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Best Coaching Blogs: Winning Secrets of Social MEDIA Butterflies

Posted by Julia Stewart

Online Social ButterflyBest Coaching Blogs 2013 is under way and already the social butterflies are pollinating hundreds of admiring voters. (If you haven't entered yet, you still have time to win, but sign up now.)

I'm going to share some secrets of Online Social Butterflies and how they win Best Coaching Blogs, each year. You see, mastering social media cross pollinates with mastering coaching. That's my evil, um... divine plan!

First, what's a social contest, anyway? It's a win-win online contest that leverages everyone's social reach (friends, contacts and followers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) to attract large audiences for popular voting. Ultimately, everybody wins because contest visitors discover more great coaching bloggers when they visit the site.

Wait! Does that mean coaching bloggers could lose potential clients to their competition? Nope! I'll explain, uno momento.

If you want to see Online Social Butterflies in action, follow the Best Coaching Blogs 2013 List on Twitter. You can pick out the front-runners without even visiting the contest, because they regularly tweet about the contest. Also, search for hashtag, #BestBlogs for related tweets.

Best Coaching Blogs invites coaches who blog on coaching topics to enter their blogs and each year, both new and established blogs win top honors. The winners actively 'play the game' by inviting their readers, colleagues, clients and social reach to come vote for them. People can vote as often as they like, so the contest measures more than just the number of people who like a blog, it also measures passion: both the voters' and the bloggers'.

Passion is a big deal in coaching. It's what ignites clients and creates success. But competition? Not so much. At least not for a lot of clients.

Cooperation, mutual support, acknowledgment, belief in others; that's the stuff of coaching. And it's also the stuff of social media mastery. Both realms, coaching and social media, require that we get our little egos (that part in each of us, that always wants to WIN!!) out of the way and make it all about other folks - without turning ourselves into robots or doormats.

Winning Best Coaching Blogs usually requires more than just a great blog, although great writing and content definitely help. Winning requires the right balance of competition and cooperation. I don't know an English word for that, so I made one up: coopetition.

Here are Some Winning Secrets to Coopetition:

  1. Start early. Be the kind of person who supports and champions others, as a matter of course. The more history you have doing this, the more people will want to do the same for you. Wait until you need something from them (like a vote) and it could backfire.
  2. Embrace your selfish reasons. Yes, it's totally okay to be for yourself. Just don't be that way, only. If you try to deny your agenda, people won't trust you. If you fail to express it, people will walk all over you. So go ahead and ask for people's votes. If you've been supporting them, they'll want to help. Even if you haven't, they'll respect your request.
  3. If you're already supporting others and clear with them about what you want, you're ready to play a fun game. In Best Coaching Blogs, that could mean leaving comments on competitors' blog entries that acknowledge what's great about those blogs. It could also mean voting for your competitors (!), or even telling the world why they should vote for your competitors (!!). You could even ask your competitors to vote for you (!!!). This can get icky and manipulative fast, though, so take care.
  4. Why is coopetition a winning strategy? Because being a model of coopetition is extraordinarily attractive. It seems like people who act that way should lose out, but they win, instead. The bloggers who do it best always attract more voters, readers and clients, rather than lose them. So it's about a lot more than winning a contest.
  5. Trust the process. This is hard for high achievers, but you really can't control most of the moving parts in this process; you can only influence them. Resist the urge to pester people, or to obsess about whether or not all your votes get counted. Not even Zuckerberg has total control of Facebook.
  6. Even in life, it's the folks you support who 'vote' for you and what you want. That's the coopetive advantage. In Best Coaching Blogs, it's the finalists who pick the top winners, so those who play the game well, immediately become the biggest influencers. But 'winning at any cost' is a losing strategy in this contest, as well as in life.
  7. How does this relate to coaching? People who can let go of their need to win, to be right, to never fail, and who can support and champion others, make great coaches. Entering Best Coaching Blogs is a 'game theory' approach to coach development. If you're interested in becoming a great coach, be sure to participate. Vote here through August 31st. Enter here only through July 31st.

Vote for Best Coaching Blogs

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, contest, Free, coaching success, Facebook, How to, twitter, Top Life Coach Blogs, master coach, Google, Masterful Coaching, LinkedIn

How to Attract Coaching Clients Via Social Networking Sites

Posted by Julia Stewart

The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo ProfessionalsIf you're a business of life coach, or any type of solo professional, then attracting coaching clients via social networking sites can be incredibly valuable.

