Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Everyone will be thinking about the holidays for the next few months.  Many people will be focused on the difficult aspects of the holiday season.  Especially, this month between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Many struggle with the change in the weather, increased social events, marriage and family problems, memories of loss, and finincal issues to name a few.  This is the time when many of these constant feelings raise their ugly head.  A therapist can help talk about the specifics of your feelings.  Therapists are trained in many different type of treatments that can give you an understanding on where your feelings are coming from.  Many of the issues you may have are steming from old feelings, that have been masked for years.  Reach out to a local therapist now. Your have options! Find-a-Therapist is an online Directory that can help you find a therapist in your area.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Learning how to pitch the media can be one of the most helpful things you can do.  It will help you become their friend, and their “go to” person when they are in a bind.

Be Prepared for Last Minute Interviews

You may get a call from an editor at 4:00pm from a national magazine wanting quotes for a story due by 4:30pm.  A TV show may expect you to fly out and be on the air the next day.  If you’re not willing to ‘drop everything’ for opportunities, then publicity is not for you.

Treat the Media Like a Boss

In any coverage situation, the media is in control. They can change interview times. They can decide not to use your quotes or your product in a feature.  Their job is to put out the best possible stories and they are not concerned whether your business gets exposure.  Do not be difficult.  Cater to their needs.  Understand if you don’t fit into a particular story.  If you want to control a story or insure your product is featured, then you must use paid advertising.

You have no control  over what they say.

You may be featured along with three or four of your competitors in the story. They may do a review that turns out unfavorable. We cannot proof read an article for those print. You can’t force them to include your biography for complete information. Understand that free publicity means zero, or how they will portray you in this.

Become Someone the Media Will Love

Put some time and effort into media training.  The media want guests with charisma! Practice providing information in a clear, concise and compelling manner.  Your goal is to become a go-to expert, study other correspondents or regular guests.  Listen to their soundbites and watch their presence.  How can you infuse your unique qualities into becoming a guest the media will love?

Read Full Post »

This is reprinted with permission from an article by C.J. Hayden and is geared toward a general audience. Some of her suggestions may not  be appropriate for therapists, so use your best clinical judgement when deciding whether they are OK for clients.

All economic indicators say we are in a recession. Consumer and business spending is down; unemployment is up. It’s natural to wonder whether perhaps this is a bad time to be marketing your business.

Since I’ve been self-employed for over two decades now, I’ve seen several economic cycles come and go. What I notice about these “down” periods is that people who frequently struggle to get clients typically think these are bad times to market. On the other hand, people who have been consistently successful at landing clients seem to believe that there is never a bad time to market. Personally, I’d vote to follow the lead of those who are succeeding.

Professionals who have built successful long-term businesses have learned that continuing to market pays off in both the best of times and the worst of times. But you may not be able to produce new results by marketing in the same old way. Here are six suggestions for how to keep your marketing up when the overall business climate is down.

1. Turn up the volume. When people are distracted by bad news or economic concerns, you may need to communicate more often or more visibly. Where an email might have done the job before, now you may need to pick up the phone or send a postcard. Instead of just one follow-up call, you may need to make two or three. If your business is slowing down, make use of the extra time you have available to ramp up all your marketing efforts.

2. Become a necessity. When clients are cutting back on discretionary spending, they need to perceive your services as essential. Look for ways to “dollarize” the value of your services. How can you help your clients save money, cut expenses, or work more efficiently? Will your services help them gain more customers, increase their income, or experience less stress in tough times? Tell your prospects exactly why they need you, and why they shouldn’t wait to get started.

3. Make use of your existing network. It’s always easier to get your foot in the door when someone is holding it open. In a slow market, referrals and introductions can be the key to getting new business. Seek out opportunities to propose repeat business with former clients, too. Uncertain times encourage more reliance on trusted sources and known quantities, so warm approaches and existing contacts will pay off better than cold calls or mass mailings.

4. Explore partnerships. Working with a partner can create more opportunities for both of you. By sharing contacts, you each increase the size of your network. Together, you can multiply your marketing efforts and share expenses. A partner with a complementary business can allow you to offer a more complete solution than your competitors can. A photographer could team up with a graphic designer, for example. And you can help keep each other’s spirits up, too.

5. Meet people where they are. In a down economy, prospects are even more price sensitive than usual. Instead of slashing your rates to get their business, propose a get-acquainted offer. A professional organizer or image consultant could offer a reduced price half-day package for new clients. A management consultant or executive coach could propose a staff seminar instead of consulting/coaching work. Once clients see you in action, they’ll be more willing to spend.

