I had to stop the screaming.
That is what I was doing after all. Screaming.
For an entire year, I shouted my company message at would-be customers like an activist with a megaphone... And got zero results.
Project management is among a top skill to master in any business; especially one wanting to grow.
Because without project management, business owners will unnecessarily run into common issues:
You often get derailed by "the unexpected.”
You get interrupted an unexpected number of times daily. Those interruptions come at unexpected times. They each take an unexpected amount of time with which to deal.
That’s why it’s "the unexpected."
These interruptions kill your flow, destroy your focus, and force you to work on the urgent instead of the important.
So how do you deter, prevent, and deal with the problems these unexpected interruptions incur?
I was shocked, hurt, and felt like my idea had been stolen. Though I had the idea first, Nintendo would be the star. Nintendo would make $millions. It took years before I was old enough to recognize the important lesson in this experience...
Are you second-guessing your next great idea? Are you downplaying the value you could provide to others? Are you upset that you found a competitor in the market who seems to be offering everything you want to (and seems to be finding great success doing it)?
It might be time to step back and realize a few important things.
I couldn't get out of the car fast enough.
The mountain view outside my windshield at Glacier National Park was stunning and, being a self-proclaimed amateur photographer, I felt compelled to capture the scene.
I walked out onto a small dock, past the trees and into the open. A panorama of magnificent natural beauty, unlike any other place I've seen on earth, came into sight. The blue sky, the green trees, the mountains rising out of the horizon and reflecting on a shimmering freshwater lake, all free for my eye to see and my camera to capture.
But I had to wait my turn.
In the early ‘90s, when personal computers could only beep and boop, you had to buy a sound card to hear realistic sound effects or music. By all measures, Creative Labs, Inc. was the undisputed king of PC sound cards, selling their Soundblaster hardware to video game enthusiasts across the country.
Soundblaster touted 16-bit audio (later 32-bit) and multiple channels of sound as their “drool-factor.” But when I first picked up a sound card from the shelves of Circuit City (remember that store?), I was interested in it’s hidden secret: Dr. Sbaitso.
Dr. Sbaitso may not have been the first chatbot ever created, but he was the first chatbot with whom I ever spoke. Hearing his canned digital voice tickled my geek feathers. But it wasn’t all kittens and unicorns. Dr. Sbaitso had an unrecoverable problem...
He was quite possibly the worlds worst chatbot posing as an even worse clinical psychologist.
More recently, chatbot have entered into consumers lives and minds with force. And for good reason. In an age where instantaneous communication is valued over human interaction, getting the answers you need from a chatbot makes good business sense.
Given my historical interactions with Dr. Sbaitso (and equally dissapointing interactions with Amazon Alexa’s chat service), I doubted chatbots would have a positive influence on business owners. Then I came across this comprehensive infographic...
Check it out and let me know in the comments below if and how you think chatbots can help your business succeed in 2018 and beyond!
(Posted with permission from Josh Wardini, 16Best.com)
How many times have you posted a selfie on social media? What about pictures of your business, your employees, or even your products?
If you said none, you can leave now. We all know you’re lying :-).
That's what you're supposed to do, right?
Constantly post pics and text revealing new features for your latest product release. Letting the world know you have new office space. Sharing a press release your company just wrote.
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but it’s time for a little tough love. Tough love is because I want your business to succeed.
I want you to stop wasting time on social media. I want every post you write, every image you post, and every advertisement you pay for to generate massive returns. Whether it’s likes, shares or honest-to-goodness top-line revenue, I want your social media marketing strategy to succeed. Wildly.
And the fact of the matter is, if you are posting pics of yourself, your business, your employees, your news, and otherwise just talking about yourself on social media, your posts are falling on deaf ears.
How many times do other companies reach out to you via social media or a messaging service?
It’s probably several times a day, right?
How many times a day do you pursue social media interactions with friends, family, and loved ones?
Dozens? Hundreds? More?
The combined time you spend sending and receiving social messages from everyone and ever company is growing at a crazy rate. No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of time... and that makes it very difficult for other messages to reach through to you and get your attention.
Now, imagine you are leading a marketing effort for your company. How on earth do you reach through to your customers? Customers who are inundated with messages from friends, family, loved ones, and other companies. Customers who are swimming in "noise."
If you've been trying to market your message to your customers recently, you know how difficult it is to cut through that noise. It's becoming a monumental task to attract anyone's attention!
It's time to change what you know about your customers and how to communicate with them.
Here are some best practices explaining how to effectively use social media in a modern way that cuts through the noise, get's your customers attention, and makes an impact:
I know the feeling.
Another marketing campaign, another disappointment.
You start out with high hopes, and big dollar signs in your eyes.
But when the results from your campaign start coming in, it’s more of the same… Lackluster results.
Of course, you don’t fool yourself into thinking your marketing will take off like wild-fire, but you at least expect to get a few customers out of it.
Alas, every new campaign confirms your worst fear—you're spending money on crappy marketing that isn't effective.