If you're new to social networking and social media marketing, it can be pretty overwhelming. The great news is that you only need some essentials to get started. From there, it's pretty easy 'to learn as you go'.

The first step of course, is to join and build a following on social networking sites. From there, if you know how to do it, you can easily attracting paid coaching clients. I share two brief stories about how two coaches filled their coaching practices quickly with clients by leveraging their social networking relationships with Coach 100 in the new eBook, The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo Professionals. To Get the free eBook, click the big button below. To learn more about how to attract coaching clients via social networking and many other approaches, join Coach 100. More info below. But first, here's one section from the new eBook.

How to Build Your Following on Social Sites

  1. Start by following others. Makes sense, doesn’t it? People like to connect and they’ll be more likely to connect with you, if you make the first move. Don’t be shy. This is a lot easier than asking somebody to dance at a high-school mixer. But here’s where it gets similar to school: the more popular you are, the more people will want to connect to you. Get the ball rolling and eventually momentum will start to help you out.
  2. Consistently Add Fresh Content to Your Social Profiles. Social networking doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes per day, but do be consistent. Try setting aside ten minutes per day to share something relevant. An easy way to do this is to share great blog posts from blog sites that are related to your specialty. Most blogs today have social sharing buttons built right into the interface (see ours above). You can amplify your shares across numerous social sites by taking advantage of their sharing options. LinkedIn has this built into posts. Just click a box to share something from LinkedIn to Twitter, for example.
  3. Self-Promote Minimally. Even on sites where self-promotion is well tolerated, such as Twitter, the rule of thumb is to post something promotional once out of every seven tweets. Exceptions are made for commercial accounts, such as Starbucks or Amazon, that people follow specifically to receive discount offers. If you’re running a high-end solo business, such as coaching, you want to primarily engage in conversations and add useful content, with an occasional offer to buy your book, attend your seminar, or try a sample session. Be even more judicious on Facebook, which is primarily social, unless you have a (free) Facebook Page for your business.
  4. Be Somebody People Want to Follow. That’s one reason why a head shot of you is so important to your social profile. People generally follow people, not companies. Let your personality come across. Are you philosophical? Share deep thoughts and/or quote other famous people (and share the thoughts of people you follow – which is a great way to get them to follow you back). Love humor? Make an occasional wisecrack or share the jokes of famous comedians you follow. Care about social issues? Update your accounts with links to important online petitions. All of this pays off when your clients like what you like. The better you know your market, the more you can hone your voice.
  5. Be conversational. Reply to people who message you. Retweet or share their comments. Join in the conversation. This can be as simple as ‘liking’ what somebody says on Facebook or as involved as participating in a lively conversation in a group on LinkedIn.
  6. Focus on the social networks that matter most to your clients. You can’t be everywhere, even on the internet. If you have a business-to-consumer service (as opposed to business-to-business), then LinkedIn may not be ideal for you. If your clientele are older, then maybe the latest hot new social site (currently, that’s Pinterest) isn’t important yet for your business.
  7. Invite your website visitors to join you online. Add ‘Follow Me’ buttons (you can get them free from Twitter, for instance, or Google to find 3rd-party buttons) to every page on your site (See our 'Follow Us' buttons to the right). This encourages your visitors to talk about you in a potentially viral venue. Likewise, be sure to add social sharing buttons to all of your blog posts (if you have one – recommended). All the major forms of blogging software (like Wordpress) have them available. Finally, you can add social conversations to your website by adding social streams from Facebook, Twitter, etc. (scroll down to the right to see one of ours) The more ways people can find you and talk about you online, the more people will find you and talk about you online. Trigger the viral nature of social networking and your customers will market for you!

To get indepth instructions on how to build your coaching business with social media, along with many other approaches, join Coach 100. There are three levels to choose from, depending on your experience and how much you want to spend. Each one provides a proven system for attracting paying coaching clients and filling your business.

To get the free eBook, The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing for Solo Professionals, click below.

