15 Mind Opening Techniques to Refresh Your Business Results

Let Go and Move Ahead – You’ll Feel Better

reset
Image courtesy of System Serenity

Every small business entrepreneur or professional services provider suffers times when sales are very slow, or much slower than competitors. Doubt can creep in as we think the market is moving away from us.  Today it moves fast.

To stay with the market, we may have to make quick decisions about our competitiveness, visibility, and whether we need to change our business model and unique value proposition. I’ve seen company management who’ve had negative experiences and who’ve chosen the comfort of safety to the discomfort of growth. But without taking chances, even your status quo is in doubt. Right now, small businesses aren’t faring well. The market will leave them.

You know what they say “&*i# happens” But don’t internalize your failures.  It’s all about where you’re positioned in the marketplace. You need to be open and experiment to find the right new market positioning and invest in a solution. If you’re clouded with depression, anxiety, and fear — conservatism, you’ll miss out on opportunities to be a market leader again. Anyone can lead a market if they play their cards right.




If you’re just coasting right now, you’re not on the path of the market. It will leave you. Your only choice is to let go of old values, techniques, systems, and beliefs and gather momentum to change course and win. If your business isn’t growing, something is holding you back, so why don’t we hunt those demons down and get rid of them?

Reseting is to Reorganize and Reboot

I’d like you to Push your Reset Button. You reset by letting go of old habits and procedures, but you also let go by focusing intensely and passionately on where you need to go.

Canal-Water-Slide-in-Bali-Indonesia
Refreshing Dip Image courtesy of Viral Creek

Refresh your image of yourself, what you’re capable, and even your idea of safety.  It’s almost certain that your worst enemy is you so this post is a pep talk and a reminder of what is actually stopping you from moving you and your business forward.

Refresh Your View of Yourself
To refresh your professional life and create new opportunities and grow faster, you must first refresh your view of yourself. Old values and attitudes you learned when you were younger don’t work any longer. Your parents told you to avoid danger and risk, but as an adult you must take chances in order to learn and grow and stay current with the market. Whether you’re looking for a job or launching a startup, staying with the market is vital.

How do people think and feel when they’re doing well?  They believe they’re perfect or ideal – that they’re ideally matched to the market.

Successful people don’t have limitations or self-limiting beliefs. They see themselves as ideal for their pursuits so they show no fear about investing in their success.

Here’s Sir Richard with his thoughts: get into your passion fully — it’s how you win. Following your passion is wise because it prevents the appearance of self-doubt or self-limiting thoughts

The Success Interview: Why Aren’t you a Sales Leader?

richardquoteWhy are you where you are right now? How did you get there? Is it because you believe that’s all you can achieve, that there’s no real options? Can you travel? Can you create a new business? Can you triple your sales? Find out specifically what’s stopping you. Did you let fate control too much?

Don’t like hard work and frustration? No one does, and the truth about hard work is that it isn’t all it’s hyped up to be.  It’s your passion and focus that creates your success. The rest are just passengers.

A Note about Travel – It Takes Away our Crutches

costarica
Image courtesy of Pinterest. Borneo Tree Top Canopy Walk

Many business people travel or vacation as their reset button and a nice trip to Costa Rica, Borneo, Banff, or Mexico wouldn’t hurt.  Yet you can actually reset your mind anytime you please. You don’t need permission or support, or even to get away. As Tony Robbins says: You can make a decision right now to renew your life. Tony always points out your moments of decision as the key. Google even focused on what they call the Zero Moment of Truth. It’s at your zero moment of truth that all your lies and truths become evident.

Success Comes as Fast as You’ll Let It

I play tennis and I’ve seen kids as young 6 years, whollop a tennis ball at frightening speeds almost effortlessly. And I’ve seen tremendously powerful adults whose fastest hits go maybe 50 mph.  How could this be?

Kids new tennis techniques
Image courtesy of FTP Tennis

I’ll tell you. It’s because the kids have learned how to play a new way. The adults can’t hit the ball fast because of how they hold the racket. Their body mechanics thwarts the natural speed whereas the kids whip their arms as fast as they can and their shots go in. The adult tries to hit the ball faster but it sails out of the court.

