Dreamers and Directors – Discover a Powerful Partnership (revised)

Identify and then Compensate for your Weaknesses

If you’re an entrepreneur, you should know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Maybe you’re taking courses or psychotherapy or something to try to fix your weaknesses and failings. And then you discover that you can’t do much to alter your basic makeup or improve some of your skills.  You’re in the dark.

yingyangYou might need another solution. Truth is, there’s nothing wrong with you. Everyone has limitations and awful shortcomings. You only need to understand your strengths and make the most of them, and forgive your failings. What if you discovered someone who has everything you’re missing? That would be your opposite.  

I know, kind of extreme, but it helps to prove the point that differences promote growth and shore up weaknesses. In a tough competitive world, you’re likely going to need it.

Wait a Minute. What about Birds of a Feather?

Sure, they flock together and they go nowhere. They’ve hit their pinnacle. It’s one big, fun party. For them, everyday is the same until the boredom is too much to bear.  Growth only happens when you meet up with people different from yourself — and your opposite is certainly different.

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Pinned by Heidi Schlaff Just for Fun

And in the realm of personal attraction, your opposite can be compelling to you, but also the greatest source of anguish possible. No doubt, this has happened already for you, and you couldn’t stand them. They made you feel so uncomfortable and insignificant, and you had nothing in common.

Very tough to be honest and open with your opposite, or relate well to them. But when you finally relax and accept them and leverage their strengths, that’s when things get good. They may drive you crazy at times, want different results, do everything differently, and you may want to just see them gone. They push you to your emotional limits and don’t seem to fit into your situation. Show them how you complement them and they’ll become your biggest fan and most loyal friend. They may want to move your way too.

With opposites, we’re self-medicating with the other person’s personality, says Leigh Thompson, a professor of management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. See the article at Fast Company.

Your Opposite is the Key to Your Success

It’s funny how we avoid our opposites and even find them repugnant.  Yet if we were more like them, our lives and productivity would improve immeasurably.  They have all you lack and therefore the most potential to help you reach the pinnacle.

If you’re a dreamer, you probably can’t put your ideas into motion because you don’t have the practical skills with people nor money management. In fact, you probably hate the boring, predictable, unimaginative everyday routine and demands of financial management. Just the word accounting makes your brain go into convulsions. However, that routine makes you much more effective. It’s good for you!

If you’re a director, your forte is consistent, planned execution and accountable results. But unfortunately, your lack of imagination and inspiration puts a serious cap on the businesses future.  You see the dreamer as a foolish child, wasting time, being unaccountable for real results, and perhaps even pretentious. Yet without the dreamer, we don’t know where we’re going, how to innovate, grow, or even why we should try hard. The Dreamer is the engine and he asks Why’s. The Director is the steering wheel and knows the hows. His or her favourite question is How?

Your Opposite can Actually Bring Out Great Things in You

Dreamers and Directors together can bring out the best in each other.  The director lacks vision and spirit, but absorbs it from the dreamer. The dreamer absorbs the director’s discipline, consistency and real world orientation. Once the dreamer sees his vision materializing because of the director’s real world management skills, his or her motivation and confidence grows. So does tolerance, understanding, and wisdom.  A few successes gets the chemistry going.

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At first, your relationship with your opposite will be rocky. Make the effort to understand them, their values, behaviours, and style, and over time your business or personal relationship will really take off. Yes, you will be absorbing and internalizing their personalty traits, but don’t get into that psycho-babble as the above quotation from Leigh Thompson.

You’re here to be successful and you’re not going to do it all alone. There are plenty of personality types, so you if you are putting up your house as collateral to launch your startup, you may want to know a little more about your prospective business partner. And if youre thinking of dating someone, understand what they will bring to your relationship.  Your focus might be on other things such as looks, money, experience, connections, education, pedigree, references, and so on.

In the end, it might only be that they complement you so well — and together you have awesome capability. Every day will be uncomfortable with your opposite until you relax and accept what they can offer you. Good luck with your upstart.

You probably know whether you’re a dreamer or director, but you can find out more about personality at 16 personality types. And remember, your goal is to find those who will help you become a success. Good luck finding them. Also: 6 personality types every startup needs to thrive

Risk Taking, Determination & Business Focus

New research by Gallop is showing how successful entrepreneurs differ from the rest of the crowd. I’m not sure they discovered all of what makes them better as entrepreneurs, but it’s interesting information, that any business person could use to improve their own success. Who better to model yourself after than Inc.’s top 500? An article in Inc magazine called Inside the Mind of the Entrepreneur, by Leigh Buchanan cites new research about this distinquished group of successful business developers. A number of key strengths were identified including creative thinking, determination, business focus, and risk taking, Here’s a graphic showing how they differ from a national sample of entrepreneurs. The top ten traits reveal some well rounded individuals.

