Wait! Know Why Before Discounting

special“He asked me if I discounted so I figured I had to.”

“We talked about everything they needed. They chose several packages and a lot of support services with promises of needing more as they grew. Then they expected a sizable discount.”

“I felt it I didn’t discount, I couldn’t land the client.”

“I told her I didn’t want to drop my prices but she said everyone was doing it.”

“They said they were starting out and really needed my help. They wouldn’t be able to accomplish their goals if they didn’t get a discount.”

I’m guessing one, if not more, of these sound familiar. Even if you were not a part of one of these conversations you probably know of someone who was.

Wait! Before you discount your prices know why you are doing it.

  • Because someone asked isn’t enough reason. Laziness at the prospect of what seems to be an easy one-time sale can be finessed to build into repeat long-term sales – giving your business sustained income to build and grow.
  • Because you’re not confident in what you’re selling isn’t enough reason. Lack of confidence in your product/service or your ability to sell at full price can be learned, improved, and fixed.
  • Because you think price is the only thing between choosing to buy from your business and another business isn’t enough reason. Not understanding the value of the product/service or not knowing how to articulate the differences between value and benefits can be honed and learned.

Giving a discount because you are an emerging business is foolishness. These businesses will not be around for years and years. They undermine themselves every step of the way and later scratch their heads to why they struggle. Too frequently a discount is given without much thought about why it’s being given.

During the Christmas holidays I shopped a well known box store for a Star Wars Yoda plush figure that was on a family member’s wish list. The plush figure retailed for $49.99 and was on sale for $39.99 – saving $10. When I got to the checkout counter the salesperson commented that she thought the price for Yoda was excessive. I didn’t say anything because it was on sale, in my shopping budget, and the only thing this person requested for their Christmas gift. Then the salesperson said she would give me a 25% discount because paying that much was ridiculous for such an item – lowering the price to $29.99. Now, what happened?

The salesperson didn’t see the value in the product the store she worked for was selling. The salesperson cost the store profit when a customer was satisfied with the sale price and an additional reduction wasn’t necessary to gain my sale. The salesperson based her decision on her value system and applied a price that held meaning to her if she were the customer. [In misjudgments like this, it is reason enough for only supervisors to override the system to add additional discounts to an already marked down item but I’m letting my retail store manager experience speak. It also speaks to why clerks need training to be better frontend salespeople.]

Buyers are wise. While some may get excited about a sale price and expect discounts the vast majority recognize that sales are statements of what you should actually be paying. Here’s an example that is seen online frequently: sales pages with a regular price and that price is crossed out replaced with a lower special price. The lower price could be hundreds of dollars lower such as regular price $397 but reduced to a special of $197. Or another common one is: $97 reduced to $27.

I caution you to avoid selling based on price. It is a slippery slope and one hard to recover from once you get the customer in the door and later want to increase the prices to be more inline with fair market rates. Always, always, always sell on value. Value is where you differentiate your products and services from other businesses.

There are three basic reasons that a business should discount:

  1. Prepay discounts – Giving a discount when the customer pays all the cash upfront is a motivating reason to give a price break. You’ll see this in terms such as 5% 10 Net 30. This translates to take a 5% discount if the invoice is paid in 10 days otherwise the full invoice amount is due in 30 days. The incentive is to pay early and pay less.
  2. Bundled deals – An increased transaction size can be a valid reason to discount.
  3. Seasonal sales – Discounts to phase out inventory is business smart. This is inventory that needs to be taken off the books and gaining some compensation for it is better than writing it off totally.

The next time the conversation shifts and a discount is requested pause to consider why the person asking for the discount has earned the reduction before agreeing. A discount may not be in the best interest of your business.

The Secrets to Asking the Right Survey Questions

survey questionsIf you’ve ever conducted a survey you know how important it is to ask the right questions. Did you know there are actually types of questions to include and to avoid? Frequently someone will make a list of questions without giving it much thought but there is a better way which can yield more information from the participants.

