The easy-peasy way to get more testimonials!

How often do you feel challenged when asking someone to recommend your work? It’s so easy to let this slip, and yet when you do that, you miss a huge, and golden, opportunity.

Why? Because people are much more likely to believe what someone else has said about your service or product than you. It’s just a fact. They’re not biased, whereas, you are!

Testimonials provide evidence of your credibility, they demonstrate you are trustworthy, and they encourage and inspire others to use your services too.  Which is what you want, of course.

I spoke about this to a client recently.

You want to be training your brain to listen out for possible phrases as testimonials, so you can use them. Once you’ve done that, then you need to ask if it’s OK to use what they said as a testimonial. And then you need to take action and get it up on your site, or wherever you can use it most effectively.”

A few days after her last session, she emailed me, it just came through and inspired this article. Towards the end of the email, I read the following:

I’ve just typed up my session 11 notes – all on a big Word document starting with my session 1 notes. I can’t believe how far I’ve come in my thinking and success since then, the questions and things I am thinking about are at a whole new level from when I started working with you [PING – TESTIMONIAL ALARM!!!).

What’s a testimonial alarm?  I’d coached her to listen to what people say about her work, and here she was demonstrating her ability to listen by pointing out to me a possible testimonial for myself!

So her brain has already locked into identifying possible testimonials, which means her business is going to benefit far more in this area than before. Hurray!

Now I’m putting the lesson into practice (having asked her) by turning this into an article, which covers three things – the importance of testimonials, using one myself, and providing evidence to you that working with me is a great idea. 🙂

Which is exactly what you want to be doing too, if you are interested in gaining more clients, credibility and confidence.

You’re likely to get more clients, because most business is done by word of mouth still (whether on or off line) and testimonials are just that. More credibility comes because the more people you have out there saying how great you are, and what fantastic results they’ve had since working with you, the better it reflects on you. And more confidence because it just feels plain damn good to be told you are great a lot!

So, please do embed the Testimonial Alarm in your consciousness and begin to gather them in from all sources.

By the way, I was writing this in a coffee shop, and as I was leaving, the lady at the next table said ‘Are you Jane?’

“Yes,” I replied, looking puzzled.

doing business differently“I’m on your mailing list and I really love getting your newsletters, they’re great. And especially reading about the whole wild wisdom thing, you know, upside down thinking, the lot!”

So there was another testimonial too!  What a lovely morning 🙂

Have you got any inspiring testimonial stories? Share them with me by clicking on the little number to the right of the title and entering your story.

The 3 Unsexy But Essential Pointers to Your Business Success

It’s tax return time again, and what are you doing?

  1. Scrabbling around, a bit panicky, trying to get figures together in time?
  2. Getting someone else doing it for you right now?
  3. Filed your return way before Christmas?

I’m glad to say I fall into the third category, and it was easy to provide the information to my accountant because I’d kept my monthly figures up to date throughout the year. I have a relatively complex set of figures to keep, but still, it was easy getting them all together.

However, it reminded me that this year I’d been not so good about practicing what I preach, and I spent a lot of last weekend getting everything up to date, so that next year’s return can be filed any time after April 2015.

But even if your tax return isn’t a problem for you, what about knowing exactly what’s going on in your business on a day to day basis?

Could you tell me what percentage of people buy which of your products or services?  Or how many on your mailing list signed up for your latest offering? Or what your conversion rate is from opt ins on your mailing list to clicking through to your webpage?

Why is this important?  Because figures, systems and monitoring are like a road map in your business. They tell you where to go, instead of driving round the countryside, wondering which road will get to you your destination.

This wasn’t the case with the recent Get Your Year in Gear Giveaway event that I was part of. Not only was I in a country I didn’t know well at all, I wasn’t using the road map. Here’s what happened.

The community of coaches I belong to were holding this event, which meant I felt 100% happy about telling you all about it, because I knew most of the other people offering some really great free products. There were lots of coaches participating and it was going out to hundreds of thousands of people, so I got excited.

My free offering was (and still is) The 3 Radical Income Welcome Principles, and I got all the back office stuff set up, checked the links and started telling people about it.

The statistics page for the event was exciting to watch, as you could see how others were progressing, as well as how many clicks on my page. And every day there would be more – yes, it’s a really great way to build a mailing list!

