Is Your Business Model Snuffing Out Your Message?

I often talk to coaches, consultants, freelancers, small business owners, authors, speakers… etc. who feel stuck.

Well, screw the label, that’s not important. They’re the “do their own thing, do something meaningful” kind of people.

They’ve done the professional training, bought the marketing program, and even built a business or two.

But they rarely go back to square one and question whether they have structured their business to amplify their vision and message.

Oh, you’re certified as a “coach” – so there’s what a coaching business model looks like: a 1:1 program, a group program, an online course, and an info product. Or, a 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month package. The end.

When people are starting out, a business model is a godsend. It gives you something to build upon and the visibility of “where the money is coming from.”

But as you evolve and refine your skills and message, it’s easy to get on autopilot and take the business model as a given.

What used to work when you needed training wheels may not work now that you’ve figured out what the heck you’re doing.

Have you revisited and validated your business model lately?

Is the suite of offerings in alignment with your message?

Are they giving you the best venue to serve your ideal clients?

Are the programs/products/services tapping into your strengths?

Are the creating the most value for your clients?

Are the formats of delivery amplifying your message… or are they snuffing out its essence?

When we try to squeeze our message into some predetermined format… due to habit, laziness, fear, unawareness, inertia, or good intention (because the gurus say so)… we may not be doing it justice.

Product-Centric vs. Client-Centric

If you start with a business model (which is essentially a collection of products, services, and pricing) instead of your message and its expression, you’re putting the cart in front of the horse.

Leading with a business model is a product-centric mindset. It’s an old-school approach and doesn’t do well when we’re evolving quickly as a society (think Kodak and film.)

Leading with an audience is a client/customer-centric mindset. It helps you stay relevant even when “the thing that people want” changes (think Netflix and entertainment.)

Leading with your message grounds your business in your Truth, connects you with the work you do, and anchors you in the community that you serve.

Have you asked your message what it wants to be when it grows up?

Are you connected with your message in such a way that you can let its expression come through without overthinking it or mucking it up with your ego?

Pop the bubble. Leave the echo chamber.

Don’t limit your message to “what a _______ business is supposed to be like.”

(If you keep digging, you may realize that your business isn’t about ________. What if you’re something else?)

Effective Business Networking: How to Keep a Conversation Going

Whenever you meet someone new, whether it’s at an informal gathering (e.g. a party) or at a more formal venue (e.g. a business conference), sometimes it’s hard to know how to start a conversation. Keeping it going is even harder. How can you have a great, memorable conversation that your conversant won’t forget? The good news is that there are two simple tricks for captivating the person your talking to. Keep reading and I’ll explain how.

Trick #1: Turn the spotlight on them, not you. Rather than focusing too much on you, the more you can get your conversant to think about and speak about themselves, the more engrossed they will be with the subject matter of the conversation. Confident people realize that if they listen more than they talk, they will learn more about someone, and in the process, they are able to captivate the talker. In most cases, the talker won’t even realize that he or she is doing most of the talking! This technique works surprisingly well, and even causes you to be more memorable to the speaker. My manager still remembers one conversation I had with him when I first got to know him. He considers it one of our best conversations, but the truth is, I didn’t say much but rather kept the conversation on him!

Trick #2: Echo key words like a parrot. Conversations naturally bounce back and forth between you and the other person. It can be nerve-wracking when it gets back to be your turn, and you don’t know what to say next to keep the flow of the conversation going. Fortunately, a foolproof technique is to identify a key word that your speaker just said, and to echo it back, prompting further elaboration. For example, here’s a sample conversation that makes use of the echo technique to easily keep a conversation going (and even steering it different ways):

  • Partner: “I had a great time at the conference.”
  • You: “Conference?”
  • Partner: “Yeah, food was wonderful, and the keynote speakers were really good too.”
  • You: “Good keynote speakers?”
  • Partner: “Yeah, Bob Johns was there, and Adam Carlson gave a talk on business ethics.”
  • You: “Business ethics?”
  • Partner: “Yeah… [conversation continues].”
  • You (repeating earlier keyword to take conversation a different direction): “You said the food was wonderful?”

Keep these two simple techniques in mind, and the conversations will flow and be more memorable. Good luck!

Bring Business To Life With Web Conferencing

Web Conferencing is the new way of interaction over internet and giving live presentations. In this kind of conference system, each delegate has to sit with a computer connected with internet and through it one can interact with other people. If telephone is also used, VoIP technology is used else we use only chats. This technology is very cheap and saves time as well as cost and is very environmental friendly as well.

Web conferencing provides easiest method to stay connected without spending lots of money. Web conferencing is of many types such as web meeting, Webcast, the Webinar, online presenting, and online collaboration. The choice depends on the specific needs. It can be a audio, video or text-based conversation that is conducted in real time.

Usually organizations that have global presence, use this technology to remain connected. Using this technology, any person can be working at one geographical location while being connected with other far away offices etc.

Web conferencing is used as it cuts traveling costs, accommodation costs and save time also.

It’s just not business that derives benefits from web conferencing. If you and your family live apart and can not meet often, this can form an excellent form of communication with them.

When you are sitting in web conference, there are certain etiquettes that need to be followed. One must speak slowly and always try to be clear. Listening to other person attentively is important so that they do not have to repeat themselves.

Before you start a web conference it’s a good idea to check the equipment. Always test the system before the conference starts so that there is no interruption in the middle of conference. Check variables like lighting, seating arrangements and microphone position, background etc. Keep an extra monitor with you so that the conference participants can see themselves on the screen.

Proper care must be used when organizing the conference, as some people may be in different time zones. Remember to press the mute button when not talking, in order to prevent echo. If a problem of echo is there, consider using echo cancellers. It’s possible that the audio or video quality may be poor at the beginning of the conference. Try adjusting the microphone position, lighting etc. This may fix the problem. If things do not improve, hanging up and redialing or even rebooting the system may be necessary. If there are issues at one end, always information should be passed on to all the other parties so that they are not troubled due to disruption.

Although setting up a full fledged studio might be expensive, it pays over a period of time. If it is felt that costs will not justify returns consider renting the equipment. Lot of firms will easily provide good technicians as well as equipment for good conferencing service.

Web conferencing has made life easier for us be it business or personal lives. It is a great way of exchanging information and keeping in touch as well.