Get focused now!

getfocus

See that image above? That’s a snippet from “Where’s Waldo?” – the kitchy cartoon that causes you to spend minutes, hours, days or weeks hovering over a single image looking for a dude in glasses with a red and white striped shirt.

I used to play “Where’s Waldo?” when I was a kid. Back then, it was kind of fun. I mean, Waldo was always hiding there somewhere – I just had to find him. And he was always doing something interesting, like going to the beach or hanging out at the amusement park. A good way to spend time on a rainy day.

Now that I’m all grown up (though some people would debate that point…) Waldo just isn’t as much fun. Sure, if I had the time I’d love to sit down and show it to my kids. I’m sure they would be able to find him pretty quickly! But now, Waldo has become a metaphor for life in the modern world.

There is so much going on, so much to see and do and be, that the one specific thing you’re looking for can be rather hard to find.

In the past few days, I’ve had the great privilege of speaking with a few entrepreneurs who are struggling, like I did as a little Waldo-loving kid, to find their focus.

They feel stuck, like they can’t move forward without finding that missing piece.

They feel frustrated, because they can’t find what they’re looking for.

They feel overwhelmed with the amount of information to take in along the way.

In short, they’re discouraged. They need guidance. They need help. They need focus and clarity so that they can take action and move forward.

They need to find Waldo.

If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, frustrated and discouraged, there is hope. This little exercise will help you move past whatever it is that is keeping you stuck, and get you into action!

5-Minute Focus

Follow along on a sheet of paper. This might be a bit confronting, and the first few times it may take you a bit more than 5 minutes. This takes some self-awareness to achieve, so you may have to work toward it. Have faith though, you will get there!

Step 1: Write Down Your Ultimate Goal

When you don’t know what to do, and you’re finding it hard to focus (perhaps procrastinating?), you need to pinpoint what you’re trying to achieve.

What is your ultimate goal?

What will your current task help you to achieve?

Write down your goal.

It can be hard sometimes to distinguish between where you’re stuck and the true goal – for example, writing your copy vs. launching your website. What you really want to do is launch your website so you can get customers, your web copy has you stuck.

There will be a dependant relationship between your goal and where you’re stuck. You will feel you have to complete X to achieve Y. “Y” is your ultimate goal.

Example: My ultimate goal is to launch my website.

Step 2: Identify the Distractions

What are you doing instead of what you want to accomplish? This could be anything from taking phone calls from your mother in the middle of the day, to organizing your desk, or yes – even spending too much time on your copy.

Write down everything you’ve done today, this week, and even this month instead of accomplishing your goal. Include anything you can’t seem to finish, even if you believe it will help you move toward your goal. Write down everything you can think of.

Example: My distractions are writing and perfecting my copy, redoing my graphics, researching my family tree, folding laundry, fixing the blinds and going to the grocery store.

Step 3: Acknowledge Them

The first time you go through this process, you might start to feel bad on step 2. You might even judge yourself. I myself used to think, “Why can I accomplish all of this other stuff but I can’t seem to finish X?”

I know from experience, that isn’t going to help. Everyone has a life, and we all have things that must get done. We all have other things we want to do. That is not only okay, but it is necessary! Your business would die if you couldn’t have a life outside of it.

Step 3 is all about acknowledging what had to get done, what you wanted to do, and what were the true distractions. The key to doing so without judgement is simple – gratitude.

Example: I acknowledge that I had to write my copy, fold the laundry, and go to the grocery store. I am grateful that I had the time and space to complete these important tasks. I acknowledge that I distracted myself by perfecting my copy, redoing my graphics, researching my family tree, and fixing the blinds. I am grateful for these activities, as they will help me to move forward.

Step 4: Look for the Resistance

Now that you know what you’ve been doing to distract yourself, you get to look for “why”. Why are you distracting yourself in the first place? What haven’t you addressed? Where are you experiencing resistance?

Go back to your initial goal, and imagine it is happening right now – is there something you are afraid of? Is there something in your imaginary scenario that is going wrong? Is there something missing?

Probably 99% of the time, lack of confidence is the core of the resistance. You’re not confident enough in your abilities, your methods, your choices, or some other aspect of yourself or what you’re doing to be able to move forward without fear.

Where are you lacking confidence? What are you afraid of?

Example: I distracted myself with those activities because I am afraid that my website will suck.

Step 5: Acknowledge, Release, and Move On

Now that you understand the true reason behind your lack of focus, which is a lack of confidence in one particular area, you need to practice gratitude. Be grateful that you have fear. If you didn’t care whether or not your website sucked, it probably would.