It’s a classic case of how new techniques supercede old techniques. Although the 6 year old has almost no power, they’re able to use their bodies fully to hit the ball up to 80 mph and right in the court for a winner.  The oldsters must learn the new techniques, but most don’t want to. They’re afraid to let go and try something new. Some will give up the game because they can’t even play with the new crowd. The game has changed.

Let’s Move over to the Topic of Digital Marketing

I didn’t say online marketing or Internet marketing.  It’s digital marketing because digital is moving beyond the internet to private advertising networks such as gaming, TV, outdoor, or anywhere people can see it. Things are changing.

If you haven’t tried to educate yourself on digital marketing or you don’t have time, there’s a simple solution — find someone with the expertise, time and patience to help you understand and apply it. That’s a reset button action. You’re asking for help and being proactive. Then repeat the process for every area of your life.

Here’s 15 Ways to Reset Your Mind — read each patiently:

  1. let go of your resentments, stop judging everything and everyone and measuring against “standards”
  2. devalue what is torturing you because it’s ruining your happiness and performance – give up on the things you hate — let them go
  3. let go of the belief that you have to do it all — let others help you achieve your goals
  4. study the business model of successful people in your field
  5. let go of your beliefs about what you can do and what others can do for you
  6. let go of your beliefs about what you should do — there are many roads to success and happiness and you may be choosing the wrong path right now
  7. reset your most cherished values – the things you thought were most important (money, job, love, house, travel, social) may be stopping you from getting what you actually do want
  8. write down all the reasons you’re not rich and happy — are they excuses?
  9. turn off your TV and tech devices to get a sense of timeless peacefulness
  10. let go of prejudicial attitudes and see people as you would a stranger — as though they had limitless potential
  11. admit that you don’t know everything, that you need more info and guidance
  12. admit the weaknesses in your professional capabilities — you don’t need to be the greatest
  13. study your unique value proposition – what customer pain point have you missed?
  14. take a minimum 3 week holiday, far away from where you live where you don’t know anyone
  15. Are you waiting for that time when it “feels right?” By the time it feels right, your opportunities may have evaporated and the competition are pushing you out.

Look at online marketing as a tool to find a better path to the sales and happiness you really want. Like a divining rod, it will lead you to those clients, markets, and opportunities that are best for you. Let it happen naturally and the right ones will appear.

In your zero moment of truth, you have to decide whether you have faith in yourself to pursue the clients and natural opportunities that are right for you. Courage means faith in being the progressive you. The best clients/customers for you are the ones who will provide the best rewards. But if they can’t find you online, how will you find and connect with them?

If your digital marketing is poor, then why not try out my $995 offer to get you rolling? You’ve got someone willing to help you sustain your success so call me at 416 998 6246.  Your business is going to look a whole lot better and your competitors will feel the heat:)


Gord Collins is a seasoned digital marketer who works with clients who need someone to manage their digital marketing campaigns efficiently and effectively. Clients in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto discovered much better value than they could receive via an agency.

Key to Profits: Content Strategy

Is there one marketing practice that can generate astonishing results in web traffic, leads, brand awareness, new revenue and customer loyalty? Oh yes. It’s called Content Strategy.

Content strategy is the hottest topic in marketing because effectivness is something everyone is struggling with. Excellent content that hits the mark generates everything from high Google rankings to increased lead conversion to customer retention.

Improving your content strategy means going deep.  Most web marketing is shallow, without a cohesive plan.  Content strategy is front and center now for new business development, customer service, investor relations, ecommerce sales, and of course traffic building.

What is Content Strategy and How Should You Do It?

Digital marketing will grow more than 50% in the next 4 years. Rather than spending more on PPC or by missing the mark on random content development, you might invest in content strategy. By focusing your content choices and optimizing how CS is done, you avoid wasting time on content and channels that don’t work.

Engineering the Emotional Experience

Did the experience online that you had with various brands and companies affect whether you became their customer? Were you pleased with the experience you had with that company? I’ll bet you got your questions answered and you felt confidence and even joy from their branded messages. They made you feel emotion and convinced you to commit to the purchase.

contentstrategydefinitionsThat engineered experience begins out on the web and continues on the company’s website/blog. This is known as inbound content strategy. Their content strategist laid out a paved path that made your experience pleasant and fulfilling.

People buy with emotions and rationalize their purchase with information. This is what guides strategists when designing content experiences that produce emotion and convince visitors to become your customers.

