Of course we all want to build our lists and grow our followers but there are strict rules against marketing to people who haven’t agreed to be on your list, so how does it happen? I’m guessing there are some unscrupulous companies who buy and sell lists, and then there are other lists that you find yourself added to because you have bought something online and couldn’t get to the payment stage without registering your email address.
I did a bit of a cull recently and unsubscribed from no less than 20 lists that I had never signed up for in the first place! What I didn’t do though is report any of the emails as ‘spam’. For new brand owners trying to establish themselves when their list is still small, this can be hugely detrimental because mailing list providers will suspect that you may not be legitimate, MailChimp for example came back at a client of mine effectively telling her off because 2 people had reported her emails as spam. If your list is small, 2 could be a high percentage!
Don’t do it guys! It’s no problem to unsubscribe – that’s your choice but don’t move to the junk folder absent-mindedly. For your newsletters make sure that you make it crystal clear how to unsubscribe, sadly that doesn’t always work, I recently received a nasty email from someone who had apparently emailed me before asking to be removed – I didn’t ever see that email but did see the one that said
‘your emails are in breach of the UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). I am advised not to use the “unsubscribe” option on your email as this only informs companies, such as the one that you have employed, that send bulk emails (spam) that emails have been received and encourages further harassment’
Seriously? Which company that I have employed? He went on…
‘If I receive further emails from you, I will initiate a complaint against your company with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).’
Ouch! I wrote back to him personally, apologised and wished him a happy Christmas, I genuinely have no idea how he got on my list if he had not signed up but it happens. I think he may have felt suitably embarrassed at taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut – I got a Merry Xmas back!
So continue to put your efforts into building your lists – it’s the most important marketing tool you have, and support others by signing up to receive content from them if you want to be on their radar, but when you do feel overwhelmed at the assault on your inbox and decide to do a ‘cull’, just unsubscribe and don’t let it get reported as spam (unless of course it actually is!).
While a relatively small percentage (15.4%) gave an unequivocal ‘Yes’, a mass 47% (or 941 people) replied ‘Mostly’. Roughly a quarter responded, ‘Not really’ and 11% said not at all.
The figures were fairly even across genders and ages, with a variation of only one per cent of women feeling more well-disposed to their jobs than their male counterparts, and people between 25-34 being around a percentage point happier than the other groups between 18 and 55+.
Northern Ireland, topped the poll of job satisfaction with 18% giving a joyous ‘Yes’, closely followed by the South West (18%), London (18%) and Scotland (17%). At the other end of the spectrum, only 9% of respondents in Wales were willing to say they love their job.
Asked what would add more happiness to the workplace, 52% said regular salary increases were the key to happiness, while just below came ‘Flexi-time for everyone’. Other high scorers were ‘offices with natural light’ and ‘more emphasis on work-life balance’.
A common theme among those volunteering ideas on how to create more happiness was a change in management, with answers such as ‘a good boss’, ‘good leadership’, ‘less aggressive management’ and ‘bosses that aren’t bullies’ this was representative of many people’s experiences.
Of the 38% dissatisfied with work, over a third were seeking opportunities in a different industry – but just under a third were taking no steps to change their situation, while 3% were seeking life coaching to help them make their choices.
Interestingly, nearly 29% of women and 25% of men admitted to suffering from depression, with 10% more women than men seeking therapy, and five per cent more women consulting their GP. Men also failed to talk to family and friends on the matter, and a higher percentage chose to ‘do nothing’.
Men vs. Women…
Often we need some help with empowerment even if we know deep down that we’re capable it’s such a smoother path when we have others to support, nurture and empower us. Often it’s enough to be in a community of like-minded people to feel motivated with moving forward. There can be many influences in our life that don’t always want us to surge ahead.
It can be really frustrating when you feel paralysed to move forwards in both your business and your personal life, when you know deep down that you have so many ideas and that you could carry them through… if only you had a bit more confidence. Self-belief can be the killer of many dreams!
Change is always scary whether it’s moving to a new home, a new job, leaving a situation to be on your own or putting your creativity out into the world, it’s a risk and it needs a big leap of faith. Have you been close enough to take that leap and felt the discomfort? Have you felt it would be easier to stay exactly where you are?
Mahatma Ghandi says:
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Oftentimes it helps to ‘fake it before we make it’ and to me this translates as your belief being more than half of the challenge. There is plenty of practical help available to us to learn about creating our niche, creating our website, marketing our business etc. These are all things we can learn and confidence and self- belief is part of the equation.
Think about what’s really holding you back today? Is your inner critic a little guilty of keeping you stuck?
