Providing Infusionsoft support and virtual event management for business coaches Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20:07:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tips to Exercise Etiquette in Social Networking Fri, 12 Feb 2016 21:26:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Working virtually means that we don’t see people face to face every day. We know that we need to perfect the skill of social networking in order to expand our audience and, well, our network.

But it takes skills in order to be able to do this effectively. We can’t just walk into a virtual ‘room’ and greet everyone we know and meet them.

So here are a few tips on how to engage people while exercising etiquette:

Introduce yourself. Sounds simple, but some people just never do it. When you join a group or forum of your potential clients or colleagues, let them know that you have joined.
Introduce yourself and let everyone know what you do and why you joined the group. It’s the best conversation starter!

Tell me how I know you. If you are asking someone to be a connection through your social networks, tell them how you found them. If you belong to a LinkedIn group together, or if you are both interested in the same person’s Fan Page, or if you just really like their Twitter posts, indicate that in your invitation. Nothing is more thought
provoking than an invitation from someone you have never heard of!

Don’t be a windbag. Make your posts brief and conversational. Don’t go on and on in your posts – you will lose people’s attention. Every receives enough email and notifications – be concise in your message or post and you will go much further! (There are groups
out there that are very conversational, but in my experience these are usually personal groups, not business ones).

Contribute regularly. The worst thing you can do with your social networking is pop in now and again. The idea is to set a schedule and hold yourself to it, so you are contributing
regularly, even if it’s just a post every day. Like any relationship, it’s the amount of time you invest in it that will bring you your return.

Don’t overdo it. Only join groups or social networking platforms that you plan to use regularly. It’s not necessary to be everywhere, but rather to use everywhere that you are. You want your networking time to be effective for you, so plan it well.

Everyone has a limited amount of time to connect with other people whether
it’s online or offline. Be sure that you put your proper strategy in place and
then follow these simple tips and you will build an expandable and fun social
networking profile for yourself!

Instant Teleseminar – a great webinar solution for your business Fri, 12 Feb 2016 21:21:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Instant Teleseminar is a great virtual event presentation platform.

What I love about Instant Teleseminar is that it’s easy to use, and it’s really reliable.

Your attendees can access the calls a few different ways: by telephone (with an option for local dial in numbers as well), by webcast, by web call (using their headset or microphone and speakers) or even by Skype.

So you have a greater chance of people attending your event with these options.

You can show powerpoint presentations, and you can even play pre-recording music or recordings into your presentation, to make them really dynamic.

The calls record automatically so no worries about missed recordings. And my favourite feature is the Autopilot – so you can pre-record and the call will play back at your scheduled time.

I recommend Instant Teleseminar to all of my clients for their virtual events. They have different levels of monthly packages, and they start at just $49/month – and of course, they have a free trial! Check it out!

Evernote – Clip Your Ideas! Mon, 18 Jan 2016 21:19:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Evernote is a cool (free!) way to keep track of things you find on the Internet.

I am a big fan of keeping a ‘swipe’ file, which is basically when you grab someone else’s information in some form, and save it so you can model* something on it later on.

That could be a website page layout, a format of a program or service package, or even some wording from an email campaign.

Whatever it is, you liked the way it was presented and you want to be able to do something of your own that is put together the same way.

Evernote helps you organize that type of thing easily. You ‘clip’ web page addresses or other bits of information into your Evernote notebook, and then you can assign keywords to it to easily retrieve it later.

So when I was doing some copywriting, I went to my Evernote notebook and search ‘copywriting’ for the things I had saved and tagged as such. I was able to find the bits that I had saved for this project and was able to pull together my sales page much more quickly because I had the information easily at hand.

The neat thing is that you install it on your computer and then you can save things to your notebook with a simple click! Check Evernote out – I think you might like it!

*note that by model I do not mean to copy – please don’t steal other people’s work!

GQueues – a task manager as simple as it gets! Thu, 07 Jan 2016 21:22:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]> GQueues is an awesome way to keep your task list organized. It’s a simple task manager that you can access from anywhere, and it integrates with your Google Account too.

