Go Back   Small business forum Australia > Today's hot topics > Working smarter


I need some advice

Reply
 
Link to this thread Thread tools Search this thread
Old 24-02-09
gregpritchard.virtualcio's Avatar
Forum regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 50
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: I need some advice

Hi Missie,

Good question, and a constant challenge for those in business.

Something to consider is to hold a seminar or breakfast meeting where the people who have asked you questions come along and get a forum with you. You could charge a reasonable fee to cover your time and expenses.

Carolyn Stafford from http://www.connectmarketing.com.au puts on breakfasts with a guest speaker for $65. Its a little different, but the end result could be the same for you (give advice, and get paid for it without turning it into a major consulting gig). So, you invite anyone who's ever asked for your advice, pro-bono or not. You could have a particular topic that everyone seems to be asking about; structure a presentation, talk for 30 minutes then open it up to the floor (and/or bring a list of the questions you've been asked in the past).

This would perfectly complement the other suggestions on newsletters and forum memberships; as you could use these to promote the breakfast seminars.

__________________
Greg Pritchard
Director, Dedication Group


Business Technology Advisors. Dedication Group works with business stakeholders to plan and implement IT into their businesses. We are experts in strategic planning for business technology, and offer truly impartial, no-holds-barred advice.

Quote of the moment: "Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable" - Theodore N. Vail
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
MissieK's Avatar
Forum regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 234
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
View Member's Facebook Profile View Member's Linkedin Profile
Default Re: I need some advice

Lisa, I love the idea of mentoring scholarships - would I be able to drop you a line about this?

We do run events, and even a national conference (in June - some FS members are presenting ). I am looking at ways I can run mini events to share my expertise.

Melissa

__________________
WAHM of 2 gorgeous boys

Business Mums Magazine - subscribe now for a 2 for 1 offer
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
Forum newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: I need some advice

Some great advice on this thread.

Essentially you want to leverage your time with these enquiries. Time is one of your precious resources for growing your business, so you don't want it eaten up by time-wasters whilst you search for a promising lead. I think this ties in with Leela's and Ray's ideas about articles, blogs and forums on your site.

Your newsletter is another resource you can use to leverage your time. Anytime you can put your business and marketing on autopilot, you're leveraging your time. So here's the idea - instead of just having a newsletter, why not make it a "5 Steps to Success for Business Mums" Training Course. You write 5 articles/email and set them up on an Autoresponder, so they are automatically emailed in sequence to a new subscriber of your newsletter.

You can automate the emails to send every couple of days or once a week - whatever you choose. You write the articles/emails once, but it sells your business time and time again every time a new subscriber is added to your list. You don't even have to press the send button - an autoresponder does it for you! As Leela suggests, don't be afraid to ask for the sale.

If you are offering a free 5 step course, then you have to be sensitive as to when to ask for the sale - but plant teasers in the footer, allude to it through your emails with examples of how it has help other mums etc. And of course that person is now on your newsletter list too.

I hope that gives you some more ideas for strategies for leveraging your time and automating your business.

__________________
Email Marketing Software - advanced features, priced for the Soloist!

Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
LeelaCosgrove's Avatar
Forum enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 637
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to LeelaCosgrove
View Member's Facebook Profile View Member's Youtube Profile View Member's Linkedin Profile View Member's Twitter Profile
Default Re: I need some advice

Not a bad idea Luke ... but I wouldn't make it a free course.

Make it a nominal fee (say, $17 or $27) - but charge for it.

This will qualify the incoming leads - are they prepared to pay something? If not - do you want to waste time with them? I always say, anyone who doesn't have $27 to buy a product from me is NOT my client ... I also say, I would prefer 10 people on my list who are willing to spend $27 than 100 or even 1,000 people on my list who aren't.

I've developed a number of courses like this for clients and have found, across the board, that they have a better response when they charge for it - because people don't value what they don't pay for.

Charge
Qualify
Sell

The money you make on the front end is nothing (and could even fund the scholarship you're talking about) - it's about sorting the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

__________________
Leela Cosgrove
Australia's #1 Information Product Specialist
www.InfoProphets.com
www.UniqueValuePropositions.com.au
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
Forum newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: I need some advice

Point taken Leela. I think we've all signed up for something "free" and never bothered to read it or look at it. We do value that which we pay for.

