Success Factors

What’s the Best Way to Get Attention and More Business…

Charlie Cook

Small business marketing should run like finely tuned car’s engine. Give it the right fuel and you’ll enjoy steady acceleration when you step on the gas, but let the tank run dry or put in diesel when your engine runs on gas and it will sputter and stall. If you’re marketing isn’t helping you attract a steady stream of new clients and accelerate the growth of your business, chances are you aren’t using the right fuel to market your business.

The first step in any successful marketing strategy is to get the attention of your prospects. If they don’t know you or your products and services exist, you won’t be able to grow your business. All too often service professionals and small business owners think that touting their expertise and the benefits of their services will get them the attention they want. Unless you are a well published author or sought after expert, this marketing strategy rarely works.

Problems Precede Solutions
Prospects’ primary interests are solving problems and meeting their needs. If you can show prospects you clearly understand their concerns and know the problems they are experiencing you’ll get their attention and have the opp0rtunity to demonstrate your expertise and the solutions you provide.

When you take your car to a mechanic you don’t want to them to replace parts until they’ve diagnosed the problem. A good mechanic will start by asking you to describe the symptoms, then they may hook your car up to the computerized diagnostic machine to further understand the problem before they order that expensive part.

Similarly if you want to sell your products and services to a prospect they must first have a problem that needs to be solved or a need to be filled. Despite an understanding of this fundamental sequence, most firms’ marketing efforts start with a focus on their services, products and credentials. Sound familiar?

Tired of having your business marketing limp along as if it were only running on 2 or 3 cylinders? You’re not going to get any better response by continuing to do the same thing. Use this link to discover how to get double the response and double the business from your ads, letters and web site.

Client Problems Fuel the Small Business Marketing Engine
Without prospects’ problems and needs your firm wouldn’t exist. And without the services and products you provide, you wouldn’t have a revenue stream. You need both prospects’ problems and service solutions to keep your marketing engine running smoothly. Problems are the fuel that provide the power and your solutions are like the cylinders of an engine that do the heavy lifting.

Fueling your business marketing engine requires a constant focus on client problems and needs. The more accurate your identification of client’s pressing concerns and interests, the more power you’ll get out of your marketing engine.

Power Up Your Marketing Materials
Take a look at your marketing materials and or marketing meetings. Do you start with clients’ problems and concerns or do you start with a description of your services and products and benefits?

Prospects want to see themselves and their concerns clearly identified in order to feel confident that you understand their needs. If you lead with this in your marketing materials you’ll get their attention.

Which of the following describe and focus on prospects’ problems and which focus on benefits and solutions?

– Your one liner describing what you do (Tagline, audio logo, meme, business card or elevator speech)

– Your positioning page (first page of your web site and /or brochure)

– Your ads

– Your exploratory conversations with prospects

– Any articles or press releases you write

If you are trying to fuel your marketing with the solutions you provide, chances are your marketing will sputter along and you won’t attract all the clients you want. Make the switch to using client problems to power your marketing engine and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your marketing helps your business accelerate.

It’s like putting a race proven engine in your car. When you use this simple marketing technique you’ll see a surge of responses and sales. Use this link to discover how to accelerate your sales and your business.


More Small Business Marketing Books, Ideas and Newsletters

Charlie Cook

Marketing Books by marketing gurus

Creating Rainmakers: The managers guide to training professionals to attract new clients -Ford Harding
A textbook for business development. It includes a number of unusual ground breaking concepts to help you and your sales staff become rainmakers, people who generate high levels of profits for your firm. Harding dispels numerous business development myths and describes common mistakes made by sales and marketing managers. This book is the bible of lead generation.


Don’t Send a Resume: And other contrarian rules to land a job- Jeffrey J. Fox
Jeffrey wasn’t thinking of marketing your business when he wrote this book, just of ways to get attention as a job applicant. But his approach used as a marketing strategy, can produce astounding results. Jeffrey maps out his guerilla approach to getting a job and it turns out it works just as well for growing your business. Short and sweet.


