This is a presentation I gave for British Telecom as part of their Superfast Broadband initiative.
We all recognise that whatever you’re doing the first step is the hardest to take.
Below are just a few things I want you to think about today, this applies even if your business has been running for a few years but isn’t doing well or not as well as you expected:
- Where do you want you and your business to sit in the marketplace?
- Who are your ideal clients and what do they look and sound like, get specific here.
- What is your number, how much do you need to make each week, month or year to pay your bills and live a full and happy life?
- What is your ‘superpower’, what are you good at and what can you teach, coach or mentor others to do successfully?
- If your business could bring you anything what would it be? Happiness, wealth or a ………… you fill in the blanks?
These are just some of the ways positioning your business and your life can help you really laser focus on what you have to do to make your business and your life a success.
But what if you can’t really do this yourself? What if you don’t have the discipline to really knuckle down and make the business, or your life, work the way you want it to?
Then you need a coach or mentor. It’s a simple as that. Please don’t put this off any longer. If your life or business isn’t living up to your expectations then please find someone who can help you. You can even switch this around. If you think you can help someone achieve their goals and dreams then do it. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than helping someone achieve greatness, trust me.
Wherever you sit, needing help or the ability to give help you owe it to yourself to do it.
Let’s focus on the fact that you need help
Most people who fall into this category never really realise they need help, they blindly go on doing the same thing over and over again, really poorly. Trust me I know through bitter experience.
Find someone who you can work with, it could be a friend or a business person you admire and trust, ask them for advice and be honest about why you’re asking. Tell them your business or life sucks and that you want to do everything thing you can to change it and you want their help.
Once you have asked and got over that initial embarrassment of asking, yes it can be extremely embarrassing, I can guarantee that you will feel 100% better in yourself and your outlook.
Please do not make the mistake of thinking this is a weakness, the amount of people I meet who think admitting they need help, especially in the business world, is a weakness is astounding. Shout it from the rooftops if you have to but get some help.
What are the traits of a good mentor? Here are just a few…
- Empathy, they must have empathy with your situation
- The ability to listen
- Help when help is needed. People and business fail and good mentor is there to help pick you up
- Teach, the ability to teach what they know is key
- Time, a mentor will give you their time until the problem is solved
These are just a few of the characteristics of a good mentor should possess but I am guessing, because you are reading this, that you knew this already, why, because this is exactly the type of person who could help you turn your life and business around.
I will say this again I closing. Don’t leave this to chance because you only have one life…live it happy and live it full and have the business you were meant to have.
Until next time, have a fantastic day.
Business development is one of those mystical and magical things we can never really explain it or get our head around it but its there none the less. We have to at least try it if we want our businesses to grow and enjoy what it brings us as we travel.
To me there are two types of businesses, there is the business you start that you just know you’re going to sell on when the time is right, but you have to have a good exit strategy for this one. Then there is the business that is close to your heart, in fact its run through your heart and this can be the start of your problems.
My very first business was a disaster, I had no idea what I was doing, my small business manager knew less than me, and it ended up closing so I could start a second business that I knew was going to work…or so I thought.
Business Development and You
The very words, business development, can be so confusing to the person just starting out on their journey of discovery.
Why? Because growing a business is only half of it. Why? Because you have to grow with it and this is where the problem lies for most business failures.
You see as the business grows we have the really bad habit of standing still, we get stuck thinking “the business is growing I must be doing something right?” and yes you probably are, but unless you can identify what it is your doing ‘right’ how can you expect to replicate it? You can’t! But more importantly what are you doing wrong? This can put your business in reverse gear really quickly.
This is the main reason for building authority in your niche or marketplace. In fact if your business is growing and the cash is rolling in then you owe it to yourself to spend a little of that cash to help ‘you grow’ and get the help and advice you need to build your authority and position your business correctly. This is where most business failures stem from, the reluctance to carry on learning because we think we ‘know it all’. Wake up call…none of us do.
Yes I did this too, I took my eye off the ball and that’s why my first business failed, I didn’t grow with it I was off doing other things.
As an artist I thought all I had to do was paint my pictures and people would buy them…simple. It’s not! I didn’t do anything about positioning my business where I could charge more for my paintings. I didn’t know how to build my perceived authority as the ‘go to’ artist in my marketplace and the funny thing was I had everything at my finger tips to do it.
I was taking people on painting holidays, I was teaching people how to paint, from beginners to advanced levels. I had everything there and didn’t use it. It was 1997 and this new thing called ‘the internet’ had arrived and I was consumed by it. I wanted to get my painting online asap although there wasn’t a hope in hell with an 8k modem and nothing to compress the pictures with. But that didn’t stop me.
I carried on with this obsession to the detriment of my business, in fact I ended up working in most major cities in the UK as a website designer, so in fact my art helped me with get started with my second business.
