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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Door to Door Dinosaur

Door to Door Dinosaur

Last Friday night, my son and I were reading his favorite book, “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?”.

It was 8:30 PM.

The doorbell rang.

I went downstairs and opened the door to find…a dinosaur…holding a business card and a flier.

He proceeded to ask me a series of very well-rehearsed open-ended questions.

It seems he was with the local dry cleaner.

And apparently they had fallen on very tough times.

They were facing  extinction.

Some meteors had hit.

Meteors like inbound marketingpermission marketing and mobile marketing.

They were scared.

So they were knocking on doors, desperately seeking assistance.

But I couldn’t help the dinosaur.

Because he knew nothing about meteors.

So I told him I would call him later.

And teach him.

The Social Media Sales Funnel

Let’s face it.

Pretty much every sales funnel looks like this one (except it’s not horribly drawn like mine).

The interesting thing about social media is that a lot of folks enjoy pretending that this sales funnel does not exist.

But it does.

And it must…especially if anyone wants to get any kind of meaningful results out of it.

So let’s stop pretending there is no sales funnel, ok?

If you are building a community and making friends on Twitter, you are doing it for you. Yes you may be creating a “tribe” and want to “get to know” you members/fans, but you are doing it solely so you can benefit somehow.

It’s no different than the volunteer worker driven by the need to be seen as a good person.

And you and I have no problem with that whatsoever.

Doesn’t matter what the motivation is.

What matters is the work.

But in the interest of “authenticity” and “transparency”, let’s just be honest about why you’re really doing all of this.

It always has been and it still is…about you.

And that’s ok.

For a Small Business Time is Everything

You know you need to manage your time more wisely.  You can’t create a product or service and market it effectively if you don’t understand where your time goes.  In 10 minutes you can understand more about managing your time than any book or lengthy blog post will ever teach you.  Watch this:

Don’t Make it Happen, Let it Happen

Just found this great interview with Steve Moore, the West Virgina cover band drummer who went viral on YouTube last week.

It’s pretty long, so I found the best part and posted it here.

It’s a funky little lesson in changing your mindset, letting go, allowing things to happen.

Anyone who has ever gone out on their own, started a new business, tried to create something from nothing, can relate to Steve Moore here:

“It’s really ironic the way things have panned out. Up until literally a few months ago, I used to stress over everything. I wanted to handle everything, I wanted to know everything. I would go as hard and fast as I could, twenty-four seven.

Just trying to work work work. Then about two months ago, I got to reading different books, talking to different friends, and I realized I couldn’t control everything, that I had to just let certain things happen. It may sound silly, but I had to just, just relax. That doesn’t mean you stop working, but I had to stop stressing over it.

All you can do it the best you can do, and if something’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. Just allow it to happen, don’t make it happen. And I think I’ve been trying to make things happen my entire life. So I finally just adopted a new way of thinking where I was going to allow things to happen.

And a few months later the thing went viral.

It may sound a bit silly to you, but as a result of that I’m not really putting much thought into it, I’m just kind of letting things unfold the way they unfold. I’m not trying to “seize the opportunity” and go at it like a bull.  I’m just trying to enjoy it. It’s taken 30 years for this to happen. I ‘m just enjoying that fact that so many people are getting a kick out of it.”

10 Ways to Close The Expectations Gap

Sometimes I really hate marketing.

Because, well, sometimes it’s downright embarrassing (see left).

Usually because of a huge disconnect between what a business claims to be and what it actually is.

It’s why a lot of non-marketing people hate marketing too.

It’s all bullshit, they say.

So what can you do about it?

How can you square the image you present with the product you provide?

Here are some ideas:

1. Shut down the dream machine.
It’s great to dream big. Everyone gets excited about their business being a massive success and making them rich. But the fantasy can interrupt you daily duties when you see how far away you really are.  So get humble. Set little goals and then big ones. You can still be a tiger.  Just eat the elephant one bite at a time.

2. Thank your lucky stars.

You are here.  You have an idea.  You have skills.  You have customers.  You are healthy.  Now take all that appreciation and share it with your customers.  Help them to appreciate what they might be overlooking.  Help them to get excited about the mundane.  You can do mundane right?

3.  Set goals but be flexible too.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Set the course early, agree on it, pivot if you need to.

4.  Communicate, overcommunicate, communicate again.

Sometimes you don’t want to talk to the customer because it’s an invitation for criticism.  But even if they just want to vent you’ll accomplish something by generating a little goodwill.  That’s gonna close the gap too.

5.  Let them know who you are at the outset.

It’s like any relationship. You don’t want to base it on a lie.  If you can’t do something, say you can’t or find someone who can.

6.  Make sure they know who they are.

This is where you can easily get tripped up.  You may want the business but you know your client is in fantasy land.   That’s just going to come back to haunt you.  Because they may just end up transferring their fantasies about themselves and put them on to you.

7.  Be an adult.

No one is going to save you.  There is no dream client.  This is all about working hard and staying the course and sticking to your principles which leads to…

8.  Know what your values are.

Stand for something.  Stick to your principles. If you show them early then no one is going to be confused later.  This may require some thought and quiet time to figure out.  It will be the best time you ever spent.

9.  Choose an end date, and end it.

Hit the goal, get paid and move on.  If they want to renew then they can.  Don’t let the relationship drag on.  Absence make the heart grow fonder.  If they appreciate you they will come back.  In the meantime, there are lots of fish in the sea.

10.  Remind them what you’ve done.

They will forget.  They will take you for granted.   Find a clever way to remind them how awesome you are.  It’s amazing how well this works, especially if you do it tongue in cheek.