All Posts by Winnie Anderson

5 Tips to Hear Those Magic Words From Potential Clients

person helping friend over a wall“You’re the only person who can help me.”

Those are the words we all dream of hearing from clients, isn’t it?

I heard them twice in the past 6 weeks.

I also heard, “You’re the only person I’d want to work with on this.”

That came from a potential JV partner who wanted to discuss a potentially lucrative project idea he had.

Let me tell you what I did — that you can do too — that got the right people – to say those things to me and how you can hear them too.

  1. Embrace your story. I was talking with a potential joint venture (JV) partner last week and this was a recurring theme. One of the things he complimented me on was how I’ve embraced my story and how I don’t hide from it. It was hard to come to terms with to be honest. But once I did I started to see how important it was to what differentiated me.Your story – your hero’s journey if you will – is what gives you the unique perspective on the problem you solve. It’s part of what gives you your street cred if you will.

    No one wants diet tips from Kate Moss. We want diet tips from Jennifer Hudson, Marie Osmond, and others who’ve struggled and won the battle. Your mistakes, obstacles, or challenges aren’t wounds; they’re medals of honor. Wear them proudly.

    Just make sure you’re using your story to help others learn the key points you want them to get out of your message. Remember, there are 4 steps to the marketing / sales process:  educate, elevate, inspire, and invite.

  2. guy on one knee shooting videoUse multi-media. I produce a podcast, called The Courageous Entrepreneur Show. I film it as a video and release it as an audio podcast. I also do Facebook Live videos once a week. Video and audio are powerful because of the emotional connection viewers and listeners are able to make with you. Sometimes I’ve gotten choked up doing an interview or doing a livestream. I just let it happen.What I’ve heard 4 times over the past 6 weeks is that people have watched either my main show or the FB Lives I do as an “after show” on Wednesdays and they’ve felt connected to me. They emotionally knew I was the right person for them. It’s that combination of your message and the emotions you communicate that really connects.

    Believe me, I’m not perfect when I do them. And that’s what they actually like most.

    If you’re resisting using video or audio, ask yourself why. If you can stay focused on the message your sharing and the people who need and want to hear it you’ll become a lot less self-conscious

  3. Write. The written word is still powerful and makes up the foundation of the web. I use my show and FB Lives as fuel for written content. You don’t have to be Shakespeare or JK Rowlings for that matter. Just organize your thoughts and write in a conversational tone and you’ll be fine.You do want to do basic things like use spell check and grammar check. And it can help if you’ve got someone who can review your writing and edit it, but don’t let that stop you.
  4. people standing around talking Participate in online groups. I’m geographically impaired – I live north of Niagara Falls, NY on the US side and if you pay even modest attention to the weather, you know it’s not exactly a fun place to drive in winter – which starts in October or November and lasts until early April and sometimes the beginning of May. So participating in online groups is my primary networking strategy. Follow the group leader’s rules and focus on giving first. Be helpful, supportive, and kind. Let people know what you do without being pushy about it. I now get 98% of my clients and students through groups.
  5. Be you. You can’t be me. I have a hard enough time being me. But I can’t be you either. A massive part of client attraction is attracting the right clients. Few things suck more than working with a client who isn’t a good fit. Marketing and sales are all about helping people decide. A recent study showed that buyers are typically about 60% of the way through the buying process before they want to talk to someone in sales. That means we need to give them plenty of information so when they reach out to us we can help them make that final decision. We’re either right for them or not. And if they decide not, then we should be happy for them and for ourselves. The hardest part of all this is owning who you are and being comfortable with being you. I’m long since passed trying to be someone I’m not. It’s one of the gifts of aging.

We all want clients to come to us ready to buy. And it would be fabulous if JV partners came to us convinced we’d be a perfect match for each other.

To achieve that, we’ve got to get comfortable with and clear about our message, then have the courage to put it out there.

Don’t worry about the people who unsubscribe, tune out, or disconnect from you. They wouldn’t have bought anyway. You don’t need that many buyers to make a really good living and from there you need a few passionate advocates to help you share your story.

But it all starts with a clear message that you courageously share.

So what’s holding you back from getting your message out there?

Success No Matter What

Watch the video interview by clicking the forward arrow.

You can listen to the audio version of this episode online by clicking this link. To download and save for playing on your preferred device, click this link, then click the down facing arrow on the far right of the play bar. Navigate to where you want to save the recording, then click OK, Save, Enter, or whatever works for your device.

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

I’m your host Winnie Anderson.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information that can help you get past your blocks and move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

The show is available in both video and audio formats on a variety of platforms including iTunes, I Heart Radio, in the Google Play store, on YouTube and on my website.