Designing Web Usability: The practice of simplicity- Jakob Nielsen
This easy to understand book is packed with ideas on how to build web sites to achieve your communication objectives. Don’t expect to find out how to design the latest cool feature; instead, this book uses research and Nielsen’s well-founded insights to explain what works. Designing web sites is easy. Designing web sites that move people to the action you want them to take isn’t. Anyone who has a web site, and especially people who design them should keep this book next to their computer.


Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 ways you can out-think, out-perform, out earn the competition- Jay Abraham
Abraham is a marketing genius and one of the great marketing thinkers of all time. As you can tell from his title, Jay is inclined to hype, but beneath this is sound advice. Jay focuses on the big ideas which can dramatically increase your profitability. Provocative and content rich. Lots of great stories to stimulate your own business development thinking. A veritable gold mine for any business leader or owner.


How Customers Think: Essential insights into the mind of the market – Gerald Zlatman
What are your customers thinking? Most firms don’t know, as evidenced by the fact that 80% of new products fail in the first six months. Harvard professor Zaltman shows you how to understand your own predispositions and biases as compared to how the minds and memories of consumers work. A clever book full of insights you can apply to your marketing. You’ll need to read it carefully and use your imagination to get the most out of this book, but if you do, your marketing will be light years ahead of your competitions’.

Books on Creativity – Keep new ideas flowing to stay ahead

Thinkertoys (A handbook of business creativity)

– Michael Michalko
A practical guide to stimulate creative thinking and problem solving. Full of exercises to use for brainstorming with your staff or your clients. Includes over a hundred innovative tools that any business person can use to solve problems and come up with new ideas. Read a few pages every day, and try one of the exercises once a week to keep your creative ideas flowing.


A Whack on the Side of the Head- How you can be more creative – Roger Von Oech
32 “whacks” or eye-opening exercises to spur creative thinking and help you see problems from a new perspective. Roger identifies ten barriers to creative thinking, including”the right answer, that’s not logical, follow the rules, be practical, play is frivolous, that’s not my area, avoid ambiguity, don’t be foolish, to err is wrong, and I’m not creative”. A chapter on each helps you unlock your and your colleagues’ creativity. These ideas are useful whether you’re in business or in school.


Weird Ideas that Work: 11 1/2 practices for Promoting, Managing and Sustaining Innovation – Robert Sutton
You might think Robert is nuts until you discover that this Stanford professor is describing ideas from real-life case studies. This book will turn many of your stereotypes of what works on their heads. Sutton’s ideas are unorthodox and thought provoking. No ivory tower theories here, but actual examples pulled from companies like Handspring, 3M and IDEO. Weird? Maybe. Practical? Definitely.


Why Didn’t I Think Of That? Think the unthinkable and achieve creative genius – Charles W. McCoy Jr.
Instead of using a band aid approach to problem solving, McCoy shows how to apply systems thinking to increase creativity. This engaging book is full of anecdotes and addresses issues of perception, concentration, high-level thinking, a systematic approach, imagination, intuition, empathy, and anticipation. Use McCoy’s systematic approach to creativity to become a top quality thinker. A fun read too.

More Marketing Books and Newsletters – To Be Reviewed

The 12 Month Millionaire
By Vincent James
http://www.12-Month-Millionaire.com

Why We Buy
By Paco Underhill
http://www.envirosell.com

Words that Sell
By Richard Bayan

Millionaire Mind
By Harv Eker
http://www.MillionaireMind.com

Become the Obvious Expert
By Elsom Eldridge, Jr
http://www.obvious-expert.com

Little Red Book of Selling
By Jeffrey Gitomer
http://www.gitomer.com/

How Millionaires Stay Rich Forever
By J.M. Trippon
http://www.trippon.com/

Never Run Out of Cash
By Philip Campbell
http://www.NeverRunOutofCash.com

1001 Ideas to Create Retail Excitement
By Edgar Falk

Ultimate Guide to Direct Marketing
By Al Lautenslager
http://market-for-profits.com/

