke at one of my events, sold a bunch of products (which is fine) and then proceeded to NEVER fulfill the orders.
Did HE look bad? Absolutely. Did I look bad? You betcha! I felt like an idiot. He eventually refunded their money many months later. Wow.
You want to know what’s even stranger? This guy then comes up to me a couple of years later and asks me if he can speak at another one of my events. I almost fell off my chair. Fool me once . . . . .
Moral of this story? Do business with people you know and trust.
Could I make a lot MORE money doing it differently? Yes. I just choose not to run my business that way. I hope you follow my lead.
Last weekend in Dallas I spoke to the local chapter of the National Speakers Association. Nice group. At the insistence of Linda Swindling (thanks Linda!) Harriet Meyerson then attended one of my hotseat events.
If you who don’t know Harriet, let me tell you about her.
She has been married 42 years (I’ve done almost that many in TOTAL, does that count?) and in the last 3 years got her online business going.
She owns a site: www.ConfidenceCenter.com
She sells products related to improving employee morale. She is not niched by industry, but by topic.
Harriet gets a LOT of traffic to her site every day/week/month. She is a perfect example of how to get traffic through legitimate means. There are lots of people out there who will try and give you ways to manipulate the ‘system’ but Harriet can teach us ALL a big lesson.
She credits doing two things to her being listed #3 in Google for the keywords: EMPLOYEE MORALE.
First, she gives people a lot of content on the site. Secondly, when she first got the site going she got in touch with virtually everyone out there who had anything to do with that topic and exchanged links with them. She has over 500 inbound links coming to her site.
Given that Google’s mission is: Don’t be EVIL! Harriet fits right in. She has gotten her rankings the legit way. Through hard work and content.
She told me it took a lot of emails to get all those people to link to her, but it was well worth it. Why? Because by getting herself to #3 in Google she now gets close to 30,000 unique visitors each month.
Hurray for Harriet!
What should we learn? Produce sites that have lots of content and go out and find yourself lots of people who will link to you.
My philosophy has always been to have sales sites where there are NO links OFF the site. So, what to do? Here’s what I’ll be doing. I’m going to create sites where there is lots of content and I’ll go out an find LOTS of people to link to who are in the same field.
On this site I will then make mention of some of my other sites. I’ll also capture email addresses on this content site.
As you’re probably aware, I have a high end coaching program. I detail it at www.TheProductGuru.com. I make this program very difficult to get into for a number of reasons.
First, I want to make sure I only work with people I LIKE and KNOW I can help. To that end I make people jump through a variety of hoops to get to work with me.
In my recent seminars I’ve been using the following approach to teach people how I do things for my coaching program.
I ask the group how many of them do coaching. I then ask those who coach to raise their hand if they consider them-selves a very good coach. Most of the raised hands stay up. I’m frankly surprised by those who don’t keep their hands up.
I then pick a person who has had their hand up and ask them their name. They tell me. I then proceed to inquire as to what topic they coach on. They answer. I then ask them: ‘If I’m interested in working with you, how soon can we get started?’ In most cases they say either ‘Tomorrow’ or ‘Next week’.
I’ll then ask the group: ‘If you have a heart condition and call the best cardiologist in town, how long do you think it will take you to get an appointment?’ The group usually says a few months.
I’ll then ask: ‘How many of you would go to the cardiologist if you had a serious heart condition who could see you tomorrow?’
I then say: ‘Then how good would I expect your coaching to be if you’re so readily available?’
For most, this is a revelation. They get it. If you do coaching of any sort, don’t be too readily available.
I got an email a couple of days back from someone who saw me speak in LA over the summer. They said that they had a friend who was considering my coaching program. Their main question was whether the pricing from that event was still valid.
I told them that for my high-end coaching there was no discount. IF they wanted some of the products I offered, I had told them at the event that I would honor the price for 48 hours and a signed the order sheet.
This is what I always do to make sure I don’t do something different every time I speak. I ONLY do this when the ‘decision maker’ for some reason couldn’t make it to the event and someone doesn’t have the power to make a decision.
So we went back and forth with a couple of emails and then I get one that says: ‘Ms X wants you to call her at this number to discuss your coaching program.’
My response? NO. I don’t call people to try and ‘sell’ them on my coaching program. You shouldn’t either. The kind of client you’ll get from doing this will be SUBstandard. You’ll most likely get someone who is a pain the a**.
I emailed back saying that they should look at my site that was set up for this purpose (www.TheProductGuru.com) and follow the steps delineated there. They were miffed.
There next email demonstrated that fact. I then told this individual that we probably NOT a good match.
Within the past 24 hours I have gotten all three of the examples I’m about to share with you. Be careful. All of these are mistakes you shouldn’t be making.
I just got an email from someone that I don’t know. They were asking me a question that required me to read this very lengthy email.
Even if I know people, emails that I get that are long I find annoying and tedious. Email correspondence is best done in a terse, pithy format.
Particularly if you don’t know someone don’t introduce yourself to them with some LONG, rambling document via email. Instead, send them a short and sweet one.
If you peak their interest with that format you will probably get a response.
Trying to get to someone? First, get them to READ your initial correspondence, then try and ‘sell’ them on something.
One of the ezines that I get regularly just switched over to an HTML format. It used to be sent in TEXT format. This is an ILL-advised move.
If you send out communication of any sort to your list, do NOT use HTML. In many people’s email boxes it shows up as suspicious or spam. Don’t do it.
Whoever advised this person to do this is not well informed about how to do things in this area.
If you want to show someone an HTML document, provide them with a link within your TEXT. Let them click on it to get them to see that document.
Do NOT send out email broadcasts in HTML form, the only thing it will do is lower the number of people who actually read your emails. That number is LOW now to begin with because of the amount of CRAP that people send out.
Let’s say you’re at a seminar or on an airplane and you meet someone. You then go back to your office and enter their name onto your email list.
The next time you send out an email you have just SPAMMED that person. Depending on where you live you MAY be liable for fines of somewhere around $500 per incident.
This is not good or legal.
In order to NOT be accused or fined for spamming people it is necessary for you to have PROOF that people opted into your list. Even if you meet them in person, do NOT just add them to a broadcast list.
Webmarketingmagic goes a step further. It makes people DOUBLE opt-in when they subscribe to a list.
Do what I do to be safe.
Even if I meet a person face to face, I’ll take their card and send them an email telling them it was nice to meet them. I then SUGGEST they go to a certain link or page online to sign up for my ezine.
If them do this I’m assured I have not violated any SPAM laws.
This the RIGHT way to do it if you want to keep yourself out of trouble. Webmarketingmagic will provide you, if necessary, the PROOF to show someone that they in fact, opted into your list.
I would not do it any other way.
See you soon,