The first priority with any survey is to determine the main focus for this specific survey. The survey should stay on topic. If a wide range of information is hoped for than consider conducting more than one survey or splitting the questions between two different groups of people.

Things to Avoid

  • Free surveys should be relatively short; not exceeding 10 questions. If your survey is longer consider breaking it into multiple shorter surveys or paying participants to take the survey. Generally, the person taking the survey gains nothing to help you collect data.
  • Avoid filling the survey with the same types of questions. All Yes/No responses or all open-ended questions, for example, are boring and wear on the survey taker.
  • Avoid haphazardly listing questions in no particular order. If you use one response to lead into the next question that second question has the potential to yield a more in-depth response.

What to Include and Do Better

  • Plan ahead and be strategic with which questions you really want to know more. Save your open-ended questions for these points. While the tendency may be to ask open-ended questions for each question studies have suggested that mixing the types of questions between open-ended, multiple choice, and rate this will give you a better analysis of data than asking only one type of question. Participants tire of the same types of questions. It’s been noted that surveys of all open-ended will have lengthier and more detailed responses for the first questions but as the survey continues the length and detail dwindles.
  • In place of asking a yes or no response question consider having the person use a rating.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with one being Not At All (aka No) and ten being Extremely Pleased (aka Yes) you can quickly see how the scale may reveal more depth than a mere yes or no. If there are a majority of fours that is more telling than seeing a no. A four is close enough to neutral that you could do some tweaking to the topic being asked about and perhaps a survey in a couple of months would yield more Extremely Pleased or numbers closer to this side of the rating scale.
  • When asking multiple choice questions keep the choices distinctive, descriptive, and no more than five. Again, using a range of five will give you a high, a low, and a middle response with some in-betweens to gauge how you’re doing.
  • The best surveys will be up to ten questions and mix up the types of questions being used. If you try this approach I think you’ll be pleased with how responsive the participants will be as well as appreciate the improved quality of the data collected.

I have noticed an increase in surveys around product development where the person clearly doesn’t have a direction to their questions and is grasping at trying to assess what her market wants. You may have participated in one of these surveys or even used it yourself. It’s filled with multiple choice questions similar to Which of these services would you use? Or, asks the open ended question What causes you pain or frustration in your business?

A better way for these types of survey questions to be worded is to ask someone to rate in order of importance. You will start to see some patterns developing in the answers that come in. Additionally, when you provide the list that should be rated you are centering in on your own products and services. What good does an answer do you if it is outside of your service offerings? Yes, you have new data but that data won’t directly link to something in your business offerings that you can market more. Be aware that a person may not be experiencing frustrations but should always be able to rate a list in order of importance.

Remember each survey should have a main focus and the questions should support that focus so each question builds and digs a bit deeper. Survey data is most valuable to you if it helps you gather data you can act on.

Getting Out of Your Own Way

DetourIn the past few months I’ve met numerous professionals who seem to have one thing in common. They are the block they are trying to move around. Their similar theme is expressing frustration about a project or their whole business not moving forward. When we delve deeper to discuss which roadblocks are in their way the same answer is repeated, “I want to do X but Y isn’t in place yet. I can’t do anything until Y is in place and that needs Z and Q to be in place.” The professional doesn’t know which way to move forward so remains frozen in place often throwing their hands up in frustration – sometimes for months or years.

When this happens, the best solution is forward movement with something…anything. Pick something and go! The momentum in one area is often enough to get other areas rolling along.

The first step to getting out of your own way is to regain your focus. Determine what is important. Notice I’m not saying what needs to happen first but what is important. Those can often be very different things.

Meet Jo – She has several UFOs (unfinished objects) in her business.

