Tag Archives: audience

5 Secret Questions hold the key to life

Often times I’m asked how it is so easy and seemingly effortless for me to meet strangers and soon have them turned into friends.

It begins with my genuine interest in people. It has always been my belief that I can enjoy anyone for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes 20 minutes is enough; often times a lifetime is not nearly enough. People genuinely interest me. They all have stories and I love to pull those stories out.  You see, I have discovered to make others feel important, show a genuine interest in them. Once they feel valued (important) they will open up and shortly thereafter a relationship is born.

To be successful, be genuinely interested in other people. I always learn so much from other people. It’s so easy to be interested, so why not be interested

To make others feel at ease with me, I’ve honed a specific set of easy-to-answer questions. Soon you will learn these questions. Commit them to memory (write them down until you have them memorized) and soon you can make everyone you meet comfortable with you.

When we build bridges with people we are more likely to create great relationships, to get cooperation and to conduct business. Talking with other people becomes easier when you realize that everybody’s got a story. And those stories, in most cases, are very interesting. These stories are so fascinating to me and it’s amazing how much I learn in about five minutes. We can all learn so much from the challenges, successes and adventures of others. When you meet someone new and find a way to allow them to talk, they will quickly hold you in high esteem. They will feel comfortable with you within minutes and they will often want to talk with you further. So, how do I get so many people to talk with me so easily? Getting people to talk with you becomes simple when you have specific, easy-to-answer questions that you can use every time. These questions will make you feel confident and make the person you are meeting feel important. Anyone will find these questions easy to answer. Make sure your tone is inquisitive and calm when asking these questions. No inquisition here.

Question 1:

I’m just curious, where are you from originally?

Starting this question with “I’m just curious”, relaxes the person you are asking. They are disarmed and comfortable right away. This question always leads to the beginning of a person’s story.

Now Question 2 can go two directions.   If the person you asked are from a place different from where they are now, ask:

What brought you here?

If they are from the same place where you are asking the question, ask:

Have you lived here all your life?

Question 3 is:

Do you have a family?

This questions immediately creates great relationships. People love talking about their family.

Question 4 is:

What do you do? 

Question 5 is:

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Because I owned a toy manufacturing company, I often also ask

What was your favorite toy when you were growing up?

Every person on the planet played with something when they were kids and this question is a wonderful ice breaker.

Everyone likes talking about their roots and about their families. Once you get someone started with easy questions, they’ll usually find it easy to keep talking. If the person you’re talking to is someone you’d like to speak with again, or do business with in the future, make note of the answers to these questions as soon as you have a moment. When you speak in the future, you can refer to some of their answers. This wins massive brownie points and showed you truly cared enough to remember. People are honored when we let them talk and even more so when we refer to something they told us in the past. That shows that you were genuinely interested and took the time to remember.

Many people have related to me that they were amazed with how much they learned about other people when they started using these questions. These questions will give you an easy and non-threatening way to start conversations and to make people feel important. You will see the magic this process creates in your ability to talk with others.

If you found this post useful, please forward to 5 people you know would like these questions. Please suggest they go to my website to learn more about me ~ www.marciareece.com

Remember:

It’s All About Relationships

– truly everything is!

Now practice your questions and let me know the results you achieve. Have fun and get to know some incredible new people with these fail-proof questions.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Filed under appreciation, audience, authors, building relationships, business development, business lessons, consistency, dating, guerrilla marketing, Inspiration, relationships, Working from Heart

WIIFM

Today was spent working with a client on the east coast who has finished writing his book. It’s ready to go for final edit. We worked on his book promotion/media strategy.

Here are some of the things we completed you might also find valuable:

  • Complete a great media kit
  • Polish up your bio
  • Write 3 media releases, each from a different angle.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, find what’s in your book that will DO Something for the reader; solve a problem the reader is having.

Finding the benefits to your book might seem like a pretty simple task, but touting that “It’s a great read!” won’t get you very far. To determine what your book will do for your reader, you’ll have to dig deep, sometimes deeper than you thought. Especially if your book is fiction, this task of finding benefits will require some serious brainstorming. The key here is, be different. If you have a diet book, don’t offer the same benefits a million other books do: you’ll lose weight. Instead, offer a benefit that is decidedly different than anything that’s out there.

If you think you can’t find a different approach, go back to the beginning. Why did you write your book? It must solve a problem you could not find solved in the books already written.

Or, try to couch a similar benefit in a different way.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the WIIFM factor: what’s in it for me? If your reader likes what’s in it for them, they’ll buy your book.  Make sure your audience finds the answers to THEIR needs within your book and all of your interviews. If they stop hearing about them and their needs they will drift away and you will lose them.

Be sure to keep the WIIFM foremost in your mind as you write your media release and all your sales materials.

People only care what your book will DO FOR THEM.

The idea of not selling your book also holds true when you’re doing an interview. Never, ever answer an interviewer’s question with: “You’ll find it in my book.” If you’re the author, of course the answer is in your book.

