Friday, 4 June 2004

Newsletter Issue 80, June 2004

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 80, June 2004
Hi guys,
Business not as good as you would expect for this time of year? Then maybe the idea in the Workshop Your Skills article below might contain your ticket into an untapped market.
We ask the question Are You Organised? and look at a few tips to increase your productivity.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Workshop Your Skills

Recently I read an article on workshops by an American business-woman, Suzanne Falter-Barns. This article was about offering workshops as a way of attracting new clientele, which I thought was a great idea. She has kindly given me permission to reproduce her article in my newsletter.
So you've discovered your niche, completed your training, got your licences, made up your business cards, started your web site and got a good marketing plan together. But still, no one's exactly beating a path to your door. Wondering what you're doing wrong?
Chances are you're doing everything right. What may be missing is a broader chance for the public to really get a taste of which you are. You need to build relationships with these folks. Yet, how can you do that without actually coaching them first?
Enter the big solution: workshops. Holding workshops targeted to your niche is an excellent way to give your larger audience a real taste of what you do. The full 3-hour, or full-day format of a workshop gives your audience a chance to sit back and observe you at work. Not only that, if you've shaped your workshop to fit your niche, you'll find yourself with an excellent database of interested potential clients. You'll also be able to test the drawing power of your niche quite graphically, and learn the most effective ways to reach these folks.
One psychotherapist I know In New York City built a thriving practice simply by leading three workshops about Jung and dream analysis. An added perk: when you lead workshops, you get all kinds of terrific stories you can use in future articles, books, and speaking gigs. Three best-selling self-help authors I know actually lead workshops for this reason alone.
That said, there are a few key things that must be in place to turn your workshop the client magnet that it can be.
  1. Give yourself and your workshop a brand name. Some of the most successful I know of are "The Ezine Queen", "The Comfort Queen", "Marketing Shaper", "The Publicity Hound", "Authentic Promotion", and "The Grok". These are own-able, distinctive names that let people know exactly who you are ... (well, maybe not The Grok). One thing's for sure... these folks, especially the Grok, are not easily forgotten.
  2. Teach with your heart on the line. The teacher who cares the most wins ... so come prepared, give it your all, and don't say good-bye until literally everyone in the group has had some kind of breakthrough.
  3. Hand out plenty of materials. Class notes, additional resources, your own articles, forms, great quotations, etc., are essential marketing tools. Every one of them should have all of your contact information on them, including your brand name, email, website, all phone numbers, and fax. Put them in a snappy folder with a sticker on the cover that bears, yes... your brand name ... and website. Then staple your business card to the inside of the folder. And be sure to include a well done one-sheet or brochure about your coaching services.
  4. Give away a free coaching session during the break. Simply pass around a hat or jar to collect business cards as folks come in (they can also substitute name and email on paper). Then draw your winner just before the break, which gives you the opportunity to give your coaching a discreet plug. This technique is especially helpful if you're doing your workshop in a venue where you have not done registered the class, and you lack contact info for the group. That nice jar of business cards gives you fodder for your database.
  5. Don't oversell your coaching. Just mention it a few times lightly, and let the truly interested approach you. Better yet, instead of selling it, tell some stories (protecting confidentiality, of course) from your practice that demonstrate what you do. That gives you the power of attraction, as opposed to the stink of the hard sell. If you do your job effectively, they will come.
  6. Stress the importance of getting support at some point in your presentation. Support is one thing that most people really deny themselves, yet that is so critical to success. And what better support is there than coaching? Seed it lightly but firmly in your talk.
  7. Continue to do your workshop in any appropriate market. Nothing builds a base of clients like consistently getting out there. Your name gets heard, and your brand registers each time it does. You can travel locally or globally with this.
One last word of advice - make a point of researching different markets to find your perfect group. I do this by seeing where other comparable workshop leaders are doing their thing, and I observe how they market themselves to these groups. Then I set up comparable tours.
Suzanne Falter-Barns free ezine, The Joy Letter, brings you a crisp, fresh burst of inspiration for your dream every week or two. Sign up at For more information about how to create, book, fill and lead your own workshops, go to

Are You Organised?

