One of my goals this year is to give more things away. This is a carefully curated treasure trove of free goodies that will help you and your business move into the public eye gracefully with more ease and fun.
Click on the image and you’ll be whisked to the right place to download a PDF or register for a training.
NOTE: Some trainings aren’t offered at this time. But register anyway and you’ll be notified the next time they run.
By Guest Blogger Alison Luterman (Plus a poem!) – with my video commentary on how to make a movement go viral — from Erica Mandy’s Show, The News Worthy
I was walking up the street minding my own business when a superhero jumped out in front of me. He landed in a wide-legged stance, arms outstretched, head thrown back in true Olympic superhero style. He was about three feet high and was wearing sneakers that lit up with flashing lights when he moved.
“I’m magic!” he announced.
“You are magic–I can see that!” I said.
It had been two weeks since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and I was still in a funky mood. Events, both national and personal, had been clouding my ability to see the magic in life. But here it was, on a bright Tuesday afternoon when the dogwood was blooming.
“I’m also the fastest runner,” the super-hero went on. “Wanna see?”
He tore up the sidewalk, his sneakers flashing.
“Wow, you are super fast!!” His Dad was leaning up against the family SUV, chuckling.
“He’s actually the fastest runner in the world,” he clarified. “It’s not everyday you get to see something like that. I can understand if you’re overwhelmed.”
I put my hand on my heart and staggered back. “It’s going to take me awhile to recover.”
In truth I hope never to recover from the magic of children. It may be our only hope as a species.
Like so many other people, I’m still blown away by the power of the young students speaking up now for gun control, especially Emma Gonzalez, the shaven-headed, bisexual, Latinx student (president of her school’s Gay-Straight Student Alliance), who rose up out of the smoke and spilled blood of the Parkland massacre, and has been speaking truth to power like a lioness.
If you haven’t seen the video of her making an impassioned plea for gun control while wiping away tears–weeping freely, but making her points with fierce accuracy, including the amount of money the Great Pretender accepted from the NRA for his campaign–go watch it. (Spoiler alert: 30 million dollars.)
Watch the way she feels deeply, but also has facts and figures at her command, and uses them. That’s not easy. When I’m crying my voice shakes, or it knots up in my throat, my chin quivers uncontrollably, and I feel foolish and naked. I’d prefer to hide under the bed than let people see me like that.
But it’s the job in front of us right now–all of us. Find our deepest feelings and speak from that vulnerable, exposed place.
It turns out many of the young activists effectively challenging Senators and Congress are drama club kids. I was a drama club kid. It was the ultimate safe space for queer kids, outcasts, weirdos. The energy and passion, the intense bonding love that gets generated backstage can be used for so many good things. You can put on a play, you can read your poetry at an open mic, you can start a movement and take your message to Congress.
Art teaches us to be brave. And we need a lot of courage these days. And a lot of love. Hold your friends and companions, fellow-artists, fellow-activists, children and the young at heart extra tightly. And don’t stop speaking truth to power even if it makes you cry.
Watching the Giraffes
The baby giraffe stands
in the shadow of the tall
both of their astonishing
with a perfect mosaic pattern
like kitchen linoleum.
How close the gods come to
Then the tallest one
who has been gazing off into
his small head atop that
like a long lonesome train
high above everything,
lets loose a Niagara of
and another giraffe ducks
a swanlike neck down,
to catch a deep, hot
mouthful of urine,then undulates back up,
gulping and swallowing.So that too is part of it.
How they take
what they are thirsty for
as I am drinking in the gentle
of the child’s small trusting
leaning against my arm
on the bench at the zoo,
both of us watching the
without saying anything.
Alison Luterman’s three books of poetry are The Largest Possible Life; See How We Almost Fly; and Desire Zoo. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Sun, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, The Atlanta Review, Tattoo Highway, and elsewhere.. She has also written an e-book of personal essays, Feral City, and more than half a dozen plays, including Oasis, Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Glitter and Spew, Touched, and two musicals, The Chain and Nasty Women. She performs with the Oakland-based improvisation troupe Wing It! and has given writing workshops all over the country, including at Omega and Esalen Institutes.
