Why is it so hard to get anyone to focus on the numbers?

I’ve been working with my guest presenter Demet Anagnos of Results CFO (formerly BizCrew) for the upcoming September Bold Business Works webinar—this is really great, important stuff if you are a business owner and want to be growing.  We decided to rename the webinar “Is Your Head in the Sand?” because so many people are in serious avoidance mode about their numbers.  If they do anything at all, they may look at their Quickbooks files or bank statements and get a sense of whether this was a good month or not.  It’s not that much more work to dig a little deeper to understand what they all mean.

Normally I’m not very political, but Stephen Colbert had a very funny bit he called Internet Numbotron 3000 on his show a few weeks back.  The clip is here if you want to check it out:   Click to open the clip.   “The point is these numbers are out there!”

This great webinar is now available for you as a recording, so check it out here:

Business Ratios with Demet Anagnos, Bold Business Works Monthly Webinar Sept 2012 from Deborah Gallant on Vimeo.

Yes, you can still watch the Top Ten programs…

Many of you joined me for my big joint venture program in May and learned from me and my nine amazing guest experts.  If you missed it or you couldn’t catch them all live, you can still purchase access to these ten terrific webinars and handouts.  Just go to http://www.toptenmarketing.biz 

Each expert shares their top ten tips on how to maximize your marketing results using:  Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, blogging, Twitter, SEO, Email marketing, networking and public speaking.  Plus I’ll show you how to bring it all together and measure your success.

I am so tired of seeing “Inspirational Quotes.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of worthy quotes.  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, there are any number of really intelligent, accomplished people whose words are worth noting.  But I am really tired of the trend that turn quotes and inspirational sayings and mottos into little images with colored backgrounds or pictures of small animals and then posting them on Facebook.  I remember going to Spencer Gifts in the ’70s (oh I know I am dating myself!) and buying a poster of a kitten that said “Hang in there.”

Last night in a conversation with a social media expert, she said I could use Pinterest to post these kind of quotes and inspirations.  “Feels trite to me,” is what I said.  But after further noodling around on this, it’s really that I feel it is kind of hackneyed and overdone so it just doesn’t mean anything anymore. When people don’t have anything original to say, they grab something someone else said.

My mother gets me a desk calendar every year as a holiday present and this year’s is something absolutely dreadful (the cover is ripped off but I think it’s Inspirations for Busy Women or something like that —and every day is a new one of these little pieces of pap.  Who wrote or compiled this nonsense?   If I wasn’t so cheap, I’d throw it out and and buy a new one.  Besides, where could you buy a new calendar in mid-April?

Are you tired of these silly quotes too?

What Makes An Ideal Client?

I am working on several Powerpoints that I’ll be presenting in upcoming weeks and the topic of Ideal Client keeps coming up.  (If you don’t know who your Ideal Client is, you can’t shape an effective marketing message or strategy!)

So I’m trying to come up with the criteria I use to define what makes someone an Ideal Client.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1.  They pay your price without an argument or negotiation because they know they are getting value and your services are worth what you charge.

2.  They buy from you more than once, either re-upping for a program or buying a different product or service from you.

3.  They listen to what you say and act on it.  (this is true for me as a coach, might be less relevant for a plumber!)

4.  They are your unpaid evangelists:  they tell their friends and colleagues about you and send business and referrals your way.

5.  You genuinely enjoy working with them.

What other things would you list as characteristics of an Ideal Client?  Comments welcome!

Thank You Organizers!

I was honored to be one of the presenters at the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) conference in Baltimore yesterday.  My topic:  Making Money Beyond The Billable Hour.  It was so gratifying to see so many of the organizers I had met in previous presentations (including national in Columbus in 2010 and MARCPO as well as chapter meetings for Maryland, Los Angeles, New England, Philly and Columbus)  And even though many attendees had heard me before (on a different topic) they came back for more.  I felt like a returning hero and so appreciated the feedback I received at the end.  I love inspiring small business owners to think bigger and can’t wait to hear some success stories as they take my ideas and make them their own.  Got a speaking gig for me?  Love to hear from you!

Blog posts can be short.

Meeting with a new client this morning, she was moaning about how tough it was for her to keep up with blogging.  She asked me about using a writer to do her blog posts (which can be okay in some instances)—but I encouraged her to take another spin at it herself first…with more modest ambitions. The web is consumed mostly in little bits and bytes (witness the popularity  of Twitter with a mere 140 characters)—so instead of trying to write an essay-length piece, just try to convey one quick little item that you think is interesting and worthwhile.  This post itself is just around 100 words.

I’m the “voice of reason” at the BBJ’s Social Media Crash Course

I was delighted to be invited to participate in December’s “Social Media Crash Course” sponsored by the Baltimore Business Journal and hosted by Maryland Public Television.  They’ve been hard at work editing it into the finished product that is finally posted and live for you to see.  Be sure to hang in to the end (or fast forward if you must) because I’m Speaker 4 of 4.  My take on it—you need to be sure that you keep in perspective what social media can (and cannot) do for your business and integrate all your marketing efforts together cohesively to reach your target audience.  Makes sense, right?

I’m always eager to learn and improve…

I just signed myself up for Fabienne Frederickson’s Get More Clients Workshop here in Baltimore later this month.  She has quite a reputation for helping entrepreneurs and I’m hoping to learn some tricks of the trade.  Coaches have coaches.  Speakers need to listen to other speakers.  I want to see how her whole operation works and pick up some pointers to raise my own game.  Are you going?  Here’s her website:  www.clientattraction.com  And no, I’m not making a dime off it, not an affiliate or anything (though maybe I should sign up!)

Get Your Ducks In A Row!

Did you miss the webinar on Tuesday? It’s not too late to watch it and you can even take advantage of the special offer if you move quickly (expires Wednesday, Jan 11th at midnight!)

How often should you blog?

I am in a quandary.  How often do I need to post something new on my blog to seem “current?”  I recently visited a colleague’s website and she hadn’t posted anything since October (it’s now January) and my reaction was “whoa…she is way out of date.”  But then I went back to review when the last time was that I wrote something new.  December.  I posted twice.  One of them however was a blatant sales pitch for my upcoming video shoot dates, not really a thoughtful, informative post that any one would want to read and comment on.  So really once.  Is that enough?  Does posting once a month justify even having a blog?  Many people tell me they want to start blogging and I always caution them:  do you have something worthwhile and interesting to say often enough to bother?  A newsletter might be better.  (and I do consistently publish a meaty monthly newsletter).  Also, there is this myth that if you blog then everyone on the web will contribute and comment on what you say and you’ll get a real conversation going on.  My experience is quite the opposite.  I do see folks reading the website and the blog ( I know this from checking my analytics)…but in the 3 years or so I’ve had this website up, I’ve had 14 legitimate comments.  14.  Not a typo.  If you have included a blog as part of your website (or have a blog instead of a website) and you have a different experience, let me know.  Also:  what do you think the right frequency is for posting?  Comments welcome.  Really.