After a few days, I realized no one had bought the full Radical Income Welcome Toolkit, on offer for a very reasonable price when you clicked on a link at the end of the Principles. That seemed a bit odd, considering that by now hundreds of people had downloaded them  – and that’s when I found out that the link in the document had stopped working. Had it ever been working?  Don’t know; it had on the test run.

When a link doesn’t work, it gives a really bad impression, like you don’t care that much. Of course it’s been amended now, although it took quite some time to work out what was going on.  Why?

Why? Because I hadn’t been checking the StatCounter statistics on a daily basis – not only that, I hadn’t fully understood them anyway.

Oh dear. It wasn’t the end of the world re possible sales being lost, as adding people to my mailing list was what was really important to me.

But I felt mortified that most of these people didn’t get a great impression of me right at the start.  Bit of a blunder there.

So what’s the learning here?  That’s where the 3 unsexy but essential pointers come in.

  1. Face Your Figures keep your figures up to date at least on a monthly basis. Not only does that make your tax return easy to do, it gives you vital information about where your business really is in relation to where it is going. Which means you can correct if you need to, before you end up down a dead end lane in the countryside with no idea where you are or what to do.
  1. See Your Statistics all pages of your website or landing pages need to have Google Analytics or StatCounter on them. This will then give you lots of information about who is visiting your pages, how long they stay on them, where they come from, and all sorts of other conversion rates.
  1. Meet Up with Your Monitoringyou need to visit your statistics regularly!  They are your map, and you need to read it. Otherwise you might as well not have one.  If you have a mindset that says ‘figures = boring; statistics = even more boring’, then this needs to change.

When you understand figures and stats are key to you being able to navigate well in the countryside, meaning you can much more easily get to your destination, then they become very precious indeed.

So where are you with figures, stats and monitoring them?

Which area of the map is essential for you to improve on?

I invite you this week to take one small step in the right direction to where you want to go, by identifying which of these areas are most needing your attention, and then specifically which step you’re going to take, and by when.

What am I going to do?  Familiarise myself to the point where I feel really comfortable with how StatCounter works, and I’ll do that by this time next week.

SAM_0833 copyWhat will you do, and by when?

And if you know you need someone to help you read your map, connect with me through a free Spirit in Business Strategy session, where you’ll end up:

  • knowing exactly where you’re going
  • where you are on the map
  • what’s likely to get in your way of getting there (apart from not knowing your numbers!)
  • be inspired to get going again!

Scroll down on this page to find the form to apply – I only have 4 spots available, so listen to any inner promptings you have and complete the form now!

PS: If you want the chance to participate in the Giveaway, you still can until 28th January, click here (yes, it does work!)

How to easily have an ‘I did it!’ moment

I did it!

Yes!

I did it!

You know how very satisfying it is to accomplish something you’ve felt nervous about, or worried in some way. But then you did it anyway?  That’s what I did just recently.

I was staying alone in the family holiday hut I told you about last week in the South West of Scotland. I’ve never been there alone in winter. In fact, I’ve only been there alone once before, and that was for one night before I met up with various members of Philip’s family to scatter his ashes on the beach.

htNow you might not think that spending a night alone is a big deal, whether winter or summer. But our hut is just that – a beach hut, rather a characterful one with various old-fashioned ‘mod cons’, but nevertheless charmingly basic.

This means the water’s turned off in winter because it might freeze otherwise; there’s no electricity other than that supplied by a solar panel for the lights; the tiny fridge and shower and hot water are supplied by gas bottles. And all these needed to be turned on too.  Again, not a big deal you might think.

But a very big deal if your husband has always done these kinds of things, or you’ve done them together. A big deal if it’s in the middle of winter and freezing cold (it was -1 when I arrived).

But here’s the thing.  I was scared, and I did it all anyway.

I lit the woodburning stove first, always a good idea to be warm. 🙂

I saw the waterheater was leaking, because a tap hadn’t been screwed in. I screwed it tight and mopped up.

I followed instructions to turn on the water at the stopcock and couldn’t get it to work. I temporarily gave up and followed instructions to turn on the gas bottles instead, lit a gas ring on the cooker, and hurray!  Gas was working.

