My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
I recently attended LaunchCon 2017, and my notebook is stuffed with takeaways I’m excited to share with y’all!
A quick rundown: LaunchCon is hosted by Jeff Walker, creator of the Product Launch Formula, a system used by thousands of entrepreneurs in hundreds of different niches and markets to create hugely successful, million-dollar product launches.
The conference was jam-packed with so many valuable lessons and inspirational moments I just have to share them!
I’ve struggled with this in the past because I’ve been thinking about my why intellectually, not emotionally. When we’re differentiating ourselves, we can talk all day about our education, our skills and expertise, the tools we use, our team and the many other factors we might think make us different. But what truly differentiates you is your ability to connect emotionally with potential and current clients. When they hire you, they’re really supporting and buying you!
So, the question is: Do you really know yourself? Your ‘why’ is your purpose, your anchor, and your hook. It’s what drives you to be successful in your business. Your ‘why’ has emotion behind it, and you can build the foundation for your brand on it.
After attending LaunchCon, I’m finally starting to figure out what my ‘why’ truly is. I like to feel valued and useful. I like my clients to feel relieved that they’ve found someone to help them, as well as grateful and supported. I want them to feel that they have someone who’s emphatically cheering them on, and that they don’t have to find all the answers themselves. Take the time to figure out your ‘why’, connect with it, and proudly show it to the world!
My why is in strongly supporting other heart centered entrepreneurs in developing and implementing their own whys, giving them back the time they need to focus on their own area of genius. I build a foundation for them on which their business can grow and thrive in ways they have not yet imagined. I am here to be a light in the dark so they never feel lost or alone in determining their next steps and how to take them.
Writing a business plan, launching a website or product, or finally sending that proposal to someone we’d love to work with gets our hearts pounding in exhilaration, but also often brings on feelings of fear and self-doubt. Are the colours and branding just right? Did we capture just the right tone, and triple-check our spelling? Will your prospect feel a connection with you and jump at the chance to put you on a retainer?
We get nervous because we pour 100% of ourselves into the things we release to the world, and there’s an inherent risk that some of them may fail. We have to learn to take those risks anyway, because they help you grow.
Something I’ve heard said often is “when you don’t move forward, you’re proving the naysayers right” but at LaunchCon one of the presenters took this a step further adding “and you’re proving your supporters are wrong”.
Ouch! Did you feel that? That little twist in your gut. That little pang of worry that you might be letting your supporters down? That tiny addition really struck home in a major way. And not just for me. There was actually an audible gasp as the entire audience, all 1000 of us, flinched.
So forget about the naysayers but let's make sure we always prove our supporters right. Just take a step. Move forward. And remember, done is better than perfect.
When gathering feedback from your audience and clients our initial instinct is to pay attention to the number of times a certain topic comes up, but perhaps that is the wrong focus.
Ryan Levesque suggests paying more attention to the quality of an answer rather than the quantity. Meaning, when you look at your feedback look for the long answers. The ones where your audience took the time to write out their thoughts rather than just ticking off a box or giving a one or two word answer. These are the people who are hyper-engaged with you at the moment and are the ones you should be looking to serve.
For instance, in the VA Studio the number one question we get more often than any other is “How do I get clients?” Everytime we ask how we can help we’ll get fifty people asking that question in some form or fashion – and none of them ever use more than 5 or 6 words to do it.
And we’ve answered. Over and over and over again, yet when we ask that is still the number one response we get.
So we started looking at the deeper responses. The long form answers of the people who are hyper engaged and we created content for them, and reached out to them, and focused on serving them. Because they are the ones who are invested. They are the ones who are truly looking for help and guidance which is what we desperately want to offer them.
And it works. Since beginning this practice our engagement and sales have both begun to climb.
Speaking of content, engagement, and your audience, do you know how your audience speaks?. What words do they use when speaking about their struggle and needs? This information should be in your ideal client profiles, and be integrated into every piece of content you publish, from website copy to blogs, email campaigns, white papers, podcasts and more. Not only will it help your audience relate to you and see themselves in your words, it will also help boost your SEO. Win-win..
When running ads paying attention to the actual words your audience uses can make or break your campaign. One time orchid expert Ryan Lesveque provided this example. One of his first businesses was “Orchids Made Easy”, a blog and eventual book all about best practices for ensuring a long and healthy life for your orchid. Wanting to run ad in a few different countries decided to do a bit of research first. And it’s a darn good thing he did since he found that , the number 1 search by people in one country was, “Taking care of orchids.” but in another it’s “Caring for orchids.” That seemingly small detail made a world of difference to the success of his campaign..