If you like what you hear I hope you’ll share the show with others and I hope you’ll decide to join my community. You can become a fan of the show on my site at Winnie Anderson.com/fans. When you do you’ll get episodes delivered right to your inbox along with information, tips, and resources to help you consistently move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

My objective is to help you position and pre-sell yourself as the unique solution provider you are, and ultimately to profit from your expertise so you build a business in alignment with your faith, beliefs, and values.

Show Notes

Today you’re physically active. In all likelihood you take for granted the miracle of movement. While you may have the occasional ache or pain, the world is an accessible place for you.

But imagine waking up one day to a physical sensation that starts as a minor annoyance….your big toe feels numb.

Did you pinch a nerve? Sleep on it wrong?

No matter. It will work itself out, right?

What if it doesn’t?

Imagine the next day your leg is numb and soon you’re not able to move it.

Within about 48 hours of that toe going numb you’re paralyzed from the waist down.

Now imagine that happens to you at 15.

That’s what happened to today’s guest, speaker and coach Scott Chesney.

Scott is a dynamic speaker, coach, and for two decades has been a navigator of life with paralysis.

He is CEO of the Raise Hope Foundation. A nonprofit that trains, mentors, and places people with disabilities in careers in the financial services industry. Scott is also a an ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He’s married and is the father of two children.

Listen in as Scott shares:

  • How he went from 3 sport athlete to paralyzed from the waist down in about 48 hours.
  • His emotional road to independence and how he had the breakthrough that led to his life and work today
  • His journey from diff-abled employee to successful entrepreneur and coach
  • How he built his speaking business
  • Tips for recognizing the gift inside of trauma
  • What keeps him going and how you can use the same thing to inspire your own breakthrough

As always, listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Guest Contact Information

Scott’s website

Scott’s foundation – Raise Hope

Scott on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

The Raise Hope Foundation on Facebook

 

Ready to come out of hiding and make your next big leap in your business?

Whether you want to build a foundation for success, take your business to the next level of success, or your ready to end the feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and isolation that can come from working alone, then maybe it’s time to join the Courageous Entrepreneur Club.

That’s the place to get ongoing support as you work to achieve your goals, take action to achieve your business goals, and do it in a safe environment with supportive, like-minded professionals.

Click this link to learn more about the Club.

Branding Lessons from the World’s Only Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes

I could read by the time I was 3 and entered Kindergarten reading at a 3rd grade level.

My parents read mysteries so that’s what they bought me, starting with Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective.

I soon progressed to Nancy Drew and read every story more than once.

By the summer I turned 9 I had read every book that was even remotely appropriate. So when my mother came home from work one rainy summer day and found me reading one of her police procedurals, she knew she had to do something.

She took it away from me, handed me another book, and said “Here. This should keep you busy.”

book on black table, Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles

This is the well-worn copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles that I got from my mom in 1971.

It was The Hound of the Baskervilles.

To say I loved it would be a gross understatement.

I read that book over and over and over.

And soon I discovered the rest of the Canon:  56 short stories and 4 novels.

I was in heaven.

I found them in the library and soon started receiving books as gifts, including my prized possession – the two-volume set of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes by William S. Baring-Gould.

In Sherlock, I didn’t just find entertainment through good stories with quirky characters, I found a mentor. A hero.

And a bit of myself.

Sherlock taught me how to observe, how to think, and how to make deductions — sometimes leaps — based on those observations.

Of course I also learned that at home. When you grow up in an abusive environment you tend to develop those skills as you try to avoid triggering the abuse. So reading people and situations quickly and well becomes an important skill.

Sherlock has enjoyed a renaissance in the last few years, especially with the BBC’s modern version starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

I love Sherlock. More now than ever.

Sherlock Holmes teddy bear, Sherlock Holmes pipe, magnifying glass, The Enclyclopedia of Sherlockiana, Elementary My Dear Watson book, deerstalker

A very tiny segment of my Sherlock collection

And I promise you it has nothing to do with Mr. Cumberbatch and his singular characterization of the Great Detective.

Sherlock was a hit from the start. And when his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle decided he’d had enough of the character he’d created, he knew he needed to get rid of him once and for all. So he crafted a story that had Sherlock plunge to his death in a fight with his arch-enemy, “the Napoleon of Crime”, Professor Moriarty.

The outcry was deafening.

Fashionable men of the day wore black arm bands over their suit coats in mourning.

He is truly an iconic character. So much so that Time magazine featured him in one of their special editions:  “The 100 Most Influential People Who Never Lived.”