Next the fridge – I’d actually done this before and knew it could be difficult. But –  and I could hardly believe it – it lit first time!

Electricity was easy – switch on the main switch. Try the lights – yes!  So all I had to do now was get the water on, and light the water heater.  I rang my brother in law but he was about to go into a cinema to watch Harry Potter and I didn’t really understand what he said. I tried again. No success though, still just a trickle.

Someone walked by on the beach.

‘Hi there, could you help me a moment please?’

‘Sure,’ and he walked up into our garden.

‘I just need you to twiddle with the stopcock while I look at what the water’s doing, it’s just so much easier with two. I’ve been running backwards and forwards the whole time’. He twiddled the T-bar, and I turned on the tap. Water gushed out.

‘How on earth did you do that?’

‘It only needed the smallest of moves, that’s all’.

‘That’s brilliant, I must have been doing it too much and going out of alignment again. Would you like a cup of coffee?’

‘Love to but would you mind if I just get my wife? We’ve always wanted to see inside this cottage!’

And so I spent a cheerful half hour over coffee with a couple who come here regularly and will probably end up renting the hut. Even though they have a caravan at the nearby caravan site, it’s not right on the beach and doesn’t have the spectacular views our hut has.

There’s one last bit to this story. Mice had been visiting over the winter, I could see evidence. I really dislike mice inside houses. Would I manage to sleep the night through without being disturbed by them?  Perhaps earplugs would work, then if they did visit, I wouldn’t hear them.

7am the next morning. I did it!

I slept really well, no evidence of mice amazingly enough, and woke feeling so very proud of myself for just getting on and doing it!

So the moral of this story is: don’t let the thought of something difficult, or challenging, or nerve-wracking put you off taking action. Do it anyway, trust that you’ll find a way to cope. Look forward to your own ‘I did it!’ moment, and the repercussions of that.

And I have some questions for you: is there something you want to do that you’ve put off doing because of nerves, fear, anxiety, guilt?  Or any other reason?

What are the elements that have contributed to you not taking action?

What small steps need to happen for you to achieve what you want?

It could be taking the next step forward in your business, it could be daring to experience something you’ve never done before, it could even be hiring a coach!  Whatever it is, I invite you to take the next step you’ve identified right now.

And if you want some help with that, then please do apply for one of just 5 spots I have available this month for complimentary Wild Wisdom sessions, where you will be able to identify:

  • what is holding you back from where you want to be,
  • what you need to do about it
  • the next big and small steps that will take your forward
  • encouragement to take action!

Click here for the link to my online scheduler

These spots are open to anyone, whether you have a business or not, and they tend to go fast, so please claim your place now!

Walking With Non-Knowing As Your Guide

It’s time for another gathering around our women’s fire and I’m feeling very called to bring a subject which I’m learning more about in my own life right now but which is also very present for many women I’m working with.

I’ve been having a rich time in the last few weeks supporting an amazing group of women in my new programme ‘Awaken Your Gift’.

One thing that is a big feature within this group as well as with many of my other clients is they’re being asked by life to face into ‘not-knowing’ and learn how to find their way ‘in the dark’.
Perhaps you are too. Whether you’re clear about your gift and where you’re heading or still discovering what it is, you may find that the practice of ‘not-knowing’ is being firmly planted at the top your to do list!
Not knowing has always been a feature of my life, it’s only my perspective that’s changed. I used to think I was a lot more in control than I ever was. I didn’t look far enough beyond the horizon of what felt safe and familiar to really see the unknown reality out ahead. And of course, the truth is that we don’t ever really know what will happen tomorrow.
But I think learning to navigate our way through the unknown goes way further than just accepting what we don’t yet know.
The fear of not knowing becomes more immediate and intense when we begin to follow our calling and take risks to move outside our comfort zone.  It becomes a practice of handing over control to a higher source of power and trusting that life is going to guide us in ways we can’t yet see (and could often never imagine).
The journey to ‘empowerment’ is a kind of conundrum as I see it. On the one hand we are being asked to take our power back and become the authors of our own lives… and on the other, we’re being asked to surrender it all up and allow the Grace of the Divine to play it’s part.
Hmmm. Interesting paradox. Or is it perhaps just different sides of the same coin?
The latter is what I’ve been exploring. I don’t claim to be an authority on not-knowing. I know others that are far more in the dark about their lives than I feel about mine. I know where I’m sleeping tonight and how I’m going to pay for the groceries next week. I have a full diary for the rest of this year and some core projects emerging for next.
But perhaps that’s why I’d like to share a little more of what’s going on for me right now, because I believe that even when we’re not forced into the night without a torch, we still need to lean consciously into not-knowing. It’s a healthy practice to let go of what we think we know and rest in the open space that allows Grace and inspiration to gift us.

