What Playing the Clarinet as a Kid Taught Me about Using My Voice … or Not

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As a kid growing up, my parents emphasized music and the arts.  The public schools made it easy for kids to participate, so when music classes were an option, my mom made sure that my sister and I were quickly enrolled.  She played the violin.  I played the clarinet.

Truth be told, what I wanted to play was the flute.  I liked the sound of it, and it wasn’t super loud.  But my dad played the clarinet when he was a kid and we had one in the house.  For budget reasons, the clarinet won the day.

26199094-little-girl-playing-clarinet-on-a-gray-wallI wasn’t super excited about it, but I was a good student, so I practiced a lot.  The trouble was we lived in a neighborhood where all the houses were really close together.  My bedroom window faced directly to the neighbor’s open garage where a bunch of teenage guys were always working on their cars. Here was the rub.  The clarinet is not an instrument you can play without blowing hard and making noise.  And when you are first learning, the noise is NOT pretty. 

Add to that, I would practice with the windows open — because I grew up in the San Fernando Valley — and it was always HOTTER than blazes — especially in the summer.  The kids next door would yell through the window to cut it out, hurry it up, or close the window.  It was not exactly the best environment to learn to make beautiful music.

I kept practicing, and step by step. the noise became music. The ribbing I took from the neighbors was just one more challenge to overcome as I stayed with it despite how embarrassed I was.  Step by step, I got a lot better as a musician.  At one time, I was “second chair” seated right next to the #1 guy who just happened to have a very expensive clarinet that sounded better, no matter how he played it.

So why do I tell you this story?

Playing the clarinet in close quarters is a bit like finding your own voice.  If you get encouraged, receive applause, and are recognized for your talent, it’s pretty swell.   But while you are learning all the “how to” bits, finding your style, refining your approach, and working on your technique and finesse, it is just NOT so swell.  You have to want the result enough to stick with it.  And that means a lot of practice, implementation, interpretation and a lot of “wash, rinse and repeat” to get it right.

I became present to this lesson and reflection over the weekend as I was revisiting my love of music while playing the electronic keyboard in my living room that simulates a grand piano. With a teenager downstairs and a husband in the other room, I was thinking to myself how glad I was that the keyboard offered VOLUME CONTROL  I didn’t want to annoy either of them with the imperfect notes of music practice. I didn’t want to be embarrassed about not getting it right.  And I sure as heck didn’t want neighbors walking their dogs outside to hear me and laugh — or worse.

Then, it occurred to me that I likely keep the volume low when I try new things in my business for the same reasons.  I play the 26199169-little-girl-playing-clarinet-on-a-wharfstudent far longer than I should as opposed to getting out there in a big way to speak my truth, wave the flag, and do my thing.

Here’s the lesson, and I need to embrace it. We are all on the path to mastery, and we are always getting better through practice, trial and error, success, and failure.   It’s the ongoing effort in pursuit of a worthy ideal that keeps life interesting.

So, if you experience me raising the volume around the work I do in the coming months and it feels or sounds clunky, loud, imperfect or awkward as I find my new groove, consider yourself warned.   I’ve got more music to make to make my best impact, and this girl won’t be stopped.  How about YOU?

 

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Top Business Coach Bill Baren Shares the Antidote to Undercharging and Underearning

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manifesto2Bill-200x300

Click on the images to access the high end package manifesto: The Antidote to Undercharging and Underearning.

You can also read/watch the video news release by following the link below.

http://www.prreach.com/top-business-coach-bill-baren-shares-the-antidote-to-undercharging-and-underearning/

 

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So What Happened as a RESULT of Steve Juetten’s prREACH “James Brown, Estate Plan Tips” Press Release?

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Steve Juetten CFP™You could say my husband of almost 27 years — Certified Financial Planner Steve Juetten –  is my best and most appreciative client. 

And since we live together, parent together, and run two businesses across the hall from one another in our home, we talk business and evaluate results quite a bit. 