She teaches memoir at The Writing Salon in Berkeley, and is available for private coaching in writing or creativity, both in-person or on-line. She also loves to teach easy accessible theater games and writing prompts to groups. For more information, please visit her website at www.alisonluterman.net.
For a year. I’d put pen to paper in a beautiful journal and out would pour — drivel.
Sometimes I’d write to get all the minutae out of my head. Other times I’d write a list. But the end “result” was nothing of consequence.
I mentioned the writing process we go through in Wild Writing to Sherry Richert Belul and Alison Luterman the other night as we crunched skinny french fries and sipped bubbly water at the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco with before her poetry reading at Martuni’s.
Alison said that as she was writing she was always looking to have a finished product – be it a play, a poem or a story. So to write without a “goal” wasn’t easy.
I’m was the Alison camp. Until I wasn’t. I’m not sure what happened exactly, other than I let go a little and just allowed the drivel to flow. And there was plenty of it.
And then something shifted. In my business writing too. I’m writing up a storm and creating new videos and products and stuff at such a speed I wish that there were more hours in the day!
Like this video about how to be kinder to yourself after a media appearance (or any new venture for that matter).
I’m not yet in the place where I can love my drivel.
Then today I read this in Sunil Bali’s ezine which put me on the path (another shift!)…
“The ceramics teacher announced on the first day of class, that he was dividing the class into two groups.
One half of the class would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, and the other half would be graded solely on the quality of their work.
On the final day of class the teacher would bring his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the quantity group: fifty pounds in weight of pots rated a Grade “A”, forty pounds a Grade “B”, and so on.
Those being graded on quality, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get a Grade “A”.
Come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a not very good pot.
Whether its business, art or sport, it’s not the quest to achieve one perfect goal that makes you better, it’s the skills you develop from doing a volume of work.
I forgot the mention my favorite Instagram feed. This one always makes me laugh and feel good. So if you’re feeling low, and like everything is just too darn much, head over here for a jolt of joy. Then once uplifted you can move forward.
Still thinking about your New Years’ Resolutions? Some more things to ponder from past years here and here.
Many people want to promote something — like a book or themselves. But what the most savvy entrepreneurs know is that that model isn’t scalable — because it’s your one-on-one time.
When I work with clients I encourage them to look for the intellectual property that they already have that we can convert into a course, a program, or a downloadable audio, video, printable that they can sell to dozens, hundreds or thousands.
Then, when people who have heard, read or seen you in the media come to your website they can purchase something other than your expertise and time.
Maybe you’ve wondered this yourself….
I know I’m still learning ways to be able to do this and I want to be fully transparent with you here, that although I teach this, I too can continue to learn and perfect these.
This is where more people focus. How to get more clients. But it can be short-sighted. Sure if you’re just starting out, this is your priority! But the further along you are in your business, the value is in the lifetime customer value or the length of your relationship.
It’s way easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before and it costs you nothing, versus generated new leads and converting them. Of course you want to have some focus here, but be mindful of the other two points.
The best ways to sell to more people are:
#1: get more leads
#2: increase your conversions (on sales calls, webinars, sales page, sales emails, etc)
2. You can increase the average purchase price
My simple solution to this is to raise prices. It’s a quick and easy fix, especially for the big chunk of online entrepreneurs who undervalue their programs and services.
Another suggestion for this at the event was to add upsells. This is where you make an offer on the thank you page after someone purchases from you. This is an area that I know I can work on for my launches.
Although I have used upsells in my funnels, during a launch I’ve never offered an upsell and I am leaving money on the table. I could expect to see 20% of buyers take me up on such an offer.
Another way of increasing the average purchase price is to offer a VIP option, which you’ve probably noticed I use and highly recommend. There is always a segment of your audience that wants to go deeper with you and are willing to invest at a higher price point for this.
Create a sales funnel
3. You can increase the lifetime customer value
When I worked with financial advisors, this was a goldmine of potential revenue. One of the first things I would do is help transition the way they do business. Instead of charging commission per buy or sell trade, we would transition their business to a reoccurring fee.
In the online space, you see this model being used with Membership sites.
Here are some other ways to increase the lifetime customer value:
This one came from James Wedmore. After people buy his BBD program during his launch, he sends them a thank you email along with a 20% coupon that they can use within 48 hours on his entire product suite.
