The Mindset You Must Ditch To Book High-End Clients

This article is a guest post by Maria Bayer.

Maria BayerIn my Irresistible Selling program, we focus a lot on mindset, because your mindset either works for you or against you. And I teach my students how to get their mindset working for them, so they can build the kind of business they love.
So what would you say if I told you that you likely have a mindset that is working against you, and hurting your chances of booking high-end clients? You’d want to know what it was so you could change it, right?

Let’s start with an analogy. We’ve all met a criticizer – someone who has expectations that are never met. We also know that criticizers are that way because they’re critical of themselves, and it manifests in their behavior toward others.
Similarly, do you find yourself complaining that you can’t find high-end clients, or that people have budgets that don’t match their Pinterest boards? If you do, then I’m willing to bet that your mindset of lack is manifesting in other ways, too.
For example, do you penny pinch in your personal life? Have you ever thought,

“I can’t afford to hire myself.”

If so, then you’re putting out into the universe a message of lack. Put another way, your desire to book clients with big budgets is incongruent with your mindset about money. And your desire to save money and cut corners in your personal life is reflected back to you in your clients.

So what’s the answer? Change your relationship with money. Go for quality instead of quantity. Stop looking for the best ‘deal’ and look for the best value. Exhibit abundance and you’ll attract abundance.

So if your business doesn’t reflect what you want on the outside, look within to see what it is reflecting.

Change what’s on the inside, and the outside has no choice but to follow. The only question is, which do you choose…lack or abundance?

 

Sign up for the complimentary series, ‘How to Make More Money & Book Yourself Solid’ at www.mariabayer.comMaria Bayer teaches creative business owners how to book their Ideal Clients without being “sales-y.”

Best of the Wedding Web: 2013

bestAs we say goodbye to another year, it’s an excellent time to look back at some of the best articles written just for wedding pros. Here are some of my favorites:

What’s the Value of an Industry Conference, a Webinar, an Article?
Alan Berg cuts to the chase about investing in ourselves and our businesses while asking our clients to invest in us.

How to Schedule an Entire Week’s Worth of Social Media Posts in Just 30 Minutes
Heidi Thompson lays out her straightforward plan to knock out a week’s worth of social media without pulling your hair out.

Six Embarrassing Reasons the Bride Blew You Off
Jeff and Steph talk truth about why potential clients aren’t getting back to you.

Jealousy and Success
Liene beautifully articulates how to deal with naysayers and jealous-types in this short post.

Pricing is a Marketing Decision
If you’re wrestling with pricing (or just second-guessing yours), Michelle has some great questions for you to ask yourself.

Why Couples Say They Can’t Afford You’re Wedding Services
Kathy gives it to you straight about what’s really going on when couples say those dreaded words, “you’re out of the budget.”

There were so many great articles, it was hard to narrow it down. What was your favorite article? Did it make the list?

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

brace yourselves thanksgiving memeThanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – it’s all about food, family and being thankful – but that doesn’t make it a walk in the park. If Thanksgiving is nothing but good times for you, you should probably get back to drinking your carrot smoothie while doing yoga and celebrating the fact that your Christmas shopping is already done that’s wonderful. For the rest of us, Thanksgiving brings with it no small amount of stress, from burnt turkeys to cringeworthy dinner conversation. If you’re feeling a little apprehensive about the holiday weekend, here are some tips for surviving Thanksgiving:

Remember it’s not a vacation. If this holiday is stressful for you, it doesn’t help to view it as a break. Instead, see it for what it really is: a major event, often involving travel, lots of interaction, food preparation and work (and I’m not even talking about actual work, though some of us will try to cram that in, too). Allow for a time buffer between work and the holiday (both before and after). That way you don’t end up feeling like you’ve been working nonstop for two weeks straight.
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Real Vendor Talks: Heidi Thompson Interview

I had the chance to sit down with Heidi Thompson of Evolve Your Wedding Business. We talk marketing, how to avoid being gross and the importance of generosity. See the full interview below:

Sign up for the free Mind the Gap series to learn how to turn fans into buyers at www.MindTheGapCourse.com.

