Small Business Coaching for Women, Small Business Mentor - Client Attraction

The Client Attraction Blog

Hire assistants that will keep you sane

Fabienne Fredrickson
May 26, 2015

Hiring assistants is a big part of leveraging your business to grow faster. You can’t be everywhere or do everything yourself. At some point, you will not have the bandwidth or physical ability to get it all done alone. Many small business owners struggle with how to hire an assistant and what that person’s responsibilities should be.

I have found hiring mistakes tend to happen when you compromise on what you need from your staff. There are times when you get frustrated because you can’t find the exact mix of skills and personality you desire. As a result, you decide the person in front of you is good enough. Sometimes that is true, but other times it turns out to be a disaster.

My first assistant helped with a variety of tasks. This worked okay for a while, but did lead to frustrating situations. Trouble cropped up when I tried to have one person take on several different roles. Often one area would go well, while other responsibilities weren’t handled with the same excellence. Usually the person wasn’t wired to do both aspects of the job. Segmenting the roles and responsibilities was more effective.

I discovered that it’s natural for people to excel at certain tasks, which is why it makes sense to let them shine where they do a good job. Then, I would pass on other activities to people who are good at those things. As my business grew, I started hiring different assistants to handle very specific assignments.

This kept me sane, to tell you the truth. Even though it meant I had to oversee more staff members, it actually made things a lot easier for me. I didn’t have to teach anyone the skills sets – I hired people who already had them.

I put together a document for myself called Virtual Team Components. The list included each virtual assistant (VA), the job function they performed and duties expected of them. Here’s an example of possible job functions:

Virtual Team Components
VA #1: Operations Manager
VA #2: Client Contact and Client Relations Manager
VA #3: Technology Manager
VA #4: Membership Site Coordinator
VA #5: Social Media Manager, etc.

I call this “going vertical” in terms of organizing your staff and the jobs they perform. Allowing your people to focus on what they do well will help keep you sane in the whirlwind that is your business.

Your Client Attraction Assignment

If you are ready to start hiring assistants, take time first to segment the roles and responsibilities. You can start small and add more help as needed. Isolating the tasks will help you find the right person for each role rather than force fitting the VA to several job functions.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

Five steps for smooth employee transitions

Fabienne Fredrickson
May 12, 2015

EmployeeTraining-SmallAs a business owner, you have to make a lot of tough decisions. One of them is when to let someone go or hire someone new for your team. If you plan this well, you can create a system for employee transitions, having the person who is leaving actually train your new hire.

Let me share an example. One of my students followed this series of steps for bringing on a new social media manager.

1. Put training in the contract. In the employment contract, a new team member is made aware that part of the responsibility will be to train a replacement should you part ways. This sends a clear message that people will explain duties and responsibilities of the position before departing the company.

2. Create a checklist. Have your current team member develop a checklist for all training that will be covered. This will work like a table of contents and can go at the beginning of all documentation for the position. For social media, you would include how often to post on each platform, details if you use a scheduler, credentials and passwords, etc.

3. Write an operations manual. Have the employee write the operations manual for the position, explaining all duties and responsibilities. This must be specific, going over all the actual tasks they complete as part of that job. Now you’ll have a handbook so someone new can look up how to do a particular task. Documenting the duties is extremely helpful for creating a smooth transition between employees and having a reference guide once the transition has been completed.

4. Set up a calendar for upcoming projects. Have your new team member work with your outgoing employee to create a calendar of the projects that are coming up. This ensures everything is planned and organized so your new employee knows what needs to be accomplished without any gaps. For example, with social media, you can plan Facebook posts that cover promotional messaging, content sharing and posting of photos for a few months into the future.

5. Schedule web sessions. If your team is not on site, using software like GoToMeeting allows employees to share screens for training purposes. This is excellent hands-on training so the new hire can see exactly how things are done. Many people learn best by actually going through the steps.

