Three Beliefs About Fee Agreements That Will Stop Your Spiritual Coaching Business Cold

How many talented coaches out there share this belief? And how much energy and money are they losing because of it?

As a full time practicing lawyer for eleven years I worked with businesses (large and small) who had tons of legal work done – in that environment it was easy to take their agreements for granted because they nearly always had them.

What does your agreement say… was the first question for clients who came to us afraid they wouldn’t get paid for their work.

Before working with a spiritual business coach, I had no clue that spirituality existed in business. The very idea of it would have been comical. Outlandish. Silly. Way too soft.

Fortunately my business coach is as business savvy as she is spiritual (she uses a fee agreement with her clients), so I saw right away how the two go hand in hand.

How the spiritual allows a coach to do deep transformational work with her clients and how the legal agreement grounds that on a solid foundation. I believe that no coach or service based professional can have one without the other.

Sure it’s possible to limp along with one missing, but where’s the fun? The transformation? The sense of purpose? The money? The chance to make a real and lasting difference?

There are three core beliefs I’ve identified over the years that connect to coaches and service based business owners not having strong, legally viable fee agreements backing them up in their business.

Belief #1: I’m Not Good Enough

What it looks like: You have years of experience in your field, backed by an advanced degree(s), and you receive positive feedback from clients. You’re respected by your peers and are often asked to contribute to exciting projects that you genuinely believe in. All while knowing your business has a purpose that’s aligned with who you are and why you’re here on the planet.

Yet you can’t quite bring yourself to step up and have each and every client sign a legal agreement to work with you.

Result of believing you’re not good enough: You deal with too many clients flaking on you, wanting refunds, or blatantly ripping you off. You’re not making enough money to sustain your business and are afraid if something doesn’t change you’ll go under. I’ve been there!

Belief #2: Having a Legally Binding Agreement is not Spiritual

What this looks like: Your work is so personally meaningful to you that it feels sacred. You support clients to make huge transformations in their businesses and personal lives. You receive immense personal satisfaction from this work and there is no doubt in your mind that you’re guided by a higher power to do this work. You have a high intuitive sense that serves you well in nearly every situation.

You feel uncomfortable asking clients to honor the commitment to work with you by signing a binding legal agreement.

Result of believing that having a legally binding agreement is not spiritual: Clients don’t take your business seriously and know they can stop working with you whenever they feel like it with no consequences, no accountability, and ultimately no transformation.

Belief #3: I Can’t Afford (or can’t find) a Good Lawyer Who “Gets” My Business

What this looks like: You know your business needs a solid fee agreement. And you know the internet is not the best place to get one because you realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. Legal fees are expensive and you either haven’t had much experience with lawyers or you’ve tried, had a bad experience, and despair of ever finding a lawyer who “gets” your business and will truly be worth the investment. It (almost) feels better to wing it.

Result of believing that you can’t afford or can’t find a good lawyer: Too many clients want out of their commitment and you are at a loss as to how to hold them accountable, both practically and energetically. Every time you sign a new client on you feel an undercurrent of fear and “hope” that whatever you’re using for an agreement sticks. Coaching in high service from this place is really tough – if not impossible.

Do any of these beliefs ring true for you?

In future articles I will delve more deeply into each belief and give you tools and information about creating a fee agreement that fits your business and aligns with your beliefs.

SEO Strategies for Small Business

Remember when small business used the Yellow Pages as their only means of marketing? Now small business must use search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to keep on top of competitors.

A decade ago perhaps a website was enough for a small business to gain a competitive edge. Now having a website is only about half the equation. An effective online marketing strategy for small business needs so much more than a whiz bang website.

Lets take a look at some powerful SEO strategies that small business can use to get them ranked highly by Google and others, increase website traffic and convert leads to sales:
1. Are you using the right keywords: Research keywords well, place them strategically but don’t over do it.

2. Social media strategies: Use Facebook and Twitter for effective SEO but ensure that you are using these social media platforms for credibility and relationship building.

3. Blogging: Use keywords in your own blogs and blog on other relevant blogs to build your industry credibility and boost website traffic.

4. Search directories: Submit your site to Google, Yahoo, MSN AltaVista and other search engines.

5. Lots of content: Content is king and the key to effective internet marketing. A website that has good SEO usually has more than 5 pages. The more pages on your website the more chance you have lots of keywords working well for you. Don’t forget to use images for SEO.