Guest Post: 3 Systems that Save Me 3-5 Hours Per Week

As business owners we all have a lot going on but you can choose to do tasks sporadically or organize those tasks and maximize your time. We all have the same 24 hours and anytime you see a famous entrepreneur and wonder “How does she do it?”, the answer is probably systems. I’m going to take you through 3 systems I have in my business that save me 3-5 hours each week.

My Email System

I prioritize learning and for that reason I am subscribed to a lot of email lists. That sounds like a great thing until you realize that your inbox fills up with an insane number of emails in the time it takes to have a coffee break. I don’t like to completely close out my email but I also don’t like to get distracted every single time I see a new and interesting email come in.

And then I discovered Unroll.me

Unroll.me has allowed me to create an actual system for going through all of the great emails I get. Every afternoon, Unroll.me sends me a digest of the emails I got in the form on 1 single email. That allows me to take 30 minutes to go through it all at once at a time that works for me. If you use Google Apps to host your email, check out Unroll.me here.

My Social Media System

Social media can be a huge time-suck for people and it’s easy to get lost in it. That’s why I knew I had to figure out a way to scale back the amount of time I spent on social media while still sharing great content. I had been using Hootsuite to schedule posts but it’s not the easiest way to schedule them so that didn’t stick. I came across Buffer and it has totally changed the way I use social media. It let’s me schedule posts to my Twitter account, Facebook page, Google+ profile and LinkedIn profile with the click of a button. Now, I only spend about 30 minutes each week scheduling my social media posts.

One thing that I love about Buffer is that you can fill it up and let it post for you and it will email you when your Buffer is empty. This means you can pre-load all of your tweets and Facebook page posts for the week in one sitting. They also have extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari so that you can add the page that you are on to your Buffer with 1 click. And it gets even better. You can choose the times that your posts will go out at or use the Buffer integration with FollowerWonk to analyze your accounts to figure out the best times to post.

One of the traps that many people fall into is thinking you have to always be posting new original content that you created. That limits you to only posting to your social media profiles when you have a new blog post or spending way too much time trying to come up with topics. It is far easier and effective to curate great content that your audience will love in addition to your original content. Bearing this in mind, I set up a Feedly account and added all of the websites that my ideal client loves so that I can keep up with their new content. Each week I log into Feedly and add selected posts to Buffer.

Every week I have a block of time in my calendar that prompts me to add content to my Buffer. At that time, I simple log into Feedly and add some content to Buffer and add some of my own content and voila! A week’s worth of posts done in 30 minutes!

My Scheduling System

In order to make sure I get everything done that I want to get done, I use Google Calendar to manage my schedule. I actually make appointments with myself and treat them as appointments with other people. Let me explain. If I know I need to write 3 blog posts this week, I’ll put a 2 hour appointment in my calendar. Now I’m not meeting with anyone but if I schedule it, I know I’ll do it. Also, I’m horrible in the morning so if I don’t have my day planned out the night before, I’ll just be totally lost until about noon. When I start my day, I can see exactly what I need to do and when so I don’t have to waste any time figuring that out.

Google Calendar is collaborative so if you do have a team or an assistant, you can make appointments with each other. It also lets you set up different color-coded calendars so that you can see at a glance what is going on. You might choose one color for client appointments, one for admin work and one for content creation. It’s also cloud-based so you can access it from any device, anywhere in the world. It’s pretty much the best calendar ever and I’d be lost without it.

These are just 3 systems that I have in place in my business and they save me about 3-5 hours per week, every week. That’s 18-20 hours per month and 156-260 hours per year. Systems can save you serious time so I’m sure you can see that they are well worth setting up.

If you’re serious about getting out of overwhelm, you won’t want to miss the exciting free webinar I’ve got for you. It will help you get systems in place in your business and put them on autopilot. To find out more and save your spot visit www.evolveyourweddingbusiness.com/webinar

Heidi Thompson of Evolve Your Wedding Business helps wedding professionals market themselves on a budget and create a consistent flow of leads because in business, it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do if no one knows about it.

Check out her free video training designed to help you turn fans into buyers, perfect your website and crank up your cash flow.

 

Be More Generous with What You Have

When I ask wedding business owners if they are as generous as they want to be, they usually say “no.” This is a generous bunch, too. No matter how generous they’re being, they wish they could do more. Most of them feel they can’t give as much money as they want to because they aren’t making enough.