Then release the resistance. Make a commitment to use that fear in constructive ways (to drive you to achieve your goal), and understand that confidence will only come from putting it out there and watching it work.

Finally, commit to moving forward.

Example: I am grateful for my fear about the website. By using that fear in a constructive way, I will make this website better. I understand that confidence will only come from achieving my goal. I commit to moving forward and completing the website by 06/06/2014.

That’s it.

The key to this exercise is repetition. Yes, the first time you do it you will be able to release some resistance and make progress – but if this is a big, recurring issue for you, chances are you will get stuck again.

Every time you feel stuck, unable to move forward and make progress, complete this simple 5-minute exercise. It is almost magical the way this process can make things happen.

Have you tried it? Share your results in the comments!

– Cheryl

P.S. If energetic alignment is important to you, I highly recommend this exercise. Alignment with your goals through the acknowledgement and releasing of resistance is where the real magic of manifestation happens!

Minimum Viable Products: The Truth

mvp

You’ve probably heard me talk about this before.

Minimum viable products are the lifeblood of a startup or critical growth stage business. Getting something out the door to serve your customers as quickly as possible is how you grow.

It is how you test something, how you research, how you determine if your product really will sell.

But we need to make a distinction, and it is an important one.

Minimum + viable is a balance, not an excuse.

Though it is far more important to launch, test, track, tweak, and sell than it is to run focus groups, conduct expensive year-long surveys and write 40 page product development plans, there is still thought and effort required to reach MVP.

Minimum means the least amount of product development and back-end work you can do before releasing your creation into the hands of your customers. It means avoiding unnecessary features that will take longer to implement and add little real value. It means cutting out the non-essentials.

Viable is the qualifier for minimum.

Just as a car could sell without cupholders but not without an engine, your product must strip away the unnecessary luxuries without compromising the core value.

An example of this would be projectRADIANT, our latest product release. It was supposed to launch yesterday, and we were unable to make that happen. Why?

Because we didn’t have a minimum viable product – yet.

The entire value proposition of projectRADIANT is to provide useful, actionable case studies, worksheets, and other tools to learn marketing strategies from companies who have used them successfully.

The core value comes from an assessment of what these successful companies have done, and the breakdown of that assessment into actionable steps.

Our first case study will be courtesy of an amazing company in the SaaS space. They grew to over $500k in annual revenue in just two years, almost exclusively through a blog. The actionable breakdown of what they did will have incredible value to entrepreneurs who want to implement that strategy.

And the founders have graciously agreed to answer our questions and provide us with everything we need to make this case study happen – but they can’t have their interview responses back to us until the end of this week.

Sure, we had the forum. We had the members area. We had coupon codes and payment processing in place. We could have put together a quick case study of some other company, some other technique, and worked around the clock to get it ready. We could have launched yesterday and probably even made a few sales.

But it wouldn’t have been our Minimum Viable Product.

The core value of this project is the results entrepreneurs and executives can achieve by following the steps in each lesson. Without the right company, the right case study to follow, those results will be limited. The value of projectRADIANT would be limited.

We could have added cupholders. We could have put on a spoiler. We could have painted it in cool colours and added all kinds of bells and whistles.

But without the engine – the actionable lessons from successful companies – it wouldn’t have had much value or substance.

People often mistake Minimum Viable Products for Minimum Value Products.

It is common for people to assume that “just ship something” and “trim the excess” means to cut corners on the core value, and offer as little as you can get away with. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

MVP means offer as much as you can get away with – without adding more than your customers need.

MVP means make it valuable, make it simple, make it clean and easy to implement.

MVP means 500 words to make your point instead of 5000, 5 core features instead of 50, it means the engine and the wheels and the seats and the steering wheel.

It means understanding what your customer really wants, and delivering nothing but that.

It required brutal honesty and self assessment.

“Is this something that my customers really want, or is it just something I want to create?”

“Is my tweaking of this product based on customer feedback, or my own insecurity?”

“Is the product not ready, or am I just afraid to launch?”

Your answers to those questions will tell you if it is time to launch, or time to get back to work.

For us, today we’re back to work building out the next few case studies and lining up more companies to analyze. We’re gaining more support for pR so that it can launch with a big bang. We’re keeping our eyes focused on what we know our MVP is, and despite the delay, not adding unnecessary features.

We’re also doing it very efficiently, using a concept popularized by Tim Ferris called “Minimum Effective Dose.” I’ll be sharing that next week.