6. Link Building: One of the most effective SEO strategies there is. The key is to get linked by popular and credible websites which does great things for your SEO.

7. Forums: Post interesting content on relevant industry online forums and use a signature block with a link to your website.

8. Online articles: Another effective SEO strategy. HubPages, InfoBarrel, EzineArticles are just some article platforms which allow you to write interesting material related to your business and link back to your website.

9. Ad campaigns: Obviously there is Google AdWords, and Facebook as popular online advertising platforms. But again some work is required to pick the right keywords.

10. Answers: You can use Yahoo and WikiAnswers to answer questions relating to your business and this can be a great way to achieve SEO through trust marketing.

These are some of the many ways to achieve SEO for your small business website. There are many other strategies available to get your website up the search engine rankings. What is needed though is an appreciation that online marketing takes a concerted and consistent effort. Yes this means that time needs to be invested into a solid and synchronised online marketing campaign that is designed to generate leads which convert to sales.

Many small businesses have fallen into a trap of using off site marketing e.g. social media, to spam their target market. This just results in frustration and sometimes anger.

Small businesses must recognise the power of building rapport through trust marketing which results in the consolidation of your expertise. Only then will people enjoy receiving posts and tweets from you that directly promote your products and services.

Small businesses can really ramp up their online presence by way of tailored and specific online marketing consulting. This way they are getting the right information tailored just for their business. Want the inside secrets to powerful and profitable online marketing?

5 Simple Tactics to A Successful Online Business

With around 277 million people worldwide connected to the internet, it isn’t hard to tell why there are so many internet businesses developing and emerging overnight. Even though there are numerous ideas and services offered online, most businesses just lack simple tactics and business strategies taken to make them successful.

By developing and following tips and guidelines, it is possible to use the internet to develop a strong market, but to also, create higher conversion rates, maximize search engine optimizations, and create loyal customers all with a few simple steps.

Create a Name

One of the most elementary steps of having a successful business is creating a captive domain name. You must create a domain name that is unique, original, and most importantly, memorable. Once the marketing and advertising has created a buzz for your business, be sure to create a website that potential customers can remember and best reflects your product.

Website Layout

Once you have generated a unique and memorable domain name, it’s now time to get to work! The layout of your website then determines the staying power of your product. It is possible to have a great product and excellent customer care, but if a website is deemed difficult to understand, or hard to navigate, you can lose potential customers just as fast as you have gained visitors. Be sure to include clear and concise information that has a definitive call to action from your visitors.

Also, make all contact information visible and easily accessible. By having a simple layout, you eliminate any levels of confusion for first time visitors keeping their attention, and possibly turning them into customers. Test the website out with close friends or associates that are willing to give you honest and helpful feedback. One rule of thumb: if your associate needs a help button, then it’s back to the drawing boards!

Promote, Promote, Promote

The promotion of your site can be done in multiple effective ways. With today’s technology, it seems that the internet is a given to promoting an online business, but why stop there? The key to successful promotion is knowing your target audience and placing carefully selected ads in relevant places. For example, if you have an excellent coffee product that you offer, it would be smart to advertise in herbal stores, and places that sell coffee. Although we know live in a digital age, the power of fliers, word of mouth, and other crafty ideas still provide effective ways of promotion. Giveaways, contests, and cross marketing are all excellent ways to provide a sample of your services to invest in a potential customer as well.

Your Online business and Social Network Sites

Now that you have a unique web address, and easy-to-use web layout, it is time to bring traffic. By using other social networking sites, such as Facebook and twitter, you can not only cross promote your website, but use these platforms as a means to create other pages promoting your business. Linking all of your website information to these sites, can increase traffic and turn visitors into customers. The more promotion done via Facebook groups and fan pages, the higher your chances of spreading your product to a larger audience and possibly increasing future, loyal customers.

Find a Mentor

Although having an effective plan, and implementing groundbreaking ways to promote your product, and advertisement equals a good start, it is always smart to confide in someone who has already walked that path. Find someone who has tried and succeeded in your field of interest. The valuable advice, can go a long way to your success and also, help you avoid pitfalls and common mistakes.