Got Dropbox? My New Favorite Online Tool

Most of the time online tools come with hassles. It’s a lesser of evils sort of thing. Dropbox, my new favorite online tool, makes me smile because there are no bugs, no confusion and nothing to buy. Good on you Dropbox creators!Dropbox

Dropbox is a place to put all your electronic stuff – files, folders, photos – “in the cloud” so you can access it from all your various devices – computer, iPad and smart phone. Plus, you can give instant access to anyone else you choose.

Let’s say you’ve got a new coaching client in New Zealand, and you want an easy way to get your welcome packet back and forth that’s secure. You set up a new folder with the docs, share it only with your client, then invite your client to open the docs, complete them and save them there on Dropbox. No downloading, printing or faxing. And it’s safe and secure.

Or, what if you want everyone on your team to be able to access a bunch of graphics anytime they need them? Set up the folder on Dropbox, load in the graphics and invite your team to share the folder. They can download what they need when they need it.

How Many People Open Your Emails?

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Linda Claire Puig, 6-Figure Newsletter and Email Marketing Expert.

How many of your subscribers open the emails you send? Many coaches and service professionals new to email marketing get discouraged when they look at the measurement called “open rate.” Those who’ve been at it for a while do, too.

You might be wondering: Why is only a third of my contact list opening my emails? There must be something wrong. Is it worth all this effort if only a few people are reading what I send?

Before you throw in the towel, I want to let you in on a secret that a lot of folks don’t know: Your open rate isn’t really your open rate.

As a measurement, the open rate is highly unreliable, imprecise and inadequate. To show you why that is, I have to explain a little about how open rates are calculated and tracked. The open rate is actually a ratio calculated as the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your list.

Email marketing software automatically adds a tiny, invisible image to each email delivered. When this invisible image is called to show up (invisibly) from the server where it lives, that tracks the email as being opened.

But this number is skewed — perhaps significantly — by what are known as “image blockers.” More and more people use web mail providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) or applications (such as Outlook) that allow users to decide whether to view their emails with the images turned on or off.

When you see things showing up in your email with all the images turned off, that’s what’s happening: you have a setting somewhere that is saying “Ask me first if I want to see images.” Your images are “disabled” until you click to “enable” them. So…

Is it Time for You to Build a Team?

I’m going to give it to you straight up here… unless a few clients and a bit of income is all you want; it’s not a smart move to do everything for your biz yourself. In fact, it keeps you from success.

Let me own up… in my first years as a coach I did everything myself except for web design. Not only did it postpone my financial success, but worse, it kept me in the “I can’t afford it” mindset which bled into my ability to attract ideal clients. It’s a Catch 22.

multi-tasking-business-owner-rhonda-hess-prosperous-coachAs soon as I upgraded my mindset and hired assistants, I also upgraded my income significantly. I have the greatest creative team – four people who free me up for more meaningful experiences in my biz. I no longer work for money, my money works for me.

Don’t fool yourself by thinking you don’t care about money, if you allow not having enough money to hold you back from what you want! It’s such a set up!

The saddest words I hear from entrepreneurs are “I can’t afford it.” When you focus your precious time only on the things that attract great clients, you always have the money to afford whatever “it” is.

Get worthy. Invest in your own success. If you do not, neither will your prospects. Believe me, if you come from a poverty mindset, so will your clients – and then guess who isn’t enrolling enough clients to thrive? You.

How do you know if it’s time to hire an assistant?

The signs are crystal clear:

4 Ways to Make your Teleseminars Impactful and Memorable – by Kim Clausen

This is a guest blog post by my friend and colleague — Kim Clausen.

Have you ever been to a teleseminar where you felt like the person leading the call was a slimy sales person who had no interest in you except to get your money? Most of us have, and it’s no fun.

On the contrary, have you ever been to a teleseminar where the leader was warm, engaging, trusting and provided great value?

As a teleseminar leader you want to conduct a training that is memorable, transformational, and makes a positive impact on your attendees. And to do that, there are four key elements to consider – and they all start with the heart.

Imagine a picture of a heart divided into 4 quadrants.

In the first quadrant, is the word welcome. Make your participants feel welcome. Greet them when they come on the line and call them by name. Let them feel that you are glad they are there.

In the 2nd quadrant, is the word safe. Create a safe and positive environment. Tell participants they are going to receive valuable information on the call, and that they will have fun. Create a place for them to share and be affirmed, to be vulnerable and not judged, to be valued for their opinions and knowledge. Deliver a teleseminar that provides great value and is not a camouflaged sales pitch.

