Your Secret Sauce to Success
Resolutions – both business and personal – are made with great intentions. And most are doomed to fail. Why? Because business plans are over-rated. They fail because you might just hit it.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in. My advice to you is to eschew a business plan and create a powerful marketing plan. Having a business plan without a strategy on how you’re going to bring business in is like taking off for a secluded vacation getaway without a GPS, a map, or a Boy Scout compass. You might end up getting there, but it took you longer and wasted more of your valuable time.
Here is your GPS to success for next year (Just imagine my voice imploring you to recalculate when you go off track. I think many of my coaching and mentoring clients can relate!)…
- Determine how you improve the condition of others. What is the value you bring? What sets you apart from your competition? If you can’t sum it up in your own words, ask your best clients. Find out why they do business with you. Two things happen. First, you learn why people do business with you. Second, they remind themselves why they should continue to work with you!
- Who is your target market? Are there new audiences you should be reaching? How do you get yourself and your brand in front of them?
- Put referrals on the top of your list. Most businesses get referrals, but do a poor job of asking for them. Develop a system and language for your sales professionals (and you) to mine for gold. Asking for referrals is not difficult once you know how. Make it a priority.
- Create your own intellectual property. That means webinars, teleconferences, articles, columns, blogs, and podcasts. Create new services, products, and offerings. Become an object of interest.
- Stop wasting time and money on tactics that aren’t working. Does anybody even own a phone book anymore? Find out where people hear about you and go there.
- Find ways to speak publicly. You aren’t there to “pitch.” However, if your presentation is deemed as valuable then you will get opportunities to speak. The thundering herd of people approaching you afterwards to talk to you is your sign that people might like to hire you.
- Be better at following up. We have all been guilty of getting great leads and then letting them slip through the cracks. Set up a system that doesn’t allow that to happen.
- Set metrics and review data to see what is working and find out why. If it isn’t working, adjust and re-try. If it still isn’t working, stop. If it is working, rinse and repeat.
- Be shameless in your promotion.
I recently heard a colleague and friend of mine, Alex Goldfayn proclaim, “Marketing is no place for modesty.” He is absolutely correct. If you provide a great value through your services or products, you should be telling the whole world. If you genuinely believe that you are improving the condition and lives of others, then not aggressively tooting your own horn is actually selfish. You have great value; believe in yourself first.
Bottom line – ditch the business plan and create a powerful marketing plan. A marketing plan that works well will ultimately blow away anything your business plan would have set as a goal.
Take a left at the next light. You have reached your destination…
Here is hoping all of you slide in under the tag in 2013!
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
This is your friendly reminder about a ton of great opportunities for you to jump into 2013 at full speed. There are multiple opportunities for you to increase your income, reduce your labor intensity, and enrich your life. How can you pass that up?
Here is the list, and I’ve checked it twice! All nice – no naughties!
FREE Teleconference – 50 Ways to Call Your Mentor
Join Fellow Master Mentor Robbie Baxter and me as we help you learn how to maximize the value of being coached or mentored. You’ve invested your time and money; you might as well get all you can out of your relationship with your mentor. Find out how in this 60-minute teleconference.
FREE Teleconference – Thought Leadership Strategies with Alan Weiss
Join me as I interview Million Dollar Consulting™ author, Alan Weiss. He will offer you strategies and techniques to move you to being the thought leader in your industry. This is a “can’t miss” opportunity to hear THE thought leader in solo consulting, speaking, and mentoring.
The Experience Weedin Project
Drive your business into warp speed to start 2013! You will get four unique webinars on crucial issues related with growing your business. The one-hour webinars will focus on helping you dramatically improve your speaking, writing, language, and intellectual property creation. Discounts before the end of the year apply.
Insuring Success Video Series
For the savvy insurance professionals! Get this 50-episode video series that begins on January 18th. These are 5-minute, hard-hitting, value laden videos to help you grow your book of business; work more efficiently and enjoy life more. $200 for the entire series prior to the end of the year. The ROI on this is HUGE!
Libby & Dan 2013
We are back! Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Famers Libby Wagner and Dan Weedin combine to give you double the value in an almost free event. This was a popular event (twice) in 2012. We are back with new strategies and techniques to boost your business. Space is limited for this dynamic event. We even buy you lunch! Register today!
