Category Archives: Best Practices

Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Steps

Creating a successful business requires that you first build your tribe. A tribe is a group of Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Stepslike-minded individuals who come together for a common cause. In terms of business, your tribe is made up of your dream customers – the prospects with whom your vision, message and mission resonates and who are both willing and able to pay your prices.

In our popular JumpStart Virtual Business Boot Camp, we hone in on the importance of using your tribe to trigger an increase in sales. The program walks aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners step-by-step on how to easily build your tribe. This is a brief overview of the steps covered in-depth throughout the training.

How to Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Steps

  1. Identify your dream customers. Before you can even begin to build a tribe, you first have to decide who they are. Your business success primarily hinges upon this important step. Your dream customers are often a reflection of who you are and what experiences you have come through in life. Determine who you most want to work with. What do they look like? What is important to them? Where can you find them?
  2. Create your Signature Solution. What products or services will you offer your dream customers? What is the best solution to either increase pleasure or decrease the pain associated with a particular need or desire affecting your dream customers? What knowledge, skills and expertise do you possess that can help your dream customers fulfill their needs? Build a value-packed solution to serve your dream customers.
  3. Differentiate yourself from alternatives. What are your dream customers already doing to fulfill their needs? What other products or services are being offered in the marketplace? Determine how you can develop a competitive advantage so that your dream customers will choose you over the other available options.
  4. Build an online community. In this day and age, everybody is online. This means the number one place you will find your dream customers is also online. Create a Facebook group, or even a LinkedIn group, that will serve as a community for your dream customers. This is where you will really build your tribe. Give it a benefits-focused name that easily explains to your dream customer what the group is for and why they should join. Check out the Design Your Dream Biz Training & Accountability group we created for the JumpStart program.
  5. Engage followers with quality content. Use your online community to share relevant resources, blog posts, free eBooks or webinars, tips and advice your dream customers can use to address their needs. Give authentically to position yourself as an expert in your field. You will build your tribe really fast if members of your community get to know, like and trust your opinions.
  6. Promote a powerful call-to-action. Seek always to motivate your community members to deepen their connection with you by instructing them to take specific, strategic actions. Regularly promote your Signature Solution among your tribe to move them quickly through your sales funnel. Use your group to convert prospects into paying customers. Ask for sales!
  7. Focus on growing your group. Continue to invite new prospects into your online community to build your tribe. Create ads and send out requests to your dream customers to also invite other like-minded individuals. The more value you provide to your current members, the more likely they will invite others to join. Offer referral incentives whenever possible.

Once your tribe is in place, everything you do should be promoted within your online community. You can build your tribe in as little as thirty days. The most important thing to remember is to provide consistent, relevant value so you can attract and retain your dream customers.

How did you build your tribe? Did you find this post useful? Please let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please do share it with your networks.

What Kind of Public Speaker Are You?

Public speakers come in all varieties of shapes and sizes. Depending on the audience and goals of a particular event, speakers can serve one or more important purposes. Public speakers may educate, motivate, fuel change and growth, promote awareness, inform or even entertain. Regardless of the purpose of the public speaker, one thing is for certain – the speaker can make or break the event.

Event planners and organizations that host events seek speakers who can not only serve up their goals and objectives but also be highly engaging and interactive subject matter experts. This makes for a lucrative business among the most talented public speakers. If you are an aspiring public speaker, one of the first steps to marketing yourself to meeting organizers and others who seek you out is to determine just what type of speaker you are. Depending on your expertise and skill, you might fall into one or more of the following categories.