On August 29, Steve got inspired to issue a press release to bring attention to the importance of getting estate planning documents in order based on reading about the estate planning challenges of music legend James Brown.  And he took action to get the news out. prReach copyclickhere

So what actually happened for him over the last week or so as a direct result of the press release?

== When you do an internet search for “James Brown, Estate plan tips” Steve Juetten’s prREACH video comes up #1 in the search. Here is a screen capture from yesterday, and Steve’s press release comes up #1, just below the paid advertisement for Laird Norton.

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 == Steve’s Google Analytics reveal that his website has welcomed 50% more traffic than normal since the release was issued on Aug. 29, 2014.
== Steve reports that the number of opt ins to download his Smart Money Rules gift booklet are up by ten times.
== Steve showcased the video in his recent ezine to his financial planning clients and welcomed a number of compliments by return email. He created real engagement!
== Client said things like, “how amusing,” “I didn’t know that and am glad to know now,” and “Steve, I need to check my estate documents. Let’s schedule an appointment.”
== Financial planning can be a rather dry subject matter, so being recognized as amusing and funny and insightful is a good thing in Steve’s line of work and also quite refreshing.
== Steve has showcased the video clip on his LinkedIn to add a “cool quotient” to his profile.
== I have showcased the video clip in a solo email and several blog posts to my own tribe, too.
== This is one of the benefits of being married to me and having a relevant success story to share that can serve and educate my community about actions that deliver results. This kind of championship is also a benefit of being among my Jumpstart clients that I speak about from stages, teleseminars, and webinars.

Steve’s business is very demanding and he doesn’t have a lot of time to do marketing. And, he is so happy with his results that he can’t wait to do another press release next month.

So, I hope these very specific, terrific results for Steve inspire you about getting your story out to the world in a bigger way.

If you want to learn even more about how to use press releases to build big buzz for your business, join me today for a content-rich webinar I’ll be sharing via the Business Mastery Series for Direct Pay.  Here is a link to claim your place. It’s high value and free!

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Create Your Own Shawshank Redemption for Labor Day 2014 and Beyond

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Hardly a day goes by when someone working in corporate life wishes and hopes to escape the nine-to-five career to pursue the idea of img-booklucrative self-employment. That is why Pam Slim’s 2009 book Escape from Cubicle Nation touched a huge nerve to become an award-winning best-seller.

Today, many self-described corporate prisoners and frustrated aspiring entrepreneurs spend time wishing and hoping for their own Shawshankversion of The Shawshank Redemption. They are looking for a way out to create a lifestyle they can love with an income to match.

I am a former publicist who has created a reasonably lucrative laptop lifestyle in service to independent business owners around the world who want to get found, noticed, and hired by the clients they most want to serve.

3-d-bbbb-cover-2nd-Edition2-217x300 In business since 2001, my boutique publicity agency transformed into an online business in 2009 in the aftermath of The Great Recession.  With clients disappearing quickly in the tough times, I found myself in need of an immediate business reinvention.  By taking a dare from a friend — thank you Kathie Nelson of ConnectWorks — I wrote and debuted my self-published book  Bye-Bye Boring Bio within three weeks of accepting that challenge.  

Today my products, services and online training programs guide clients to say bye-bye to their boring bios and get known and paid for their expertise. The company is on track to welcome revenues in the low six figures for 2014 – by working from a home office with the support of a part time virtual assistant.

Mine is not a ‘breakthrough to seven-figures to create world domination kind of story.’ It’s a small business success story about making a great life while contributing to the success of others kind of story.   And, it sure feels like redemption and success to me given the hard times that the Great Recession served up for me and so many others in 2008.

What Happened in My Life and Work is Proof that One Good Thing Can Lead to Another

== In 2008, I gifted the DRAFT copies of the quickly created workbook to business owners who attended one of my do-it-yourself publicity workshops in exchange for their promise to review it to make it better within 10 days. The feedback was favorable, so I made upgrades, put a pretty cover on the book, and shared it with just over 1000 electronic newsletter subscribers. Much to my delight and surprise, online sales started almost immediately — even with a small list of subscribers.