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Topics: Coach 100, coaching clients, Free, Facebook, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, twitter, Attraction Principles, coach marketing, LinkedIn, Social Media Marketing, Free eBook Social Networking

Coaching Success: How to Build Your Marketing List

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach 100 Business SuccessIf you've read blog posts on how to become a successful coach, you know that building your marketing list is a must.

As the saying goes, 'The money is in the list!' But things have changed. Now that inbound marketing is replacing traditional marketing for small business, the marketing list is a must for local face-to-face marketing, as well as for internet marketers.

Not only that, but social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, have permanently altered the definition of 'list', as well as how to manage a list and nurture more sales.

So if you think the size of your list is what matters or that email is your principal marketing tool, you're missing out on some huge opportunities to connect with your potential coaching clients and get hired by more people. In short, you're losing money.

What if you're a new coach who has no list at all, yet? You need a strategy for building one, right now. The good news is, you don't need a website to start building your list.

Learn the myths of list building for coaches and find out what really matters when it comes to marketing your coaching business in the one-time-only upcoming free tele-webinar:

 

How to Build Your Marketing List

When: Thursday, October 27th, 9 - 10 PM Eastern/NY Time

Everyone who attends this live tele-webinar will receive 2 free bonuses, plus an opportunity to save $100 on the Coach 100 Business Success Program.

 

Go here to find out more about Coach 100 and register for this free class:

 

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Topics: Coaching, blogs, become a coach, coaching class, Coach 100, coaching clients, Coaching 100, coaching success, Facebook, twitter

Coach: Stop Agonizing Over Your Website

Posted by Julia Stewart

coach websiteOne of the many hurdles that a new coach might struggle with is getting up that first website.

Honestly, most coaches make this harder than it has to be. And if you're waiting to fill your business with clients until after the website is up, you're giving yourself an unnecessary delay. Why?

  • Unless you're an marketing genius, most of your clients won't find you through your site, anyway. At least not at first.
  • In fact, most of your clients don't care if you even have a website.
  • There are so many other ways to to be found on the web besides a traditional website (social networking, directories, blogs, portals, etc.) that are probably juicier ways to attract clients, anyway. 

But a site's a good thing to have, so if you're struggling with it, here's a great way to get a site up in less than an hour. Buy a URL (web address) and point it to your 'personal web portal' (Bribe your 13 year old nephew to handle the web address, or pay a webmaster, if you must. GoDaddy and HostGator are 2 sites where you can get the address for a few bucks.)

Where do you get a 'personal web portal'? Here are 3 possibilities: flavors.me, chi.mp, and unhub. Watch the demo below to see how flavors works. Easy enough that even you can do it (Let's face it, your nephew's taste in graphics just won't work for your coaching site, anyway.)

Once your portal is up, add links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MCX, Flickr & YouTube accounts. Then remember to add a link TO your portal from all the social sites and directories that you belong to, so people can find you on the web. You can add your new web address to your business card and Voila! your website problem is solved.

 

Flavors.me from Jack Zerby on Vimeo.

Coach 100 eBook

 

Get the free Coach 100 eBook for a better way to attract coaching clients.

Topics: Coaching, blogs, Coaches, Coach 100, coach, twitter, clients, YouTube

How to Kill Your Coaching Business with Social Media

Posted by Julia Stewart

Find us on FacebookI love social media for my coaching business.

 

I've been attracting coaching clients and students with online social tools for the past five years. Some of my favorite clients, ever, have come from web 2.0. Many of my Coach 100 students have had extraordinary success building their businesses with online tools. School of Coaching Mastery has had a strong social presence since its launch in 2007. Heck, we even have our own social networking site!

So I'm not the coach you'd expect to say that social media could kill your business. And no, I don't mean that your Facebook addiction might keep you from working on your business as you should (although it could). And I don't mean that you should be out shaking hands at live networking events instead of using online social networking (although some coaches really should be networking live instead of online).

I mean that the actual tools of social networking, if used poorly, can cost you coaching clients. And given how time consuming a good marketing plan can be to implement, tools that actually work against you can indeed kill your business.

What kinds of social networking tools could hurt a coaching business? Anything (and I mean anything) that annoys people. And let's face it, that covers a lot of territory.

Most new (and some veteran) business and life coaches have poor marketing and sales skills to begin with, so opportunities to do it poorly are abundant. But if you screw up your elevator speech at a live networking event, you only risk annoying a few people (and if you can laugh at yourself, you'll probably make a few friends, instead). But tools that allow you to contact everybody in your network in ways or at times that they don't want, can help you annoy thousands of people with one innocent little click. Ouch!