Feeling like there are not enough hours in the day? Want a "wife" to help you keep on top of things & don't have one?! Then here are a few tips that might be of assistance to help you find your "wife" within;
  • Diary: Keep ONE diary and use it for ALL of your appointments. it doesn't matter if it is electronic or paper - just use what works best for you. The easiest way to fail is if you use a paper diary for some parts of your life, your Outlook Calendar for work, the wall planner in the pantry for the family bits and your mobile phone's appointment book for the remainder...
  • Cluster: Do you know that one of the best ways to get more done in a day is to cluster your tasks? By grouping similar tasks together you get more bang for your buck. So how do you do that?
    When planning your day, organise your tasks into "like" activities and diarise time for answering email, invoicing and returning phone calls.
  • Organise: Organise your environment to fit your work pattern. If you are not a natural "filer", try keeping an archive box per client/project and put all the current materials in it; leave the boxes well labelled by your desk in a row for easy access. Just pick it up & go for meetings & you will always have everything you need with you. When things are where you expect them to be, you can focus on the task, not the logistics - saving you valuable time. 
  • Make Outlook work for you:
    • Calendar: If you are going to use the Outlook Calendar as your main diary, keep it up-to-date. To be portable, either print off each day/week's schedule and take it with you to enter new appointments, or get a PDA that syncs with Outlook (best thing since sliced bread! You have all your contacts right there with you, wherever you go...)
    • Contacts: Use Outlook to manage your contacts and will search by category, by first name, organisation name, surname. And use categories to cluster your contacts according to how your mind works - clients, organisations, suppliers, friends/family (see Newsletter_051 to work through the "how to" of setting up categories).
    • Emails: Create folders for separate clients, projects or tasks and set up rules so that your incoming mail gets automatically routed. All my private email goes to "Private" so that I can deal with it when I have time. We will work through how to set up folders in the Newsletter 81 (so watch out for the next issue).
I hope these tips help you to help yourselves!

Artificial Intelligence

I was reading on the Ubiquity website ( an interview with Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at Berkeley and author of "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" (Prentice Hall 2003).
We probably all have a pre-conceived idea that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be full-size humanoid robots who walk, climb, run, jump, manipulate objects and behave like Dr Spock versions of humans; blindly observing Isaac Asimov's three laws of Robotics and get into lots of trouble that AI specialists will have to sort out.
But what about new and powerful applications of technology like smart fridges & pantries that work out what consumables you have used and then send your order to your online supermarket? That is really useful, and useful technology generally gets adopted quickly and consumers don't really care how it works.
Could you explain how your DVD player works? We assimilate new technology very quickly and get used to it just... well, working. When we can buy smart microwaves, as customers we will quickly get used to the idea that our microwave should be able to tell when an item is defrosted after 3 minutes and turning off on its own... despite us having programmed it to defrost for 20 minutes.
We are still very much in the early days of the integration of AI systems into human life. Examples include TiVo (allows recording of TV programs, searches for shows it predicts the viewer will like, edits out commercials etc), smart toasters and on-board computers in cars.
Stuart believes that we'll start to see some very complex scientific hypotheses being constructed on computer, using probabilistic modelling and machine-learning techniques. That means computers that can actually determine causation (just imagine what would happen to Tobacco companies were the causal link was irrevocably established between smoking and cancer!). However, he also says that AI can't constitute the human intellectual enterprises because human scientists are still built a damn sight better than artificial scientists. It will take us a VERY long time to be able to top what the human mind is capable of.
Additionally, Stuart believes that when we "start having humanoid household robots that are interestingly competent, that will change things... There's something about a human-shaped thing that hits you at a physical level. Right now they're incredibly expensive — probably one or two million dollars for the full-size one. Plus, you need to hire half a dozen full-time engineers to keep it working. But people have done demonstrations showing that it can operate a backhoe."
For more information on Stuart Russell, check him out at

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • AI, Artificial Intelligence. An intelligent system is one whose expected utility is the highest that can be achieved by any system with the same computational limitations
  • USP, Unique Selling Proposition. Each advertising proposition should demonstrate a specified benefit to the customer, compelling them to act

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you again, but this time we are shifting as well - all you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl in what;
  • Access "Insert the value from the same field in the previous record" Ctrl & ' (Apostrophe)
  • Excel "Copy a formula from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar" Ctrl & ' (Apostrophe)
  • Excel "Display the Style command (on Format menu); works in a spreadsheet" Alt & ' (Apostrophe)

Hot Linx
Do you recycle? Can you recycle from where you are? Make a quick stop at this site to see if your company can stretch global resources further at
Getting lots of virus and chain letters? As many of them are hoaxes, always verify them before you send them on to others at or
Go to Cameo Publications for a list of tips and hints on the "how to" of the American publishing industry at
Going tramping over winter? Then perhaps these American sites might have something for you; survival tips at and recipes at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here