My big regret was that I didn’t stick to what I was good at, watercolour painting. I love the web but painting is my passion. If I had learned everything I could about business and personal development back then I doubt I would be on the path I’m on now. It’s not too late for me to take up painting again but whether I would ever do it professionally again is in doubt. But you never know.
Business development doesn’t just mean your business it means you have to grow with it too, its personal development. This is just as important. With growth comes position and you must know how to position yourself and your business correctly or it will fail.
Getting into the right frame of mind is key also because when your business starts to grow yes you can enjoy it but you have to be continually thinking about the next stage, how do you get there and what will it take to first maintain that level and then move on to the next. This is how most entrepreneurs build their businesses, they never stop learning.
I hope this has given you some food for thought on how to build authority and position your business? Development is important for all of us and we should never stop learning or growing.
Until next time have a great day.
So we finished part one of How to Position Your Business for Success on getting really clear on your desired positioning. In this post we will construct a sentence or two that helps you define this. If you haven’t read part one can I suggest you do as it will make more sense once you have. You can find it here
Let’s go back a step and think about our guy introducing us to our audience and what do we want him to say about us that tell the audience everything they need to know?
This simple process is a great way to define your positioning really quickly so feel free to use it.
Here is an example of what I would want someone to say if they were introducing me, feel free to use and adapt it.
Ladies and gentlemen Keith McMean is the most sought after online Business Authority Builder and Business Positioning Consultant (this is where I am telling them my superhero identity and what my superpowers are, to an extent)
I am known for building authority for businesses and for positioning their business correctly in the marketplace so I am saying up front so there is no mistake.
I also want to define it a little more for my niche so I add in there ‘online’. If I was doing this for brick and mortar businesses I would leave ‘online’ out.
Keith is famous for building authority and positioning businesses from start up’s to global corporations (this is my super power)
That gives organisations brand loyalty and goodwill (this is what I stand for)
Without being overbearing or ‘pushy’ (this is what I stand against)
This also works as a fantastic ‘pre framer’ before anyone even meets you they know what you stand for and what ou stand against.
I use this throughout my website and any promotional material I put out for me or on behalf of my clients.
This simple exercise is a great way to really define what your positioning is in the marketplace.
The next phase is called pre framing and if you’re interested in finding out exactly what ‘pre framing’ is, drop a comment below and I might just write another series of articles on it.
Until next time have a great day.
Speaking with so many clients, and potential clients, it strikes me that not a lot of them know how to position their business, they might think they do but sadly so many get it wrong. So I’ll ask the question “do you know how to position your business for success?”
As a small company it’s natural to be concerned about other things rather than branding, but this can be a mistake, I’ll leave that for another post as it really does need a lot of explaining.
What we are more concerned with is delivering as much value and goodwill to our clients and customers as possible and make some money in the process.
So it’s only natural that you want your marketplace or niche to think about you in the right way, this is ‘positioning’.
I do a lot of work as a speaker and mentor but it’s in my speaking job where this really kicks in and where I can illustrate how this works.
If I’m just about to go onstage I want to make sure that the person introducing me ‘gets it right’. In that I mean I want them to introduce me to the audience so they have no doubts who I am and what I do. I was at a gig once and the person introducing me didn’t really get what I did so I knew I had to change it so everyone did. I had to simplify it and distil it down so that it made complete sense to everyone. You have to do the same.
So you really need that one person to know what you do so they can tell everyone in the audience. Do you see why this is really important because you could be talking to say a thousand people in an auditorium but if you think social media you could be talking to millions of people, your positioning has to be right and it has to be clear?
So you have to work it out right, your positioning? Here are a few tips to get you started.
You need to know what your superpower is. Superman could fly and he had x-ray vision, amongst other things, but yours might be:
- You might provide great mentorship programs
- You might have a super app for Facebook or Twitter
- Your client conversation skills could be fantastic
- Your conversion rate could be 100%?
- You might even be a magnificent blogger
The point is you know but does your marketplace know what your good at.
Everyone knows Tony Robbins, he’s the WHY guy, everyone knows Mark Zuckerberg he’s the Facebook guy, how many other social media platform founders are better known than him, I mean other than to geeks 😉
So are you Superman or Batman? You need to work this out so everyone else does.
I am known for helping businesses build authority and position for success, what I’m doing now. Do you know who you are and what you do? Well you can define it, just so long as it’s true, no making it up now. Because what your marketplace or niche perceive you as is really going to super increase everything you do from now on, believe me I’ve seen it happen so many times.
The next thing you need to understand is what do you stand for, I mean something that your ‘rock solid’ on and then what don’t you stand for. Takes a little time to come up with it but you’ll get there.
So I want you now to think about the audience waiting for me (or you) to go onstage, they have absolutely no idea who you or I are. We need to get this across, we need to make a good first impression. What do we want the person introducing us to say?