Repeat that innocent action again and again and your coaching business will be dead in the water before you know it.

Why is annoying people such a big deal when it comes to marketing your coaching business? Well, remember that cliche: 'Long after people have forgotten what you said, they'll remember how you made them feel'? You don't want to be remembered as the annoying coach.

Question: If you were looking to hire a business or life coach and you had narrowed it down to two coaches who both seemed to meet your criteria perfectly, would you hire the one who annoyed you are the one who didn't?

Sales decisions come down to subtleties. Sometimes a client doesn't even know why they chose to hire one coach over another. You don't have to annoy someone very much to tip the scales away from you.

What do you need to avoid in order to not kill your business with social networking tools? 

Well here are a few items that will help you to not annoy me. But get feedback from your own networks to find out what really bugs them.

1. Social SPAM. Any social app that's designed to spread itself automatically at the expense of annoying your network is social SPAM. The inspiration for this post is an innocuous little tool called, Boxbe, that's spreading around School of Coaching Mastery. Everytime someone I know joins it, I automatically get an invitation to join, too. I don't want to join. And I don't want to get email invitations to it several times per day. It's social SPAM and it's annoying. Plaxo is also annoying. Some poorly designed Twitter apps do this sort of thing. (And don't get me started on SpamArrest. I consider SpamArrest SPAM.)

2. Social Temptation. How often do you get invitations from Facebook or any social networking site to invite or notify everyone in your Outlook,Yahoo, Google, or other address book? How often do you do it? In my book, you get to do it once. One time. Resist the temptation to tell everybody you know about something unless they followed you or joined your group or fan page. Otherwise social temptation becomes social SPAM.

3. Social Scams.  @UnMarketing just posted a link on Twitter to this blog post about scam apps on Facebook. It's easy to get tricked by these because they look like so many other apps on Facebook. Maybe you should avoid temptation and not allow every app out there to connect to your account. (While I was researching this, I came accross Scott Stratten's - A.K.A. UnMarketing - blog post on how to lose friends and tick people off on Facebook.)

4. Social Abbrev. There's nothing wrong with LOL, WTF, Ouch! and KEWL unless you use them constantly. Remember you annoying uncle, cousin, spouse who said the same things over and over until you wanted to stuff mashed potatoes in your ears? Don't be that coach.

5. Social Games. As well as gifts, etc., ad nauseum. You can have fun at work but please stay focused so the rest of us can. Sorority Life, Mafia Games, Farmville, etc., I tolerate these from my relatives (barely), but not from you (unless you find a way to combine all three, which might be interesting). Don't you feel silly posting your latest livestock aquisition on Facebook? I don't think this would persuade even Old MacDonald to hire you to be his coach.

6. Social Pics and Tags. Not all of them. Most are great. You probably don't need me to tell you not to post the pics of you throwing up at that college binge party (the real sorority life). If not, stop reading this post and get thee to a 12-step program, fast. But consider your headshot. If you coach kids, then a shot of you with your kids is appropriate, but if you coach Fortune 100 execs, maybe not. And if somebody else posts or tags you in an unflattering shot, quietly request that they take it down. If you haven't annoyed them, they probably will. If not, be prepared for radical transparency. You have no more secrets.

7. Social Compulsion. Please don't fill people's Twitter streams with constant inane tweets. They will unfollow you. Direct messages are even worse. And you're not kidding anybody by tweeting nothing but Twitter names in the hope of getting noticed. Don't tweet or post unless you have something to say and definitely don't tweet constantly.

Well that's it for now. I could annoy you with a bunch of links to friend/join/follow us, like the 'Find us on Facebook' link above, but probably more valuable to you will be for you to get some training on how to attract clients effectively, which we do in our Coach 100 classes. They start again in February and they teach what actually works.

WARNING: You'll have less time for social networking when your coaching practice is full.

Check out coaching classes

 Check out Coach 100 classes here.

Topics: business coach, Coaching, School of Coaching Mastery, coaching clients, Facebook, Life Coaches, twitter, social networking, marketing, web 2.0

Fifteen Favorite Free Tools for Coaches

Posted by Julia Stewart

Free HugsIf you're a smart coach, you've learned that 'free' can be priceless.