Guerilla Marketing In 30 Days
By Al Lautenslager
http://market-for-profits.com/

Sales Question that Close the Sale
By Charles Brennan

Knock-Out Marketing
By Jack Ferreri

Your Marketing Sucks
By Mark Stevens
http://www.YourMarketingSucks.com

Negotiate Your Way to Riches
By Peter Wink

Phrases that Sell
By Edward Werz and Sally Germain

Selling to Big Companies
By Jill Konrath
http://www.SellingtoBigCompanies.com

eBooks

Emergency Cash Generators
http://www.EmergencyCashGenerators.com

Landing Page Handbook
By Marketing Sherpa
http://www.SherpaStore.com

The Ultimate Success Secret
By Dan Kennedy
http://www.DanKennedy.com

Newsletters

Marketing Hotsheet
By Ankesh Kothari
http://www.MarketingHotsheet.com

The Online Marketing Letter
By Jonathan Mizel
http://www.MarketingLetter.com

List and Traffic
By Jimmy Brown
http://www.ListandTraffic.com

Magazines

Millionaire Blueprints
By Tom Spinks
http://www.MillionaireBlueprints.com

DM News
http://www.DMNews.com

Target Marketing Magazine
http://www.TargetMarketingMag.com


Stop Working So Hard And Start Making More This Year!

Charlie Cook

Is working harder the way to make your business more successful?

I’m willing to bet that when you started or bought the business you’re running, you had a vision – and it didn’t include working 60 hours a week just to keep up. But many small business owners are doing just that. Are you one of them?

I’m reminded of an article I read in the business section of The New York Times some years ago about work habits of managers. Although the story is ‘pre-laptop’, the lesson still applies.

An industrial psychologist shadowed a busy executive at work for two days. Each night this executive left his office late, carrying two briefcases stuffed full of paperwork he intended to finish at home. Early each morning he returned to the office with the same two briefcases – unopened.

During the 10 or 12 hours the executive was at the office, he worked like a dog, constantly on the phone and checking on his assistant and his staff. But no matter how hard he worked, he never got to the papers in his briefcases. He was running on a treadmill and couldn’t get ahead.

When the industrial psychologist analyzed this executive’s daily routine in detail, he found that over 80% of the tasks that were keeping the executive so intensely busy could have been done, and possibly done better, by a subordinate. He was spending his time on tasks others could have done and micro-managing his employees.

Sound familiar? Are you spending valuable time each day doing work that could be delegated to an employee or outside contractor? Are you wasting time micro-managing your staff? These management habits are big barriers to the growth of your business.

Ready to discover how to get through these barriers? Get serious about reaching your business potential.  Find out how and where to focus your time >>

Small business owners wear many hats, developing products and services, marketing, managing employees and keeping customers happy. It’s easy to get sucked into solving immediate problems, answering endless email and trying to make progress on your To Do list. But as the business grows, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to do both the hands-on, day-to-day management – call it the tactical work – and the goal setting and strategic work that will maintain business growth.

The executive described at the beginning of this article is a perfect example; he spent all his time on tactics, fighting fires instead of developing a strategy to keep fires from getting started in the first place.

Are you focused on doing the daily work instead of on growing your business? You can be the business or you can run your business, but as your business expands, you can’t do both.

Want an easy to implement system to grow your business exponentially? Discover a simple strategy for attracting more clients each month. Use this link to pick up a copy >>

How can you shift from being the business to running your business? Try this for starters:

When you start your day tomorrow, don’t look at your To Do list. Before you even check your email, make a NOT To Do list. That’s right; list all the things that you, as the owner of the business, should not be spending your time doing.

Now make a second list of the tasks and projects that will require or benefit from outside expert help.

Third, list the tasks or projects that only you, with your talents, brains and experience can do and want to do.

Here’s a short sample to give you the idea:

NOT To Do (Tactical work to delegate to others)

  • Sort and respond to most emails
  • Deliver products and services
  • Make sales calls
  • Follow-up with prospects and customers
  • Web site management

Use Experts To Do (Things your company doesn’t have sufficient in-house time, experience or expertise in these areas)

  • Taxes and accounting
  • Developing marketing strategy
  • Copy writing
  • Layout and design of marketing materials
  • Legal advice

Only I Can Do (Short and long-term strategic planning)

  • Development of vision
  • Creation of strategy
  • Oversight of strategy implementation
  • Management
  • Contact with your most important clients
  • Reviewing the numbers and direction

Ultimately the success of your business will be determined by the role you play in it. Get a handle on your time by checking your Not To Do list daily and focus on the strategic tasks that will help you lead your business to the top!