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Courtesy of the September Issue of Inc Magazine.

And it showed they tend to be serious about success and not being social butterflies. They may lack in relationship building skills and social awareness. I suspect it’s because these skills tend to create distraction and wasted energy and time.  They’re probably very focused on what they want to achieve.  The opposite would be your typical party animal who drives for attention and validation. These people don’t seem to need that. This means they need to work with people are socially savvy, able to network and get to know people and then influence them. As talented as they, you can see they have glaring weaknesses. The smart ones will find a way to compensate for their weaknesses.

Courtesy of the September Issue of Inc Magazine.

You can take the Strengthfinder test yourself on the site.  Costs from $9.99 to $89.

Digital Agency Lands on Inc’s Fastest Growing Companies List

Is Meteoric Growth a Smart Business Strategy?

Inc. 500|5000 is a prestigious list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. Being chosen on the list makes a positive statement about the company and gets their name in front of tons of potential investors and buyers.

However, business has to be sustainable. Companies chosen may go out of business in the years ahead.  Perhaps a too long term business focus is very risky in itself.   Fast, controlled growth may be a better business strategy.  Build it, grow it, and then hand it off to investors who can take it where it needs to go.

inc5000How about your agency? Is it growing in leaps and bounds? No? Why not? Oh right, controlled growth. Yes very conservative and wise. I think? Slow growth has its perils too, just as a cyclist or race car driver knows that once you relinquish the lead, youll like never get it back.

Please leave  your comments below concerning your attitude toward growth. Where do you see your company’s growth coming from? What is the safest growth strategy?

M&A’s or Go Public?

Actually, these agencies can be grown powerfully and then put up for sale.  In 4 years, 3Q Digital has grown 6 fold and it could be sold for a phenomenal price. What are the odds the wheels will fall off?  Can anyone duplicate what 3Q is doing?

Digital marketing companies are said to be the golden child of entrepreneurship with .  Spending on business services is behind only IT is above it.  That’s because they can make any other business that much more successful. They’re superchargers. 3Q is a prime example of how to do entrepreneurship. They sniffed out opportunity and followed the trail.

Below is a screenshot of 3Q’s homepage. Notice how they say they’re the client’s “Growth Partner.” I like that but I don’t like how the menu is one of those “Here’s our stuff and this is what we do” type communications.  That’s not inspiring and contradicts the focus on clients. The underlying message is “We’re too important and you’re lucky to get us.”  Corporate arrogance is still de rigueur in marketing unfortunately.

On their homepage, their unique value proposition is not clear or weak (e.g., We’re the leading …. blah, blah, blah). My point is that if these guys can generate this much success then it bodes well for the rest of us. They’ve acquired some good clients and that’s the key to a successful business.
3Qdigital

Silicon Valley Startups are Still Hot

3Q Digital, located in the Silicon Valley area has lifted itself from a common PPC advertising management service to one of the largest digital marketing agencies in the San Francisco region. The point for us is that Google made changes to their algorithm, squeezing out companies who were taking a free ride. They pushed companies into using Google Adwords and paying for their visibility on Google’s sites.  Digital marketing companies either went with the Adwords PPC highway robbery, or moved into social media, and bolstered their SEO efforts.

The beneficiaries of Google’s powerplay were agencies who offered PPC services. They typically offer that for 15 to 20% of ad spend. Relying on online advertising spending has a limited future, so they used that as a foundation to move into other areas of digital marketing.

3Q Digital is ranked #677 on the 2014 list, having grown revenue by 671% since 2010.

David Rodnitzky, CEO says the company’s success is predicated on 3 Qs — best-in-class customer service (EQ), dynamic and evolving strategies (IQ), and repeatable, proprietary methodology (XQ).

3Q’s Rocketing Success

The company was launched 6 years ago as PPC Associates and then rebranded as 3Q Digital last year. Earlier this year, 3Q Digital acquired another Bay Area digital agency called iSearch Media, and that created combined business of $300 million in client spend annually. iSearch is focused on big data from search. Big data is fueling insights into consumer’s online behaviour which can give big agencies like this a sizable competitive advantage over smaller firms that lack that knowledge.

It demonstrates well how important search is to businesses. If you have entrepreneurial goals, you need to focus on search and social media and learn as much as possible how to leverage it.

3Q’s management has a lot of confidence, and good financing, and a good plan. they’re a prime demonstration of entrepreneurial success — about seizing opportunities before they disappear. The waves come in and create tremendous opportunities.  Surf’s Up!!

Just a humourous closing comment on employee hiring. I don’t think I’ve ever seem so many good looking women working in one company before.