His image or quotes from the stories (including the misquoted, “elementary, my dear Watson”) have been used to sell all sorts of products and services, much to the chagrin of the Doyle estate I’m sure.

And we know of Sherlock’s impact on forensic science.

But Sherlock even has lessons for us as entrepreneurs. He was self-employed after all.

So since January 6th was his unofficial birthday I wanted to share some branding lessons we can learn from The Great Detective.

Branding Lessons from Sherlock Holmes

Have a clear point of view and don’t be afraid to share it. Whether in modern times or his original, Victorian time period, Sherlock was always direct to say the least.

Be a thought leader. Holmes regularly talked about the “monographs” he published including one on cigar ash. His reputation went far and wide so heads of state and the local police force sought out his advice.

Work on projects that entertain and challenge you. Sherlock didn’t work with everyone and neither should you.

Stay in your genius zone. When Holmes was really focused on thinking he’d even have Watson read things to him.

Give yourself a great — but clear — title so people get what you do. Sherlock is a “consulting detective” and he made the title up.

If you hate marketing yourself, get help. We all know Watson was Holmes’ chronicler. Or in the BBC version, his blogger.

Have a consistent look that presents you well and communicates you’re an expert. Holmes’ deerstalker hat, Inverness cape, and curvy pipe are even more iconic than Benedict Cumberbtach’s coat and scarf.

Keep a close circle of experts you trust who help you and who you involve in your projects. We all need a Mrs. Hudson and a whole group of “Irregulars” to call on when we need help. And it goes without saying that we’d all love to have as loyal a friend as Dr. Watson to work with.

Above all, be you. Because you’re the only one too.

Happy birthday Mr. Holmes.

 

 

Get Known Faster – Appear and Shine as a Guest on Online and Traditional Shows

Watch the video interview by clicking the forward arrow.

You can listen to the audio version of this episode online by clicking this link. To download and save for playing on your preferred device, click this link, then click the down facing arrow on the far right of the play bar. Navigate to where you want to save the recording, then click OK, Save, Enter, or whatever works for your device.

 

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information that can help you get past your blocks and move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

The show is available in both video and audio formats on a variety of platforms including iTunes, I Heart Radio, in the Google Play store, and on YouTube. 

If you like what you hear I hope you’ll share the show with others and I hope you’ll decide to join my community. You can become a fan of the show on my site at Winnie Anderson.com/fans. When you do you’ll get episodes delivered right to your inbox along with information, tips, and resources to help you consistently move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity. I want to help you position and pre-sell yourself as the unique solution provider you are, and ultimately to profit from your expertise as you build a business in alignment with your faith, beliefs, and values.

Show Notes

As an introverted professional I’m sure you dream of having people just magically hear about you and your offerings.

One way to help get the word out is by appearing in the media.

How do you do that though?

How do you get featured in media and is this a strategy that’s right for you?

If that thought scares you then you definitely want to check out today’s episode to learn more about being featured on a program.

Dr. Letitia Wright, broadcaster and crowdfunding expertDr. Letitia Wright has been producing her own TV show since 2000.

Her show is available on Dish network and on Direct TV. She’s a sought after speaker and trainer who President Obama invited to his Global Entrepreneur Summit in the summer of 2017. She’s interviewed hundreds of people and coaches professionals to appear as experts in the media.

Listen in as Dr. Wright explains

  • Some of the jargon associated with appearing in the media
  • Why all experts should work to get featured in the media and how to do it
  • Paid versus earned media
  • Mistakes people make when trying to pitch themselves and mistakes made when they’re being interviewed on the show
  • The benefits of working with a media coach and how to choose the right one for you

As always, be sure to listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Resources

Free tips to help you shine and be a great guest.

Guest Contact Information

Dr. Letitia Wright’s website

Dr. Wright on social media

Facebook

Her Facebook group

Twitter

YouTube

It’s a Wonderful (Business) Life When You Accept Your Role as George Bailey

boy sits on crescent moon dreamingAll his life, George made sacrifices while dreaming of a future full of exciting places and big adventures.

He dreamed of creating big buildings and traveling to exotic locations.

As he dreamed, he lived a life of service and sacrifice; preparing and waiting for his dreams to come true.

George had been dreaming of the day he’d escape the tiny town he lived in and had saved a lot of money. He looked forward to spending some of that on his honeymoon with Mary, the love of his life.

Unfortunately for him he got married on the day there was a financial crisis that caused a run on the bank and on the savings bank he ran.

His money went to keep his business afloat.

He worked hard to serve his clients and to be a good member of his community. But he often resented the sacrifices he made and wished business wasn’t so hard.

