Are You Online Yet?

It’s another day in our week of helping coaches rock the coaching world. I thought about this week after realizing my wife is set on catching all of the Olympic events she can. If you are watching the games in London this week, they are something that takes over the world every 4 years. If you love it, you watch. Many work to get there in person.

But on TV, you can see the relationships between the coaches and those competing. It shows the value of coaching, from the coach who worked with them for years to get to this point to the team members who are coaching and encouraging along the way.

The team members learn coaching because many of those competing will be back in years to come as they get older, coaching those who come after them. Like the many who contact me about how to build the coaching business, they are following after me and I want to help them succeed by showing them the mistakes I made and helping clients learn from them.

So in our week of how I help coach the coaches, it’s important to understand that we will help more coaches, and once those we coach succeed, they might actually be able to offer coaching to others as well. I know to the many competitive careers out there it sounds like we are pushing to get more and more out to coach.

Well, we need more people to make this world better, and if more successful people would offer coaching programs to help, we could build many more successful businesses and organizations. Part of what Donald Trump is doing with his “Apprentice” show is helping to train others to build themselves to success, as well as building his company to a stronger place.

Now we take it to the practical level of where to grow your coaching. Yesterday I shared how we need a program to help others. Now we need a place to share it. We need an online presence.

I built an online presence for my coaching programs before I ever stepped out to meet people. So here are the places you need to be online to start your coaching:

1. Start with a website or a blog. You can start out with some of the free sites to get going and build from there. I started with a blogspots and WordPress.com site. WordPress.com had an option for me to take the domain name and make it look like a real site. But building a blog and posting on a regular basis is the first thing you need. Be sure to get the domain name that matches where you want to go, but also get [your name].com. Getting Rockerlifecoach.com was the first thing I did to set the position of brand I wanted to build from.

2. Get on the social networks. Once you have the domain name and the business name, you can build a Twitter name, a Facebook fan page and a YouTube channel. All of these are places that you will need to build a following to get people to go back to read your site and blog posts. I know speakers and coaches who try to build a coaching business with an online presence, but you need to have some footprint in the online world for others to easily find you.

3. Get an email system. There are many of these out there from the A-Webber, Constant Contact, iContact. I used Mail-Chimp to get started because they have a free version that you can use until you build a list of people. You will need this to email as sending individual emails out can become long and hard to do and you will look like a spammer if it’s done wrong. You want a system where people can find you and know you are running a real business.

4. Online media. So many create things on other sites like E-zine and radio shows like Blogtalk Radio. These are great places to get yourself online to build a presence and get your name known. I am just now starting the online radio show; it comes with some work, as you need to find guests and topics to talk about each week. That scares so many but once you get it started you will see followers coming.

The online presence it a big thing in our internet world. I encourage many forms of online activity for my clients. I started with a blog and social sites like Facebook and Twitter. When I met online training people like Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff, they worked to help me with LinkedIn. Then I started to follow people who taught me video, like Lou Bortone and Frank Kern. They said “you need to be on video,” so I built a YouTube channel. Now I’m working on a radio show from what Craig Duswalt taught me.

Each of these parts is needed to help build a world of attraction to get your message out. Over the next two days I will share how getting out to meet people face-to-face works to build your business more. In each of these steps you should be attracting new clients.

RockStarTim Gillette is the Creator of The Rock’N’Roll Keys to Business Success, using music, motorcycles and mentorship to create Entrepreneurs who lead. To find out more about upcoming webinars sign up here .  Free Online Training that Rocks.

Clean Up and Clean Out Week

This week I am traveling to San Francisco and will be in meetings most of the time I’m gone so before I left I wanted to have a theme nailed down and have a good start on a week of posts.

I have wanted to use this theme about cleaning up and cleaning out life for a while and I believe this is the perfect time to do it with Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday coming up this week. New Orleans is a huge Mardi Gras location just down the road from us, so to speak. And, of course, Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which is important in the Catholic Church as well as many Protestant Churches as a season of preparation.

Thinking of the practices that go on during Lent and the actual idea behind it, I wanted to use this, not to say that Lent is about cleaning out, but in a time of fasting or self-denial in the name of introspection, it’s a good thing to show ourselves that we can actually do without certain things in our lives. In a world that is now telling us that we need to get as much as we can, I believe that no matter what it is – time, money, space, things, whatever – in your life you only have room for so much. Every now and then we should clean out and make room for what is needed or what is better for our future.

So this week I’m going to list some things I learned to clean out of my life over the past few years, then share how they opened up room for other blessings or for what brought me success in a way that I believe is better. I have spent the past few weeks looking over what others have written and on this particular subject I am going to share with you some of my own opinions as well as my stories.

