Author Archive

Jul
30

What Persistence and Tenacity Really Mean

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Ever heard the real story behind the movie Rocky? Here it is, as told by Tony Robbins, and worth every second. Tony Robbins is a masterful story teller and this story is an incredible one. If you ever have one of those moments, days, weeks or even months in your business, listen to this and know your outcome. Persistence. Tenacity. Stay the course, and against all odds you can succeed.

 

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Nov
04

Learning How To Do Marketing

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While I don’t have the exact quote (I will keep looking for it), Earl Nightingale is credited with saying essentially that if you read or study for juts 1 hour a day for 1-3 years you will become a world-class expert in that area of study. There are other versions of this saying out there – another I’ve heard is 20 minutes a day for 3 will make you an expert, and if you continue for 5 years you will be one of the top experts in the world.

So, you say you want to learn how to do marketing for your business? Well, here’s the answer… schedule just 1 single hour a day toward beginning to master the skill of marketing. You can learn in whatever format you want these days too… whether you prefer to read, listen to audios, watch videos and DVDs or go to live seminars and lectures. If you watch TV daily (which, as most statistics tell us, most of us do… I’ll admit, I unwind pretty frequently to funny sitcoms and relaxing movies), imagine taking just one of those hours and devoting it to learning how to do marketing, or sales, or anything else that you find interesting… or perhaps NECESSARY to the success of your business.

Ok… here’s the assignment. Start out by finding just 20 minutes a day. Then decide how you will proceed… do you want to learn how to do marketing by reading blogs like this one or by other marketing minds? Are you disciplined enough not to let them take you off in some other direction? If not, then start with some basic books on marketing – some of the best include the ones by Dan Kennedy or the Guerrilla marketing series by Jay Conrad Levenson. As you begin to dig in to learning how to do marketing, you’ll find that each of the resources points you to more. You won’t run out of options… and if you keep going, you can not only build your business with your new knowledge, you can begin to share it with others as well.


As you begin to learn marketing, then you probably have this same question I get asked all the time:

How do you reach specific market segments?

Here’s the answer:

When you start to learn marketing, you must approach it as you do any new skill. You must start at the beginning.

Famous pro-football coach who would take his players into locker room at beg of each season, sit them down and say, “This is a football.” Start with the basics.

The first step of developing marketing strategies is getting clear on the basics, including figuring out the demographics and psychographics of your target market segment.

If you are not familiar with demographics, they include the factual and easily verifiable pieces of information about your target segment. Demographics include age, gender, income level, occupation, education level, family circumstances and make-up, race and ethnicity. Many entrepreneurs stop with demographics when they learn marketing, but there are other pieces of information you need to know about your target market that may be even more important that the demographics…

I’m referring to psychographics…

Psychographics are more ambiguous and harder to nail down, but the payoff, when you get them right, can be huge. Psychographics include the attitudes, values, lifestyles, and opinions of your ideal client/customer. These are the specific, identifying characteristics that make your client and customer unique – and, often, they are the specifics that will help you reach exactly the right person for your product or service, making your marketing highly effective.

Psychographics cover everything from the kind of car your ideal client drives to the size and type of house they live in, the magazines they read, where they shop, the activities they participate in, the TV shows they watch and much, much more.

Once you understand who the target segment is, figuring out the marketing strategies that will reach them becomes easier. You know what magazines they read, what websites they visit, what is important to them, what they are searching for on Google. You understand their pain and how to tell them how you can help, then you can find them with a direct mail list service – the more specific the better. You can use radio, TV, seminars, books, direct mail, email – pretty much any media as you develop your marketing strategies. You have to know where you will catch their eye with your message – and to know that you have to know who they are and where they would be likely to see you.

As you learn marketing, and begin to do the research on who fits into your target market, the best place to begin is with your own clients and customers. Spend some time interacting with them, reward them for answering a survey for you – dig into the people that are already buying. Find out where your current clients spend their time, and then see if there are more good prospects hanging out there too – whether it’s certain social media websites, TV shows, networking groups, stores etc.

If you don’t have current clients to research, then start to research the target market in places you think yours would be hanging out – like specific websites. If you know your prospects frequently visit a specific site, go to www.Quantcast.com and look up the site and start to learn about that website’s target market. And, ultimately, if you don’t have that, you can start with your imagination…

Imagine who that target prospect is… how old are they? What do they wear? Are they male or female? What TV shows to they like? What are the things that drive them on the surface? What are the inner dreams and desires that drive them?

Start to build an ‘ideal’ prospect, then as you learn marketing more and more, you can direct your efforts and strategies to this ‘ideal’ prospect, making everything more personal and specific.


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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