Every Coaching Website
I Have Ever Seen

By Robert Mandelberg

Note: Having seen hundreds of websites for business coaches, motivational coaches, leadership coaches, and coaching coaches, I noticed some striking similarities. Hoping I do not offend any of my coaching friends, here is my take on Every Coaching Website I Have Ever Seen:

Coachy McCoacherson
Coach Extraordinaire

Do You Have this Insurmountable Problem?

Is Something Stopping You From Being Happy?

Do You Wish Things Were Better?

How fortunate you are to have stumbled upon my little corner of the Internet. For, in just a few moments, you will learn how your problem is not as insurmountable as it may seem; that this thing that is stopping you from being happy can be erased; and that things can indeed be better.

I am the answer to your miserable existence. Why, the only thing that is separating you from what you want in life is some money. And the best part is (and get this!): You are in complete control over how much happiness you can achieve. Coincidentally, your level of happiness directly corresponds to your level of investment. Doesn’t it feel great knowing that you are driving your own destiny? And if you choose to remain miserable in exchange for hanging on to your money, at least you know it was indeed your choice. And that’s what’s so liberating.

How can you be sure that I am the right person to cure your miserableness? Read on to see my credentials:

I did this remarkable thing.

I did this other remarkable thing.

I did this third remarkable thing.

This is, in fact, just a tiny sampling of the remarkable things I’ve done. Oh, how it pains me to list just a few my many remarkable achievements. I do not have the time to spend, you see, on enumerating all of my victories when I am far too busy succeeding. Let these three stand, though; and serve as just a mere representation of the plethora of remarkability I could easily have shat upon you.

If you don’t believe me – just in case these remarkable feats seem just a bit too remarkable, allow me prove my claims with a few testimonials of my brilliance and worth as a provider of happiness and a remover of miserableness. If you thought just the mere telling of my greatness was overwhelming, just wait until you see what these strangers had to say. Their words, coupled with my stories, instantly will remove any lingering doubt as to my fabulocity. While reading these endorsements, please try to keep in mind that these are but a few (a scant few), random pieces of praise that I scooped off the very top of an enormous mountain of pleasantries that were created to convey heartfelt appreciation for my greatness.

He solved this horrible problem I had.

He stopped me from crying and made me be happy again.

He made everything okay.

See? Great words about me; words that mean something. Words that were expressed not only to demonstrate my greatness, but to show you that you, too, can experience the remarkableness that is me.

Don’t you have a problem you need solved? Wouldn’t you like to stop crying and be happy again? Don’t you need everything to be okay? Oh, of course you do. It won’t be long before you draft a letter heaping glorious praise upon me.

Oh, and did you get a change to visit my blog?? Oh, you must. It’s loaded with articles and stories and tips and pearls of wisdom you can use in your quest to be happy. In each article, I demonstrate my considerable expertise in this thing I do. Very impressive, I look in them. Here are some of the titles of my works:

The 10 Things You Need to Know About Something

You love things in a list, so you will love my list of things. These are things that I know, and you do not. Read through my blog post and you will walk away knowing the things that I know that you do not. Don’t worry; there is virtually no chance that you will learn anything substantial from the article – you will still need to hire me for this thing that I do. But when you have finished reading these things in a list, you will be clearer on exactly what it is you don’t know. Must read.

How the Supermarket/a Women’s Shoe/Some Popular TV Show/a Fork/the Game Toss-Across/My Cat’s Breakfast is a Lot Like Something Else in Life.

In this witty essay, I spew off my insights on how some mundane thing we all do has remarkable similarities to something that isn’t as mundane. You will delight in my cleverness as I draw analogy after analogy profoundly linking the meaningless to the meaningful. You’ll never think of the mundane thing the same way ever again! Must read.

What’s Your Biggest Fear/Problem/Thing That’s Holding YOU Back?

I just adore how I put YOU all in caps. It really makes the article look that much more important. In this insightful piece, I condescendingly tell YOU how to improve your life. In less than 300 words, I give YOU the answer to all of your problems; advise YOU how all you need to do is do something, and it’s done; and gently scold YOU for not following this advice sooner, even before YOU read it. Must read.

Don’t Make This Mistake!

Ah, my favorite. This is the blog post where I bestow upon you the wisdom I have gained as the result of making mistakes in the past. Allow me, my child, to pass down sage advice so that you can avoid the terribleness that would surely befall upon you had you not seen this post. You see, person, I was like you way back when, several months ago. I, too, wanted the thing you want, and went about to secure this thing. But in my endeavors, I encountered hardship and badness that cost me money/time/reputation/happiness/a limb, and that was indeed bad! In this article, I, from my loftiest “been-there” voice, guide you through a thorny path of obstacles and evil. I suffered so that you do not have to. You are so very welcome.

