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What Are The Steps To Properly Brand My New Startup Company? (My Answer)

Two questions from Brad Ashmore, Practical Technology Services:

1. “Can you provide the steps to properly brand my new startup company?”

2. “What is the best way to find a qualified business partner to join me in this new venture?”

As a new startup, you have a special place in my heart because I’ve been in your shoes. And since you’re a newbie, I wanted to make sure I address both of these questions. First off, my best piece of advice I can give you is to figure out what your niche is going to be. The hardest thing to get rolling is a plain vanilla company trying to be all things to all people. One of the BEST things I did early on in my business was seek out a niche. It took me over a year of fumbling around before I found it, but it was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. Not only does marketing get easier, but your systems and processes can be scaled more effectively and profits are higher because you become more efficient. You can also become a true expert in delivering one type of result for one type of customer, making your expertise worth more (if you’re good, of course). All of my programs talk about researching your CUSTOMERS first. Since you’re a startup, you have the ADVANTAGE of choosing who you want to make your customer. My hope is that you see it that way and don’t dismiss the wisdom in my program by thinking you can’t use it because you don’t have any customers. You just need to decide upon and research the niche you choose. Read full article and comment →

4 Facebook Plugins To Increase Traffic, Followers And Credibility

Does your website incorporate any social interactivity on it? I’m talking about more than a little Facebook logo that directs to your company page… something with more substance that actually KEEPS your website visitors on your page at that same time.

If not, you may want to test the use of Facebook’s social plugins to easily accomplish this—but be careful! You don’t want to take the focus away from generating leads on your site, which is the #1 goal. How to get the plugins for your Facebook company page:

1) Go to your company’s Facebook page.

2) In the right hand corner, select “Edit Page.” Read full article and comment →

The Biggest Revenue Opportunity Overlooked By Most IT Businesses

Just recently I hired a personal trainer (a.k.a. “Mean Old Luke”). Nothing too surprising here EXCEPT that I’ve been a member of two gyms in this area, one for 2 years and the other for over 4 years—both who sell personal training. Yet neither of them has ever attempted to try and upsell me on any of the other services they offer including babysitting, swimming lessons, tanning and supplements. There may be more services I could list here but I don’t know about them. I’m also a former paying client of dozens of other service-based businesses in this area that I’ve stopped buying from, never to receive a simple postcard, newsletter or other outreach to a) try and get me back or b) figure out why I stopped buying.

This is a HUGE, glaring mistake made by the majority of businesses out there that cause them to leave thousands of dollars in potential sales on the table. That’s why I don’t want to hear any whining and complaining from businesses that “things are slow” when they’ve not lifted a finger to stay connected with their clients. And with social media and e-mail being free, there’s zero excuse for this.

Read full article and comment →

How To Avoid Losing Your Biggest Client To A Bigger Competitor

Just recently a client shared with me an interesting story about how they lost their biggest client to a competitor who was charging SIGNIFICANTLY MORE for their services. This MSP told me they had given this client their personal cell phone numbers to ensure immediate response times, and had done a number of projects and fixes for free. Not too surprisingly, this MSP also charged a reduced rate in an effort to keep this cash cow client—so losing them was a real kick in the teeth.

The point I made to them (and that I want to make to all of you here) is this: You do NOT want “cheap prices” to be the main reason you get or keep clients. A client won on price will be lost on price. Plus, “cheapest price” is NOT what most clients want. They want value for money; and if you aren’t able to provide sufficient value and consistent service because you aren’t making enough profit to cover the resources in staff required, you are doing yourself AND your clients a disservice. Read full article and comment →

The Biggest Myths of Marketing IT Services

When it comes to marketing, everyone has an opinion – right or wrong. Ask any business owner in this industry about what is the best way to market your business and everyone will have a different answer. Problem is, many of those opinions are just that – opinions. They are NOT based on extensive research or testing. Instead, they are founded on very limited personal experience. That’s why you’ll hear people swearing that “direct mail doesn’t work,” or that “AdWords aren’t worth the money.”

