The Baker’s Dozen Marketing Plan: 13 ways to build your business in only 12 months

When I was little, my mother would take me and my sister to the Amspachers’ bakery in downtown Waycross, Georgia. The glass cases which ringed the room were filled with beautiful cookies and pastries. My mother would order a dozen cookies in a variety of shapes and colors, and I particularly remember the two-toned ones, small green and brown leaves, and the cream horns. My mother would cut hers into tiny slices so we each could have some. Then we’d save one for my grandfather, so he could have one, too.

Mrs. Amspacher would lean in from the kitchen door watching from the hustle and bustle out front. Mr. Amspacher, in his black horn-rimmed glasses and white apron, was always smiling. When his wife wasn’t looking, he’d always slip a 13th cookie in the dozen. A baker’s dozen, my mother said.

“A little something extra” is a great marketing strategy, whether we’re onboarding a new client or appreciating an existing one. In 2018, there’s a clear baker’s dozen of actions entrepreneurs can take to make certain theirs is the best year yet.

  1. Send a regular ezine

Your email newsletter should go out no less than monthly. That way, you can consistently engage people who have asked to receive updates from you. I suggest munching macarons and sipping hot tea during this adventure.

  1. Update your blog monthly.

Make a list of the topics your clients are most interested in, and decide which aspects they’ll value most. These will make great blog topics. Once the blog is created and posted, grab the header, first couple of paragraphs, and a link to the original, and make this part of your ezine. Blogging goes beautifully with chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa.

  1. Develop a distribution strategy.

These days, it’s difficult to get all those free shares and likes of yesteryear. Last week, Facebook announced a new algorithm which demotes any user which asks for a like or a share. Instagram is the favored pick of millennials, while other women prefer Pinterest. Twitter continues to be preferred by men – and their audience targeting differs significantly from that of other outlets. The key is to figure out where your people are on social and post there. At first, limit yourself to 3 platforms. From there, choose one distribution strategy to master at a time. That way, you’re maintaining a presence, focusing your energy and conserving resources. Sugar cookies and coffee help you power through.

  1. Make Your “Free Taste” Really Tasty

Take a good look at our pink spoon. Does it still attract the type of clients with whom you wish to work? If you’ve moved on from startups and on to content marketing, then your free taste needs to reflect that. Plus, the world is now flooded with online coaches. If you’re going to offer a pink spoon, it needs to be really, really good and offer inherent value.

If it’s a great threshold piece, and it whets the client’s appetite for more of the good stuff, then don’t be shy. Add a pop-up offer at about 10 seconds into the reader’s experience. For this one, let’s eat cake! Vanilla with vanilla frosting, yes? With a latte.

  1. Draft a marketing plan for the year

A program or package launch normally takes about 6 weeks, so I usually recommend one launch per quarter. A launch requires benchmarks be met, writing be complete, and that the online mechanisms for sign up be created and tested. So a 3 month window for planning and execution and kick-off series sessions is just about right for most entrepreneurs.

Your marketing plan should include this launch calendar. Then, frame your launches with your ezine, blog posts and other marketing outreach. This simple strategy will increase your likelihood of success. Nibble an Italian wedding cookie while you write. French press the coffee.

  1. Support Your Objectives with a Content Plan

Once you know what you’re selling in terms of programs or packages, then it’s time to flesh out your content plan. Where will you publish in addition to your blog? Whether you go with a video channel, online article placements, or a Linked In article, make certain the topic is absolutely right for the medium and audience. Nothing screams “amateur” quite so much as a LinkedIn article that really should have been a Facebook note.

I usually recommend publishing in one or two places in addition to the blog, for a total of 2-3 publications each month. Each article should showcase an aspect of your unique approach to solving clients’ problems. And each article should be leveraged with your distribution strategy. Why not sample those pecan filled thumbprint cookies your friend’s been raving about? And a chai.

  1. Insist on an integrated, inbound approach to social media

Your website is the hub of your online operations, and the job of your social presence is to get people to your website. If your web designer doesn’t understand how to create an integrated, inbound approach to social media – and doesn’t know how to track it – then you need to weave a new web. We recommend oatmeal cookies for web weaving. They go with everything.

