Monday, October 31, 2011

How's That Strategy Working For You?

Question: How concise and memorable is your business strategy?

What? You don't have a strategy? Then you have a hobby, not a business. But I digress ...

Why is it important for your strategy to be concise and memorable? Because long-winded strategies are short on motivation. And you can't executive a strategy you can't remember.

When judging your strategy, here's a test: Can it fit on your business card?

Before you scoff, take a look at this strategy, on the back of Alan Mulally's business card (autographed copy below). He's CEO of Ford Motor Co. -- maybe you've heard of them?


And maybe you've heard of Mulally's results: Since taking over as CEO in 2006, he turned an annual loss of $17 billion into $2.7 billion profit by 2009 and $8.3 billion profit in 2010.

So you might want to pay attention to his strategy.

Here it is ...

ONE TEAM
People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership, as measured by:
 

Customer, Employee, Dealer, Investor, Supplier, Union/Council, and Community Satisfaction

ONE PLAN
  • Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix
  • Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value
  • Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet
  • Work together effectively as one team

ONE GOAL
An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all.


Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here

Friday, October 28, 2011

Are You Consumptive or Productive?

Look at your calender.

How much time do you spend consuming vs. producing? The ratio determines -- without fail -- how happy and successful you are.

Consuming activities are passive. They include:
  • reading email, 
  • watching TV, 
  • surfing to non-productive web sites, and 
  • answering unexpected phone calls.

Producing activities are proactive. They include:
  • developing marketing promotions, 
  • calling your top 3 clients, 
  • creating new products, 
  • adding new keywords to your Google AdWords account, and 
  • negotiating joint-venture deals.

After consuming, you feel ... empty, guilty, small.

After producing, you feel ... full, happy, big.

Weird, isn't it?

But wait. There's more ....

Here are definitions of two related words: productive and consumptive, courtesy of reference.com:

productive
1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.
2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.


consumptive
1. tending to consume; destructive; wasteful.
2. pertaining to consumption by use.
3. Pathology.
   a. pertaining to or of the nature of consumption.
   b. disposed to or affected with consumption.

Consumption, for those of you too young to remember, used to include these meanings:
a. tuberculosis of the lungs.
b. progressive wasting of the body.


So, how much of your day today was consumptive vs. productive?

You and I have probably never met, but I'll bet it was about 80/20, consumption/production.

Flip that ratio, and change your life.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Secrets to Success: 6 Minutes with David Frey

What do I do when I'm out of time or ideas for a blog post?

Interview a very smart person, shut up, and let them talk.

Lucky you -- the smart person I found is my old friend, David Frey.

After picking him up at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport yesterday (he's in town for a speech), I whipped out the FlipVideo and asked him:

"What's the secret to your success?"

David's answers are worth 6 minutes of your time, I think you'll agree ...



Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is This Card More Valuable Than a Honus Wagner?

Is this card worth more money than a rare, old Honus Wagner baseball card?

You be the judge ...


I'd wager that the aluminum business card above, a gift I received from Harvey Mackay, is worth more than a $2.35-million Honus Wagner baseball card.

It's simple math, really ...

Harvey told me he handed out his innovative card in the late '60s and early '70s. That means:
  • if Harvey's card started conversations that helped him open just 2 new accounts per year from 1968 to 1972 (10 new accounts total) ...
  • and each account stayed with Mackay Envelope for 5 years ...
  • and each account bought an average of $50,000 a year from Harvey ...
  • the total lifetime value of those 10 accounts would be $2.5 million.

Sort of makes you look at your business card a bit differently, doesn't it?

More importantly, it makes you want to invest a little more time and money in designing a business card that stands out from the crowd.

Because, if you play your card right, it could turn out to be more valuable than ...

... a $2.35-million Honus Wagner card.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thank-You Marketing Fumble

File this under: Great idea, so-so execution.

Below is the thank-you note I got in the mail from Uline after placing my first order with them.

Let me say that their service was 100% professional, FAST, friendly, and fair-priced. I will remain a client of them for a long time.

Having said that, the thank-you note falls short of reinforcing the friendly, professional image I had of them in one important way.

Now, look at the note. What did they do wrong?


Answer: This was sent by a machine.

"WE APPRECIATE YOU AS A CUSTOMER." (Really? Why not address me by name, then?)

There's no evidence that a human ever touched this, except for the Rolodex card, which has my customer number handwritten.

And that's an opportunity lost for Uline. Because, if a human wrote my customer number by hand, they could have taken another 5 seconds and signed their name or added a personal message.

