Let’s face it: Your clients have gotten smarter.

They’ve seen it all. They aren’t impressed by razzle-dazzle graphics. They won’t believe the same old promises everybody makes.

But sadly, many business owners are afraid of being pushy. So they go to the other extreme. They send out bland, timid messages.

So most websites tiptoe along without ever reaching the heart of their target market. A visitor who thinks “blah!” will disappear faster than you can jog across the room.

You need a strategy to establish a connection to your visitors, communicate your value and motivate prospects to buy. Instead your messages …

… Never get read (because they’re overwhelmed by graphics, videos and things that flash, buzz and sing)

… Tell an outdated story for the business you started five years ago (but doesn’t reflect who you are today)

… Stay hidden from customers because you don’t want to go through the hassle of yet another website makeover.

… Underwhelm your prospects because your sales letter needs that extra piece of sizzle

… Get buried under me-too, cookie-cutter copy that doesn’t show exactly why you’re special, unique and just plain fabulous!

The good news is… There’s no need to tiptoe.

You can face the stiffest competition with a strong marketing message that moves clients right to the “buy now” line… without sacrificing six months of time, insulting clients with hyped-up promises or maxing out your credit cards.

My name is Cathy Goodwin and I work with smart service business owners. They want marketing that’s as professional as the services they deliver. They want to keep things simple, get right to the point and get the job done with a minimum of fuss so they can serve clients who value what they offer.

If you relate, you’re in the right place. Grab one of my free ebooks on the right, spend time on my blog, get to know me and let me know when you’re ready to take action.

How Your WordPress Blog Solves 3 Tough Challenges (And Makes It Easy)

qmarkcomputersmThree of the toughest questions I get are: How can I … … choose a niche? … get more traffic? … demonstrate my expertise to prospective clients?

There’s one way to answer *all* these questions and more: create a WordPress blog.

– Your blog may become your website. You can learn to create an opening “sticky” page that introduces your business to visitors. as well as the basic pages for a site.

– Your blog will help you focus on a niche. One way to choose a niche is to set up a blog for the top 2 or 3 niches you are considering. For instance: you might have a blog on dog training, another blog on developing leadership skills and a third blog on creating energy with healthy eating. (Many people start with *really* diverse interests.) If you do nothing but blog, you will discover how deeply your own interest holds for each topic. You soon realize what kinds of posts and topics generate the best audience response.

– Blogs help attract traffic, when you use keywords in titles and content. Search engines love fresh content and that’s what a blog provides. You can also create social media posts to leverage your blog posts.

– You get to demonstrate your expertise to prospects, so you come across as an expert who delivers value (and deserves to get paid). Every article shares some information, so readers get a sense of the range of your knowledge.

Best of all, you can set up a blog in 15 minutes or less. (I do it all the time. It’s not a gimmick.) A good place to get started with WordPress: this free call by Christina Hills, happening tomorrow.

Take charge of your own website

Many of my clients get frustrated with web developers who take way too long to build a website. One client waited for months…and then another few months because the developer decided, “We need a new platform.” They also get frustrated with designers who seem reasonable and then explode into action. I once sat next to a business owner at a networking breakfast. She told me, “Thirty bucks an hour seemed like a great deal! Then I got a bill for four thousand dollars.” (True story.)

These days I recommend that you create your own beautifully designed website yourself, without a webmaster. It may seem like a lot of work but once you’ve caught on, you can put up a site in minutes. That’s what I do for my own clients in the Website Express Program.

I learned from a course I took with my colleague, Christina Hills (The WordPress Expert). She teaches non-techie people how to build their websites without a webmaster.

Forget the myth:

“A WordPress website has to look like a blog.” If you know how to set it up, most visitors won’t even know you are using WordPress. Those who figure it out will admire you! There’s no prestige from doing things the old-fashioned, time-consuming way.

I’d like to recommend her free audio mp3 and pdf download, where she talks about WordPress Website Design and Layout. Even if you’re experienced, you will learn a lot.

Christina has taught hundreds of non-techie people how to easily build their websites themselves in the Website Creation Workshop. In this mini training, Christina Hills will show you how how the design
and layout works with WordPress, and how you can use WordPress to make beautiful sites that grow your business.

