Building Marketable, One-of-a-Kind, Shatter-the-Status-Quo Brands

As a consultant, speaker and/or leader ready to showcase your expertise, you cannot sound or think like anyone else.

To effect change, you need to stand apart from the crowd and shatter paradigms, wake the sleepers, usher in new ideas–and you must lead with that revolutionary voice to have maximum impact.

But few dare to do it. Instead, they follow the pack, perpetuating bland, out-dated, me-too branding and business development unworthy of their calling and the planet.

There’s no question: you must be a Thought Leader in these times to gain the attention and opportunities worthy of you. And if you’ve heard of Thought Leadership Marketing—providing a portal to your business with unique, edgy marketing content—that is “a must,” too.

But it’s not enough. Controversial, futurist viewpoints alone have never driven the action required for change.

The most successful businesses of the future will be led by bold, renegade leaders of dual talent:

1. “Thought Leadership,” bringing edgy, new, contrarian views to light–and

2. “Inspired Leadership,” integrating powerful tools of human psychology to impel audiences to act.

Inspired Leaders’ Academy leaves the pack of traditional Thought Leadership and business development by uniquely transforming “mere-mortal entrepreneurs” into potent, one-of-a-kind “Inspired Thought Leaders” (ITL’s)—by taking them through the following essential sequence:

Start-up Coaches and Consultants

Get the Secret Sequence into your hands! It’s what no one is telling you about the exact-step sequence for building your expert business.

When Prospects Don’t Want Your Services

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The #1 Skill to Change the World

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Go here to read all about this special group! 

Freedom to Lead Series 10 (FINALE)–The Freedom to Shine

This 10-day video series honors our Independence Day here in the States–July 4; honors the determination our forefathers had to be free by looking at the freedoms entrepreneurial thought leaders must claim in order to be successful in business and in changing the world.

This final video of the series focuses on what I believe is the most important golden nugget of all–the single act that will give you the future you want…but it may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

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Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy

I’ve walked this boardwalk *countless* times. Well, what was a boardwalk.

Every single board of this 2-mile NJ landmark was ripped from its foundation by the force of Sandy and tossed lie a rag doll into the ocean.

Of course, this is mild compared to what has happened in other areas of my beloved NJ…and my beloved NYC. I am grateful that I get to sit, right now, in Starbucks, siphoning wi-fi so that I can experience a taste of civilization. I have been without power for 7 days and am staying–if you can believe it–with my ex, in a house currently alive because of a generator. We have no phone, internet or cable, and yesterday, I sat for 2 hours in line for gasoline–much shorter due to the new “even/odd” license plate rules. [Read more...]

Stay or Go?

Spend 6 minutes to see if you should stay (or get) subscribed to me and my work, or if you should move on. This is an important decision because if you choose to stay, it could change your future in very important ways. Watch now! [Read more...]

Determining Your Target Market: 6 Ways You’ve Probably Not Considered–Part 4

In this 6-part series, I’m offering tools to help you determine the market that is best for who you are, what you do, and that will actually buy you. I can’t possibly underestimate the importance of a niche-market or underestimate the difficulty in getting this right for most coaches, consultants, practitioners and speakers. This is Part 4 in the series. Be sure to read the previous posts for all of the tools, then blend them together for your Perfect Buyer mix.

#4. With Whom Do You Have the Most Credibility?

You must go where you are seen as valid and valuable. Many clients come to me and don’t consider this at all, let alone thoughtfully. Here are some questions to help you:

    1. Where do you have solid contacts? Do you have them from your previous career? From your PTA days? From your church? This is one of the very first questions I ask, in large part because you do not want to make business any harder than it needs to be! Go where you have contacts, but also, go there because where others know you, you have credibility.
    2. What have you experienced and conquered? Yesterday, my advice was, “be your market.” If you have gone through something that your market has gone through, as well, you have instant credibility. Downsizing; divorce; teen motherhood, etc. In determining your market, look for the experiences you’ve had because your success journey will be wanted by the market going through the same thing–and they will buy you because you are credible.
    3. Who would resonate most with your beliefs? Like-minds find each other credible. If you say something that causes others to fervently nod their head in agreement, you have credibility with them–even if you lack experience in what you do. Even if it is a market in which you have interest, but no contacts. If you believe in something they do, you are one of the tribe. I always delve deeply into my clients’ beliefs, and eventually have them include them in their marketing because inspirational marketing works for this very reason–you are powerfully credible with those who share your philosophies.

By now, you must be getting ideas. Who is a strong contender for your target market?