3q
redgreenpicHey if you’re not knock out gorgeous, you can still be fascinating, memorable and compelling. And guys, like Red Green said ” If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy:)

The Growth of Social Media

And  then you must use it really well. I’ve just been thinking about how much more time I spend on Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube, and other social sites and I realized I don’t do as much searching with Google anymore. twitter-success

The reason for that is undoubtedly that content on social media is improving and the interaction with people is where real success is. And yes, success today is about creating value but also in creating connections so you have people to share it with.

Your potential is limited by the number of people you can create value for.  If you have a lot of value to offer, then social is where you can find those to deliver that value to. I’m getting into social much deeper, sometimes reluctantly, and resentful of the time suck, but I now that if any professional avoids social media, they have a limited future.

Social may one day make Google unnecessary. It will evolve and offer more for its users. And Google doesn’t know how to index social activity. One day, the social sites may block Google’s access and that will be the end for the big search giant. We’ll remember it like we do Yahoo, MSN, Altavista and Excite.

Twitter Tips You Can Use

Social, Not Ready for Primetime? I’ve heard too many business people say they “don’t really believe in social media” as a marketing tool. But you know, I’ve been short-sighted myself many times so I know this statement is typically one we make before we accept some new truth. The sooner you make this decision, the less catching up you’ll have to do.

Social interaction is becoming increasingly valuable. And sales are being started and completed via social pages. We can’t keep our heads buried in the sand much longer. And as marketers, we know Google will tighten the rope around the necks of Adwords advertisers. More of them will be pushed into the social realm to find new customers, make sales and build brands that those customers will stay loyal to.

What ‘s so Great About Social?

  • Amazing reach to billions of people (google doesn’t offer that)
  • More personal and meaningful connectivity to new friends, customers and influencers
  • A new medium to give your company an edge over market leaders
  • A great way to make new friends and business acquaintances
  • More powerful way to connect your company and brand with consumers

A Better Way to Look at It Social’s strength is in the numbers and building a critical mass of followers, connections, and interactions. Those with successful accounts will tell you their social efforts do have presence and can influence and generate sales. Obviously, social can build your career, brand, and position you directly in the lives of people. You can connect with wonderful people. You can also connect with powerful, successful people. These enabled, limitless, inspiring people can change your life.

Once you get into social and make these connections, you realize the power of social media is in how much effort you put into it and how strategically you use it.  Join me on Twitter gord_collins to talk business, sports, travel, fun, food and entertainment. I’ll be touching on everything! Check out this excellent infographic by MarketingProfs on the growth of social media. Numbers are good but it’s the power it gives you that’s more important. It what they call engagement and the power of persusasion.

Also, see my post on Fascination, something that can pay dividends for you if you’re promoting yourself. And today, successful business is about successful people.
social-media-growth

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Create a Customer – and It’s Your Choice Who You Get

Primary Task of Business Development: Find the Right Customer

What do business development and matchmaking  have in common?  Doing research, finding the right customer, and getting the right message delivered.

If you get the right customer and present your UVP well you won’t have to do sales! A match made in heaven  Doesn’t that sound great!?  Well, we’ll never be without sales.  The point here is that business development is a business process that’s much larger than sales. This is what’s happening now in the marketplace with content marketing.  The actual selling job is done by your entire organization, not someone doing cold calls.

orangeA good job done with business development means you can charge way more if you have what they’re looking for, just as it says in this www.mordantorange.com cartoon >>

To develop new business, you research, target and then network to find new potential customers to serve. You deliver value to them without them asking, right from the get go. Giving, generosity, effusive communication, and a true concern for their best interests tells them you’re someone they can have a great partnership with. This is more important than any product/services that top B2B clients want.

Start right away to build trust, respect, and desire for you and your brand. If you’ve messed it up with previous prospects, don’t worry you can get them back by getting it right. Clients want the right solution.

Selling Satisfaction and Fulfillment that they Crave

In the services sector, this new giving, organic connecting, and shared purpose path-building is crucial. You the service provider are selling satisfaction and fulfillment. Dentists, business coaches, investment managers, and real estate agents are in the business of making people feel good.

If customers/clients keep coming to you consistently, they must be happy with your relationship. They believe you’re delivering more in value than they are paying in cash. Marketers are very aware that they don’t sell products anymore. They sell satisfaction. In future, you’ll be building a personal connection with your customer. No connection, no information — then you won’t achieve a sale.

You’re Going to Be Everywhere

If you want to be a business development manager, you won’t have an office, you’ll be living in your customer’s offices. You’ll be out networking digitally, cheerleading, and supporting customer’s causes, or you’ll be at home researching opportunities and markets. And you’ll be in the office making sure your people understand what the client needs. If you can’t do this yourself, then you’d better have someone who can.

It’s Going to Get Personal and That’s Good

You’ll be spending time within your customer’s lives. You may even play on their softball or hockey team. You may have to go ski diving with them in Dubai, or go fishing in the Caribbean, or spend time with their family at their northern cottage.