4 Keys to Creating Results-Getting Emails For a Small Mailing List – by Milana Leshinsky

This is a guest blog post by my friend and colleague — the “MEGA Coach” Milana Leshinsky.

If you’ve been doing business online for more than a week, you probably already heard this very common expression: “money is in the list.” True, the more people you have on your mailing list, the more people will read your e-mails, and the more products and programs you will sell.

But did you know that even people with thousands of subscribers may still be struggling financially?

That’s because the secret is not in the SIZE of your list, but in the QUALITY of your communication with your subscribers. Yes, it’s certainly easier with a bigger list. But until you master these 4 critical keys of communicating with your list, you may find yourself struggling for cash and clients regardless of how big it is.

Here are the 4 secrets to creating great results with your small mailing list:

1. Relevance

Starting with the subject line and ending with the P.S., your e-mails must be highly relevant to your subscribers. In order to send highly relevant emails to your small mailing list, you need to know what their biggest challenges are. For this reason I highly recommend sending out a survey and reading results carefully. One of the big reasons people unsubscribe or ignore e-mails is because they’re not relevant to their biggest challenges, goals, and dreams. As Dan Kennedy once said, you must enter the conversation already happening in their mind!

Hey Coach! Got Gumption?

This post has been updated.

I love entrepreneurs. I’m blessed to work in groups full of heartful coaches and consultants who bring their amazing brilliance from different walks of life to the task of building their coaching business. Interestingly, as different as they are, they have the same “garden variety” fears and their beliefs are always the only thing that gets in the way of success.

That’s about being human.

Getting stuck, breaking through, taking a leap of faith, and then… ah… evolving. That’s the dynamic cycle of human life.

For some, it’s like a game and they become facile at the quick leap. So what is it that those people have going for them? Is it super intelligence, advanced degrees, the best connections or being set up financially that results in success?

Smiling Woman Balancing Earth on Finger

No, it’s gumption! It’s having the guts, the spunk, the chutzpah — to accomplish something against all odds.

My mom had good ol’ fashioned southern gumption. It got her through the Great Depression, navigated her through business school, moved her away from dustbowl poverty to a place she thrived near the Rocky Mountains that she loved. She put four kids through college against all odds and gave us all the advantages she never had – all by gumption.

And now I realize that it’s not my degree, certifications, knowledge or confidence that got me to where I am now. It’s gumption. (Thanks mom!) And that’s a relief because I can reach inside myself to draw on that strength over and over.

So… how about you… got gumption?

What Are You Putting Off Now?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to put something off. You make a conscious choice to postpone a task or a project because it’s for your highest good, or the timing will be better later. But I find the main reasons I put things off for my coaching business have more to do with my state of mind.

I looked into this recently because there was an important project I put off all week and then guilty thoughts about the thing occupied my entire weekend. No good!

Have you ever done this?

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Here’s the scenario… you wake up and think about that thing you’re putting off, your mind wanders to it through exercise and breakfast. By the end of the day, you feel like you’ve been royally nagged. It’s almost as if some part of you really wanted to get going on that thing while the rest of you resisted. Big energy drain!

So I created these questions to manage my states and stop wasting energy and it’s working!

What’s Hot and What’s Not for Coaching Businesses in 2012

As the new year approaches I thought it would be fun to share my 3 predictions for what’s in and what’s out for coaches in the coming year.

Webinars Overtake Teleseminars

I’m not saying that teleseminars are out, but webinars are certainly IN! Have you noticed there’s more webinars being offered than ever before? One reason is that social media has raised the desire for visual cues. When I browse through my Facebook news feed, I tend to focus faster on posts with photos, graphics and videos. What about you?

Another reason webinars are gaining popularity is that attendance rates are higher and people enjoy the chat function. When there’s something to follow along and a way to connect, attendees stay longer on calls and multi-task less. And if you’re promoting through webinars, that means more clients and higher income.

A well-done set of power point slides delivered as a pdf handout may accomplish the same thing for a teleseminar. In either case, the quality of the visuals and timing will affect results.

Also, there are new systems for webinars, such as Evergreen Business Systems, which makes distributing webinars so much easier. The replays are more interesting that audio alone.

Of course, the big downside to webinars is the cost of the webinar recording systems like GotoWebinar and the potential for technical difficulties. But, like any 3rd party system, invest in it with intention to use it frequently, which justifies the cost while you get more technically savvy.