Got a Niche? You Gotta Find it, Before You can Scratch it!


Got a Niche?

Niche Target Customers

The stronger your niche, the more successful you will be.  Heidi Richards Mooney

You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. If you don’t have a niche for the product or service you offer, it will be much more difficult to gain momentum and be successful.  Especially for the long term.  In fact, when you build your name in a particular niche, it is much easier to start building a business in a lateral market.

When first starting in business, many small business owners think they can and should market to anyone they can find.  But that is like throwing money from the rooftop running to the ground and trying to catch it. Most of it will be blown away by the time you get to the bottom. And if you hit the bottom, it is much more difficult to climb back up. Most experts would agree that when you try to be all things to all people, you dilute the value of your product or service and become in essence, nothing to everybody.

So just how do you find that niche?

To find your niche, you must first ask yourself a few questions. And answer them honestly. What do you like to do? What are you good at? What can you make money doing?

I like to write. And read. And I am good at organizing things. Connecting people. Providing information. And I have been listening to and discovering what topics others look to me for advice and information. Not only that, I have asked several people what they consider my strengths.Once I identified these attributes and the skills I had to offer it was much easier to figure out what I should be doing with my life.  What could I do that incorporated writing, connecting people AND provided information?
And here’s the list I came up with:

I could publish a digital magazine ~ the result:  WE Magazine for Women.

I could offer virtual events such teleseminars and webinars to women and bring together top notch experts in a variety of fields to teach women how they too could make money ~ The result: The Women’s Success Series.

I could create a system for women who wanted to know more about doing business online ~ The result:  The Women’s eCommerce Association, International.

I could write more articles and information products on topics I have an expertise in or sufficient knowledge of ~ The result: BLOGS!  Lots of Blogs!

I could coach others on how to market their businesses and take it to the next level ~ The result: Redhead Marketing.

So I defined and found markets to capitalize on my strengths and what I love to do. But the big question still remains. How to make money at all this???

And that’s where I’ve been stuck. Oh sure, I have made money with the virtual events and sometimes its been great and other times, not so much. You see there is a dirth of virtual events online today the competition is stiff. You simply must know your niche if you want to make money.

We sell advertising in our magazine so we do receive revenue from that, and membership in the Women’s eCommerce Association varies from the Free Basic member to the Global Lifetime Member.  Even though we have lots of great benefits for each of our levels, most people choose the basic level.

Blogs ~ that’s where I spend the majority of my time and effort and it has paid off. We have affiliate links, google adwords, cross promotion marketing as well as promoting our products and services via our blogs.

The big challenge is tying it all together and creating a steady stream of income.

So now I am reevaluating everything I do. In fact, I am doing it right here before your eyes because as the thought comes to me, I am processing it and sharing it with you.  This is an important step that I think everyone should take. Take the time to evaluate what you are doing, where the majority of your efforts are income producing. And do more of that.

Oh, and did I mention I run a retail flower shop?  Have for 30+ years. This was once our “cash machine” and earned me a nice living, paid my children’s way through school, helped me afford a nice home, car and more.  And the economy has changed. I knew I needed to make big changes to go along with the times and economy – especially if I wanted to stay in business.  In 2008 we took a look at all our operations with a magnifying glass and determined where to “cut the fat,” reduce expenses and begin to focus on our high-profit low energy products and services.  That’s where the niche comes in. You see, in my business, I have always been more of a generalist than a specialist. It worked for many years when the economy was strong, but in an uncertain economy, tightening your niche is even more important. We did just that, by defining what market can afford our services. Since flowers are not a necessity, we know that most lower income people will choose food over flowers most days.  But the rich!  That’s another story. The rich are getting richer. The luxury market is wide open right now. But you have to have something they WANT. Not need. They take care of their needs, but their wants are different. They want what others cannot necessarily afford. Things that stir their passions and bring a smile to their faces.

Which should I focus my energy on? I mean really! So many fingers in so many places. I have eight fingers (and two thumbs for those of you doing the math) and it looks like all eight are into something.  It’s enough to overwhelm anyone!  People often ask me “How do you do so many things, and do them well.” My flip response is that “I have adult ADD.” But the truth is that not one of these things can keep my focus all the time.   So I schedule time each day to work on one or more of these areas of my professional life. Some require more attention than others.  Here’s how I spend my time:

I spend about 5 hours each week writing on all 9 of my blogs (it was 12 until recently when I decided to combine a couple and delete one…)  It only takes about 8 hours because I have a library of articles from newsletters I wrote for over the years. Those articles are being repurposed to add content and value to my blogs.And I participate in a lot of social networking sites. If I like the topic of feel I can contribute solid advice, then I also repurpose that advice by posting it on the appropriate blog (and sharing the source of the post).

The magazine is rather easy because we have a team of people who write for us. So I spend roughly 4 hours a week on that project and about 30 hours the 3 weeks prior to production. I do have an assistant publisher who puts the magazine together which is another 15 hours.

I go to my shop every day, just to have a place to hang out. Once a week my office manager and I get together for an hour or so and create a plan for our next marketing idea.  We like quick to implement, marketing plans that produce almost immediate results.  I also answer phones, design floral arrangements.  Another hour +.  (Except during peak times when I might spend 30 hours that week working almost entirely on the floral business.

