All posts in February 2008

  • Are you Pricing your Services Right?

    by Shama Hyder This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions that I hear. What does it take to charge clients a premium amount? What makes it worth it? How do I price my services? I am a big fan of value pricing. This concept is the brainchild of Alan Weiss, author of the "Million Dollar Consultant." In simplest terms, it means charge for the value you provide, rather than for your efforts. It may take you ten hours or ten minutes, but it’s the outcome that matters. 1. Sell the Solution, Not the Methodology People hire coaches but they aren’t buying the coaching. They are buying what the coaching can provide. The final results. Whether that’s an improved relationship or better health; people care about results. You are selling the final outcome. If you are a Virtual Assistant, you aren’t selling hours. You are selling peace of mind and giving your client more quality time with their family. Focus on the solutions, rather than the methodology. 2. Add Unbelievable Value Every industry has it’s standards. Find a way to surpass those and you are almost guaranteed higher fees. Most coaches for example meet periodically with clients over…

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  • The Number#1 Marketing Mistake

    By: Shama Hyder Recently, I have been on a networking spree. I have been attending one networking meet after another. It’s been wonderful to hear people’s stories and learn about their businesses. However, I am truly shocked by how little people know about marketing. 80% of the people I met could not truly articulate what it is that  they did. And 95% of the people I met made the number # 1 marketing mistake in my book- They Jumped the Gun! That’s the American way of saying they rushed into their pitch. Here is an example: Sally– Hi, I am Sally. I am a consultant. Me– Hi Sally. Nice to meet you. What kind of consultant are you? Sally– I help businesses. Me– That’s great. How do you help them? Sally-Oh, with whatever they need really. Me- (thinking to myself)-Does she clean offices? I doubt it. Sally-What do you do? Me– I help independent professionals who are struggling to attract more clients. Sally– That’s wonderful. I think I could help you. When can you get together? I would love to tell you all about my business. Business relationships are a lot like personal relationships. You can’t rush into anything. If…

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  • A Big Heart-Felt Thank You on Valentines Day

    By: Shama Hyder I usually don’t do posts of this nature on this blog, but today being Valentine’s day, I feel compelled to show my gratitude and heart-felt thanks to a few people. You- Yes, you. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for visiting my site. Thank you for spending a few of your precious moments reading my thoughts. Thank you for having the courage to seek knowledge and for always wanting to better your life and your business. Thank you for letting me be a part of that life and that business. My Team- Maureen, Fawn, Afzal, Krishna, Kandan- I couldn’t do without you guys. You are what makes After The Launch special. You are the reason our clients keep coming back to work with us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Robert Middleton- Robert, you have been such an inspiration to me. Your service, dedication, and love for what you do is such a motivator. I am proud to call you my mentor. Jay Hargis- Colleague, Client, Friend, you are just an all-around great guy. Thank you Jay for always trusting me. Pam Slim- Pam, you have been such a rocking influence in my life. I…

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  • Positive PR-The Inside Scoop

    By Jeff Crilley, Author, Free Publicity Do you have a great idea for a story, but no clue how to get it in the news? Are you tired of pitching press releases the news media simply ignores? After twenty years of beating the street as a TV reporter, I have a scoop for you: the media needs good stories. But most stories are pitched so poorly, they are lost in the blizzard of faxes that blanket every newsroom. So, here are five steps to increase your chances of getting covered that even some PR pros don’t know: 1) BE UNUSUAL The old adage about "Man bites dog" still holds true. The news doesn’t cover what’s normal. We cover the abnormal. PR whiz Carolyn Alvey knew this when she was trying to raise money for a charity several years ago. Instead of holding a garage sale, she sent out a press release announcing a "Celebrity Garage Sale." Everything from Bob Hope’s old golf clubs to Roger Staubach’s long-neglected neckties were for sale. By making an ordinary garage sale extraordinary, the media was instantly sold on the story. 2) BE VISUAL Reporters tell stories with pictures. If the pictures aren’t there, chances…

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  • 7 Secrets to Maximizing your Medical Practice

    By: Shama Hyder This topic usually falls under the jurisdiction of my good friend and colleague Philippa Kennealy, but I have been feeling rather passionately about this topic so I wanted to address it here. Physicians like most independent professionals often struggle with marketing. As doctors, they have to follow certain codes of conduct. They can’t cold call patients, and even if they could-most would hate to do so. There is a common misconception that as soon as a physician starts a practice, patients come flowing in. While this may be true in some instances, most medical practitioners have to build up a reputation. And even then, many physicians miss out on all the opportunities to maximize their medical practice. So, Here are 7 secrets to Maximizing your Medical Practice 1) Create a Mastermind Group- This is a powerful practice that has been followed by movers and shakers since the days of ancient Rome. I am surprised that more professionals don’t capitalize on this concept. Create a group of 5 or 6 physicians who meet at regular intervals. Monthly meetings work well. You can discuss ideas, share resources, and even invite guests to your meetings. Talk about what’s working in…

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  • 25 Things You Must Learn to ASK For

    By: Shama Hyder We all know that giving is fantastic. Give great customer service; give great rates, and always give your best. But, what about getting? What kinds of things should you expect from your clients? Asking is also a great marketing strategy! Here is a list of 25 things you can (and should!) ask for when working with a client. 1. Ask for a down payment – Just like there are flaky freelancers out there, there are flaky clients as well. It’s completely okay to protect yourself and your time. Ask for a down payment, and make it fully refundable if you don’t do your share. Most clients will be happy to oblige. 2. Ask for more time if you need it – Sometimes your creative genius self needs time, and who can blame you? Between Twitter, and Facebook and well… clients, it’s a busy life! So, feel free to ask for more time if you need it. Just don’t go overboard. 3. Ask for clear directions – If a client wants exactly what they have in mind, they have to be able to communicate those thoughts. Help them along. Make sure to ask for clear directions and double…

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  • Sleek and Cool- Design in a Service World

    By: Shama Hyder Retailers have an advantage. They can create products that shine like gold, feel like silk, and smell like roses. It’s called design. Sleek new MAC notebooks make buyers drool. I knew I-phone lovers who went into the stores to just hold the product in their hand. Tangible is good. But how do you inject that same "drool factor" into your services? I can’t remember the last time someone said "those HR services are delicious." Design continues to be an important selling point, but I also continue to see independent professionals ignore this aspect. Here are 5 ways to inject a dose of design into your services. 1) Re-Design your Website- It’s the portal to your services! Can you imagine walking into a Nordstrom and seeing broken mannequins and a dirty carpet? It wouldn’t work. Design your website so it’s clear, sleek, and gets people to ooh and aah. A good design doesn’t mean function goes out the door. (Never put flash intros on your site). A good design includes functionality. For example, if you work with Japanese companies, make sure to use large font. Japan has the oldest population in the world. Your clients (and potential clients) …

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