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Go the Extra Mile

I started thinking about this topic this morning when I received an e-mail from Bluehost.com, the hosting company where all of my websites live. They had sent an e-mail earlier in the week, telling me that they would be working on updating a particular Worpress plug-in that had been compromised by hackers. It could allow those hackers to do dastardly things to the site you are now reading.

I was unable to respond immediately, due to other commitments. Later, I checked on my Worpress dashboard for this site.  The kind folks at Bluehost had already completed the update.

I though that was mighty nice of them. I was also relieved that my site was protected. Thanks, Bluehost.com!

This morning, I received another message. A second plug-in had been hacked. This one adapts my website for mobile users, since the template is not “responsive” on it’s own. Yeah, that’s important, since about 50% of the traffic on my site comes via mobile devices.

I checked IMMEDIATELY to see if I could update the plug-in. Bluehost had already done it. This is very proactive work by a company that only receives about $120 a year from me. I appreciate it so much that I’m telling you about it today.

So…

What can you do for your clients today that might save them some work, preempt a major headache, or even save the day? What about their world has changed recently, that would be an opportunity for you to step in and make their life easier, safer, cheaper, or more productive?

Maybe you choose a single client, or a small group of clients, or perhaps even potential clients. Don’t charge them, and don’t make a big deal about how nice you are, and what a great company you work for, that would take care of them like you are.

Some people would call this “paying it forward”. Whatever you call it, great customer service can make you legendary among your customers and their networks. But don’t do it for fame or recognition. If it’s self-serving, maybe you should try something else.

I ask again – what can you do for someone today?

Open Now – Enrollment for FUELTANK(13)

My excitement in starting this program may only be matched by my gratitude for the people who have helped and are helping make this possible: my coaching program, called FUELTANK(13).

Rather than explaining it here, it would save us both time if you would just click over to the FUELTANK(13) page, read about it, GET EXCITED, and then enroll, of course! I understand, it may be the kind of excitement you feel when you finally get a deep splinter out of your hand, but that’s a WIN too, right?

When you sign up, you’ll get an e-mail soon, welcoming you to the program. It will include payment information and more complete details. You know, the ~real~ exciting stuff. Fasten your seatbelt – it will be a challenging but fun ride, I promise.

 

The Single Worst Habit in Business

We are continually bombarded with options.research

Don’t get me wrong… Many of those options are good. In fact, we often have so many good options from which to choose that we’re paralyzed, trying to narrow our choices down to two or three.

When we finally get down to two or three, we’re afraid of making the wrong decision, and we put it off until we know more.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of business, the economy, the Internet, and the rest of the world, “knowing more” is a constantly moving target. HOW WILL WE EVER DECIDE?

[Aside: If I’m describing any element of your efforts to market your business, just call or message me, and we’ll figure out a way to get you rolling.]

Now, by this point, you probably thought that I was going to say that the single worst habit in business is procrastination. You are close. In today’s business environment, the worst habit is RESEARCH.

“Wait! I have to know what I’m doing before I start something new…!”

Wrong.

You have to make progress, because the best among us are growing and learning by leaps and bounds, CREATING that “something new”. You’re going to have to start trying those new tools, new strategies, new products, etc.

Hang on a second. I don’t necessarily mean brand new to the marketplace. It could be something that’s been around for a while, but you just haven’t INVESTED the time or energy to get your feet wet. Yet.

So, here’s your new habit, starting NOW:

Continue Reading >>

Bring On 2013! Tips for Snow Day Success

bring on 2013 - happy new yearYou’ve got little to fear in the face of the developing blizzard in Indiana and the Eastern U.S. states on December 26, 2012…

You’ve already beaten the End of the World predictions based on erroneous interpretations of the Mayan calendar.

You’ve also just come through what’s arguably the most hectic, taxing, financially draining time of the year and had a (hopefully) safe, joyful, and successful Christmas.

Way. To. Go.

In fact, you may have some virtual office time at home, due to the storm. I’m going to take the liberty to make some suggestions for an easy-yet-productive Snow Day to help get your 2013 (snow) ball rolling!

1) Watch the multi-tasking! Freedom can bring the temptation to overdo it.