I spend at least 4 hours a day connecting with the leaders and members of Women in Ecommerce, answering questions, promoting our events and writing our monthly ezine.  Some of that time is also spent communicating with other women I have met online and introducing them to our association, asking if I can interview them or seeing how we can help them make more money on the WEB. Part of those 4 hours is also spent on social networks.

In addition, I try to attend at least one networking/social event a week (another 3-4 hours).  And speak at an event at least once a month (prep time – 3-5 hours – time at event can be 2-8 hours, when local).

Did I mention that I run two masterminds?  One is with Christina Rowe and is the Virtual Business Mastery Mastermind. The other is the Author Marketing Mastermind Author Marketing Mastermind (my consulting niche).  The first takes approx. 6 hours every two weeks and the 2nd about 6 hours a week.

If you add this all up, it’s close to 60 hours a week. You gotta love what you do, if you are going to spend that much time doing it! For me, this is not work, its a lifestyle – a choice. The best of both worlds. Working for myself while working for my target market.

Are you like me? Do you have your fingers in several places and wondering how to make money at them all? I guess I’ve been lucky because I have been at most of these for long enough to make them work for me.  And I spent a lot of time at the beginning focusing on each one separately in order to do them well now.  What you need to know about me is that once I have “mastered” something, I tend to look for another project to focus my energy.  For most people this will not work well in the long run.  Trust me, I know.

So that’s when I decided it was time to look at just where the money is in all this (my niche) and answer the questions “Where should I scratch?”

Here are some steps you can take to define, produce and promote to YOUR NICHE.

Make a list of 10 to 5o things you enjoy doing, you are good at, special skills you have and things you would like to learn more about.

Rank that list in terms of which ones you’d be most passionate about pursuing and would make enough money to sustain your interest.

Then look at it from the consumer’s perspective. Is there an area or market on the list that is underserved or demand is high? If so, that is the place to begin.  Because you will generate the income you need to pursue other areas once you “own that market.”

Make sure you have some knowledge in the area you want to pursue, experience if possible and also that there is demand in the area.  For instance, if you were an event planner, you could specialize in yacht parties.  This would quickly help you build a name for yourself among other event planners and in your target market.  If you don’t know enough about the yachting industry, start finding events being help on yachts, contact the event coordinators and offer your help to market the event if its open to the public as well as volunteer the day of.  Check out a local marine industry association, or yacht club and see if there is a way to offer your services.  There are many ways to “get inside an industry.” It just takes a little imagination, passion and confidence.  Oh and chutzpah never hurts either.

Define your marketing message or USP. What makes you stand out among other professionals doing what you do or want to do. In my consulting business we focus on “helping small businesses bloom.” The USP is the promise of what you can deliver.

And you absolutely must have a website or web presence. If you sell a product, you would likely need a website with shopping cart software, if you sell information, you might be able to get by with a blog. Or a combination of the two which is what I do.  My other company, Redhead Marketing, Inc creates affordable websites that get results. If you need a new website or just want yours upgraded drop me a line.

Remember that niche marketing is the key to developing a sustainable business, one where you are standing out among the competition. You will see the investment of your time, talent and treasure will payoff in BIG WAYS.

Stay tuned for part two of my Niche Story.  In it, I share the system that works for me – and you can replicate to work for you.

Create Your Ta-Da List


When was the last time You CELEBRATED YOU?

When it comes to success, many of us loose site of just how much have accomplished in a day, a week, a month, a year and even a lifetime.  How good are you at celebrating your successes?  Or do you tend to focus on your faults and failures more?  A wise woman once said “We must learn from our mistakes.  However don’t let them consume you or you will never achieve greatness.  Celebrate your successes no matter how small or trivial they may seem. After all, that is where the real joy in life comes from.”

Here are some ways you can review and celebrate your successes.

As the year comes to a close, look back at the last several months and make a list of 20 accomplishments. This may be difficult for you to do as you review the past year.  You may only come up with 5 or 10 things.  That’s okay!  Start there.  Add to it as you think of more.  Ask your family and friends what they think you have accomplished.  You will be amazed at how quickly your list will grow.

The next thing to do is to start writing down all the things you accomplished each day.  At the end of the day, list 2-5 (or more) things that you accomplished that day (no matter how trivial they may seem).

You can buy a simple journal and call it your Success Journal.  Keep it near you at all times so that when you have reached one of your goals, a milestone or accomplished a simple task, it is handy for you to write in.

The Ta-da list is a great counterbalance for your to-do list and you will find that you have accomplished more than you thought you had.  In addition, the ta-da list creates an emotional spark to your soul often giving you the encouragement you need to keep on keeping on with the goals you have set for yourself.

And finally, when you have 5-10 things on your list (or even one) REWARD YOURSELF!  Go to the spa, get a manicure, take half a day off, go to a museum, buy a new pair of shoes J (my personal favorite) and remember to pat yourself on the back.  I have one friend who every time she accomplished a major goal, she bought herself a trophy!  The “AWARDS” guy loved her… She has so many now that she spends the money on supporting worthy causes.  This makes her feel good and she spreads her success around.