Do you have a project you have been holding back on?

A book that isn’t quite ready, a program or service that you have yet to launch, something you’re perfecting to the point of procrastination? Commit publicly to finding your MVP – and launching it. I would love to hear what you’re going to ship – tell me in the comments!

The Biggest Mistake You're Making in Your Business… (and how to stop making it today.)

jumpingoffbridge

“I don’t want to be too… ‘corporate’.”

I probably hear that 4-5 times a week. There is this negative association with corporations, as though doing anything that they do makes you somehow less noble, less helpful, almost evil. Like to be fully corporate, you would have to run your business with a board of advisers that meet in a shadowy back alley – outside the fringes of the law.

I’ve heard that a bit more than usual this week, and it was my call to say this to you:

Stop saying that.

Do you know why corporate marketing looks different from small business marketing? Is it because they’re evil, or manipulative, or distant and uncaring?

No, no, and no.

It looks different because it is. Corporations are marketing on a massive scale. They’re building brand associations, they’re creating a platform, they’re reaching hundreds of thousands, millions, and even billions of potential customers with their marketing.

They’re partnering with big name brands, getting major media attention every time they use the washroom or hire a new janitor, and just generally dominating their market.

Corporate marketing can feel impersonal because it can’t be one-on-one to hundreds of millions of people. How many personal emails or phone calls have you received from someone at Coca-Cola or Pepsi to get you to buy their products? That isn’t because they don’t care about their mission or their customers, it is simply that they’ve found more effective ways to reach you.

Many of you are probably saying “but I don’t want to be as big as Coke or Pepsi, so this doesn’t apply to me.” But, my friend, it absolutely does – and I know it does because I cause breakthroughs around this very challenge every week. For people just like you. (This is where you lean in and read intently…)

Being “corporate” isn’t what you’re afraid of.

In fact, being “corporate” just represents what you’re really afraid of. Something that scares the sh!t out of many of you, really.

Yes, there are some corporations that hurt people – no denying it. There are also people that hurt people, and with the negative focus of modern media, it is getting harder and harder to avoid hearing about them.

Microsoft has done some semi-evil things over the years (anti-trust lawsuit, anyone?) But did you know that they provide good paying jobs to over 100,000 people worldwide? That the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working to solve world hunger with grants that also create dozens of jobs in developing countries?

But I forgot – you don’t want to be “corporate.” Why is that? Well, I think…

You’re avoiding playing a bigger game.

Because calling Sally over at Sally’s Health Spa to partner on a presentation to 10 of her best customers is easier than calling up Centrum and partnering with them to present your offerings to 10M people worldwide, right?

Because calling the local newspaper editor to share your story is easier than calling a journalist at People Magazine or TIME or The Wall Street Journal, right?

Because sitting there selling your own time and knowledge is easier than creating a product that can be replicated with or without you, right?

When you *are* the business, either you’re there and making money… Or you’re not there, and not making money. It is easier to do that than to scale, because your business getting bigger means you need to work a lot more – right?

Because staying small is easier than getting big, right?!?

But is it really?

A phone call to Sally and Centrum will take the same amount of time, and Sally is less familiar with promotional partnerships than Centrum is… She’ll probably take more convincing.

A call to the local newspaper editor won’t likely get you far, unless you’re in the local “clique” of important people… And because he is the only editor, it will probably take you weeks to chase him down. A quick email pitch to the editor at WSJ could be done in 5 minutes.

Selling your time and knowledge is easier at the beginning, when you don’t have a product to sell… But it is impossible to scale, and you end up owning your own job if you don’t evolve beyond that. “Well, if I want to make another $5k this year, I could work another 15 hours a week…” *shudder*

When you own a business and you grow enough to put someone else in charge, you sit around and help steer the vision of the company when you have time… All while getting a nice income from your creation.

Staying small isn’t easier than getting big.

Really, it isn’t. There are hundreds of thousands of companies out there trying to stay small. There are hundreds of companies calling Sally and John the Editor, hundreds of thousands selling their own time and knowledge.

The playing field opens up for the few who step up and play a bigger game. There’s just less competition the closer you get to the top.

So what are you really afraid of? Is it being corporate? Is it playing a bigger game? Is it working too many hours? Is it solving world hunger and creating 100k jobs?

No.

You’re afraid that you’re not good enough.

Who are you to call up Centrum, or WSJ? Who are you to create a product that sells millions of units per month, or to hire someone else to run your company? Who are you to build a company that helps millions, employs hundreds of thousands, generates billions in revenue, and doing it all while you’re enjoying your life?