Here are a number of safeguards to keep in mind:
• On occasion, when there is a problem with an employee, make sure there isn’t going to be a lot of animosity while training the new hire. If you pick up on this, you may need to rethink your training process.
• Watch over how the training is going. Ask your new hire if there are any unanswered questions.
• Make sure your operations manual document is locked, so that once it’s finished, no one can change it or sabotage the process.
• Be sure to review the manual to ensure everything is in there and nothing gets left out or overlooked.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
Do you have training or operations manuals for all the positions in your company? If not, make that one of the goals for your next 90-day plan. This is a big project for your employees, so be sure you give them enough time to complete it and do a thorough job.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

Two key factors to keep in mind during your business expansion

Fabienne Fredrickson
May 5, 2015

Business Expansion-SmallWhen I talk to students who need to start leveraging or expanding their businesses, I often refer to where they are as being “in the soup.” It feels like you are swimming in a mess of things that need attention, and keeping your head above water (or the “soup”) is hard. This is a challenging time for most small business owners.

In addition to working with clients, you have all the back office work, and many owners say they are working practically 24/7. No one wants that! I’ve had students talk about losing friendships, not getting the exercise they need and not taking any time off. Or, they feel stressed out with no end in sight. This is when you know something has to change.

The shift begins as you get clear about your new direction. Maybe you want a system that automates a particular process or need to hire staff to create a team. Your business might require more structure for running certain programs. Sometimes business owners need to duplicate what they do so they can step aside to let the team handle day-to-day tasks and work on the bigger picture.

A team will help you stop working so hard “in your business” so you can start to work “on your business.” That’s where the business expansion really starts to show up. When you’re ready to leverage your business and create systems, your business requires two very important elements:

1. Planning
2. Patience

Plan your moves step by step
One way to ensure you start on the path to leveraging your business is to creat a 90-day action plan. After you decide on your goals, map out the steps to get the changes underway. That’s the beauty of planning. Once you define your direction, you can clearly see what needs to be done next.

Seeing what needs to get done is one thing… making it happen is another, and it can still feel overwhelming. Breaking your plan down into manageable pieces helps you feel these smaller steps are very doable. Take time to map out the steps so you can attack them one at a time. Your 90-day plan organizes the work, provides a time frame and gives you a date for completion.

Patience is more than a virtue
Executing your plan will take time. Creating systems and adding structure – these types of business changes don’t happen overnight. This is why patience is essential for you to carry out your vision for expansion. You cannot hurry the transition if you want it done well.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
My students in the Leverage Track of The Client Attraction Business School often have a buddy for support and accountability. When you share your 90-day plan with your buddy, you are making it real and putting it out there into the world. Find a friend who will help you stay on track (and you will do the same for him or her) so you both complete your 90-day plans.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

Three essential ways to avoid entrepreneurial burnout

Fabienne Fredrickson
April 7, 2015

Burnout-SmallAs a business owner working towards reaching the six-figure mark, you may run the risk of working yourself into the ground. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs as you revamp and tweak things to get to the next level. The problem is that when you work so hard that you start to burn out and deplete your energy, you actually can become “client unattractive” instead of “client attractive.”

Speaking for myself, when this happens I become cranky, resentful and sort of snappy… This is not the right energy or mindset for client attraction.

Here is the number one most important thing for you to realize as a self-employed individual:

There is no such thing as a completed to-do list.

Maybe this is possible in the corporate world, but it’s not for business owners. We always have more ideas about how to grow the company. That’s why it makes sense to follow these strategies to avoid overdoing things.

1. Set boundaries. When it’s getting late in the day and you are at the end of your rope, ask yourself, “Will anyone be harmed if I don’t complete this today?” This may sound like I’m going against my “no excuses” approach, but it’s different really…

Of course I want you to be willing to do what others are not willing to do and take the no excuses approach. The question is, “At what price?” You have a life, and you may have a spouse and children. Overtaxing yourself is not fair to anybody, especially you.

That’s why you must draw the line in the sand and have an end time to your day. At 5:30 or 6 or 7 P.M., you are done. Anything beyond this time will not be nearly as productive as you could be if you approached the task the next day after some rest. Make this end time non-negotiable and stick to it relentlessly.

2. Carve out time for business development. Sometimes the problem has to do with working in your business vs. working on it. That’s why I would rather carve out a day to focus on business development then try cramming it in late at night. In the end, overworking limits your ability to listen for the divine guidance you need. When you are too busy, you start ignoring the signs and gentle guidance. Set aside time to work on your business and separate this from your daily activities.

3. Understand your to-do list is never done. Sometimes you have to let yourself off the hook and the hardest boundary is often with yourself. Your to-do list will not get finished today – and that’s OK. If you rest and keep yourself energized, you’ll stay healthy and enthusiastic to tackle that list tomorrow. Your quality of life is very important. On occasion you may choose to work late, but not on a regular basis, so as to enjoy other aspects of life as well.