21 Tips for Hosting a Successful Event


“It’s the little things that make a BIG thing THE THING. Never skip the little things.”
Heidi Richards Mooney

Business Networking EventsEvery year when the Fall Season approaches businesses and individuals begin planning for the holidays. In fact, it is the perfect time for companies to get ready for their next BIG promotion. One of the things to think about is hosting an Event. It could be a meeting for a group of people, it could be an open house, or it could be a formal occasion. No matter what the event, there are certain components when properly executed will keep people talking about the event long after it is over.

Of course,  if you happen to be the one doing the planning, there will probably come a time when you say to yourself,  “I just cannot wait for it to be over!” Why? Because we know all the work and details that go into the plan and it can be overwhelming.  Even the little annoyances and minor challenges can be the difference between hanging up our planning hats or not.  Those “planners” who are armed with an action plan feel satisfied and are even excited to begin working on their NEXT event.  Even the simplest of events requires planning, preparation and follow up.

Here are 21 tips to help you pull off the perfect event that will build your CONFIDENCE and set the tone for events to come:

1. If you are planning to host an event with more than 20 people, consider recruiting a co-chair to help with some of the details.

2. Use a personalized invitation to invite guests to your event. Follow up with the registrants and provide complete event details, such as location, time, directions and proper attire.

3. Encourage your guests to bring plenty of business cards to exchange with other guests

4. Consider inviting your customers, suppliers or prospects, when creating your invitation list.

5. Generate targeted emails to these groups to let them know what you are offering.

6. Design a postcard Invitation to send via email.  Or use one of the free online invitations available such as Yahoo Invites, Evites, or Sendomatic.

7. Consider having a drawing to encourage attendance — such as a complementary service your company can provide or a coupon for something from a partner or supplier.

8. Get a Sponsor for the event to help underwrite the costs.  Make sure the sponsor’s name is included in the invitations as well as mentioned during the event.  You may also wish to give your Sponsor 5 minutes to address your guests, a table at the event which they can use to place their marketing materials in addition to allowing them to distribute their information to guests.  If the sponsor makes a significant contribution to your event, consider giving them a Free attendance.

9. Post the invitation on your website. Create a unique registration page to gather information.  Make sure it includes information to RSVP.

10. Make sure all invitations, notices and flyers include information to RSVP.

11. Choose a time that will work for the greatest number of attendees and you.

12. Consider hosting your event at a location other than a restaurant or country club.  Some ideas include having your event in your home, at a vendor location (such as a technology company), at a City Hall, or Chamber of Commerce, University or College, Tech School, Newspaper, Outdoors

13. If you are hosting an educational event consider topics that would relate to Women and ECommerce. (See suggested topics for WECAI meetings).

14. Keep a current list of registrants, updating it to reflect new guests.

15. Send out more than one invitation.  Some people don’t read the first one sent, so it is always good to follow up with a second and even third notice.

16. 24 hours before the event, send a Reminder email notice to your guest list to ensure as many guests as possible will show up the day of the event.

17. If you are charging for the event – to cover costs of the meal, location, etc. have a deadline for sending in the money – RSVP (agreed upon with the venue/caterer/restaurant).

18. Consider giving a prize or special incentive to all who register EARLY. Or have a contest and choose a winner with a prize for early registrations. You could ask a Vendor to donate a prize just for this.  Extra PR for both! on time.

19. Be sure and let the media know of your plans as they unfold. For instance a release to “announce” the event, another release to announce any special guests or speakers, a third release for sponsors and an overall release describing the event in greater detail.

20. If you do have a speaker, give her/him adequate time to present allowing time for guests to ask questions.

21. Collect business cards or have a registration card at the sign-in table.  This way you can follow up with your guests and thank them for attending. Be sure to send thank you’s after your event to everyone involved.

Here are some related articles that may be of interest in Planning the Perfect Event:

Planning Special Events – Six Strategies for Success  and Special Event Planning – Develop Your Master Plan

©Heidi Richards Mooney – is an  Entrepreneur,  Business Coach, Student of Social Media and the Author of 12 books including: “Rose Marketing on a Daisy Budget ~ How to Grow Your Business Without Spending a Fortune.”  She is also the Publisher of WE Magazine for Women.

Things You May NOT Know About Leadership


Leadership, while its a subject often taught, it is one that can be difficult for some to grasp. And others to adopt.  Why? Because leaders are not created equal. "7 Things You May NOT Know About Leadership"

Some people believe you are born to be a leader and others tell you it is an acquired skill. I believe the leader mindset is something we are born with. The ability to adapt, to take control, to move people in a positive direction. In my opinion these are all personality traits. Can they be taught. Sure. But when someone has it “naturally” its evident. Its not forced and people know. They say, “so and so is a natural born leader. ” I learned early  on that leadership can also be taught. 30 some years ago I attended a conference for women put on by Career Track Seminars called Leadership Skills for Women which taught me several things about myself including the fact that deep down inside there was a leader waiting to emerge. Back then I was terribly shy and uncomfortable taking charge (except at home) so learning about myself was enlightening.  That was the beginning of a life of being a leader and more importantly helping others discover it within themselves.

There are misconceptions about leadership that we have been taught and still other things we may or may not know about leaders such as the five examples stated below:

  1. Leaders are Not Created Equal. Nor are they always in positions of authority. They simply “take charge” when the need arises. A perfect example of this could be someone who takes over in the event of a catastrophe or challenging event. In fact, a person can be a leader and a follower simultaneously.