  1. Enact a networking protocol

Mark 3 interesting networking opportunities on your calendar monthly. One of those might be a group of peers, but the others need to be places where you’re simply out meeting people. If the person could be an ideal client, reach out afterward with a personal note. Offer a resource. Mention your conversation, and ask if they’d like it to continue. These follow up conversations are bakery worthy. Ask them to meet you there – but buy your own if it’s a business meeting.

  1. Commit to a great discovery conversation

Whether someone chooses to move forward with your offer or not, commit to leave them with resources or understandings that improve their experience. You’ll want your awesome discovery session to lead them through the four stages of value: what they have now, what they want instead, what not having that thing is costing them, and how you can help. This is a gingerbread moment. Add lemon ginger tea for a lift.

  1. Closing strategy

Not everyone will be an immediate yes. However, the goal is for the person to say “yes” to their own heartfelt desire with the knowledge that you can help them get there. Your closing strategy should be crafted in a way that leads them to the yes. If it’s a stretch for them, but the commitment is there, you’ve already served them by modelling the possibility of growth and change. Sugar cookies cut into hearts with white icing trim should do it! Add an espresso for get up and go.

  1. Commit to a Calendar and Reminders

Whether you have a virtual assistant or not, you’ll want a system for client appointments, cancellations, reschedules, and reminders. Not having one will make you crazy. Go with a truffle for this task. Pause to enjoy it mindfully.

  1. Value Your Time as a Resource

Time is a non-renewable resource. Start your year by marking out the personal time you want for yourself and your family, then schedule your business goals around it. Once that’s done, commit to leverage your time in a way that maximizes the return on investment of your life force energy. Go for a walk, and burn off some of those cookie calories!

  1. Work with a Coach or Consultant

The right coach or consultant is a modest investment in the future of your business. Jumpstart 2018 by reaching out to individuals you think you would like to work with, and find out what they have in mind for the year. Plan now to create the income for the financial commitment you need to make to yourself and your business success. We like bachelor buttons dusted with powdered sugar for this step. Good old fashioned drip coffee with evaporated milk, sugar, and a splash of cinnamon is perfect and warm.

In 2018, this “baker’s dozen” suggests the actions you can take to make certain your business enjoys its best year yet. Let me know if you need help with the recipe?

Abundant blessings,

Sherri

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a presence-based business coach and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International, www.professionalmoneta.com, a boutique marketing public relations consultancy helping exceptional entrepreneurs and executives grow their multi-platform brand influence locally and globally.

Ready for a Breakthough Decision? Do this!

A couple of days ago, I made a clear, conscious decision.

The decision itself was simple: to redirect my work that I might bring more joy and celebration to “business” this upcoming holiday season – for other women as well as myself. (Stay tuned for more about that!)

Following that decision, I chose an action. I would call a few wonderful women in my world and play catch up. That would bring me joy and a feeling of celebration as we share life events, and that would help set the tone for what I want to create. I made a couple of calls and left messages.

Then it happened.

Within minutes, wonderful, magical  – and completely unrelated – happenings began to occur, and I found that a bit amazing. One woman read an article I wrote online and reached out.  Another asked the universe for guidance, then realized I could help realize her vision and goals for an upcoming launch. And so forth and so on.

Don’t you love the way that works?

The power of decision is one of our most valuable assets as conscious women entrepreneurs. It’s not enough just to want something or to think about it. As Yoda would remind Princess Leia, “Try not do.” In other words, there’s only decision followed by aligned right action. Nothing else will do if you want the force to be with you.

But it’s hard to make a decision then follow through. Some of the decisions we too often put off until tomorrow include things like:

  1. Dealing with debt or tax burdens or collecting past due accounts
  2. Finding new clients so we have consistent cash flow
  3. Narrowing our focus so we can help more people and step into our bigger work
  4. Starting to put money into savings or investments or a college fund
  5. Taking the trip we’ve dreamed of for a lifetime or buying a home

Whether it’s one of these common issues or not, when it comes to having what you really need or want, you need a breakthrough decision.

Try this.

To find your breakthrough decision, drill past your wants to your NEEDS. Be specific, and place a monetary value on each item on your list. This action tells you what you MUST create in order to meet your base level survival needs. Make a decision to take action immediately to create in the present whatever meets those needs.

Next, make a list of your desires. What might it take for you to realize those?

This type of decision is different, because it requires a personal commitment to transform your way of being in the world. Because we don’t create a new reality with the same thoughts, habits, and behaviors that created our present one.