Here is what I want you to understand: You don’t have to be good enough.

I mean, you already are, but you don’t have to be the best to have a huge impact and enjoy your life. You don’t have to create something amazing from scratch, or be the biggest innovator. Facebook is a publicly traded corporation worth billions, and they were a MySpace copycat. Apple is the same way, and they pay royalties on upwards of 100 patents for every single iPhone they sell.

You don’t need to be the best to have a huge impact, to change the world, to become a millionaire or a billionaire. In fact, to play a bigger game, you only need these:

brass-balls

They’re big, they’re brass, and they are the only difference between Bill Gates and that dude down the street who builds PCs in his basement. Mr. Gates had the “equipment” to walk into IBM’s office and strike a deal to put his operating system (one that he didn’t even create, he basically swiped it from Xerox) on every single PC they built, and pay him for it. That is what made Microsoft what it is today.

Now ask yourself, and be honest:

Do you want to help lots of people?

Do you want to be financially free?

Do you want to enjoy your life?

Do you want people to admire you for your accomplishments and your contribution to this world?

Then stop playing small.

You don’t have to sacrifice yourself and your priorities, you don’t have to be something you’re not, you don’t have to work like a dog or lie, cheat, and steal. You  just have to have the courage to step up, to put yourself out there, to align with people who are bigger than you are today, and to keep pushing until you make it.

Here is your challenge:

Do one thing, every day, that takes courage.

It could be that call to a big name magazine, or a partnership proposal to a Fortune 500 Company, or pitching a guest blog post to The Huffington Post, or sending one of your products to an A-List celebrity asking for their support.

Do one thing every day that pushes you into a bigger  game.

Even if you decide to stay small anyway, being small is a lot more fun when you’ve got big support.

– Cheryl

How to Actually Launch Your Business This Week (Part 2)

Open-for-BusinessIn last week’s post, we talked about launching your business quickly by finding a service-based offering that fulfills the same need as the product you want to develop. This week, we’re going to talk about how to actually launch your service-based business quickly and awesomely (in a way that doesn’t lead to more overwhelm, frustration, information overload, and – you know – bad stuff in general.)

Are you ready to get clients or customers for your service-based business this week? There are a few quick things you need to do…

1. Get clear on your outcome. What is it that you do for people? What problem does it solve? Don’t focus on the solution (your service), focus on the problem (why someone would buy your service.) Get completely clear on the problem you solve, the emotions around it, the people who have it, and the people you want to help. Be passionate about solving this problem!

2. Create an initial offering that knocks their socks off. You know that one little gem you have – the one thing you do for paying clients that makes people say “wow”, burst into tears of joy, or just generally freak out in the presence of your awesomeness? Find a way to do that – for free. Yep, give away your biggest and most powerful tool. This won’t solve their whole problem (it never does), but what you share will likely show your ideal clients that a) their problem can be solved and b) you can help them do it.

3. Figure out where the people you want to help are looking for an answer right freakin’ now! I don’t mean where they hang out, I mean when someone is in a panic about solving the problem you solve, where do they go? What do they do? If someone is mid-breakdown because they want this problem solved really badly, where do they turn? This isn’t as hard as you think. If you’re really hungry, you go to the restaurant instead of the grocery store. If you’re really fed up with your dog making a mess on the carpet, you go to the pet store for a solution to make him stay away. Where are your rabid, hungry buyers already looking for a solution?

4. Go there. Physically, virtually, whatever suits your fancy – it doesn’t matter. You get out of this what you put into it. If someone is in buying mode, looking to solve a problem, you want to be where they are. Professional service people like VAs, writers, etc. this is your time to start checking Craigslist, Elance and oDesk! I have even found coaching clients on oDesk. I have friends and family who found six-figure writing contracts on Craigslist. Not kidding. Go where the buyers are already looking for you.

5. Master the sales conversation. This part is a bit big for a blog post, but here is the general gist of it: Ask them what they really want. Get them to share it all with you – every detail, every thought, every emotion. Make them feel really good thinking about what they want. Ask what is stopping them from having it. Ask what it is costing them not to have it. Have them describe what it would do for them if they could overcome those challenges and get what they want. Ask how committed they are to getting it on a scale of 1-10.

Then say, “You know – I’ve helped a lot of people just like you get those kinds of results. I actually have a program designed for people in your situation, with your challenges and your goals. Would you like to hear about it?” Lay it all out – the benefits of what you do, asking if they think it would be helpful along the way. When they ask about the cost, offer a money-back guarantee first, then state your price. If they object, call them on it – they told you it was important, but they’re not willing to invest their time/money/whatever. Is it really that important?