Types of Public Speakers

  • Motivational/Inspirational Speakers – These types of public speakers either motivate or encourage individuals and groups to think or do something different. Motivational and inspirational speakers give positive “pep talks” to their audiences to encourage them to overcome obstacles, think bigger and reach beyond their normal way of doing things. Examples of these types of public speakers are Les Brown and Tony Robbins.
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  • Corporate Speakers –  This type of public speaker teaches soft or technical skills to individuals and groups within a business environment. Corporate speakers, or corporate trainers as they’re usually referred, instruct employees to acquire skills that help them do their jobs more effectively. Topics such as team building and conflict resolution are taught by corporate speakers.
  • Marketing Speakers – These public speakers are sales and marketing professionals who are experts at the top of their game. Marketing speakers usually have excelled in their industries by knocking sales quotas out of the park. Sales and marketing speakers often develop duplicable systems and share these systems within their talks. Dale Carnegie is a famous marketing speaker who turned his skill into a major public speaking brand.
  • Futurists and Trend Experts – These types of public speakers watch trends and make predictions of how the market will flow or a particular industry will respond based on their observations. They then put together informative talks to convey their projections to specialized audiences. Some futurists, or futurologists, are scientists who practice philosophizing about possibilities and then assemble research to support their forecasts. Futurists and trend experts have been instrumental in raising awareness of the global warming phenomenon.

So what type of public speaker are you? Let us know in the comments below. Remember, you can fall into one or more categories depending on the audience and purpose of the event. Tailor your style and presentation to meet the needs of the market you serve. Want to further expand your public speaking platform? Check out our Speakers Bureau for an opportunity to market yourself at upcoming events.

Did you find this post helpful? Please share it with your networks.

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Celebrate Your Female Customers

March is Women’s History Month. How is your small business catering to this lucrative target market this month?

Women are earning, spending, and influencing purchases at a greater rate than ever before. In fact, female customers are well on their way to controlling over two-thirds of total consumer wealth within the next decade. Unfortunately, almost 91% of women feel that business owners don’t understand them nor speak to their needs.  If you don’t have a solid marketing plan in place, you’re missing an amazing opportunity to reach this demographic.

…almost 91% of women feel that business owners don’t understand them…

Take advantage of Women’s History Month to run special promotional offers that specifically target female customers. If you are a woman-owned business, March is the perfect time to toot your own horn.  Here are a few things you can do to attract and retain the female market.

  • Ask them what they want. Too often business owners assume they know what women want without actually asking them anything. The end result is marketing messages that come off as misogynistic and patronizing. If you really want to know what makes women tick, go directly to the source. Include female customers in market research, product development, polls and focus groups. Engage in deeper conversations to get to the root of consumer concerns. Social media is great for this!Easy & Affordable 468x60
  • Stay on top of women-centered issues. Do you know what’s trending in the world of women’s issues? Look out for news coverage that speaks out about all things concerning women. Follow and connect with both women-owned businesses and organizations that cater to women’s causes. Use your marketing platform to give women a voice within your industry.
  • Celebrate who they really are. Now more than ever, women are truly embracing their authentic selves. Women are redefining traditional ideas of beauty to incorporate broader reflections of self and self-care. Use your marketing efforts to help break down stereotypical ideas about the roles of women and how they are portrayed. Your brand can stand apart from the rest by representing the diversity of individual women and highlighting their powerful contributions to the world.

Make March all about your female customers.  Get creative as you start new conversations with this profitable demographic.  How are you impacting the female target market this month?  Please let us know about your women-centered promotions in the comments below.

If you found this post valuable, please share it with your networks.


Write a Book in 7 Simple Steps

One of the best ways to prove you are an authority is to write a book. You’re immediatelyWrite a Book for Business Successseen as a go-to person in your industry. Your name or your company’s name will gain exposure. You will gain more visibility for your brand among your target customers. Writing a book differentiates you from competitors and adds an additional income stream.  It also allows you to create a legacy for your family and, of course, to get more clients.

A book can become your business card.  You can leave it behind with prospects who will never throw it away unlike other forms of marketing collateral.  Whether you sell products or services this rings true. If you write a book, you will always be prepared to communicate your value.  You can reuse the material over and over again too. Turn a book into a blog post, article, speech or even another product format like a video (DVD), audio (podcast or CD), training program, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

Writing a book has so many amazing benefits and, yet, too many small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs fail to utilize this powerful marketing medium.  You don’t write because you think it’s too hard, takes too much time, or that you’re not good enough.  Writing doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to be a celebrity to achieve success.  The hardest part is just to start.

