Is there hope for me?

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Is there hope for me?

Postby Quadira » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:33 pm

Hello, Community!

So here is the thing: not only do I have many interests and things I want to do, I also have a hard time sticking with one thing long enough to have it bear fruit. For example: I am developing my practice as a Laughter Yoga Leader and Play/Wellness Coach, though I don't yet have clients. I recently came up with a high-end, VIP day called The Pampered Goddess, for which I created an awesome secondary website. So far, no clients, and I don't love the marketing end of things. I haven't got sufficient funds to hire anyone either. And now I feel the urge to go do something different, set this one aside. How can I make a living if I do that?! I'm not a good employee, hence my desire to be self-employed. Yet that's not working the way I wish it to, either. Help!
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Re: Is there hope for me?

Postby SquarePeg » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:27 pm

Maybe you're interested in starting yoga / coaching businesses. If you can find a steady stream of people who'd like to run yoga studios, coaching practices or whatever, you can let that "bear fruit."
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Re: Is there hope for me?

Postby pattyn » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:39 pm

I find the easiest way to find clients is to get clear on who you can best help. While it may be true that laughing yoga is good for everyone (how could it not be? it sounds like fun!), there are some people you are great for. And some of them have stuff going on that makes them especially good candidates for laughing yoga, play, wellness, and being a pampered goddess.

So maybe you relate really well to Gen X mothers or to middle managers with stressful jobs or to health-conscious wealthy retirees. Then you can get really specific why laughing yoga and play matter to them in particular.

It's quite scary to get so specific. It's hard to believe if you can't find enough members of the general public, you won't find even fewer of this very specific sub-group. But this is almost never the case. When you offer a solution to stress for left-handed red heads over the age of 50, the people who hear about you start thinking of who they know who fits this description. Now, their knowledge of you is something they can offer to their friend as a gift. They don't do this for "y'all come" descriptions.

As you think of which group you might be really good for, give extra points to any that are already organized as a group that meets or runs into each other a lot (like pediatric dentists or women with children in daycare) or that has their own newsletter (like a local over-55 community). Better yet, a group that has someone willing to pay for your services on their behalf (like a company having a hard time attracting and keeping good customer service people). This doesn't just increase the chances of spreading the word. It also greatly reduces the cost and time involved in getting your name known. Now you know what group to propose to give a demo or a discount coupon, where to pitch an advice column on your subject, where to leave your flyers, maybe even who to talk to about group pricing.

And what if you picked wrong and the group doesn't produce enough paying customers for you? You add a different group and let the old one fade away over time or keep both going.

And one great piece of advice from someone who attended one of my Idea Parties: if you want to start enjoying marketing more, hang out with people who love it.
- Patty Newbold
Director, Sher Success Teams
Marriage Education Author/Speaker - assumelove.com - enjoybeingmarried.com
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Re: Is there hope for me?

Postby pattyn » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:46 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot this part. If you know you'll get bored with laughing yoga classes in a while, knowing who your very specific target group is makes it easy to change careers without starting over financially. Just keep thinking of ways to use your new interests in the service of this group. And train your best customers to teach your classes and run your front desk, so you can be the gal doing yoga portraits, laughing as you groom your dog, playful flower arranging, computer apps to remind people to laugh and stretch and play during their day, shooting your own tv show for this group to watch online, or franchising so you can travel the country or the world at your franchisees' expense.
- Patty Newbold
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Marriage Education Author/Speaker - assumelove.com - enjoybeingmarried.com
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Re: Is there hope for me?

Postby Quadira » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:12 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, Pattyn and SquarePeg! I DO have a coaching business, just no clients yet. Here is the link to my Pampered Goddess day: https://thepamperedgoddess.wordpress.com I would love to have 1-2 women sign up as my first clients for half price, if they will promote my program and write a rave review!

All the ways I've put the word out––various FB groups, emails, and LinkedIn––have not produced even a nibble so far, and I get discouraged. Yes, I need to get out in public more and meet people, etc; I just have not followed up (another area I find challenging!) My wish is that someone who has a business would have me go and do sessions with their clients, so I am not having to be in that looking mode.

I do have one great potential coming up: the Holistic Chamber of Commerce is looking for someone to start a local chapter in my area, so that could be me! As president I would have great built-in exposure, visibility as a leader, and earn a small commission on member dues for anyone in my chapter. As soon as I decide where I'll be living (may be moving north a few hours), I will start that ball rolling. More shall be revealed this next week!

Blessings to all and thank you again!
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Re: Is there hope for me?