You can set up as many ‘queues’ as you like, and add as many tasks to each queue as you need. It’s also got some great features, like sharing queues with others, tagging and much more.

There is a free version, but the paid version is only $25/year and is more dynamic than the free version.

If you are like me, and you like a simple to-do list to keep yourself organized, try GQueues.

I use it to keep track of all of my client work and my business tasks, and it’s simply all I need!

Use Mailchimp to email your list, it’s free! Sun, 08 Nov 2015 21:21:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Mailchimp is an email service provider that has really caught on with people in the last year or so. It has had a free version for a long time, with some limitations, and many more people are starting to use the paid levels as well.

What I like about Mailchimp is that their whole system is quite easy to use and I really like the reporting features they have.

If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers you can get a free account that allows you to send up to 12,000 total emails each month.

That’s a lot if you don’t have a big list so it’s a good deal if you have the numbers. There are some quirks that I don’t like about it, but they are few.

I recommend you give it a try – it’s free after all!

5 Simple Steps to a Great Infusionsoft Campaign Sun, 01 Nov 2015 13:00:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Setting up a great campaign using Infusionsoft just takes a little bit of planning.

Here are a few tips about what you need to think about so that your campaign is well planned and works the way you want it.

Let’s look at a simple free report opt in. What do you need to do?

1. Set up a webform. There is a default webform layout that you can easily customize to match what you want yours to look like. The visual editor has lots of functionality and it’s easy for even the tech-shy. And publishing is a breeze – if you don’t have a web person, you can use a hosted version of your form, right in Infusionsoft. It really couldn’t be simpler.

2. Write a ‘thank you’ email to deliver your free report. Once you have your thank you page set up (also can be done right in Infusionsoft), you want to follow up with an email, so that your prospects know their email address is connected correctly, and so they can access your free report from their inbox anytime they want. The email templates are also very simple to brand for your business, and easy to populate with your text, images, and trackable links. You can even attach files which is not a feature that all email services provide.

3. Upload your report to Infusionsoft so you can link it to your thank you email. You can upload your free report to your website, but it’s probably even easier to upload it right you’re your Infusionsoft file cabinet, and then attach it to the right email.  It’s simple to do, and then that file is easily accessible for any email correspondence you send in the system.

4. Tag your prospects so you can easily search for them in your CRM. Tagging is the signature feature of the system, and it differs from ‘lists’ in other email services. It’s a terrific way to segregate your people based on their behaviour, purchases, interests, and more. And because you can apply an unlimited number of tags to any contact, it’s very easy to find the people who are interested in many things that you are tracking.

5. Develop a follow up sequence to send people after they have opted in. The follow up is the best part of any Infusionsoft campaign.  You can set up your basic follow up (as stated above – tag, TY email) and then you can continue to add on more pieces as you see fit. You can set up a follow up sequence of emails that can take people along the path of your marketing funnel. You can add on sequences any time you want to, and add to the value that your people opted in for. And if they do take action that you put in front of them, you can move them to another sequence easily so that their funnel sequences stop. It’s pretty cool.

Pretty simple setup, and fairly standard no matter what type of system you are using to deliver your report.

But when you use Infusionsoft, you can really think ahead and actually plan ahead, so that you actually lead your prospects through your marketing funnel – from their basic free entry, to upselling them to your products and services.

The basic campaign manager is like mindmap, with its simple icons and arrows to connect the things you want to each other. It’s a pretty simple system when you look at it – a straight line of actions that occur in the order you put them – and controllable by dates, delay timers or other actions.

And the ability to leave things in draft mode until you are ready to use them is very helpful. You can work on an entire section of a campaign without connecting it to a live section. Pretty ingenious.

So the thing to do is to start thinking using the framework that Infusionsoft uses, and things really start to become pretty clear. It’s a matter of knowing where people are coming from, and what you want them to do, and then mapping out the path to get them there.