There are several leadership “types” of which you will likely encounter more than one during the course of your life. There are “formal” leaders – the ones we elect into positions or political offices such as the senators, congressmen, and presidents of the local associations and clubs. Informal leaders are the ones we look up to by virtue of their wisdom and experience. They include the above example an others, such as elders of a tribe, or our grandparents as well as business and intellectual leaders by virtue of their expertise and contribution on a given field such as Albert Einstein in the field of Theoretical Physics and Leonardo da Vinci in the field of the Arts. Both formal and informal leaders display a combination of leadership styles. They have been identified and defined by several thought leaders which include:

  • Kurt Lewin’s three primary leadership styles – authoritative, participative, and delegative
  • Rensis Likert’s four leadership styles – exploitive authoritative, benevolent authoritative, consultative, and participative
  • Daniel Goleman’s six emotional leadership styles – visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding.
  1. The Skills of Good Leadership can be Acquired. 

Although certain people seem to be born with innate leadership qualities, without the right environment and exposure, they may fail to develop their full potential. Like learning how to ride a bicycle, you can also learn how to become a leader and hone your leadership abilities. Knowledge on leadership theories and skills may be formally gained by enrolling in leadership seminars, workshops, and conferences. Daily interactions with people provide the opportunity to observe and practice leadership theories. Together, formal and informal learning will help you gain leadership attitudes, gain leadership insights, and thus furthering the cycle of learning. You do not become a leader in one day and just stop. Life-long learning is important in becoming a good leader for each day brings new experiences that put your knowledge, skills, and attitude to the test.  Once you learn the skills and develop them within yourself, you are able to become more confident both inside and out.  The new-found knowledge can help you show others how to discover it within themselves.

  1. Leadership Begins with You.

The best way to develop leadership qualities is to apply it to your own life. As the saying goes “action speaks louder than words.” Leaders are always in the limelight. Keep in mind that your credibility as a leader depends much on your actions: your interaction with your family, friends, and co-workers; your way of managing your personal and organizational responsibilities; and even the way you talk with the newspaper vendor across the street. Repeated actions become habits. Habits in turn form a person’s character. Steven Covey’s book entitled 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides good insights on how you can achieve personal leadership.

  1. Leadership is a Shared Responsibility.

Leadership is not the sole responsibility of one person, but rather a shared responsibility among members of an emerging team. A leader belongs to a group. Each member has responsibilities to fulfill. Formal leadership positions are merely added responsibilities aside from their responsibilities as members of the team. Effective leadership requires members to do their share of work. Starting as a mere group of individuals, members and leaders work towards the formation of an effective team. In this light, social interaction plays a major role in leadership. To learn how to work together requires a great deal of trust between and among leaders and members of an emerging team. Trust is built upon actions and not merely on words. When mutual respect exists, trust is fostered and confidence is built.

  1. Leadership Styles Depend on the Situation.

Why is it that dictatorship works for Singapore but not in the United States of America? Aside from culture, beliefs, value system, and form of government, the current situation of a nation also affects the leadership styles used by its formal leaders. There is no rule that only one style can be used. Most of the time, leaders employ a combination of leadership styles depending on the situation. In emergency situations such as periods of war and calamity, decision-making is a matter of life and death. Thus, a nation’s leader cannot afford to consult with all departments to arrive at crucial decisions. The case is of course different in times of peace and order—different sectors and other branches of government can freely interact and participate in governance. Another case in point is in leading organizations. When the staffs are highly motivated and competent, a combination of high delegative and moderate participative styles of leadership is most appropriate. But if the staffs have low competence and low commitment, a combination of high coaching, high supporting, and high directing behavior from organizational leaders is required.

One final note, leaders know how to share credit with others and in fact, often the sign of a good leader is the ability to give the team credit rather than take it for themselves.  Doing so, not only enhances the leaders “position” of authority and influence, it also shows great strength of character. People flock to the leader who does not take all the credit, because they know the leader is in it for the right reasons – not the glory but rather the results or the “story” that will eventually be shared.

5 Powerful Mind Success Strategies


"7 Powerful Mind Success Strategies" Building a business is a fantastic and challenging experience.  You can wake up exhilarated to begin your day and go to bed feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  The key to success is to maintain a positive, yes you can do it, mindset.

Easier said than done, right?  Here are 5 keys to help you create and sustain a positive mindset so you attain the success you desire.

1. Surround yourself with successful and positive people.  The influence people have over our own personal energy is amazing.  Moods and attitudes are so easily spread – think about how much of a difference a simple smile from a stranger can make for your day and then magnify it 1000 times to demonstrate the power of positive and successful friends, family and associates.  When you have people around you who inspire you, believe in you and want you to succeed, there’s no room for doubts and even when they creep up, they’re quickly swept away.

2. Create a mantra or an affirmation.  Repeating positive affirmations has been shown to get people through tough times and to actually help them truly believe what they’re saying.

For example, “I am building a powerful and profitable business.”  Many of the most esteemed business professionals have used the same affirmation strategy to attain their success.  To find the right affirmations for you, consider writing a quick list of your doubts, insecurities and complaints.  These can then be quickly turned into affirmations.