TadHargrave== I created a live workshop around making boring bios better for client attraction and shared it via free local tea houses, co-working spaces, and my own dining room and backyard deck to prove the concept. Then, one of my friends and colleagues – Tad Hargrave of Marketing for Hippies   — was leading a 3-day live workshop at Bastyr University. I offered to present a 90-minute segment during his event and received an enthusiastic YES response.

== That live event at Bastyr University was attended by a decision maker in the career development office who invited me to lead a live Bye-Bye Boring Bio workshop for alumni and graduates. Director of Career and Alumni Services Susan Farley promoted the event to fill an auditorium of appreciative students who raved about their experience and results.

== That inspired me to create a live and home study VIRTUAL workshop that could serve people around the world. The first event took place in July of 2013 to rave reviews. Since then, well over 500 business owners serious about attracting clients with a sizzling first written impression have graduated to welcome new clients, speaking gigs, and media interviews.

The World’s Leading Trainer to Online Trainers Alex Mandossian, Permission to Charge AlexMandossianHeadShot2014_nMentor Jessica Riverson, Certified Financial Planner Amy Shappell , and Caregiving without Regret Expert Michael Bloom – among hundreds of others —  have since attracted clients, speaking invitations, and media interviews as a direct result of the stories created with my tools, resources, and support.

I successfully reinvented my business to serve a worldwide audience of business owners who are serious about solving a very specific problem in a world-class way. I have deployed my publicity expertise to build big buzz for my know-how. A “Google” search for “Business Bio Expert” returns hundreds of favorable results.  I am the walking-talking-typing example of my own Get Known to Get Paid methods.

As I anticipate Labor Day 2014, I breathe a happy sigh of relief that I took Kathie Nelson’s dare and made the leap to create my online business in service to those serious about getting known and getting paid for their specific marketplace brilliance. 

Here are my best tips from the trenches to inspire other business owners in some stage of reinvention to succeed with their own big ideas and compelling stories.

== Don’t build a better mousetrap. Rather, create a solution to a problem that is deeply felt, and get proof of your concept.  Millions of business owners struggle describing what they do in a way that captures attention.  The solution I created eases this pain.  We really do transform ‘bio cringe’ into ‘bio pride.’ That is very rewarding for my clients and satisfying for me.

== Test your concept live and in a virtual format. Hold live workshops, teleclasses and webinars to gauge interest, participation, and results.

== Build buzz for your event. Use tools that enjoy widespread use – Speaking, Facebook advertising, joint venture partnerships – (I am speaking about this topic today for PJ Van Hulle on her popular List-a-Palooza 90-Day List Building Challenge, and you can join us live by teleclass!) – solo email campaigns, social media, blog posts, ezine articles, meeting announcements, and do-it-yourself publicity.

== Fill your events in creative ways to build social proof and confidence in delivering your offering. For example, gift participation to those who invest in other programs, give away VIP tickets as prizes, and encourage graduates to invite business partners, colleagues, and friends.

== Use the power and influence of education based marketing to create trust in your expertise.

== Be thoughtful and strategic in creating offers and invitations that meet a need and compel clients to say YES.

== Collect participant testimonials in a systematic way. This helps build a tribe of champions who can advocate for the program and lend social proof that it pays off.

== Learn advanced strategies to build buzz once proof of concept is clear. This can include the formation of strategic partnerships and joint ventures – once proof of concept is clear.

heal-your-bio-3d (3)== Keep refining your offering and testing the pricing to best reflect the value. Take into consideration the feedback of engaged participants to make the program better each time.

I am very glad I took the leap to successful self-employment by creating a solution to a problem that so many business owners feel so deeply.  As I often say, “Bye-Bye Boring Bio — Hello Opportunity.” 

My fondest hope is that readers of this post are inspired to take the leap and succeed with their own big ideas and compelling stories that open the door to creating success on their own terms.