Ready to find out how much more successful your business could be? >>


Are Your Small Business Goals The Right Ones?

Charlie Cook

“Last year I made $170,000 with my business, working on it part time. I want to make more this year and I have a ton of ideas for products and services, but I every time I think about working on them I lose interest. What can I do to regain my focus and make more with my business?
– Chris

Chris is one of my clients, and when I asked him what his personal goals were, he hesitated and the admitted he didn’t really know. He knew he wanted to make more money so he could confidently quit his day job, but didn’t have a clear vision of where his business was headed.

Without a doubt Chris has been reasonably successful but he’s only tapping part of his potential as an entrepreneur, and he knows it. With his small business ideas and talents, he could be making $750,000 or more, but he’s stuck. What does he need to do be outrageously successful?

No matter how brilliant you are, no matter how successful you’ve been, without a vision of what you want to do with your business and without defined goals to achieve that vision, I can guarantee you’ll wander.

If you’re not making money or not making as much as you’d like to be, the solution could be as simple as clarifying your vision and rethinking your goals.

Say you really wanted to go on a vacation but had no idea when, where or with whom. Chances are that you’d end up just taking a few days off and staying home or hitting the local golf course for a few rounds. Okay, but not great.

Now, imagine you wanted to take the ultimate vacation with a friend or your spouse. You’d make a list of places you want to go, what you’d like to do and see, and the level of luxury you’d like to enjoy. You’d create a vision of your trip.

Then you’d start to make plans, setting dates and making reservations. Of course, this trip would cost much more than a few rounds of golf, so you’d start figuring out how you could make enough money to afford it.

My wife and I have been talking about taking a trip to Bhutan for years. But it’s a vague wish rather than a clear vision; we’ve never figured out when we’d go or what we’d do. At this rate, we’ll never get there.

Having a vision of what you want to do with your business is the starting point. If you just want to make more money, there are hundreds of ways to do it. You have to know where to focus.

Want to know how to focus your online marketing efforts so you can achieve your ultimate income potential?  Use this link >>

Are you thinking of adding a few more clients, or are you planning to be the top investment adviser (or whatever) in your state? Do you market online?

Are you wondering how to add an additional revenue stream, or are you could be planning to develop five new niche info products, each making you over $250,000 a year? Do you see your business becoming the dominant player in your industry or in your town? What do want your role to be?

Want to know the fastest way to grow your small business? Find out what works from an expert who has done it already.

Several years ago I set myself the goal of making my business not only more profitable, but portable, so I could run it from any place that had broadband Internet access. This past December my wife asked me how many days of skiing I wanted to do that winter. I actually hadn’t pinned down a number until that point, but I told her that getting in 30 days on the slopes would be awesome.

When the snow finally started finally falling in late January, my business was set up so I could work from our condo in Vermont. I’m happy to say I reached my goal of 30 days of skiing, and continued to grow my business.

What is your vision of success?

What do you want to accomplish this year? In three years? In five years?

What are your top three goals for this month?

Like my client Chris, articulating a vision for your small business will focus your thinking. Then it will be easier to set specific goals and make plans to achieve them. Keep track of your progress, regularly update your vision and your goals, and you, too, can become outrageously successful.

If you’re serious about growing your business you know that to take it the next level you’re going to have to something differently than you are now. Ready to discover what? Use this link >>


How To Achieve A Breakthrough With Your Small Business Marketing

Charlie Cook

Have you ever found a new strategy or idea that really boosts your performance – a true breakthrough?

This January after skiing for over 40 years, I decided it was time for a tune up. Even with occasional lessons and a conscious effort to improve, I just wasn’t getting any better. I was working too hard and falling too often on the challenging terrain that I enjoy skiing with my son.

I signed up for two days of ski coaching with master skier John Clendenin who has reduced the complexities of skiing to four movements. Despite having skied for decades, over the years I had developed numerous bad habits. The crux of it was I wasn’t using the skis the right way to get where I wanted to go. Working with John and his staff, we focused on mastering the four fundamental movements that enable skiers to turn with ease.