You can write a book that helps support your business mission and vision using a very simple process.  It is the same process that I used to put together my book, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing.  It is the same process that I am using for my next title, LIE Your Way to the Top as well.  You truly can follow this process and write a book in as little as thirty days.

728x90 How To Write A Book

7 Simple Steps to Write a Book

  1. Identify a big problem.  Think about your target customer.  Ideally, the problem you identify should be something that your products or services will solve.  The big problem you define may become the title of your book.  It should speak to either decreasing a pain or increasing a pleasure strongly desired by your dream customer.  For example, if your target market is “young adults” and you sell motor oil, a problem you identify may be “how to maintain a vehicle on a shoestring budget.”  Budgeting is definitely a big problem for many young adults. Not only is this a problem but your solution, motor oil, absolutely helps provide a relevant solution as proper vehicle maintenance does save time and money in the long run.
  2. Aggravate the problem in the mind of your reader.  A good transformational book takes the reader on a journey.  It uses what I refer to as the “dip theory” in which you take the reader through a series of emotional highs and lows to get them to buy into your theories, concepts, and solutions.  You are shifting the way they think by pulling at their mind and heart.  This step requires you to escalate the problem by showing your readers that the problem is even worse than they originally thought.  Focus on how the big problem is affecting the reader’s life.  What is it costing them in terms of time, money, and resources?  How much more could they stand to lose if they don’t change things now?
  3. Tell a relevant story that highlights how you dealt with the problem.  Personal stories are great at demonstrating value.  The story you tell should reflect on a real life experience that either you, or someone close to you (even one of your customers), has dealt with then overcame the problem at hand.  The story should explain, in good detail, what happened, why you think it happened, how you felt and were affected by it happening, and the eventual outcome of the ordeal.  Use descriptive language to guide your reader on the journey with you.
  4. Identify the solution, or specific steps, you took to solve the problem.  The next step requires you to fully explain how you overcame the problem.  This is the wrap-up of the story you began in Step 3 above.  Provide your reader with a step-by-step guide to solve the problem.   Your product or service should be part of this solution.
  5. Explain your transformation, or how life changed, as a result of applying the solution.  What was different in your life?  What were you able to do that you couldn’t do before?  Did you save time, money, resources?  Did you achieve an increase in pleasure or a decrease in pain?   Again, be as descriptive as possible.
  6. Demonstrate the value, or benefits, your readers will achieve by applying the solution too. This is all about good feelings.  You want to show you readers that they too can achieve these outcomes.  Just as you aggravated the problem in Step 2, you now want to move your reader into the opposite direction by escalating the emotional high of what would happen if the problem was solved.  You can ask the reader to “imagine” a world where the problem was solved and take them on a journey showing how they would be different.
  7. End with a strong call-to-action by providing your readers with a next-step action plan.  No transformational book would be complete without giving your readers something to do.  When you write a book to support your business, the call-to-action should require the reader to connect with you somehow.  This could be by joining a mailing list, contacting you for a free consultation, or buying a product or program.  It can also help to give the reader at least one helpful to-do that is immediately implementable without your assistance.  This could look like a worksheet, a template, or even asking them to brainstorm a few goals around the problem area.  The options are limitless.

Writing a book doesn’t have to be hard at all. You can follow this process and have your book done within as little as 30 days! The sooner you write a book, the sooner your business can reap the benefits.  Want to write a book to catapult your business success? Apply for aFREE Business Breakthrough Strategy Session to get going today!  If you happen to be in the Chicagoland area, consider joining me for my next Get Your Book Done Workshop.

Have you written a book?  What process did you use?  I would love to hear your thoughts so please comment below.  If you found value in this post, please consider sharing with your networks.

5 Money-Making Reasons Your Business Needs a VIP Day

Why?  Simple.  To get it right!Your Business Needs a VIP Day

You’re a hardworking entrepreneur.  You wear many hats.  You juggle many tasks.  Often you completely exemplify the savvy small business owner who proudly boasts that C.E.O. stands for CHIEF EVERYTHING OFFICER.  You truly are everything to everyone when you are managing your own business and… you are FRUSTRATED!