The best way is to be really clear on your desired positioning. You need to be so clear that you can live your life by it. This is a great way to make sense of it.
- Which superhero are you?
- What are your powers?
- What do you stand for?
- What do you NOT stand for?
In the next post I’ll show you how to craft all this in a sentence or two. I’ll explain what you do and why. I will fill in the blanks for you.
Until next time have a fantastic day.
I wanted to ask if you have used the LinkedIn ‘create a post’ facility yet and if not why not?
I have published a few posts so far and will continue to do so, why, because it’s a fantastic way to reach the people I want to work with, build authority and position my business for success.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “what about Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus?” well they are good too but not quite as good and here’s why:
Twitter – it’s great for headlines and for catching up but is it really the place to start a conversation to make sales? Although I will say I haven’t tried the paid advertising route yet. I find the 140 characters so limiting. I won’t stop using it, it’s just that my style of engagement requires something a little longer and more substantial. I do know businesses who use twitter exclusively and do ok so don’t write it off just yet. Let me know if you disagree and why.
Facebook – since Mr Zuckerberg decided to ‘float’ the company anyone with a business page has to advertise to make any real impact and I really think the days of ‘free advertising’ are coming to an end on the internet. I have tried both paid and unpaid on Facebook and the reach without paying is poor to say the least. Yes you can target a specific audience, which is great, but I am still not convinced that businesses go on there to find a consultant, but again I may be wrong. I could write a whole article on Facebook and maybe I will.
Google Plus – I love G+, the conversations are better, well not better just deeper, and of course its Google but as everything has changed recently with the ‘dropping’ of authorship I am not sure if it’s worth putting the time in any more to gain clients. Again I will do further research and let you know but if you think differently let me know.
LinkedIn – well for me this is the new ‘leader’ in social connectedness. Now I have often told my clients and attendees at workshops and keynote’s that Facebook and LinkedIn are ‘walled gardens’ they both only serve the people who are in there. But let’s think for a moment the people who are in LinkedIn are businesses and lots of them. You don’t have to search very far for businesses like you do on the other platforms, if you’re a business it’s all there ready to be worked on. Yes you can use the other platforms to find people and engage with them but it’s the finding that takes all the time and effort and even then you’re never really sure if you’ve got it right.
LinkedIn does offer ‘paid for’ advertising, I will be trying it before very long, but as a consultant I can honestly say that in over four years since I changed from website building, all my clients have come from LinkedIn, with the exception of three or four. So why should I use anything else?
One thing I would love to see them change is the ability to edit the mainstream updates. The amount of mistakes I make and then can’t correct them. I guess I’m not the only one who would like to see that function too. I would also like to see a LinkedIn version of Google hangouts so we can talk to each other inside the platform that would be cool.
When building authority online or trying to position your business LinkedIn is a great place to start, especially now that you can use it as a blog, because it is already full of the people and businesses you are trying to reach so it makes it that little bit easier, you don’t have to do too much searching but you still have to keep in mind the goals for your business.
There are a few things I would change on LinkedIn, as I would on the other platforms, but for now the ability to post articles has raised the LinkedIn game a few notches, so use it and benefit from it.
If you would like to know more about LinkedIn and how to get started I wrote this post a while ago, it’s still relevant, but why not add a comment or ask a question below because it’s that type of engagement I love.
Have a great day.
When you have a lot on your plate, either professionally or personally, is there a difference? It’s surprising just how much other stuff you can mess with your head?
I have been involved helping businesses build authority and position their business for success for a few years now but it seems that every day I am asked to get involved in ‘other stuff’. This again can be both personal and business but where do you stop before you pull yourself apart trying to please everyone?
I have a little system that I’ll share with you today, it’s not complicated, if fact it’s really easy if you stick to its principals. I call it my opportunity versus cost system. What does that mean?
Well every opportunity that comes along has a cost attached to it. The cost can be monetary or it can be time dependent but I can tell you with certainty that there is a cost.
So how do you know which opportunity to take and which to let go? It’s hard when you are presented with so much choice. Let’s get something straight before we move on, it could be that you haven’t had an opportunity come your way yet. Don’t worry you will, everyone does, you just have to be ready to deal with it when it arrives.
Here’s what I do when opportunity knocks.
I decide two things, how much of my time will it take and how much money can I potentially make from it? These are the two things that drive my decision.
You see if the ‘time versus money equation is out of sync then no matter how much time I put into it I’m never going to make any money from it. But if it’s very little time for a lot of money then it’s a no brainer and I’m in.
But how do you decide which opportunities will give the highest return. I rely on something that’s served me well over the years but people don’t use very often or worse, they don’t trust it.
My gut instinct.
Yep if my gut tells me “go for it, what’s the worst that can happen?” then I generally do. The only thing that will stop me dead in my tracks is the people I am about to work with.
