How to Simplify Your Business Growth in One Step

When you think of “business growth,” you likely think numbers. But that’s a mistake. Because once you start focusing on your numbers ~ needing more followers, more views, a bigger list ~ you loosen your requirements for admission into your audience. It no longer matters whether the people who join you are on the same mission as you, and are looking for the outcome you offer. What matters is how many people opted in to your list today. How many Twitter followers you have. How many YouTube views you got. And while you certainly need someone to be listening, your focus should always be on who’s listening, not how many are listening. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the video, because I think it will help you put this strategy into use in your business. It really will simplify and accelerate your business growth. But, if you’re really in a hurry . . . Here’s the “Skimmer’s Version” for Simplifying Your Business Growth I’m sharing this with you because I recently “got it” myself and it’s making a huge difference in my business growth and in how happy I am with my clients and my entire audience. First, make sure your messaging is clear. What do you stand for? What are you against? Don’t be afraid to offend people, alienate people, push people away. You will get resistance from people. This truly is the first sign that you are doing things right. Wish these people well and tell them to go away. Don’t argue with them. Don’t try to convert them. If we all resonated with the same thing, there would only be one...

How Small Beats Big in Social Media

  It used to be that your social media goals were all about numbers. Actually, it still is that way for many people. I often see people celebrating their 500th Facebook fan, or 100,000 Twitter followers. The “bigger is better” mentality is firmly ingrained in us. The bad news is, a bigger social media following doesn’t mean bigger profits in your business. The good news is, you can have a small following on social media that delivers big results for you. What you need in today’s business world is not more friends, followers, connections, and circlers. It’s more advocates. You don’t need bigger numbers, you need bolder numbers. You need a small group that’s willing to stand up and advocate for you. They’ve got your back. They’ll share your stuff, sing your praises, recommend you to their friends, and defend you to your enemies. Eventually, this small group will help you build big numbers that actually count. Last time, I showed you an example of how Jay Baer had done a good job of building me up as an advocate for him. As a result, when he sent an email asking me to do him the favor of buying his new book, I did it without hesitation. I told you that I’d share some ways you can have a similar impact on your audience, so here it goes. If you’re going to expect someone to do more than hit “like,” “follow,” “accept,” or “add to circles,” you are first going to have to somehow add to their lives. There are 3 ways you can add to people that will turn...

Why Your Money-Back Guarantee MAKES You Money

Let’s say you sell a $97 product about how to set up and successfully run an organic garden in your backyard. It consists of an ebook, videos and some bonus seed and soil selection guides. It’s delivered completely by download to the buyer’s computer. Should you offer a 100% money-back guarantee for 90 days if your customer is not completely satisfied? Your first reaction might be, “of course not, anyone could ask for her money back, but there’s no way to get the product back.” It’s like walking into Foot Locker to return a pair of shoes and asking for your money back without giving the clerk the shoes back. Craziness. Not so fast though. Because the answer is an unequivocal “yes,” you should absolutely offer your customer her entire $97 back if she asks. Even if she then goes on to use your product to create the most bountiful organic garden in the country. It doesn’t matter how high-dollar your product is, you need a money-back guarantee. And yes, even for your services and your live events, you need some kind of a money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Why? Because such a guarantee will actually make you money. There are at least 3 reasons why. 1. Confidence Sells You’ve certainly seen or heard it before: “We’re so convinced that you’ll love your new XYZ that we’re offering you a full 30 day money- back guarantee.” Such language isn’t just for the late-night infomercial. Your potential customer needs to know that you’ve created something so awesome that you have no fear of going broke from all the refunds. Let’s...

Why Your Branding is Boring, and How to Fix It

My Facebook news feed is overwhelmingly red right now. A good portion of my friends have changed their profile pictures to a red version of the Human Rights Campaign logo. What I find interesting about this is that there isn’t any discussion about “why” people are doing this, or what it means. Everyone that’s even mildly connected with the issue knows the Supreme Court is considering equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, and the red HRC logo is a show of support for such rights. So nothing has to be said. You see the logo, and you immediately feel a certain way (depending on your views). You see the logo, and certain words come to your mind ~ civil rights, equality, gay marriage. How’s Your Branding Compare to the HRC? I know, your brand probably isn’t as widespread and popular (yet!) as the Human Rights Campaign. But comparing your branding to the HRC is not a stretch. While your audience may be significantly smaller, you still want them to feel a certain something when they see you online. Be honest with yourself, what do they feel now when they see your face or your logo online? Unfortunately, it’s probably something close to indifference. If you surveyed people on what words come to their mind when they see your face or your logo, they would probably struggle to come up with any. The reason behind this is that you’ve been concentrating on looking good online, without thinking about how to get your online visitors to feel good about you. As a consequence, your audience might like the way you look, and yet...

5 First Impressions That Will Make or Break Your Business

Did you know that when you meet someone in person, you form 11 impressions about that person in the first 7 seconds? Sounds pretty incredible, but more than one study seems to bear it out. Meeting someone new doesn’t exactly mirror a potential client’s first contact with your business. But, especially when your business is online, it’s fair to say that you have at most 7 seconds to make a “do or die” first impression. To help completely understand this, let’s compare a visitor’s first contact with your online business, to your own experience walking into a physical store. Let’s use the example of a shoe store. There are 5 big first impressions that matter when you walk in to find the perfect pair of shoes to wear on a big night out. Those first impressions matter even more to your online business. Let’s look at what they are, and why you need to make sure to get them right. 1.  Look Good You drive up to the shoe store, and two of the letters in the store’s neon sign are burned out. You walk in to find peeling paint, faded signage, and mis-matched placards displaying the price next to each shoe. Your first impression is that this doesn’t look like the kind of store that will have that special shoe you’re looking for. Your visitor lands on your website. Do they recognize the colors or logo or your picture as being consistent with what they saw when they “met” you on social media? Or when you handed them your business card at a networking event? Does your site look like you paid a professional to do...

The Secret to Effectively Branding Your Business Online

There are two parts to effectively branding your business online. The first is about how you look. I call this your “symbols.” The second, and often overlooked, part of branding your business online is how you make your clients feel. I call this your “stories.” Let’s take a look at how these two branding pieces work together to make a successful business.  How the Big Guys Do It When you think of Baskin-Robbins, those pink spoons undoubtedly come to mind. When you think of Pillsbury, an image of that dough boy can’t help but jump into your head. Same goes for that big red and white circle that defines the Target store. But, when you hear “Baskin-Robbins,” “Pillsbury,” or “Target,” more than just a symbol comes to mind. There’s also a feeling. You like the business, you don’t like it, or you feel no connection at all with it. You get that feeling based on the stories the business is telling you. And those stories are just as much a part of the business’s branding as the symbols are. In the winter, Baskin-Robbins has “Family Night” every Tuesday night. They sell $1.50 ice cream cones on Family Night. Surely they do it to increase sales during the slow months. But there’s also a branding story behind it. And that story says, “Baskin-Robbins is a place where the average family can come together to enjoy a delicious treat for a great price.” Another example of a company that tells a good branding story is Trader Joe’s, which is a popular alternative grocery store here in St. Louis and beyond. At...