Jo (the frustrated business professional) is in the process of revamping her website. Jo wants to attend a trade conference for networking and meeting potential clients that is date specific. Jo wants to upgrade her membership program for her existing clients and for inducting new clients.  In talking with Jo, she wants to promote the new membership offerings and increased membership plan levels to get some increased revenue flowing into her business but feels she can’t because the website isn’t completed. Jo also wants to participate in the trade show and network but feels that she has no place to send potential clients so they can schedule a discovery consultation with her. She wants to have her website done but continues to add new things and make changes while the redesign is in progress. Because she can’t see the finish line for any of these things she remains frozen as the trade show dates get closer and months, instead of weeks, of working on the website redesign march on.

What Jo doesn’t understand is these are self-imposed roadblocks. None of these things should keep her from meeting new clients, from exchanging information with new contacts (aka networking), from directing traffic to her old exiting website which is visible at her familiar website URL, or discussing and marketing the new membership plan levels to those in her program.

Let’s help Jo plow through some roadblocks.

By importance I’m going to call this order: 1) the trade show because it is date specific, 2) the membership plans because this generates revenue, and 3) working around the new website.

The trade show: It’s crucial that Jo make these connections and exchange information to (hopefully) attract new clients (aka revenue) into her business rather than allow a year to pass before the next show. While Jo feels she needs a website to do this she actually needs a designated single web page. While her web designer puts her new website together a single web page can be used as the point of contact for show attendees and connections. As she directs traffic to this web page she should be certain the page includes an opt-in box with a freebie enticer to get the person on her mailing list for future communication and news from her business plus social media icon links to encourage connections. She can include a show special program, services package, or other product/services offering that is created specifically with this trade show person in mind. If the goal is to schedule a discovery consultation with her to further discuss their needs than the link to schedule an appointment should be on this web page. If no consultation is needed but the product or service can be purchased straight out, a Buy Now button needs to be on the page. If Jo feels it’s vital that her bio be part of the page to position her as a person of authority on this product or service that can certainly be added. See how Jo is now being proactive about getting the information together that she needs to be available and ready for the trade show traffic she hopes to attract. Where there is a will, there is a way. Sometimes the road in business dealings comes with what appears to be a roadblock so put your thinking cap on and think “detour.” If this path “seems” to be blocked than which other ways can be used get you to the outcome you want? There is frequently more than one way to reach an outcome. Knowing how to navigate past something is a skill that will open detour routes around your obstacles.

Increasing revenue via the new membership plans: One option is setting up a single web page to point members to which outlines the various plans and membership fees that can be locked in now – via Buy Now buttons. Another option is an announcement via an email blast with a link to Pay Now and reap a month’s savings while they wait until the launch date.  And thirdly, to phase in these members immediately – giving members accesses and privileges found in the new membership plans pre-launch of what the general public will get. Being a prior member in good standing does come with membership perks, right?

Working around the new website: Jo’s biggest mistake has been that she went to the website designer prematurely. Jo didn’t have a clear plan for what she wanted on the new site. She didn’t know the total pages she wanted. She didn’t have her page copy ready. While the designer has been helpful in working through these areas the projections for completion have been extended more than once. What could have been different? More discussion around pages and having everything together beforehand would have helped. If Jo didn’t know what she needed then having consultation calls prior to beginning would have been wise.

While Jo wants to wait for the website debut with all the changes completed she actually does have a website presence now. This fact shouldn’t be ignored. She does have a website. It may not match her new branding but she can have solo web pages set up with the new branding that will be a page of the updated website later on. It takes some compromise and knowing that sometimes things may not be perfect but are often acceptable. When the choice is between imperfect or nothing. Never choose nothing because your business will suffer.

If you see a bit of Jo in you and the roadblocks you encounter than I encourage you to get out of your own way. Determine what’s important. Focus on that and the outcome you’re striving to achieve then get moving. Know that imperfect is better than nothing. If you need some nudging, reach out. Together we’ll get things moving in the right direction.

