Category Archives: Business Building

5 Tips to Get from Introduction to Sales Consultation….without making your prospect feel like prey

Unexpectedly running into a prospective client can make even the most experienced business person salivate. You work hard, market regularly and do everything you’ve been taught to do and low and behold you run into a prospective client at your kids’ soccer game – catching you completely off guard!

Yes, salivate is exactly what some of you do and it’s exactly what you don’t want the person you’re speaking with to notice. You’re chatting with one of the Dad’s while dropping your child off at soccer practice for the first time when he casually mentions he runs a business. You immediately come to attention and begin interrogating him with 100 questions about his marketing and copy needs.

I caution you to STOP! Don’t do this! Take a breath and continue on with the conversation in a relaxed and informal manner. It’s time to continue building a relationship here, not sell.

I recently had an experience where I met someone new in a personal situation and as soon as he found out I was a successful business owner, he switched gears. It was almost like he became a different person, and started interrogating me about my business. I felt extremely uncomfortable because I didn’t know this person and didn’t want to discuss business at the time. I wanted to talk about my kid’s soccer and snacks and carpooling, etc.

I do not look forward to seeing this person again (and I will) because I feel as if they have an agenda when we speak rather than are truly interested in me and my family.

Being the analyzer that I am, I looked back at what this parent did that was specifically such a turn-off to me. I honestly couldn’t get away from them fast enough and wanted to see what role I played in this and how I could turn the situation around. I feel uncomfortable around this person now – I feel like prey rather than a potential friend or acquaintance. I felt as if he were overly aggressive about working with me and not tuning in to me and my business or personal needs. Rather he was more concerned with making a sale for himself.

The lesson here is that there a time and place for everything and the energy you bring to a situation has everything to do with the energy you get back.

If you meet someone at a non-business function it is appropriate to ask about following-up with them and scheduling time to discuss business at a later date. It’s also appropriate to exchange business cards, and then go back to relationship building, not selling.

Here are five tips to remember when you meet prospective clients in non-business situations:

  1. There is a time and place for everything, including selling. It may not be right here right now. Ask if it’s ok to contact them later.
  2. Pay attention to the person you are talking to. Watch THEIR body language and tune-in to their needs.
  3. Don’t be a piranha! You are responsible for the energy you bring to the space.
  4. Be a giver and not a taker, your intention matters. Your tone, your body language, your eyes communicate just as much if not more than your words.
  5. Ask general questions about them and their business. If they don’t have a problem they don’t need your help. Find out first; don’t just start talking about yourself and how great your business is.

What you have to be aware of and be responsible for is the energy you bring to the situation, which is something the soccer dad didn’t do. Your intonation, your body language and your demeanor should always be that of giving, not of getting or taking.

I have recently seen two fascinating interviews with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who suffered a severe stroke. During her stroke the entire left hemisphere of her brain shut down and she was conscious enough to be aware of what was happening while it was happening. She also remembers several specific incidents during her many years of recovery.

Dr. Taylor explains how the left hemisphere of the brain holds our language skills, our self-talk, our mind. Without that she was able to understand people’s intentions by their body language, intonation and even eye contact. She could tell a lot about a person and if she wanted to spend time with them without understanding a word.

Bottom line message from Dr. Taylor, “there are people that bring you energy and people who take your energy away”, and everyone should “be responsible for the energy you bring into this space”.

Just like my soccer dad acquaintance that didn’t technically say or do anything wrong or offensive, I could tell he wanted something from me. He had “take energy”. It was repelling and not something I want to be around.

The lesson for you here is that yes, sales conversations are an important and necessary part of business and you need to engage in them. However, before you even have a sales conversation you need to create a relationship where there is a foundation of trust and liking.

You do this by approaching all of life, everything you do and everyone you meet, by giving – not taking from people or situations.

Struggling attracting clients and reaching your target market? Contact us today at Kelly@TheCopywritingInstitute.com to see if we can help.

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA

Breaking Down Your Locked Doors

roadblocksHave you stopped moving because you’re frozen in fear? Do you feel like you hit a brick wall and don’t know what to do next?