For example, if you write that you’re always feeling disorganized then your affirmation would be, “I am organized and in control.”  Repeat your affirmations several times a day and feel the power of positive thinking.

3. Capture negative thoughts.  We all have negative thoughts from time to time, however, negative thoughts and emotions can derail us and prevent us from achieving all we desire.  Of course catching those negative thoughts takes practice and persistence.  When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or having negative emotions, find a trigger to turn them around.  The affirmations mentioned above are a great way to turn the negative into the positive.  You can also find quick pick me ups like a favorite song, a walk outside in the fresh air, or some exercise to help improve your mood.

4. Set goals/intentions and then be willing to let it go.  The law of attraction says that we attract what we focus on the most.  However, desperation, needing your business to be a success, sends mixed messages and a lot of negativity into the universe.  Set your goals and intentions and then let them go.  A certain amount of faith in yourself and in the power of attraction is necessary.  Give it a try.

5. Be grateful.  Gratitude is perhaps the single most powerful and positive tool for success.  When you’re grateful for all of the wonderful things and people in your life the challenges you face seem significantly less important and are more easily dealt with.

Consider keeping a gratitude journal and make a practice of entering into it daily.  That way, when you’re facing challenges a quick peek at all the amazing things in your life will make you feel as if you can tackle anything.   Additionally, an attitude of gratitude helps you maintain a positive perspective and to face challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.

Success is within your reach and with the right attitude you can accomplish anything you set your sights on.  Embrace these five powerful mind success strategies and you’ll build a better business and live a happier, more sati

How to Be a Radio STAR!


"How to be a Radio Star!"(Note: this post originally appeared online in 2008. I have updated it and added more success tips)

This morning I was thinking about all the great opportunities for self-promotion that have come my way over the years. Especially with regards to being on radio.

 

In fact, at least three times a year since early 1994 I have been interviewed by some well-known radio talk show host. Some years I have been on radio once a month or more!
 

I started thinking about some of those opportunities such as in early 2008 when one of my favorite PR Pros, Beverly Mahone interviewed me for her show PASSIONS at Blog Talk Radio – The topic started out as Using Blogging to promote your business and it shifted to other areas.  Unfortunately we had technical difficulties and the recording was lost. However, the live interview was great and lots of fun.  People called in to say HI, ask questions and comment. Beverly is a wonderful, experienced hostess and I so enjoyed being on her show.

 

That same year, I was on Michelle Waters Product Sellers Radio show talking about promoting products. 

 

And then Dr. Sally Witt asked to interview me on the Dr. Sally Show ~ Here’s the link to that interview:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drsallywitt/va/2008/06/26/heidi-richards-founder-of-wecai-womens-ecommerce-association

 

And Michelle again asked me back to participate in the Product Sellers Seminar where we talked about Promoting Your Products In a Down Economy.  In addition, Michelle had some excellent guests participate in the Product Sellers Seminar.

 

Again that same year Elizabeth Gordon is interviewing me about Marketing, Self promotion, the Internet and more on her Chic Perspectives Radio.  

 

And then there was Carol Deckert and Charli Latham who invited me to be their guest on Ladies in Business Radio Show.  We talked about several things including what it’s like to be a woman in business today, mentoring, marketing and more.

 

The wonderful thing is that these women sought me out. And of course, I said YES! After all, it is a great way to spread the word about what I am doing to an audience that previously was not on my radar.

 

What are you doing to proactively promote your products and services to a new market?  Radio is a great way to do this without spending a lot of time or treasure. 

 

Here are 8 tips to keep in mind when you are invited to be a guest on a radio show:

 

Be prepared. One of the things I like is when the host asks me to supply questions to her. This is especially important because it helps me focus on my real message AND it also helps me be more prepared. While I do like off-the-cuff interviews I have found that there are things I could have shared that didn’t’ get mentioned because I was not as focused or prepared.  Things like resources and websites and people that could really help the audience. Those things that after the fact, are not as meaningful.  Even when the host doesn’t ask for questions, I will offer to send some questions to her or him and it is amazing how many of these questions get asked during the interview.

 

Learn about the audience. This will help you really hone in on a message that is relevant to them and showcase your expertise at the same time.

 

Listen to past shows.  You can get to know a little bit about the hostess this way, her interview style and how she interacts with her guests. Does she let her guests do all the talking, does she interject her own experiences, does she ask good follow-up questions? These are all important aspects of a successful interview process.

 

Help the Host stay focused. One of the things I have noticed on some of the interviews I have participated in and hosted myself, is how easy it is to take a different direction with the topic. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that if the audience knows that is commonplace. However, if you are invited to be a guest talking about a specific area of expertise and the conversation doesn’t get there, then you may wish to help move the interview in the direction that would not only benefit the audience and it would also help really showcase what you came to speak about.  As a listener I find this to be a very important reason I tune into a program in the first place. If I came to learn about marketing my business and the discussion is mostly about other things I might not listen in the future. This tip is as important for the host as the guest to understand.