My very first post on this blog was about spending 30 minutes to clean my garage; the object of that blog was to find some way to simply get started on what you wanted to do. The biggest thing you need to do is start. Maybe you feel like I have felt in the past, that you need to clean out some things, but did not know where to start. Well that was my very first blog: how to get started.

This weekend I actually went even further by cleaning up my Twitter account. As I built a Twitter following, I did not use any of those programs designed just to pick up followers. Instead I used the practice I do in all things where, little by little, I tell those I know what I’m doing and ask them to share. Well, through that process, I now get between 10 and 20 new followers a day. But my key is not to just have followers; it’s to build relationships. To do that I had to do some cleanup work because I was following many of those people simply because they followed me I followed back. But these weren’t necessarily people with active accounts or people who matched up with my Twitter goals.

To clean up I used a very simple process. It begins with the fact that Twitter is a conversation; the people I was following needed to be saying things I wanted to hear on a regular basis. Well I cleaned out those who really were not saying much, some have not said anything in over a year. The point was I got started with some of the cleanup work that was needed and within an hour that task was done. Imagine what you are putting off cleaning and ask yourself, “If I just got started, how long would it really take?”

So to get started, make a list of the things you need to clean and go through, then devote a small amount of time each day to doing it. Just like I mentioned in my first blog, take just 30 minutes on one task and before you know it, little by little it will be done. What needs to be cleaned to make room in your life?

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream to love what you do and those you share life with. Clean up the things not needed to make room for the RockStar life you want.

The Social Network

Good Friday morning. Our week dedicated to making a blog that matters has come down to its last day. With this week’s theme, it is my hope that some of you take steps towards a new writing career. That was where I started, and I have talked to many others who are starting the same way.

To wrap up our week I wanted to talk about some other ways to get traffic to your blog and to get your message out without sending a spam email to thousands of people you don’t know just hoping to get a few more readers. I want to tell how I got into the use of social networking and the people who helped me do it. It started back in 2005 when I found the MySpace website and learned I could host my own page. I was not sure what value this thing was; I just thought it was cool.

In 2008 my pastor at church, as a project for one of our sermon series, challenged us all to get on facebook and develop a conversation about what we were learning in the series. So it began. It was there that I was able to connect with everyone from family to old friends in the many different parts of the country. I was able to connect with one or two people I attended high school with and that led to information on our reunion. I tell all this because at that point the only vision I had for facebook was to connect with friends.

So in 2009, while working to expand an IT software company, I scheduled a meeting with an old friend. That friend, J.R. Atkins, said something really important. He said the best way to expand our business would be through social networks. All I knew about social networks at the time was facebook (which I used only for connecting with friends and family) and LinkedIn. I had heard of others, like Friendster, so I asked J.R.to explain to me the value of these social media in growing business and I was soon hooked. It didn’t take long for me to see the potential value in this media.

In 2010 when I was starting Rocker Life Coach, I participated in a webinar with Eve Mayer Orsburn. She mentioned the social network of Twitter. I expanded to that with a screen name of @rockerlifecoach. It gave me a platform to share, but I was still not sure how it was going to work.

Eve mentioned that I needed to create a page on LinkedIn as well. I did, but was not able to do much with it as it was a professional site and I was more in with the non-professional side; I was more focused on personal relationships with people.

It was not until I met the LinkedIn trainers, Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff (the LinkedIn RockStar and LinkedIn Diva), that I began to see the potential in LinkedIn. Mike taught me how to set my page up to look the part for who I was and what I wanted to use if for. If you are connected with me on LinkedIn, you will see a change to my profile soon because Mike and Lori are in town on business and they are staying with us so we will be spending more time working together to improve my LinkedIn profile.

So that’s the short story of how I got into the different kinds social networks. Here is what I now use them for: I have a fan page on facebook and a Twitter account. I have a tool to tweet the title to my blog each day along with a link. It also tweets three times a day with old posts. I find three to four pictures and post these to give people motivation and hope in life. I use all networks to share small quotes and motivational sayings each day.

My strategy is to offer people helpful information for free, then offer them a chance to find out more with links to my blog page where they will find further opportunities to link to other helpful sites. These great tools create a network of tweeted ads for me.

It’s a great thing when you help someone and they tell you that you helped; but it’s better when others use these tools to share your message with their friends. Through these networks people are putting together groups of friends and acquaintances, making chat boards, as a group of us recently did so we could talk and prepare for the memorial service for our friend Curt when he passed in a bike wreck a few months back. Our speaker’s group and other network groups all connect through facebook groups.

Social networks are a tool and using the tool to help build a business like mine is a great thing. You get to pass on those positive things in life and share your writing with others when you want to get the word out.

That brings our week to a close. You can find out more about these social media tools and how they can help you connect. J.R. Atkins helps train others to use social media. Eve Mayer Orsburn has a social media company that helps others by showing them the many ways they can use social media in their businesses. You can connect with Mike and Lori at Integrated Alliances. They work with large companies training their employees on how to use LinkedIn effectively.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream to love what you do and those you share life with. Use social media in a way that matters and be the RockStar in your world.