This happens to many of us, particularly when we are walking down a new path or starting on a journey that leads us into unfamiliar territory. You are moving along, often at a fairly swift pace, and you suddenly stop frozen in your tracks. It’s as if there is a wall in front of you blocking your way. Upon closer examination you see a door. You slowly reach your hand out and turn the knob, timidly, because you aren’t sure what’s on the other side of the door.

However, almost to your relief, the door is locked. You drop your hand, perhaps stand there in thought for a moment, and then turn and walk back where you came from. The door’s locked, you can’t go any further.

The locked door represents an obstacle on the road to achieving your goals. For freelance copywriters this could be frustration that you don’t have any new clients this month, or that you didn’t achieve the financial goal you had set for yourself. That wall, in fact, has brought you to an absolute stand still. After all, you can’t walk through walls can you? Obviously wherever you were headed was not the right direction. Right? Wrong!

You may be stopped, standing in front of your own closed door right now. The thing is you don’t know what’s behind that door. It could be opportunity. More money. More clients. You won’t know until you get it open.

But the door is locked you whine… (I don’t have samples, no one is hiring, I don’t have time, I don’t know where to find leads…) So what? Break that fricken’ door down and see what’s there!

I’ve seen a pattern emerge over the years I’ve been coaching – people walk up to their door (a large, looming obstacle), find out it’s locked and not easy to open (overcoming obstacles are not usually easy because it makes them uncomfortable) and they quit.

You make a decision, say to start a freelance copywriting business or to earn 30K a year more, and you start moving in the direction to make that dream a reality.

Once you make that decision the Universe will bring things into alignment to make your vision a reality. In order for you to become a person that makes their vision a reality and you have to change as well. Things around you have to change – this can be incredibly uncomfortable and incredibly scary.

It’s often right when you give up that your vision is at the tipping point of becoming reality. I see people give up right when they are about to break through their door – their fear and panic takes over and they stop looking for opportunities to move through the obstacle rather than opportunities to move through it. Panic sets in and they stop, turn around, and walk the other way instead of stepping into their true self.

If you truly desire to see your dream come true you must have a dogged determination to accomplish your goal and see the change to completion.

You have to take that pent-up fear energy and use it to propel yourself in the direction you want to go. Because the energy is new it can feel extremely uncomfortable and your instinct may be to walk away from it rather than embrace it. Embracing the fear requires a change in behavior from what you’ve done in the past. It will require you to do something you have never done before.

I recently saw an interview with Lady Gaga talking about how she steps into growth and discovers the next path for herself. Gaga said she visually sees a door in front of her. It’s closed and bolted shut. She gets whatever she needs to break the door down – in the interview she described visually grabbing an axe and a sledgehammer – and she literally tears the door down. She beats at it and goes and gets more tools and comes back and attacks it some more until she finally demolishes that door. Once she breaks it down she knows the next thing she needs to step into. There is a fanaticism to her determination to break through that door; nothing is going to stop her.

You must also have that same fanaticism to break down the closed doors in your way. The key may be recognizing you’ve actually hit a locked door rather than a brick wall.

Your closed doors may resemble:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Choosing a niche
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Hiring a coach or mentor
  • Not following through
  • Learning a new skill
  • Fear
  • Accepting you don’t have all the answers
  • Lack of energy or focus
  • Not working on your whole self – i.e. dealing with past issues/traumas
  • Not being open (thinking you know it all)
  • Picking up the phone

What door(s) do you need to demolish to break through to your goals today? If you are uncertain what to do next or don’t feel you have the tools you need to break down the doors, contact us to see how we can help. Kelly@TheCopywritingInstitute.com

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA

Why You’re Not Getting Clients and What to do About it

Working hard and still not attracting the clients you KNOW you are capable of helping is incredibly frustrating.
Working hard and not making the money you KNOW you are capable of making is even worse!

You see other people making money and it appears almost effortless. You are marketing and seem to be doing everything you are “supposed” to be doing, but still aren’t getting strong Picking From The Money Tree, Marketing, Easepositive results.

Are you busy all the time and don’t see how you can possibly squeeze even one more thing in?

It’s enough to make anyone frustrated and even consider quitting.

I caution you – DON’T QUIT! What you need is some help – clearly there is something you don’t know. It can be that simple.