Language is important. The words you use will greatly impact your audience’s reaction to your message. One last example Mr. Levesque gave was that of Lego. As a self proclaimed #AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) he is keenly aware of the terminology of the brand and knows that the plural of Lego is Lego. So anytime he hears someone incorrectly saying Legos he has an instant negative reaction. In his mind the person is an impostor and therefore is not worth his attention and he moves on.
That is one major influencer lost all because of an “s”.
When I first heard this at LaunchCon I didn’t quite get it. I mean, intellectually I understood what they were saying but when I tried to write it up for this post I couldn’t quite explain it. But the universe has a way of delivering you exactly what you need when you need it so let me tell you a little story.
I went to LaunchCon with a client. One of my best clients. In fact, my favourite client. She is amazing. Smart as a whip with a huge heart. We get along famously and she is always sending people my way. I just love her. We both left the conference totally jazzed and full of amazing plans.
She’s a fast mover and before I knew it we were in the middle of what we hoped would be a huge launch for her.
And things went sideways. Tech issues, and quick changes of direction, and a few mistakes. Some of them my mistakes. That’s mistakes, with an S, meaning more than one. And I was devastated. Something people learn about me very quickly is that I HATE making mistakes. I mean, I’m human and all, so it’s bound to happen but when it does I take it very seriously.
So there we were mid-launch and things weren’t going as planned and I find out I made, what I consider, a very stupid mistake and an email goes out two days early. I could have died I was so disappointed in myself. I had let her down. In my mind it was the end.
But my super awesome client says “That’s okay. Let’s see how we can make sure things run smoothly going forward. No biggie.”
Now, did she just say that because she is incredibly sweet and kind? Partly, yes. But if we didn’t have such a great relationship she wouldn’t be looking to increase her package with me (which she is), and she would definitely be shopping for a replacement (which she’s not).
And that’s what this takeway is about. Your relationship with your client is more valuable than gold. Cherish it. Nurture it. Respect it. Never take it for granted and be sure to show immense gratitude for it.
Further to the takeaway above, as entrepreneurs we need to become adept at dealing with failure!
Famous American author, salesman, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” He meant that failing at something doesn’t make you a failure. It doesn’t reduce your value as a person.
The best thing to do is to move on. Try again, or alter your course.
Of course you should also do what we call a ‘post-mortem’; ask objective questions to pinpoint what went wrong so you can avoid the same pitfall in the future.
Many speakers echoed this perennial rule of business and creativity in a lot of interesting ways. If you learn the basics of your craft through traditional education, mentorship, other professionals in your field, online learning and books, you’ll quickly build a foundation of knowledge. From there, practice often and add your own flair to differentiate yourself and improve best practices. But don’t try to re-invent the wheel before you’ve used it.
(PS – Pablo Picasso said it if you were wondering).
Susan Garrett is a world champion dog agility trainer many times over. In her field, quickly strategizing on your feet is a critical skill competitors use daily. Because competitors only get to see the course on the day of the competition, it’s up to her to plan a path that will get her and her dog through the course as fast as possible, with the least risk of confusion, distraction, injury or unpredictable incidents. The clincher: she does this in seven minutes!
Needless to say, she needs to maintain a positive, can-do attitude, intense focus and commitment to being the best leader on the course. She’s learned that to move forward (especially with a team), the goal should be not only to lead your team but to get out of their way so they reach their full potential, with your guidance.
In her talk, she said she wins every time she competes. She either brings home a trophy or a lesson. That’s definitely one for the bathroom mirror!
Some of LaunchCon’s speakers are tasked with raising millions of dollars in funds annually for their respective organizations. We were reminded to start giving back early as entrepreneurs when Charity: Water founder Scott Harrison finished his amazing presentation.
After being encouraged to make a donation we all knew there were some people who might be thinking they couldn’t afford to donate. They may have even promised themselves they’d make a donation once they started making more money.
We were gently reminded by one of our own that being reluctant to part with even a small amount of money for fear of lacking financial resources will only keep you from growing wealth in the future. Of course you have to pay attention to your cashflow but a fear of lack will only keep you in that fear, and if you won’t donate $1 from $10, you won’t give $1000 from $100,000.
This is an easy one. If you don’t believe in your product or service, no one else will so you better make sure you believe in every single offer you release to the world!
So that’s it! My top ten takeaways from LaunchCon 2017. Which ones made you stand up and take notice? Did anything surprise you or hit you right in the gut? I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email at email@example.com.
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