Unsure of Your Purpose? 8 Questions to Reveal An Answer…

I was asked by a colleague, Jill Berquist, to be on her weekly community call and speak to “those in transition” about Inspired Leadership. Now, I’m used to speaking to entrepreneurs—and visionary ones, at that—so I had to take a few moments to consider what I could say to folks who aren’t sure where their feet will land next. They want some sort of direction.

What I wanted them to understand, first and foremost, is that they have it in them to lead. They’ve been around the block a time or two and have amassed a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom. My job was to help them see that there is a natural leadership role waiting for them. I ended up taking them through a series of questions that I believe will help anyone—an established entrepreneur, or you, if you’re not sure yet of your purpose in the world.

But first, we need to define “leader”—which everyone and his mother has done for the last sixty years. But here’s my definition—and note the four distinct parts: A leader 1) has something to say 2) that is unique, 3) relevant—and has 4) direction for people, a clear sense of the destination that would be most helpful for them.

An inspired leader has something to say that inspires others to a destination that has them aspire to something greater.

If that seems daunting–and I thought perhaps it would seem so to the audience on this call–it isn’t at all and I wanted them to know that immediately. So I told them that the fact is, all of us have opinions about what is most helpful for others. We all have a “destination” we believe is most helpful for others to get to. It’s just a fact. Even those of us who believe in “live and let live” and don’t like to put forward opinions…have an opinion about that, and probably believe that philosophy is a very helpful destination for everyone!

So, I had the attendees look at the idea of leadership and purpose with the following questions. Are you ready to take yourself through them?

  1. What area of life do you feel you have an opinion about? You have knowledge and wisdom because of some experience in it? The 6 areas of life are:
    1. Romantic relationships
    2. Health and wellness
    3. Parenting/Family
    4. Finance
    5. Career
    6. Mental/Spiritual Potential
  2. Now, in just 1 sentence: What is the most amazing or critical thing you learned about that area when you were going through your experience of it?
  3. What was the pain you had PRIOR to that realization?
    What feelings did you have that hurt?
  1. How did you get out of that pain?
  1. Imagine having about twelve people with the same pain in a room with you. Answer this in one very succinct sentence: What opinion would you offer them about how to alleviate the pain? (One sentence.)
  1. If you could alleviate this pain for thousands, would this satisfy you profoundly?
    1. If not, what is missing?
  1. If “yes,”—What would you encourage them to aspire to? What “destination” (intangible, perhaps) would you inspire them to reach for?
  1. What vision comes to mind for the way that you would lead them there?

Of course, as I said, as a leader, you will have something unique to say (and relevant.) We’ve covered the “relevant” piece in these questions. Now, the final question—the BIG one—is what could you say to them that is provocative and fresh…new to the ears?

Good weekend thinking, don’t you think?

(BTW, that’s the work I do. You may always email me to find out more!)

Celebrating 10 Years In Business This Month!!

It was October 2001. After nearly nine months of rigorous study and practice, I charged out of the iPEC Coaching school in New Jersey, where I’d just earned my ICF-accredited certification, and was ready to change the world. After all, two years before, I’d left my marriage to do just that (that’s another story) and I figured it was about time I followed through.

Never mind that I had no idea how to run a business. My father had been a minister, my mother a psychotherapist and the very cornerstones of any successful business—selling and marketing—had never been skills they’d needed, and in fact, they had quite openly disparaged them. While it has become a cliché now, I was one of those who truly believed that all it took to be good in business was being good at what I did. And I was great at coaching. So, it wasn’t much of a leap, I figured, to assume I’d be great in business.

Are you laughing? I wish someone had laughed at me and set me straight back then, but I didn’t have any entrepreneurial friends or family members, so they stepped into the poppy field with me and off we marched into my fantasy.

I soon woke up. With a start.

As I’ve said, I had no idea how to sell—but it was all much worse than just that. I didn’t want to sell. Like, fiercely. I honestly would have rather starved—and if it hadn’t been for my ex-husband, I probably would have. Sales people were desperate, sleazy, manipulative. And since I wasn’t any of those, I was not going to risk my reputation and become them. Lesson 1.

I had no target market. If you’ve been a student or client of mine, you’re openly gaping right now—but I assure you, it’s true: I wanted to be a generalist coach. After all, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer didn’t have narrow markets: they spoke to the whole world and so would I. Lesson 2.

Then there was the clarity thing. It was bad enough that the world didn’t really know what a “coach” was outside of sports–and while making the analogy helped, still, furrowed brows dominated the faces of those to whom I tried to describe this new profession. And since I was a generalist, I had very little compelling to say about what I did. Lesson 3.

There’s more to the story–not trying to tease, but too long for a post. Go get the rest PLUS the 75 lessons I learned the hard way:

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