Archive for December, 2005

Run Your Solopreneur Business Like a Business

Friday, December 30th, 2005
 

Do you run your coaching business like a business, a hobby or a non-profit?

I have always enjoyed teaching, coaching and mentoring. I started teaching when I was 10 - I was explaining math homework to my elementary school classmates. By high school I was a math tutor, and in college I was hired to teach technology and math. In my corporate job I taught software tools, web design and many other technology-related things to clients and colleagues.

I enjoyed teaching, was good at it, and that is all I did - I taught. I either volunteered or was paid by an employer to teach, so I wasn’t working on the business side of teaching/coaching. However, as soon as I started coaching on my own, I saw the need to not only be the best coach I can be, but also be the best business person I can be.

There are many coaches out there who are great at what they do, but they don’t treat their coaching business as a business. They feel that clients should come to them, because they are so good at what they do. These coaches don’t market, they don’t promote themselves. As a result, they have almost no clients.

Here are the steps that got me and my clients on track with running a coaching business:

- Understand that you are running a business.

- Create your business and marketing plans. Now that you have a business, you need to have a plan. What is your business mission? What are your services? What are your products? What is the optimal mix for your products/services?

How will you market your business? How will you generate leads for your business? How will you close sales for your business? What is in your marketing funnel? What do you still need to create for your funnel?

- Start working on implementing your business and marketing plans. You might need some help - get yourself books and ebooks, check out different classes, attend a few teleseminars, create yourself a masterminding group.

Now is a great time to start implementing the above points - commit to making 2006 the year when your coaching business takes off and start working on it NOW!

P.S. Do you want to Market Your Coaching Business, Free? Here is a FREE Tutorial, How To Market Your Coaching Business

Do You Offer Free Resources to Your Target Market?

Monday, December 26th, 2005
 

Hi, everyone

Do you share information with your target market? Do you blog, write articles, publish a newsletter for your target market? Why do you do that?

I share online marketing information free - through my online marketing newsletter, blogs, articles, posts on networking groups, etc. I share this information free to educate business owners about online marketing. My intention for doing this is to have my target market see what I do, and for people who it resonates with to seek out more of my products, teleclasses and coaching.

Not everyone is my target market, so I do not expect everyone who gets my free information to turn into a client. However, vast majority of people who find me online - through search engines, article sites, my blogs - sample my free offerings before doing business with me. Since I use here what I call one to many marketing (I create content once, and many people can benefit from it), it doesn’t matter if the same person uses all of my offerings.

When I put together a marketing plan with my clients, they often question me about the content I recommend they publish online free - their blogs, articles, newsletter, etc. The secret here is that no matter how much free content someone gets from you, they are not likely to put that much effort into using it. They are much more likely to use it, apply it, be committed to it, and get results from it, if they paid you for it.

Biana Babinsky

Biana Babinsky is the online business coach, author and expert, who teaches solopreneurs how to use the Internet to gain more clients and make more money. Get her Complete Step by Step Online Marketing Course to learn how to market and network better online.

How Productive is It to Lurk When You Network Online?

Monday, December 19th, 2005
 

Lurking can be productive, depending on your goals. Let’s say you want to learn more about marketing; you join a marketing group, read messages, and learn more about marketing from a group, without ever posting anything.

On the other hand, if your goal is to gain more contacts, become more connected and promote your business, you need to network in order for others to get to know you. Let me give you an example I give at my seminars:

Let’s say a Lurker Lana and a Poster Paula have similar qualifications, and run similar businesses. They join the same networking group, where Lana is lurking, and Paula is participating. Now, after 3 months, another member, Maria, needs a service that both Lana and Paula provide. Which one of them is she going to contact?

She will contact Paula, as she has read Paula’s messages and got to know Paula through them. She does not know about Lana, though, as Lana has been quietly lurking or not posting to the group.

So, see what your goals are, and than decide to lurk or not to lurk.

Biana Babinsky
Biana Babinsky is the online business coach, author and expert, who teaches solopreneurs how to use the Internet to gain more clients and make more money. Get her Complete Step by Step Online Marketing Course to learn how to market and network better online.

Read An Interview with Biana

Friday, December 16th, 2005
 

I was interviewed by Wild Women Entrepreneurs about passive income streams and using online marketing to promote your passive income streams products. Read the interview here: Interview with Biana Babinsky.

And to receive articles and tips on creating your passive income streams products, subscribe to the Online Marketing Newsletter for Experts.

Biana Babinsky
Biana Babinsky is the online business coach, expert and author, who helps coaches, consultants and other solopreneurs create passive income products and market their businesses better online. Subscribe to the Online Marketing Newsletter for Experts to receive a free gift, as well as online marketing tips and articles.

Charging Your First Client

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
 

Many solopreneurs have shared with me that it is hard to land the first few clients. Therefore, many of them try to land some pro bono clients - clients that don’t pay, but will help them experience working with a client, provide a testimonial, etc.

My recommendation would be to stay away from not paying clients; I would recommend charging lower rates, but still charging something for your time and effort.

Paying clients are more qualified than free clients; they will keep their appointments, do their homework and be much more serious about wanting to get results out of working with you.

If you are struggling with gaining your first five clients, you might want to get yourself a mentor in your field, as well as a business coach. Your mentor (paid or free) will navigate you through doing business in your industry, and your business coach will help you run your solopreneur practice as a business.

Remember - when new grads graduate from colleges, they have no experience, but they still get job offers that pay salaries. Their salaries are not as high as a salary of someone
with 10 years of industrial experience, but they are not asked to do pro bono work either.

Biana Babinsky
Biana Babinsky is the online business coach, author and expert, who teaches solopreneurs how to use the Internet to gain more clients and make more money. Get her Complete Step by Step Online Marketing Course to learn how to promote your solopreneur business online and get more clients.

Should Your Lurk or Speak Up When Networking Online?

Monday, December 5th, 2005
 

Different people network online for different reasons. I know people who are there strictly to learn; they are not looking for clients or connections. For them, being a listener (or lurker) is perfect. They read what they need, come back for more advice and achieve their goals - they have learned what they wanted.

On the other hand, myself and majority of my students are networking to connect - to create business ventures, to promote our expertise, and, to ultimately, gain clients. If these are your goals as well, listening is not going to work. What you need to do is to speak with conviction and show to other members that you are the expert you say you are.

In order to do that, and still have time left over for other activities ( as I discussed in Is Networking The Only Way to Promote a Business? post, networking is a great way to fill up your pipeline, but it should never the ONLY way ), here is whatI recommend:

- Find quality online forums frequented by your target market and participate there on a regular basis.

- Schedule some time every week for online networking. Make sure you stick to the schedule, you don’t want to spend too much time on networking, but at the same time you want to be consistent and network on a regular basis.

- Re-use online content you create. Turn your most “meaty” postings into blog posts. Turn them into articles. Expand on a particularly interesting topic, and turn it into a special report - the possibilities are endless.

I run two Networking Groups on Ryze - How to Succeed with Your Online Business and Passive Income Streams for Solo Professionals. I also participate in a few other groups there on a regular basis. Every month I receive a few messages from lurkers, who have read my messages for a long time, and now want to connect to learn more about my products and services. They feel that they got to know me through my messages, BUT as they are lurkers, this is a one-directional relationship - they know who I am, but I don’t know who they are.

In order for you to become known for your expertise, start participating today!

Biana Babinsky

P.S. Want to Learn More About Online Networking and Leveraging It to Get Clients for Your Business? One of the Chapters in the Complete Step by Step Online Marketing Course discusses how to leverage online networking to get MORE clients for your business.