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Multiply Your Impact & Income Through Packaging Your Brand Online (The Right Way)

MYI1

A few years ago, I conducted a teleseminar titled “Leveraging the Web to Grow Your Dispute Resolution Practice” for the New York State Dispute Resolution Association.  Its premise was that conflict resolution professionals loved their work but often struggled when it came to marketing their services.  In that teleseminar, I discussed how no-cost to low-cost technology could help conflict resolution professionals build long-term trusting relationships with their clients and prospects and even create passive income streams while they shared their expertise and valuable experience with a wider audience.

The topic of information products is even hotter these days when so much of our knowledge is acquired online. That is why I am especially honored to share the work of Dr. Marina Kostina, founder and CEO of Wired@Heart, who is an expert in transcending distances online and helping business owners leverage their time and expertise through online courses and products.  Maybe, now is the time to package all your experience and wisdom into a product that can make you extra income around the clock. Find out how you can do it in today’s post.

The author of today’s post is our guest blogger Dr. Marina Kostina, founder and CEO of Wired@Heart.

 Why go online?

You love your clients.

You love connecting and engaging with them.

And you’d love being able to make a difference on a larger scale.

But there is only one of you! And that means that no matter what, your impact (and income) will always be limited.

We live in a very exciting time, as there are literally billions of online businesses nowadays.

However, 95% of online businesses fail and they fail in a matter of months!

These statistics tell us two very important things:

1) Small business owners finally realize that the online environment has tremendous potential for impact, profitability, and building the lifestyle of their dreams.

2) Most online businesses fail, and fail super-fast because they do not know how to bring their brand online in an effective way.

Many “business gurus” promise that designing an info product will solve all your financial frustrations, magically attract lots of clients, and ultimately will help you build a lifestyle of your dreams. I strongly believe that most info products experts are missing the KEY ingredient: building connection and engagement in cyberspace.

How to make your brand shine online the right way:

After 10 years of working online and conducting research on online interactions for my doctorate dissertation, I know one thing for sure: connection and engagement is THE KEY to success in cyberspace! I believe that an engaged client is a happy client. It is a client who will keep on buying your products, develop a sense of identity with your brand, will produce great results that he will gladly share with others, and will become your biggest fan and an advocate for your business!

There are 5 types of connection that businesses need to foster while bringing their brand online:

Strategy # 1: Building Client-Client Connection

The client-client type of engagement is where clients engage with each other, creating an online community. Often, such communities are considered to be a “bonus” to an online product. I argue that developing such communities is a MUST. You can easily create a community of like-minded individuals even with self-paced, downloadable products by providing an opportunity to access an online forum, or maybe creating a private Facebook group where your clients can interact and share their experiences, questions, and success stories.

Strategy # 2: Building Client-Mentor Connection

The secret of engagement is this: you need to find a way of making your trainees feel that they are involved in a learning process that they own, one that they have helped to construct, and that they are working on a piece of work that is relevant to their lives and interests.  They are searching for information and finding in it what is of most interest and relevance for their piece of work, reporting the progress of their work to others, and benefiting from the feedback.  They are giving constructive input that can help fellow participants clarify concepts and arguments in their work, being producers of knowledge rather than consumers of it, and having a hand in their destiny and living creatively as they progress through the program.

Strategy # 3: Building Client-Content Connection

Client-content engagement refers to the client’s accessing the content of the course or a program. You have to consciously and continuously facilitate discussions, and guide your clients toward the program goals. Remember, this is not a mentorship approach in which you tell your clients where to go to find answers; rather, you encourage them to explore the parameters of an issue, raise questions, and go to the program content and other valid sources of information to find their own answers.

Strategy #4: Building Client-Platform Connection

A Learning Management System (LMS), an interactive video, or a downloadable PDF series – are all important in the learning process: it is a part of the learning community, as your clients must engage with the technical platform that delivers your product. As the mentor, your responsibility is to facilitate interaction between the platform and the client. In order to minimize early dropouts because of technology, you should help your clients with navigation tools by creating a short video or a detailed PDF cheat sheet that explains how to interact with the platform, download a product or post a comment in a discussion forum. You can also develop problem solving queries in which you can invite clients’ comments on the culture of online learning, its strengths and its limitations, and ask for suggestions on how their current learning experience might be improved.

Strategy #5: Building Client-Learning Process Connection

Clients need to feel that the learning process respects their needs and that they are trusted to have a say in what they learn and how: they need to feel that they have agency and that you are fostering their autonomy. Explain to the clients the basics of the online interactions, where each participant creates a new identity and information might be miscommunicated more easily than in face-to-face interactions. Delayed response and technology might create a sense of isolation. When the clients are aware of the challenges of the online environment and have the tools to deal with these challenges, they will less likely become frustrated with the program and will not lose their motivation.

In conclusion, if you want to multiply your impact and income, you MUST bring your brand online! Imagine not having to worry about attracting new clients. Imagine creating a referral powerhouse where your satisfied clients spread the word about you! (Remember, people would more likely buy a product recommended by their friends).

I know that the process might sound scary for many of you.

I created a FREE training session: “Multiply Your Impact and Income Online” that will be held online on April 4, 2013 @ 7:30 pm.

In this training you will discover 3 simple steps to:

  1. Big Idea: Finding your product’s main idea that will instantly connect with your clients
  1. Design: Weaving connection and engagement into the design of your product
  1. Delivery: Building connection and engagement during delivery of your product

Sound interesting? You will find more information here:

Register Here

I cannot wait to see you!