The uniqueness of your benefits can also directly relate to each particular audience. For example, if you have different levels of readers or readers from different backgrounds, it’s a good idea to work up a set of benefits for each of them. Then any interview you do (or speaking engagement) will offer benefits with that audience in mind as opposed to a more generic form of, “Here’s what my book can do for you!”

Creating a list of benefits for your book can aid your campaign in a number of ways: first, it’ll help you get away from a more “salesy” type of approach, and second, it will help you create the tip sheets that can add substance to your media kit.

BONUS TIP:  When you are preparing for your interviews, speak to your audience as if you are speaking directly to one person at a time.  Don’t try to speak to the whole audience…make your answers specific to one person’s needs.

BONUS TIP:  If you’re working on the benefit angle of your book early enough, you can incorporate these into the back copy of your book.

The point is, never, ever sell your book. Be a step ahead of the competition and sell what your book can do for the reader, and let them know why it’s better than the competition.

In the end, that’s all anyone will care about.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Tell the Fed Ex Man Good Bye

We all spend so much money sending out copies of our work via Federal Express. Sending out books for customers, reviewers, and FOF’s gets really expensive.

Let’s all plan ahead and send our books fourth class, or media rate. There’s really no advantage to using overnight services unless we are specifically requested to do so. If it absolutely has to be there overnight, but most times it doesn’t.

Sending via fed ex doesn’t impress like it used to. Back when I was a toy manufacturer, I remember sending samples to my “Big Buyers” via fed ex, UPS red label, and mail. I wanted to make sure they got the samples.

Have stamps made to look like the cover of your book. If you email me, I will give you two great resources I’m happy to share with you.

My printer made Marriage Mouse stickers that were made from the art on the cover of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and I use those on the outside of the package.

If it’s holiday time, I gift wrap my book in holiday appropriate wrapping paper. I’ve had a few comments on how the recipient enjoys unwrapping their gift.

With some creative thought you can make sure your recipient opens what you send them – without breaking the bank paying for fed ex fees.

What’s the most creative way you can think to send your materials? Share and let’s have some fun being creative.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Boost Your Brand

Boosting Your Brand Builds your Business

Build a strong professional image everywhere you go and everywhere you show up.  That means on and offline.  Emphasize your strengths and make sure your brand supports your goals.

Clean up your online presence.

If someone who wants to know more about you checks you out online, what would they find? A well-branded online presence sets the tone and is critically important today, more than ever before. Google your name and review the first page of results. Does each listing support or weaken your professional brand? Take the steps to improve these results by overhauling your online brand.

Early birds still get the worms. When you next attend an event, get there early and grab a seat at the table so you don’t end up in a chair on the outskirts of the room. This way, it will be easier to join in the conversation and voice your opinion. If you have something to contribute to the discussion, speak up – don’t wait for an opening to appear, as you may miss your window.

Never stop learning. The best way to maintain a strong brand is to never stop learning. Seek out professional development opportunities through relevant webcasts, Meetups, and other membership associations.  Prove that you are a valuable resource to your following by sharing what you’ve learned that may help others.

Get involved. There’s no better way to become know and to build your brand in the process of having fun.

Recruit a mentor. When I first began to think about having my book published, I knew I didn’t know anything about that industry.  I joined a professional association and quickly found a mentor in that group. The right mentor can shape your professional skills, teach you the ins and outs of your industry, help you navigate, overcome adversity, and introduce you to the right people and resources to advance your work.

Toot your own horn. If you want to get ahead, you not only have to deliver results above expectations – you have to be recognized for your accomplishments. If you’re working on a project that’s going well, don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm with your following. Let them know your milestones. Share your results.

All of the above steps will each in their own way help to grow you and your brand.  What are your most successful tips and don’t be afraid to also share your biggest failures…we all have those and they cease being a failure as soon as we learn from them.

Marcia Reece is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

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Time for Sharing

Yesterday was one of those extraordinary days that don’t happen but once in a while. The drive into the mountains was filled with sunshine and smooth sailing. I met with an exceptionally amazing client and our meeting was more than could have been expected. Thank you. The drive home started out late, so driving through a snow blizzard at Vail Pass to and through the tunnels all the way to Idaho Springs was a bit of a nail biter. Really!! “Snow, you need to be dead to me!”

Today, I’d like to share an email full of great advice I received from my colleague Shel Horowitz.   

Shel says: “Partner with others who already reach your key audience. Make it a real partnership–make friends with them, communicate not just when you want something from them. Be nice all the time: Comment on their newsletters and blogs, send links you think they’ll find interesting, be very friendly when you meet a conference. And also blow them away with how good you are at what you do. Most of my income comes from referrals through other industry professionals, including some of the top names in my field who list me as a resource on their websites.”

–Shel Horowitz, GreenAndProfitable.com/Business-For-a-Better-World.com 

Shel, wise advise and I agree with you 100%.  It’s all about Relationships! And never miss a moment to build or enrich a relationship.  Great words of Wisdom for all the member of TCO as well.

Make this a day you won’t forget for a while.

Thanks,

Marcia

marciareece.com

303.506.7123

#1 Bestselling author, Secrets of the Marriage Mouse (Amazon.com)

The Ultimate Online Media Directory (Amazon.com)

TCO: Day 3

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