Isn’t it time for you to be happy? Simply select the level of desired happiness, and click “Buy Now”:

Gold Level: Don’t get fooled by the title of this level! This is just the most basic program I offer. Somehow my industry decided that the “Gold Standard” was no longer good enough. We still keep it for nostalgic purposes, but it is the lowest of the low. In this program, you derive your happiness from the mere knowing that you’ve joined an upscale program. No actual services are provided. Anyone who knows anything knows that anyone who is anyone joins a program. Consider this your minimum entry to happiness. Your membership gives you the right to brag about your membership. Upgrades are available.

Cost $10,500 per year.

Platinum Level: Desire more than just a basic level of happiness? Who could blame you? Then consider membership at the Platinum Level. You get everything that’s included in the Gold Level plus one 30-minute group telephone “masterminding” call every month. Here, you will have 45 seconds (every month!) to reveal your deepest goals, fears, and desires to dozens of other miserable people, and then listen to their well-intended but inane suggestions on how to be happy. I am not actually hosting the call, but you can rest assured that someone who has paid me a lot of money will be. Upgrades are available.

Cost: $24,000 per year.

Diamond Level: Okay, now we’re talking. This level is for people who truly desire happiness, and they are willing to buy it. This program features everything that’s included on the Gold Level, Most things on the Platinum Level, and this: A private number that you can call once a month to speak with me for seven to nine minutes. If you manage to get through, I will listen to your tales of miserableness and failed dreams and offer my sage wisdom to make you happy. This program has a high rate of success because people who pay this much for a membership will claim they are happy beyond belief to save themselves from the embarrassment of admitting they incurred serious debt for a membership to a totally useless program. Upgrades are available.

Cost: A Whopping $100,000 per year.

So which level is right for you? Look deep into your soul and ask yourself if you could afford not to join a program. Hint: Do not discuss this with your spouse or family (they really don’t know what you need, do they?). You know this is something you need to do. Sign up today!

LinkedIn: Powerful Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs

By Robert Mandelberg, The Viz Wiz

Looking for a high-powered way to increase your visibility, establish new relationships, and cement your expert status? You’re in luck! By opening a free account on LinkedIn.com, you can affordably and effectively accomplish these objectives. With close to 100 million users and a great search mechanism, LinkedIn has become an indispensible tool for business owners and service providers.

Use LinkedIn as a tool to uncover new opportunities and position yourself to be found by prospects. Here are a few ways to optimize your presence on LinkedIn:

Create a strong profile: LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters to build a profile summary. Use this space to convey your value and unique selling proposition. Your profile will be seen by prospects, customers, colleagues, and anyone else who wants to learn about you and your business. Be sure your profile focuses on the results you are able to produce – and not just the service you provide. In this section, you can also include your “specialties.” These are searchable terms that will help your name and profile appear in searches.

Build a strong network of customers and prospects: Connecting to people you want to do business with is a great way to introduce your services, build up your pipeline, and keep your prospects informed of your new programs, services, and specials. On LinkedIn, the more contacts you have, the greater your capability to search for and connect with people. When someone accepts your invitation to connection on LinkedIn, they are known as your “first-level contact.” Their connections are then your “second-level contacts,” and their connections are your third-level contacts. Each time you make a first-level contact, your network grows exponentially, since you have certain privileges with their contacts. This enables you to conduct more robust searches and connect with more prospects.

Join Professional Groups: LinkedIn has a growing community of hundreds of thousands of professional groups. Some of these groups have as few as a dozen members, while others boast membership in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. There are multiple groups for practically every industry, every specialty, and every niche. Joining groups gives you many benefits. First, you become a member of a community with like-minded professionals and prospects. This enables you to learn and share best practices, new trends, and innovative ideas in your specialty. In addition, your search capabilities are expanded, as you are better positioned to reach out and connect with fellow group members. Another benefit is that you can display the group’s emblem on your home page, letting visitors and connections know that you belong to this industry association.

Participate in Discussions: Members of groups receive email digests of all group discussions. Each time you contribute, your name and home page link is associated with your comment. This invites readers (prospects and potential partners) to click on your link and read your profile. And since you have a professionally written, value-driven profile, you are more likely to establish new business relationships.