Note – Libby and I are working on bringing Alan to Seattle. We will be breaking that news soon. Stay tuned!
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Libby Wagner speaking on marketing gravity for consultants and entrepreneurs at the last Libby & Dan event on June 21st in Seattle.
© 2012 Libby Wagner & Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
From my February newsletter – to subscribe, click here
Your Secret Sauce to Success:
Consider how a simple blog article can be re-purposed into several pieces of intellectual property…
1. Write a blog of about 150 words.
2. Re-purpose the blog by adding an additional story to enhance and turn into a 350 page article.
3. Re-purpose the article by adding case studies and a process visual and turn it into a 5-page executive brief.
4. Re-purpose the executive brief by adding additional stories, examples, interviews, etc. and turn into a 15-page white paper.
5. Re-purpose all this material and turn it into a 20-30 minute speech.
6. Re-purpose that speech and turn it into a half-day and/or full-day workshop.
7. Take these materials and skills and re-purpose as a teleconference and/or webinar.
8. Re-purpose the material into a You Tube video.
9. Continue to enhance and refine and the possibilities abound – radio/TV interviews, audios, podcasts, books, booklets, e-Books, op-ed pieces, interviews for magazines/trade journals, and newspapers, retreats, and consulting projects.
All from a blog post.
This doesn’t have to be a big production each time. It’s simply adding to what you’ve started. Learn from each experience and grow your theme.
Why is this important? It’s a large part about expanding your brand; creating revenue opportunities; and meeting potential new clients. In addition, it reduces your labor intensity and gives you more time. By not re-inventing the wheel by re-purposing instead, you save time which for you equals money and more discretionary use of that time!
All from a little blog post!
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Early last year, I purchased one of those Nike monitors that you stick in your running shoe and teams up with your iPhone to track your miles run and calories burned while listening to your favorite music. I’ve never been a consistent runner and figured this would be my “accountability partner.” It was and the proof is in the fact that I stuck with it for the entire year.
Last week, Nike sent me my 2011 report card. You see, the iPhone downloads your stats after every run into Nike and they keep track for you. Turns out I ran 236 miles; burned 31,812 calories; and listened to a gazillion songs (give or take a few). I was stunned. Basically, I run 2-3 times a week at a distance of between 3-5 miles. Not much, but I worked hard at being consistent and persistent. In the end, I exceeded my expectations.
Most of business is about being consistent and persistent. Doing the small things every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, will accumulate in your favor. Examples include marketing, calling on clients and prospects, returning e-mails and phone calls, cleaning out your Inbox, and completing projects. It also helps to keep metrics to know that you’re on track. Too many of us procrastinate because we are waiting for the “right time” to do whatever it is we need to do. Understand that small steps taken daily will not only help you reach your goal, but exceed your expectations by the end of the year!
This week’s quote – “Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Still time left to register for Libby & Dan on January 19th. Click here to learn more…
Activity breeds results…
This week has been a blur. I spoke to two groups of consultants on topics related to marketing, branding, and strategy. I interviewed 13 people over two days for a new client where I’m facilitating a sales meeting to kick off the new year. I added another new client to lead a similar exercise at the end of the month. I wrote new articles and blogs and distributed new newsletters. Next week is even busier. Who said January is a “dead” month.
You may think I’m going to say all this activity is breeding results. While this is true, my real message is that all this activity was actually bred by last quarter’s work. In the consulting business, as in most, you sow what you reap..usually a quarter later. What you are doing this week will ultimately bring you money in several months. Certainly, you will occasionally find new clietns that come about because of an event. However, that event may have been three months in the making.
Keep this in mind. Sales cycles aren’t that fast any more. You need to constantly be thinking and strategizing for the future. Don’t get so caught up in today that you forget that you are fighting for tomorrow’s income.
Activity breeds activity which breeds results. How does your April revenue look today?
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Running through the finish line.
Okay…I like Dancing with the Stars. I’ve become enamored with the athleticism, grace, and beauty of it. Maybe there is a sensitive side to me somewhere down deep! It is also a platform to watch many life lessons play out – perseverance, courage, skill development, and commitment to name a few.