And that totally sucks. Because when you think of yourself as a generous person, but you aren’t being as generous as you want to be, you feel stuck. Your hands are tied. And you might even feel powerless.

Instead, realize that generosity isn’t just about money. It can be so much bigger than that. It’s time to get creative about how you express generosity. Maybe it’s spending a little more time with someone or giving a potential client (who is overwhelmed or in a hurry) fewer options to make things easier. It could be sending a note in the mail or offering some timely advice to someone who really wants it. It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about being generous with what you do have, with what you love to do, and with what you’re good at doing.

Instead of feeling like you can’t give the way you want to, ask yourself, “What do I already have that I can give away?” Once you start looking, you’ll never run out of new ways to be generous.

If you want to find out how being creatively generous in business can make you a magnet for top-tier brides, sign up for the free teleclass (live on Wednesday, October 23, 2013) I’m co-hosting with Kathy DalPra from Bride Appeal at http://brideappeal.com/generous.

 

What are you doing for Kindness Week 2013?

I was talking with my friend Derek about how it can be so easy to feel frustrated and powerless when we spend too much time thinking about world issues. After all, things like government corruption and human trafficking just seem so overwhelming. It feels like there’s nothing we can do.

But there are always things we CAN do. And when we feel empowered to do something, we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and we take action to help others. We make the world a better place, as much through being empowered (instead of embittered) as through helping. Anyway, I typed in the website “WhatYouCanDo.com” not knowing if it existed or not. And it does. And as luck would have it, they’re celebrating Kindness Week right now. Here’s more from the founder of What You Can Do:
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Make Your Heart A Magical Kitchen

funny-dog-kitchenIn Don Miguel Ruiz’ book, The Mastery of Love, he describes the magical kitchen. You can read the full excerpt here. He likens the heart to a magical kitchen, capable of producing any kind of food we could want. If somebody shows up offering us pizza if we do whatever they ask, we’re not interested. We’ve got better pizza (and a million other kinds of food) in the kitchen already. But if we are hungry, we will all-too-quickly accept the offer. When it comes to love, some of us trade our free will just to have a little.

He tells us we don’t need to go out and get love. It’s right there inside of us.

So what does that mean for the wedding entrepreneur and what does it have to do with fearless, authentic generosity?

Too many of us make decisions in our business (or life) based on wanting to be liked. No, needing to be liked. We over-discount or work ourselves to death (or pretend to be someone we’re not at a networking event), thinking it is out of generosity, or because of our impressive work ethic or politeness, when (maybe) the truth is we’re doing it to be liked. Here’s a quick way to test it out: the next time you feel compelled to discount, think about NOT doing it. Are you afraid of losing the sale? Afraid of being thought of as stingy or profit-hungy? There’s a big difference between choosing to do something because we want to and feeling as though we need to do something. Because if you need to do it, you’re trapped.

All the love you need is already available to you. If you believe in God or anything bigger than us, I think that’s where love begins. You are more than enough. You don’t need to do anything to be worthy of love. And when you see that, you can give and give and give. Not because you need to, but because you want to.

Where in your life have you been basing decisions on your need to be liked (or your need for love, affection, success, etc.)? What’s it costing you?

When you bend to the will of others to gain their affection (or business), they control you. You deserve better. Remember that you always have a choice. Choose well.

Are you a good customer?

ohyoucloseSometimes business owners grumble about needy clients who ask for way too much, endlessly talk down the price and demand an instant response to their emails, even at 3am on a Monday. Hey, I’d grumble about that, too. Some of those business owners, though, aren’t exactly ideal customers, themselves.

I suspect that some business owners are attracting demanding, price-centered clients because, when it’s their time to buy, that’s exactly who they turn into. The next time you’re the customer, pay attention to how you treat the person you’re considering buying from.

Where do you fall on the customer-quality scale? How do you treat your suppliers? How about the cashier at Starbucks or the grocery store?

If you’re a bad customer (and you don’t want to be), choose to be a great customer. In my experience, customers who are friendly and compassionate end up paying less in the end than customers who think they have to be dicks to get the best deal. And, when they’re business owners, they also tend to get clients who are just as great to work with.

Be the kind of client you want. And see what happens.