Start the journey by listening in to the upcoming LIVE webinar — the 3 biggest bio blunders even smart entrepreneurs make that prevent their ideal clients from hiring them.  Learn more and claim a gift copy of Heal Your Boring Business Bio to Attract Clients and Cash Now at this link.

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Google Hangout Replay — Alex Mandossian and Nancy Juetten – Better Business Bios

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Here is access to the replay of my chat with Alex Mandossian about better bios via Google Hangout.

Watch and enjoy! Post comments. And what ACTION will you take as a direct result of tuning in?

AlexWelcome

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Five Life Accidents that Brought Me Here

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1. I used to own a boutique public relations agency in service to big clients, big budgets, and big news. I enjoyed operating my agency from a home office above the garage in suburban Bellevue, Washington. That was BEFORE two home burglaries, a burst pipe flooded the downstairs, and a tree came crashing through the living room ceiling in a windstorm just in time for Christmas a few years ago.

 

2. With worry for the safety and security of my young family, I convinced my financial planner husband that we needed to move to a new house.

 

3. The economy tanked just after the new house closed. We couldn’t sell the one we left behind. And my long standing clients decided to cancel their contracts because they were holding on for dear survival themselves in the tough times of The Great Recession. The media and employment landscape seemed to change on a dime, too.

 

4. With no rich relatives or deep pockets to draw from, it was a scary time. Fear, self-doubt, and worry sent me to what I call “Pity Party Hotel” and what Oprah calls “The Ugly Cry.” I felt to blame for putting my family in a tough economic spot. Everything I cared about in my life and work seemed to be falling apart … including my marriage.*

 

 

5. And then one day, I dried my tears and decided to do something about it. I resolved to create a new and better business that would make the most of my storytelling skills in a new media marketplace. Rather than pitch stories and hope editors would say YES, I decided to serve business owners who needed to make fabulous first impressions so they could get easily found, hired, booked, and referred. Boring Bios were standing in their way, and I could change that to their expert and profit advantage.

 

It was time to start a Better Business Bio Revolution. And the opportunity to reflect the brilliance of others in ways that they couldn’t do for themselves was a gift I felt compelled to share and teach that stemmed from a wound of my own. I didn’t feel seen, heard, or celebrated in my own life. And here is the gift in that.

 

We teach what we most need to learn. That makes us brilliant at what we do because we care about it more than anyone else.

 

So, on a dare from a friend, I wrote a book called “Bye Bye Boring Bio” that quickly became a go-to resource to make boring business bios better for client attraction for thousands of business owners around the world. Book sales saved my bacon at the time when I desperately needed to bring some home.

 

Bye-Bye Boring Bio

 

It’s a funny thing. When you are a carpenter with a hammer, everything around you is a nail. I was a publicist who saw every situation as fodder for a press release, a story pitch, a contributed article, or a media interview.

 

I pitched my book to every media outlet I could find. I wrote columns for two business journals. Radio and TV interviews came, one right after the other — and I needed to get my story together so I could share it at a moment’s notice.

 

The “Bye-Bye Boring Bio” topic was timely, relevant and useful to former corporate employees who were hanging out their shingles in Free Agent Nation. Step by step, I got known in that old-school-publicist-kind of way that I knew so well.

 

 

Then, one day I got invited to do an interview for Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Experience — and I welcomed 800 opt in subscribers in a matter of hours. Her Transformational Authors bought my book to the tune of $15,000 in a weekend.

 

 

The light went on that the base hits of publicity, press releases, blog posts and articles are all fine and good.

 

And there was nothing quite so intoxicating as seeing thousands of new fans flock to my work with their credit cards because they heard a message from me at the invitation of a joint venture partner that solved a problem that needed relief right away.

 

Such has been my journey to success, one base hit and joint venture home run at a time, from then to now. Taking my own Get Known to Get Paid advice, I got known for my business bio expertise. And now I get paid for it and get to train business owners around the world how they can, too.