It’s not that these mediums are good or bad. I know for a fact that they all work to some degree, and naturally, some work better than others. Just because you haven’t figured out how to make direct mail work doesn’t mean it doesn’t work period. It just means YOU haven’t figured it out yet. Right now, some of my clients are making thousands of dollars using direct mail, canvassing, newsletters, and yes, even Google AdWords. Read full article and comment →

You Aren’t Microsoft, Dell, or IBM – So Why Are You Marketing Your Business The Same Way?

I was flipping through a copy of CRN the other day and was, yet again, disappointed by the unbelievably bad marketing and monumental waste of money. I think it is this incredible void of good marketing examples that makes this industry rife with marketing that just plain sucks.

Not one great offer. Not one compelling headline. Not one specific, targeted, or meaningful benefit to buy. No case studies or testimonials. Guarantee? Are you kidding? Read full article and comment →

How To Generate Quick Sales Surges In Your Business

I consistently get asked the question “What’s the #1 thing that I should do to generate sales FAST in my business?”.  This question usually comes from a business owner that has neglected sales and marketing in the past and is now in a pinch for cash, doesn’t have any money to start marketing their business and needs whatever they do to work right away in their business.

If this is the case, I urge you to ALWAYS start with the simplest, easiest and fastest way to make money. Read full article and comment →

Keeping Your Commitments

From a Wanda Sykes stand up routine:

“When you get married, you stand there and say until death do you part. That’s what you say in your marriage vows…you make that commitment….we’ll stay together forever.

Yet the divorce rate is sky high—so everyone’s just standing there lying their asses off. Why don’t we just be honest and come clean. Why not just stand there and say, “Ummmm…I’ll give it a shot.”

This past month I got to thinking about another important ingredient to wealth attraction and success in business: keeping your commitments.

One thing I’ve observed is how quickly most folks are to dismiss their commitments, not seeing the absolute importance of keeping them no matter how small or insignificant. When I run coaching groups, I’m amazed at how bad clients are at showing up to the meeting on time, fully prepared, homework done, promises kept. Worse, they don’t seem the least bit bothered by it and constantly repeat the same pattern over and over again. They think it’s no big deal and give themselves “get off easy” passes—I see it as a horrible bad habit that is reinforced every time they break a small promise to themselves and others.

As someone who is maniacal about keeping commitments, this sort of behavior drives me nuts. Of course, just like everyone else, I occasionally get myself into a situation where I can’t meet a deadline or keep a commitment I’ve made. But when I do, I don’t hope it goes unnoticed or excuse it away—I confront it, apologize, and re-commit to something I can deliver. Then I do it.

Why is this so important to wealth creation? How does keeping small commitments like showing up on time to every meeting or sticking to a scheduled “orange cone time” every morning play into your ability to attract wealth? Two reasons: First, when you don’t keep a commitment, you train yourself that you aren’t reliable. How many people do you know who always forever excuse sloppy work habits and behaviors because of a label they’ve put on themselves such as, “I’m just a procrastinator,” or “I’m not good with paperwork,” or, “I’m just not good at”…<<fill in the blank?>>.

Or they have a bag full of excuses to pull out at any time: their kids, traffic, weather, their supplier, staff, vendors, business problems, employee problems, spouse problems, relatives, and on and on and on. These are nothing more than lazy excuses for not keeping their word; and when repeated, it programs itself as a self- fulfilling pattern into their mind. Then, when they really need or WANT to keep a commitment such as making certain revenue, marketing, management, or business goals, they come up short time and time again, locked into at terrible self-fulfilling pattern of failure. This is also why they can’t stick to a diet or exercise program, stop smoking, or any other resolution or goal they set: they know, deep down, they don’t keep their commitments and don’t expect themselves to keep this one either.

The second way this plays into your success and ability to attract wealth is this: Personal integrity—which is saying what you are going to do and doing what you say—is an extremely attractive characteristic to others. When you become known for absolute reliability, clients, opportunities, projects and wealth flow to you automatically. Employees have more respect for you and are more willing to do what you ask them because you’re leading by example. Clients have a deeper trust and appreciation for what you do. And when selling to prospects, you exude an air of confidence and authority that most don’t. Read full article and comment →