To talk about your campaign setup and planning your follow up, contact me for a Strategy Session today!

Getting Started with Infusionsoft Thu, 15 Oct 2015 16:49:15 +0000 Continue reading ]]> If you are an Infusionsoft user that is not using the system to capacity, you are not alone.

New users I see start by using mainly the shopping cart and autoresponder service parts of the system.

This is very common because the other systems that small business owners generally use maximize the shopping cart and autoresponders, so that’s the data that gets pulled over in an Infusionsoft transition, and the habit of the ‘old way things were done’ often continues from there.

It’s okay to start with what you know, but it’s essential to start to use the other parts of the system quickly so you can develop standards and procedures easily.

Here are a few key things I like about the three main modules:

1. CRM Management: Infusionsoft has an amazing CRM system, to manage all of your contact records – and loads of data for each contact. Not only can you store an almost unlimited number of fields of data within each contact record, but it’s nicely organized and easy to find what you need – from addresses, to encrypted credit card information, to orders and email correspondence (all emails, from single emails to broadcasts and follow up emails). It’s very robust. And one of the neatest features is that you can upload documents (like client contracts or other docs) to your client records too. Many of my clients use the Notes function to track coaching conversations with their clients, as well as consultations or networking contact with prospective clients. The task function is one of my favourites – to help me know what needs to be looked after, and when. Just great stuff.

2. Marketing: The Campaign Builder is a fantastic way to set up all of your campaign pieces for any given launch, promotion, product sale, program, or whatever you do in your business. The pieces of the campaign builder allow you to set up emails very easily, apply tags for segregation, build opt in pages and landing pages in a flash, and even start and stop follow up sequences by other actions that are taken somewhere else in the system (for instance, if my client has a phone call with a client and then sends me a task to do something, I can ‘check off’ that task in my dashboard, and that can kick off the proper sequence for that particular client or prospect). Collaboration and automation at their finest.

3. Ecommerce: The shopping cart part of Infusionsoft seems clunky to set up at first – with so many places to go to set up things like order forms, payment plans, promo codes and so on. But once you get the hang of where things are it becomes a nice little dance from place to place as you set up some neat options for your products. There are lots of neat features for shopping cart design and upselling too, but the simple ‘purchase’ link is very easy to set up quickly, and placing orders and managing payments is basically done in a couple of clicks. It’s a great smooth system for updating credit cards and scheduling payment dates.

Although there is a steep learning curve when starting to use Infusionsoft, the key is to learn the best features of each module and how they can apply to your business.

To talk about how your business can benefit from maximizing your Infusionsoft use, contact me for a Strategy Session today!

Sharpen the Saw Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:22:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]> This the seventh and final post in my series of posts about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It is my slant on each of the habits, and how each relates to being a small business owner. To read the whole series, click here.

Habit #7: Sharpen the Saw

You are your greatest asset in your business.

As a service business owner, your clients buy you.

But I would be willing to be that you don’t respect yourself as much as your clients do.

You run from task to task, getting things done, and sometimes maybe you don’t stop to eat or even take a break. Maybe you work all hours of the day, weekends, holidays, and don’t take vacations. Can you say burnout?

You are not doing your clients (you know, the ones who PAY you) any favours by treating yourself like that.

It’s in your best business interest to nurture yourself – you will be better for your clients and your business – and yourself!

Sharpening the saw refers to caring for yourself in various ways. Physical (eat well, get rest, take care!), Social (connecting with others and building positive relationships), Mental (taking classes, getting coaching, keeping on top of business trends), Spiritual (taking time off, meditating, planning down time).

Caring for yourself is very often one of the last things that small business owners do – when really it should be at the top of the list.

I remember when my son was born someone said ‘He’s the most important person in your world now.’ and I said, ‘No, I am.’ and they gave me very odd look. I went on, ‘I have to be my best self to be the best mom I can be for him. Without keeping myself as the most important person in my life, I have less to give him.’