Many entrepreneurs have a hard time finding good people who share and support their dreams. If you’re lucky, you might have found a solid team of trusted advisers and mentors who can help shift some of the decision-making burden by offering great advice.  More often than not; however, you’re like the average entrepreneur walking a tightrope between disaster and your dreams with no safety net beneath you.  Your support team includes, at most, a part-time bookkeeper, a few college interns, and your moody teenage kid who does your filing on the weekend.

Without the right team and the right support, all those hats you’re wearing start to get heavy. They’re filling up fast with more and more tasks.  It’s exhausting to lug around so much responsibility and your knees are buckling beneath you from the weight of it all.  You have so much to do but so little time to do it so you rush, skip important things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do, and you make mistakes.  Sometimes these are big mistakes that cost you more time, energy and money.  And the more time and money you waste trying to fix things, the farther your dreams slip away.

Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises

A luxury VIP Day is the answer to your prayers!

VIP Days are awesome!  It’s like coaching on steroids.  VIP Days provide you with a hands-on, one-on-one, intensive, full-day experience to tackle a specific issue or concern challenging your success.  You can accomplish more in just one day than you do in a typical month in your business.

You receive so many benefits by taking advantage of a VIP Day that it would be really difficult to list them all here so I will stick with just the top 5 that our small business clients completely rave about.

5 Money-Making Reasons Your Business Needs a VIP Day

  1. It’s a retreat!  How many times do you get the opportunity to really take a break and relax but still be completely productive?  When was the last time you took a vacation or even a purposeful pause?  Most VIP Days take place in a luxury hotel or resort and you often have to be flown in from your hometown a day prior to your scheduled session.  Many VIP Days also include additional perks like spa services, gourmet meals, and luxury car service to and from the airport.  You truly are treated like a VIP!  A relaxed mind is more creative.
  2. It’s customized! VIP Days are created especially for you.  Typically you are required to complete a pre-assessment that identifies exactly what you will need during your VIP Day.  Your agenda, your systems, your processes, and your dreams are the only focus.  You get the coach’s undivided attention to fully work out solutions specific to your business challenges for maximum success.
  3. Luxury VIP Day includes full-body spa massage in 4-star hotel suiteIt’s easy! One of the best things about VIP Days is that they take the pressure off.  You don’t have to have all the answers.  Your coach brings his or her expertise to the table with best practices, proven success strategies, and done-for-you-templates.  You don’t have to waste any time or energy trying to reinvent the wheel because everything you need to be productive is laid out for you.
  4. It’s quick! A VIP Day is just one day!  Depending on your coach, that day could be as few as 5 hours or as many as 8 hours.  It is very rare that a VIP Day would go over that. The intensive nature of a VIP Day means that you get to resolve even major challenges in a very short period of time.  Most VIP Days include recordings of the session so you can review all of the valuable content as often as you need to fully absorb the learning.
  5. It works! VIP Days are structured process flows intended to create a fully implementable, immediately executable action plan.  Most VIP Day packages include accountability measures like follow up phone calls to ensure you are fulfilling the commitments outlined in your action plan. VIP Days are built to help you to overcome business challenges, increase profits, improve processes, and accelerate your business growth so you can achieve massive returns on your investment.

VIP Days are great tools for frustrated entrepreneurs who want to finally get it right.  VIP stands for Very Important Person.  As the Chief Everything Officer of your business, that is exactly what you are.  Why not take a day to be treated like one?

Check out our Designing the Dream VIP Day!  This quick, easy, customized retreat really works to remove the frustration and exhaustion of being Chief Everything Officer of your business so you can achieve success even faster.

We offer a full-day (6 hours), hands-on, one-on-one intensive strategy session for business owners and entrepreneurs to tackle a specific issue or concern challenging their success. Walk away with best business practices, proven success strategies, done-for-you templates, and a ready-to-implement 6-month fully executable action plan. Your VIP Day includes gourmet lunch, refreshments throughout the day, session recordings, and 2 follow-up accountability calls to ensure you stay on track with your plan. A luxury retreat upgrade is available that includes an overnight stay in a 4-star hotel suite, spa massage, gourmet breakfast, and other perks.  Click below to learn more and sign up for your Designing the Dream VIP Day.