Recommendations: When one of your connections writes a recommendation about you, it is prominently displayed on your home page. What a great way to let prospects know the value of your services! Ideally, you would like to have three or four well-written recommendations attached to your business. This inspired trust and confidence in potential customers. Most LinkedIn users understand the value of recommendations and will provide them when asked. Also, when you write recommendations for others, your name and home page link is attached to it, giving you another opportunity to subtly invite people to your profile.

As a member of LinkedIn, you are also broadcasting your connection to current technology, marketing, and networking. To many people, if you do not have a LinkedIn profile, then you simply do not exist. If you are not a member yet – sign up today; it’s free! If you are a member and have not optimized your page, then do so following these tips. If done correctly, you will tap into a resource that could prove to be very rewarding. And feel free to connect with me – I would be happy to have you as a member of my network.

Internet Marketing: Using Email Newsletters to Boost Your Business

By Robert Mandelberg, The Viz Wiz

If you haven’t already converted the bulk of your marketing program to internet-based strategies, then you are missing out on a whole world of opportunity. In fact, the longer you wait to jump on the bandwagon, the more you fall behind your competitors.

The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get started and capture your fair share (or more) of the market. Your goal is to establish and maintain relationships with your prospects and customers. The easiest and most cost-effective way of doing this is through an email newsletter. Your newsletter will be the centerpiece around which your marketing campaign revolves. Once it’s set up, here is how it will work:

You have built an email list of hundreds (or thousands!) of qualified, motivated prospects and customers. Each month, you send your free email newsletter to your list, featuring advice or information relevant to your specialty. At the bottom of your newsletter, there is your bio, which contains a link to your website. When prospects are ready for your service or product, they simply open your newsletter, click the link, and contact you.

Why is this so important? Suppose you are a dog groomer and own Dolly’s Dog Grooming Service. In your area, there are a dozen dog groomers. How can you get a dog owner to choose your service over all the others? The answer is: Get them into your funnel. Your funnel is your newsletter list. Once they are signed up, you have an opportunity to gain their trust and win their business. Why would they take their business anywhere else? You have already established a rapport with them through your newsletter. Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy by using an email newsletter:

* Constant communication. Every month, you put your name and message in front of your list. Even if a prospect isn’t quite ready for your service yet, your email serves as a gentle reminder that you exist. An email newsletter has all the benefit of mailing a monthly postcard, at a fraction of the cost and effort.

* Cement your expert status. When your email arrives in your prospect’s inbox, it sends a powerful message that you are an expert and leader in your field. After all, you just published a newsletter that provides professional advice relevant to your specialty. The newsletter builds trust and confidence in your prospects and customers.

* Introduce new services and promote specials. Your newsletter should be 80% valuable content and 20% promotion. Use your newsletter to provide information on your specialty. This is particularly effective if you are running a sale or special.

Setting up your email newsletter is relatively easy. Although it is possible to manage your subscriber list and distribute your newsletter through your email account, it is highly recommended that you use an email management service such as Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) and iContact (www.iContact.com). Once you set up your newsletter, you can focus on creating great content, and leave the rest to them. The best part is that you can review reports for each newsletter campaign to see how many people (and who) opened your newsletter, clicked on the links, and forwarded it to friends. And you never have to worry about managing your lists. These services automatically register new subscribers, and remove people who wish to unsubscribe from your list.

Newsletter content should be brief, upbeat, and relevant to your specialty. A quick tip, brief article, or recommended resource is all you need to provide to keep your subscribers engaged and interested. If you stray too far from your specialty or fail to deliver excellent content, you will notice a larger number of “unsubscribes” and fewer people opening your email.

As your list grows and you get into the habit of sending your newsletters regularly, you will notice a boost in your sales as you strengthen your relationship with your following.

5 Surefire Ways to Build Your Email List

By Robert Mandelberg, The Viz Wiz

So, you’ve created your email newsletter and now you are ready to expand your subscriber base. As you probably have already discovered, your list doesn’t magically grow on its own. Let’s take a look at a few great ways to turn your budding list into a thriving community of eager prospects.

Because of anti-spam laws, subscribers need to willingly “opt-in” to your list, or give you permission to register them. And that’s a good thing. You want your subscribers to be willing and eager readers of your newsletter, and not just random people who never asked to be a part of your community. If your readers subscribe willingly, you will have a much higher rate of opens and a much lower rate of unsubscribed. Additionally, a strong list of willing subscribers will translate to higher sales.