But there is merit in giving away something free as a strategy. Why? Firstly if it's not costing you anything to distribute or maintain, then you aren't losing time or money. You create it once and let your autoresponder and marketing system take care of it from there. You have people wanting advice or information from you and you are meeting that market need.

I am not suggesting a course with hundreds of pages of content. I am suggesting some short, valuable, relevant information which will help customers decide whether they value what you provide. Of course some will never even open anything from you, but that's how the wheat and the chaff are sorting themselves out without you having to do it!

Some will read and value the free information that you supply and will recognise your work/knowledge as having value, even if they haven't paid for it yet. And that's the key - they recognise your value. Then you can start working on them to get the sale. You have turned a website visitor into a warm lead, possibly a person that would never have bought anything from your site on their first visit.

I agree that some businesses are better suited to charging for their information, but I have also seen the free alternative work very effectively.

__________________
Email Marketing Software - advanced features, priced for the Soloist!

Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
LeelaCosgrove's Avatar
Forum enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 637
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to LeelaCosgrove
View Member's Facebook Profile View Member's Youtube Profile View Member's Linkedin Profile View Member's Twitter Profile
Default Re: I need some advice

I would recommend free if Melissa needed to prove that she had the knowledge ... i.e. in a cold call kind of a way.

But these people want what she has already.

So this is a low-level, cheap opt-in ... they've already expressed interest in the 'free' - so now she needs to determine who is actually a client - that is, who is willing to pay for stuff.

As I said, I've created a LOT of these kinds of series for clients over the last four years. And I've tested both free and paid (as well as various price points). Free is great if you just want more numbers on your database.

I'm the perfect case in point - I offered a book I wrote as a free download to a certain group of people. More than 100 of them took me up on it. I spent the next two years providing these people with information and marketing to them via various methods - and not one of them bought anything at any price range - they just wanted something for free.

Meanwhile, of the people who bought the book, who paid for it at whichever price point, around 80% went on to buy something else from the exact same information and marketing.

I repeated similar tests with other products also. They were worthwhile in that they told me this ... free information is, by definition, 'free'. It has no value.

I also disagree with it not costing you anything to distribute or maintain.

For entrepreneurs like Melissa (and a lot of other people on here) - the number one cost is TIME. Writing a course (even if it's only 10 pages) - takes time away from you and from your family. On average, a page takes an hour to write (when you factor in research, thinking time, writing time, editing time). That's 10 hours she's not with her kids. Or working on something else.

That's 10 hours she absolutely deserves money for. And 10 pages of her hard-earned knowledge that she also deserves money for.

"But there is merit in giving away something free as a strategy."

Hmmm ... you've said that, but you haven't really backed it up.

Your points were

#1 - because it doesn't cost you anything - which it does - but even so, what difference does it make to your clients if it cost you anything or not? People don't weight up what they are going to buy based on whether it cost you anything ... "Oh well, I'm not paying $17 for this because it didn't cost her anything ... but I will pay $17 for this because it did".

#2 - Some will read and value the free information that you supply and will recognise your work/knowledge as having value - we're talking about people here who already recognise the value.

So where is the merit of giving this away and WHAT is the strategy????

If the outcome is: To convert inquiries into paying customers.

Why would you give them something for free?

There's this real attitude with the internet that because everyone else is giving stuff away for free so you have to as well. And yet, I've seen $17 products get more customers than free products ... and $27 products get more customers than $17 products.

I think it comes down to a fear of charging for your knowledge ... a fear of sales ... there is absolutely NO reason to give this product away for free. It doesn't help you at ALL ... the only reason to do it would be out of a deep seated fear that it wasn't WORTH the money you're charging for it. And if that is the issue, you need to spend some time working with a coach on your psychology ... because isn't that the very reason you're in business?

__________________
Leela Cosgrove
Australia's #1 Information Product Specialist
www.InfoProphets.com
www.UniqueValuePropositions.com.au
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
Forum newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: I need some advice

Good response Leela with a lot of facts to back it up. I can tell you're passionate about this.

I put it out there as a potential solution to the issue we were discussing, and hopefully this thread has helped spawn an idea or two for some forum members. I won't keep defending my ideas - some people will agree and some people won't. It will work for some people and it won't work for others.