He once had a big juicy carrot dangled in front of him in the form of a job working for Mr. Potter…the richest man in town who owned everything but the business George and his family had built.

Boy it was tempting to take that carrot.

Enough money to live comfortably for the first time in his life. To be able to give his family the sort of things he wanted them to have and to live in a nicer home.

But he realized for just a moment that if he bent his values and lost control, his customers would have no choice but to turn to the spider-like Mr. Potter whose primary mission in life was control and profit.

So he turned Mr. Potter down and went back to work with his ethics in tact but his bank account still low.

George carried his uncle in his business until one day when the absent-minded uncle made a huge financial mistake on the worst of all possible days to make one – when the auditors showed up.

George believed he was ruined.

He had scrimped and saved and sacrificed…for what? To be arrested for embezzlement and to go to prison when he had done nothing wrong? To have his family shamed?

But George could see no way out of his problem.

snow-covered bridgeStanding on the bridge in the middle of a blizzard, George believed he’d be worth more dead than alive. And as he looked at the freezing, black water below he believed he and everyone else would have been better off had he never been born.

You know the rest of the story.

Clarence, George’s guardian angel, gave George the amazing gift of seeing what the world would have truly been like had George never been born.

George saw what would have happened had he not been around to save people like Mr. Gower, the pharmacist driven by his own broken heart to fill a prescription with poison; Harry, George’s brother who George pulled from the freezing lake when the ice broke and who went on to save thousands of men in the war; his Uncle Billy who couldn’t run the family business on his own and went insane when it failed; the hundreds of depositors who were unable to afford homes or grow their businesses because George wasn’t around to help them. And the community that wasn’t able to grow and become a desirable place to live because George’s impact wasn’t able to ripple out to touch even those who didn’t know him.

Instead negativity rippled out because George wasn’t there.

YOU’RE George Bailey to hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

Your message and your solutions ripple out as people embrace them and apply the information you share, benefit from the skills you teach and use the advice you share.

But each time you choose to play small…to hold yourself back….to not put out a piece of content or share your message…you keep others from benefiting and from living up to their full potential.

The secret to attracting more clients is to put yourself out there more. It’s to demonstrate – to pre-sell – your knowledge, skills, and expertise in a way that resonates with those you’re meant to serve. And that gives them a clear idea of what it would be like to work with you.

I know that can be scary.

You run the risk of rejection.

And it can feel as if it’s hard to get your message right, to choose the right platform to deliver it, to focus your message so it resonates with just the right people.

Marketing isn’t about us, the entrepreneur. It’s about the person we’re meant to help. It’s a way to communicate valuable information that educates and inspires.

Remember, the word “sell” comes from the word “sellan” and the original definition was “to give.”

Those of us who hate selling need to remember that selling isn’t about getting or convincing. It’s about giving.

Giving our message…giving our services…giving our support and processes. Giving our best.

And that means we receive when the person we serve gives back to us in the form of compensation. It’s simply and exchange of value.

We give free information as an introduction and for those who are ready for the changes we help them make, that deeper help has a higher value.

There’s no shame in charging the prices you charge. You deserve to be well compensated so you can do even more good in the world.

So when you resist putting yourself out there…you don’t use video….you don’t update your blog….you don’t create courses and books…you don’t have a podcast or live stream show…and don’t appear as a guest on others shows…and give in to let your ego and pride take over to keep you safe by convincing you that no one wants to hear what you have to say or that they’ve heard it all before….

You’re keeping someone from doing, being, or having all they could.

You’re keeping someone from healing…from learning…from improving…from experiencing the abundance waiting for them. From improving their environment.

No one said this would be easy.

The entrepreneurial life is full of sacrifice and tough choices. But it’s also full of rewards that come from giving our best in service to others.

Each of us is the star of the movie that is our life. But we’re also playing a part in the lives of others.

Sometimes we’re a co-star. Other times we’re a supporting or a bit player.

But if you refuse the role you could play, it’s harder if not impossible for that person to be, do, or have all they could if you only stood up and put yourself out there.

The choice is yours.

woman peeking through a holeYou can stay hidden and protect your ego; or you can come out of hiding and get your message out in a bigger, bolder way and help others as you help yourself and contribute to creating a better world for everyone. Because it really is a wonderful life when you fulfill your potential and help others fulfill theirs.

Courageous Entrepreneur Show | Top 10 Episodes for 2017

 

The Courageous Entrepreneur Show is on holiday break. The new season starts on Monday, January 1st 2018. So now’s the time to catch up on episodes you may have missed.

Here are the top 10 episodes of season 1. Enjoy and please leave a comment below, on the individual episode’s post, or on iTunes.