6. Repeat #4 as often as necessary. Use the 5 circles of marketing to find 5 different ways to reach your target audience for maximum results. Guest blog posts, forums, groups, networking meetings, events, whatever you can do to get in front of buyers – do it.

7. Ask for help and feedback. This is not the time to be the standoff-ish expert, ask for feedback and genuinely care about what people tell you! Ask your friends, family, colleagues, whoever you can for referrals. Get on the phone with as many people as you can to ask about their challenges and obstacles so you can shape your offering. Practice your initial offering talk, session, what have you on anyone who will listen. Post on your groups and forums looking for feedback on your content. Ask for help! Be humble. This is you, standing in your commitment to make your business work. If you don’t share with those who love and support you now, when will you?

This will launch your business quickly. Period.

Planning comes later. Business cards might be helpful, but don’t agonize over them. Even your website can come later if it stops you – you can launch and generate revenue, get clients, this *week* if you really implement this process. Don’t wait – start something!

Want to use this article on your site? Go ahead! Just include this byline at the end:

Cheryl Woodhouse is the Intuitive Marketing Mentor, helping entrepreneurs build wildly successful businesses with less frustration, overwhelm, and stress. Using her groundbreaking business modelling methods, she simplifies marketing, growth, and success into systems that any entrepreneur can implement while playing to the strengths of every individual. You can gain access to these innovative strategies for free by visiting her blog at CherylWoodhouse.com

The 5 Circles of Marketing (because "types" just sounds boring…)

marketingAre you a billionaire philanthropist playboy? Awesome! Richard Branson and Bill Gates, you have more important things to do today so I’ll send you on your way.

For the rest of you – since you’re not billionaire philanthropist playboys (or playgirls!) yet, my best guess is that you could use some “oomph” in your business. Bring in some new leads, new customers, new attention. You know, make more money and share more of your unique gifts, abilities, and products with the world.

I’ll also venture a guess that you probably don’t want to spend the next 10 years trying everything under the sun to make that happen, nor do you want to work 90+ hours a week on all the different marketing methods you’re using to drive that growth.

Here is what you need to know.

There are only 5 different types of marketing. Every method under the sun can be fit within one of these 5 types, or circles. The key to reaching your target market wherever they may be is to choose one method from each of these circles to focus on at any given time.

You can evolve and change as your business and the market evolve and change, but you should really only be putting focused energy into one method from each group at once. More than that, and you’ll likely end up overworked from too much on your plate – and you’ll have the bonus of very little to show for it, since you couldn’t put too much effort into any one thing.

And FYI, once you’ve seen these 5 types, you’ll see something else – most wildly successful companies do this without even realizing it. If you want to be wildly successful, you might want to give it a try.

Thus, I present to you The 5 Circles of Marketing!

1. Collaborative Marketing

This is the type of marketing many online experts preach about, though it is likely not the only method they use. Once you master collaborative marketing, however, watch out! You’ll have the midas touch. Collaborative marketing is all about mutually beneficial relationships. Yes, you get something from the relationship – but that is not the focus! The focus is in the give and take.

If you receive the benefit of someone’s promotion, you provide them with an equal or greater benefit like commissions, future promotions and partnership opportunities, content, etc.

It is important to note that JV’s are not the only methods for collaborative marketing! Ad swaps, referral agreements, strategic partnerships and co-promotions for complimentary services are all examples of collaborative marketing. Anything that involves two businesses working together to promote each other is a collaborative promotion. Examples include…

  • Ad swaps
  • Referral agreements
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Affiliate promotions
  • Co-promotions or cost-shared advertising and promotion
  • And of course, joint ventures.

2. Earned Media Marketing

Earned media marketing is essentially content marketing and publicity rolled in together. The focus is on spreading your message or the message of your company as an expert authority figure.

The key to earned media marketing is distribution. Even bad content, if it is distributed anywhere, can get you incredible results. Of course if the content was great, the results would be even better – so I still encourage you to create epic content. But if you create something epic and no one ever sees it, you’re wasting your time.

Earned Media Marketing is related to Collaborative Marketing in that it involves a give-and-take relationship, but it is usually with a person or a content source rather than a commercial entity or business. Some examples of Earned Media Marketing are…

  • Publicity
  • Guest blogging
  • Interviews as an expert
  • Traditional media coverage
  • Press release coverage
  • Organic product reviews (unpaid, non-affiliate reviews)

3. Broadcast Marketing

Ahh, Broadcast Marketing. This is what you see from 99% of “big brands” – it’s the visible face of these mammoth corporations. Of course, they also include a piece from every other circle in their mix, but this is what you think of when you think of traditional marketing.

