Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

Why Should I Pay that When I Can Get a Temp or Offshore VA for $5 Bucks an Hour?

Ever hear a client utter these words?

It’s probably the most grating sentence in our industry today.

But what if you knew exactly how to respond?

What if you offered your services in a way that didn’t focus whatsoever on hourly rates?

Wouldn’t that be a total game changer?

It’s not so annoying when you actually begin to love responding to that question (or when you no longer get it in the first place). ;)

…If you frequently encounter price resistance with clients and want to know what to do about it;

…If you have trouble getting clients to commit;

…If you struggle with articulating your value to clients, talking about your fees, and feeling confident about them;

…If you find the whole topic of pricing difficult, I have the solution!

It’s my value-priced packaging and pricing guide, How to Price and Package Your Support Based on Hours & Expertise — NOT Selling Hours

Value-Based Pricing & Packaging Guide: How to Price and Package Your Support Based on Value and Expertise—NOT Selling Hours (GDE39)

This guide will show you how to:

  • Attract more clients, more easily;
  • Make more money;
  • Create an easier business to run;
  • And toss out those time sheets forever!

…all without discounting, bargaining, or justifying your fees whatsoever!

What Folks Have to Say About My Value-Based Pricing and Packaging Training

Besides not charging properly, another reason people aren’t earning well in our business is that they are selling hours instead of pricing for solutions. This is called value-based pricing and it’s a methodology I introduced to our industry back in 2004 and have been teaching since then.

I recently conducted this class in June and I wanted to share with you the exciting testimonials I received from some of the attendees:

“Your classes are always fun and informative. I have been on calls before for webinars, and it seemed as if I was the only person on the call. But not with you. You give such awesome information and examples that it is hard not to get excited about how you are going to apply all that you have learned. You make it easy for everyone to ask questions and not feel as if “oh, that was a stupid question.” That is why it is hard to get off your calls. I learn a lot from the other people on the call as well as the information and templates you provide. I now have a clear picture of why I should have packages instead of charging by the hour.” —Tracy Carson, Te L – Us Business Solutions, LLC

Thank you so much, Tracy! I was especially thrilled by Tracy’s feedback because I know she is a very discerning customer and has been disappointed in the past by other teleclasses she’s attended from others, which makes her feedback even more meaningful. I’m so glad I was able to help, Tracy! There is nothing better than that!

“This program is amazing, and I am so glad I was able to participate.  I dreaded spending the time for billing each week because it took up way to much time that I could be spending with my family.  Since participating in the webinar and implementing the pricing plan with two new clients, it has taken all the stress out of billing.  That alone has made this program worth it.  I have advised all my clients that as of the new quarter (August) all billing will be switched over to this program, and even a few are excited about it.  Not having to worry about weekly billing and increments of 15 min they, too, feel it will be less stressful when trying to read their invoices.  I have one client who decided to not wait and we are working on his support plan to get him started right away.  Thank you for sharing you knowledge and simplifying the trials and errors that you have endured to create the impossibly easy billing!  I can’t wait for your next webinar because I will make sure I have signed up for it to attend.” —Teri Williams, Sidekick Assistants

Oh, what wonderful news to wake up to!! This is just so thrilling and I am ecstatic for Teri and her business! What I love even more is that she was fearless, took action right away and just DECIDED to implement things (and didn’t sit around waiting for clients’ permission).

She knew it would help her and she knew it would definitely benefit her clients and help them see that they could both be more focused on the client’s goals and dreams and achieving objectives instead of counting hours. I so LOVE THIS!

Now here’s the bad news… The class I held in June was the last live class I planned on doing on this topic. I have many more new and exciting projects I want to focus on, as well as a big adventure I’m planning to start late 2013 or early 2014.

The good news is that you, too, can get the entire training RIGHT NOW with my comprehensive Value-Based Pricing & Packaging Toolkit.