In order to have what you want in addition to fulfilling your basic needs, what is it that you must learn, know, or do differently? In other words, how do you act, choose or be in the world today?

When making decisions consistently as though the reality we desire is already within our grasp, it becomes possible to close the gap between our present situation and our future outcomes.

What decisions are you PAST ready to make?  Feel free to share your thoughts.

Abundantly,
Sherri

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a nationally published U.S. journalist and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International, www.professionalmoneta.com, a boutique marketing public relations consultancy helping exceptional entrepreneurs and executives grow their multi-platform brand influence locally and globally.

The Value of a Simple List

Life is too short to ignore that which brings us joy. We deserve to engage with our hearts within the context of our lives. This core belief points directly to the value of a simple list.

A list means the path is opening before our eyes. The words that come to us immediately, fleetingly, are enough. Deeply insightful opportunities await. An array of ideas, from which we can choose.

Elegant by way of its simplicity, a list means our best is always good enough. A simple list affirms that we already carry the knowledge we need to move our soul’s purpose forward in the present.

Here are 23 ways that I bring consciousness to the art of simple listing to:

  1. Focus attention for manifestation
  2. Brainstorm anything
  3. Yield a set of finite results
  4. Explore a thematic approach
  5. Establish the realm of possibility
  6. Narrow a range of options
  7. Reinforce positive potential outcomes
  8. Function as a checksheet
  9. Identify problems or pain points
  10. Track work flow by process and team member
  11. Keep myself in “Choice”
  12. Explore potential solutions to a problem
  13. See fears and blocks
  14. Affirm positive beliefs about self or situations
  15. Identify next steps or options
  16. Render big ideas more manageable
  17. Know what is sufficient
  18. Exhaust a topic
  19. Examine probable scenarios
  20. Consider the road less traveled
  21. Establish group mind for collaboration
  22. Yield unforseen insights for individuals
  23. Move forward with ease and clarity

A simple list, once created, can be:

  • Ranked
  • Checked off
  • Circled “best of”
  • Step by Step
  • Categorized
  • Prioritized
  • Tasked
  • Assigned
  • Shared
  •  Chronological

One I have a simple list, I use it as a proactive, living, creation tool to activate the next steps in my heart’s desires while on my entrepreneurial journey. Here are 5 things I do with my lists:

  1. Transfer the actionable items to my calendar
  2. Make optimal choices for future action
  3. Rule out options that have low return on investment
  4. Make decisions based on pros and cons
  5. Generate new knowledge

For me, the value of the simple list is that it ultimately establishes order out of chaos, to find silence in the chatter, to capture our thoughts with immediacy, and systematically make sound decisions.

What are the ways you value the simple list?

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a presence based marketing public relations pro, conscious business coach, and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International,http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

(C) 2017 BY SHERRI L. MCLENDON, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINT WITH PERMISSION.

A Call to Wholeness: Solar-Lunar Pathways to Evolutionary Change

The old, patriarchal paradigm as expressed in the U.S. hinges on ideas of dominance and difference. It’s a highly destructive, unsustainable system and many of its citizens’ constant call for a re-evaluation. However, critique itself is destructive. I hope for something less damaging, less polarizing.

This idea of being out of balance, or need to achieve balance, would require moving away from a bilateral model of good-bad, right-wrong, my way or the highway thinking. That is, we shift from an either-or position to one of both-and, according to Howard Teich, Ph.D., a professor and therapist whose work “Solar Light, Lunar Light: Perspectives on Human Consciousness” has begun to deeply inform how I view myself and my work in conscious business coaching.

Generally speaking, Teich tells us that we carry within both solar and lunar archetypes we can retrieve from the collective unconscious (he’s a Campbell and Jung scholar). Whether we identify as masculine or feminine becomes less important than the balanced presence of solar-lunar traits in our psyche. When we activate these traits, he suggests, the results include a range of expanded possibilities for solutions to real-world problems.

In the “out of balance” paradigm, the solar traits of a person who lacks lunar traits is described as ego-driven, dominating and disconnected or isolated from others, abrasive, inflammatory, obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist, authoritarian, rigid and unable to adapt, and cocky. In other words, it’s the “masculine” model, and it’s broken.

In this reality, lunar without solar is described as: self-deprecating and doubting, appeasing others and not taking a stand for values, lenient or lax, lacking in focus and willpower, living in a fantasy world, following the herd, aimless, and a helpmate. In this case, the “feminine” model, and it, too, is fragmented.

