OHHHH…THE QUESTIONS I GET ASKED…

Since I get all these questions from people, I thought it might be fun to do a bit of a Q&A here, so you get to see the questions being asked as well as my answers to it.

So here goes….part 1! Part 2 of the Q&A session will be crafted in a week or two which leaves room for YOU to send me any and ALL the endearing questions you can think of!

This should be fun! :)

Q: Can I try out your coaching and then pay afterwards?
A: No. I’m running a business, not a charity.

Q: Can you guarantee any results?
A: No. I’ve worked with a lot of different people now and the one thing I learned is that most people don’t actually do the work. If you don’t do the work, you won’t get the results.
If you do the work, you’re WELL ahead of the game, BUT there could be a whole array of factors that might prevent you from getting the results you’re after (inconcistency, lack of resources, mindset bullshit, etc.).

Q: If you could spare a couple of minutes, I would like to know how I can build a responsive list?
A: I can’t give you the full take on what it actually takes to build a quality list in just a couple of minutes.
First of all, you need to WHO you want to attract and KNOW HOW you’re going to attract them as well as HOW you’re going to PERSUADE them into JOINING your list.
Then you need to have a STRATEGY in place as to WHAT you’re going to sell them and HOW.
And I’m not even mentioning the frequency of emailing them, giving them what they want and asked for, etc.

Q: Is copy REALLY that important?
A: In my opinion it’s THE most important thing, since copy is the one thing you need for almost EVERYTHING, whether it’s for the copy on your website, your sales page, your opt-in page, your FB ads, your freemium, your social media posts, and everything else copy related.

Q: Is copy something that I can outsource?
A: Yep. But you wouldn’t want to outsource that UNTIL YOU YOURSELF KNOW how to write fucking great copy. Why? Couple of reasons:

1. Hiring a GOOD copywriter can cost you thousands of dollars.
2. YOU know your audience (or at least you should) better than anyone else.
3. NO ONE can write in YOUR voice, since you’re unique. They can come close to it, yes, but they can’t replace it (not something you would even want, right?).
4. If your copywriter decides to leave you hanging, you’re FUCKED big time, because all of a sudden you have to write your own copy OR you have to find someone who can do a proper job, which a. is gonna take time and b. is going to cost you a whole lot of ka-ching.
5. As my mentor Kat Loterzo once said: you should know how to clean your own toilet, meaning you should know how to do everything in your business yourself, so you can pick it up if needed (related to #4).

Nutshell version:

No, I’m not going to coach you for nada, I can’t give you guarantees and you SHOULD know how to write persuasive copy yourself.

And YES, I can help you with that!

How? Get on my list NOW (here: www.melissahottinga.com), because the announcement of HOW I can help you with your copy will be revealed to you in a couple o’ days. And it’s going to be a SWEET deal fo sho.

Get your ass over there!

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The ONE mistake even experienced business owners make.