Social Media and the RockStar Professional

 Good Monday morning to you. It’s the last full week in the month of November and for those who are in the working world, it is a short week. I wanted to gear our week around a topic of RockStar professionals. The idea for professionalism with the RockStar twist came to me a few months ago. Gwynne had been on my case to change the voicemail message for our business line. The fact that I am a fan of the movie, The Big Lebowski, had prompted me to have the message that Jeff Bridges’ character had in the movie: “The Dude is not here. Leave a message after the beep.” It was a tag line and if you knew me, that is how you would expect to hear me talk on my phone line. But was it professional enough for my business? Gwynne didn’t think so and I ended up changing it to something that kept my character but sounds more professional.

So this week we are going to cover four areas about a RockStar image and using things in a RockStar way. Today I want to cover the idea of using social media. There are some things I believe we simply should not do in this medium to be professional. This is a world media that can reach thousands, even millions of people. Even the “expert” Ashton Kutcher makes a mistake from time to time.

The idea of the professional use of these channels of media in a cool, RockStar way, while remembering how they look on our brand, on our name, or even our business is important.  Last week, I watched a business owner in the Dallas area make remarks from his personal facebook account on a group page with a lot of members who are also personal friends with each other. Within this group, it stirred a large battle among the members. It made me think about how a business owner should and should not use a personal facebook page.

When you operate a business and are its face, you must work to serve your customers – all of them. That often means making decisions about whether or not to reveal your personal life and opinions in an open forum – such as in social media avenues like facebook. When you express personal opinions on your business page, you run the risk of alienating some of your customers.

Last year I started to travel many miles with my business. It was also the time that I got more involved with the social media networking world. I learned I had to make my content on the web more professional. I also had to learn what to post and what not to post on a social sight. I did use the features on Foursquare and facebook to tell how I received bad service from two national service brands. When going into a franchise, most fast food and some other companies now have ways for you to fill out surveys online to tell what you thought of the service. Social media is better for that, as it’s a place where your info can get out to people. If it is wrong, many people will defend a place and the great service they had there.

So here are a few things to show professionalism in a new world of social media while still keeping your business unique and being true to your character.

1.  Never start an online fighting match with the customer, whether in your personal or business forum. The only thing this shows is that you are willing to argue a point. Too many times, we want to defend ourselves when someone puts us down. As a business or brand you never want to do this because it shows you to be childish. If a customer calls you out in a public forum and you feel you must reply, you should follow the exact same rule you would in the business itself: the customer is always right. You can apologize for their bad experience and invite them to come by to talk to you in person or call you so you can try to make it right. I think the best thing to do is to still send a private message to that person, tell them who you are and it was your company. Mention that you want to resolve the issue, maybe ask them to stop by again and tell you what went wrong. Doing this in private and resolving the problem to make them happy will give them a higher respect for your business or brand. Let them be the ones to put out how you helped them resolve a problem, praise works so much better when it comes from others not yourself.

2.  Never work to sell someone by talking down the competition. We all have those who we feel short cut the system on deals, competitors who took that big sale away from us. But you never want to make a public display of how they cut prices thinking that will somehow make you look better. Instead what you should do is build them up. Say, “Yes, they have a great sales process. If you choose to buy from them, see Charlie. I know him from an old place we worked together.” Then maybe tell them to come by and show you the great deal they got. Over the summer I bought a new bike from a salesman I knew. A week earlier I was at a sister dealership where my friend Bryan is a manager. When I told Bryan I got the new bike he told me, “That’s great. I’m glad you finally got it. You look good on it. Ride safe.” He was not upset. He’s watched me buy two new bikes, never one from him. Yet he is always excited to see me buying new ones and he knows I will buy again; he is making sure he is still someone I will think of when it happens.

3.  Always make yourself open to talk about problems. Maybe create a forum page or question page where you can ask customers to go on and tell you what they want to see improved bout your business. This is a great way to use the social media to get ideas, but also use it to ask customers, “What is the one thing you would like to see change at our business?” Make it so they can come to you with truth.

4.  Never hide behind your online profiles. I have met people who, when it comes to their business, use a business page to show a false image of who they are. A few years ago I watched the filming of a reality TV show. I had chosen not to be involved with it, even though I knew the group that was in the filming. I watched as the TV crews scripted an event for filming that showed two members of this group looking different from their true selves. It is so hard to change a false image about yourself or your business. In the world where we create uniqueness it’s time to show your true self.