6. Find the silver linings. When companies cut back on staff, opportunities are created. With fewer people on the payroll to handle essential tasks, downsized organizations present possibilities for project work, interim assignments, and outsourced functions. Economic changes beget other needs. People who are out of work need resume writers and career coaches. Folks concerned about their finances need investment advisors and financial planners.

Landing clients during a down period requires not just more marketing, but more strategic marketing. So instead of getting depressed by the news, get inspired by it. When you hear about coming layoffs, consider how your services could benefit those companies. When you read about negative consumer attitudes, use those words to better target your marketing copy. When prospects say, “not this year,” craft a proposal that ensures your place in next year’s budget.

For the successful independent professional, there’s no such thing as a bad time to market.

Copyright © 2008, C.J. Hayden

Read Full Post »

Published on March 20, 2011 by Bella DePaulo, Ph.D. in Living Single

You poor thing – you’re ‘alone’ – you ‘don’t have anyone.” I’ve been railing against this use of the word alone to describe single people for a long, long time (here and here, for example).  To say that single people are alone, in this sense, is to believe that unless you have a spouse or romantic partner, you don’t have anyone. By this manner of thinking, all of the other important people in our lives, such as friends, relatives, neighbors, mentors, and colleagues, just aren’t anyone at all.

There is another meaning of alone, though, that also gets pinned on single people, and in a bad way. That’s the time that we spend with no one else around. More than 31 million of us live alone. (That’s a striking number, but because more than 100 million Americans are divorced, widowed, or have always been single, it falls far short of the majority of us.) Of course, even living alone does not preclude the possibility of having other people around – even lots of them – but it can add up to lots of time spent with no other hovering humans.

Solitude

Those who would pity us for the time we spend alone think of our experiences as loneliness. That’s the negative sense of being by yourself – having no other humans present with whom you can connect in a meaningful way, but wishing that you did. Surely, there are singles who feel lonely when they are in their homes (or even out and about) on their own, just as there are coupled people who feel lonely when their romantic partner is not at their side. But there is far more to the experience of being alone than feeling miserable and lonely. There is a reason (actually lots of them) why solitude is so often called sweet. We just don’t hear about that as often.

Researchers in psychology need to own up to their fare share of the blame in this equation of spending time alone (or living alone) with loneliness. Type solitude into PsycInfo, probably the most comprehensive database for scholarly articles in psychology, and you will get 592 references. Doesn’t sound so bad, until you take a close look at them and realize how few are based on empirical research (those articles are tagged as phenomenology, psychoanalysis, narratives, and spirituality, among other categories) and how many construe solitude in a bad way. (For example, #13 of the 592 is about “anxious solitude.”) Now type in loneliness, and you get 5,128 references.

Slowly – very slowly – this is beginning to change. Christopher Long and James Averill wrote an article that provides the theoretical grounding that future empirical researchers can use as a guide. “Solitude: An exploration of the benefits of being alone,” appeared in the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior in 2003 (vol. 33, pp. 21-44). Now, when I check back to see if anything new on solitude has popped up in PsycInfo, I am sometimes pleasantly surprised.

Notwithstanding all of the psychologists fretting about loneliness, real people living their real lives often seem to crave time alone, then savor it when they get it. That’s my sense, based mostly on unsystematic observations. (For example: A 2008 post, The American psyche: Tipping toward solitude?, has been one of my most popular. A more recent one, Extraversion and the single person, has also been popular.)  It is time for researchers to show us the numbers.

It is not only when you are home alone that you can experience solitude. Solitude also happens in nature and even when you are alone in a crowd. I’m withholding Long and Averill’s definition of solitude for now, because it would give away too much of what I’d like you to think about while I work on the second part in this series. If you like this topic, generate your own ideas of what’s so sweet about solitude. (Post them in the comments section if you are willing.) Think not just about emotional aspects (though those surely matter a lot), but also cognitive and intellectual ones. (For example, are you smarter or more creative when you are on your own?) Consider, too, the big questions of who you are and who you want to be, what (and whom) you believe in, and what you think is most important in life. Is solitude especially good for that sort of pondering? Don’t dismiss the little or mundane things, either. Is there something special about making your way through your everyday routines when you are on your own?

Let’s take back our time alone! It is about sweet solitude, not just loneliness.

Bella DePaulo is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara. belladepaulo.com

Read Full Post »

Whenever you are lucky enough to work with the media, remember the Boy Scout Motto, “Be Prepared.” Do your homework in advance, research your topic, ( of course if it’s yours you should know it inside and out.)   One trick I learned is to prepare a set of questions and quiz myself on them and practice until my answers are short, crisp, pithy [love that word] – the kind that make great soundbites.