MYI3

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which I receive a commission if you make purchases.

 

By | 2013-03-28T19:02:39+00:00 March 28th, 2013|Communication, Conflict Management, Learning|0 Comments

5 strategies to silence your inner critic and boost creativity and self-expression

yogadanceHave you ever tried yoga dance?  Yoga dance is different from what most people think of when they hear the word “dance,” or “yoga” for that matter.  There are no specific steps to follow or routines to worry about.  Instead, our yoga teacher offers a storyline with elements, such as “welcoming yourself to the space” by dancing your way around the room in different directions, “building a fire” in an exuberant circle moving with the sound of drums, or the “souls and hearts” dance with scarves.  Yoga dance is all about self-expression in a harmonious, non-judgmental way when you bring your body, your sense of rhythm and your emotions into a delicate alignment.  It is also about the power of being open, spontaneous, creative and fluid. It is about the community and trust in your ability to be yourself, no matter how sweaty or goofy you may feel.  In other words, yoga dance offers one of those precious moments when your inner critic becomes quiet, giving in to the power of music and movement.

We should all practice silencing our inner critic more often. Neuroscience research suggest that we become more creative when the the parts of the brain that are responsible for cognitive control – in particular, the left prefrontal cortex – become less active.  In one study,  researchers non-invasively manipulated neurons in the participants’ left prefrontal cortices through the method of transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, thus suppressing the activation of these specific areas of the brain.  Participants saw a sequence of 60 objects, one every nine seconds, and were asked to quickly come up with uses for them that were out of the ordinary.  The researchers measure how long it took for the participants to come up with a valid response, or if they were unable to do so before the next picture appears. The participants with the inhibited right prefrontal cortices missed an average of 8 out of 60 objects, compared to 15 objects missed by two other control groups.   They were also able to provide correct responses an average of a second faster than the control groups.

Another study indicates that when musicians are improvising, the part of the brain that plays a role in self-restraint and evaluation is also powered down, while an area associated with self-expression becomes more active, compared to when the musicians play music they have memorized.

How can you silence the inner critic in situations that benefit from a creative flow of unfiltered ideas?  Here are five practices to boost your creativity and self-expression:

1. Role-play your way to different scenarios.  Play boosts creativity, imagination, and social agility not just in children, but in adults as well.  As adults we become overly concerned with opinions of others.  The fear of embarrassment and social rejection inhibits our creative expression.  Play can relax the brain and make us more comfortable to take risks and experiment.  Play helps us prepare for the unexpected and produce a more diverse repertory of behavior. In a role-play, we can put ourselves through different kinds of experiences, learn to better understand other perspectives and cultivate empathy. Are you feeling too shy to play? Try a hand-puppet to get your over the discomfort of assuming a role.

2. Give yourself a permission to be absurd. Brainstorm bad ideas and poke fun at your own assumptions.  It will take the pressure off and allow good ideas to percolate into your conscious mind. Don’t take yourself too seriously.   “Think like a fool,” advises Roger von Oech:

“It’s the fool’s job to extol the trivial, trifle with the exalted, and parody the common perception of a situation. In doing so, the fool makes us conscious of the habits we take for granted and rarely question. A good fool needs to be part actor and part poet, part philosopher and part psychologist.”

3. Let your mind wander. The daydreaming mind continues to work on your problems, increasing the likelihood of an insight. A recent study shows that the times when we are naturally less productive may be optimal for solving insight problems. In those off-peak times when we are more distracted, our brains can tap into a wider range of information, find new connections, and see more possibilities.

4. Ditch your meeting room and head to a coffee-shop.  Experiments showed that a moderate level of ambient noise (70 dB) enhanced subjects’ performance on the creativity tasks, compared to a relatively quiet environment (50 decibels).  However, if the place is too noisy (85 dB), it will hurt your creative problem-solving. Coffitivity can even “deliver the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop.”  This web application allows you to combine your own music and ambient noises to optimize your creative process.

5. Find a solution in your dreams. Michael Michalko, the creativity expert and author of “Thinkertoys,” once said, “Ideas twinkle in dreams like bicycle lights in a mist.”  A  study conducted by the University of Alberta and the University of Montreal of 470 psychology students revealed that dreams that occurred six to seven days after the remembered event often reflected “interpersonal interactions, problem resolution and positive emotions.”  These findings suggest that people continue to work through personal difficulties in dreams.

Sleep psychologists claim we have about six dreams each night during rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep).  We often forget our dreams, but there are things we can do to recall dreams better and capture any creative ideas that emerged in the dream state:

  • If you’ve been working on a problem for a while, bring it back into focus right before you fall asleep.  Think about a question related to your problem that you’d like to get an answer to in your sleep.
  • When you awake, don’t get up immediately.  Instead, lie quietly as you reflect on your dream.  If you have trouble remembering your dreams, try waking up thirty minutes earlier.
  • Have a dream journal next to you bed so that you could promptly record any thoughts that came to you after you woke up.  Don’t censor, just write down anything that comes to mind. Your ideas are often triggered by your dream even if you can’t remember the dream exactly.  After all, the contemporary scientific method was first reveled to René Descartes in his dream, which he promptly recorded in his dream journal.
  • You can later go over your dream journal again to see if any patterns, ideas, or insights emerge from your dream entries.

And you can always check out yoga dance.

How do you silence your inner critic?

By | 2013-03-22T12:41:02+00:00 March 20th, 2013|Brain, Creativity, Peak Performance|0 Comments