The mistake I’m referring to here is PEOPLE PLEASING.
Let me share with you how I come to this.
Last Monday a group of 18 people joined me in my “Social Media Smart Talking” challenge. (Stay tuned, because something VERY valuable and VERY affordable – VERY! – is just 10 or so day aways from you, but you have to join my list in order for you to see it first).
Today I removed 5 of them, leaving us at 13.
Why?
Because they weren’t committed.
How do I know?
They read the excercises (in a small FB group you can still see who has seen the post) but didn’t do them.
Why do I care?
Well, for one I am giving away MASSIVE value and only want to give it to those who actually value it.
Secondly, I’m not doing it to be “liked” or to be “approved of”.
I do it to help them AND me. They’ll learn skills that no one can take away from them, ever. And I’ll learn, by providing this for them, how I can serve my crowd even better.
Far too many times I see people trying to please other people at the expense of themselves.
I used to do this also so I know the expense is high.
Today I don’t really care anymore what they *might* think of me, because I know the right audience will GET it, GET me. I know I don’t have to explain myself ONE BIT to them. They’ll know. They’ll understand.
When I embraced this, everything became so much EASIER, felt so much LIGHTER, more in FLOW, and most importantly more ME.
I’ve never been shy to state my opinion, speak my mind, even when at times I knew there was a certain risk or consequence by doing so. It’s funny how I “separated” myself from what I believe to be a GREAT personality trait when it came to my business.
Vitamin C+I learned through the school of hard knocks that I AM MY BUSINESS.
ONLY the people who like ME AND THE WAY in which I do what I do, will do business with me. The ones that don’t, probably won’t.
I consider that a good thing.
I don’t consider it a lost in sales.
If I would, I know that eventually it’s a lost of who I am as a person.
For me, the bigger picture of this thing we call “life” is to become the person we were meant to be all along.
By having embraced this a while ago, I’m now a step closer to that fuller version of me.
Have to say, it feels PRETTY DANG GOOD!
So, how did I actually get here? You know, the place, where you don’t give much fucks anymore?
Through failure.
Failing at knowing who my “avatar”, “ideal client”, “target market”, whatever you wanna call it, was.
Failing at knowing my VALUE.
Failing at honoring my boundaries.
Failing at ONLY looking at myself instead of comparing myself to others.
Failing at so many damn things.
BUT OH MEN…
The lessons that it taught me…priceless.
I would fail at every single one of them again to get to this point.
Ever had someone say to you “everything that you’re experiencing at this moment, is exactly what you need”?
I read this sentence many a time. I believed it. I experienced it and I am still experiencing it.
Will probably keep on experiencing it until the day I’m send to my grave.
You will too.
So no worries, mate.
You’ll experience EXACTLY what’s needed for YOUR life’s process.
Only thing you need to be doing is to keep on doing 😉
xo Melissa
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The Piano Matchmaker

I wanna tell you a little story. It’s about a woman and her piano.

This woman was a great pianist. She had studied at the very prestigious Julliard, a conservatory for the performing arts and a promising career was set out for her.

Until the day she went skiing and hurt her hand. She was not to play the piano for a couple of weeks, the doctor said.

And as weird as it sounds, a huge weight fell off her shoulder.

She felt RELIEVED.

She then knew having a career as a pianist was NOT the path for her in this life.

BUT…

The piano has ’till this day, 30 years later, stayed in her life, but in a different way than everyone, including herself, expected it to be.

Today, she is “The Piano Matchmaker” and has been named one of the 10 greatest salespersons of all time by Inc.

Let other's talk about you.In an interview she did with Ramit Sethi, she emphasized the importance of REFERRALS.

She went on saying that it’s one thing to talk about yourself and your expertise, but it’s another thing for OTHER’S to talk about you and your expertise.

Absolutely true.

There are a couple of way to go about this.

There are the easier routes of, for example, getting client’s testimonials (whether written or in video format) but there’s also the way of seeking media (newspapers, (online) magazines, tv, radio).

The thing with media is that it creates instant credibility for your brand.

And you just never know what can come out of that…

To strengthen this point, let me tell you that Erica Feidner, the woman behind “The Piano Matchmaker” received an excellent piece in The New Yorker. That piece alone got her a book deal, a movie proposition by Disney, LOADS of new clients, and much more.

Just this one piece.

I’m not here to say you have to do X or Z, I’m just letting you know the power this medium can hold and I have to believe that you, my reader, are an intelligent creature and so I know that you will do good with this little nugget of info.

Go forth, make my day.

xo Melissa

P.S. If you read this and think to yourself “All great, Melissa, but how the fuck do I go about this? I don’t even know what to say or write to my OWN audience.” Then join my list here: www.melissahottinga.com ‘cause VERY soon I’ll be making you an offer you can’t refuse. But ONLY to the people on my list (well for the first 24 hours that is, after that the offer will hit the land of Facebook, but there’s only so many people who can take me up on the offer).

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Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

What am I even saying here?

Allow me to clarify.

I’d rather have people drop from my list like meatballs were dropping from the sky in the movie “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” than lurkers staying on it which is costing me moolah.

I come to this because of the unsubscribing of a former client and I wanted to tell you how that affected me.

It didn’t. It didn’t affect me one bit. Ha!

