Friday, September 28, 2007

Google Tool for Niche-Mining

Staying on top of your niche is important. Thanks to it's also easy.

Google Trends

Just beginning to investigate your niche? Try Google Trends, a new tool, to see what the trends are for your niche.

Pop in your keywords and out comes a graphical report of the trends in that area for this year and three prior years. You can even refine the search by region and sub-region (i.e. United States and New York) to those trends.
Best of all, the page lists relevant and timely articles in the side bar.

Google Alerts

So if Google Trends shows you the forest, then Google Alerts shows you the individual trees. An alert is an automated email notification about a topic of interest to you. I call it 'set it and forget it' research.

Why? because once you choose keywords and set the alert a wealth of interesting, useful, sometimes surprising content comes right to your email box. You can stay razor-sharp about your niche with the click of the mouse. Cool, huh?

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mediation Niche Articles - Submit Here

Want to see someone who really understands how to execute a niche concept? Visit Chris Knight over at He has over 430 separate niche categories. Amazing and amazingly smart.

Publishers who frequent for great content don't have time to waste combing through hundreds, or thousands, of articles. They want content NOW. The vast number of niches ensures that publishers get what they need quickly and enables them to really hone in on the specific needs and interests of their readers.

As an author who contributes to this bank, I want to know that my articles are well placed and not lost in the pile. Consequently, I look for the most relevant category when I submit my writing.

Chris has made it incredibly easy for mediators with a variety of niches - from family to workplace and beyond - to find a home. For instance, a quick peek at the 27 new categories he recently added reveals 5 gems:
  • business-non-profit
  • home & family-death, dying, grandparents
  • real estate-construction
  • relationships-marriage
  • self improvement
  • Mediators lament that it's hard to market, but really this is a gimme, folks.

    If you haven't written at least two articles and posted them online, you've got to ask yourself, "What am I waiting for?" Need a little guidance getting started or ridding yourself of imposter syndrome, then grab these audios:

    The Writing Series with Linda Dessau

    Step-by-step, Linda will walk you thru recognizing the value you already have to offer; selecting writing topics that click for your niche; and publishing a newsletter/ezine so you stay top of mind with potential clients.

    Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


    Friday, September 21, 2007

    Zero Cost Tech Tools

    Gosh, I love the internet. It's a wealth of information (maybe too much) on all things technical. Here's a resource that Diane Levin first mentioned her blog that I scooped up for you.

    Zero Cost Business Tools

    The website is called It's filled with all kinds of articles and success stories for us poor entreprenuers.

    In August, they featured a wide variety of zero-cost software from productivity to office suites to accounting to marketing and sales. No bad, huh. Of course, I suspect the really good stuff is under password-protection and can only be unlocked by giving up your email address. (The URL suggests Bootstrapper is a mini-site for - don't be discouraged, just be careful)

    Why Invest in Software?

    Even though this stuff is without cost, it isn't free. You'll have to invest your time to learn how to use the software. So, don't just download everything.

    If you're a solo entrepreneur, and most mediators are, it makes a lot of sense to invest in the type of automation that this software can offer. Your time is limited and precious. Spend it doing mediation marketing tasks that require your creativity and unique abilities like writing articles and connecting with peers. I find that my time tracking program combined with Quickbooks sends out invoices better than I ever could - on time without guilt!

    Which Software?

    Take some time to think about what is going to be user-friendly and easy for you. The most robust program won't do anything to help your mediation practice if you never use it. I learned that lesson when I tried to write articles using a speech recognition program. I still like the idea, but I realized the software required too much from me and stressed me out too much to be truly called a time-saver.

    Get some help making tech choices until you feel more comfortable. is a good resource. I also like as a shareware resource. Better yet, get advice from a guru. Sandy De Freitas, the Tech Coach for Coaches (and other folks, too) has a terrific blog filled with tips. Best of all, Sandy will be my guest for a teleseminar next week.

    You can get tech recommendations live from Sandy on Friday, Sept. 28th at 1 p.m. EST. It's simple. Just register then send me an email with your burning question. Sandy will do her best to answer your questions all during our 60 minute teleseminar.

    Pretty tech savvy? Hey, there's always more to learn. Scheduling conflict?
    Register anyway. The audio will be delivered straight to your mailbox so you can listen when it's convenient for you.

    Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    What the Bleep is Your Website About?

    In the wacky world of website development, it's easy to get distracted. What with SEO, long tail copy, keywords and such - there's a lot to pay attention to, especially if you want people to find your site and engage with you.

    Now, I thought I was doing a pretty good job. I recently revised my homepage copy at to longer copy that satisfies the basic questions about being a member. I added some fancy picture testimonials (that was tough but very worth it). I even added the Google analytics codes to my pages (next step is actually reading the reports). Sounds great, huh. Eh, no.

    What the Bleep is My Site About

    After all that work, I thought I'd captured what the site is about - you know, marketing for mediators. Wrong! Turns out my site is about mediators only. How'd that happen?

    Larry Chase, who has a terrific newsletter filled with all sorts of cool, useful software and tips, suggested that the keywords on a site, and their concentration, will tell a different story about the purpose of the site than the creator intended. When creating the copy, I was thinking about marketing, niche practice and mediators but somehow the word marketing doesn't appear on the site. Not once. How do I know? I took the test, and you can, too.

    Google Keyword Tool

    This is a great tool for figuring out the best keywords to use or how to evaluate a niche. It's also a terrific way to find out what Google thinks your site is about and who your competitors are.

    Here's the link: Copy and paste this into your browser.