2) Make a list of the things you would LIKE to accomplish today, and place a star (★) next to the three most important items. Work on those first. Actually, Read the rest of this list first – it will probably give you some task ideas.

3) Recharge needed devices, like your mobile phone, flashlight battery, and laptop. Make any other needed preparations for a potential storm-related power failure, including fresh water.

4) Organize your tax information for 2012. Won’t it feel great to beat the tax deadlines by weeks or months?

5) Clean off your desk.

6) Purchase a training resource that will give you a boost for the start of 2013.

7) Write your thank-you notes for Christmas gifts or other holiday festivities.

8) Update your Internet browser or any other software, if needed.

9) Make a plan for a healthier lifestyle in 2013, including exercise, diet, and relaxation. Why wait until New Years?

10) Read your Bible.

11) Search YouTube for a business topic in which you’ve been wanting to make improvements. Watch one video, and bookmark two more.

Many of these have probably been on your “mental list” for a while. Now they’re on your paper list. What other items are you considering that will help you get a great start on 2013?

Feel free to contact JR, the Marketing Mercenary, for help with your 2013 marketing calendar: jr@marketingmercenary.net. Thank you for reading my blog in 2012, and have a blessed and safe New Year.

 

Don’t Make a List, Tell a Story

Top-of-mind awareness is the Golden Ring of marketing, and when you succeed in marketing, your business grows.

Tell A Great Story

One way to achieve T.O.M. is to “touch” your customers and potential customers frequently. Monthly, weekly, daily, even HOURLY with social media or mobile advertising – TOM can happen if you have the time and resources to constantly remind your audience that you’re ready to serve them.

Making a strong impact and being memorable is another way to stay Top Of Mind with the folks in your world. I’m not saying that being memorable will make the constant touches unnecessary, but – let’s face it – unless you have a HUGE advertising budget, it’s tough to be everywhere all the time.

Let your customer’s memory do the work for you. HOW? By telling stories about your company, your products, and your people.

“What should I tell them?” Make sure your stories illustrate the values that your company holds, and how those values are demonstrated to a particular client, in a particular way, by one of your employees or ambassadors.

I’m often guilty of answering the question, “What do you do?” with a list of services I provide. The response is typically, “Oh. OK.” But when I talk about a client that I’ve recently served in some exciting or fulfilling way, it ALWAYS leads to further questions – a deeper conversation about being the Marketing Mercenary. Which do you think that person will remember?

BONUS TIP: There have also been times I’ve talked about a business challenge, rather than a success. People naturally want to help. They want to show you that they have good ideas, connections, and resources, too. So, even talking about a challenging situation can help someone remember you when showed your appreciation and gave them recognition for their intelligence and resourcefulness. This is what’s know as a Win-Win, my friend.

We recently helped a local restaurant owner update numerous facets of his marketing platform at a very affordable cost. I’d love to tell you the details. Send me a note – jr@marketingmercenary.net.

(NOTE: I was only briefly tempted to entitle this article “3 Reasons to Not Make a List.”)

 

Three Requirements for Progress

three-requirements-for-progress

Is your business “stuck”? Are you having trouble moving ahead in a project or activity? Wondering why you can’t keep up any consistent momentum? You need enthusiasm, motivation, and commitment to make progress.

  • Enthusiasm means excitement, joy, or positive energy. Think about how that makes a difference in everything you do. You could also call it “spirit”.
  • Think about what drives you – your “why” – the reasons behind the reasons. That’s motivation.
  • Commitment can also be called loyalty, purpose, or determination. What makes you go at it again and again when you have difficulty, or even when you fail? We’re talking about commitment.

When any of these falter, the other two will be negatively affected. When you improve any of these, you can make positive progress in the other areas. I believe this to be true in business productivity, faith, relationships, personal development, and sports performance. In fact, I can’t think of an area that would not follow this principle.

What’s more, I’m afraid that even if you’re amazingly strong in any one of these and lack the other two, any success/progress will be short-lived. For example, a person with strong commitment, yet lacking enthusiasm or motivation will be subject to rapid burn-out.

Your challenge today: Take 5 minutes to choose an area of life that could use improvement on one of these pillars. List three ways to make that improvement. Pick one, and do it.

Do you have a similar principle to share? Do you disagree with this one? Would you like to see more on this topic?