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:
- Big Idea: Finding your product’s main idea that will instantly connect with your clients
- Design: Weaving connection and engagement into the design of your product
- Delivery: Building connection and engagement during delivery of your product
Sound interesting? You will find more information here:
I cannot wait to see you!
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which I receive a commission if you make purchases.