If you feel inspired to join me for this live conversation around our virtual fire, please come on Tuesday 2nd December at 6.30pm GMT to: 

The Women’s Fire: “Walking with ‘not-knowing’ as your guide”

I want to share with you from my own experience:

  • How resistance to ‘not-knowing’, causes stress and too much ‘doing’​
  • How to lean into the fear of ‘not-knowing’ and allow the experience to be empowering​​
  • What it means to surrender more fully to what wants to happen and strengthen your sense of authentic self authorship.
This is an interactive call so please join me live if you can ~ I’d love to hear your experience and questions on this subject! There is also space for some coaching if you need support. Here’s the link to join in:  http://awakeningfeminineleaders.com/womens-fire/

Intend or Plan – what’s the best?

I spent last weekend in a glorious renovated Victorian hunting lodge way up in the uppermost part of Scotland, amongst the heather, lochs and the deer, celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday party. It was a time full of conversation, walking, fine food and wine, and simple, ordinary pleasure.  Here’s a pic:

Tim Slack Appreciating People croppedThe man I’m sitting next to is Tim Slack of Appreciating People . He told me about the idea of Commander’s Intent, a military term used to describe what a successful mission looks like, and it’s not about having a plan and sticking to it.  It’s about having an intention.

Commander’s Intent fully recognizes the chaos, lack of a complete information picture, changes in enemy situation, and other relevant factors that may make a plan either completely or partially obsolete when it is executed. The role of Commander’s Intent is to empower subordinates and guide their initiative and improvisation as they adapt the plan to the changed battlefield environment. Commander’s Intent empowers initiative, improvisation, and adaptation by providing guidance of what a successful conclusion looks like. Commander’s Intent is vital in chaotic, demanding, and dynamic environments.

If we transpose the word ‘successful leader’ instead of commander’s intent, it reads

A successful leader fully recognizes the chaos, lack of a complete information picture, changes in situation, and other relevant factors that may make a plan either completely or partially obsolete when it is executed. The role of a successful leader is to empower others and guide their initiative and improvisation as they adapt the plan to the changed environment. A successful leader empowers initiative, improvisation, and adaptation by providing guidance of what a successful conclusion looks like. A successful leader is vital in chaotic, demanding, and dynamic environments.

You may not recognize yourself as a leader, especially if you are not employing others in your business. But you are – you are the leader of your own organization, even if it is just yourself you are leading. Remember Louise L. Hay, founder of Hay House Publishing, who was 88 just the other day.  She began by self-publishing her ‘Little Blue Book’ way back in the early seventies and running her first workshop for a handful of people in her living room.  She started leading herself, and slowly and steadily, step by step, employed others to help her get her message out to many more people.

So do you have an intention for your business, or do you have a plan?  Perhaps you have neither, of course. The only challenge with neither is that it is very easy to get distracted with tempting opportunities that may lead to you never completing anything, not following up with someone, or ending up wandering around with no sense of accomplishment or purpose. Not that that is bad, of course, but it may be somewhat dissatisfying.

But a plan according to Appreciating People is at the other end of the spectrum, and  too limiting. However, an intention allows for flexibility, clarity of purpose and simplicity.

Which falls in line with the blog post I wrote a while back about ID’s (intention-directions)

Finally, remember Eisenhower’s quote: ‘Plans are nothing, planning is everything’.

So I ask you today – what is your intention for your business over the next three years?  Remember, keep it simple, clear and flexible.

If you can say it one sentence all the better – it can always be padded out. Mine is to enable many more thousands of people to tap into their own Wild Wisdom and use it to affect their businesses and the lives of others in a positive manner – I have various ways I’m currently operating to do that, but in essence that is it.  What’s yours?