What are your Daily RItuals, Lists, Processes and Behaviors?

Process vs. product. Behavior vs. Outcome.

I ran across the idea of using an analog task list (plus more) system called Bullet Journal this past week. I love making lists and have long-wondered about the relationship between writing something with pen and paper and it’s impact on our neurosystem. It definitely seems that things ‘stick’ more with me when I’ve written them down the old fashioned way rather than typed them into a computer.

As I continued to do research on the method there were lots of posts out there about the pros and cons of this particular system. I realized that there’s an ongoing theme often of process vs. product; behavior vs. outcome. Do we focus on our process? Or on the final product? On the behavior or the outcome? In our highly-distracted environments, I’m leaning towards the behaviors and the processes as that’s what I can control anyway.

I just finished the book Daily Rituals (talk about distracted- I think I started it months ago.) In the book, the routines of highly creative people (across fields and centuries -from Einstein to Maya Angelou to Benjamin Franklin) are documented in usually just a few pages per person. Many of them worked a set time every day (mostly in the morning). A very few of them worked in frenzied period and then took rests. Most worked in the morning for up to about 4 hours with some returning again in the afternoon. Some of them had outcome targets (1000 words for example or 2 pages but still focused on something they can control rather than produce a best-seller for example). My take away again was on process or behaviors rather than on the outcomes.

How do you pay attention to your processes? Do you set process goals? I’m going to hit my goal of going to 4 networking events this month (averaging one/week). How about you? What were your process or behavior goals? How are you doing?

Posted in marketing |

$196.54 or $199 or $200? Pricing quirks.

I’m working on my Pricing for Profits online class this month and revisiting some of the primary research done in the field. I’m feeling a little bit like I’m back in grad school as I do some literature review of the work done on when and why to choose “just-below” pricing (ie ending the price with a 9, or perhaps a 7, as we see frequently these days). I’ve also found some interesting research on the benefits of ‘precision-pricing’ (ie pricing that is very precise and not round at all, like $354,672.) I was familiar with both streams but found some interesting background on some of the wonderful decision-making quirks of humans.

I like untangling the hypotheses and statistics to see what really holds true in empirical research and not just anecdotally. And, I uncovered an interesting paper that indicates that round prices are sometimes a signal of quality. In fact, higher end stores tended toward round prices (of their data set, Neiman Marcus had round prices over 80% of the time compared to Target and Walmart with round prices less than 20% of the time). Of course, this was countered by the precision-pricing article with information about how people perceive precise prices and even in high price situations are more likely to pay more if it’s a precise price (this work had a focus on real-estate so it was very high-priced!)

Do you test your pricing? One interesting take-away is that the ‘just below’ pricing is more useful when there are reference prices to compare for the buyer. The perception of the difference between the prices is swayed by the first digit in the price (so imagine comparing $29.99 to $40.00 vs. $30 to $40). In the first case, the difference is sometimes perceived to be as much as 50% lower, while the in second case, only 25% lower. If you’re offering more than one option on your sales page, consider how the differences look between each of your prices/packages.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Can doing my marketing be more fun? Of course!

How is it going so far this year? Are you working your marketing plan? Do you have a plan yet?

I offered several free consultations last week and worked with new clients who are ready to make 2015 their best ever. I love that feeling of promise and mapping out the first half of the year (or more) along with identifying the online and offline marketing efforts to make it all happen.

I’m also noticing how something as small as ‘points’ in a challenge can make a difference to my own motivation (I’m working on my next Udemy class as part of their January challenge and they’re awarding points for meeting milestones by certain deadlines). Have you thought of ways to make your marketing efforts more fun? Maybe points for yourself for every newsletter you send? Or for networking meetings? And every 100 or 1000 points you get a treat! I’m giving it a shot with my own plan. I’ve attended two networking meetings this week and had meetings with three prospects and followed up with an additional four people! Plus met two Udemy deadlines for my new class!

Here’s to a great 2015 with marketing fun in your future!

Posted in marketing |

I picked my word of the year!

Have you made any resolutions yet? For your personal life? For your business life? This will be the fifth year in a row that I’ve picked a theme word for my year.

2011 was YES!
2012 was LEAP for my business (it was a leap year after all) and PRACTICE for my personal life
2013 was FOCUS
2014 was STRETCH

and for 2015, it’s SAVOR.

Savor is so important for my personal life this year as my oldest daughter is a senior in high school. Each milestone and holiday this year is poignant as I realize that our family life will be quite different when she’s off at college. I’m constantly taking little snapshots in my mind of the girls giggling or being goofy at dinner. I’m savoring each of those moments and will continue to do that throughout 2015.

Now, for a little more honesty, I’m actually torn about adding a separate word for my business this year. I appreciate that when I have just one word, it serves as a touchstone and is easier to remember ;) but I’m having trouble figuring out how savor can work for my business goals. For now, I think I’m going to try it out and see what I learn along the way. And, if it’s not working for me by mid-February, I can always add another word!

Also, here’s the original article by Christine Kane that inspired me to choose a word instead of a bunch of resolutions. [WOTY article]

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What do you do when you get distracted?

Some weeks are harder.  I push to get a newsletter out every single week as I know that consistent advice and reminders to my audience are important for my business.   But some weeks are harder and nothing comes immediately to mind.  Or sometimes too many things come to mind.

This is one of those weeks.  Should I write about planning for 2015?  Or my upcoming workshops- Wine & WordPress on November 4th?  Or my upcoming trip to Singapore? Or the case discussion I had in my class on Monday night where we talked about the risk of print marketing (imagine 5000 brochures with a typo? or a price you want to change?)  and how that’s not as flexible and adaptable as many digital marketing platforms?

On the days when it’s harder, I procrastinate. I get distracted.  How many emails have I written since I sat down to write this? (about 10)  How many times have I looked at Facebook? (5 times- though some were to do research for some of the emails I just sent ;) )  Or just turned on my phone to see if there are any notifications?

I’m guessing I’m well within normal on all of these distractions and procrastination devices! How do you push through to do the things that will help you grow your business?    A few things that work for me are to:

1. Set a timer (and then give myself a distraction break with another timer setting)
2. Doodle and write down all of the things coming to mind to see if one is more compelling than the others
3. Write a newsletter about the process ;)

I’d love any other suggestions you have that help you to push through those times when you’re easily distracted or unfocused!

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