To listen to any of these episodes, click on the link. To download the recording to your device, click on the link then click the down arrow to the far right of the play bar. Navigate to where you want to save the media to and then click Enter or Save.

A Successful Second Act — Video marketing expert Sue Ferreira, a former doctor, shares her journey and talks about why it’s critical for everyone — especially Baby Boomers — to embrace video. Get the show notes for this episode.

Recognizing and Changing Disempowering Patterns — Sylvia LaFair is one of the top leadership minds in the world. Listen in as she explains what patterns are, how we form them, and how to break them. This was episode 1! Get the show notes for this episode.

Faith’s Role in Overcoming Trauma — Melvin Pillay, Ziglar organization executive, top speaker, consultant and coach to executives, entrepreneurs, and government leaders discusses the importance of faith in breaking free from emotional wounds and trauma. Get the show notes for this episode.

From Abuse to Abundance — One of the world’s leading speakers, Mark Baker shares his amazing story of healing from physical and emotional abuse to go on to become a top salesman, and from there a top speaker and coach.  Get the show notes for this episode.

Business Building Tips for Soloists and Micro Firms — 4x New York Times bestselling author Mike Michalowicz explains what solo professionals and small firms need to do to grow a profitable business that doesn’t kill them.  Get the show notes for this episode.

The Power of Story Over Your Life — Storytelling expert. personal branding strategist, and expert coach Jeff Rock explains how our story can control us and how we can break free to create a new story and gain new power. Get the show notes for this episode.

Dealing with the Death of Your Business Partner — Imagine the joy of building a successful business with your best friend. Now imagine the crushing pain and confusion when that person you count on suddenly dies. Everett O’Keefe shares his journey and lessons learned. Get the show notes for this episode.

Learning to Love Yourself — Laura Fenmore discusses how self-loathing can cripple us and shares the steps she took to love herself and release hundreds of pounds in the process. Get the show notes for this episode.

From Paralyzed Victim to Profitable Professional –– Maryam Webster was building a coaching practice when a car accident paralyzed her. She shares her amazing story of recovery and how she built her business while regaining her mobility. Get the show notes for this episode.

Managing a Business, a Family, and Depression — Shanna Landoldt explains how she manages to keep growing her thriving business, keep  caring for her young girls, while navigating a life with depression. Straight talk about something few people admit to. Get the show notes for this episode.

 

Which episode is your favorite and why?

The Solution to Boring Networking Dinners

To listen to this episode here on the website, click the triangle to the far left of the play bar. To download and save for playing on your preferred device, click this link; then click the down facing arrow on the far right of the play bar.

 

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information that can help you get past your blocks and move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

The show is available in both video and audio format on a variety of platforms including iTunes, I Heart Radio, in the Google Play store, on You Tube and on my website.

If you like what you hear I hope you’ll share the show with others and I hope you’ll decide to join my community. You can become a fan of the show on my site at Winnie Anderson.com/fans. When you do you’ll get episodes delivered right to your inbox along with information, tips, and resources to help you consistently move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity so you position and pre-sell yourself as the unique solution provider you are, and ultimately to profit from your expertise and build a business in alignment with your faith, beliefs, and values.

Show Notes

This is one of those episodes where an entrepreneur talks about how they launched and grew their thriving business and also explains how they achieved something significant. In this case, Robert Collier talks about how he landed his TEDx Talk.

 

If you’re an entrepreneur you want to maximize every minute of every day and that means multi-tasking when we can. Including our meal times.

I read morning prayer as I eat breakfast and I watch videos while I eat lunch.

They range from faith-centered messages by Melvin Pillay, success-centered messages from Jack Canfield, how-to messages from Pam Hendrickson, MOZ, and others to the many fascinating messages from TED talks.

Maybe somewhere in the back of your mind you’ve thought you’d love to deliver one. You have a big message that the world needs to hear.

And you love the idea of having your message go viral like Brene Brown’s or Mel Robbins or any of the other top TED presenters.

But how do you do that?

Well one way is to start with a TEDx talk.

TED talks of course are those powerful presentations that are 18 minutes or less that educate, inform, and inspire.

TEDx talks are local conferences that are formatted similarly to the big TED conference.

So how do you get to present at one?

Well that’s part of what today’s guest is going to share with us.

Robert James Collier is the founder of Entrepreneur’s Dinner. These are exclusive networking experiences built around the idea that breaking bread with someone is a powerful relationship building experience like few other things.

Rob has built his business entirely by word of mouth often spread by social media.