Was I surprised? Hell to the fuck yes.

But it didn’t AFFECT me.

If this had happened 2 months ago, I would have felt a little bit hurt. I would probably also had felt a little used.

You see, this particular client was someone who came with a lot of baggage and I’ve learned the hard way that these may not be the clients you want to take on.

First of all, most of these people seem to find comfort in the extra kilos they’re carrying around in this world and have a hard time letting it go. This results in consuming LOTS of information, but not actually IMPLEMENTING ANY of it.

Not good for them nor for your business.

Second, I felt a HUGE responsibility for this person’s success.

So much so that I tended to reply IN DEPTH to her LONG emails, hoping that she would “get” it and that she would be on her way to success. Of course, she never did.

But…what I also did was continuing coaching her even after she emailed me saying that she couldn’t pay the third installment. I told her that I wasn’t in a hurry to receive payment from her and that I wanted her to finish her package with me NOW rather than later since we had build momentum. So I offered her to pay me whenever she was in the position to do so.

Still waiting for that payment to come through 😉

These were my mistakes and I take full responsibility, BUT now that YOU know you have no excuse to make these same mistakes.

Value your time. Value your knowledge. Value your service. And most importantly, value your VALUES!

Value your time. Value your knowledge. Value your service. And most importantly, value your VALUES!

And honestly, the reason for her unsubscribing can have many reasons, and the best thing is, none of them are personal. I’m just thankful she gave me inspiration for the topic of today’s post.

Anyway, I’ve had a LOT of unsubscribers this past month. Probably because I’ve been emailing much more than I used to, but these days I’m honestly a bit ecstatic when I see people unsubscribing, because I KNOW that the people who will stay are the ones who are most likely going to stick with me for a long time.

I also know that by doing this I’m actually creating a much better quality list.

I know of someone who has close to 20K people on their list, but their sales rate is close to ZERO.

I also know of someone who has a list of not even a 1000, but their sales rate is a little over 3% (which is pretty fucking good!).

Now let me ask you, which of these would yo rather have?

Right! It’s simple, the tinier yet better converting list.

In all honesty THAT is the only thing that really matters, your sales rate.

NOT your open rate.

NOT your click rate.

ONLY your sales rate.

xo

PS: We’re just one day away from learning how to kill it online with your business through writing content that people enjoy reading. And there is still room for you, if you want. You know the drill, hit reply here or pm me in the land of Facebook. Again, not a penny is involved.

 

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Email Lists

3.4% unsubscribe rate!

That’s what you get when you email a cold list. 😉

No worries, I don’t have any attachment to it.

No “am I good enough”, “what will people think of me”, “shall I just stop sending emails altogether”, or more of that nonsense.

It is what it is.

To be honest, whenever someone unsubscribed from my list in the past, it did absolutely trigger me. Knowing that it didn’t trigger me now, shows me how much I’ve evolved.

Also, I’ve been unsubscribing from a lot of lists myself lately and it really didn’t have anything to do with the person behind the list.

It’s just that I don’t want to wake up anymore to an inbox full of emails that I know I won’t have time to actually read.

So, for whoever is on my list still, thank you and be prepared to receive many more of those awesome emails from good ol’ Melissa 😉

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

xo Melissa

P.S. Not on my list yet? Why in the world not? Get your ass over here: www.melissahottinga.com and sign up!

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Is Working from Home Working?

Alright, our Christmas tree is up, my car is thoroughly cleaned (it took me 1,5 hour…don’t even get me started on how dirty the thang was), the kid is at daycare, and I’m at home working.

Even if the kid insists that I don’t do work. Only daddy does work, and of course, the people at his day care. But not mommy.

I honestly think he asks himself why he even gets dropped at day care when I, in his opinion, just fart around the house.

The funny thing is, I think a lot of people think that about the entrepreneur that works from home.

They don’t really *get* what it is we’re actually doing. And once we start explaining, they get it even less.

It’s ok though, as long as WE know what we’re doing that is.

And we should.

We should really know what we’re doing, what our long-term AND short-term goals are, what our strategy behind of all it is, and then measure our results along the way.

working from homeOnce we do, we could care less about what others *think* we do. We instead SHOW them what we do.

And frankly, I don’t even mind that my son doesn’t think I work. I mean, how GREAT is that?

Let me roll it out for ya…

He doesn’t think I work, even though I do work, and probably will in his own way babble that shit to others, who then also think I don’t work, while as said before…I actually do work, so no one really gets what I’m doing and then all of a sudden, like freaking out of the blue, there comes Melissa…as a complete overnight success.

It’s probably also the reason for all of these “overnight successes” that we get “spammed” around with.

And then finding out it actually took them a bit of time to get there 😉

Isn’t it fun how a 2 year old might set something like this in motion?

I think it is.

Anyway, my babble for the day.

Back to work it is.

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I’m the Person Your Parents Warned You For…

I’m the Person Your Parents Warned You For…

^^^ Will come back to this in just a sec.

I just logged into my LinkedIn account and because of my background in law I automatically get linked to attorneys and the like. Because I thought I recognized someone I clicked on her profile. Turned out it wasn’t the person I thought it would be.

However, when I looked at the right side of the page I saw all of the possible people I might know because I clicked on her profile.

Let me visualize it for you.

Some 10 or so people all wearing the same dull, black, corporate suit…whether combined with trousers or a skirt…. Oh, and hair as smooth as a Tupac lyric. Talk about not standing out from the crowd.

Probably one of the many reasons why I didn’t pursuit a career in law – other reasons being the long hours, the endless paperwork, values that get crushed, etcetera.

Anyway, this not standing out from the crowd isn’t limited to the world of law, I see it everywhere.

Also online.

People trying to stand out from the crowd, but really are not.

Blowing with the wind, too afraid to speak their mind, or unleash their opinions, and therefore walking and talking like the mainstream.

BORING!

stand out from the crowdAnd really, who wants to buy from someone boring, someone who acts, talks, clothes like everybody else?

I don’t.

I’m always looking for the red dot among all the greys.

The one that stands out.

The one that has an opinion and who isn’t afraid to use it.

The one who breaks the “rules” and simply does not give a fuck that they do.

Whether it’s in business or in life.

Trust me, you’ll know when you get to meet some of my friends.

Mainstream? Not.at.all!

Boring? Think.again!

Rule breakers? Oh.yes!

I may even go as far as saying that I’m probably behind a lot of this, the one parents warn their children for lol.

In the end it always does work out in my favor, so I’ll keep continuing what I’m doing.

When will you stop bending towards the world and start OWNING every bit of you?

It will rock your world, your relationships, your beliefs, your life as you know it.

But it will also set you apart, make you more whole as a person, and it will probably be the start of a whole new era in your life.

Cool, right?

Question is, are you ready to stand out?

‘Cause if you are, make sure you’re also ready for the many people that you’ll attract. People who will then likely turn into customers.

And if this sounds like music to your ears, I’d be more than happy to help you get out of your own way and unleash the real you out into the world. I’ve got a couple of “tactics” for this and it really ain’t all that scary. It just takes practice and I’ll be happy to let you see AND experience how you can make these tactics a habit.

Interested to learn more? Cool, ‘cause I’ll be only taking 5 people to do a 90-minute session with and this is one of the final chances to get this specific session with me, as I’ll be taking it out of my services at the end of the year. Truth be told, it is quite expensive, but I do believe I’m worth it 😉

Read more about it here: http://bit.ly/1NBgWDl

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Strategy Sessions for 2016

I hate interrupting the festivities, but I believe I’m doing so for your own good.

2016 business strategySee, we’re only a few days away from 2016 and I know a lot of people who keep telling themselves “a new year, a new me” or “2016 is going to be MY year” WITHOUT actually setting themselves up for success!

Truth is, what we don’t schedule in, won’t happen…at least not regularly and consistently (which may I add is really the key to any success!).

So, even if you’re ahead of the game in comparison to most people and have actually thought about what you’re going to do different this year, what goals you’re aiming at, etc. YOU WILL FAIL at accomplishing whatever you’ve set out for yourself IF you don’t make room for it in your calendar NOW!

I don’t want to be harsh, I’m just telling you the way nature operates.

So if you want to defy the odds and show yourself and everyone else what you’re made out of, I suggest you use these last days of 2015 to smash the hell out of 2016.

And if you know you could use some help with coming up with a strategy for 2016, this Tuesday and Wednesday I have 3 spots open for a 90 minute session in which we’ll work one out together. I have to tell ya, I’m pretty rad with the stuff!

Book yours here.

That’s all yo!

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Santa’s Business Strategy

Heya!

I know it’s Christmas morning and you probably want to unpack all the Christmas gifts (I do too!) but I HAVE to tell you about Santa showing up at my door last night!!

He was bigger than I always thought.

He was more well-spoken than I always assumed.

And…he had a delicious sense of humor!

Of course I was baffled to actually meet the guy after all these years but I was also very curious what brought him to me in the first place. Especially with knowing how busy he was that night.

He told me that now that he’s getting older and slower he was looking for someone who could help him create a long-term strategy for his business.

He had heard stories of how I have given other business owners some pretty neat strategies and so he wanted to see if I could help him out.

Can you believe that?

So here’s what I told Santa:

1. Map out his ideal business night.
I told Santa that he first needed to be clear on where he wants his business to go.

2. Quit wanting to do everything himself.
I told him that, for example, the children wouldn’t know if it’s him or someone else bringing the presents. He should outsource that stuff.

And if he wanted to talk about what kind of things he could outsource and how to find the right people to delegate this to, he could book a 90-minute consultation with me here.

Told him that if he was interested he needed to book it before the end of this year, since I won’t be doing these in 2016.

3. Create systems and processes.
I told him he needed to write down what happens when they receive Christmas wish lists from the children.

What do they do next?

What’s their process from first receiving the wish list to delivering the present?

He should then have a honest look at what could be outsourced to others AND if he could create systems for specific parts of the process.

I told him it’s about working SMARTER, not HARDER.

4. Create a plan for the next 90 days.

I told Santa that now that he’s clear on where he wants his business to go, what he can outsource to others, and what he could possibly automate, he then should have a solid plan for his next 90 days.

This starts with getting clear on what goal(s) he wants to achieve during those 90 days and then scribbling down ALL the actions he needs to take in order to achieve that goal.

Once all the actions are known, he should schedule them in.

If he needed help with this, I could help him by having a VIP day together. He could find out more about the VIP Day I offer here.

5. Be flexible and adaptable.
Once he has followed through on his actions, he needs to look back and determine what worked and what didn’t and then tweak that.

I said there’s a whole process behind determining this and that it’s something I would go over during the VIP day.

And that’s it!

This is the advice I gave Santa.

We’ll see if he books a session or a VIP day with me.

I’ll keep you posted.

Now go unpack your presents!

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What Do I Write About this Time?

WTF DO I WRITE ABOUT THIS TIME???

^^^ Sounds familiar?

Probably does, as for most of us.

And it’s ok.

building trustI’m not even sure what I’m writing about right now or what this will evolve into. I’m just typing away to see what shit escapes my finger tips. Might be shit, might be quite the shit.

Either way, the most important thing is that you share “the struggle” transparently.

Let them see that even though it sometimes seems as if you’re the most natural writer, you too can experience writer blocks.

Let them see that even if you just write for fuck’s sake that it’s still possible to create content that others will enjoy.
And let them see that you too don’t always have a plan in place.

Bottom line is to let your audience see that you too are far from perfect, just like them.

That’s when they will start to trust you.
“Ahh, she’s just like me.”
“If she can do this, I can too.”

And the truth is that you are and that you can.
Sometimes all it takes is to “just start”, just like I did now.
And sometimes it’s exactly what is needed for a little portion of magic to happen.
I’m waiting to see what magic you come up with today.

xo Melissa

P.S. Want more of this nonsense and heck even some solid know-how, then make sure you get on my list here: http://bit.ly/1Q4PBPA

Plus, from time to time I do give away some pretty amazing stuff…enough said, right!

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