You are extraordinary

Have you ever imagined what you could achieve, if you summoned the courage to put into play, everything you have learned so far?

The extra that makes all the difference

I have had the privilege of working with some incredible people — people who have achieved amazing things. In every case, without exception, these extraordinary people were just ordinary people, who put extra into what they did. Extra time, effort, care, passion, attention, joy and creativity, etc.

Make no mistake, you already possess what it takes to be extraordinarily successful.

The only question is, are you prepared to do the extra required?

Is your website hurting your business? Quite possibly!

I have a question for you: What do prospective clients think, when they visit your website or blog?

[You do know they check you out online, before they decide to get in touch with you, right?]

Just as you check out a potential provider’s website, so do your prospective clients. What they find will either position you in their mind as a professional they feel they can trust… or plant toxic, seeds of doubt in their mind.

Even low traffic sites are checked by prospective clients

Many small businesses make the mistake of thinking that the only people who check their websites out, are those who tell them they found them via the website. For many small business owners this is a tiny percentage of the leads they get, so they assume their site isn’t helping or hurting their business.

What they seem unaware of, is that the people who hear about them via; referrals, word of mouth, email marketing, advertising, social networks etc., also check their website out, before deciding whether to get in touch or not!

Here’s the thing:

  • We wouldn’t eat at a restaurant, which had dirty tables.
  • We wouldn’t hire a fitness instructor who was out of shape.
  • We wouldn’t by a car, which looked like a wreck.

In the same way, we can’t expect a prospective client to believe we are professional if we operate behind a cheap looking website. A badly designed, dated or poorly-written website says 2 things about us.

  1. We think it’s fine to operate behind an unprofessional website.
  2. We can’t afford anything better.

Both of those messages are extremely toxic. Combine them and you end up with a message that causes enormous damage to your business and your reputation!

The kicker here, is that websites today need not be expensive. An entry level, professional website will cost you hundreds not thousands.

That’s a tiny price to pay, to stop turning away all those prospective client inquiries. Right?

Tip: Read this – Is your website ready for the fastest growing group of Internet users?

7 Proven ways for you and your business to prosper

Here are 7 ideas, to help you and your business prosper.

  1. Work hard AND work smart. You need to do both.
  2. When you have an idea, capture it immediately. Write it down. Then, put it to work. This is what turns ideas into results.
  3. Instead of networking the way most business owners do, learn how to make extremely valuable business contacts instead. Here’s what you need to know.
  4. Increase your failure rate. If you’re not failing enough, it means you’re spending too much time in your comfort zone. If you want something you’ve never had before, you will need to do something you have never done before.
  5. Use your time wisely. Here’s how to get more done in less time.
  6. Do at least one thing every day, which will take your business in the direction of your major goal. If you build enough molehills, you end up with a mountain.
  7. Learn the basics of how to become a millionaire. I explained how in this article.

I hope you find these ideas useful, but more importantly, I hope you do something with them.

How to get what you want from your business

Sadly, most business owners fail to achieve their goals.

A key reason they fail, is that instead of doing one hundred percent of what’s required, they do one hundred percent of what they’re comfortable with.

One hundred percent

To give one hundred percent, is to give everything:

You can’t have what you want to have, without doing what you need to do.

The solution

The solution is always the same.

It’s as easy and as hard as this: Find what you’re avoiding, then summon the courage and knowledge to conquer it.

What everybody ought to know about Strategy

The Internet is full of lists. That’s because they are easy to read and often rich in ideas.

The thing is, a list without a strategy is like having ingredients without a recipe. It’s one thing to know what the 21 habits of successful business owners are — but how do you put those habits into action? How do you make the changes required? Where do you start?

A proven approach

Successful business owners are the same as successful sports people. They have a coach or mentor to guide them. They refuse to waste years going in the wrong direction or going nowhere.

Here are a few examples of extremely successful people and their mentors:

  • Steve Jobs was mentored by Robert Friedland.
  • Jobs then went on to mentor Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page.
  • Bill Gates was mentored by Ed Roberts.
  • Michael Dell was mentored by Lee Walker.
  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin, was mentored by John Lilly.