Even if you hire someone to build your site, you will discover

– what themes are and how to choose yours (so you take charge of the look and feel of your own website)

- How to use WordPress to publish your Newsletter, instead of using the “Blog”

- The Difference Between Using “Pages” vs. “Posts” in WordPress (so you create websites, not just extended blogs, if appropriate)

- How to share information with your visitors without coming across as pushy (through low-tech widgets on each sidebar)

- The Difference Between a “Theme” and a “Template” (so you won’t get ripped off when you buy a product or outsource your website)

- The Your “Header Graphic” vs. “An Image in the Page/Post” vs. An “Image in the Sidebar” (so you know how to use images to market your services instead of overwhelming your message)

Sign up here.

That’s my affiliate link. You don’t pay anything to watch this video.

Have you outgrown your first website?

Close-up of an old typewriter with paperIf you’re like me, you spent a lot of time developing your first website. If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, you may still be traumatized by the experience. You swore you’d never do it again. 

Then a few years go by. Your prospects visit your site. When they talk to you, listen to your webinars or read your blog they are shocked. Your current website does a great job of promoting your former business. You’ve evolved.  Your website hasn’t. [Read more...]

When An Elite Mentoring Program Will Be Worth Your Investment

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My own clients sometimes ask if they should consider one of the elite Platinum mentoring program – the kind that goes for as much as $20,000 a year. Some even go for $100,000 a year.

When I work with clients and get to know them I can often recommend specific programs and advise against other types of programs. [Read more...]

Website Development To Drive Clients Away (Literally)

“Rita” is a smart business owner who’s earning a living performing a service in a local area. Although she operates in a competitive market, she’s holding her own.

Naturally she realized she needed a web site. So when a development company called, she signed up. She paid $3000 to get a complete website development project – graphics, copy and hosting. They even took care of registering her domain name.

When Rita called me, her web site had been live just over a year and nothing was happening. Usually we can point to a combination of weak content and lack of promotion: websites sometimes need a little help in getting out there.

Rita didn’t think she had a WordPress site, so I dug into the code. [Read more...]

Maximize The ROI From Your Teleseminar Guest Gig

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Have you been invited to appear as a guest on a teleseminar or webinar … and wondering how to make the most out of this opportunity?

Being a teleseminar guest is one of the best ways to accomplish many goals simultaneously. You get your name out to a live audience. You get a chance to showcase your skills and talents – your “Fab Factor” that makes you fabulous – without appearing to boast; after all, you’re just answering questions! 

For a service business owner, these opportunities are especially valuable because potential clients want to get to know you. They want to hear your voice and get a sense of how you communicate in conversations, not just on prepared “talking head” videos.  [Read more...]

7 Business Networking Mistakes That Will Kill Your Business

networking by speakingLast week I got a phone call from “Steve.” He’s one of the rare people on my list who actually lives in the same city. He got right to the point.

“I’d like to get together with you over coffee. I’d like to learn what you do … and then you can learn more about what I do.  You know: the usual networking thing.”

Steve wasn’t alone. He wasn’t a newbie: he’d been around awhile and was reasonably successful.  But, just as we have trouble forgetting things we learned when we were young, we tend to stick to the advice of our earliest business mentors.  Many of us have been taught to go out and just talk to people. ANY people.

“Get out of the house.”

“Stop playing with your emails and go talk face-to-face.”

“You never know who will lead you to a big client.”

Of course there’s some truth to these warnings. But it’s easy to follow this advice (or almost any advice) much too literally.

Why focus on networking? [Read more...]

Bored with your own marketing? Try these …

boredpersonBack when I was a college professor, I kept hearing stories of professors who kept their old notes, now turning yellow from age. They just showed up and read from those notes. They were bored stiff and so were their students.

Frankly, I think many of those stories were urban legends. The truth is, every field keeps changing with new discoveries. Even if you teach ancient history, your notes can’t be ancient because new discoveries get reported, along with new ways to deliver old material.

Besides, your presentations grow stale when you do the same thing over and over again. You lose excitement and then your audience senses you’re withdrawing.

When it comes to marketing, many of us find ourselves caught up in the same dilemma. We’re familiar with a set of marketing tools and a series of strategies. They work. We know them well. [Read more...]

The surprising factor in telesummit success or failure

trafficlightyellowsmallThere are many reasons to offer a telesummit or participate in one. You get list-building, exposure, and a credibility boost. But these joint ventures are a LOT of work. Will you get the benefits corresponding to your effort?

It’s tempting to give a green light to a telesummit invitation or idea, and if you’ve been wary it’s also easy to give a red light to potentially lucrative ventures.  

The truth is, your potential success depends on whether your telesummit supports your online brand and gives you an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Learn more from the video below. And I was inspired to create this post because I’m participating in a jv myself and you can catch the recordings here – see http://budurl.com/betterbiz