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I don’t mean that flippantly – what’s interesting is that many people who are passionate about their work are so preoccupied with how they can help others and grow their brand that they haven’t stopped to ask what it is they really want for their business. That’s not the same as a business plan or a projected growth, I’m talking about the bigger picture. In my new book ‘You Are The Brand’ I talk about the importance of defining your one big dream and being really specific, saying I want to make loads of money won’t cut it, (you may get a windfall or a massive order only to then see it disappear again.)
Leaving yourself out of your dream is common too amongst heart centred business owners. One client who is a very successful expert in weight management said her dream was that the NHS recognised the link – fast forward to utopia for them (tricky to imagine I know) but assume the dream delivered and the NHS got it and offered NLP techniques to all – and she didn’t feature! She had left herself out of her dream and her brand!
Own your own USP and your own unique brilliance and decide upon your one big dream for your business. Be very clear on all the details, base them in reality while still dreaming big (it probably won’t work to dream of being an Olympic swimmer if you don’t like getting your ears wet).
Then get set to be amazed what could happen next – something will – once you set your intentions and have real clarity on what you want magic happens! You notice things you haven’t noticed before, someone comes into your life…
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Since I started coaching clients the question I hear over and over again is ‘Am I good enough?’ People who want to write a book or get their book out there to a wider audience often tell me they are fearful that the market for what they write about is already overcrowded – ‘there are already so many books on my subject’…they lament…’ Will anyone be interested in mine?’
Of course my answer is always the same, there may be many books on your topic but there’s only one YOU’ – That’s why it’s critical to really know your YOU-sp (USP) – what it is that makes you YOU-niquely different.
Having said that I’m not immune either to the odd ‘wobble’ about my credentials. Recently I was thinking about planning an event around helping people with their public speaking skills, helping experts and entrepreneurs become the Go-To expert in their field and how to attract opportunities and maximise them.
Just as I was about to start looking at venues I saw some advertising for an event not dissimilar to the one I was planning – except that this entrepreneur had hired a huge venue and seemed to be totally rocking and at the top of her game in that arena. What did I do? Panic! – I went through all those same concerns and fears, am I really good enough, could I ever fill out a big conference venue?
I must admit I really did feel as though the wind had been taken out of my sails, it took a session with a great inspirational coach (we all need someone a few steps ahead of us) to make me realise that my experience and message is not the same as my ‘competitor’ and what I share with my audience is different and just as I remind my clients, I too have my own skills, talents and specific USP – for starters I’ve had twenty five years in the media and been on both sides of the microphone!
Sometimes of course it’s good to check out the competition, absolutely google around and see what others are doing in your field, it also doesn’t make much sense to host your event the same weekend as a competitor if the target audience may be similar, but don’t get obsessed by what others are doing, there will always be people ahead of us (thank goodness – they can pave the way and help us) and there will always be those coming up behind. And perhaps with our unique skills talents and clear definable ‘USP’ we can assist some of those newbies – the ones who are our ideal clients.
That’s the key really, there’s only one YOU and you are the right person for the right ‘tribe’ or ‘community’. Other experts, brand owners and teachers will be the right person for another community. Ultimately it’s a big old ocean and there’s room for lots of ripples, so go ahead and make your waves!
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A very practical colleague who prides himself on not having any of that hippy dippy woo woo stuff asked me – what’s a heart centred business? Don’t you just mean someone who enjoys running their business, doesn’t everyone, especially if it’s successful and they earn money?
I had to think about it, I realised I couldn’t help anyone who didn’t love their work, I wouldn’t be able to help anyone to stand in the spotlight and share their key messages if they weren’t passionate about it, I asked myself If someone enjoyed earning a good pay packet from running online gambling websites would that tick the heart centred businesses box?
Not for me, unless time stood still for them when they were absorbed in their work and they felt called to do it on some level, (and it was genuinely for the greater good), I’d question whether they had found their purpose, whether they were doing the work they were really born to do.
I attended a wonderful matrix re-imprinting course – yes the room was full of heart centred practitioners – and the founder of the work Karl Dawson told us about the importance of the heart, not just our emotions, the physical organ. He pointed us to extensive research on its powers reminding us that scientists say it picks up on thoughts, events, actions, even before they happen, it operates in quantum time.
To begin with this can seem far-fetched, surely when we think of a heart we just see lovely cute Valentine’s day images, it signifies romantic love or love for a child or an animal, but there are negative images attached too, we also know that a high proportion of people have heart disease, heart failure, heart attacks, we worry about cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and stress and when its linked to our emotional state, we talk of a broken heart, we recognise that our heart can expand to an even great capacity than we thought possible (enough to love subsequent children as much as the firstborn)
Most of us acknowledge the importance of our brain but sometimes don’t recognise that the heart is Emperor within the mind / body system, it’s the first port if call to receive the ‘energy’ of anything, it communicates this to the brain, the brain signals to the body to tell it what to do, and then we have a conscious realisation – oh I’m feeling scared…need to run, I’m feeling upset, my ears will fill with tears, I will cry.