Content Strategy is the guiding, high level vision that creates the high quality experience for customers which translates to a stronger brand and great sales revenue. Content strategy is the selection of material but is not content administration or even the production of content.

You Create the Promise of Satisfaction in your Content

It’s not that your customers are naïve.  They believe they can interpret your communications to determine whether you’re the right provider for them.  However, you need to shape the impression they get.

A content strategist begins with your unique value proposition and builds a bridge to your ideal customer. The strategy continues with fascination, engagement, and encouraging the completed sale. From beginning to end of your customer lifecycle.

The best definition of the content strategy is the guiding vision of how to use content to attract, engage and convince your target market. It’s one of the most exciting aspects of digital marketing and the one most likely to produce big profit.

orchestra
Woven within all of your copywriting, web design, video, photography, graphic imagery and social media interaction is your value proposition to your customer.  Content strategy is how all of that is orchestrated into one continuous stream of customer joy and fulfillment.

What Does a Content Strategist do for You?

A content strategist builds plans to attract your ideal customer and make them feel very good. Your CS will build content that builds solid preference for your company. In short, we create content that makes them happy to choose you and remain your loyal customer.

In general, a content strategist:

  1. establishes content goals
  2. establishes how the brand and UVP will be conveyed through content
  3. discovers content gaps, opportunities, and improvement needs
  4. determines content channels to use
  5. determines how to use social media within the overall content strategy
  6. establishes guidelines for new content development
  7. determines or assists with planning SEO goals/strategy
  8. determines or assists with social media goals/strategy
  9. performs audits of competitors positioning and content strategy
  10. collaborate with and coach content creators such as writers and videographers
  11. contribute original content if appropriate
  12. ensures content management system meets clients requirements
  13. uses analytics and conducts testing to improve content performance

How do you discover the ROI on content strategy? Companies are expressing concern about this and are hoping to improve measurement in 2015.

Your strategist might need to be a motivator, coach and personal trainer in getting his team to reach the right results.

If you don’t have a content strategist, it’s time to make room for one. Dollar for dollar this professional will create more value than anyone you’ve hired. If you’re not into getting rich, then I’m sure you’re into improving your business performance.

Does your business need a new content strategy? It may be wise to consult with me before you hire a designer, SEO, or paid search agency. Reach me at gordcoll5@rogers.com.

 

 

Infographic Resumes — Powerful Selling Tools You Should Use

Create a Purple Squirrel — You!

Visuals connect strongly with the emotional part of our brain so why not use them?  We know how people make decisions based on emotion.

The Purple Squirrel is that dazzling candidate with the perfect background and credentials
The Purple Squirrel is that dazzling candidate with the perfect background and credentials. Pic courtesy of  Exact Source.

The visual resume may give your brand image a significant lift and complement your professional CV very well.  It can make you appear to be the perfect job candidate — The Purple Squirrel.

I couldn’t find many effective infographic resumes online but I’ve got one below that’s not too bad. Maybe you’ll be the one to get it right?  (put it up online and hopefully it will go viral). People aren’t getting that it is a quick, clear, and visual personal branding tool. They might not be sure how to use it as part of their career building and personal branding repertoire.

Catch Attention — Move Emotions

Visual resumes catch attention, generate excitement and establish a unique value proposition in an emotional way. This could could enhance your personal selling process.

We all Google other people to check for authenticity and details and you’re going to get Googled. If you’re a salesperson, it’s exciting presentations like this that can give you an edge. Infographic resumes are probably better off discovered rather than sent to your target audience, but you may feel otherwise.

infographicresumevisualskil
In this section of a designer’s resume, she represents her skills visually and sneaks in her two languages. This could be critical if you’re trying to make an impact with an Asian agency or client. She’s Asian and she’s got design skills.

After being wowed by your infographic resume, the recruiter/employer/client would then click over to your website or Linkedin page for more detail. And they’d be travelling with emotional velocity; something every website tries to generate in visitors they hope to convert. The higher the “velocity” the more likely that visitor will do what you hope they’ll do.

I hope you agree with me, that your Linkedin resume is not the most exciting reading. The infographic presentation makes a lot of sense.

Hire a Good Graphic Designer

This is where a good graphic designer with an understanding of personal branding will be especially valuable. And that requires spending some money on or you shouldn’t do it all.