 

Today, I can proudly say that I am the World’s Leading Business Bio Expert. Just “Google” the term “Business Bio Expert” and you will soon see.

 

So with all that said, this is my core message, and I hope you will embrace it as truth to you.

 

Each and every one of us deserves to be seen, heard, celebrated and COMPENSATED for the expertise we bring to market.

 

Start first with YOUR STORY. Make it relevant to how you serve and the difference you make. And remember that the journey starts with you preparing your story. What happens next depends squarely on how well you SHARE it with the right people who need to hear it and take action because of it.

 

What I know for sure is that your impact, influence, and income are well within your control, no matter what life accidents may come your way. And that is a mighty powerful place to stand.

 

That’s my story. What is yours? Find courage to share yours to step up to bigger impact and success. Now is the time.

The Bio Doc is In on June 12. Join me and invite your friends? Click here to claim your place.

 

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Vote for Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao by Midnight, Mon. March 3

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092_sara_yao_lowres_b (3)My friend of 10 years — Sara Harvey Yao — is #2 on this leader board , and if she makes it GetPresent-cover (3)to #1 by tomorrow at midnight, she gets to lead a podcast about Executive Presence and Ego for  Alicia Dunams, the “Write a Best-Selling in a Weekend” expert. Sara is really gifted. Since she is so close, would you consider casting your vote for her? She wrote a book called “Get Present: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Head and Lead More Powerfully” and it is really good. Among her best clients are big wigs at high tech companies in  Seattle and beyond so she is really making big impact as an executive leadership consultant. I’d sure appreciate it. It’s great when friends get what they want, don’t you agree?

http://www.aliciadunams.com/vote/

 

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Personal Finance Lessons from Downton Abbey and CFP Steve Juetten — a Reprise Before the Ball Drops to Welcome 2014

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If you’ve got resolutions that relate to money matters, the Smart Money Rules from my husband Steve Juetten are just the ticket to get you where you want to go.  Access this powerful Little Green Book now via this link:

http://finpath.com/gift/

And, for Downton Abbey fans, this press release from a year ago might bring a grin and reinforce the learning in a way that makes you grin.

featured_season3_quiz_couple

Success Tip: Issuing press releases to showcase your unique perspective can be a very credible and influential way to showcase your expertise before a wide audience of perfect potential clients who can benefit. If you are an author, consultant, or subject matter expert who is pondering getting the word out about your expertise in 2014, delivering Press Release Pizzazz is absolutely in our zone of genius. Budget for two or four releases to be DONE FOR YOU throughout the calendar year to keep your name and expertise front and center in a “Google” search. The results we bring about through our work give scores and scores of happy clients reason to celebrate. Most welcome between 100 and 300 online media placements within 24 hours of their news crossing the PR Newswire, along with top rankings for their expertise in a “Google” search. This makes it easy for their clients to find them and hire them. In our work with leading joint venture partners in the coaching world — including Christian Mickelsen, Justin Livingston, and Callan Rush — we have found that issuing a press release at the start of the big launch and once again on the “cart close” day can be very effective for reaching people beyond those the partner is already doing business with, while also driving clicks, opt ins, and sales.

We’d be honored to do business with you and those you know who can benefit.

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Getting Known Versus Spam and Inviting Your Straight Talk

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There is a huge joint venture in progress that has 70 big internet entrepreneurs involved. 

We are all beating the drum for Callan Rush for good reason.  She is a master trainer who guides workshop, retreat, and seminar leaders to successfully and profitably deliver their messages to change the world. That is a drum I’ll gladly beat because I believe in the mission, have studied her work, and know that she can make a huge difference for the people I serve.

And that means that everyone on the partner lists is getting pretty much the same email copy to share with their tribes to invite interest and engagement.

Yesterday, I received several comments from people from my own tribe.  They said that the perceived those emails as “spam” and wouldn’t open them. I think that is pretty strong, but that’s what they said. And, they wrote to me to say they opened my email in a sea of sameness  because it offered a distinct and authentic message. One reader said it was a courageous message. Their comments were heart-felt. And that did my heart good.