Click on the link and you will be taken to the product information that will let you know all that is included in the guide, some sample images and a video explaining why pricing by the hour and selling hours is killing your business.

I am proud as punch of this program, and as evidenced by all the testimonials of customers and attendees, it has really and truly transformed the income and businesses of those who have purchased the toolkit!

Dear Danielle: What List Management System Do You Recommend

Dear Danielle:

I have enjoyed learning about becoming a better administrative support business owner through your newsletter and forms. My question now is I have a client that wants me to manage his membership database and newsletter formatting and sending. Is there a system that you have used or recommend for this? His database contains over 800 email addresses and names and is done as an excel spreadsheet. His newsletter content is coming from another source and it is expected that I manage that. Any Hints? Recommendations? Thanks –BD

I’d need a bit more information about the context of his membership database to share any thoughts there (e.g., who is added and how and when, and what are his objectives for collecting and using the information?), but as far as ezines, I always encourage clients to go with a list management, autoresponder and distribution tool such as Aweber.

Managing ezine subscribers via an excel spreadsheet is so inefficient and archaic.

Tools like Aweber not only automate the function of opting in subscribers, it provides the tools to create ezine templates, schedule them ahead of time for publication, utilize autoresponder capabilities, allow subscribers to manage their own subscriptions and the client to leverage and maximize their networking and marketing to a greater, more consistent degree.

With Aweber you can use one of the many basic ezine templates they provide for free, modify one of their templates or upload your own ezine format in HTML. It’s super flexible and easy to use.

You can also upload as many issues ahead of time as you wish and set each of them to publish automatically according to whatever dates you have indicated.

The broadcast messaging allows you schedule ezines or any other kind of one-off communications you wish to go out to your lists. And you can have as many lists as you wish: one for your ezine subscribers, one for your members, one for teleseminar registrations, etc.

The autoresponders are another great tool you get with Aweber. With autoresponders, you can set up a series of follow-up communications to go out automatically in sequential time intervals rather than specific dates.

For example, some people use autoresponders to offer e-courses. Subscribers who are interested will opt-in to the list and the autoresponders will issue the first lesson, then the second lesson 7 days after that (or however many days interval you indicate), and so on.

Aweber’s tracking, reporting and analysis tools are incredible, and it’s got the highest whitelist ratings and best delivery rates of all the other services.

So you see, simply storing names and contact info in a spreadsheet really doesn’t do much for you. With an autoresponder/list management service such as Aweber, not only are you streamlining all the work and processes that go into list building, but also automating and making dynamic use of the information and actually putting it into action. I would definitely encourage your client in that direction.

Aweber will allow him to import an existing list, but it must be washed clean first of any obsolete email addresses and the subscribers will have to confirm their desire to opt-in again.

Moving to any new system like that he can expect to lose some of the people on his current list (some experts say the rule of thumb is about 50%) so it’s not entirely painless.

However, you want to help him understand that communicating or trying to maintain a relationship with folks who aren’t interested in the first place isn’t effort that is well-placed.

Aweber will help him build his list back up and what’s better is that he’ll be gaining people who really do have an interest and want to hear from him (as opposed to continuing to send out messages to people he’s merely collected business cards from who may not have any interest in his business or hearing from him).

Dear Danielle: Why Do I Need a Newsletter?

Dear Danielle:

I have seen a lot of colleagues putting “sign up for my newsletter” on their websites. Who would sign up for them? And why? Does it generate future clients? Also, where do they get the content for monthly newsletters? I can’t imagine that each of them are writing their own, but maybe they are. This is an area I’m a little confused about, but would love to get up-to-speed if it’s something that generates clients. –MM

Hi, MM. You’re seeing a lot of people in business doing this because a newsletter is a way to continue the dialogue with your prospective clients.

By building a list through an opt-in offer (such as a newsletter), you can continue to talk with those folks on a regular basis, which keeps your name and face in front of them, helps them get to know you and your company better, and helps you develop a rapport with them.

