May 2012

Keeping Your “Other-View” In Focus

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I recently came back from a financial success seminar hosted by two clients we serve, Ryan and Jamie Smith. It was three days filled with wit, wisdom, and tons of practical insights on wealth-building strategies for these tough economic times.

But what has stuck with me the most is a simple phrase Ryan shared in one of his talks. He said, “You serve others to make it, and you give to others to keep it.” 

I like that.

In our pursuit of the security, peace, and comfort that money can provide — and we all know that money, in and of itself, is not the true source of those benefits — it’s important to keep that “others view” in focus.

We were put on this earth not merely to look out for ourselves, but to serve others. In fact, serving others must be at the core of our motivation to succeed. Sometimes I think it’s good to be reminded of that.

Your motivation to write, to produce, to dream, and to accomplish — when rooted in the value of serving others — will bring you the peace you seek. 

If you are waiting to be financially secure in order to start giving to others, you probably won’t ever start. The time to give, to serve, and to be charitable is now. To quote a book by Pat Williams and Jay Strack called The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” 

So today, who can you serve? How can you serve? Lift up your head and see the “others view” that needs to be your focus.

Why People Buy

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I recently watched a video short by Simon Senek on why people buy.  In the video, he talks about the “golden circle”.

In his presentation, Simon talks about the difference between how truly inspired leaders and companies communicate versus the rest of us.

He says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy based on why you do it.”

You see, most of us communicate from the outside in.  We start with WHAT we do, then maybe progress to HOW we do it and most of the time never get to the WHY.  For example, “We make computers (what) we make them fast and sleek and user-friendly (how).  But the truly inspiring companies communicate their beliefs and values, their WHY, first.  For example, Apple might say, “We believe in thinking outside the box, in breaking tradition (their why), and that’s why we make things sleeker, faster and more user-friendly than anyone else (their how) and oh by the way, we sell computers, (their what).”

I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s always better to sell benefits rather than features.  In the example above, the features are the how…our computers are sleek, fast, user-friendly.  Not bad…but it would be much stronger to lead with sharing the benefits of buying our computer.  For example, if you buy our computers you’ll have more time to do the things you love, or our computers will give you an edge over your completion.  This is better copy because now you’re selling benefits not just features.

But what I learned in this video is the importance of communicating your WHY.  Now, if your WHY is simply to make money, I’m afraid you’ll be better off just selling the benefits of your product.  But when your WHY is based on a belief or a value that resonates with your audience, you’ll will be most effective if you communicate your WHY first, then share your benefits.  “We believe in bringing people together because communication is the key to living in peace and harmony.”  If this is your WHY, then lead with that.  People who relate to and identify with your WHY will be more motivated and more strongly moved to buy than if they are simply attracted to your benefits, or to an even lesser extent, just want the features your product or service offers.

So in telling your story, in promoting your message, product or service, take time to consider your WHY.  Evaluate the core beliefs that motivate you to do what you do.  If people connect with your WHY, they will be more likely to respond.

Need help in discovering and sharing your WHY?  Call us.

The Power of Story

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“Story is the promotional currency of the new millennium and millennial thinkers.”

That’s a phrase our team is probably starting to tire of hearing me say.

But I keep saying it because it’s true.

We’re all aware that technology is pushing our society to change and adapt at an ever-quickening pace. We are connecting more and more with people through ever-expanding social networks, and yet our relationships seem to be getting shallower and more superficial.

Have you noticed?

As more media and more images bombard our senses, it becomes harder and harder for any one message or any one voice to stand out or get noticed. This is the world in which we live.

So how do you publish, promote, and market in this environment?

I contend that story is the answer.

Think about it. Whether you’re at a cocktail party or listening to a sermon in church, you tend to “zone out” and not retain but a fraction of what you hear . . . that is, until someone begins to tell a story.

People love stories. They gravitate to them. Why is that?

In part, it’s because stories create emotion.

Whether you are a left-brain analytical thinker or a right-brain creative thinker, you are still an emotional creature and respond to emotion.

Any good salesperson will tell you that most sales are made on emotion, or that emotion is at least involved. So when you can take your central message and tell it in the form of a story, you’ve got a much greater chance that your message will be heard.

Maybe you don’t think you have a story. But you do.

And with some creative coaching, you’d be amazed (and maybe even a little impressed!) with just how cool, how unique, and how moving your story can be to the audience you want to reach and serve.

As publishing and marketing experts, helping people tell and sell their story is what we do. Need help with your story? Put us to work for you by calling 407-563-4806. We’d love to help you succeed!

The Power of Passion

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The older I get, the more aware I’ve become of my shortcomings. I see how many people in the world are smarter, more determined, and more accomplished than I am.

Maybe you feel that way sometimes, too.

But I’m coming to appreciate a quality I possess that serves me well, and I think you would benefit from embracing more of it in your own life.

I’m talking about passion.

People are drawn to those with energy, enthusiasm, belief, and conviction. Most people in the world walk through life anxious, worried, distracted, stressed, and overwhelmed. But when they encounter someone — like you — who speaks with a light in their eyes, an energy in their bones, and a fervor in their spirit, it stands out. It makes others feel better just to be around someone with that kind of passion.

So when you speak to a group or talk with someone one-on-one, I encourage you to do so with a level of energy and enthusiasm. It’s infectious.

Because let’s face it: the world could do with a little more passion. Let it start today with you!

The Long Road to Becoming an Overnight Success

Blog,Inspiration,Speaking No Comments

Most successful people will tell you becoming a success did not happen overnight. The guy who commands $25,000 every time he speaks? The woman who hits the best-seller list every time she puts out a new novel? These folks didn’t get there overnight.

Sure, there are exceptions to every rule. But the vast majority of successful people and companies know the road to success is long and arduous.

Are You On the Ground or Airborne?

Creating media buzz for your product or service is like getting a plane off the ground. You spend a lot of time building up speed, working to get enough air rushing under and over your wings, and then all of a sudden, Voila!

You have lift.

So it is with sound marketing campaigns. You start making connections and doing all the things you know how to do in order to create a base of fans who love what you’re about and decide to tell their friends. That takes time. And the smaller your starting customer base, the longer it takes to reach liftoff.

Analyze as You Go

Whether you’re at “ground zero” in building a fan base or already well on your way, you need to pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Some of your efforts will bomb, and others will bring unexpectedly positive results.

But you keep going.

When working your marketing plan, I’d recommend having someone more objective than you look it over and help you set realistic timetables and goals. If you have a sound product or service that meets a real need for an identifiable and reachable segment of the market, you will likely be very successful.

You just need to give it enough time.

Need an objective, seasoned, creative partner for your marketing strategy? Our HigherLife marketing division creates customized strategic marketing plans. Put us to work for you by calling 407-563-4806. We’d love to help you succeed!

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