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St. George Utah Marketing and Accounting in Washington county Utah

 
Affordable Business Solutions
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The Difference Between Success & Failure...

November 19, 2008

Suprising to many people. there is actually very little difference between success and failure.  All it takes is a little extra effort each day to make a HUGE difference over the course of a year or many years.  Think about a small business owner that just makes one extra sales call a day.  It may bring on just one extra client a week, but over the course of a year or many years, that becomes 52 more clients a year.   That can add up fast!!!

I think that a lot of us see where we want to be and it seems so far off from where we are today, that we don't even try.  This is why it is so important to start with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey says in his book, 7 Habits for Highly Effective People.  And then once you know where you want to go, you need to plan weekly and daily in order to achieve it.  If you break it out this way, it won't seem so overwhelming because you are just focusing on a specific task versus the entire result. 

This concept also applies to marketing.  You need to have a STRATEGY in place before you start marketing and then you need to STICK to what your STRATEGY is.  It's easy to get discouraged when you don't get immediate results - and with a lot of marketing methods, you won't see immediate results.  So, what most people do is STOP doing that and START doing what somebody else is doing because "it must be working for them."  This is what we call copycat marketing and IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE!

Seth Godin wrote a great article on this topic.  It's called: "The sad truth about marketing shortcuts".  Click on it to check it out.  

-Troy, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach 

The Hierarchy of Social Marketing

November 12, 2008

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Hierarchy of Social Marketing

I came across a question last night on www.linkedin.com that I thought was interesting:  "What's the Ideal approach to do Social Media Marketing and what are the benefits?".

So, I went to John Jantsch’s, (the founder of Duct Tape Marketing) blog to do so some research. That’s right, I went to a blog to do so some research. That’s just one of the many reasons to have a blog; it can soon be a go to place for research as you start doing it consistently.

So this is what I found on 2 posts that help shed some light on the subject:

1st Post:

Consider these highlights from a wonderfully comprehensive research project developed by Universal McCann.

73% of online users read a blog
57% join social networks
45% have started a blog
83% have viewed a video online
39% subscribe to RSS feeds
36% think more positively about companies that have blogs
Source: Universal McCann Wave3 research into social media

Kind of makes you want to run out and start writing a blog, doesn’t it? Well, if it doesn’t then go back and read that last point again. 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs.

The Hierarchy of Social Marketing

I think one of the things that small business marketers struggle with around the entire topic of social marketing is trying to jump into the new thing without enough analysis of what they should focus on. I happen to think this is an important, evolving and essential area of marketing for small businesses, but there’s a hierarchy to it. In other words, there is a logical progression of utilization that comes about much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Nature.

Social Marketing Hierarchy: As Maslow theorized, the ultimate potential of your marketing or human self-actualization couldn’t be achieved until the most basic human psychological needs - breathing, eating, sleeping, sex were first met. (Yes, I’m about ready to compare blogging to sex.) In fact safety, love, and esteem all come before transcendence. Now, before I edge too close to the deep end here, I’m simply comparing what I think is a bit like progressing up the social marketing hierarchy.

Most small business owners should look at the following progression or hierarchy as they move deeper into social marketing tactics. So, jump in, but do it in this order and don’t move on until you have the basics of each stage down and working for you.

Blogging - the foundation of the pyramid - read blogs (Google Reader or Bloglines), comment on blogs and then blog. This is the doorway to all other social marketing - WordPress, TypePad, Blogger

RSS - aggregate and filter content around subjects and use RSS technology as a tool to help you re-purpose, re-publish and create content - Some tools: Feedburner, Google News and Mysyndicaat

Social Search - this is often ignored in this discussion but I think it’s become very important for small business owners. Directories that publish reviews from customers - good and bad. You can participate and should stimulate and manage your reputation here. Insider Pages, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, Local.com, Judy’s Book, Yelp

Social Bookmarking - tagging content to and participating in social bookmarking communities can be a great way to open up more channels to your business as well as generate extra search traffic, but it takes work - del.icio.us, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Mixx, Small Business Brief

Social Networking - branching out to take advantage of the numbers of potential prospects that you might find in sites like Facebook or MySpace will frustrate at least as a business tool if you don’t have many of the above needs met. These networks take time to understand and thrive on ideas and content. You’ve got to have much to share if you wish to build a business case. The good news is that industry and idea specific sites for everything from book lovers to green living are springing up every day. Here’s an enormous list of social networking sites from Mashable

Micro - I’ve lumped some of the more experimental social tools into the edge trend of micro, social, real-time communication that will likely only confuse most small business owners. The confusion is not because they can’t figure out how to make them work, it’s just not obvious why they would spend the time. I think Maslow suggested the self-actualization was a place that most might never reach and in social marketing terms Twitter, Thwirl, Plurk and FriendFeed might be some sort of sick transcendence.

Source: www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/page/18/

So get out there and start blogging - you never know when your blog will start to become a place people/prospects go to find good answers to questions.

-Troy, Utah's Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day-"Alone we can do little; together we can do much."
-Helen Keller

A Great Small Business Resource by AMEX

November 12, 2008

American Express has created a great small business resource called Open Forum - A wealth of resources for savvy business owners.  The website is: http://blogs.openforum.com/.  There are posts and articles from a variety of business experts on topics such as: the economy, marketing, best management practices, etc.

John Jantsch, the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, along with his coach network (which includes me) are some of the marketing experts featured on the site.

Check it out!

-Troy, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day: "Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much." - Robert Greenleaf

A Lean, Mean, Profit-Making Machine

November 11, 2008

Drastic times call for drastic measures. With so much uncertainty surrounding our economy, it is time for all small business owners to take a deep look at their business and figure out where they can "trim the fat".