    Go to the Related Keywords Tab, then check off 'include other linked pages'. Then plug in your URL. A minute later you'll get a list of the keywords on your site and the related keywords. Turns out 'divorce mediator' is the second biggest keyword group behind 'mediators'. Since I'm really talking about marketing and niche practice development...I got some 'splaining to do' as Ricky often said to Lucy.

    Websites and Gardens

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Websites are like gardens. They always need tending. If you have tech questions, you'll be delighted to know that Sandy De Freitas, Tech Coach, is going to join me on Sept. 28th to calm our fears and dispense practical advice. Register now so you don't miss out.

    Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.



    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Congrats to our Winner, Mary Wollard!

    Mary Wollard of Family Solutions Center, and a member of, is a winner.

    Mary attended the Writing Series we held featuring Linda Dessau of You Talk, I, which was a great success.

    Mary and the other attendees came away with some terrific points on how to avoid imposter syndrome; the best ways to find topics to write about for your niche; and why email newsletters are easy and so important for marketing. I'm still using the tips to finish my book by the end of the year.

    Mary also came away with a 'Claim Your Expertise' Session with Linda Dessau valued at $75.

    I'm thrilled for her and excited to share Mary's progress with all of you soon.

    If you want a kickstart at writing, either with the Claim Your Expertise, or You Talk, I Write Program, contact Linda today at her home page.

    Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!



    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Fall Learning Series Launches!

    Fall is the start of many of good things, including a time to learn. This fall our learning series will be going 'old school' and getting back to the basics.

    I'm focusing on the essential pieces you need to master in order to build the mediation empire of your dreams: finding a niche, having a plan and reaching out. (ok, maybe not an empire, but certainly a robust, enjoyable practice). Here's what I have in store for September and a sneak peek for October.


    Researching Your Niche with Dina Beach Lynch
    Friday, September 14, 2007 3 p.m. Eastern

    Are you suffering from generalist-itis? You say you do a little of family mediation and some community cases, whatever the clients ask for. If this sounds like you, then join us to learn how much you can improve your income by focusing on a narrow niche. We'll discuss the most common reason for resistance; the 4 questions for selecting a niche and how to test niche viability.

    Tech Talk with Sandy DeFreitas, the Tech Coach
    Friday, September 28, 2007 1 p.m. Eastern

    Do you wish you knew how to set up a blog? Curious about which autoresponder is the best to use? Want help setting up your signature box in email? Look no further! You can submit your burning question after you register and Sandy will answer as many as possible during our 60 minutes together. Don’t have a question - attend anyway! You’re sure to learn something you didn’t know before.


    One Page Business Plans with Maria Marsala of
    Monday, October 15, 2007 2 p.m. Eastern

    Are you working incredibly long hours with no time for vacation and still not seeing the results? Do you know what activities make you money and which waste your time? Are you unsure of what to do next? Maria Marsala, the Small Business Therapist, can help you. We’ll discuss how to create a 1 page business plan that reduces the hassles and increases your chances for success. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    Don't miss out on these fundamentals. Scheduling conflict? No worries, register anyway. Each call is recorded and will be sent directly to your mailbox so you can listen at your convenience. Each call is just $34 and members of enjoy a special fee of $19. Register now and get back to the basics.

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    Geoff Sharp's 40 Sites

    Geoff Sharp is, well, very sharp. I’ve been enjoying his thought-provoking and often witty posts over at Mediator Blah Blah for years. Recently he tackled the question of what role spirituality plays at the mediation table and garnered some interesting comments.

    Now, he’s sharing his list of 40 Sites in 40 Minutes, which was meant to be his secret presentation for the LEADR’s 10th International ADR conference, the most important gathering of New Zealand and Australian mediators. That is until he got outed.

    The list is really impressive, both in scope and in the quality of content. It’s amazing because I remember when there weren’t any truly robust information or discussion portals for mediators. Now, via the Internet, mediators everywhere can be in community with each other. It’s quite gratifying to know that Mediation Mensch and were included on the list.

    I encourage you to drop by and see for yourself. I know I’ll be visiting new-to-me sites like the Bond University newsletter and Passion, People and Principles.

    Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!

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    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    Take This Idea, Please: Mom and Me

    I have a daughter who turned 17 on Saturday. Kaitie is a thoughtful, smart, beautiful girl who drives me crazy. And, I do the same to her.

    We don’t intend it, often can’t stop it and I’m sure we’re not the only mother and daughter who have these struggles. In fact, a Google search revealed over 7 million books on the topic so there’s a lot of hand-wringing going on.

    This is a perfect niche- coaching and mediating mom/daughter disputes-for someone with the right training and temperament. Why? The relationship between a girl and her mom is special, mysterious and so fraught with difficult issues it's like a Gordian knot. Just judging from my own experience, I’d say a mediator could help:

    • Separate perception from reality- eliminate distortion so each can see each other clearly
    • Tame destructive language- “you always say no; you never listen to me”
    • Create a joint decision-making model that honors both mom and daughter
    • Support daughter and mom as they learn and practice new communication tools
    • The list goes on…

    I already know of someone researching this niche, but that doesn't mean there's not room for you in your hometown. Spend time finding out if this idea will fly in your community then do a small test to be sure. As long as there are moms and daughters, this niche will be a steady revenue stream and a source of gratification for the mediators who tend this critical relationship.

    Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


    (By the way, I highly recommend reading Deborah Tannen's book, You're Wearing That? as a way to understand how to promote healing and intimacy between the ladies of the house. I really learned alot from it. Kaitie, I love you- that's the message AND metamessage)