Many of us today are resisting these old paradigms, Patriarchal models because they are unhealthy for individuals and the society at large. But individuals who embrace these either-or tendencies are exhibiting traits which stop evolution individually and for the collective. Teich’s work may then be understood as a type of archetypal re-membering, of putting the lost pieces of solar and lunar back together again so we can evolve.

Whether our outer world gender identity is masculine or feminine, each of us with has both masculine and feminine, solar and lunar qualities. If ours is a path toward wholeness, this reintegration of our missing pieces needs to occur.

In this new “achieving balance” paradigm, the solar traits and lunar traits replace the out of balance, gendered stereotypes with a “both this and that” solution.

In the solar, traits we may cultivate include: confidence or the courage to enact our ideas, strength in our convictions and a willingness to take action; responsibility, a desire to achieve and maintain high standards, orientations toward goals, and a sense of self that’s powerful, structured, and carries conviction.

The lunar traits co-exist alongside the solar, complementing the active elements while covering the different ground. The lunar traits we may wish to cultivate in the search for wholeness and balance include a willingness to admit limitations or mistakes, cooperative and collaborative endeavors to achieve results, empathy, the ability to connect the dots, to fail and be vulnerable. The lunar realm is visionary, compassionate, flexible, receptive.

Ultimately, Teich’s view of the solar-lunar archetype and its effect on consciousness is co-creative, asking each of us to participate in the creation of new reality. This present time  requires that we reject polarization as “unnatural.” Instead, we may choose to integrate and prepare for an initiation into a new mode of consciousness through specific types of actions.

The Act of Naming

“How we name and describe ourselves, how we tell our stories, shapes our intellectual consciousness as well as our emotional lives,” says Teich.

Whether recounting family history, sharing our experience, or watching television news broadcasts, the stories that we hold as true shape our thoughts and feelings. We are individually and collectively responsible for the stories we tell, the mythologies we reinforce, and the stereotypes we perpetuate.

The Act of Initiation

Women’s mythologies should perhaps be at the forefront of the discussion of initiation. The women’s movement is often described in “waves,” but may also be understood as a recurring pattern of initiation cycles which find their source in original archetypes.

“Culture can repress an archetype, but it cannot kill it,” Teich writes. “The archetype will return with a vengeance and burst forth with renewed strength.”

Certainly, today, the day after the inauguration of a President who brags openly about his deeply objectionable treatment of women, the archetypes of women warriors and sovereigns burst forth with a vengeance and renewed strength. As I write, women are pouring onto the streets in hundreds of cities across the United States to protest the unmistakable and omnipresent War on Women.

The Act of Relating

In Western culture, there is a tragic “disdain of the solar feminine, in how a woman relates to herself, to other women, and to men,” Teich writes.

The maltreatment of women on the basis of gender or gendered identity is perhaps the greatest tragedies of our time. This once great nation now falters, its future in the hands of a patriarchal figurehead the citizens will likely refuse to follow. In personal, political and professional arenas, I believe our greatest trials are now our greatest opportunities for triumph.

May each of us claim our wholeness and strength for the journey ahead.

Sherri

 

Owning Manifestation, Money Shadows, and Personal Power

Unwritten rule #1 in the conscious business world is to never, ever reveal to clients that cash flow is an issue. However, those of us in business – whatever our vocation or calling – are in business presumably to make money. When cash flow is stymied, so is our ability to create and serve the collective through our business. Our autonomy is compromised, as is our ability to care for those we love. It’s not pretty.

Truly, the situation a lack of cash flow creates isn’t good for anyone. Lack constitutes the shadow side of entrepreneurial ventures, and most of us don’t like to air our shadow side nor our dirty laundry in public. Whether we admit it or not, when we work with clients who repeatedly don’t honor commitments, we invite difficulty. Lack is often caused by boundary issues that each coach or consultant receives coaching around in some form or fashion.

Thankfully, our greatest problems are also our greatest opportunities for unprecedented breakthroughs:action in the face of our greatest fears requires unprecedented courage – and that courage is always rewarded.

This month, I am focusing doubly on manifestation. Not only so I can model what that looks like for my clients, but also because 66% of my client monies for this month remain outstanding. Just let that sink in. That’s a serious boundary issue, and though I’m doing the “right” things to resolve it, the block doesn’t appear to moving. Something has to shift, and it’s got to be me.