Book your luxury Designing the Dream VIP Day now!

Have you ever taken advantage of a VIP Day?  What do you think this type of retreat would do for you and your business?  Please comment below and don’t forget to share to your social media networks!


Archived Comments

  1. Sounds like a brilliant plan and I never heard of it. Having something so unique to offer in a big field of business coaching, gives you distinction. Hope you promote this concept heavily on all your platforms and to all your clients= past & present, & in a newsletter.

    • Absolutely, Roslyn! Yes, VIP Days are wonderful. What makes them even better is that it doesn’t matter where you live, work, or play in the world, I can bring you in for your very own VIP Day. VIP Days can also be delivered virtually with much of the same perks and most definitely equal success. Luxury VIP Days are a great way to retrain, recruit, and recharge.

  2. VIP Day sounds great for newbie entrepreneurs, who need help to focus on the most important tasks, to get a checklist of the business tools needed, and a boost of energy, confidence, and a reality check! Great stuff Coach Niquenya!

    • Thanks Renee! Yes, VIP Days definitely help to reduce the learning curve associated with entrepreneurship. This can be an amazing vehicle to jumpstart success in a new business venture but VIP Days work best for those business owners who already have some skin in the game so they can be most successful at understanding and implementing the advance best practices, tools, and strategies introduced during the session.

  3. Great idea for someone who needs to carve out some time – get refocused, reinvigorated, recharged!

  4. This is very timely Niquenya as I will be offering VIP days as an additional service to my Life Coaching business. I think VIP days are really fabulous because the focus is solely on the client for the entire day and it can accomplish a lot. At the moment I’m looking at the virtual option but intend to expand to luxury hotels or resort as you suggest. Your post has already given me some great ideas on how to structure my VIP days and pack them with value.

    • That’s great, Michelle! VIP Days definitely bring a lot of value to both the client and the coach. VIP Days are great ways for coaches to deliver a massive amount of content and clarity in a short amount of time thereby making an immediate impact on your client’s goals.

  5. VIP are interesting idea that I’ve experimented with. I found some people loved them other people found them to be to much in one day. I’m still experimenting with the idea and I do offer VIP days to clients as an alternative to a long term coaching arrangements.

  6. Hi Niquenya,

    Ya know VIP days sound awesome and much needed for busy people who just would like to chill out and relax :) Great idea and fun! Thanks for sharing :) I think more businesses should do this!

  7. The VIP Day sounds like a dream. I definitely need to take a purposeful pause. I would love to take advantage of this!

Hire Your Kids

For small business owners with kids, the most often forgotten deduction is sleeping in the Hire Your Kidsnext room: your children. Sure, you deduct them as a dependent, but if that’s the only tax savings you’re getting, you’re missing out.

Here’s the thing. As a business owner, you can legally hire your kids and avoid paying many of the taxes that go along with having an employee.  If you have ever been to my office during summer break or attended a weekend event at which I was a vendor, you would have met my now thirteen-year-old son.  He assists in my office with filing, shredding and other administrative tasks and he helps man my vendor booth at events, especially if I’m scheduled to speak.

Hiring your kids is great!  Things like income tax withholding are not required for the underage children of the business owner unless you are a corporation. Sole proprietors and LLCs do not have to deal with payroll, even though technically your child is an employee. You also don’t have to cover them on your worker’s compensation insurance.

Even better, when you hire your kids, you don’t have to pay income tax on the money they earn. To a point, anyway – the threshold is high enough where this usually isn’t a problem.

All that said, though, there are a few rules you have to follow.

Work, not Just Chores When You Hire Your Kids

You have to be careful that your kids are actually working in the business. Things like raking leaves and doing dishes won’t qualify – unless your business is a lawn service or a restaurant, that is. Instead, have them do tasks you would normally either do yourself or hire outside help to handle.

Depending on the ages of your kids, such tasks might include:

  • Internet research
  • Video editing
  • Site updates
  • Basic graphic design
  • Addressing envelopes
  • Simple bookkeeping

You will also need to be able to show proof of hours worked, and that the pay was reasonable. In other words, you can’t pay your child $50 an hour for a job that – if anyone else were to do it – would normally pay $10 an hour. Set up a timesheet, and make sure he or she fills it out and turns it in every pay period, so you can have it on file.