Your Client Attraction Assignment

Create a list of standards and terms of what you will accept for your life. Set boundaries and rules for yourself around these things and then stick to them to avoid burnout. It really is just as simple as that, and it will make all the difference in your quality of life.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

Five steps to grow from a private practice to group programs

Fabienne Fredrickson
March 12, 2015

5 steps to grow from a private practice to working with groupsAre you looking to attract clients and leverage your business? Students often ask me how I made the shift from working with private clients one-on-one to working with group programs. This transition is what the Leverage Track of The Client Attraction Business School is all about. So, I want to share with you the steps I took so you can plan ahead for how you too can make this shift.

1. Fill Your private practice. From networking in groups like Business Networking International (BNI), to sending out your warm letter to everyone you know, to speaking gigs, you need to market your business. The first step in this chain is to fill your business’ pipeline so you have a steady stream of clients and income.

2. Create your proprietary system. Next, I created my proprietary system. The system contained my 10 steps to attract clients and fill your pipeline. For your own proprietary system, this content should be all yours, which is what gives you total ownership of it and makes it proprietary.

3. Hold a one-day boot camp. I’m going to be really transparent with you. I had a hard time getting around to completing the writing of my proprietary system. (It actually took about three years.) So one day, I decided to promote a live, one-day boot camp event. That gave me a final date that I was forced to meet! The boot camp ended up being a big hit with 22 students present  – and it was great for my business too.

4. Hold the boot camp as a teleclass. Once the system had been completed for the live one-day boot camp, I could offer the material by teleclass as well. The boot camp was 10 weeks long, one step per week, and I offered it several times a year. I taught people all over the country and actually outside the US as well.

5. Promote your system as a home study course. With everything prepared for the boot camp, I now had a package I could promote in other ways too. I began selling my system as a home study course with a downloadable PFD, which included everything I provided in the 10-week boot camp for just $127.

So as you can see, I worked with private clients, moved on to present my program live to the boot camp attendees, taught groups by teleclass and then sold the PDF for people who wanted to learn on their own or needed a lower price point. Everything was based on the same material, but provided in different formats to meet the needs of even more people.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
Have you created your proprietary system yet? As you can see, it’s the foundation for building your business and attracting clients. Your system will share your message and method with so many more people. Don’t wait as long as I did to complete this project – get going today!

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

How to stay on track with marketing efforts

Fabienne Fredrickson
February 10, 2015

shutterstock_215934253When you are a business owner, saying there is “a lot to do” is an understatement. Working with clients, creating products, networking and speaking can keep you incredibly busy. So how do you stay on track so your marketing materials get out there on a regular basis?

1. Hire someone to do your writing
Some people recommend that you let go of writing and hire someone to do it for you. This frees up your time to focus on other income-producing tasks. Sometimes it’s difficult to give up this control, but you can provide your writer with notes and your materials so he or she can emulate your voice and follow your formulas.

2. Schedule a recurring appointment in your calendar
For marketing pie projects that need to be completed on a regular basis, schedule them into your calendar. For example, Thursday morning from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., you’ll write your ezine for the next week. Just book the time for the entire year and you’ll never forget to do these projects.

3. Respect your calendar
Scheduling tasks in your calendar is one thing – following through is another. You need to honor appointments with yourself for this system to work. You also need to not go past the time allotted. So, if you are on a roll and want to keep going, you need to look at what is next in your calendar to be sure you are free to do so.

As entrepreneurs, stopping when you feel like you are on a roll can be tough. Most business owners don’t want to be restricted. We like to be free and don’t want to do what anyone else tells us. That’s why you have your own business right? Yet, you’re going to have to work on projects simply because they are scheduled, even if you don’t feel like it. Otherwise, you may not find the time.

4. Systems Provide Freedom
This is about commitment, scheduling and staying within your boundaries. Your schedule needs to be systematized and non-negotiable. If you do this, you’ll discover that systems provide you with freedom.

People avoid them because they think it’s too much structure and routine, but those two things are what give you the freedom to make sure you’re not working at 1:00 a.m. Instead, you’ll get your projects done during the workday in the time you’ve scheduled.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
What are the standard marketing pie items you do weekly or monthly? Make a list of these tasks and determine what days and times are best to accomplish them. Next, schedule them into your calendar. Follow this schedule to stay on track with marketing efforts.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

Five strategies for business-to-business marketing

Fabienne Fredrickson
February 3, 2015

five-strategies-for-business-to-business-marketingWhen your business serves other businesses, the marketing methods you need to reach your potential clients are different than for a consumer-oriented businesses.