Well, here's a secret...
I’m a big believer in looking back, reflecting on what has gone well, and building on that in the new year to get closer to my goals.
When I look at Modern da Vinci, the growth we’ve seen is incredible. It’s a sign that we’re on the right track, but more importantly, it’s a sign that the small business community is as vibrant as ever.
Here are some incredible statistics from 2016:
These statistics are obviously exciting for Seth and me here at Modern da Vinci. But more so, these statistics should make you proud. Proud to be a small business owner. Proud to be part of an ongoing conversation with owners like yourself, all learning and growing together.
We’re excited for what’s to come in 2017. We’re looking forward to growing more with you and finding new small business owners like yourself to learn from.
But before we end 2016, it’s worth reviewing the top posts in each of the five areas for a growing, thriving small business.
It's Small Business Saturday, and today's the day when small businesses like yours get to fight for your share of the pie.
And the pie is quite large.
In 2015, over 95 million people spent $16.2 billion (with a B) in small businesses and more than 55% of Americans were aware of the holiday! This year, some project small businesses can look to claim nearly $18 billion in receipts, a 10% increase over last year [Grasshopper Blog – Small Business Saturday Statistics].
Whether you've prepared for this day or not, it's too late to adjust course now. It's too late to develop a new marketing campaign, and too late to create flyers for some new sale.
But it's not too late (even if you are reading this at the end of the day) to do a few simple things that will delight your customers, getting them spending more money, getting them to share the word with friends and family, and ultimately attracting more customers to your business.
If you’re investing in a lead generation campaign, it’s safe to say you want a bang for every buck you spend. The last thing you’d want to do is to invest in campaigns with little or no return in sight, but the reality is many companies have unwittingly fallen into that trap.
Over the last 18 months, we have collected and analyzed more than 373,000 inquiries. This “Importance of Lead Validation” study indicates that as many as 50 percent of website conversions are not sales leads.
So, what are they?
Have you ever been caught flat-footed when someone asks, “so what do you do?”
Ever answered that question by saying, “I work for such and such company and we do blah”?
Yeah, me too. And it NEVER converts to a sale.
For some reason, when it's time to deliver your elevator pitch, it’s easy to get all flustered. You ramble on about your back-story or throw your company name at them followed by some industry jargon.
And what do you get in return?
Blank stares, an “oh, that sounds interesting,” or your audience reminisces about a similar idea they had once upon a time.
It sucks, and you know it sucks because it feels terrible. And it feels terrible because you sense a lost opportunity.
Well, in the next 10 minutes, we're going to outline a process for creating an elevator pitch that works for you. One that opens doors and creates conversation. One that has real potential to lead to a sale.
One of the biggest struggles small business owners have is generating leads.
Sound like you?
Even if you're not "struggling," you'd probably like to have a few more. I know I would.
That's why I went on a voyage across the Internet, searching for a cheat sheet, an ultimate guide, or any enlightening article on lead generation ideas. But after reading more than 50 articles, listening to dozens of podcasts, and skimming the highest rated sales books on Amazon, here's what I found:
Sure, some articles had a few good tips, but most were incomplete or misguided. No single article had it all. No single article was full of quality ideas for generating leads. So, I set about creating this article—a collection of the best tips on the Internet for generating quality leads—first for myself, and now for you.
Glen Hellman is a business expert and strategist that writes and presents on the topic of “How To Pitch to the Reptilian Brain.” It’s an approach grounded in neuroscience that is designed to influence others and move them to action. In this interview, Glen shares his insights on how to use these principles to sharpen your business’s sales pitch and how they can improve your leadership and business in general.
Look, there’s no way around it. Delivering bad news sucks.
When you’re receiving bad news, you sit back, you listen, and you react.
But when you are delivering bad news, your mind races with possibilities: What will I say? How will I say it? How will they react? What if they get angry? What if… what if…
It doesn't get any easier as a small business owner. With your customer's satisfaction and the revenue they generate at risk, delivering bad news can be downright stressful.
If you've never had to deliver bad news to a customer, congratulations. This post is for you. Because inevitably, you will.
If you have had to deliver bad news to a customer, I feel for you. This post is for you as well. Because I've been there a few times before. So many times, actually, my business finally figured out how to do it well. In fact, after delivering the worst news in our company's history, the customer literally called us back to thank us for it.
I’d like to tell you that story, and help you craft a “bad news message” for the next time you need to do the same.
Search engine optimization requires considerable time experimenting, tracking, measuring, and adjusting the smallest website parameters.
Additionally, every business is different. Some small business websites are aimed at selling products, others services and digital goods. Properly optimizing search engine results for a specific site with particular goals will be wildly different, and your small business just doesn’t have time to fiddle with it.
If you are looking for a few simple tips that will give your website a traffic boost and land you more customers, here are five things you can do immediately to improve traffic to your website—fundamental tips any small business can implement to get an immediate SEO boost.