Broadcast Marketing is “push” marketing – you are, in essence, paying to shout from the rooftops and hoping someone will listen. Largely untargeted and subjected to ad blindness, this is not the most effective tool in your marketing arsenal but still one you should be using if you can. The key is to get as targeted as possible – the publications your audience reads, the sites your audience visits, and if you’re a local business, even billboards that your customers drive by.

Broadcast Marketing is something that you’ll want to dedicate some serious time to – at least 20% of your marketing efforts. You want to constantly review, tweak, and improve your Broadcast Marketing to achieve a higher ROI and drop inefficient investments. Some examples of Broadcast Marketing include…

  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Radio and television ads
  • Digital ads (banners, etc.)
  • Pay per click ads
  • Paid press release distribution
  • Paid blog posts/guest posts
  • Sponsored content
  • Online video ads
  • Billboards
  • Flyers
  • Mass direct mail
  • Solo ads
  • And pretty much anything else where you pay directly, in advance, with no promise of results, for the exposure

4. Event Marketing

Can I just say – I *love* event marketing! If you want to create a big splash in the market place and have people saying “I see you everywhere!”, events are where it’s at.

You want to have a focused strategy for how you will get involved with events. Will you host? Will you piggyback off the efforts of others? Will you just attend the events for networking? What specifically related to events will you be doing?

My two personal favourites are hosting digital events like webinars, telesummits, teleseminars, etc. and sponsorships. I love sponsorships! But not just any sponsorship, I want sponsorships that give me a physical presence and a way to interact with people in person and get them engaged. No gift bags or logos for me, I want a booth or a stage! But again – I never try to do both at the same time. One or the other.

Events are a great place to start if you’re looking to get clients *fast*, fill your programs or launch your products, and get in front of a large amount of potential clients at once. Some examples of Event Marketing include…

  • Sponsorships
  • Physical events you host
  • Digital events like telesummits, webinars, and teleseminars
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows
  • Conventions
  • Festivals
  • Summits
  • Networking group meetings (hello, MeetUp.com!)

5. Social Marketing

Let’s start this section with a disclaimer. Social Marketing, in all its forms, is primarily one-to-one – so it is slow. It is also one of the biggest possible time-sucks when you are first starting out!

If you don’t have 10k followers or fans to interact with and get to buy your stuff, you’ll spend a lot of your time following people, randomly sharing messages and hoping to get attention from bigger groups, interacting one-on-one with people, and ending up randomly surfing the web (while wondering how you got to the LOLcats again when you’re supposed to be working.)

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, Social Marketing can be effective if you use it as a tool for building relationships one-on-one that will be hugely beneficial, in the beginning, or as a way of interacting with a large number of people at once as you get bigger. The key is to stay focused, and know where you “fit” in the social world. Spending all day on Facebook or Twitter isn’t where you belong at the beginning, and spending all day on forums isn’t where you belong if you have a 6 figure business.

Another disclaimer – never, ever count on something going “viral”. Yes, there are experts who will tell you there is a formula for viral content. Yes, there are people who will say you can manufacture it. Those same experts also offer paid services called “seeding” – advertising your so-called viral content for a pretty penny, usually about $1/view for the first 30,000 or so views before it has any element of virality to it.

Just create things that are worth sharing, and put them out there. If people agree it is worth sharing, they will. If it is worth sharing *enough*, the timing is just right, trends are hitting on all of the right things, everything is perfect, and the stars and the universe align to deliver a hoard of interested super-advocates to your doorstep, it might go viral.

Creating something worth sharing socially is step one. Some examples of Social Marketing include…

  • Social media (obviously)
  • Networking meetings
  • Referral networks
  • Social sharing plugins, networks, etc
  • Viral marketing
  • “Guerilla” street teams
  • Forum participation
  • Mastermind groups

So there you have it.

Those are the 5 circles of marketing. Do one thing from each of these 5 circles, and put your heart and soul into each and every one. You’re certain to see results from a consistent, focused effort in each of these areas – and you’ll have the happy benefit of not being overwhelmed and unfocused, frustrated and confused as you do it.

What do you think? Have I missed any methods for these 5 circles? Do you do this already in your business? Share!

Shine bright,

– Cheryl