The results of Clendenin’s coaching were astounding. After just two days my skiing had jumped several levels. The friends I was with, whose skills ranged from intermediate to expert, experienced the same leap in performance. With the benefit of some additional days to practice, I now can ski with much less effort and manage far more difficult slopes than I ever imagined I could handle.

We all have to be reminded again and again: to improve performance, you need to get the basics right. Even if you’ve been at it for years a coach can help you focus on the fundamentals and show you how to eliminate what’s holding you back.

Are you getting the results you want from your small business marketing?
Are you focused on the marketing principles that work for small business?

Discover how to grow your online and offline business >>

Whether you are a beginner or consider yourself an expert at marketing you can make dramatic gains with the assistance of a coach. According to one small business marketing coach I worked with, “No matter how good of a marketer you might be, having outside assistance in formulating business building strategies truly was key to my success.”

For another client, focusing her marketing on the problems she solves was the key. Now her advertising leads with a focus on client’s concerns and attracts many more clients.

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years, a small business marketing coach can help you be far more successful. Apply the marketing principles that work for small businesses and you’ll attract many more clients with less effort.

My teen aged son still skis better than I do but now I can keep up with ease and I’m having a lot more fun. I made a breakthrough in my performance with the help of a coach you can too.


What Does It Take To Succeed With Your Small Business Marketing?

Charlie Cook

Why is it that some small business owners seem unstoppable, steadily growing their businesses and assets, while others struggle  to stay profitable?

Last week I got a call from Phillip in Oregon, whose two online niche lawn care businesses had hit a wall. In just over three years, he had grown his revenue from the two sites to about $200,000 a year. He was happy with the results, but he wasn’t satisfied. His sites were getting over 1,500 visitors a day but his sales had stagnated. Phillip wasn’t sure where to focus his time — and endless energy —to convert those visitors to customers.

Phillip wanted to increase his total sales from the two sites by a factor of ten. His friends had told him he was crazy, but he was convinced he could do it if he could improve his conversion rates.

When I asked Phillip where he thought he needed my help, he was ready with answers. He knew that he needed help; he was aware that his lead generation system was leaky; he knew that he didn’t have any follow-up strategy in place and needed help implementing one. He also mentioned that his product development process often got bogged down.

Ready to take your business to the next level? Click here to find out how >>

Listening to Phillip describe his business, I heard a business owner who had all the potential to be extremely successful. He had the five characteristics that highly successful small business owners have.

Do the following characteristics describe you as well?

1. Never 100% Satisfied

Very successful business people are aware of their successes but are always looking for a way to improve their products, services and profits. Another of my clients, Julie, who owns a home health care business, is a good example. She built her business to bring in over six million dollars in revenue and turned down an offer to buy it so she could grow revenue to nine million.

The same thing applies regardless of the size of your company. Toyota, for example, is arguably the most successful car company in the world. Rather than taking success for granted, every employee is expected to look for ways to continually improve the corporation’s products and processes whether its making their cars more reliable or more fuel efficient.

You could be applying the same continuous improvement approach to your small business marketing.

2. Create Opportunity Instead of Waiting For It

Some people are looking and waiting for the right opportunity to open up for them. And they keep on looking and waiting. These people are perpetual dreamers.

Truly successful people may dream about success, but they don’t wait for doors to open. They build the doors and then open them themselves. My client Laurie Nadel is great example of this. At one time a destitute, divorced Brooklyn housewife, Laurie built a thriving coaching practice, helping executives and actors alike people overcome performance anxiety. She created her own business opportunity and now is enjoying its benefits.

3. Not Afraid to Make Mistakes

Few entrepreneurs have found a straight road to success. Many have lost significant amounts of money and time before they learn what works. When I launched my first web site almost ten years ago, I couldn’t find my own site in the search engines. This prompted me to become an expert in search engine marketing. The offshoot of this was a site I created that reviewed and ranked search engines, which I sold at the height of the Internet bubble for a small fortune.