Using an ascension model. Although this is more advanced and isn’t recommend when you are just starting out or at least until you have perfected one offer. An ascension model is basically a ladder of offers that lead into each other. Here’s my own example:
Strategy for creating passive profits
They are one of the best tools for building community and getting paying clients. Hands down.
But beyond that, it’s one of the best ways for your peeps to have an inside scoop and pulse on you, your business and the message you have to share with the world.
SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:
One way to build your credibility is to create your own Facebook group.
4. Host a Facebook Group.
I always teach my students, if you are a Facebook group host you want to make sure that you’re getting people from your Facebook group onto your email list as well, which is an asset you own and you can continue to market to, no matter what.
If you’re building your business off of other people’s Facebook groups, are you bringing those connections back to your community where you are in the driver seat?
Mark Zuckerberg has announced his commitment and vision in growing Meaningful Facebook Groups.
So the way I see it, they are here to stay.
And those who have a purpose or a mission behind their community, who are using their group as a tool to connect and have a greater impact, will stand strong when the current goes out.
SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:
There are some marvelous opportunities to share your knowledge within other people’s already established Facebook Groups if you don’t want to start your own so you can build your business organically and authentically using online marketing vs. traditional publicity. Here’s how.
(With a note of warning. You have no control if that host decides to shut down that group so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Many hosts are doing that given that the changes in Facebook and perceive market saturation. Find a number of groups that cater to your ideal market).
And my takeaway to increase the lifetime customer value of my client base is to perfect and shrink down my ascension model. I will be retiring some of my own programs and narrowing my own focus to deliver the best value possible, for my clients.
Christina Jandali is a Biz growth strategist who teaches coaches to create solid cash creating strategies for their online business.
Scaling for Passive Profits Mastermind
SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:
Join us for the passive profits masterclass so you can create your offers BEFORE you begin your publicity campaign so you can monetize your appearances. You will have the choice of getting insights from any or all 40+ experts. Go here now to register.
I just did a radio interview and totally muffed it.
It was a huge disaster.
I didn’t take my own advice – and even some of the advice I’d planned to talk about – on how to interrupt someone!
I completely forgot in the moment.
Here’s what happened…
The phone rang on my landline. There was music. Then the host came on and shared a short bio about me. He didn’t mention the topic of the interview – which he had requested: 5 Essential Assertiveness Skills Your Daughter Needs to Know to Become an Entrepreneur/Executive Tomorrow.
Long story short he first told me the advice I gave was essential full of sh-t. But he misinterpreted my answer and I couldn’t understand what he was asking me or what he objected to. His questions made no sense. Then he went on a tirade, actually about five of them, about how bad parents were. How both parents were terrible human beings because they both worked and let their kids run wild. And that kids today were cr-ap too. I had to disagree and did so a number of times.
I got in 2 out of 5 of my points in 35 minutes. Not a good track record.
I’ve done dozens of radio and TV interviews, but I was still at a loss of how to break in to his blitherings that went all over the place – and had nothing to do with our topic.
My advice to myself, clients and course participants after every interview? Review it and note what you did well and what you could improve next time. And be kind to yourself (I need work here, too). Boy do I have a long list of improvements.
There is so much to learn about pitching the media, following up, and then being a great guest. The kind of guest that your audience and the media loves. And there are more opportunities than ever for you to be a part of the good news, sharing your advice, your perspective, your opinion and how your products, courses or consulting can help others.
Here is my advice on how to be kind to yourself and consistently get better every media appearance.
A quick note to say how much I appreciate each and every one of you.
Some of you have been connected since my days teaching at the Learning Annex where my first product was a cassette tape that I duplicated, a cover/case that I hand-glued onto a piece of paper then printed from my computer. The second product was a set of stapled together pages with a card stock cover about how to write a press release.
In some ways I’ve come a long a way and in others not so much.
Walking in Central Park New York
Church Music and Rain in New York
Right now, I don’t have a lot to say. I’m in one of those periods where words aren’t flowing. Not in my writing group, not in my business.
Last week, as we sat together in sink-in couches, the autumn leaves falling, pumpkins everywhere, rain pounding the roof, sipping hot tea, we talked a little about the process and in my frustration I said, “I don’t feel like my writing is worth anything. It’s not adding up. It doesn’t have a purpose – a blog post, a book, an article. I’m not working toward a project.”