Paying Your Kids

Each pay period, you’ll pay your children just as you would any other employee or contractor. As we already said, there’s no payroll tax or other deductions to worry about, so they get paid everything they earned. Even better, your business can claim the expense.

What about income tax? Your kids (and everyone else, for that matter) can earn up to $5,950 tax free. That’s the standard deduction, and it applies whether you pay your child or a total stranger, so it just makes sense to keep that money in the family if you can.

Not only that, but since you’re the parent, you still get to claim your kids as dependents. So your kids earn money tax free (which is a great way to start teaching them about budgeting, etc.), your business claims the expense without worrying about payroll taxes, and you claim the deduction. It’s a perfect system for getting work done while at the same time saving a substantial amount of money on taxes every year.

Hiring your kids is one of the best decisions you can make as a bootstrapping entrepreneur.  You not only save money but you are also giving your kids a valuable lesson about business ownership.  Guess what my son wants to be when he grows up?  You guess it!  An entrepreneur!

If you found this post valuable, by all means, please do comment and share.  Did you hire your kids to work in your business?

How to Spring Clean Your Business

Spring cleaning your business isn’t just about organizing paperwork.  One of the most Spring Cleaning Your Businessoverlooked spring cleaning tasks is website maintenance. Regular website maintenance is an important aspect of business ownership. Just like a house, your website needs an annual spring cleaning. Certain website maintenance tasks should be performed throughout the year to keep content relevant and up to date. Other tasks can be done once a year.

You may be worried that website maintenance is costly, but there are many budget maintenance methods that can be employed to get the job done. Here is a list of budget-conscious tips when spring cleaning your business that will help you perform the regular website maintenance that every site needs.

How to Spring Clean Your Business

1. Visit Competitor Sites

The content of your site should project the image that you want to promote. For example, if you have a fun website, you should have lively colors and graphics. If you have a website that is serious in tone, the look should reflect that. When performing any type of website maintenance, you should regularly check competitor sites to see what else is out there. While you’re surfing the web, be sure to take notes on what you liked, what you didn’t, and why. Use these notes to develop an original site that stands out among the competition.

2. Analyze Your Website

To properly perform website maintenance, you need to know what your website needs. To determine this, put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Look around. Do you see anything that’s missing or can be approved upon? If so, determine how it can be changed. You may also want to consider having a trusted friend or family member look over your site. Ask them to provide an honest assessment, and then use their opinions to better the site. Specific things you may want to ask them about include the site’s look and feel, the ease of navigation, and the site content itself.

3. Update Your Content

Refreshing content is the top reason to perform website maintenance. Keeping your news pieces and informational content fresh is important. If your web content is stale, visitors will search elsewhere for the things they need. Studies show that sites that are updated regularly have more returning visitors and higher page views. Search engines will also give you more attention if you regularly update your pages with fresh content.

4. Learn New Design Skills

Credible websites look professional. If you don’t have the design know-how to perform website maintenance yourself, brush up on your skills. There are many free classes and low priced ebooks online that can teach you everything you need to know to redesign your website. There are also many different tutorials that can take you through the process step by step. If you don’t have time to learn as you go, you may also want to consider hiring a reasonable priced professional who can perform website maintenance and get the job done for you.

5. Review Your Analytics

After you have completed the website maintenance and implemented a few changes, you will want to track the results of your efforts. Check the logs on your website to determine whether or not you had an increase in visitors or sales. If there are no changes after several months, you may want to consider stepping up your efforts. Run back through the list of budget web maintenance tips outlined above. Was there anything you missed? Was there anything that you could do better? If so, take the time to do it. Remember, profitable websites aren’t started overnight. They take hard work, dedication, and continuing efforts to succeed.

Remember, spring cleaning your business isn’t just about organizing your paperwork.  Small business owners need to be concerned about website maintenance and other technology needs too.

If you found this information helpful, make sure to share and leave your comments below.