He’s going to talk a little about his business, how he developed the idea, and the problem with the average networking dinner; but he’s also going to talk about his experience applying for, being selected to deliver, and then presenting a TED talk at TEDx Buffalo.

Listen in as Robert explains:

  • The common need we’ve experienced that inspired him to host his first entrepreneurs’ dinner and what led him to believe this could become a business.
  • What makes your average networking dinner so bad and the key element that can elevate it to something powerful
  • The concept of Psychological Intimacy and how it helps us build strong teams, strong networks, and can lead to strong client relationships as well.
  • How he landed a TEDx Talk.

As always be sure to listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Links and Resources

TED and TEDx talks

Psychological Intimacy — Building Trust Through Skillful Self-Disclosure from HBR

Psychological Safety

Guest Links

Connect with Robert

On Facebook

On Instagram

Get support to take action, reach your goals, and grow your business

If you’d like to get support as you move yourself and your business forward, if you’d like to be part of a small group of like-minded entrepreneurs who understand what it’s like to feel isolated, to hate selling and to dislike marketing, and you’d like support as you keep moving forward one micro step after another, then visit my website and check out the Action Takers group. Learn how this small group can support you as you work to achieve your goals.

I’ll keep you posted on when the next group opens up for enrollment and how you can apply to join.

7 Tips for Painless Holiday Networking – especially for introverted entrepreneurs

Woman with long brown hair has her face in her hands seated at her desk facing her laptop. She's unhappy with or doesn't like what she sees.

Is this you when you get an email to a holiday mixer?

It’s the holiday season and that means lots of parties and networking opportunities.

Did I just hear you groan?

I get it.

As an introvert, I’ve never liked going to rubber chicken lunches or dinners, sitting next to people I don’t know, and feeling like everyone I was talking to was either trying to impress me with their amazing background or was trying to sell me on working with them.

Most of the time, both of those things.

As if that’s not bad enough, then there are the events we have to go to during the holidays with our significant other.

Theoretically we know these are great opportunities to make connections and we know we need to approach these things with a positive mindset, it’s still hard to muster positive feelings when our past experience has been negative.

Like the time I was at an event and a guy walked up to the group I was in, handed us all his business card (like he was a walking poker dealer), and then just walked away.

Or the time when I got home from an event and discovered 3 people had added me to their newsletter list without asking.

Sigh…

But, you can really turn these events into a positive one (or at least make them less painful) by trying one or more of my favorite strategies.

  1. Set a positive intention. Often we go to these things because we feel we have to or we tell ourselves we haven’t been to anything in a while and the holiday event is when lots of other people (who also haven’t been to anything in a while) will come to. So we really don’t have a good reason to go. Or it’s one of those “duty dates” we go on with our significant other. (That’s what my husband and I call an event one of us attends to support the other one.) My positive intention is typically that I’ll have a good time, eat some good food, and make my husband happy (for those duty dates). For my events, I set the intention that I’ll meet some nice people and learn about what they do.
  2. Set a specific objective. I know there are people who use goal and objective interchangeably but here’s how I differentiate them. An objective is the really big picture goal. “Fill my coaching group” is an example. A goal then is a milepost on the way to reaching the objective. “Have an information session with 20 people” is a goal. Goals are more measurable in my mind. So my objective at an event is to meet good potential referral partners.I always focus on referral partners rather than finding prospective clients because if I can increase the number of good referrals I get it’s like other people are doing my marketing. And no one wants to feel sold to at these events anyway.
  3. Set a reasonable goal. Maybe you want to meet 2 potential referral partners. Or you need a graphic designer. Or you want to learn more about the organization hosting the event. Take some pressure off of yourself and recognize the event is just one small step in the whole process of connecting with people And if you’re going on a “duty date” then maybe your goal is to learn more about the people your significant other works with (because they might be able to refer you to clients or opportunities too).
  4. Wear (or carry) something unique. I’m super uncomfortable approaching people I don’t know and introducing myself. I know…the hallmark of an introvert. I love vintage pins though and have a pretty nice collection. I even have vintage holiday pins from the 1960’s. I always wear a vintage pin — something big and eye catching. Sometimes I’ll carry a really unique handbag (I don’t do both). I also love vintage handbags and have some pretty cool ones, but my favorite one to carry to an event is one that was made from a Sherlock Holmes book.  Someone always comments on the pin or the bag and introduces themselves. Ice broken!
    woman's handbag made from a vintage Sherlock Holmes book

    My Sherlock Holmes handbag. Isn’t it awesome?

