New business and no budget? Quitting not an option.

19 08 2008

There is this saying that failing forward is what most people have to go through when they first start out.  For, if one never fails, one never progresses.   

I can tell you that I have been through more jobs and industries than I care to admit, and have failed countless times.  However, quitting never was an option, and I just continue to get back up and keep going until I get it right.   

 

I have listed some different marketing techniques that I hope will help others new to an industry, or those struggling in their current industries:  

 

1.  New in the industry? Find a mentor in your industry that will allow you to work under them and under their label as an independent contractor, intern, or a paid employee.   

 

This will give you experience and knowledge that you will need to continue to progress.   Work out an agreement in writing acknowledging your role and your mentor’s role in the business.  Your mentor can give you invaluable input and experience until you are ready for the next level.  

 

How do you find such a mentor? Go to different websites, and put in a request to speak to the owner about opportunities and offer something of value that your mentor would need, such as a Public Relations assistant (submitting press releases, promoting events, etc).   

 

Another way is by going into a facility and speaking to the owner directly about interning a few hours a week for free, then when you have a relationship in place, go up a few levels and request a paying position, or independent contractor position. Once the owner trusts you, chances are good that you will move up.   

 

2.  Whether you are a newbie or seasoned worker, Network Marketing is a great way to find referrals for your business.  Networking can put you in touch with that “right” person, OR put you in touch with a person who can introduce you to that “right” person.  These groups offer great chances to increase your listening skills, market your product or service, speaking in public and socializing techniques.  

 

Some excellent example groups to try in my area (Oregon): (if not in your area, cruise the internet for ones that ARE in your area)

-The Breakfast Clu

-Toastmasters—Wallmasters (www.wallmasters.org)

-Toastmasters—Nike

-Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org).   

 

There are women groups and men groups that also offer unique opportunities over the internet and on-line, without having to meet in person.  Just start googling for groups on the web.  There are tons out there.  

 

 

3.  Setting up a website.  Most everyone is computer savvy, or at least on the computer in some way, and like to see a website in place.  Question is, how do you do this on a budget 

 

a.  Working under your mentor’s website, this would be one way of saving some dollars.  (or a company where you are working as a contractor, but still under the company umbrella)

b.  Setting up a FREE website, yes these really do exist, but they are limited in what you can do with them.  However, it is a start, and at least you have information on a site where potential clientele can view.  Go to www.synthasite.com for one of the free websites, no purchase necessary. 

c.  Yahoo.com has a low $$ amount for monthly fee, believe it is $8.96 a month for three months, then after that $11.95 monthly. This service boasts free domain name, unlimited disk space and data transfer, 24-hour customer service and secure hosting.  Not bad for what you get, and affordable. 

d.  If one has friends in the web design industry, have them take your project on for a discounted rate.  (or complimentary)  You can always offer to advertise their name on your site in order to do a “trade” deal and not have to pay-out funds. 

e.  Taking the idea above, do a trade deal for a web designer, offering the same thing, free advertising. 

 

 

4.  Press Releases! Easy and free and I have a list of over 72 sites that do not cost a penny.  Press Releases catch the interest all over the world.  The only catch is that you have to have material that is “newsworthy” and the best thing to do that I have been taught, is tag on to current news and offer something of interest.   

 

Piece of advice—Do not market your service/product blatantly, or the press release will be rejected (as mine have been countless times in the past when writing them myself).   Tagging onto a newsworthy event, and offering something of value (like the breast cancer awareness cruise event that is happening in October www.thelotuseffects.com), will most always work.  Also, make sure you put your business by-line at the bottom and limit advertising in the body of the press release.   

 

Google “press releases” and you can get a basic format printed out to go by.  I always (site permitting) list the business contact information at the top of the release so people can see our name right off the bat.   

 

5.  Blogging, Ezines and Forums…catch people’s attention by just writing from your heart.  As I have learned, do not advertise blatantly in either blogs or forums.  Keep it real, from the heart, as people are not looking for perfection, but for help.  Make your articles something people can use.  I tend to be a more technical writer, but it is an asset to be creative and fun as well as serious on these sites.   