Tina said it’s kind of like yoga. You go. You do poses. You don’t progress. Then one day you can do a pose that used to be hard—maybe for a few seconds. There is an opening. Andrea mentioned that it’s like meditation. You don’t think it’s having an effect, then eventually something shifts. Maybe a bit of anxiety lifts. Laurie said, It’s about using the muscle. Keeping in the flow. Continuing to allow the messy. To invite it, actually.
And I get all that. But in the midst of it it still feels like a big waste of time, even though I know it isn’t.
It’s one of those sh_tty lessons.
I’m thankful for so those lessons, not in a spring-up happy kind of way. I’m thankful for so many things, and this group of women is one of them. Of course my sweetie. Who appreciates and loves me daily. After writing group, when I’d written about him, Tina said, “So there really are good men in the world?”
This writing muscle is really about practicing being free.
Free from the need to produce. Free from the desire to acquire. Free from forcing meaning into tasks. Free from needing to create something good. Free from being perfect. Free from embarrassment or shame. Free from not making enough money or being thin enough, or desirable or sexy enough.
To your freedom. Whatever that means to you.
And being thankful for the sh-tty lessons along the way.
Want to give something that doesn’t cost a penny? I do this daily. All you have to do is click to help animals and/or people. Go here.
My best (male) friend and me who I got to hang out with last weekend in San Francisco. Who I don’t get to see enough since he lives in Los Angeles. We’ve been friends for 40 year now. Grateful for the way he makes me feel — excited to live, full of joy and that my life has a place in this world that means something.
I thought, for a bit, that I should really title this post ‘How To Network With Bloggers’ – because, you know, SEO and what not.
But the word ‘networking’ feels intimidating and overwhelming and slightly gross. Eating subpar appetizers while someone shoves their business card in my face and shrieks their elevator pitch? No. Sharing super useful advice/client referrals/traffic/cream cheese wontons with someone who I connect with, like, AS A HUMAN BEING? Yes.
Really? Networking is mostly just making friends. And if you approach it as such (and think about what you can bring to the table, rather than what you can get from an interaction) you’ll be befriending bloggers left, right, and all over Twitter.
If there are any bloggers you’d like to collaborate with/pitch/take to coffee, here are a few things that you should do before you drop into their inbox.
6 ways to befriend bloggers
1. Leave productive, smart, helpful comments on their blog
No matter how big and famous they are, bloggers read their comments and if you’re regularly saying awesome things, they’ll start to remember you. Of course, some blogs and posts engender better commentary – it’s hard to leave a mind-blowing comment on an outfit post. But personal essays, tutorials, or thought-provoking posts are an opportunity to chime in.
Also: make sure that the icon that shows up when you leave a comment matches the headshot on your blog and the icon for your Twitter profile, otherwise it’ll be hard for the blogger to recognize you.
2. Interact with them on social media
Respond to the comments, answer their questions, ask them questions, send them links you think they’d like. Just the same way you’d do with a friend.
My readers know my painfully, awkwardly well. Three different people sent me a link to this inflatable cat unicorn headband and two people sent me links to Macklemore’s Thrift shop song. And I loved it. And I totally remember who sent me those links. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you like and admire with information that you think they’d find helpful.
5. If you’re going to pitch them, triple check that what you’re pitching is a good fit
Do they host guest posts? Do they offer giveaways? What is the monetary value of those giveaways? Do they review products? Do they use c/o items in their outfits posts? It would be a pity to waste your time (and theirs) crafting the perfect pitch email and then sending it to the wrong person or the wrong type of blog.
6. Avoid doing any of these annoying things
Just like in real life, sometimes friendship is about Not Being Annoying. I promise i’ll pay you that money I owe you, I won’t share that secret with So-and-so, and I won’t have four drinks when I promised to be the designated driver.
Here are some things you should avoid doing:
Misspelling their name
Sending them a template email
Asking them about anything you could Google
Asking them to locate a post they wrote
Writing an email that is more than two paragraphs long
I’d love to hear from you, bloggers! How do you like to be treated? How do you network and befriend other bloggers? Small businesses, tell us about your interactions with bloggers!