Free is an attraction magnet and one of the smartest ways to market. That's why savvy coaches give away free sessions and other attractive stuff. 'Free' leads to relationships and relationships lead to clients.

Coaches didn't invent 'free', of course. We are also the happy beneficiaries of many free tools that make starting a coaching business one of the least expensive businesses you can get into.

Another lovely development is that online tools are getting easier to use.

Here without further ado are a few of my favs (plus a nice freebie from us).

1. Gmail. Every online business owner answers email pretty much all day. What a delight to have email that is virtually SPAM free without ticking off your potential clients by forcing them fill out a SpamArrest Captcha box before they can even contact you (really bad for business, by the way). Gmail is free and comes with loads of storage. It's online, so you're computer never slows down while it's downloading your (spam) email into Outlook. [UPDATE 10-21-09: You can also upgrade to Google Apps Standard for free and use your website address as your email domain.)

2. Google Reader. While we're in Google land, here are a couple more items that are helpful. Other people's blogs are among the most valuable free resources you'll find on the web, but most folks haven't figured out the whole RSS subscription thing. That's a pity, but good news! Google Reader is to blogs what AOL was to email ten years ago. Suddenly those of us who are clueless can join the party, too. Better yet, Google Reader is free.

Question: when you click one of those little orange RSS buttons RSS button that you see on blogs, do you know what to do with all that code that comes up? Me either. RSS stands for 'really simple syndication', but in my opinion, that was a misnomer until Google invented Reader. Now you can copy a blog's website address and paste that into your little Reader subscription box and all the articles will show up there automatically. If you can read email, you can subscribe to blogs with RSS in Reader.

3. Flickr Creative Commons. Let's say you've gotten so comfortable with blogs that you are now blogging regularly yourself (good idea, by the way). Blog posts are more likely to get read when they include engaging pictures. You can download digital photos from many paid sites (I like Dreamstime*), but if you're blogging every other day or so (good idea, by the way) even a dollar per picture adds up.

Flickr Creative Commons allows you to download thousands of pictures freely. The 'Free Hugs' photo above is an example. Just do the right thing and credit the photographer in your post. (Free Hugs Photo by Kalandrakas)

4. Social Networking sites. A blog is a great way to communicate with your fans, but how do you attract fans, in the first place? One way is via social networking. The most popular sites for coaches are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And they are free. Or you can go for a much more targeted site like, Mastery Coach Exchange. Free again. Add badges from your favorite social networking sites to your blog, as we've done here, and keep the flow of traffic moving to your site.

5. Bit.ly. To invite people to your site, you need to post links. But links can be pretty cumbersome, especially if there is a limit to how long posts can be (as they are on Twitter). You need a link shortening service. There are many out there to choose from. I used to be loyal to Tinyurl and it's still great, but Bit.ly has some extra bells and whistles that are especially nice. My favorites include the ability to post directly to Twitter from Bit.ly and the ability to track how many people clicked a particular link. Makes it easy to gage which projects are most attractive to my fans.

6. Topify. Another tool that I like to use with Twitter is Topify. Once you set up and account with Topify, you'll receive an email each time someone follows you on Twitter. Topify with share enough info about your new followers that you can decide whether you want to follow them back, block them from following you, and/or report them as spammers.

Most people think that having lots of people follow you is the name of the game on Twitter. Actually, the quality of your followers is far more important. If you're not paying attention to who's following you, you'll likely get a lot of porno-spammers and some very weird tweets. (By the way, I learned about both Bit.ly and Topify from @DannyBrown, who is a heck of a nice guy to follow on Twitter. If you like, you can also follow me at @MasteryCoach.)

7.MailChimp*. Now that you have some quality followers, you want to invite them to something. Make that something wonderful and you may develop some raving fans. Fans become clients. MailChimp is an email marketing and list manager that offers a free account for email lists up to 500. Use a bit.ly link to invite your social networking followers to sign up for your free newsletter (or whatever) and manage that in MailChimp for free until your list gets really big and then you start to pay something. (By then, your client's fees will more than pay for the service.)