I am a huge fan of getting known. And these joint venture campaigns certainly bring the name of the featured expert center stage in a big way. That gets a whole lot of people talking.

It also sets the stage for that expert to offer real value in the short term and ultimately get paid when the time comes.  This is provided that the expert makes a winning invitation to provide a quality solution to a serious problem that is giving a great many frustrated workshop, retreat, and seminar leaders serious grief.

The results are where the rubber meets the road, which is why joint venture partnerships continue to hold favor among so many internet entrepreneurs — including me.

Let me be clear. I am in the mix, right there with them, because reaching more people with my own message is important and influential, and the math does work out. But, at what expense?

Math has never been my strong suit. Words are my favorite currency.  I may not have the answers, but I can ask the questions and invite your replies at a time when so many of us are thinking about this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions:

  • How do you react when you receive the same email in your inbox from multiple sources?
  • Does this powerful influx compel you to pay more attention or less?
  • Does this improve or take away from the way you feel about the expert?
  • Does this influence the actions you intend to take?
  • If you had a wish about how this could be done differently or better, what would it be?
  • And if the message travels across a news wire to reach hundreds of media outlets as news with the potential to reach people beyond the lists to which so many of us subscribe, is that better? Or do you consider that spam, too?

I think this could be a very juicy conversation.  Won’t you join in and comment?  Can’t wait to read what you have to say.

 

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Record, Rapport, Results — Three Big R’s for Leading Successful Teleseminars

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I’ve given and hosted scores and scores of teleseminars over the last few years.  And, since using words well is my gift and the technology — not so much — I confess that taking on teleseminars and the technology around them was brand new territory for me.

It’s a little unsettling to know that dozens or hundreds or maybe even thousands of people are making an appointment to listen to content you are sharing. There are a lot of things that go through your mind.  And sometimes, you get so lost in what you are intending to say that you might forget to hit “record” on the teleseminar dashboard.

Or, you might put the entire call “on hold” so no one can hear what you are saying. Mistakes happen, and I’ve made plenty of them. That is why, every time I lead or host a teleseminar, I put a sticky note on my computer with three words written on it:  Record, Rapport, Results.  I know, this is decidedly low tech in approach, but it works for me.  And it should give you hope that if I can do this, you can, too.

1) If I have gone to the time and effort to create a content rich teleclass or webinar, remember to RECORD it so everyone who has opted in can have the benefit to hear it live or via replay.

2) Create RAPPORT with the audience and the host.  That means fighting against reading from the PowerPoint slides during content delivery.  (Boy oh boy, I have struggled with that!)  That means connecting with those who are listening by showing up at your best, most authentic YOU.  That means delivering the content with the intention to deliver real value and plant the seeds for real relationships to take root to grow. As for connecting with the host, that all begins with the first call to suggest a collaboration.  It continues as you demonstrate how truly READY you are to make promoting your call or theirs easy, effective, and rewarding.  And the experience continues as both parties practice the fine art of follow up in the days leading to the deadline to take the desired action.

3) Begin with the end RESULT in mind, and see it through all the way through.   If you want people to request a discovery session, make that clear.  If you want people to make a time sensitive purchase decision to support their success, say so.   Give the audience JUST ONE ACTION to take so the content you have carefully crafted can actually lead to a desired outcome for your ideal client and for you.  And if you want to earn a reputation as a “rock star” joint venture partner, start with that end result in mind, too.  Be a pleasure to work with.  Do what you promised to do to promote the call.  Show up on time and ready to be your very best in service to everyone who expressed interest in the subject of your call.

kimclausen (3)If you would like to learn even more about how to make teleseminars pay off for your growing business, join me and Kim Clausen today at noon Pacific.   All the details are noted within the link right here.   I know as much as I have learned so far about leading teleseminars, I can always get better, and Kim Clausen is among the leading experts to show us all the way.  Join us!

==     Leading Your Own Teleseminars Can Be Easy… And Profitable

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