  5. Have a couple of versions of your introduction. Please don’t think of this as a commercial. You don’t want to hear one anymore than those you’re talking to do. There are a couple of different styles of introduction you can use. And depending on the group or the type of event you might be limited to just 30 seconds or you might have slightly more time. The best thing to do is to talk in terms of the problems you solve and the people you serve. You probably know you never want to lead with your title. That leaves people to define you based on others they’ve met in your past.You could start with “I..what you do…who you do it for…so they can…”But my favorite way to introduce myself is with my Big Idea.You start out by either stating the problem you solve (“You know how….) or state a belief you have (“I believe..). Then give a short sentence or two (no more) about the impact of that problem. You then talk about the general solution most people try to solve the problem; and transition into a sentence or two about your specific solution.

    Here’s a quick example for a tax accountant:
    “I believe small business owners should definitely pay all the taxes and fees they owe the government. But not a penny more. Entrepreneurs have enough to do trying to run and grow a profitable business. Trying to manage the financial end of things and keep track of when to make tax payments is not something they want to worry about but missing a payment can lead to a big penalty and a lot of stress. They try using an accounting software and may even have a bookkeeper but as the business grows and becomes more complex, more attention and focus is needed specifically on the tax situation. That’s where my firm comes in. We help small businesses of up to 50 employees pay their local, state, and federal taxes easily and without a hassle. And our focus often helps clients save money.”

    If that seems too long for you then try simplifying your introduction to focus on just the problem or just the solution.

    Our accountant would say “My firm helps small businesses save on their taxes.” That would lead someone to say “Wow. How do you do that?”

    And suddenly you’re in a conversation and actually talking about your offerings.

    Just keep your statements brief, and focused on the problem and those you solve it for.

  6. Ask lots of questions. I despise talking about myself. So when I’m at an event I ask as many questions as I can without making a person feel like they’re on 60 Minutes and the clock is ticking. So even if they’ve been asking about you and things are going great, start asking them questions about what they do. Resist the temptation to start grilling them about how they handle the problem you solve. Instead, make a genuine effort to learn about them and their business and what they need. This can lead to a good reason to reach out to them after the event is over.
  7. Follow up. This is the only thing business cards are good for. You can write on them about what you talked about and what you want to follow up with them about. If you use something more high tech…like an app or a notes function in your phone…that’s great. The point is to follow up with them in a way that’s appropriate and encourages a deeper conversation. Focus on sharing something useful like an article or resource that could help them with whatever you two talked about.

If you’re really uncomfortable about going to an event, here are two bonus tips that work for me.

First, reach out to a well-connected friend who may be going and ask him / her to introduce you to specific types of people who will be there. This could be owners of certain types of businesses…people who live near you…etc.

And if you don’t know anyone going, then reach out to the organizer of the event. Explain your situation and ask for them to introduce you to some people to help you break the ice at the event. You could ask them to introduce you to the best connected person in the group or someone they think is a natural connector.

Holiday events can be great opportunities to make new connections for the coming year, so don’t dread them; embrace them. The tips I shared can help you stand out and connect with others easier.

What strategies work for you?

Create a Thriving Business as a Creative Entrepreneur

 

To listen to this episode here on the website, click the triangle to the far left of the play bar. To download and save for playing on your preferred device, click this link; then click the down facing arrow on the far right of the play bar.

 

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information that can help you get past your blocks and move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

The show is available in both video and audio formats on a variety of platforms including iTunes, I Heart Radio, in the Google Play store, on You Tube and on my website.

Show Notes

If you like what you hear I hope you’ll share the show with others and I hope you’ll decide to join my community. You can become a fan of the show on my site at Winnie Anderson.com/fans. When you do you’ll get episodes delivered right to your inbox along with information, tips, and resources to help you consistently move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity. I want to help you position and pre-sell yourself as the unique solution provider you are, and ultimately to profit from your expertise and build a business in alignment with your faith, beliefs, and values.

One of the issues we solo professionals can wrestle with is embracing and leveraging who we really are in order to move forward and achieve our goals. Maybe we get easily distracted from a project or goal because we have so many ideas swimming in our heads or we may lack confidence in our work, in our plans, or even in ourselves. We may be naturally gifted in one area while we feel lacking in another and so spend all our time doing the thing we love and are good at. But the thing we’re lacking in and avoiding may be the very thing that can move our business forward.

This can be especially true for those of us who fall somewhere on the spectrum of being a creative entrepreneur.

Which is why I wanted today’s guest to be on the show.

Lisa Robbin Young is THE coach for creative entrepreneurs who are ready for help growing their business while getting their message out in the world. She blends a unique combination of business smarts with understanding the creative mind and personality because she’s a creative herself. Lisa is an international best selling author, a singer with multiple albums, and a video blogger.