Register for our next free teleseminarWhy You’re Not Getting the Clients you Want and What to do About it — and learn how to dramatically change your results. Next Wednesday, April 4th at 1:00pm MT (3:00pm ET) Kelly Robbins, MA, will share some exciting insights with you about building and growing a profitable client base.

On the call you’ll discover

  • The three main reasons entrepreneurs don’t win business
  • How to recognize these behaviors in yourself
  • Discover steps you can take to change behaviors and beliefs that are preventing success

We are also going to take a look at the Universal law of cause and effect. The “effect” is your results… Income. Clients. Struggle. Lack. What “causes” are creating struggle and lack in your life? You can’t consciously change what you don’t see. During this one-time teleconference Kelly is going to help you see what may be causing your struggles and frustrations.

Ask yourself how long have you been stuck in a pattern you don’t like. Stuck at a specific dollar amount for example. Or had the same client base for years with no change. It’s like the air is stagnant, except it’s your business or your life.

How long have you been thinking about making a change or doing something new (months or years) but haven’t taken action on it?

Now is the time to take a good look at what’s going on and why you are still in the same place. You should be able to look at your life and/or business six months ago and see change. Can you?

If any of this rings true to you I encourage you to register for this free teleseminar today.

Held next Wednesday, April 4th at 1:00pm MT (12:00pm PT).

Don’t worry if you can’t make the live call – which I encourage you to do – it will be recorded. You must register for the call to have access to the recording.

Happy Copywriting!
Kelly Robbins, MA

Best Social Media Practices for Freelance Copywriters

social media, words, marketing, business, connect, networkSocial media is all the buzz in marketing for freelance copywriters today. In the last two weeks I have read at least 12 articles on pinterest (a Facebook or Twitter application) alone. Before that Google+ was a must-have for anybody who wanted to be anybody. It’s as easy to see how marketers can feel obligated to participate in social media as it is to quickly become overwhelmed with the variety of choices and maintenance required to achieve results. The enormity of creating a simple presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in addition to creating and maintaining a website, blog, e-zine and all the other mediums available today is daunting.

With all the social media hoopla anyone could easily jump on the bandwagon and add one (or several) more things to their to-do list in the rush to keep up with the newest trends. Today’s advice is look before you leap. You don’t have to be everywhere to make money!

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Squidoo, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+… the list is endless. How do you choose? How much time should a marketer actually spend on social media?

The cold, hard facts are that you don’t absolutely NEED to have a Facebook account or 10,000 followers on Twitter to make a living as a copywriter.  Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it necessitates your presence.

There are some instances where it is vitally important to have a strong social media presence. For example:

  1. If you position yourself as a social media copywriter you need to be able to walk the talk. Prospects expect to find you there.
  2. If your clients are strong social media users, either personally or professionally, it makes sense to connect with them there.
  3. You have targeted a niche that’s projected to expand in the social media area. For example, the high-tech industry and the field of academics are strong users of the new Google +.  If these are your clients you would be wise to participate in the discussions there.
  4. You love Facebook and Twitter (or whichever medium), you are already there and expanding into a business presence is natural and easy for you. It makes sense to continue.

Many marketers leap into social media marketing because it’s easy and inexpensive, however, it can also be a huge time suck and, if not done strategically, can lead to a lot of effort with no results. It’s important to evaluate your niche and the needs of your clients as well as their online habits and balance that with how much time you have.

I’m not saying don’t participate in social media for business purposes. What I am saying is to be smart about it and don’t just jump on the bandwagon because you can. Social media can easily become one more distraction from making sales – which is where you need to be focusing your energy.

Thinking about stepping into a new social media medium? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see which, if any, social media outlet is right for your business:

  • Does the medium complement your other marketing efforts? It is one more way to connect and engage with consumers – just because you are there doesn’t mean clients or prospects are there.
  • If you currently gain most of your business through another avenue, such as speaking or direct selling, will social media help or hinder your sales flow? If direct selling works for you then stick with it!
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to updating social media? Is this something that can be outsourced?
  • What do you already have in place, such as a blog or e-zine, which can be leveraged with social media?
  • Social media is a personal, direct way to engage with prospects. You must have a personality – you can’t just post sentences from your blog. Can you do this?