 

For Forums, keep it light and feel free to also help others by answering questions, however, again keep your advertisements out of the forums, unless you are in an area that allows for this.  Make sure to read the rules on sites you visit.  I have violated more than one in my learning curve.  Forums are meant to give and receive advice, read up on upcoming events, news, and just another way of networking.  They are free and fun.   

 

Blogs are an awesome way to write articles that interest you and give your input to others.  Blogs to me can also be a sort of “daily” diary or journal on your life.  You can keep it fun or you can have a serious topic, it is completely up to you.  Just be yourself.   

 

Ezines, just a news publication via email.  Check out Lotus Effects site where there are ezines posted (www.thelotuseffects.com) if you need know how on what they are all about.  Ezines are business publications that are just emailed instead of mailed to people that are already on your warm market. Usually you send these out once a month for what is going on in your company, upcoming events, tips and ideas, as well as putting ideas in that others email you.  For instance, if you have an article idea, you can email Liz at liz@thelotuseffects.com with the article and she will get back to you on publishing in her next ezine.  This is an excellent free way of getting your name out their to another person’s contacts.  

 

6.  Writing an E-Book and then offering it for free on your website, is just another free method of advertisement.  E-Books can run from $20-$30, depending on what you feel the cost should be.   Offering a complimentary E-Book that is downloadable and costs you nothing to produce except your time, is another excellent source of gaining respect and clientele.   You can put this offer out in the mail as well as drop it by businesses, and also offer it on your website and promote through emailing, etc. 

 

 

7.  Social sites, such as LinkedIn and myspace.com are just a few more sites that are free and one can start doing marketing through meeting others on these sites.  I personally do not use myspace.com, but have associates that have much success with this site.  However, they do not cost you money, and you have everything to gain by trying them out.  There are many more out there, just Google for social sites, and more should pop up.  

 

There are so many more methods and ways out there, such as pod casting, UTube (if you have the capability), message boards, ad swapping, affiliate programs, email discussion groups, free classified listings and the regular method, plain hard work where you pick up the phone to call a warm market.  Gathering business cards from offices and placing calls later can get you past the gatekeeper to the manager or owner.  This is the old fashioned method that costs gas, but nothing else except your time.  Being able to get past the no’s and keep going is going to be a valuable trait in your new businesses.   

 

Hope this helps someone out there!  I know I struggle still, as I am newer in the industry, but baby steps will take you closer each time, and with each failure, the chances of success are that much closer.   Never ever give up on your dream, for the times when you are struggling the most, and feel like falling down, if you hang tough, your blessing will come.

 

I am going to emphasize this event again, because Breast Cancer is such a huge deal, we all should celebrate October.  Please go to www.thelotuseffects.com to sign-up for the October cruise sailing away the 13th, OR if you cannot make it, join us in being a sponsor for the event of the year.  We appreciate efforts made, and cannot wait to see you there!

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Crash Course in PR With Best Selling Author of Guerrilla Publicity

5 06 2008

JUNE 23RD @ 4:00 P.M. PST“Conversations with an Expert” Webinar series! YOUR INVITED. YOU can have 60 minutes with one of the best selling authors and top strategists in the industry today. Jill Lublin has authored three books with her next launching JUNE 26TH, “Get Noticed- Get Referrals”. Think of it as your personal crash course in PR, as we interview and discuss candid thoughts and tips from Jill. You will also have the opportunity to speak with Jill during our Q & A session, just like a live seminar. The value is undeniableas you will learn how to launch your own information services, products, books, business, and YOUR brand.

Register before JUNE 10TH for less than $20! This gives you VIP ACCESS. VIP access includes;

  • Extra tips from Jill’s magic tool box, in your in box
  • $20 of the regular price of $39
  • Automatically entered to win a free cruise spot of our Transformation for P.I.I.N.K. cruise in October

Register Now to Get Started:

Look forward to:

  1. How to craft your message so that the public and press will embrace it
  2. How to become media savvy How to write an effective press release
  3. How to present yourself for results
  4. How to strategically plan your publicity
  5. How to follow up using Jill’s sure fire techniques
  6. Learn Insider Secrets for what the media loves and hates
  7. Live seminar format and Q & A session

Don’t miss the VIP registration date. After JUNE 10th the webinar will be $39 and no VIP extras. Sorry guys but space is limited so you’re encouraged to register early. Jill is in top demand, and you’ve got her for a full 60 minutes, without paying the thousands of dollars it would cost you to get this anywhere else. It’s like MBA education for less than $20.