The Ice Cream & Services Niche Experiment

ice-creamNeapolitan ice cream is traditionally made of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream flavors. Each are tried-and-true primary flavors recognized by the masses. Specialty ice cream flavors such as Peach, Black Raspberry, Mint Chocolate Chip, Moose Tracks, Cherry Garcia, Dreamsicle, Salted Caramel, and even Tiger Tail (a Canadian orange and licorice specialty) feel sophisticated and premium in comparison. Ice cream makers of the specialty flavors frequently turn to one of the flavors in a Neapolitan as a base for their recipe and then add in their own twists and ingredients to bring out the essence of each flavor they strive to specialize in making. Consider Fudge Ripple, the base is vanilla with with tons of velvety-smooth chocolate fudge swirls.

Recently I asked friends to tell me their favorite flavor of ice cream. I suspected the answer would be very similar to what I see happening in the virtual assistant business world. Without knowing I would be drawing some parallels more than 40 participants shared their favorites with me. While I wasn’t as concerned about which flavor came out on top – it was a combination of mint chocolate chip and chocolate mint chip coming in at 20%, by the way, the overwhelmingly strong response was that friends preferred a specialty flavor compared to one of the traditional primary flavors of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry found in a classic Neapolitan. They wanted more than a general flavor.

Let’s compare how tastes in ice cream parallel offerings in business

While you could offer general services such as general administrative support, the cravings (and demand) of the masses shifts to specializing or being an expert in a specific area.  When you look around at how many virtual assistants and virtual professionals (some refer to themselves by their specialty name) assemble their offerings to their customers the large majority hone in on less than five core services and specialize. They may specialize in specific services as copywriting, web design, bookkeeping, newsletters, transcription, or inbound marketing to name a few or they may focus on working within a certain industry where they know the ins-and-outs of that industry – supporting attorneys, real estate agents, or coaches. (More about industry-driven compared to services-driven niches in this blog post.)

The thing to remember is this: if the masses are specializing and have been in business a number of years they must be on to something. Follow the supply-and-demand because all of those people can’t be wrong. If you look at the copywriting on these veteran websites you’ll notice the writing speaks directly to their own audience, using the words and phrases that are easily recognizable to those they serve best. People recognize their own people.

It’s not to say that generalizing won’t bring in the dollars. In the ice cream survey 1% chose vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. People are buying. Most anyone who chose a specialty flavor given the choice of only vanilla or chocolate could probably make a choice…but would they be as happy choosing between vanilla and say, Moose Tracks? Probably not. Chances are that if you ask the virtual bookkeeper if she ever does admin work for any of her clients she will answer she does on occasion or she subcontracts out to a trusted colleague. The overwhelming bulk of her work happens in her field of specialty.

The starting point may be generalizing while you explore what it means to be a business or while you struggle to determine who you are marketing to (marketing woes can be fixed) and what your services mean to others.

The breakthrough point happens when you notice that certain services are in higher demand and realize that your specialty is shining brightly. It’s like a beacon calling more repeat work in this service and getting referrals for this service. Upon your discovery your marketing generally shifts to talk with these customers and you become their preferred provider. Psst – that specialty may be that you rock at working with Excel spreadsheets, formulas, and pivot tables. If this is the case then tailor your website’s copywriting to speak directly to those who need outstanding Excel support.

Rather than say, “My ideal client is any small business owner that needs help with administrative tasks that are draining them and taking time away from revenue-generating activities.” Be more specific. And if you are someone who favors one of those primary flavors – for example, vanilla – know that even inside being vanilla you can specialize so your people will recognize themselves in your marketing, your conversational language, and in your website copy. When I get a choice between vanilla, French vanilla, and vanilla bean I will lean towards vanilla bean. My palate distinguishes flavor nuisances between vanilla bean and plain vanilla. Your clients can also pick out the differences. (Yes, I’m talking about your UVP – unique value position).

Take a second look at your marketing, your copywriting, and your overall business presence. Does it speak to your people? Will they recognize themselves and know that you truly get them and all the things that are important to them? You know what you must do if it doesn’t.