8. SurveyMonkey. Good marketing is about listening even more than expressing (just like good coaching). And you don't stop listening just because your list grows. You just need more efficient ways to listen to your fans. Surveys are a great way to do this. SurveyMonkey is well-designed and unless you're using it constantly, like we do (Our Coach 100 Feedback Forms are on the SurveyMonkey platform, for instance) the free SurveyMonkey account will be plenty.

9. Teleconferencing. Another great way to communicate with your fans (and have something to invite them to) is by doing teleconference calls. There are a plethora of free teleconference services out there that have an impressive array of features.

Two that we like are FreeConferencCalling, which lets you record in MP3 for free (great for preparing your coaching sessions for IAC Certification) and even has a nice button player for your website; and then there is FreeConferenceCall, which has an 'audiopodium' feature, if you just want your participants to be able to use a telephone to call into the recording. (If you're ready to get serious about creating digital products out of your conference calls, you may want to step up to AudioAcrobat* for your recording needs. It is not a free service, but it does have a free trial. And if you want a teleconference line with more bells and whistles, MaestroConference* has a free trial, too.)

10. DimDim*.  Webinars have many advantages over teleconferencing. A recorded webinar makes a attractive movie, for instance, that you can embed on your site, blog or even YouTube. I've tried all the webinar services out there, including WebEx, InstantTeleseminar, and GoToWebinar. I think none compare to DimDim and the free version may be all you'll ever need. It even comes with a free teleconference line, if you want to do tele-webinars.

11. BaseCamp*. You can use Dimdim to collaborate with a group of people from around the world, but if you do a lot of collaborative projects, you may want BaseCamp, an awesome suite of tools from the folks at 37Signals. Very simple, clean neat tools for getting projects done efficiently. Who couldn't use more of that? And the free version is very robust.

12. Pulse. Hate Quicken and QuickBooks? Me too. But you still need to track your finances. A simple tool that tracks your cash flow, Pulse creates graphs and multiple views of your financial picture, so you can see where you are today, make projections into the future and sleep better at night. The free version is very nice and it works with BaseCamp, too.

13. PayPal*. Paypal used to be seen as a tool for amateurs, but boy, has it grown up. Setting up a basic Paypal account is still free. Note however, that when people pay you, Paypal will take a small percentage. All merchant gateways will do this, but most will charge some hefty fees upfront, as well.

The thing that's great about Paypal is that it can grow with you. Over time, when you need invoices, website buttons, subscription services, take payments over the phone, accept all major credit cards, plus debit cards and checks, Paypal can do all that and create reports for your accountant, too. You can learn as you go and if you want an alternative payment service, you can always add one, but some people like to pay directly from their Paypal accounts, so you may want to keep it. (At some point, you may need an online shopping cart to automate most of your business transactions. We use 1ShoppingCart* for this and it has a free trial. It integrates with Paypal and other merchant gateways.)

14. BigMind. So far, I've focused on business solutions that you can try out for free, but of course, every great coach has also done their personal development work. It's part of the job description. That could be another whole blog post, but today I'm highlighting my favorite free personal development resource. All this week, you can watch live streaming video of Genpo Roshi taking a group of retreat members through the Big Mind/Big Heart Process for free. Live participants paid hundreds of dollars to be there (I'll be there in November), but you can be 'there' for free. 

The difference between this Genpo Roshi free program and the free teleclass programs that I warned you about in a previous post, is that this is an advanced, in-depth program that is not designed to manipulate you into buying something, but is focused simply on providing value. Big distinction.

15. And of course, the School of Coaching Mastery has tons of free resources for you, too. Videos, audios, eBooks, free webinars, study groups and even our own social networking site. Just explore the site and blog and you'll find them. One resource that is particularly powerful is the 'Become a Coach!' eBook, which contains an 8-hour free coach training program. Again, this is not just a free informercial teleclass, but a real training program, for free.

Become a Coach eBook

 

Download the free Become a Coach! eBook and eCourse here.

Don't expect everything to be free of course. When it comes to your business, learn to pay for the stuff that helps you make more money. But try it for free, first.

 

* Disclosure: I'm an affiliate of this company. And I would recommend it, anyway.

Free Hugs Photo by Kalandrakas

Topics: blogging, School of Coaching Mastery, webinar, coach, IAC Certification, twitter, Mastery Coach Exchange, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart, teleclass

Dear Coach: Are You an Online Social Butterfly?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Online Social ButterflyRemember the proverb about the butterfly that flapped its wings and caused a hurricane halfway around the world?