Don't tell me that's not possible for a big company. Here's an example of a handwritten thank-you note from GoToMeeting.

Am I quibbling here?

Perhaps. Maybe I should be thrilled to get a thank-you note in the mail from any vendor, since it only happens about twice a year. (Do you smell an opportunity?)

But for Uline (or you!) to mail an impersonal thank-you note is like taking the football down to the goal line ... and fumbling. It's disappointing.

(Again, do you smell an opportunity?)

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kaizen Marketing and Your Online Advertising

Kaizen Marketing is the continuous improvement of your most valuable activity -- creating and keeping customers.

The first step in the process is discovery.

Because you can't improve what you don't measure -- and you can't measure what you don't know -- you must know where your money is coming from.

And here's a corollary: To improve your online marketing, you must first know where your traffic is coming from.

With Google Analytics, that's pretty easy. Just check your stats.

When you do, you'll find data like that in the following graphic:


See the search term in blue? Two people visited my site after typing market my business into Google.

Looking through my pay-per-click (PPC) ads, I noticed that I wasn't bidding on that keyword combination in on MSN AdCenter. So I added the words market my business to my paid search ads.

A few days later, I found the following results from my ads on MSN AdCenter:



See that? Six people clicked on my ad after typing market my business into a search on Yahoo and/or Bing. And two of those visitors to my site became conversions at a cost of $1.32 -- they downloaded and are now building their businesses using my Free Report.

What should you do now? Three things:

1) Discover where natural search traffic to your web site is coming from by looking at your Google Analytics or web server logs to find the keywords people use to find your site.

2) Bid on those keywords in your paid-search accounts in Google AdWords or MSN AdCenter.

3) Rinse. Repeat. Profit.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beyond Networking: Being Useful

Hate networking?

So do I.

I dread networking events, which is why I attend so few.

Will I waste my time again? Will I have to fake a smile for 3 hours? Will I get cornered by some guy with bad breath who wants to recruit me into his MLM scheme?

Notice how often "I" appears above. I, I, I -- pretty self-conscious, isn't it?

That's because networking makes us self-conscious. It's like being back in 9th grade with a zit on your nose, on picture day. Maybe that's why we dislike networking so much.

Is it any wonder, then, that you and I don't network as often or as well as the experts tell us to?

That's why you might want to try something different to build your business.

Instead of networking with other people ... try being useful to other people.

I first learned of this idea in 2009, as a client in Dan Sullivan's Strategic Coach program.

According to Sullivan, if you can bring confidence and clarity to people in your network, by researching their needs and then offering something useful -- product news, information about their customers, access to your contacts, expertise, etc. -- people will make time to talk to you.

Because they will see you as an oasis in today's desert of awful economic news.

As a result, people will take your calls, read your emails, meet you for coffee ... and be more likely to do business with you -- or send business to you.

The difference between networking and being useful is like night and day. Or work and play.

Networking is a bothersome chore -- you wish you were someplace else while doing it. Work.

Being useful is fun and easy -- you forget yourself while doing it. Play.

Try being useful to other people for just one week and see where it leads you.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2 Questions that Build Your Business Without Fail

What's the easiest way to build your business?

Do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

How do you know the difference?

Ask the only people who matter -- your clients.

Specifically, anytime anybody buys anything from you, ask them these two questions:

1) Where did you find out about us?

The answers will tell you which of your business-building efforts are actually ... building your business. Is it referrals? Your Google Adwords? A business card you handed them 6 months ago?

Whatever attracted this client is working. So, spend more time and money DOING it.


2) Why did you decide to do business with us?

The answers will tell you what you (or someone else) said or did to cause your client to open their wallet. Was it your money-back guarantee? The many testimonials on your web site? Your membership in the Better Business Bureau? Over the years, clients have given me each of those answers.

Whatever sold this client is working. So, spend more time and money SAYING it.

Building your business can't get much simpler than this: Do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

Best part: You never have to guess. Your clients will tell you exactly what to do and say. But only if you ask.

You will get better and more profitable every time you ask these two questions -- and act on the answers:

  1. Where did you find out about us?
  2. Why did you decide to do business with us?

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Harvey Mackay Reviews "21 Quick Ways to Get More Clients"




I've been sitting on this letter from Harvey Mackay for 2 months, trying to figure out how to blog about his nice comments about my new book, "21 Quick Ways to Get More Clients."

Still can't think of anything witty, so I'll just share the letter with you ...