For example, with business-to-business (B2B), you know your ideal clients are probably not hanging out on Facebook during the day. Instead, you are more likely to find prospects on LinkedIn because that social media platform is all about business.

It’s very important to look at where your people are spending time and go where they are. That’s why networking is huge for B2B marketing. I recommend these top five marketing tips to build your client base and increase revenue:

1. Use LinkedIn. Reach out to your connections and ask them to help you meet others you can serve.
2. Live Networking. Meeting people face-to-face is always a good marketing practice. After meeting new people, be sure to follow up with an email or note and connect on LinkedIn.
3. Update Your Status. Stay in front of your LinkedIn connections by updating your status, recommending articles you read or even by writing a blog post.
4. Stay in Touch. To stay top-of-mind with new prospects, use a variety of marketing tools such as your newsletter, ezine or monthly warm letter campaigns.
5. Have Coffee. Once you make a good connection, make it a regular practice to ask the person to have coffee to get to know him or her even better. Ask what you can do to help, which will make a favorable impression and build lasting and productive relationships.

Now, that’s not to say that other, traditional types of marketing won’t be of help. Of course a good website is essential, complete with a Free Irresistible Offer to build your list of prospects. But, when it comes to B2B marketing, so much can be done in person and through the five suggestions listed above.

Knowing where to reach your prospects helps you focus on the marketing tools that will be most effective. That saves you time and money. It’s OK not to do every kind of marketing, and being selective is smart. Many times, it boils down to simple common sense.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
What do you know about your ideal clients? Spend time investigating where you might find them. Ask a few trusted colleagues to brainstorm with you and make a plan. It makes sense to go where your prospects are most likely to congregate. Anything you can do to focus your efforts on reaching people likely to hire you is a wise move.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here.

The next step: what to do with clients who finish your program

Fabienne Fredrickson
January 20, 2015

The next step: what to do with clients that finish your programsIf you have packages and programs, you will ultimately have clients who finish or complete their initial program. You may wonder, “What can I do with these clients next?” They are a valuable group of prospects since they have already invested in working with you.

Of course you could create a whole new program or a more advanced level of your work. But, another valid and smart option to get repeat clients is to simply ask them if they would like to continue the program they are in.

I was part of a coaching program with somebody for four years. This year, I renewed for the second year of the coaching program I was in last year. Why did I do this? I got great value! The first year was more foundational, but the second year was where I really started to soar.

As a big believer in sticking with what works, I think it’s just smart to keep going. Otherwise, your clients who stop are likely to stagnate and their results will slow too. On the other hand, if they keep working with you, they will create compound results based on the success they achieved in the first stage of your program.

In reality, you are actually doing your clients a disservice if you don’t invite them to continue working with you.

To get more clients, you may also want to create a maintenance program. Let’s say you had three or four sessions a month in the original program… the maintenance series could be once a month. You can say, “You know, I also have a maintenance program to keep your toes in the water. It’s a six month (or whatever time frame you offer) program and it includes…”

During this conversation, follow up your suggestion of continuing the work by reviewing their accomplishments. Look at their progress in your program and the great impact it had on their business – this can be very motivating. Have them share their goals for the next 12 months so they can start to see how your support would continue to be invaluable.

One thing to avoid is creating a group program, like a Q&A monthly call. This is particularly true if you don’t have a big enough list of clients who completed a program. What often happens is that even if they sign up, most choose not to attend. They may call in to listen to the recording, rather than participate in the live call. What happens if you could get only two people showing up for the actual call with questions? That can be a very tough hour-long call.

The best solution to get repeat clients is to invite them to continue the program they’ve been in or try the maintenance idea. That’s what I’ve discovered with my own programs.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
To get clients to sign up again, make sure to suggest advancement as a standard part of your series wrap-up. Plan to review what they learned and achieved and how it’s smart to keep going while business is growing.