So let’s look at a few great ways to build your list with qualified, motivated prospects:

* Signup Page on your Website: Toward the top of the home page on your website, include a signup form for your newsletter. This is an especially good idea because many visitors will arrive at your website by simply stumbling upon it. Even if they are interested in your company or services, there’s no guarantee they will return or even remember your website. By encouraging your visitors to subscribe to your free newsletter, you are opening the door to an ongoing relationship. You can gently remind them of your services, expertise, and website in your weekly/monthly/quarterly e-newsletter.

* Write a Special Report: A special report is a free, value-packed, digital document that provides essential information to your prospects. The topic is so compelling, that your prospects want to immediately get their eyes on it. And all they have to do to receive your report, is to simply enter their email address and subscribe to your newsletter. The report is then automatically emailed to them. Special reports generally range anywhere from 3 to 20 pages, and they are loaded with valuable information that your prospects desire. (see article on Special Reports and Funnel Marketing)

* Get email addresses of current and past clients: Tell to your customers that started a monthly email newsletter and you’d like to offer them a free subscription. Also suggest to your clients that they send a link to their friends and associates to subscribe to your newsletter.

* Mention your e-newsletter on all of your communications: This includes your marketing materials, contracts, and business cards. Also, be sure to mention your email newsletter on your email signature.

* Become active in social media: Discussing your newsletter on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is a great way to generate buzz and increase your subscriber base. The more visible and active you are, the larger your list will grow.

Building your list is important; but creating high-quality content on a consistent basis is paramount. You may entice readers into subscribing, but you will never keep them if you don’t deliver. Focus on providing valuable information and you will keep your readers engages as your list continues to expand.

Drive Sales by Beefing Up Your Online Presence

By The VizWiz, Robert Mandelberg

Consumers do most of their shopping and vendor research online.  If you do not have a strong presence, you cannot hope to capture their attention and win their business.  How big is your digital footprint?  Here’s an easy way to find out:  Google yourself.  Type “your name” into Google and take a look at the results.  Ideally, you want to see a long list of entries that supports your unique brand.

If your name yields only a smattering of hits that are mostly unrelated to your business and your expertise, then chances are you are missing out on opportunities.  Consumers need to be convinced that you are legitimate, professional, and at the top of your game before making a buying decision.  And a strong online presence can accomplish just that.

Fortunately, building an impressive online footprint is relatively easy to do.  Here are four simple and cost-effective ways of building your expert status and improving your presence on Google, Yahoo, and Bing:

Article Marketing: Want to achieve instant expert status?  Author articles on hot topics in your industry, and post them on large article sites such as ezinearticles.com.  These articles will appear on a Google search for your name, and will achieve credibility in the eyes of your prospects.  The articles do not have to be lengthy (300 to 500 words is adequate), but they do have to offer considerable value to your target audience.  If you are an accountant, and a potential client sees that you authored an article on “The Five Best Ways to Minimize Your Tax Liability,” then you have gone a long way to make this prospect confident in your abilities.

Social Media Profiles: Social media sites are ranked very high on search engines, so chances are that your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are among the first entries when you Google your name.  It is amazing that so many business owners have yet to build their presence on these sites.  LinkedIn is especially helpful.  It gives you a great opportunity to position yourself as an expert and connect with prospects, referral sources, and leaders in your industry (See related article, “Using LinkedIn to Attract New Clients”).  Be sure that your profile is complete, and it reflects the value you are offering to consumers.  Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter can also be used to build a strong network and strengthen your online presence.

Video Marketing: Uploading a series of videos to YouTube and other video sites is a great way to expand your visibility.  The videos do not have to be longer than 30 seconds (although than can be), and can consist of a quick tip, a how-to segment, or a brief interview, with you as the guest.  Or, you can simply create a slideshow video with a powerful message and a link to your site (see Slideshow Videos to learn more).  Be sure to include your name in the keyword section so that it will be recognized in a Google search.

Audio Marketing: Similar to using video, audio podcasts will also add to your online presence and portray you as an expert.  These are audio files that you upload to sites with your name in the keyword descriptions.  Again, these recordings can be as little as 30 seconds, as long as they pack a powerful punch.  On VizWiz Radio (www.VizWizRadio.com), you can be a featured expert and be interviewed in a radio-style format.  Your bio and picture will be featured on the site, and there will be a link leading back to your website.  Your interview will also be included on a Google search for your name.

By following the above tips and spending as little as an hour each week, you can have a robust online presence within a couple of months.  And your customers will rest easier knowing they are doing business with an expert.