Of course all of this all happens automatically but as we all well know it’s going on constantly and the more negative the emotions the more stressed we become. Many people live in a constant state of stress, the adrenaline is high, they are ready to fight or flee – but there isn’t really a tiger there – it’s just that the bus is late, or the delivery hasn’t been despatched, or we didn’t get chosen to participate in something we had worked hard for, but we don’t fight, and we don’t run either (interestingly that’s why if we do physical exercise it can be brilliant for relieving stress) usually the stress is internalised.
Karl also made us aware of the work of the US Heartmath organisation. HeartMath was founded by Doc Childre in 1991 to help individuals, organizations and the global community incorporate the heart’s intelligence into their day-to-day experience of life. They connect heart and science in ways that empower people to greatly reduce stress, build resilience, and unlock their natural intuitive guidance for making better choices.
The film Heartless portrays Angus Deayton as a straight laced divorce lawyer who has a heart transplant after a sudden heart attack, acting on a new impulse he gets an urge to buy a leather jacket and motorbike and takes off to the wilds of Scotland, there he decides to stay in a B&B, sees a photo on the mantelpiece of a guy on a motorbike, it transpires it’s the owners husband who died in an accident and donated his heart – to Angus’ character – its fictitious – yet according to some surgeons plausible.
What can we do with this kind of information? Well quite a lot it seems, Heartmath have made popular a simple breathing technique that could transform our lives, from the school room to the workplace to our personal relationships and could probably massively reduce the burden on the NHS with anxiety and stress related illnesses.
We watched Karl via the internet link up his heartrate to a monitor on the Heartmath site, we saw his starting heart rate graph, fluctuating between 90 and 50 bpm, the graph showed a chaotic jagged line, then he did the simple Heartmath exercise, with his hand on his heart he took 6 slow breaths in and out, then he consciously thought of something positive, a time when he felt great, a place where he wanted to be, someone he loved deeply, within seconds his heart rate had stabilised and the graph become a gently flowing wave – no more jagged rises or dips – it was extraordinary.
This is what athletes call being ‘in the zone’ – others call this state being in flow…it’s a state of high coherence bringing the brain in sync with the heart. In Ireland it’s used widely in schools, some forward thinking teachers are using it in UK schools too, can you begin to imagine how different everyone’s day might look if it became standardised?
Ask yourself – are you heart centred? You may decide to spin the word around and feel centred at your heart space, try the simple Heartmath technique before the next potentially stressful thing you know you need to do…and check in with it to ensure that you are on course with the decisions you make for your work and your business …..Let me know how you get on.
I’ve written lots of articles and blogs around procrastination and recently I’ve had to take note of my own issues around stopping short of doing something just because I know I can’t make it as perfect as I’d like, sometimes good enough really is good enough!
I’ve also written recently about the death of Wayne Dyer and how that amazing man with his legacy has inspired so many people to follow their dreams – his phrase ‘Don’t die with the music still in you’ is something I trot out regularly especially to clients who tell me they know they want to write a book, start their business, become the founder of a charity…
Nothing brings this home more than the analogy of ‘Your Life in 7 days’ Years ago a normal lifespan would be seen as ‘3 score years and 10 – meaning we will hopefully make it till the age of 70 – (of course most of us hope to live a lot longer but bear with me!)
So if each decade represents a day, and we are born on a Monday, most people reading this will be over twenty so onto Wednesday already, some of us are into Thursday or even (ahem) Friday or into the weekend ….
It really focuses your mind as to how you are spending your time, if there’s something you know you want to do, when will you start it ? If not now – when ? Having explained this to my hubby he sometimes says to me (especially if I’m asking him to do something for me rather than himself)…’.darling I’m on the Friday of my life, I need to do XXX’ Of course he is right, we all must prioritize what it is we are really here to do, define your purpose and get cracking.
By the way if you are on ‘Sunday’ I wouldn’t worry about that one bit, the great Louise Hay is 89 (way past the sell-by 70) and she is rocking (and recently learnt a new skill of playing the piano) Heres hoping we will all make it to that ripe age and beyond, still feeling young, still feeling energized by living our purpose and passion, but why wait to see what age you make it to ? If you know what you are meant to do, start right away. remember you don’t have to get it right, you DO have to get it going.
If you want help getting clarity on your passion purpose, and USP (unique selling point) and your YOU-nique brilliance get in touch I offer a one hour clarity call.
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