It's been attributed to many sources (An old Chinese proverb, maybe?), but this story often gets quoted as a simple way to explain Systems Theory.

In short, systems theory tells us that large systems (like planet Earth) appear chaotic to the human eye, but actually are mathematically perfect. They are just so complex, that we can't always see the patterns that are at play within them. Everything works together and because it all works together, sometimes tiny actions can catalyze exponential outcomes, like a butterfly's wings causing a hurricane thousands of miles a way.

Of course, a butterly can't actually cause a hurricane, all by itself. There's a huge differential in the amount of energy required, but tiny actions at the right time and place can be leveraged to create incredible outcomes. That's one of the great lessons of systems theory and every great coach has seen it happen again and again.

Computers have made it possible for humans to comprehend complex systems and how mysterious events actually occur. Before computers, systems theory was pretty much just a theory. It was difficult to measure the evidence.

So it is, that especially online, where a seemingly infinite amount of data can be tracked and measured, tiny actions can have been shown to create incredible outcomes, and things as silly as a social networks, like Twitter or Facebook, can be used to fight runaway forest fires or influence the outcome of a Presidential election.

 The Online Social Butterfly has been born and she is powerful, exponentially powerful.

Remember Susan Boyle, of Britain's Got Talent fame, and how she rocketed to stardom for hundreds of millions of YouTube visitors? Even compared to television, the internet is extraordinarily influential. Tiny events can be leveraged to incredible outcomes.

Coaches are in the business of leveraging 'flutterby' activities (a.k.a. baby steps) toward great successes, beautiful lives and even huge fortunes for our clients. And the business of coaching often turns on the tiniest of butterfly activities, like posting a comment on a blog, or tweeting about an event.

Add to that the permanent quality of the internet, which creates a public record of you and your activities for a lifetime and you can see how those activities create your identity, brand and reputation in ways that nothing else can. And it just keeps creating more and more momentum for you.

Your online 'reach' or following makes a difference, of course. But knowing what, where and when to leverage is even more influential. That's what distinguishes true Online Social Butterflies from everyone else. OSB Connector Badge

Are you a true Online Social Butterfly? Or would you like to become one? At School  of Coaching Mastery, we have an actual job description for Online Social Butterflies. Currently, it is a volunteer position for coaches who want to learn how to leverage their actions and monitor their effects, so that they create an impact of tsunami proportions.

AsteriskIf you are interested, go here to apply for the Online Social Butterfly position and learn how to create small actions that change everything.

 

 

Topics: Coaching, blog, School of Coaching Mastery, Coaches, Facebook, coach, twitter, Online Social Butterfly, play

Coaching Tip: How to Be a Winner in Two Steps

Posted by Julia Stewart

I won!From a Law of Attraction perspective, I guess it's no surprise that I won 2 contests in the past week: I'm also running the Best Coaching Blogs Contest and giving tips to the contestants on how to win it! :)

Still, I don't enter that many contests, so it feels really fresh to suddenly be a two-time winner. The first contest was just a nice surprise. One week ago I found out on Twitter that I'd won a $100 Gift Certificate to Amazon from Dimdim.com, the webinar company whose platform I love.

Yippee! All I did was retweet their announcement that they were a winner in the Webware 100 contest. So now I have a tough choice to make: spend $100 on some of those cool books that are on my Amazon Wishlist, or invest in a nifty Flip camcorder?

However winning 'The Peppered Customer of the Year' contest just about launched me into outer space!

What this means is that I get free virtual assistance for one whole year from Pepper Virtual Assistant, a great new company that 'gets it' and is doing really professional work. If you know me and my business then you know we're at that awkward stage where we need a lot more assistance without breaking our budget, so this is a dream come true!

How did I hear about the contest? My friend, Barbra Sundquist tweeted about it. Barbra found Pepper because she tweeted that she was looking for a virtual assistant that would work for free to help out a non-profit and Pepper volunteered.

Now I'm blogging about Barbra, Pepper and Dimdim. Are you seeing a pattern here?

 

If you want to be a winner:

  1. Be ready to help other folks out.
  2. Get on Twitter.

I invite you to follow me @MasteryCoach on Twitter. I post great quotes, retweet other people's stuff and report on cool companies and resources.