Listen in as Lisa explains:

  • the differences between a creative entrepreneur and a plain old run of the mill entrepreneur?
  • How to identify where you fall on the creative spectrum and how understanding that can help you achieve your goals
  • Why she thinks DUMB goals are actually a good idea  3 types of growth plans and how someone can know which one is right for them and their business
  • The 5 million dollar growth plan she found in a box  the secret to staying on course with a growth plan and how to keep life from derailing us

As always listen all the way to the end where I’ll share your cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

If you liked this episode, please share it with your contacts and connections and please leave a review or comment below. Thanks!

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
Creative Freedom Quiz

Lisa’s first book, The Secret Watch

Lisa’s soon-to-be-released book

Guest Links

Lisa’s website

Lisa on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
You Tube

Other Episodes Related to This One
Jeff Rock
Grace Bell

Additional Research To Explore
Sally Hogshead, Fascination Advantage

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Impact and Influence: Tips to embrace and communicate your brand

To listen to this episode here on the website, click the triangle to the far left of the play bar. To download and save for playing on your preferred device, click this link; then click the down facing arrow on the far right of the play bar.

 

Welcome to the Courageous Entrepreneur Show. This is the show that shares information and inspiration to help you break free from self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and disempowering patterns and break through to create the thriving, successful business you dream of and deserve.

The show features interviews with entrepreneurs who’ve overcome amazing challenges to create success on their terms and experts who share insight and practical information that can help you get past your blocks and move forward with courage, confidence, and clarity.

The show is available in both video and audio formats on a variety of platforms including iTunes, I Heart Radio, in the Google Play store, on You Tube and on my website Winnie Anderson dot com.

Show Notes

One of the toughest parts of being self employed is actually getting clients, right? Whether we go to mixers, conferences, lunches, dinners, or use video to market ourselves and our services, we’re putting ourselves out there and can feel really exposed when we’re doing all that. And of course that’s because are to a large degree. That’s how humans operate.. we look, listen, and react.

This fact can make us so nervous it can actively hold us back. Or we can embrace it. Develop our voice and point of view, leverage that, and attract the clients that resonate with our message so we’re attracting people who will get the most out of working with us and who we would most enjoy working with.

That’s all easier said than done sometimes.

That’s why I wanted to have Valerie Sokolosky on the show.

Personal branding and leadership presence expert Valerie SokoloskyValerie is a former broadcaster, voice over artist, and professional speaker who moved into a career in corporate training and executive coaching. She’s been running her successful Dallas, TX based firm Valerie and Company for more than 30 years.

Valerie is the author of 8 leadership books and was featured in The Wall Street Journal for having one of the nation’s first executive coaching practices.

As an ICF accredited coach she inspires leaders to develop a strong personal brand that differentiates them in the marketplace and creates greater success for themselves and their organizations.

When the field of executive presence was forming, Valerie was there helping forge the industry. Then when personal branding emerged she was there to merge the two specialities.

Today’s Valerie’s focus is well defined. Guiding leaders and developing high performing teams; increasing business development and creating a culture of superior employee engagement.

So listen in as Valerie shares her journey as well as she explains:

  • What a personal brand is and why it’s as important as ever to uncover, embrace, and communicate yours
  • Why we need outside help in recognizing our greatest gifts as well as seeing our blindspots
  • What’s meant by the concept of executive presence and why it really is important to us in our careers as solo professionals
  • We’ll also share some suggestions for success at mixers and events. These are going to be especially good ideas for my fellow introverts.
  • We’ll also share some suggestions on what not to do and behaviors to avoid. You don’t want to become what Valerie calls a WAM-er.

As always listen all the way to the end where I’ll share you cocktail exercise and action step for this episode.

Terms That Might Be New to You

Point of View – According to Dictionary.com, it’s “a specified or stated manner of consideration or appraisal; standpoint”; “an opinion, attitude, or judgement”

Past Episodes That Relate to This One

Jeff Rock, The Power of Your Story

Guest Resources

Subscribe to Valerie’s newsletter and get her great tips (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Valerie’s author profile page on Amazon where all her books are listed

Connect with Valerie

At her website

On LinkedIn

On Twitter

On YouTube

 

Want Help on Your Journey to Impact and Influence Others?

If you’re confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed by all there is to do to put yourself out there in a bigger way and to get your business to the next level of success, then you may want to join an Action Takers Group. 

You’ll have clarity and confidence as you consistently take small actions every day to move your biggest goals forward. And you’ll be part of a small, supportive, like-minded community that cheers you, encourages you, and pushes you with love. Enrollment is always limited and opens up only once a month. Head over now to learn more.

 

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