Truly successful people aren’t afraid to stumble or even fail and use their failures as the foundation of their best successes.

Ready to build on your successes and failures and reach your goals? Use this link >>

4. Aware of Their Limitations

Phillip could point to at least a handful of areas where he knew he needed help to improve, including his follow-up and product development processes. Julie knew her market penetration was limited in one of her target markets.

Successful business people know that one of their competitive advantages comes from identifying what isn’t working and fixing it.

5. Seek Out Expert Help

Is it even possible to become an expert in every aspect of your business? It’s more likely that you’d be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. This strategy won’t help you rise to the top.

If you own a small business, it’s just not possible to become an expert in product development, operations, personnel management, accounting, fulfillment, small business marketing, sales and customer service. You’re going to need the help of a handful of experts.

Test Yourself – Do you have what it takes to succeed?

1. Do you push yourself and your employees to improve every aspect of your business?

2. Are you actively creating new opportunities for success?

3. Do you use your mistakes to create new ways of working?

4. Are you aware of your biggest business marketing weaknesses?

5. Are you currently working with experts who can help you take your business to the next level? If not, are you seeking the help you need to grow your business?

How many questions did you answer ‘yes’ to? What’s the next step to achieving your goals?

Highly successful entrepreneurs are dreamers and doers, self-confident and self-critical, with expertise in at least one significant area of their business but aware of what they don’t know. They’re people who take action and try new ideas.


What’s The Difference Between People Who Succeed At Marketing And Those Who Don’t

Charlie Cook

Some people seem to steadily increase their income while others just make enough to pay the bills. What’s the difference between the people who make millions and the people who struggle all their lives to get ahead?

If you want to attract more clients in order to build a more profitable business you need three things. You need clear goals, knowledge of how to market your business and a plan of action. Your marketing plan is like the proverbial three-legged stool. To function effectively, all three legs need to be solidly in place.

Without clear goals you won’t move forward. Without small business marketing knowledge you’ll waste your time instead of pulling in many more clients. Without a plan of action, your marketing won’t get done.

Setting Your Small Business Marketing Goals
Staying on track can be a struggle, whether you are trying to stick to a diet or get your small business marketing in shape. How can you get started and maintain your marketing momentum? What you need to do is make a commitment to specific small business marketing goals.

Winners set both large and small goals, and they put specific goals in writing. This last task may sound superfluous but it can make a big difference to your success.

One of my goals had been to write a book, a task that seemed overwhelming. Of course, no one writes a book all at once, they are written a page at a time. With a short-term goal of writing three to five pages a week, I made steady progress, wrote three books and have outlines for two more.

Take a piece of paper or fire up your word processor and
make a list of goals for yourself and your business. Include both long and short-term objectives. When you write your objectives where applicable include who, what and when.

The easiest way to get started is by beginning with your long-term objectives and then getting more specific. Ask yourself the following questions.

What are your five-year goals for your business?

What are your marketing goals?

(They could be skills, knowledge, new prospects or new customers.)

Be as specific as possible when answering these questions and defining your goals. For example, you might say, “I want to have published eight training manuals, be earning two thousand dollars a day and working less than 40 hours a week in two years.”

Discover how easy it is to attract many more clients and be more successful here >>

In addition to setting broad and long-term goals, you need to set small and short-term goals. Define your annual, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Once you’ve got them down on paper, take a copy and thumb tack it over your desk.

What’s a one-month marketing goal you can accomplish?

What’s a one-week marketing goal you can accomplish?

Some days you’ll feel like you’re on a treadmill going nowhere and your long-term goals continue to be out of reach. When this happens, try two things. First look at the list of what you’ve accomplished in the last week, month and year. Second, with your larger goal in mind, circle the next finite and easily completed objective on your list and get going.

Every time you complete one of your objectives, no matter how small, you’re that much closer to reaching your long-term business goals. If you’re writing a book, each page you write puts you that much closer to your goal.

Could you improve your marketing plan by clarifying your long and short-term marketing goals?

When you have clear goals and track your marketing accomplishments, it is easy to stay motivated. As you make progress, revise your goals and you’ll continually improve your marketing and be more successful.