Strategically too, you can present salient, attractive features about yourself that have emotioanl impact before the factual work details. Your book, ebook, volunteer work for a charity, or travel to an important destination might not be noticed on your linkedin resume. Yet, with your IR, these interesting, mind catching assets can help you get your unique value proposition across strongly.

The infographic resume as you can see in this example portrays Krista Neher in an exciting way which her text resume and linkedin resume never could. You’d have to agree that this format does get your attention and make you believe she is quite the dynamic personality. You’d almost assume she’s a key social influencer as well.

krista
Pic courtesy of Pinterest

 

 Your Infographic Plan

Building a graphic resume requires some good planning. I’d suggest revisiting your significant, personalized unique value proposition as your starting point.

There are free visual resume builders such as http://vizualize.me.  They portray themselves as complete solutions when in fact, they could actually ruin your job prospects. A graphic resume is actually just a tease to make impact and build emotion. It works with your linkedin resume where they will get your skills and accomplishment details.

How to Organize Your Infographic Resume

Read this article on Fast Company by Rachel Gillettas it has some good pointers.

What is the most salient, attractive, valuable thing about you that your target would like? Put it first. Keep it simple. Give them one thing they can latch onto to make you easy to remember.

Present in order:

  1. Significant, personalized, unique value proposition (what you will do for them)
  2. Your accomplishments — the end result of what you did
  3. Brand names you can mention (your employer, tools used, companies you follow)
  4. One way you’ve used your skills to establish you as great
  5. Close with visuals that show you in the position/providing the solution which encourages them to consider you in their future.
  6. Invite them to your blog or Linkedin page to get further details and validation.

Find some of your UVP points with the Resume Cheat Sheet

infographicresumecheatcheat
Pic coutesy of Pinterest

 

Here’s some notes on Personal Branding and you’ll find more on my post about Personal branding.

infographicresumepersonalbranding
Pic courtesy of Pinterest

Good Luck with your personal branding and infographic resume. Let me know when you’ve completed yours and I’ll let my network know.

Find out more about content strategy.

 

Web Copy that Sells

Your website can never be persuasive enough.

Take a look at your own site and your blog. Does it grab attention? Does it get your UVP across quickly? Does it have the depth of content, topics, and copy style to persuade? Does it move visitors emotionally? Is it generating lots of leads?

persuasion
Pic courtesy of Wikispaces

Most websites aren’t very persuasive at all. Yet it’s a challenge to attract, engage and convert visitors to customers. Those who can write persuasively to entertain, engage, convince and generate sales conversions are some of the most sought after pros in marketing. Creating powerful content with an appropriate style/system for your site and your clients is very important.

A System to Build Persuasiveness

If your email and web copy is lacking a convincing result, then Web Copy That Sells by Maria Levoso might help you juice up your site’s persuasiveness.  It provides insight into how to strategize your web copy and help you build emotion and get your UVP across.

Maria Veloso specializes in direct response copywriting where bottom line results are demanded. She understood that web copywriting is a demanding and specialized craft.

Persuasion is Everything

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Screen Capture courtesy of Top Rank Blog

What works in the print and corporate worlds doesn’t work in the more complex space of linked web pages, viewable on small mobile phones. This is almost a complete course in writing copy for web and email.

I found it to be enlightening and inspiring. She covers how to structure your copy, use psychological techniques, and how to evaluate your copy’s effectiveness. You’ll discover perspectives and techniques you were unaware of. All the things a good content strategist must have.

And yes, she understands the unique value proposition built on customer and market research, and avoiding blunders that might ruin all your hard work.

More consumers/customers are reading our marketing material on their smartphones and this is requiring further changes in how we layout and serve it up for these people. That’s creating a revolution in modular content where it’s divided up into digestible pieces served different ways or even repurposed later. The range of creativity here is exceptional and we’ll see more of it.

And whatever way it’s served up, it has to be effective. This book helps you get above the common “top tips” level of copywriting mastery. Your writing needs to be conceived more strategically as a system, just as your webpages operate as a system.

Maria’s Simple Blueprint for Writing Web Copy

The book is comprehensive process of creating compelling copy that differentiates, informs and sells. She suggests asking 5 simple questions:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Why hasn’t it been solved?
  3. How will your UVP/solution change things?
  4. What is possible?
  5. What should you do now?