1.  Tell them what kind of information you will be able to provide so they know you will give them good content.  NEVER, NEVER  sell on radio or TV. You will quickly get on their “never call” list again. If you provide good content and are good on camera, you will most likely become one their ‘go to’ person for you area of expertise.

Some producers and editors will call you all the time if they know they can count on you.

Interviews

2. Be easy, show up early and have your soundbites worked out.

3. Send an email and tell them your company name. Include your name, address, phone, fax, and email address. You be amazed how many people forget to include it. Most likely, they will have it misspelled or won’t even have it at all. If you have a hard-to-pronounce name, make sure to tell them how to pronounce it.  The producer will probably cut and paste all   that information into the reporter’s copy.

Practice deep breathing exercises in the car on the way to the studio. This isn’t the time to practice your talk; if you don’t know if by now, it’s too late, But being as calm and as clear headed from deep breathing can work wonders.

Watch for next time’s tips where we polish off this list – and good luck!

Angela Jia Kim
Founder, Om Aroma & Co.  |  Co-Founder, Savor the Success

Judy Gifford
CEO, Find-a-Therapist, Inc  |   Founder , FindHealthPros   

Read Full Post »

Let’s call the client Sandy. She was first referred to me by an instructor in the professional training program she was taking. (Hint #1: Develop referral partnerships with people who serve your clients.) Sandy called me in March to inquire about becoming a coaching client. (Hint #2: Referred clients are more ready to buy.)

I asked Sandy about her situation and what she needed, then told her how coaching would help. (Hint #3: Listen more than you talk.) We discussed the cost. (Hint #4: Communicate benefits before quoting prices.) Sandy thought she would be ready to get started in June, so I asked to follow up with her then. (Hint #5: Get permission to follow up.)

I sent Sandy a copy of my print newsletter with a note summarizing our conversation. (Hint #6: Maximize every contact by following up.) I called her at the beginning of June to see if she was ready to become a client. (Hint #7: Follow up when you say you will.)

Sandy returned my call with a voice mail message. It was the wrong time to get started with coaching; maybe six months from now would be better. But could she order a copy of my book? (Hint #8: Capture your wisdom in a way clients can sample it before hiring you.) I mailed Sandy the book with a personal note and sent her an email, suggesting we talk again in six months. (Hint #6 again.)

If I thought I could reach Sandy by phone, I would have called, but she was a busy professional who sent every call to voice mail. (Hint #9: Use any available medium to follow up.) Three months later, I sent Sandy an email, asking if I could subscribe her to my email newsletter. She responded by email saying yes. Three months after that, I called her again. (Hint #10: Find a way to follow up at least once per quarter.)

Sandy replied by voice mail that things had changed for her, and she was no longer interested in coaching. She thanked me for keeping in touch. (Hint #11: Consistent follow up makes you appear professional.) I left a voice mail reply thanking her for her interest and asked her to keep my services in mind for her professional colleagues. (Hint #12: Ask for referrals when prospects don’t buy.)

I continued to send Sandy my email newsletter each month. Three months later, Sandy referred me a colleague, who became my client. I sent Sandy a thank you note for the referral. (Hint #13: Always thank your referral sources.) Later that same year, she referred me another colleague who also became my client, and I thanked her again.

Several months went by, and a third person in the same field contacted me, and became my client. My new client named someone I knew, but wasn’t in touch with, as the person who referred her. I contacted the referrer to thank her, and discovered it was Sandy who had told her where to find me. (Hint #14: Find out who your referral sources really are.)

I thanked Sandy again. It was now two years from our initial contact. At this point, Sandy decided to become my client. The dollar value of my relationship with Sandy — her coaching fees plus those of the people she referred — to date has totaled approximately $35,000.

In addition to the hints I’ve dropped while telling this story, there may be more to learn by asking yourself a few questions. Where in this process might you have given up? Would you have written Sandy off after she told you she wasn’t interested? Might you have considered yourself a failure at selling because Sandy kept saying no for two years?

Notice that in all this time, Sandy and I had talked live only once. Do you stop trying when you can’t reach people by phone? Before she became my client, I sent Sandy a print newsletter, four handwritten notes, three personal emails, and eighteen email newsletters. I never did send her a brochure. Might you have sent Sandy a marketing packet after the first contact, and stopped there?

The next time you get discouraged because a client says he’s “not ready” to get started, or you feel like follow-up is a waste of time, remember Sandy. I contacted her 25 times over a period of two years. Each of the seven personal contacts took less than five minutes, and the 18 email newsletters were sent by an autoresponder. Thirty-five minutes of follow-up resulted in $35,000 in sales. What do you think, was it worth it?