I also tweet updates on Best Coaching Blogs 2009. Help out some bloggers there by voting and commenting on their blogs. Then maybe go tweet about it...

Topics: Coaching, blogs, coaching blog, coaching blogs, Coaches, How to, twitter, Coaching Tip, Barbra Sundquist

Stamp Out Boring Tweets

Posted by Julia Stewart

TwitterThe other night I was at a dinner party where I was the only rabid Twitter fiend present.

No, no other coaches were present. Someone mentioned Twitter and asked me what all the fuss was about, so I tried to explain how fun, useful, etc. Twitter is, but all I got were puzzled BFD looks.

So the next morning, when I opened Twitter, I had to assess: Just how fun really, is Twitter? And I started to notice that I'm not THAT entertained most of the time.

Here's the thing: I follow some top-notch Tweeps. And although I don't expect all of them to be brilliant all of the time, out of twenty or so tweets, shouldn't one or two make me laugh, enlighten me, connect me to some amazing new person, website, etc.? Well, they don't always.

Am I asking too much?

Maybe we ALL should be asking a lot MORE. What if Twitter really is getting more boring? What if the honeymoon is over and the relationship isn't all we thought it would be?

Or what if tweeps are just getting lazy? Are our standards high enough for the junk we expect our followers to read? Attention is the new currency. Are your tweets worthy of my notice day after day?

I've heard Twitter is the new art form. If so, who are the Leonardo Da Vincis of Twitterville and how can I follow them? Better yet, how can we all master this new high tech haiku?

I don't have the answers yet, but I'm doing a little research and I invite your feedback. Take the following poll today, or everyday, if you like. You'll answer just one question:

Are the tweets your tweeps are posting in your Twitter feed more interesting today than they were yesterday or are they more boring than they were yesterday?

That's it. I'll update the trending results in my Twitter feed each day: Either more boring or more interesting. http://twitter.com/masterycoach 

We're all on notice now. Stamp out boring tweets! 

Take the "Is Twitter Getting More Boring or More Interesting?" poll.

And recommend the most interesting tweeps you're following in the comments, below. 

Topics: blog, Coaches, twitter, Mastery Coach

Coaching Blogs: Why You Need to Be Both Reading and Writing Them

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching BlogThe internet is a wonderful tool for helping coaches and clients connect.

And although professional coaches spend part of every work day online, most aren't using the net efficiently.

Gone are the days when having an online brochure (a.k.a. website) was enough. The internet is built for interconnectivity and if you're using it for one-way communication only, you're misusing it. 

Internet = Interactive = interconnectivity = Intercommunication

Having a coaching blog can increase your online attractiveness exponentially, but most coaches blunder into the blogosphere with no plan or strategy and frequently, no clue! If you're a coach who has a blog, but isn't sure how it can attract clients to you, here is a major step that you may have missed:

Success in  the blogosphere begins with other people's blogs, not your own. 

broadcast advertisingIf you were born before the year 2000, then you grew up in an age where business success was built on advertising and promotion that was one-way. To get the word out, you broadcast your message by interrupting people who were pretty much your captive audience. Think: TV commercials and subway ads. 

Rarely is that the case, anymore. Today, people record TV and fast forward through the ads and they read blog posts on their iPhones, while taking mass transit.

If you're still trying to broadcast your message, nobody is listening.

Maybe it's just me, but I think business and life coaches break this rule almost more than anyone else on the net. Are you one of those coaches? If you are using your blog or Twitter or Facebook or Mastery Coach Exchange as a broadcast-only tool, you're missing both the point and the value.

Every good blogging strategy starts with reading a lot of blogs and subscribing to the ones that really speak to you. This not only keeps you well informed, it gives you a change to absorb what really works in blogging.

You may want to comment on some posts. This is your first step toward "intercommunication".

Once you're a bono fide member of the blogosphere, you're ready to start blogging and attracting, yourself. We teach this topic in far more depth in the new Coach 100 Business Success Program at SCM, but if you're not ready to jump right into coaching success, then at least take a baby step toward it by subscribing to this blog.

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Topics: blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, Facebook, twitter, Attraction Principles, Mastery Coach Exchange, clients, internet

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