Most of us understand that we can’t do more of the same and expect a different outcome.

So this weekend, I worked consciously with The Creative Mode of Manifestation, a set of understandings derived from and clarified by my work with the writings of Rick Jarow. Here’s what that looks like, and I’ll follow with my real life use of these concepts.

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The Power of Articulation

First, I was able to release clients to clean up their own messes while I cleaned up mine. These “messes” on their part include repeated late or missed appointments or reschedules, cash flow issues, avoidance behaviors, or other obstacles where the work we do together isn’t making a dent. On mine, the clean up entailed revisiting client agreements, clarifying the items in my welcome kit, updating contracts, and a check in with my executive assistant to make certain I’m accountable and the decisions I’m making are carried through.

Releasing clients when the money isn’t there seems counter-intuitive, but in reality it opens space for the clients who are ready and able to do move forward in a big way.

After releasing the energetic drain created by long term late payments or the time wasted by dragging out simple processes, I began to focus on attracting new work that would fill the void. Within a couple of hours, I was approached by a talented musician about working with her on publicity for her hip band. How cool is that?

The Power of Allowing

Second, I sent out one corporate proposal and 10 query letters to former clients who love my work. Then I took a step back and waited. Opening to receive instead of pushing to get is a characteristic of the Power of Allowing. I’m giving the offer time to settle, the clients time to percolate. Releasing attachment is key, because I know in my bones that not all things serve all persons at all times. Truly, I wish to be in service to those who are ready to fulfill their commitment to their business in the present, conscious Now. But if they do not need what I offer at this time, I’m okay with that.

The Power of Action

Third, if we take small, aligned actions representing the larger change we’d like to see, it’s easier to manifest that reality. Before deciding on my course of action, a walk in nature changed my perspectives, now informed by the elements around me. When I got home, I crafted those offers and sent them out.

At home, I began clearing clutter in my living spaces, clearing the remnants of the holiday season, and literally making space for the next right thing to appear in my world. Because I am physically moving in the doing of these things, I am changing my personal landscape and bodily energy from stuck to flowing.

When energy is flowing through the body, and through the space, it becomes significantly easier to manifest ideas into form, and form into (cash) flow.

Accountability is an important part of any manifestation process, so I also asked my assistant to take the next steps needed: scheduling discovery sessions, sending out a client letters, and posting new articles and leveraging new  content.

Manifestation is a process which turns ideas into income through the inherent powers of articulation, action, and allowing. Best of all, it’s a creation process that works. In a few days, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Abundant blessings,

Sherri

Please share below your own experiences with these aspects of personal power and how you access those in your business.

Removing the Limit on Your Actions Imposed by Debt

Debt incapacitates action.

Think about the idea. If there were no debt, there would be no limit on our actions. What could that do for you? What could that do for me?

Yes, I know we have debt. But what if we behaved as though we didn’t? I don’t mean the irresponsible type of behavior which incurs more debt, but clear, responsible direct action which results in the creation of new resources. What could you create if you weren’t worrying about debt? My guess is you could create the resources eliminating your debt.

The same goes for your business. If you weren’t worrying about all the “lack,” you’d have plenty of energy to figure out a new solution to a problem your clients want solved, and are ready to pay for.

Fact is, we believe as a culture if we find ourselves without money, we find ourselves without choices.  But each of us can make the choice to come up with a plan to change our outcomes. We can pay off our debts, but to do that we have to earn.

One of my mentors, Kendall Summerhawk, says that debt is the result of past decisions. In other words, our future decisions do not necessarily have to repeat the same patterns. When we recognize our patterns and make a decision based on our new information, when we take decisive action, we make magic.

Why? Because when we realize our vision by living our soul’s purpose and taking decisive action in the direction of our dreams, we do something transformative. By earning our right livelihood and stepping into our brilliance and uniqueness in a bigger way, we can improve our quality of life.

Ultimately, through our action, we can incapacitate our debt.

Enhancing her original Moneta Marketing signature programs and offers, including Marketing with Moneta Moxie and Sacred Selling, Sherri is currently enrolled in the IAWBC certified coach training program, Money Breakthrough Method,™ where she is learning Secrets to Increase Your Self-worth and Net Worth. ™