5.  Separate your personal and business pages. I had a friend on LinkedIn tell me that she was a business connection to me, but was seeing too much of my personal life because, when I posted on Twitter, it copied to my LinkedIn page. Yes we are unique in what we do and we do things in different ways, but be professional when you need to be and personal when you need to be. It’s the personal life that will attract your friends to your business, but most of the time your business friends are there to do business. Let them ask to be a friend on your personal page instead of you asking them.

Take these short bits and make your business a better place by attracting new customers. The key about social networks is they are about building relationships. If you lose a sale and find out about it on facebook, take that info and work to build your relationship with that person – outside a public forum – so they will become a customer again. The only people buying for the last time are those buying coffins. And remember, they have family and friends who are still potential customers.

Social media has given us great ways to share life with those we can’t be with all the time. Use it to make your business better by sharing the great stuff and working to improve the stuff that went wrong. Use it to make your life better by separating your personal and business lives to keep your customers comfortable and your friends knowing the real you.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dreams, to love what you do and those you share life with. Be professional and build lasting relationships, both in your brick-and-mortar business and in your social media forums, to become the RockStar in your world.

Building your Network

Yes, it’s the middle of the week already. I hope you are finding the tools that are needed for your success. No matter what you choose to do in life, you will need tools to make it happen.  For 20 years of my working life, I was in the automotive field. I have worked in almost every part of the automotive industry. One of the things about this field is you always need new tools to be able to repair cars. It has been 13 years since I worked where I used the tools for repair as part of my daily work, and it has been seven years since I have used those auto tools in any way to make my living. An interesting thing about them is the basics are still there even though newer, high tech tools and different ways to use of them make them outdated. But the basics never get outdated.

I have the basic hammer, wrenches, sockets, and such. They are still the same; the ones I paid high dollars for can now be picked up at a local Sears or Lowes. They are basic and they never change. It’s like they are timeless. Well, today we are going to talk about something that is timeless in the tools of success.

A few years ago when starting over, I spent some time with a close friend of mine, Brian. He is the founder of Brian Kennedy Global. One thing he and I have discussed many times, both online as well as in person, was the age-old tool of networking. Now we have great tools out there to build our network, or list of people we work with and who work with us. But the idea of how to build and use a network of people has not changed even if the tools for putting together a network have changed.

Think about the last time you went to a networking event. What was the purpose of the event? Think about your list of those who follow you on Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media site. For years, going to your local event had a purpose of helping you find people who needed your product or service, while using others at the event as your sales team. The other part is you also become part of the sales team of the others at the networking group, by telling those people about a service you found, or telling the people providing the service about friends of yours who are in need of it. It’s a great system of people helping people.

What is changing in this great old-fashion tool? So many times people who are not professionals go to these events to collect as many business cards as they can and get home and start calling all the people to start the sales pitch. This same tactic is being used on Twitter and other social networks as well. My Twitter network grows at about 20 to 30 people each week. I choose not to be part of one of the great Twitter follower programs, but instead I build my network by finding people to build relationships with. What I find is people who are still just sending me smaller sales pitches, hoping that I’ll bite and look at their website, maybe even buy the product or service they are pushing.

The old part that makes a network of people grow is the part where we find the fit. I used to hate the sales person who was always trying to sell car insurance but forgot the most important question: do you own a car? You see, in the old world of networking, it was about building a relationship with the person, working to help them with connections you have for their product or service, then asking them for friends they may know who could use what you offer. In the relationship part, you know your friends, and would not just give a list of your friends to someone else to call about, say, car insurance. You would tell of your friends who you knew were dissatisfied with the car insurance they currently had. That takes the frustrating part out of connections that don’t benefit either party.

Now on my Twitter page, as I said, I get many new followers who follow me for one day and then send me eight or ten sales pitches with a link to whatever program they are trying to sell, or product they are working to push. If I do not buy, they stop following me. We all hate the spam emails – the ones that do the same thing, shoot you ten emails in a week with no great information, just a sales pitch.

So as we are in the middle of this week of tools of success, it’s time to ask: “Are you using your tools correctly?” Let’s go back to the automotive tools. If you know the difference between a regular and a Philips screwdriver, you may know you can use the regular flat if you work at it real hard to get a Phillips screw to turn, but why not get the tool that is meant for the job and stop frustrating yourself?

In the online networking field, in social media, or at local events, why not use the tools to make them work correctly and stop frustrating yourself? It’s time to start building relationships again, know the people you want to connect to. Currently I have a list of coaches who want to work with me. I love the fact that we will be working together some day in the future. We are not rushing into a joint deal with each other until the time is right. Some will become nothing more than a person I refer a client to because they specialize in an area I do not; with others, we will partner together and create events and programs. Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m getting to know them and build a relationship, just like I did with Gwynne. I urge you to build relationships, stop trying to just hand out as many business cards as you can or throw tons and tons of mud at the wall to find out what sticks. Get a plan to build with the people that you want to.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Start building relationships again and let the sales come naturally; soon you will be the RockStar in your world.

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