    You can checkout on line to reserve your space at:

    The Lotus Effects – Liz Galloway, Spa and Business coach will be the host interviewing author Jill Lublin. Any questions or comments please contact us direct 801 637 5235.





    Day Spas and Resort Spas Set a Bad Example When Training is Overlooked

    4 12 2007

    When spas and resorts overlook needed training and customer relationship’s its a loss for the industry and the client. With our society highly focused on both inner and outer beauty and wellness, it is key that spas and therapists don’t lose sight of the real purpose they are in business. Results based, experiential services and the client. When spas have a lackluster attitude about sub standard training and operations, they are not the only ones hurt. Many spas say they are lacking the clients they need and the wanted exposure to make them successful. Much of that is due to gaps in training and insufficient customer service, because people don’t want to justify the cost for training. That sets a bad precedence for the industry. That is why providing cutting edge training seminars and in depth business reviews are one of the top priorities many industry experts, and foder for industry trend reports.That’s why training is a key focus of leaders like www.thelotuseffects.com .

    Most recently Lotus Effects and Spa College International trainers had big success in focused seminars in Costa Rica and Mexico City to address both hands on and theoretical training for spas and individual entrepreneurs. Pulling from business tools and insights from the spa and hospitality industry, along with showing how to access industry’s across the board for resources. The results were positive and client driven. Here are some key touch points to remember when reviewing different training’s and convincing your superiors that it is necessary;

    Spa Ambiance – You can’t fake being a good therapist, or giving a good treatment. You need tools and support. And remember that creating your visual and physical atmosphere helps you be competitive.

    Client Comfort/Trust – Stop copying what everyone else is doing and raise the bar on client comfort and trust, that in return beget loyalty. That comfort and trust comes with experience and training.

    Boomerang Booking – The whole purpose of your business is to entice clients to use your services and return to you for more. Put your time and energy into a focus of getting your existing clients to return. Plan for future outcomes and trends to some degree and create the menu to sell.

    Review Client Emotional Base – Build on seed ideas that have given you past enjoyable experiences that reflected your comfort, positive sensory level, therapist interaction, and feeling. Take action on the good points of how that affected your emotional base and transfer it to your spa treatments.

    Lifestyle Treatments– Address niche markets and money markets like LOHAS – Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. Find gaps in the current trends like spa community living, lifestyle coaches, eco movements, and spa concierge services, then improve upon it.

    There are plenty more touch points to be aware of, this is a quick example, so you don’t fall into the trap of unwittingly setting a bad example for our industry. We have all heard of less than stellar spa services, maybe even experienced one ourselves. Without the correct training, it can go beyond that, with lack of knowledge of products, contraindications, treatment/client needs or even bordering on ethical and boundary violations, spas can run into trouble. This kills your business and drives a wedge in the seamless flow of what a spa needs and what our industry is trying to portray.

    Liz Galloway, who has trained people in several countries says, “It’s almost a universal problem that I continually run into. You can’t expect your staff to perform as needed, or act as your ambassadors without the right career training and support.” She goes on to say, “Invest in training where it counts, so it doesn’t affect your bottom line.”

    Don’t let lack of the right training or support of your staff hurt your business. There are many training solutions in the industry, and spas should be consistently monitoring trends and accessing industry professionals to continue to increase standards and create their own trends. Find training solutions at;

    The Lotus Effects Precision Training – www.thelotuseffects.com

    Santi Spa Management Training – www.frederiqueacademy.com

    Cortiva Institute – www.cortiva.com

    Steiner Educational Group – www.steinerleisure .com

    The next customized seminars from Spa College International will be in Jamaica Antigua and Thailand and include the new training partnerships with Michell Royer, and Angela Martindale bringing an additional 20 years of health, communication, management resolutions, bodywork, fitness and healing energy work into the training curriculum. Want to set a GREAT example? Have boundaries, be passionate, set trends, be authentic and create boomerang booking.

    Pick up the newly published core manual on spa treatments, marketing and empowerment tools for the spa professional – “Spa Essentials a Course to Mastery -From Fundamentals to Management” now for only $45 including workbook and forms.