Meet Ros Adcock of Ros Adcock VA

Ros-AdcockWebsite URL: http://www.rosadcock.com

# of Years in Business: 10 (since 2005)

Type of Business/Niche Specialty: Virtual Assistant – Specializing in Coach Marketing

Works 100% virtual

Facebook Page

LinkedIn

Twitter ID @ ros_adcock

Ruth: Today our virtual professional highlight is focused on Ros Adcock of Ros Adcock VA. Welcome to The Naked VA blog. Introduce us to your Texas-based business and what you do.

Ros: I work with action-oriented coaches assisting them with product development and launches, social media management, CRM management, and more. More recently I’ve been working on creating eCourses for aspiring virtual assistants designed to help them escape from their cubicles and transition to working from home.

Ruth: You’ve always been one to keep active in your business and on behalf of your clients. It sounds like that is still very much part of your practice. Share with the readers how you got your start in this type of career.

Ros: When I started my VA business in 2006 I did it out of desperation. I was a newly-arrived immigrant bride with heaps of corporate admin experience back in my native country of South Africa but no way to translate that experience into a job in the United States. I had a strange accent. I dressed funny. I couldn’t drive on the left side of the road. While I had a nice looking resume employers were loathe to try and contact my past employers for references. Couple all of this with the fact that I was living with my rarely employed (now ex-) husband in Buffalo, NY – an area not exactly known for it’s booming economy – at the time, and you will understand why I had to take matters into my own hands and get this “VA thing” up and running – fast! The trouble was that I had very little money to dedicate to this project. I had to figure out how to do this quickly but with as little outlay as possible. In those first few weeks I worked around the clock researching and figuring things out. I spent hours and hours on VANetworking forum and reading other VA websites.

Once I had the basics set up I did a few crazy things to land my first client. Hint: It involved sending 100+ personalized emails. But that one first client referred and referred and referred to the point where I had to hire sub-contractors to keep up with the work load. I share some of my secrets to finding clients in my free e-course at www.onlinevatraining.com.

Ruth: Wow. You really dug deep and made things happen. That speaks strongly to who you are and that you won’t let anything stop you from solving problems whether in your business or when working with your clients. I agree with you 100% that being an entrepreneur takes personal drive, determination, and a healthy amount of grit. I’m so glad you stuck it out and we became friends on VAnetworking.  Being one of those virtual assistants that was hired by you as a subcontractor shortly after all of those referrals came rolling in I can attest to how dedicated you are to serving your clients. Along the way have you looked to a coach, supportive peers, or who to help answer questions and guide you?

Ros: I’ve already mentioned VAnetworking which was a great place for me to get start-up info and mentorship/guidance from other aspiring VAs. The group of us who started around the same time are still in touch today – 10 years later! Community is very important when starting out and forums and social media are great places to connect with fellow new VAs.

I also briefly worked with Michelle Jamieson when my business grew into a multi-VA practice and her guidance was very helpful. I also mentored up-and-coming VAs through IVAA.org which has an excellent mentorship program.

Ruth: Yes! Those early friendships and community seeds are so valuable…and sustaining. The years fly by so quickly but when you see each other around social media (often weekly or daily) it’s easy to keep connected. Share some words of wisdom for the person wondering about a virtual career such as yours and if they have what it takes to get started.

Ros: If you aren’t willing to put in the leg work, you will not be successful. That sounds a little ominous but it’s true. I’ve seen so many people open up shop with stars in their eyes, hang out their VA shingle, and wait for business to come to them. It’s just not going to happen. You need to work and work HARD to get your first few clients. Word of mouth and referrals go a long way but you have to start somewhere. Once you have those first two clients you’re all set if you can just follow one golden rule: BE VALUABLE. Go above and beyond for your clients. Wow them with your exceptional care, attention, and investment in their business. Make suggestions. Don’t just wait for the client to suggest tasks. Tell them what you think they need. The thing to keep in mind is you don’t want clients, you want RAVING FANS! Raving fans will tell their friends and colleagues about you and raving fans build VA businesses.