This is just one of the many best practices we dive deep into with the students of The Client Attraction Business School, the premier training school for growth-minded entrepreneurs looking to quickly attract more clients and make more money. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.ClientAttractionBusinessSchool.com for more details. To speak to an enrollment coach, click here

Three simple ideas for video content

Fabienne Fredrickson
January 8, 2015

three-simple-video-content-ideasVideo is becoming increasingly important in your marketing mix. When you use video, potential clients can see who you are and decide if they like you. Since people work with those they know, like and trust, it makes sense that video is a must.

Simple video content ideas
Not sure what to talk about in your videos? That’s easy! Here are three simple ideas for engaging video content:

1. What keeps your ideal client up at night? Think about what your ideal clients need to know most. What answers are they searching for? What wakes them up at night? (I call this the “3-am-sweats.”) Make a list of these questions and come up with your best answers. Narrow down the length of your answer to get that one smart tidbit that’s easy to communicate.

2. Give easy strategies to achieve a goal. If you have a number of simple steps to share, these are perfect for a video series. Keep the information very short and simple for potential clients.

3. Tell a story. People love a good story. As you determine what to share in your videos, think about how to tell the story. This is the ideal place for testimonials and sharing your client success stories.

Where to use video
Video will work across many marketing venues:
•Replace written newsletters with video
•Post video on Facebook. To increase engagement, ask fans to share their burning questions and then answer them in video!
•Greet visitors on your website’s homepage
•Share on LinkedIn and Twitter

Video Made Easy
Here’s what I did to make it easy to create videos. I set up a small “video studio” at my office. My studio includes a background that’s always set up, good lighting, a teleprompter and a tripod to hold the camera. If you can, leave everything set up in your studio so you can easily take the stage when you’re ready to record.

Another great idea is to keep these items on hand so you have everything you need to get ready for last minute videos:

•Makeup
•Hair styling tools and hair spray
•Mirror
•Extra clothes

Your Client Attraction Assignment
Is video part of your 2015 Marketing Pie™? I encourage you to think seriously about this. If you are already shooting videos, take time to set up your studio so you’re ready to roll. If video is a new venture, remember you can make a quick video with most smart phones. Don’t sweat the details, just smile and shoot. Perfection is not required to have this marketing tool work for you.

Five ways to handle a price increase with clients

Fabienne Fredrickson
December 23, 2014

five-ways-to-handle-a-price-increase-with-clientsWhen it’s time to raise your prices, many questions come up. Many of my students ask me how to figure out the best way to tell current clients that rates are changing.

First, you know it’s time to raise your prices if you get feedback about the amazing value you provide. Sometimes people just tell you straight out they think you should charge more. Another indicator is when your practice starts to fill up or you have a waiting list. That’s a sure sign you can start to charge more!

Naturally, there is a big concern about how your current clients will react to an increase. Here are five ways to handle this change with existing clients and prospects as well:

1. Grandfathering. What I have done with my own clients is to let them know prices are going up. However, I also tell them that since we are already working together, they are “grandfathered in” at the original price. This usually is a relief for them and promotes a feeling of good will among customers.

2. New Price after a Gap. Here’s another way to handle a price increase with current clients. While they are working with you, the old price holds. But if they decide to take a break, you can tell them the new rates will take affect when they return. This can be an incentive to continue working together so clients can keep the old fee structure.

3. New Client Fees. While you may not want to ruffle feathers of existing clients, definitely tell new prospects about your new higher fee structure. Most likely they are unaware this is a new level for you and will assume this is how you normally do business.

4. Announce the Increase. You can state an upcoming fee increase to prospects in your newsletter. Communicating the new rates can work to your advantage. An email like this can encourage fence-sitters to become customers so they get in on the old, lower rates before the adjustment occurs.

5. Let Go of Clients. As your fees increase, there may be some clients who were at the old fee that you decide to drop. This is not mean at all. It’s just business. If you find your old fees no longer serve you and an existing client doesn’t want to move forward at the new rate, it might be time to wrap up your work together. Deciding not to accommodate that person is OK because, ultimately, it’s your decision.

Pricing requires testing and I am always trying different ways to set my rates. There is no definitive way to price. Students always ask me how to price their service or product and I have to explain there is no formula that works for everyone, every service and product or every client. That’s why you need to test and tweak to get your fee just right.

Your Client Attraction Assignment
Over time, prices for everything go up. While you can make more money by getting more clients, you can also generate more cash by raising your rates. Don’t be afraid to increase your prices when the timing feels right. Follow these five methods so the shift can go as smoothly as possible.

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