 

SHOW UP – Avoid and Omit distractions. One of the things I have learned the hard way is that distractions can be deadly when you are the guest. Believe me, it has happened to me. I have booked interviews at peak times in my business and have had interruptions that have made the interview less than perfect.  And it’s not fair to the host. Be sure to isolate yourself prior to the call. Take a few minutes to focus on the key points you need to make to best get your message out there. Know your message, your mission, your ultimate goals. Be fully present and SHOW UP for your host. It’s noticed and a great way to get asked back or get asked to be on someone else’s program. I have been asked to be on programs because hosts have found me on other shows. 

 

Have a backup plan. If the host is experiencing technical problems, find out if it’s okay to also record the interview so there is an archive of the program which can be used to promote the show and you. I generally ask ahead of time. The host will appreciate it. Many of the shows I have been on are no longer live or online. Having your own recording preserves it for your site and posterity. I often listen to older recordings of myself and guests I have interviewed. It helps me stay grounded and reminds me how far I have come. Not to mention there is always a nugget or two I can repurpose.

 

Be yourself.  When you are genuine it come through loud and clear on the air. And it creates a bond between you and the listener.  Be helpful, entertaining, resourceful and authentic.  I know it sounds like a tall order, but when you are being yourself, all these other things tend to fall into place. I know because I have been someone I thought the host wanted and not myself on more than one occasion.  This does not give you the reputation you seek nor does it help your career.  when you are trying to be someone else, it is much more difficult to truly express your message in a meaningful or live-affirming way. If your only goal is self-promotion, it will backfire and no one will bother to find out more about you. When you are authentic the word gets out and more people want to help you promote what you do.

 

Share real-life examples. One of the things I value most listening to other talk show interviews are when the guests share real life examples.  Not theory. Not only the WHAT, but the HOW. You will find when you do these types of interviews, the more real-life application your conversations share, the more inclined the host is to refer you to others as a guest. After all, their audience is not only there to listen and be entertained, they are also there to learn. Provide real take-away value and you will find you get more invitations than you can accept.

 

Being a guest on radio is one of the best ways to promote your small business. Even when it’s not highly targetted, it can help you get known on a large scale, can brand your company and you and can elevate your reputation in your industry. follow these tips and you too could become a RADIO STAR!

 

Ps. Even though my report “Smile You’re On Candid Camera” is geared toward television interviews, I recommend you read it as there is some great interview advice – the do’s and don’ts can be very helpful.

50 Ways to Say Thank You


"50 Ways to say Thank You"Have you ever wondered how to say Thank You in Japanese (arigato) or Turkish (sogal)? With Thanksgiving only 3 days away, I thought it would be fun to share this list of how to say thank you around the world complete with pronunciations.

Amharic (Ethiopia)
(AH muh seh g’NAH lo)?
Arabic
shukran (SHOO krahn)
Bakweri (SW Cameroon)
(maa SOO maa)
Bangla (Bangladesh)
(DEN no vaht)
Bulgarian
blagodaria (BLAH go dahr YAH)
Cantonese (Hong Kong)
(DOE jeh)
Catalan (Spain)
gracies (GRAH shee esh?)
Dutch
dank ye vell (dahnk ye VELL)
English
thank you, thanks, thank you very much
Esperanto (International)
dankon
Ewe (Togo; Ghana) [pron. EH weh]
akpe (ah[k] PAI)
Farsi (Persian–Iran)
(mo ti SHAH ke RAHM), (MEHR see), (tah sha KOOR)
Fon (Gabon)
ablo (AH blow)
Foulani (West & Central Africa)
diarama (DYAH ra ma)
French
merci (mehr SEE)
Gaelic (Ireland)
mafgarna (MAHF gar nah)?
German
danke schoen (DAHNG ke shern)
Greek
(ef fah ree STAW)
Gujarati (W. India)
aabhar (ahb HAHR)
Hausa (Nigeria, etc.)
nugode (noo GOE dae) or yawa (YAH wahhh…)
Hawaiin
mahalo (mah hal o)
Hebrew
todah (toe DAH), todah rabbah (rah BAH)
Hindi (India)
dhaniawad (DHAN ya wad) See also Urdu.
Italian
grazie (GROTS yeh)
Japanese
arigato (ah ree GAH toe), domo arigato
Kashmiri (N. India/Pakistan/China)
shukria
Kazakh (Kazakhstan)
rakhmat (rakh MAHT)
Korean
gomapsunmida (go mahp SOON mee dah), (kom SAHN mee dah)
Magyar (Hungarian)
(KER se nem)
Mandarin (China)
(shyeh shyeh)
Mina (Gabon)
apke (ah P’? ay)
Nepalese
danievad (DAHN ya vaht)
Polish
(jen KOO yeh)
Portuguese
obrigado (awb ri GAH doe)
Russian
(spah SEE bah)
Serbo-Croatian
hvala (KHVAH la)
Sherpa (Nepal)
thuchiche (too cheh CHEH)
Spanish
gracias (GRAH syahs), muchas gracias (MOO chahs)
Tagalog (Philippines)
salamat (sah LAH maht)
Thai (Thailand)
korp kuhn ka(females)/klap(males)
Taiwanese
do sha (doe SHYAH)
Tajik (Tajikstan)
(tah sha KOOR)
Tibetan
thuchiche (TOO cheh cheh)
Turkish
sogal (sahl), (rakh MAHT?)
Twi (Ghana)
mi da waase (mee dah WAH say)
Urdu (Pakistan)
shukria (SHOO kree ah)
Uzbek (Uzbekikstan)
(rakh MAHT), (tah sha KOOR) (?)
Visaya (Philippines)
gracia (GRAH see ahs)
Welsh (Wales, UK)
diolch yn fawr (DYOLX uhn VOWR) [Pronounce the ‘ch’ as in German.]
Yiddish (E. Europe, U.S., Israel)
a dank (ah DAHNK)
Yoruba (W. Africa)
a dupe (ah DOO pae) or ocheum (OH cheh oom)