Postby pattyn » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:34 pm

Qadira, I think one thing that will help you get clients is to tell on your site which airport they need to fly to. A day of pampering isn't worth much if one needs a two-stop, 8-hour trip to get home from it.

Can you list some private jet services that will bring people to your airport from nearby cities?

Locals are probably your best prospects. Can your car pick them up at their homes or offices?

I would strongly urge you to remove the words "(currently under creation)" from your website. Don't even talk about something that's not available yet. You need to sound like you've been doing this for a while, not still setting up.

Ease the fears of women traveling alone. You offer no surname, so you need to be especially reassuring to those who will pay you money and put themselves in your care away from public eyes. Is the beach photo of your actual location and service? If so, include the dark-haired massage therapist in your About description, because it's obviously not you. If the pink room is in a public hotel, name it, so they can check it out. They don't know you from Adam and some will fear they may show up at this room and find Adam in your stead. Your name is Arabic but your photo is not. This probably calls for an explanation of how you came to have the name.

And then you have to jump in and do the heavy lifting of getting people to the website. You might try partnering up -- offer the 1/2 off discount to a blogger who reaches your best audience and has lots of traffic (see alexa.com) to give away -- or to a private jet company for their next promotion.

Wishing you much luck with your offering.
- Patty Newbold
Director, Sher Success Teams
Marriage Education Author/Speaker - assumelove.com - enjoybeingmarried.com
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Re: Is there hope for me?

Postby emspace » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:06 pm

Great advice, Patty! I absolutely agree about having to pick a specific audience to focus your message on. Everyone wants to feel that they’re particular problems are well understood by the business they’re giving their money to.

+++

Taking a peak at your website, my number one recommendation is to put your location on every web page. Either at the bottom, in the contact area, in the copy. Everywhere. No one will call if they have no idea where you are.

Also, putting your location is critical for searches because most people use their own location (or where they’re willing to go) in the search. When I’m looking for a business in my city, I always type my city on the end of the list of words, otherwise, I risk seeing results from all over the world that are not relevant. “spa getaway Phoenix” is what someone will search for and if you don’t have “Phoenix” (as an example, since I don’t know where you’re located) anywhere on your site, you won’t get anywhere close to the first page of search results.

There are a bunch of different places you can add this, depending on how location-specific you are. For one, your page title should always give the name of your business, the location, and a clear idea of what you’re about using the most obvious search terms. As an example, a wedding photo business would have this in the home page title and meta description: “Bliss Photo Inc. Professional wedding photographer for Toronto plus Southern and Western Ontario. We also provide destination wedding photography to the Caribbean and Hawaii.”

Somewhere on one (or more or all) of the pages of your site, you should outright tell people the location, even if you don’t specify an address (which is a bit suspicious for a real business).

Next, I highly recommend putting your phone number and email at the bottom of every page so that no matter where people are looking, they never have to click around to find out how to contact you. Path to least resistance!

+++

Another thing I can add is that businesses are always built out of referrals — particularly at the beginning stages. Have you thought of some promotional ideas that could get you known to the community, some ways to have people “sample” your services, and then get an invitation with a 25% first-time discount? And perhaps a discount for people who refer their friends?

I’ve friends who’ve been getting their shiatsu business off the ground for at least 4 years now, but it really takes that long sometimes to get regular, repeat clients and also for those repeat clients to trust you enough to refer their friends and family and co-workers.

I know you said you’re not great with the marketing stuff, but here are some ideas:

Rent a booth or tent at an associated community event: I don’t know where you’re located, but where I live there are always outdoor events that promote natural health and grassroots organizations, usually in a park, usually with a bunch of tables under open tents with people selling food, handing out flyers, and so on. My friends have done this and offered 10-minute shiatsu treatments for $5-10, just to get their neighbours familiar with their name and services. Usually, they then give out cards with a discount on a full treatment.

Offer a mini-treatment for an auction. Again, if not many people know about you (or even if they do), this is a great way to remind people what you do and where you are and how to contact you. Be aware that “free” things aren’t treated with as much respect as discounted things, or time-limited offers. But if there’s a possibility of up-selling a give-away with add-ons or more premium options, giving away the basic offer may not hurt you as much. The information you provide at the auction should make it very clear what is part of the package and what is an optional upgrade and at what fee.

Offer a 5 or 10-package discount. (Or whatever number makes sense.) If people pay for and book a bunch or services up front, they get a better discount.

Offer discounts for bringing along friends. Or some other referral gift. My hair stylist offers referrers one of his hair products as a gift for every person they refer who comes in, plus I think the referred person gets a discount on the first hair appointment.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’m sure if you had an Idea Party, you’d be swamped with more ideas than you could undertake all at once! Good luck, Quadira!
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