You’ll hear it said often that “the list is the thing,” and this is very true.

Your list keeps prospects in your pipeline which is a very good thing because there will be times in your business when your roster isn’t full.

If you build a list of subscribers with whom you follow-up and stay in contact, you’ll always have a ready-made audience of prospective clients and referrers who have already indicated (by virtue of their continued subscription) that they are interested in you and your company.

Some things to keep in mind… I see a lot of colleagues put out newsletters that are either talking to other people in our own industry (these are not who you should be talking to if you are trying to get clients) or are very self-centric (your content needs to be of compelling value and interest to your would-be clients and be talking about them, not you, you, you).

To do well with a newsletter, always keep in mind who your intended audience is: your would-be clients, not your colleagues!

Write about things that are going to be of interest to them.

Write from their perspective and talk directly to them. If you’re using a lot of “I,” “we” and “us,” flip those sentences around to use more “you” and “your.”

Offer advice that is genuinely helpful to your target market in their businesses. Doing so will also demonstrate what a smart cookie you are (and what a great partner you would be to work with).

If you’re going to do a newsletter, I recommend also interspersing your articles with news about your company that is client-centric. Clients aren’t going to care so much that you joined your local Chamber of Commerce. Big woop, right? Save that stuff for filler.

What will be more interesting and relevant to them is hearing about how some work you just completed for a client simplified their business, automated part of their operations saving them X hours a year, brought in X number of new subscribers, or generated $X more in revenues.

That’s the kind of stuff that will perk up their ears because they’re looking to achieve those things in their own business, and it gives them a clear illustration of how your support could be implemented and what kind of results they can expect.

And don’t assume they know or remember all that you can do. You have to keep reminding them. Each week (or month), talk about a different skill you have or special service you offer and give your readers ideas and suggestions on how they can leverage that in their business and what they will gain from it.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to do a newsletter.

There are lots of ways to build your list including offering a free report (something that is highly relevant and of keen interest to your target market), weekly tips and quips, or an e-course to be delivered over the period of several weeks.

You don’t want your website to just be sitting there passively online. You want to put it to work capturing those leads and turning your site visitors into subscribers on your list.

To start building your list, it’s important to use an autoresponder/distribution service to automate things and save time. I highly recommend Aweber. It’s easy to use, very affordable, the uses, functions and integrations they offer are virtually limitless, and they have absolutely fantastic customer service. If you don’t invest in any other tool in your business, this is definitely one you should not go without.

Oh, and I should add that your offer should be free. You’ll hear this referred to frequently as your “pink spoon” in the marketing funnel strategy. It’s a way to get them in the door so that you can become a resource and maintain regular communication thereby increasing your “know/like/trust” quotient.

Valuing Yourself and What You Have to Offer

Mikelann Valterra shared the best quote in her newsletter recently:

“If you place a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise the price.” —anonymous

She followed this quote with one of her very astute observations:

“The true key to earning your worth is to believe you have worth to begin with. Not only do you have worth, you are WORTHY of good money. We all want other people to value us. But how highly do we value ourselves? Value and worth come from the inside out. When we know in our gut that we are indeed worth a lot, it is far easier to ask for good money. Don’t expect the world to pay you top dollar if you place a small value on yourself!” —Mikelann Valterra

Mikelann is one of my favorite authorities when it comes to helping women value themselves in business.

She has such a knack for clearly and eloquently ideas and concepts that aren’t always the easiest things to relate.

I can’t recommend her stuff highly enough.

Go to her website. Sign up for her newsletter. Subscribe to her blog.

John Jantsch and I Featured Together on PayPal

Hey, I’m sharing the spotlight with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing on PayPal’s Online Merchant Network through January 2007.

Here’s the link:

You do have to create an account, but it’s free, and a really neat new avenue to connect with other business owners and vendors. Check it out!