Find a Therapist.com here

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income.


Copyright © 2003, C.J. Hayden

Read Full Post »

   Writing articles as an expert in your specialty or
   niche can help you become more believable and
   more noticeable. A strong, well-written
  article on  subject of interest to your target
  market will get their attention, display your 
  expertise and establish your name recognition. 

  There are countless blogs, ezines, journals, magazines, and other periodicals published online that are desperately looking for quality content. The more you write in your area of expertise, the better your writing will become, the more you will be recognized and so on a nd so on.  And, if you can say in writing to the editor you are speaking with; “I have been published in 1….;2…..3…..4…..5…….” the list grows longer and looks quite a bit more impressive, and you are definitly becoming the expert.

The first step in getting an expert article published is to get the attention of the editor, or more often, the associate editor. For that you need what’s referred to as “the hook,”or that thought or idea which catches their attention because it fits in with current events in your area or country. For instance, Easter is coming up April 24th. What topic(s) fit with Easter or holiday themes? Depression is a common one. Almost every paper or periodical runs something on holiday stress and depression. The question to ask yourself is how to make your article just a bit different – how can you tweak it to make it different from every other run of the mill article so it gets looked at and then your goal – published! What about celebrating holidays when parents are  of different faiths and one wants to celebrate and the other doesn’t. I personally don’t recall seeing any articles like that. I’m sure there are some, I just haven’t seen them.

The next step in getting an expert article published is to identify some appropriate writing venues. What do the people in your target market read? Consider newsletters, ezines, web sites, magazines, trade journals, and newspapers. Ask your clients and prospects what online and print publications they subscribe to or regularly buy. Notice which periodicals are lying on their desks or coffee tables and poking out of their briefcases. Find out what web sites they frequently surf.

You can also look up publications by subject in directories of writing markets, such as those published in print, online, and CD versions by http://www.writersmarket.com or http://www.writersmarkets.com . To find online venues, just type your specialty and the word “articles” into your favorite search engine.

If you are new to getting your writing published, start with small publications that don’t require writing experience. Association newsletters are an excellent first target. Other possibilities are the many web sites that publish educational articles to attract traffic; employee newsletters for companies you would like as clients; newsletters, ezines, or web sites produced by your referral partners; neighborhood newspapers; and advertising periodicals that list items for sale, job openings, or workshops and events.

When you have a venue in mind, don’t just write an article and submit it. Most print publications and many online ones want you to query them first. Look for the submission guidelines posted on the publication’s web site, or listed in a box near the table of contents, inside the front cover, or for newspapers, in the editorial section. If you’re not sure, call the appropriate editor (usually listed in one of the same places) and ask.

Some publications accept queries by phone and others want them in writing. If you contact the editor by phone, be prepared to pitch your article idea on the spot. Tell them your proposed topic, why it is of interest to their readers, and why you should be the one who writes it. If you’re convincing enough, a small publication might give you the assignment right there. A larger one will probably ask you to send a query letter and include some clips of your writing.

When a publication requests queries, don’t try to skip the query step by sending a completed article in the hope that it will get printed. Most editors won’t even look at it, and you will have wasted a great deal of time. Only if the publication clearly states they accept completed or previously published articles should you send the article instead of a query.

A query letter should begin with a strong lead paragraph, written just as if it were the opening paragraph of the actual article. You want it to capture the editor’s interest, introduce your topic, and show that you can write. Continue the letter by describing two or three key points you intend for your article to make.

Then propose the article itself: “I would like to write a 1500-word article on the benefits to employers of integrated disability management programs. I plan to interview three employers who have experienced significant cost reductions…”

Conclude your letter with a brief description of your background that indicates why you are qualified to write the article. If you have previously been published, include two sample articles with your letter, or links to them when e-mailing. Be sure to send a self-addressed stamped envelope if you are querying by mail. E-mail submissions have become much more common, but don’t use this method unless you know it is acceptable.

The elapsed time it takes editors to respond to a query varies widely. Unless you have been told otherwise, follow up after 30 days if you haven’t heard anything. This is particularly important with a publication that only accepts newly-written articles, because you shouldn’t send the same query to another editor until you are sure the first one doesn’t want it.

Once you successfully place a number of articles, consider finding a venue for an ongoing column. Landing a regular column in a publication respected by your target market is a major milestone in establishing your expertise, and can significantly boost your name recognition.

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income.Visit her website at GetClientsNow.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »