Feature Article: How to Profit From What Sets You Apart

Business Owner in the Spotlight
Lisa Stormes Hawker
BrainStormes Web Writing


Refueling Recommendations
Make-it-Fly® Advisory Boards
Advisory Board Openings

Make-it-Fly® MarketPlace

Next Make-it-Fly® Café

ISSN# 1552-3705

February 2, 2010
Volume 7, Issue 03

"In-Flight Refueling" is published twice a month.

Click here to read archived newsletters.

A Note From Dave & Victoria


Our past week has been packed with fun events. In addition to starting our 70th Advisory Board 101 last week, keeping up with Alumni Advisory Boards and designing new programs to help entrepreneurs, we continue using our pedometers to compete with one another daily to see who can take the most steps and get in the most walking exercise.



Last weekend we attended a surprise birthday party for a friend Victoria has known for ages. In addition to meeting friends, she got to see folks she hadn’t seen in years and years—it’s amazingly rewarding to re-connect, picking up again where you left off, reviewing memories of good times past and catching up life’s adventures. A wonderful way to celebrate another year and give friends a special treat!

Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each other
Don’t forget to mark the next Make-it-Fly Café on your calendar—Thursday, February 25, at The Wellshire Inn.

Our very best regards,

Dave and Victoria

P.S. Be sure to visit Victoria's blog and leave a comment or question.

Business Owner in the Spotlight

Lisa Stormes Hawker
BrainStormes Web Writing

Lisa Stormes Hawker knew from the age of eight that she would be a writer when she grew up. “Of course, I could never have foreseen how much media would change from the time I started pounding on an IBM Selectric,” she says. Her career has run the media gamut, beginning as a sports intern at Denver’s Channel 9 to public affairs director of a Denver radio station to editor of a national trade magazine, “And just about everything in between,” she says.

Lisa Stormes Hawker


Lisa’s work has won numerous awards, including one for general editorial excellence from the LPC. One of her novels won first place in the national Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Competition. Another was a finalist in the Delacorte Press First Young Adult Novel contest. She’s the “Conan” of “Fun with Conan the Grammarian,” an ezine, podcast and blog with helpful writing tips.

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about running your business?
LS: Writing has always been my passion. It’s a blast to listen to people’s stories and translate them to the page or computer screen in a compelling and entertaining way. Watching how technology has developed over the years has been fascinating and exciting. Now nearly everything I write is for the Internet, whether web copy, blogs, articles or press releases. The evolution of communication continues, and I get to be part of it. I also love the opportunity to learn about dozens of subjects—I’ve become something of an expert on subjects ranging from sheep ranching to OSHA regulations to NCAA swimming to CAD design. Plus I get to work from home and be there for my two daughters.

Q: What motivated you to start this business?
LS: I’ve been writing professionally since 1985. My first freelance assignment came from the Kansas City Business Journal. They wanted me to do a piece on the row of ethnic restaurants on Broadway in KC. I was happy to oblige. Since then I’ve been involved in almost every kind of media—radio, television, national magazine, public relations, video production.

Dave and Victoria suggested that I specialize in this (now not-so) new communication area. There’s a need for concise, correct, informative writing in blogs to clean up the blogosphere, which has plenty of junk in it.

Q: What book has been most helpful to you in your business?
LS: The EMyth Revisited, of course.

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
LS: My husband Andy, who has supported me through every venture I’ve undertaken.

Q: What has proved to be your most successful marketing strategy?
LS: Referrals are number one, but my websites have brought me business from all over the country.

Q: What have been the greatest challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing, in your business?
LS: Narrowing my focus. I’ve always been a big-picture person, always coming up with great new ideas. I end up adding everything together and instead of coming up with a tasty bouillabaisse, it turns into toxic waste.

Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
LS: My board has helped me work on my greatest challenge—narrowing my focus. They’ve helped me define my ideal client. The program itself has helped me to think about what I’m doing and decide whether I’m willing to do what it takes to take my business to the next level.

Q: What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
LS: I’ve been involved with Make-it-Fly® in one way or another for five years, and I have learned so much and met so many power partners, clients and friends that I can’t imagine my life without this organization. You must have the humility to listen to your board. We all need help, and admitting it and then receiving it will change your life.

Lisa Stormes Hawker can be reached by phone at: 720-289-8139, or visit her web site at: www.brainstormes.com.

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Dave Block, Co-Founder of Make-it-FlyDave’s Networking Nugget:

If you’d like to have a second conversation with someone you meet at a networking event in order to get to know him or her better, ask for a business card. As soon as it’s convenient, write on the back of the card:

  1. Any action item(s) you committed to
  2. Why you wanted to follow up with this person
  3. What you liked about the person that makes you want to have a second meeting. 
Then follow up within two days via note or email.

Feature Article

Victoria MunroHow to Profit From What Sets You Apart
By Victoria Munro

If you want to gain and keep good clients and boost profits, you must clearly understand and keep top of mind the benefits your products or services offer that set you apart from the competition.

Know Your Customer
Before you can begin to effectively communicate those benefits that set you apart, you must define your target customer as narrowly as you can. Then get to know how they think, and what’s meaningful and important to them. Understand the challenges they face in business and life that your products could solve. Ask yourself what problems they’ll gladly pay to resolve.

Identify Your Rivals
You also need to know who your competitors are and the products they offer that are similar to yours—their features, benefits, pricing, strengths and weaknesses.

Define Your Differentiators
From your target customers’ perspective, describe all your products’ benefits—those differentiators that set them apart. Make a list of all these differentiators and how they will directly affect your customers in positive ways to make their lives easier, or help them save time and/or money. Then go over the list again and delete any benefits that your competition could also claim. Use the remaining benefits to market and sell the products.

Note: Price shouldn’t be a differentiator. There will always be someone willing to sell for less. Plus, price-driven customers may not be the kind you want.

You can learn a lot by talking with your best clients. Ask them why they chose you over the competition.

Refine Your Message
Using your list of benefits, write down how your products will meet your target clients’ perceived needs. Understand the related emotions—remember, people make buying decisions based on emotion—and use this information in your marketing communications. Consistently and clearly communicating to prospective clients what sets you and your products apart and how this benefits them is key to your success.

Update and Profit from What Sets You Apart
In our rapidly changing world, clients’ needs and wants are also constantly evolving. You must regularly assess and revise the list of benefits you offer and your message. Review the list often and adjust it to address your potential clients’ most current perceived needs. This will involve some time in research and a lot of thought, but the results will be rewarding.

Plan now to create or review, and perhaps revise, your list of unique benefits and your message. Then go sell what truly sets you apart.

Click here for printed version.

To read more, check out Victoria's Blog.

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Victoria’s Time / Balance Tip

Beware of Over-Commitment
Over-commitment easily creeps into the lives of entrepreneurs desiring to please everyone. And it almost always causes stress that wipes out a healthy life balance. Setting clear boundaries—deciding what you will and won’t do—can help you avoid this pitfall.

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Make-it-Fly Marketplace

Sharpen Your Speaking Skills this Year
at a Presentation Dojo

You worked hard on your presentation and afterward several people came up to compliment you on it. You think, “That’s nice, but I didn’t get any business.” If you want to grow your business through public speaking, enroll in the Presentation Dojo.

Jay Murray of Solutions for Tuition says, “Before working with Turning Point Presentations, 3% of my audience members typically requested appointments to learn more. Now, it’s over 50% and my business is thriving.

Angela Libby Jankousky

Angela Libby Jankousky



Rev NetworkingRev Networking

Up to 20 professionals, each representing one profession, meet one on one at customized speed networking events, allowing you the opportunity to have a five-minute conversation with each participant to generate leads, referrals and business. Rev Networking is not a group, as you will meet new professionals every time and people that attend are serious about growing their business by networking and power partnering with other professionals.

Reservation only $68
Marilyn Manning 303-763-1865

marilyn@revnetworking.com
www.revnetworking.com

 

READING THIS AD? THEN WHY NOT PUT YOURS HERE TOO? The In-Flight Refueling Ezine reaches more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, small-biz owners, consultants and marketers. Reserve your advertising spot today in the next In-Flight Refueling Ezine,
http://www.make-it-fly.com/ezineads.html.

Paid Advertising Disclaimer: Make-it-Fly® LLC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the paid advertisements above or the quality of any products, services, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any ad. It's common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product.

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Refueling Recommendations

The Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101

Each Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 program consists of 8-10 non-competing business owners who meet once a month for five consecutive months. In the spirit of giving, they offer each other solutions, ideas, resources and encouragement. Dave and Victoria facilitate each group and share powerful tools to assist business owners in reaching their goals and living more balanced lives.

If you have experienced a Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board, please share the following openings with other business owners who need support. Call Dave for more information at 720-962-8888.

Programs are held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Next Advisory Board 101 in Denver:

  • Mondays - March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 6*, August 2
  • Wednesdays - March 31, April 28, May 26, June 30, July 28, August 25
  • Tuesdays - May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, September 7, October 5
    *Tuesday

Click here to sign up for an Advisory Board.
Or call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Alumni Boards are groups of 12-14 small business owners who have participated in at least one Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and wish to continue the support and accountability with a group of like-minded, giving business associates. Members meet once a month for a three-hour meeting. If you completed the initial Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and are interested in more information on Alumni Boards, call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each otherNext Café:

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door

Location: The Wellshire Inn
3333 South Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80222

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Contact Make-it-Fly® - Dave and Victoria:

Email: info@make-it-fly.com
Voice: 720-962-8888
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Reprint Permission:
Please email or call Victoria if you'd like to reprint any information contained in this newsletter. Thanks! © Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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Make-it-Fly® LLC
720-962-8888
355 South Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80226, USA
http://www.make-it-fly.com