If I don’t like or can’t work with the people proposing the ‘opportunity’ then it’s ‘see you later I’m out’. I have been known to last all of five minutes in meetings and then I’m off. Life’s far too short to spend time doing the things that you either don’t like or want or will not make you any money. It’s a hard rule but you have to start somewhere or else you spend hours in meetings listening to people you know you aren’t going to work with.
Can you imagine sitting in a room with Richard Branson and he doesn’t like you or your idea, how long would you last? Not long is my guess.
You are no different your time is precious so spend it wisely doing the things you love and what makes you money.
I told you it’s a simple process, there are lots of other ways of dealing with opportunity vs. cost but I thought I would share this one with you so you can at least get started on not being a slave to opportunity, because it really does come with a cost.
Have a great day.
It seems to be that over on Google Plus, where I am most active, there is a war raging about if G+ will cease to exist in its current form? I think it will change as we have see all social channels change but one thing I am sure about if you sell your services or products online then you need a website and an email list to survive.
The changes are just too often and too rapid to make it worthwhile doing anything else.
I can see the point of having your business on social channels as a promotional tool but what I would say is don’t get too hung up on having everything on there.
For us ‘marketers’ there are examples to follow everywhere. Just take a look at the top five people in your niche and find out what they are doing. In mine they are putting all their ‘quality’ content on their websites and then using social to point people back to it. This is by far the best way of doing it and then you keep control of everything you have.
Let’s be honest the changes that are made to your ‘system’ are made by you and not a third party.
Keep this in mind as you build your social marketing strategy and plan for the future. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
Social is here to stay you just have to decide how you use it in your business and why…the why is the most important question you can ask yourself and your staff
Take time to think about this and choose the channels that make most sense to you, don’t be put off by what friends or colleagues say about a particular channel, none of them are ‘the total solution’ believe me, choose carefully and you will be rewarded.
Only choose, at most, three after this you will see burn out of channels will not be updated and this is worse than not being on them. Again I know I have done the same.
Only post when it suits you and your audience, sounds strange doesn’t it, but trying to be everywhere all the time is exhausting and futile. Survey your audience on when it best suits them ask them questions, they’ll love you for it. Don’t think just because you are the ‘expert’ that you know everything…you don’t…none of us do! Asking questions will give you the answers you need to connect deeply with your tribe and to give them what they need from you.
I want you to take your time with this, don’t rush it and if you need any help at all please just ask a in the comments box below.
Have a fantastic Sunday!
Do you find it strange how your business changes around you? You set out wanting to provide one service and end up providing another.
Here’s an example: two years ago I decided to stop offering websites as they were too time consuming and kept me away from what I love doing, consultancy. For me the consultancy side of the business is where it’s at, I love working with people, I am not one for the solitary confinement of an office bashing out WordPress sites.
So what do you think happens as soon as I tell the world that “that’s it no more websites, don’t ask and then you won’t be offended by the reply” sort of thing? I get more enquiries that I can handle. Now I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth so now I have Umpa Lumpa’s building them for me in a shed at the bottom of the garden, only kidding no Umpa Lumpa’s were harmed in the making of any of my websites.
But like I said it’s the consultancy side of things that rocks my boat. So as a marketer, what does that even mean? I thought to myself “who says scarcity doesn’t work?” I reckon it does and this proves it.
Now I am not advocating being a ‘jack of all trades’ not at all but think about what you offer right now and how you offer it. I was known for building websites for about 6 years and then I decided to stop and what happens, everybody their mother want one.
So as a test I decided to change the main website and ‘strip it bare’ I did this yesterday, it will have to run a while to get some results that mean anything, but I thought if people can’t see a way to ask about me building websites for them will this deter them? Now I know what you’re thinking “he’s as mad as a box of frogs” why would I turn cash down? Simple as I said earlier I don’t really like building websites, but I know lots of people who do, no not Umpa Lumpa’s.
To me it’s all about ‘positioning your business to how you want to be perceived’. I want to be perceived as a ‘high end’ consultant because that’s what I am. So building websites isn’t really contributing to that perception.
So what I am saying in a roundabout way is, scarcity and positioning are key ingredients to making your businesses what you want it to be. Stop doing the things you don’t like to do, or ‘ship them out to someone who does’ and do the things you love doing and you will be rewarded with spiritual and financial happiness. I have said from day one of being in businesses “don’t chase the money, let it chase you”.
I can guess whatever your charging right now for your services and products you could at least double it and still make a ton of money…why? Because people want to work with the best and will pay to do it. How do they know you’re the best, you might be thinking? Over deliver that’s how! Don’t tell them you’re the best, show them you’re the best. Actions speak louder than words my friends so go and ‘over deliver’ on everything you do and you will reap the rewards.
Now, who mentioned a website 😉
Whatever you’re up to have a fantastic day!