In most cases, if you REALLY look closely at what you are paying for and the benefit you are receiving, you will be suprised at how much you can cut back. Most of us get lazy and start paying for luxuries through our business because we "think we need them" or just because we can.

Well, times have changed. If your bottom line is shrinking, it is time to take action NOW! Don't wait for the economy to turn around. Take this opportunity to really trim the excess fat and create a more efficient business. Then, instead of just surviving in this economy, you will thrive in it. And then, once the economy does turn back around, you will be that much better off.

Now, I know this is hard to do. I have been doing it in my own business - and it is HARD. Change is never easy; it's easier to just continue on the path that we are on and hope that we will still make it to our destination. Unfortunately, by not ADAPTING to our current economy, it's comparable to following a road map from the year 1980 - chances are, the roads have changed and if you are looking at the wrong map, you are going to get LOST!

So, sit down today, pull out your financial statements and take a couple of hours to review them. Find areas where technology may have changed and there are better options out there now. Look for luxury items that are unnecessary today. Look for unproductive assets that could be liquidated. It's going to take some time - but it will be well worth the investment. You will become more aware of your business and will be able to make better decisions for it. This will result in you running a better business. I guarantee if you do this and truly create a "lean, mean, profit-making machine" out of your business, you will look back at these uncertain times and realize that they were a key factor in your success - they are forcing us all to do things we should have done years ago!

-Troy, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day: "The right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Power of Referrals

November 7, 2008

Every business loves referrals - they are the golden clients.  The ones that are already sold on your service or product before they walk in the door.  They already know somebody that knows, likes and trusts you so they borrow that trust from them and immediately give it to you - you don't have to work so hard to earn it.  Plus, most referrals don't care what you charge because they want to do business with you. 

So, the question is, how do you go about getting referrals?  Do you ask for them?  Do you give them some incentive? Do you just focus on customer service and wait for them to come to you?

At Duct Tape Marketing, we like to look at referral marketing as a SYSTEM; a documented, proven, measurable and consistent system.  Referrals are such a HUGE lead generater in any business, it needs its own DOCUMENTED SYSTEM in order for it to work effectively. 

There are four elements of this referral marketing system: 1) Target, 2) Educate, 3) Motivate, 4) Expectations.  Let's review these briefly:

1) Target: when you create a referral marketing system, you need to target very specific groups.  Normally these groups will consist of your customer base and your strategic partners.

2) Educate: Once you've chosen who your referral sources are, now you need to educate them about your business.  Tell them what you offer and who your ideal client is that would be a good referral for you.

3) Motivate: You need to motivate your referral sources to refer business to you.  You could offer cash, gift certificates, referrals in return (just make sure you hold up your end of the deal), etc.  This helps keep you "top of mind" with your referral sources because there's something in it for them. 

4) Expectations: This is a big part of the system: telling your referral sources what their referral can expect when they get referred to you.  Sometimes people don't refer business because they aren't sure what to expect and don't want to get their friends into something that will reflect poorly on them.  So, tell them up front what to expect and they can pass that on to their referral source and leave no room for surprises. 

If you follow these principles and DOCUMENT your referral marketing system, it will make a HUGE difference in your business. 

Want Help?  I am holding a Referral Flood Power Group in St. George, starting next Tuesday, November 11th.  It will be at 9:00 - 10:00am and will be held once a week for 4 weeks. 

Email me at troy@ab4you.com for more info. 

-Troy, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day: "Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it." - Samuel Butler

Listen to the Experts - Right Here!

November 5, 2008

You may not have noticed, but down the right column of our blog is what the blogging world calls a "widget".  Widget are cool gadgets that you can add to your blog - they all do different things.  The one on ours is a podcast player that has various audio sessions - mostly of John Jantsch interviewing different marketing and business experts. 

Just click play and start listening!

-Troy, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day: "To live is to choose.  But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there." - Kofi Annan

Start the Week Off Right with Some Toast

November 4, 2008

Every Monday morning at 6:00am, I roll-out of bed and get ready for my early morning Toastmasters.  For those who aren't familiar with Toastmasters, it is an educational program focused on developing Public Speaking skills. No matter what your skill level is, when it comes to speaking, Toastmasters is the place to be. 

I joined Toastmasters about 3 months ago because I wanted to sharpen up on my speaking skills.  It has been a great experience so far.  At every Toastmasters meeting, there are different jobs and tasks assigned to the group members.  One person conducts the meeting, another one is assigned to tell a joke, another one is in charge of table talk, other people time the speakers, and then a couple of members speak.  Every member critiques the speakers each time; so it's a great place to get good feedback on what went wrong, what went good, etc.

My favorite part of Toastmasters is the horn.  One of the members is assigned to blow a loud horn everytime a speaker says "um" or other crutch words.  It really catches people off-guard and makes them think before speaking to make sure they don't use these filler words. 

At today's Toastmasters meeting, we had two people give their "IceBreaker" speeches, which is the first of a series of speeches that they will give. They both did a great job - it is always nice to see new people coming to better themselves and get over their fear of public speaking. 

So, if you want to become a better and more confident speaker, whether it be for business, church, or just to tell stories to the kids, I highly recommend joining Toastmasters.  Our local group meets on Monday mornings at 7am at JB's on Main Street in St. George.  To find the local Toastmasters in your area, visit www.toastmasters.org.

-Troy, Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach

Quote of the Day: "Half of the world is on the wrong scent in the pursuit of happiness.  They think is consists in having and getting, and in being served by others.  On the contrary, it consists of giving, and in serving others.  -Henry Drummond


 


 






 
   








 
   
 

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