(Source: channel4000.com)

Need a Mentor – Ask the Right Questions


"Need a mentor? Ask the Right Questions!"I participate in a forum on Mommy Millionaires and one of the women posted the following question about finding a Mentor: Along with a business loan I have applied for I will have a business mentor for free. I have scheduled a meeting with one prospective mentor on Thursday. What should I ask him? How to understand if he is the right person to mentor me for the next 2 years? …

 

Here was my response:

 

Assuming your mentor is experienced and a successful business owner, One of the first things I would  do is get to know him a bit. Find out his values, his background, who he has worked with in the past, how he plans to work with you, what his expectations of a mentee are, why he is a mentor in the first place, etc. Interview him with probing questions.

 

See how he reacts. Is he open and approachable?  Is he a fast talker or does he go into detail. Do you want someone who is detail minded or one who gets to the point quickly? 

 

Learning his communication style will help you in determining if you can indeed learn from and work with him.

 

If he has experience, then once you have discovered how well the two of you can communicate (or not) it will be much easier to make a decision.

 

Do you have the option to interview more than one before disqualifying anyone?  You may find that after listening to and interviewing a couple of potential candidates, one will jump out at you and if you must disqualify them beforehand, that would be a shame.

 

Finding the right mentor in any situation is key to your own success.  You will be much more open to the ideas and advice shared if you can communicate well. That does not mean you must agree with everything the mentor suggests. On the contrary! You want someone who will make you feel a little uncomfortable in order to get to your deeper truths and real issues in yrou business (and life).

 

There are two excellent articles on the subject in WE Magazine for Women. Women’s Ways of Mentoring (First Issue) and Women’s Ways of Mentoring Part Two (Spring 2007).  Both articles were written by Catherine Seton, Director of the Australian Women’s Mentoring Network.

 

I also wrote an article called Your Own Personal Wealth Mentor – Your Keys to Success which you can read at WhereWomenProsper.com.

 

There are also many great books on Mentoring. Two I recommend are:

The Art of Mentoring: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way by Shirley Peddy 

Mentor Manager/Mentor Parent: How to Develop Responsible People and Build Successful Relationships at Work and at Home  by Linda Dowling, Cecile Culp Mielenz.

I’d be interested to know if you have a mentor and if so how did you find her/him and what process did you use to know she/he was the right mentor for you?

 

Wishing you all the best… and more!

 

Heidi Richards Mooney

Your Networking Plan of Action


This is part two of “Open Doors by Building Relationships

"Your Networking Plan of Action"Your Networking Plan of Action should define your objective(s). Begin with a purpose. Each time you attend an event determine why you want to network, make a list of your objectives and develop a plan of action to achieve those goals and objectives. Ask yourself the following:

1. Is participating in the network to broaden your professional horizons, increase business by a certain percent, get more referrals or sales leads, or help others?

2. What can you offer those you network with in exchange for information, knowledge, experience and contacts?

3. Which organizations should you consider for the best “bang for your buck,” and most importantly, your investment of TIME? One of the best ways to get to know people “up close and personal” is to volunteer to serve on a committee; give your time and talent to a cause. People want to do business with people who have similar interests and values.

4. What benefits do/can you offer to entice people to do business with you? This is your “30 second commercial.”

Build Your Network – Networking is an investment of time and effort in establishing and maintaining contacts. The first two rules are to be interested and prepared. If you follow the suggestions listed below, you will have more new contacts that you may find it a challenge to keep track of all those you meet. Not to worry, the important thing is to make the contacts and watch what happens.

Ask your current “circle of influence” for opportunities to which they can direct you. Determine and develop “key people” who will become your greatest networking champions. Find out who in your network’s network seems to know “everyone,” and get to know them. Make contacts on a regular basis. When you do, be prepared with what you want to say – rehearsal is always good If you must leave a message, make it short, to the point and leave your contact information. Be a good talker and a better listener.

Get to know your network. Find out their birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ names, hobbies. Use your network to gain introductions. When given referrals, find out who the decision maker is, and more importantly, get to know the gate-keepers. Give referrals to those with whom you network. Become a source of reference to build “word-of-mouth” marketing.

If you cannot find a suitable network, consider creating one yourself. It can be as simple as a lunch or dinner gathering or as complicated as starting a new organization. WECAI.org was born out of a need my “circle” and I had to stay connected when we were not together. And we are even creating opportunities to have those all important, relationship building in-person meetings again. For more information visit: www.wecai.org/

Be Visible Without Really Trying. – You don’t have to be the leader of the organization to get noticed (although it certainly doesn’t hurt). There are other, more subtle ways be visible within any social setting or community – both online and offline.