Ruth: Yes! Yes! Yes! All of those little things that set someone apart from other business do make clients rave about you. If suggestions like this are examples of what’s to come in your eCourse then aspiring virtual assistants will be pleased. What advice would you give to a prospective client who is searching for a business like yours to service their company?

Ros: Investigate your VA prospects. If you’re hiring a social media VA, check their social media profiles. Are they engaged? Do they have a strong following/community? Are they sharing valuable posts? If you’re launching a product/book/course, ask for references. Check if your VA prospects have launched their own products and courses? But most of all, check references. Ask if you can speak with a couple of past/current clients and get feedback from them. I generally ask new clients if we can do a trial month first. I find that in business, just as in life, there are some folks who just don’t work well together and have different work styles. In a small “team” like the VA-client team it’s essential that communication is smooth and clear and that work styles are compatible if you’re to be successful. Don’t jump right into a retainer commitment until you’ve worked on a couple of small projects together first.

Ruth: Any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with the readers?

Ros: My 10 years as a VA have been incredibly rewarding! My business has allowed me to support my family, on my own, through financially tough times. I’ve gone from a solo VA practice, to a multi-VA practice, and back. I’ve worked some 14 hour days, some 15 minute days, and closed my business down entirely while I pursued other dreams. I’ve earned as much as $80,000 a year and I started it all with $50 and a dream! Anyone willing to put in the hard work up front can easily recreate my success for themselves and that’s why I am so excited to be passing on everything I’ve learned in the last 10 years to those itching to make the move for themselves.

I could go on and on about how becoming a virtual assistant has changed my life – I tell everyone who will listen how much I love what I do. People are always asking me how I got started and where they should begin. I’ve spent countless hours on Facebook and in email writing out tips, tricks and startup advice for family and friends (and family and friends of my family and friends) – too many to count. I thought I could help MORE people escape their work cubicles if I created something that was more automated and that’s where my Free VA Business in 7 Days eCourse was born. The course is available here: http://www.onlinevatraining.com and you’ll receive one actionable email every day for a week. At the end of the course you’ll have your business set up, legal, and ready for clients.

51 Social Media Posting Content Ideas

ideasFor those moments right after your set up your social media account and then wonder what you should talk about? What will you ever post on your wall? How will you know what to share and get ideas to keep it fresh? This list holds your answers. These idea starters should help you keep a steady stream of diverse posts going to your colleagues, friends, clients, and potential customers.

THE BONUS: Many of these same content ideas are excellent ideas for writing blog posts, content for your newsletters, and press releases. Regardless of how you’re marketing these content ideas can be the kick start you’ve been searching for to get the conversations rolling.