Harvey's always been one of my heroes, so this means a lot. Thanks, Harvey!


Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Formula for Success? Add, Add, Add

In an interview with The Information Marketing Association, author, coach, and entrepreneur Lee Milteer offers a simple way to build your business.

After creating her "Millionaire Mindset" program, Milteer did something important: She didn't stop.

Instead, she kept creating and improving her program, through the simple power of ... addition. Milteer explains:
"The program has changed dramatically since the first version. In fact, one of the questions I ask myself every single month is 'What can I do to add to the program to give my clients more benefits?' Some months I do not come up with anything new, but there are other months when I have a brainstorm and think, 'Oh I can do this for them, or I can interview this person, or I can add a transcript, or I can add calls, or I can add more reports or I can add, I can add, I can add.'"
By asking yourself that same question every week -- What can I add? -- you can create tremendous value for your clients and your business.

Just like compound interest, which has been called "the 8th Wonder of the World," adding value to your products and services every month is NOT sexy.

It is NOT high-tech.

It will NOT help you get rich quick.

But it can help you get rich sure.

So, what can YOU add this week?

One more thing: I just created a new Cheat Sheet that reveals 4 ways to "force" Amazon to build your business, at NO cost. Click To Download Now

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Find Time to Work On Your Business

As I've written before, there are (at least) 3 small ways to boost your business in only 15 minutes a day:

1) Pick up the phone and call your #1 client. Ask how they're doing and what they're working on. Then ask if you can be of service somehow. They will tell you how to help or say, "No, thanks." Either way, they will be blown away by your generosity.

2) Mail a copy of a helpful article (magazine or newspaper) to your top 3 clients. Include a handwritten message with each that says, "Saw this and thought of you." Sign it.

3) Call to interview your last happy client. Ask how are they using your product or service, exactly? What has changed for the better, exactly? How much more time or money do they have as a result, exactly? Then ask if you can transcribe their comments to use in a "mini case study" on your web site or newsletter.

But, incredible as it may seem, some people just can't find time to work on their business instead of in it.

So, here's a proven way to recover at least 15 minutes of "lost" time in your daily schedule: Cut back on email.

And here's my story to illustrate ...

Back in 2004, I tracked how I spent each day, logging my time in 15-min. increments, as an attorney does.

What I found was shocking: I spent 6 hours per week reading and responding to email.

Not so much, you say?

Six hours add up -- to 24 hours per month ... 288 hours in a 50-week year ... 36 FULL WORKING DAYS per year.

Unacceptable.

So I resolved to check email once an hour instead of every 15 minutes (or anytime I got bored).

Yes, withdrawal was painful (there's no methadone equivalent for this). But my productivity soared.

So I took it a step further: I limited checking email to only 4 times a day. Then I cut back again. And again.

Now, I check email only twice a day, most days: at about 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

As a result, I spend only about 3 hours a week on email.

That's a 50% productivity gain -- an extra 18 working days recovered every year.

How do I handle urgent problems by email? There are none. Anyone with a "hair on fire" emergency that I must solve also knows my cell phone number and calls it.

How do I handle regular problems by email? They wait until 10:00 AM or 4:00 PM.

Yes, it really is that simple. Do this:

1) Block off time on your calendar to read and respond to email. I suggest 3-4 blocks of 20-30 minutes at first, so you can wean yourself and stay sane. You will still save at least 15 minutes per day in "transition time" shuttling back and forth from email to other activities.

2) Delay checking email until late morning, if possible. This closes the door to letting other people hijack your morning, which is the rudder for the rest of the day (according to my mentor, Brian Tracy).

Do these two things each day and you will save enough time to make small, profitable improvements in your business.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Can Your Headline Do This?

Here's the best headline I've seen for a book since How to Win Friends and Influence People ...


It stopped me in my tracks at Barnes & Nobel last Friday night. I had to open the book and look for the answer.

Who was that killer president?

First, a word about headlines and their importance. That word is ALL.

As in, headlines are ALL-IMPORTANT to the success of any web page, postcard, sales letter, print ad, or email you write.

The goal of your headline? To stop your prospect in his/her tracks and force them to read the rest of your promotion.

In the case of, Which President Killed A Man? mission accomplished. It's a terrific headline that compels interaction.

You'll know you've got a good headline when readers say or think the following:
  • "Tell me more!"
  • "How do you do that?"
  • "Oh, what do you mean?"
So ... which president killed a man?

The president who shot a man in a duel, after being accused in print of bigamy and reneging on a bet was ... Andrew Jackson.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.