Archive for September, 2010

Sep
27

Buddha and Business

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“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Buddha

Image: Arvind Balaraman

This is an important consideration for any business venture, whether it is online or offline. There are many ‘experts’ out there, some of whom have really earned the right to call themselves experts, some who have not and many in-between… people who are on their way to becoming experts and may know enough to teach and share with you. Often, it’s those ‘in-between’ people who are more affordable for a small business – where the high-level experts are out of reach.

The key to finding someone that is expert enough for you is following your gut, checking in on their references, and making sure that what they are offering fits what you need. In many cases people who are just starting out need basic information and some one-on-one customized assistance. As the Buddha said – make sure what they are saying agrees with your own reason and common sense. If you go with a combination of due diligence (checking out that they are what they say they are), your head and your heart, you’ll find the perfect match for where you are right now…

And, not everyone will be a good mentor, teacher or guide forever. At some point you will need a different perspective, a different background or simply a different approach. Schedule time regularly to review the people you are engaging to help you build your business. Are they still delivering? Are you still learning? Is your business still growing the way you want? A quarterly or bi-annual review will help you stay on top of your business, and give you the information you need to make changes when they become necessary.

From a personal angle… I once researched a professional (who shall remain nameless), calling references, talking at length with them and finally making a decision to engage their services. When I received the contract for work, my stomach dropped out – it wasn’t anything in particular, something just felt wrong or ‘off’. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and decided I was being irrational. I pushed myself to follow through, and paid a VERY LARGE sum for the services. Within a couple of months it became abundantly clear that nothing was happening and what had been delivered thus far would not be of use. I terminated the agreement, but not without spending a huge amount of money – money I could have saved and used elsewhere to help my business if I had followed the instinct that was telling me this wouldn’t work for me.

Have you ever ignored an instinct about your business and suffered because of it? Have you ever followed one and found out later you made the right choice?


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Sep
19

101 Marketing Strategies: Celebrate A (Unique) Holiday

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Celebrating a holiday is a standard 101 marketing strategy you say?

Well, you would be right, but I would recommend you get creative with this very ‘standard’ of 101 marketing strategies… either choose a unique or obscure holiday, or even create your own.

I passed a bar a few days ago here in NYC, and when I saw this sign I just couldn’t resist sharing it. It’s a terrific way to create a unique reason to celebrate – and in their case, a unique way to bring in the customers (which is what you should be trying to do too…)

So, if you usually send out Holiday greeting cards in December, wishing people a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year, you might very well be wasting your time. People receive SO many cards they may not even notice who they’ve come from… but, if you send a card for Halloween or even Thanksgiving, your card will stand out because it will be the only one in the mail at that time.

Consider what you can do for a unique communication with your prospects and clients – even if it means creating your own. And, if you are looking for some unusual holidays to consider, here’s where you can find a great list (and if you Google ‘unique holidays’ you’ll find many more): Holiday Insights


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Sep
03

101 Marketing Strategies: The Greatest Marketing Tool in History

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The number one strategy when you start looking at basis 101 Marketing Strategies is obvious when you think about it…

And, even though there have been thousands, maybe millions of marketing tools throughout history, and they have varied tremendously… There is one that has remained effective in such a superior way that, to me at least, it is the single most important and valuable tool in the history of marketing.

What is #1 out of all 101 marketing strategies?

The QUESTION.

It’s really simple. ASK. Ask everyone you know what they want to know. Ask them what they want and need in their lives. What problems do that have that aren’t being solved? Use the information they give you and start creating products and services that give your prospects what they want.

If you already have a product or service start conducting surveys around your area of expertise, dig in deep and find out what people want and need related to your product or service. Then, go back and review all of your marketing materials and make sure that the ways in which what you offer answers their wants, needs and desires. If you take the time to do this, your success in marketing will start to multiply like rabbits in springtime (I know it’s the fall, but I just couldn’t resist… Will have to save this one and use it again, seriously, it’s ridiculously cute!)

If you aren’t already using surveys as part of your online process, it’s time to start right now. Go visit www.SurveyMonkey.com. You can ask up to 10 questions in your survey and collect up to 100 answers totally for free, which is more than enough to get you a whole lot clearer on what your market is looking for. And, you can upgrade when you’re ready to ask more people and get more information. On top of that, it’s super easy to tie survey’s into social media – people love to help other people out and answer questions. So go use the greatest tool in the 101 marketing strategies toolbox – start asking questions, and let them drive your business.


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