  1. Industry news: share what’s happening in your industry and/or the industry of your current/prospective clients
  2. Industry advances: share announcements that may impact your clients or your own industry
  3. Industry changes: share news of laws, regulations connected to your industry, deadline reminders or changes, etc.
  4. Testimonials: share the firsthand of experiences of those who have used your services
  5. Shortcuts for doing things more efficiently, e.g. time savers
  6. Photos of you attending live events, conferences, of your clients, of your products, with colleagues at events or at your office, of your office setting
  7. Recommended programs you’ve used and found to be beneficial to your business. Tell them why the program has been impactful to you.
  8. Recommended reading lists or individual books are popular with your DIY learners
  9. Recommended training of your own or created by trusted colleagues or any training that you’ve taken that your industry or colleagues could benefit in taking
  10. Recommended products of all sorts whether this is mentioning the product and why you like it or doing a full review of the product
  11. Recommended podcasts that others should listen to and follow regularly
  12. Links to your own website and/or single web pages. It’s acceptable to direct people to specific places on your website, not everyone must come directly to the Home page.
  13. Highlight one of your services, products, or programs and share a bit about this
  14. Case studies or statistical data are important details to share to backup the information you’re sharing and will resonate with those methodical types who want to know the sources behind the information
  15. Links to interviews whether they be written, audio, or video for those leaders in your industry that would be of interest to your clients and colleagues
  16. Links to Experts that you’ve interviewed
  17. Your interviews: always share the links to interviews where you are the feature guest
  18. Your blog post links to the posts you’ve written
  19. Blog post links written by others and the reason you believe colleagues and clients should pause to read this post
  20. How-To steps for doing something
  21. Personal message or note to your followers sharing what you’re doing, working on, or anything in the moment
  22. Business Anniversary/Birthday announcement so others can join you in celebrating this business milestone
  23. Any business milestone moment that is notable so others can celebrate with you
  24. Announcements of any awards, honors, acknowledgements, or accolades that you’ve recently received
  25. Announcements of participation in events, conferences, or training courses completed which demonstrates connection to your industry and a commitment to continued education in your industry or niche – all benefitting and enhancing the services you provide to your clients
  26. Press release news announcements should equally be shared with your colleagues and clients
  27. Contest info: whether hosting a contest or giveaway or as a participant of a joint venture promotional giveaway where many colleagues participate to bring lots of giveaways to one site
  28. Upcoming event news whether is an event hosted by you, an industry event, or an event of interest to your clients and/or colleagues
  29. Links to your favorite thought leaders in your industry or your client’s industry…could be social media site links or their website
  30. Business specific motivational words can move to inspire and spur others on; choose these intentionally and specifically to the interests of your clients and industry or create your own inspiring words from excerpts from your blog posts
  31. Extend invitations to sign up for your newsletter, list, or to get your free giveaways so your connections can find new resources to data and information you’ve been sharing
  32. Share a link to one of your published newsletters so someone not yet subscribed can get a feel for your writing style and what is shared in one of your newsletters and include an invite to sign up
  33. Invitations to schedule 15-minute laser session or 30-minute consultation with you as a pink spoon offering of your services or as a get-to-know each other call
  34. Live online sessions where you answer questions from your social media connections for set period of time
  35. Post a Call Me time where for a limited time period anyone can call you at the phone number shared to ask one question or for a 15 minute laser session completely free; set a time limit that you may be available to pop-in calls for a 2 hour period. If the line is busy to try again that you’ll take as many calls as possible. When the period closes then schedule consultations – free or paid – your choice.
  36. Free Kindle eBooks at Amazon in your industry or of interest to your clients. Since these are limited time free downloads most will be grateful to know about these types of announcements.
  37. Joint venture promotion opportunities that those in your industry or clients may wish to participate in, e.g. speakers needed for conference or event, calling all [fill in the blank] so they can collaborate on a book or promo event highlighting their specialties
  38. Job postings/service postings on behalf of others seeking services or support; helping to push those posts out will reach more eyes that may be seeking clients and you become the connector between two people
  39. Recommend Facebook/LinkedIn Groups that you like and find active and worthwhile to your clients and colleagues
  40. Invite people to your own Facebook/LinkedIn Group if you host a group that is industry specific or related to one of your programs, events, or courses
  41. Invite people to your hosted events, webinars, or online happenings
  42. Ask questions that require a simple answer
  43. Surveys are good ways to take note of what interests your clients and industry connections
  44. Identify the FAQs that are often asked of you and pick one of those questions to answer; if one has wondered the answer chances are that more have as well
  45. Share how your service, product, or program can solve a problem someone is having
  46. Share a story as a way to teach, inform, announce, or invite
  47. Talk about the journey of building your business or serving your clients; others will appreciate this behind-the-scenes glimpse into your business and getting to know you better
  48. Use video to share a snippet of you discussing something from a how-to tip to a system you like or any topic relevant to your clients or industry
  49. Talk about  recent lesson you’ve learned and help others learn along with you
  50. Crowdsource answers to question; getting others to weigh in with their thoughts is a great conversation starter
  51. Use Theme Days with your content, e.g. Throwback Thursday, Wish Upon a Star Wednesday, Tips Tuesday, Sky’s the Limit Saturday or whatever theme works for you. Followers will look forward to these planned topics.