There may be structure in your life, but that structure is wrapped around them, not your old school business. So go take a warm bath and then watch all that scuzzy old school stuff wash down the drain. And be glad it’s gone. Selling was never fun.

You can’t be a stranger because your UVP is how relevant you are as a friend, confidante, and advisor. That means knowing your client as well as you can. Your success may depend on how well you know them — hence what they really want.

Yes, You’re a Dream Maker

Your brand image is that of a caretaker of their business and one who makes dreams come true.  Sound a bit much? It isn’t, your UVP needs a crystal clear focus on their hopes and dreams. Cause that’s where you’re both headed.

Right now, if you’re old school, you might be a little nervous about all this personal stuff. Because with old school, you kept yourself and your staff hidden so that no personal issues get in the way. Well, you’re just going to have to learn how to solve that personal stuff.  You fight with your spouse and keep going don’t you?  And even after many fights, you keep coming back, reconciling, discovering what went wrong and even begging forgiveness. And you know each other well! You’ll be treating conflicts as just part of a process of getting closer to the truth.

This is how your business life is going to be. Business development means discovering solutions for everything, anytime, anywhere. As always, the more value you bring to the table, the higher your compensation and usefulness.

So let’s end this post with you starting to define your purpose and process:

  1. Define your unique value proposition (how will you differentiate your unbeatable value in a way that is most relevant to your target market)
  2. Define your market or pool of prospects to target
  3. Determine how you will maximize delivery of value in order to grow your profits
  4. Determine how you will communicate persistently your fine-tuned brand image every day with every transaction

So there you have your start. Some heavy thinking for you to define your business, market and communications strategy. Smile as you think about how good things are going to be!

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Info Found on socialmouths.com

Twitter Tips – Taking it to the Next Level

There’s Lots of Ways to Make Twitter more Effective

Twitter has had its 8th birthday this year and it’s still going strong. It’s the top microblogging platform and millions of businesses use it. Whether they use it well is another matter. It can be a great way to connect with your businesses biggest fans and get them to spread the word. Spreading the word is what social media is all about.

But to use Twitter well to get the message, you might need to step back a bit and get your overall game plan set up. Twitter works best when there is an identifiable person doing the tweeting as opposed to a business voice. Social media is about people and people have emotional reasons for tweeting and responding to tweets, as well as spread the word about you, your business and its products.

Here’s some tips to help you get properly oriented before you begin tweeting:

1. Identify Your Passions/Goal

Twitterers are passionate people. Discover what they’re interests are and what your own interests are. The crossroads of the two should give you your best topics.  Twitterer’s are active, animated, energetic, enthusiastic, bold forerunners and are probably leaders in their niche. Sincerity, authenticity, transparency. Find out what you love and be it.  You can’t fake it. Your content/tweets communicates the quality of your belief — that’s why quality people will follow you and direct message you. Followers need a good leader.

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Follow Forrest Gump | Taylor JonesGIGGLES

2. Build Your Tribe and Get Lots of Followers

You need to tweet a lot to get the reach you need. 10 tweets a day might be good. You’ll need relevant content on your blog, Linkedin and FB pages.  At first, it’ll be a little tough but once you get going and your followers increase, you’ll connect with higher quality people over time (These highly targeted and relevant people are your real Tribe). Don’t be afraid to go through the beginner’s pains. Be yourself and encourage yourself to discover new things to talk about and share with them. The content is your real medium between you and them so make it good.

3. Research and Direct Message

Find those you want to connect with and make meaningful contact. Don’t waste their time. They won’t like that.  Constantly communicate your value by giving them value. Do something for them, complement them, give an interesting point of view, and make them feel good.  Some people are busy and tough to connect with. At first, they may be very hesitant but don’t worry, just leave the door open and they’ll eventually come around.

4. Send Them to Your Best Stuff

If you’re a job hunter, send them to your Linkedin page, sales people might send them to your website or FB page, friends might go to your blog or FB page.  Create A+ material and keep it accessible, especially at key times. This is the essence of letting them know how fascinating and compelling you are. They won’t forget you. Surprise them, shock them and make them laugh.

5. Make Your Conversation Appropriate

The voice or tone of your content should reflect you and your goals. Align everything so it points to where you want to go. Be subtle and don’t push. If they’re not following, then you haven’t expressed yourself in a way they can relate to. Consider what might not be effective enough and reinforce that area. It could be your bio, graphic background, or the relevance of your Tweets

If you’re just beginner at Twitter, see the Beginner Twitter tips post.  You can do it. I’ve increased my followers 800 in the last two months and I’ve already spoken with some amazing people. It does work. Keep the faith!

— Gord

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 The complete guide to Twitter lingoMashableSocial Good