Do what works for you and stop what doesn't work for you - that's about my best marketing advice

Cheers

__________________
Email Marketing Software - advanced features, priced for the Soloist!

Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
LeelaCosgrove's Avatar
Forum enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 637
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to LeelaCosgrove
View Member's Facebook Profile View Member's Youtube Profile View Member's Linkedin Profile View Member's Twitter Profile
Default Re: I need some advice

You're right Luke ... I AM very passionate about this ... creating, marketing, selling information products is what my business does ... it's my hedgehog principal ... my USP ... what I am best at ... I've spent a lot of time studying it and doing it and have invested tens of thousands of dollars over the last couple of years in getting the strategies I needed to make it work.

It's kinda my thing.

__________________
Leela Cosgrove
Australia's #1 Information Product Specialist
www.InfoProphets.com
www.UniqueValuePropositions.com.au
Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
Forum newcomer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sydney NSW
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: I need some advice

As someone who has not joined Business Mums, but who DOES value what is on offer there and wishes I could afford it, there is some merit in offering free information to people you want to join you.

I currently have a list of Advertising Sites, Directories and Forums that I wish to sign up to, prioritised in order of what is going to generate me money sooner rather than later. As I literally have NO money right at this moment, each sign up to these will be based on what product I can sell when I launch.

By offering something free to someone like me, I prioritise your site as a place I need to be a part of. I physically see what you can offer. I've tallied up over $250 worth of advertising or forums that I want to be a part of today, but don't have a cent to spend on any just yet.

I am trying to start up a business with no capital. That doesn't mean I don't value what people have to offer. It means I can't afford to buy it whether I value it or not.

Business Mums is on my list of places to subscribe to - I think it will be very important to my business, but I chose another forum first because it was free and available to me instantly.

Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-09
LeelaCosgrove's Avatar
Forum enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 637
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to LeelaCosgrove
View Member's Facebook Profile View Member's Youtube Profile View Member's Linkedin Profile View Member's Twitter Profile
Default Re: I need some advice

Not to be rude ... I know you're new tianakaesha so WELCOME! And thanks for having the bravery to post ... and please don't take this as anything other than an interesting point that fuels into the whole thing ... I look forward to having lots and lots of conversations with you!

... but this kind of proves my point.

You'll take the product if it's free - but you won't pay for it ... I understand as a start-up business that that's the position you're in ...

BUT if you think about it from the point of view of your OWN business ...

If people can't afford to buy the products that you sell - are you going to give them away for free? Or maybe you'll have one or two products that you give away in the hopes that the people who take the free stuff will buy things later?

People who don't want to pay for stuff (no matter how valid their reasons are) are NOT clients. A client is someone who gives you money.

Sure, you value what Melissa has to offer.

You just don't have the money to pay her for it.

Which means you're not her client.

(PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT trying to speak on your behalf, Melissa - just using you as an example to make a point)

You're basically saying you would use Melissa's service if it was free ... but then, she wouldn't have a business! What would be the point of her providing the service at all?

And to a certain extent it DOES mean you don't value it. At least, not as much as you do other things.

What HAVE you spent money to in the lead up to your business?

I'm sure there are some things.

A domain name.

Hosting.

Business Registration.

Computer.

Software.

Stationary.

Our job as business people is to make our product / service as much of a necessity as these things - to have our clients see our product or service as OXYGEN ...

When people feel this way about a product, when they value it this strongly, they will find the money for it.

50 years ago the idea of a business needing a computer was ridiculous.

Even 10 years ago, most companies still needed to be convinced that they needed to get on the internet.

These days, having a computer and a website is like OXYGEN to businesses. You wouldn't DREAM of running a business without them.

That's the end game ... to make your product a computer or a website (the target markets equivalent, of course).

__________________
Leela Cosgrove
Australia's #1 Information Product Specialist
www.InfoProphets.com
www.UniqueValuePropositions.com.au

Last edited by LeelaCosgrove; 25-02-09 at 03:32 PM. Reason: left stuff out
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Small business forum Australia > Today's hot topics > Working smarter

Thread tools Search this thread
Search this thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread starter Forum Replies Last post
Buying a cafe? Would you like free advice? (Offer now closed) The Cafe Ninja Starting a business 39 05-04-12 04:56 PM
Video Making Advice ClaireMcFee Talking technology 8 28-04-10 08:55 PM
Some advice and info for a student andrew Starting a business 14 14-03-09 07:16 PM
Tax office advice - what would you do? sam_leader Money matters 7 02-02-09 10:24 PM
Wanted: Uni needs online businesses for study, get free advice jkrahmalov Sales & marketing 2 27-01-09 02:05 PM



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2