I am leery of anyone who says you HAVE to do anything where marketing is concerned. The only HAVE to is selling. You can be as creative as you want when it comes to bringing the leads in, but you must know how to sell.

Social media is attractive to many solopreneurs because it is free and easy to do. My experience is it’s also an easy way to distract yourself from selling, which you HAVE to do to make money and grow your business.

Copywriters, be smart about social media usage. Remember it is just one of many tools available to get in front of your target market. It’s not for everyone and it is definitely not a requirement to building a highly profitable copywriting business.

 

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA

21 Ways to Strengthen Faith… in Your Business, and Your Life

Here is an excerpt from the book, God Works Through Faith, by Robert A. Russell (pgs 16-17).  I read this book over and over again and learn new things each time. I pull it out when I am in a funky place. I pull it out when I am grouchy or feeling stressed. I pull it out when I feel stuck. I was reading it this morning and thought about how faith in ourselves is important to all of us, particularly when we take the leap to start our own business. I thought I would share this one section with you and hope it helps you where ever you are in your business today.God Works Through Faith, Book, Business, Empower, Inspire

If you don’t believe in God, or the word itself makes you squeamish, I encourage you to read this article anyway. Find a different word to substitute. The universe, energy, flow…whatever works for you. Read and embody the message rather than get caught up in semantics. I have added some comments in green after a few of the statements to bring into focus how faith relates to building a business. I had thought about modernizing the wording and paraphrasing some of these but decided you should interpret these for yourself in a way that suits you — it’s your journey.

How to Strengthen Faith

  1. Be expectant, confident, and optimistic.
  2. Keep your enthusiasm strong; never allow yourself to be discouraged or depressed.
  3. Fill your mind with interest, enthusiasm, ambition.
  4. Keep your ambition and aspiration high; cultivate patience and perseverance.
  5. Keep your imagination centered in what you want and keep your faith moving toward it.
  6. Keep your consciousness expanding, growing and moving to higher levels.
  7. Be positive in your thought, feeling, and action.
  8. Accentuate the positive in every situation. Never allow yourself to dwell upon misery, sickness, operations, symptoms, reverses, misfortunes, or bad luck. Lack of clients, not being good enough, fear, no money
  9. Never depreciate, criticize, minimize, or speak disparagingly of your self. Never dwell upon your mistakes. Think always of yourself as growing, expanding and becoming more efficient, resourceful and dynamic. Be aware of your self talk! Control your self talk.
  10. Look for the good in everything and everybody. Refuse to recognize anything but the good.
  11. Seek the best of everything and know that your mind will produce it. KNOW that your business will be successful. KNOW that you are here to help people. Seek high-paying clients. Seek clients that LOVE you and the work you do. Seek ease and grace in your growth.
  12. Think in large terms. The more you expect, the more your faith will bring to you.
  13. Convince your mind that what you seek is already here, that it is yours now.
  14. Train your mind to think in terms of abundance; never allow it to dwell upon lack or limitation in any form.
  15. Stimulate your faculties and talents by increasing your demands upon them. Get training. Read books. Take course and workshops. Push yourself to be better.
  16. When you meet trouble of any kind, refuse to be worried or disturbed by it. Know that you are bigger than any adverse thing that happens to you and have the power to overcome it. If you don’t make a sale, another will come. A client doesn’t appreciate work you did for them, it’s ok. Everyone is not going to love your work. Some will, some won’t.
  17. Meet every problem with the conviction that it is already solved. See it an as opportunity to prove God. See it as an opportunity to prove faith and abundance.
  18. Face every difficulty with courage, strength, and fortitude; determined to turn it to good account.
  19. Know that you have the power to adjust anything, change anything, correct anything, overcome anything, or subdue anything.
  20. Act always with the Truth; and never allow yourself to compromise with evil. If the Truth is to make you free, you must rely upon it. You must pass from belief to trust. Never allow yourself to entertain failure. Know YOUR truth. YOUR dreams and wishes.
  21. Believe the unbelievable. God goes all out for you when you go all out for God. When you go all out for you, the universe, the law of attraction, whatever you believe will bring you what you desire.

 

Happy Copywriting!

Kelly Robbins, MA