Those with time to waste use a different approach

Those who wrongly believe they are time rich, that they can keep throwing months or years down the drain, go it alone.

  • They collect ideas from newsletters, blog posts and books and end up with lots of lists, but no specific strategy.
  • They have no formula to get from where they are to where they want to be, based on their unique situation, challenges or resources.
  • They end up with lots of disconnected ideas, steps, tips, techniques and tricks.

As millions of people will confirm from their personal experience of that approach, it doesn’t work.

In short: Get the help you need, from someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. Life is too short and too precious to waste.

Listen up!

listen

It’s both easy and dangerous, to confuse silence with satisfaction.

Customers and clients who receive an average service, don’t shout about it. An average service isn’t good enough or bad enough, to motivate them to make a noise.

Silence and indifference

Silence is a sign of indifference… and indifferent people tend not to stick around for long.

If your clients, prospective clients, newsletter subscribers or blog readers, etc., don’t say too much, take heed.

7 Habits of highly successful leaders

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with some incredible leaders. Here are 7 habits, which are common to all of them:

  1. They don’t compare themselves to their competitors. They compare themselves to the work they did yesterday, and then commit to do better today.
  2. They show, rather than tell.
  3. They encourage others.
  4. They show up, even when it’s easier not to.
  5. They listen.
  6. They are keen to take responsibility.
  7. They spend their prime-time with friends or learning, not watching TV.

Tip: Here are 21 Powerful habits behind highly successful business owners!

Photos: What everyone needs to know about ageing online

Tammy was shocked when she emailed me today.

She explained that she had been following a business expert on Twitter for years. Then today, he suddenly aged by around 15 years!

15 years older in just 24 hours

Of course, the guy is just a day older today, than he was yesterday. The thing is, he’d been using the same photo on his online profiles for the past decade and, apparently, it was a few years old when he started using it. Yesterday, he decided to update his profile photo and like all of us, he looks very different than he did back in the late 1990’s.

He has told his Twitter followers he needed to change the photo, as he was tired of people not knowing who he was, when he met them face to face for the first time.

[I wrote about ageing online here: To age online or not to age, that is the question!]

The issue this guy now has, is that his brand is strongly associated with an image, which no longer exists. By failing to invest in a professional logo and failing to update his profile photo every year or two, he’s facing a totally unnecessary challenge.

We all get older

However, until recently, business owners were connected to people who either saw them pretty regularly or who were seeing them for the first time.

In the digital age, we are represented online by photographs, which are a snapshot of how we looked when the photo was taken. If these are seldom updated, we risk facing the same problem the business expert now has.

Keep people in the picture

If you do not already, consider updating your profile photos and avatars every year or so.

Even better, invest in a professional logo and use the logo alongside your picture. This allows you to change your photo, with the continuity of your branding intact.

Tip: Here’s a great video about what makes a logo memorable and valuable!

1 Essential word your marketing needs, plus 1 you MUST avoid!

Here’s a quick tip, to improve the effectiveness of your marketing. It’s all about a word you use, which is negatively impacting how people feel about your business.

That word is… change!

People are hard-wired to fear change.

We know that change, good or bad, is a source of stress. Even something as positive as the change that comes from getting married, buying a new home or setting off for a week in the sun, is a cause of stress.

Because of the negative way people feel when confronted with change, it makes sense to remove the word from your marketing. Don’t worry, I am going to give you a massively more powerful, motivating alternative!

Improve rather than change

Whenever possible, use the word improve, rather than change. Improve, is a positive word. It’s an attractive word too, because we are always looking for something better.

For example, look how the phrase below becomes far more powerful, when change is replaced with improve.

“This copywriting tip will change your marketing results.”

“This copywriting tip will improve your marketing results.”

Your prospective clients or customers fear change, but want things to improve. So, stop offering them what they fear and give them what they want!

Tip: Here are over 180 posts, related to copywriting and content marketing. Enjoy!