1. Ask questions. Participate in discussions.

2. Write letters to your industry magazines and newsletters.

3. Introduce yourself to people during meetings, conferences and social events.

4. Make people laugh.

5. Create an unusual business card – or signature file.

6. Take up an unusual hobby (but not too weird).

7. Use your wardrobe to help you stand out without being outlandish.

8. Do favors for others and remember to thank those who do favors for you in a timely fashion.

Building relationships begins with networking. Whether you are finding contacts online or in person, every opportunity you have to meet new people is an opportunity to increase your circle and grow your business! Networking is a process. If you are willing to invest your time, the payoffs can be BIG. However, it’s not realistic to expect instant success. It takes time. You can plan your networking opportunities to shorten the time it takes to build those relationships.

Networking can enrich your life, increase your circle of contacts, grow your business, enhance your professional image, and make new friends. It begins with taking a risk, exploring new territory and talking to people. When you do, doors will open for you, many of them when you least expect it, and need it most. Happy Networking!

 

Open Doors by Building Relationships


Most people have a need to bond with others. Some want to bond to reach a goal or to create community, to create a shared experience. This need to bond is not new in the offline world and in recent years, developing relationships (bonding) online has given new meaning to the word ‘networking.’” Heidi Richards Mooney

Relationship marketing and social networking are the key words in today’s world. True for business and true for life. Just what are they? And why are they important? Relationship marketing is much more than “networking. It’s gathering support of your friends, peers, and business contacts. It’s meeting people and benefiting from those meetings. It’s developing strong, lasting, unique relationships with your most valuable asset, your customer. It’s what keeps people “coming back for more.” It’s an excellent way to shorten the traditional routes of building trust, create opportunities, increase valuable contacts, to achieve success and grow your business. Social networking can be reap the same benefits except that the way you develop these relationships is online; by participating in newsgroups, in forums, chat rooms, virtual meetings and associations and any number of other forms online opportunities.

Currently, I attend 3 to 5 events weekly, both offline and offline. In fact, many of the groups on am involved in are virtual associations which are an extension of most social networking sites in that they are membership based with varying degrees of benefits beyond simply networking. One of these is the Women’s ECommerce Association or WECAI.org. The focus or mission of WECAI.org is to “Help Women Do Business on the WEB.” As a woman who does business on the web, I am always seeking ways to help me gain the knowledge, experience and contacts to do just that. In fact, WECAI.org is an organization I started in order to do just that. And it began because of an event I attended nearly five years ago and thousands of miles away. You might think “this is far too many organizations for me or too far for me to travel just to increase my own circle.” And you are probably right.

However, let me tell you what happened during one of those many events I attended, in Egypt (which I learned about by way of an email invitation). During this particular event, I met many women (and a few good men) who have since been a great resource to me in developing WECAI.org. Among them was Linda Pereira, Executive Director of CPL Events in Portugal. Linda is a dynamic woman who knows how to network. When you watch her, it does not look like “work” at all. She does so effortlessly and with such joy, it makes everyone around her want to learn how to do the same. Her secret? It’s her genuine interest in, and passion for people. She doesn’t just hand out business cards, she finds out about the people she talks to, gets to know their likes, dislikes, aspirations and goals in life. She finds out how she can help them to achieve their goals and offers her own wisdom and experience. She extends her hand and in so doing, a hand is extended to her, both in friendship and in increased professional contacts. Meeting her was and still is one of the highlights of my travels and my life. She has become a great colleague and more importantly a treasured friend. Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get others interested in you.”The same could be said for increasing your professional networks.

Early on I learned that in order to get people to notice me, I had to be visible. You might have guessed that I will go just about anywhere to meet people. Since my ‘job’ was to “go out and get the business,” I learned to work on my business and leave the working “in my business” to those more capable of the day to day operations. When you grow your business, you can afford to hire others to take care of those day to day operations. Think about what you want and need to accomplish. Do you want to develop lifelong friendships, cultivate individual customers, land large accounts, or make an impact in your community? You will accomplish all three by getting involved in your local civic organizations, chambers of commerce, business and non-profit Associations, or some of the thousands of virtual associations there are on the WEB. According to Wikipedia.com social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.”

When evaluating the various ways to increase your contacts, ask yourself the following questions. What is the mission or focus of the organization and how will it help me reach my goals? Whom do I need to meet in order to accomplish my goals? And where do I meet them? Linda Pereira says, “If you want to meet people, you have to go where the people are. Focus your efforts by being in the right place at the right time. It’s not just who you meet, but how and where you meet them. Meeting people in the ‘right places’ adds credibility to that meeting.” That’s not to say that striking up a conversation in the supermarket has no value. It does. It’s just that if you want to develop the right contacts, you must participate in the right organizations. Go where the people you wish to network with will be!

Building your Network is an ongoing process. Are you willing to invest the time it takes to achieve your goals? How much time is enough? Begin with the end in mind. The key to success is to know what you want to accomplish. To start networking, the first thing you have to do is set your foot in the door (or turn on your computer). Increasing your “Circle of Influence” is a continuous process. It is essential to develop a networking plan both for business and personal contacts. In business, the right networking can be ten times more effective than advertising. And it costs less!

In the next post I will talk about Your Networking Plan of Action