It’s exactly the same principle with our business. We have to be the best we can be for our clients, our team members, our colleagues. Our primary service is ourselves. We need to nurture that and care for it, and help it grow. That’s just good business planning.

I’d love for you to share your insights about self-care and enhancing your greatest asset on my Facebook page.

Two Heads are Better Than One Mon, 21 Sep 2015 19:21:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]> This the sixth post in my series of posts about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It is my slant on each of the habits, and how each relates to being a small business owner. To read the whole series, click here.

Habit #6: Synergize (Two Heads are Better than One)

Solopreneur does not mean you have to everything alone. But so many small business owners seem to think that.

It’s kind of funny. You go into business to provide a service to your clients – one that you are an absolute expert at providing – and then you end up doing administrative work, bookkeeping, marketing, business strategy and a ton of other stuff. Not in your brilliance. Not your area of specialty. Because you think you have to!

But you don’t. In fact, you shouldn’t. All of those areas that I just mentioned, and more, should be left to those who specialize in them. Your business will grow faster when you concentrate on what you do best, and get help with everything else.

One key area to get support is with business strategy – two heads ARE better than one. Looking at your business from an objective eye is sometimes impossible. It’s your baby. You have built it. No one knows your business like you do. So it can sometimes be hard to accept other people’s comments on what you are doing, or how you are doing it.

But great strategy is so important to keep your business growing and moving forward. And it’s important to consult with someone regularly to build that strategy on an ongoing basis.

New ideas, new insight are wonderful building blocks that you can constantly be adding to make your business better. Keeping things status quo could keep your business stuck where you are.

Other ways of getting support like admin, bookkeeping, marketing and so on, help you develop collaboration and teamwork. Also very important when your business grows. Think about it – if your business gets as successful as you probably imagine it in your head, then you will eventually need support with all of those things anyway. Better to start working with others now so you can build quickly and easily when you want to.

Collaborate with people who share your values, your ideas, your work ethic and your general business outlook. Not only will it help your business, but that makes it fun too!

I’d love for you to share your insights about teamwork and getting support on my Facebook page.

Seek First to Understand Mon, 07 Sep 2015 19:21:05 +0000 Continue reading ]]> This the fifth post in my series of posts about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It is my slant on each of the habits, and how each relates to being a small business owner. To read the whole series, click here.

Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

One of the first thing I tell my VA students is to look at the message they are putting out for their clients.

Most often I find that they are talking about what a VA is … not how a VA can help their clients.

It’s a common error but we quickly turn it around by doing a lesson on how (and why!) to learn more about your clients.

And all small business owners need to heed this advice.

Learn about your clients – what they do, how they do it, who they do it with, where they do it when they do it and even why they do it.

The answers to these questions will give you invaluable insight into how to communicate with your audience, and how to build relationships with them quickly and easily.

It’s important to ask questions to get the answers you need. There is the research stage, of course, when you start to think about how you can serve a particular market. And then there is the practical stage, when you are networking with that market, and developing relationships with potential clients.

Always focus on what your potential clients need. And then help them make decisions about whether to work with you or not by taking their cues, and letting them know how you can help them solve their problem. Ask first, and then give your input about how you have helped others with a similar situation. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

If they are not making enough money in their business, you will want to understand why that is. What are they doing now to earn? What have they tried in the past? What has worked for them? What has not worked for them? And so on.

I became acutely aware of this habit by a colleague many years ago. She watched me do a presentation Q&A and gave me feedback and the end. She noticed that I was replying very quickly to the questions that the participants were asking. She thought I made them feel stupid because I was forming the answer to the question in my head while they were still asking it. What feedback! I had no idea! I made solid adjustments to my question-response timing and I even found that I got more information out of the prospect by not jumping in so quickly. It’s definitely an effective strategy.

People will listen to what you have to say, but they always want to know how you can help them and how much it will cost them. It’s natural. So start there, and you’ll move forward a lot faster.

I’d love for you to share your insights about understanding your audience on my Facebook page.