I enjoyed reading her tips on injecting emotion, making it scannable and enticing, adding credibility, using psychological devices, and replacing rational words with emotional words. Yes, customers buy on emotion and rationalize with information.

Chapter 3 in particular presents something that few copywriters know about — using psychological tactics. You can get an almost illegal, hypnotic effect by using these techniques in your copy.  She covers neurolinguistic programming, embedded commands, presuppositions, and even the cliffhanger principle. This is stuff you should know if you’re writing copy on the web.  There’s more eye-opening insight waiting for you in her book.

If you’re a content strategist, copywriter, or digital marketer who needs to write copy, you should have this as one of your key books. It will challenge your thinking and make you a better writer.

 

4K Digital Marketing is the Next Wave for Realtors and Travel Companies

High Definition Yet One more Advantage for Smart Realtors and Travel Agents

It seems almost a monthly event where new technology impacts web design, video,  or digital marketing. The recent leap in TV and tablet display technology called 4K or ultra HD TV is one such development that will have an impact on web design and the web experience people expect.

Luxury real estate agents should pay closer attention to 4K and the corresponding boom in Internet bandwidth being ushered in. It’s exactly these technology waves that successful people surf on. This is where the big money is made.

surfingwaves
Smart people see these waves coming.

For realtors and travel companies, 4K is a powerful way to produce engaging content, lift Google rankings, drive social media engagement and reach, and generate new leads.

And this is just the latest way of uplifting your marketing strategy, growing leads, and creating an unbeatable unique value proposition — one bit of progress that could enable all the other areas of progress. I see it as a platform for taking your entire business to a new level.

Hi Def’s Already Here, but 4K is next

4ksonysmall4K has been around for a while, however it’s just in 2015 that sales of hi resolution displays have rocketed (up 143%). They’re getting ready to produce 8K displays, just so you know!
The amazing hi definition clarity is 4 times that of HDTV. And the colour range, low power LED and very fast refresh rates (120 Hz) that the latest 4K displays and new smartphones/tablets enable a whole new level of visual experience. And the new smartphones put 4k right into your hands.

For those marketing luxury properties, and those in the travel and entertainment marketing field, 4K HD is a new pipeline to wealthy consumers. First marketing adopters build a first to market advantage, so you should get a jump on this one or another wave will pass you by.

It’s the affluent with a taste for new technology and extraordinary experiences in particular who are first consumer adopters of these TVs and devices. Cable networks are already paving the way for broadcasts in 4K HD. Rogers is offering a new service for $250/month in 2016. The vivid clarity of 4K is eye grabbing. It does make a better emotional impact. And if it’s more engaging, it’s more persuasive as a marketing medium.

4K Marketing to Wow Homebuyers and Travellers

Using 4K HD in your Web designs, home listings, and videos, or travel destination videos is definitely taking things to the next level. And I combine travel and real estate deliberately because the wealthy see them as an integral part of their lifestyle. And foreign buyers must travel to view your properties. You need to prove to them it’s going to be a worthwhile trip.

And of course, travel agents can make big waves on their own by using 4K travel videos.

A first time approach to 4K marketing might be to incorporate 4K property pictures and property videos into your blogs. Your IDX listings likely won’t have anything 4K soon. The bandwidth needed is ridiculous. This is probably something you and your HD web designer will need to do yourself. There are drone videographers who have 4K cameras and editing equipment, so they’re ready when you are.

Fast adoption of HD Tvs/displays/tablets in Asia and the US means home buyers and travel consumers will gravitate to websites and Youtube pages that use 4K. Your current website and social pages probably won’t look too hot in the new displays. You’ll cringe when you see them.

As for your own selling aid, (e.g., your new iPad), these new higher resolution devices can create a more compelling experience for homebuyers that you’re showing homes to. Your own brand will rise by riding the crest of this new technology.

And for foreign property investors looking at what you have to sell in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto, it means giving them a more reassuring look into available investment property from downtown condos with sweeping views expansive countryside or seaside estates. Nothing hidden — total transparency that builds trust. It’s all about trust in the $1 millon+ market.

There are 2 million real estate agents and travel brokers in the Americas. How many will ignore great opportunities when they appear? I hope you’re one that decides to incorporate 4K into your value proposition, spruce up your Google rankings, multiply your mls views, and supercharge your social media results.

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