Last week, J.R. Martinez was crowned the champion. This is a true feel good story of a guy who was seriously burned while serving our country in the Army, and now is an actor. This guy was clearly one of the top two all year, yet after an injury was in danger of getting eliminated while others gained momentum. He saved his best dances for last and emerged victorious in a very close competition. He ran through the finish line.
We can spend a whole lot of time preparing, improving, and doing “stuff.” It all means nothing if we can’t close the deal (and this noun means many different things). Business and life are about results. Finishing strong requires focus, commitment, discipline, and action. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee victory, but in my mind it guarantees success. However, not running hard through the finish line will guarantee that you achieve less than what you were meant to.
As we streak towards the end of 2011, I encourage you to run hard through the finish line.
This week’s quote – “Watch out. The yellow ones don’t stop.” Buddy the Elf in “Elf”
(I would love to hear your thoughts on this quote as a metaphor for business or life. Feel free to send me your thoughts!)
From my August 2011 Newsletter sent out today. To read the rest of the newsletter and to subscribe to this free service, click here.
Let’s debunk three myths and monsters first before we answer that question.
1. It’s NOT your customer service. Everyone says they have the best customer service. And, let’s face it, most everyone does have good customer service. In most professions, this is not a difference-maker because you can’t prove it with real metrics.
2. You don’t care about your customers/clients more. This is the same as #1. You can’t prove that you care more than someone else. It’s all fluff. No steak or sizzle.
3. You’re products or services are not all that unique. Insurance agents represent the same companies. Real estate agents sell the same homes. Barbers cut the same hair. You all have similar methodology and your competitors are as capable as you.
So what’s your “secret sauce?”
It’s what you uniquely bring to the table with your experiences, stories, perspective, and personality.
- 2 cups of Experiences. Nobody else can claim your life experiences. These events have molded your thoughts and perspectives and make great stories to engage and communicate with your clients and prospects. I’ve been a volunteer firefighter, high school basketball coach, school board director, and Rotary President. Combined with that, I married my high school sweetheart, raised two daughters, and am the “voice” of the high school football team. All these experiences present opportunities to improve the condition of my client if I’m creative enough to find a way.
- 1 cup of Education. Your professional development and skill gives you perspective. Where you went to school, the professional classes you took, and a large pinch of the “street smarts’ you earned by skinning your knees countless times can’t be duplicated by anyone else.
- A dollop of Personality. You are uniquely you (at least that’s what my wife keeps telling me). Whatever your personality – introvert, extrovert, gregarious, serious, humble, or assertive – it doesn’t matter. You’re ability to relate to people make your secret sauce anomalous.
Mix together with…
Effective communication skills
Engaging and metaphoric personal stories
And, for the frosting on the cake…
Top with a large serving of CONFIDENCE.
Confidence is the killer of many an entrepreneur and professional. Lack of confidence masks skill. People want to work with those who are confident. It’s something you can’t hide. You either have that swagger or you don’t. You need this to top of your secret sauce and make your dish delicious.
© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
This week’s focus point -
Top of Mind.
I met a guy named Bill several years ago as a member of a home builders association. Nice guy, fellow Rotarian from another club, and someone who sold something I didn’t need – mini storage pods. I didn’t even ever have anyone to refer him to. I’ve seen Bill on a regular basis over the years and he’s always “reminded” me about what he does. Never thought I’d need his services. Until last week.
My mother is moving in with us after my dad’s death last month. We’ve just “inherited” a whole lot of new furniture and sundry things that are important for Mom. We now have an overflow of large items. Bill was top of mind. The pod was delivered this week and I just finished loading most of it.
Are you top of mind in your business? People may not need you now, or even in 3 years. But when they DO need you, are you the first person they think of? That’s your goal. You can’t anticipate needs, but you can position yourself to be thought of when that need does arrive.
This week’s quote - “Smooth seas never made a skillful mariner.“
- The wake-up message on my alarm on my phone
Yesterday I wrote a blog article on being creative with marketing tools like You Tube. Here is a prime example.
I met a local general contractor, Brent Erickson from RESCOM General Construction, through Linked In. I checked out his website and found a terrific video introduction to his company and their work. This is an example of using video proactively to promote your business.
Click here to go to Brent’s website
Thanks Brent for giving permission to give your web site out as an example. I mean, who wants people to look at your web site right? (For those wondering, this was meant to be funny!)
So get creative and find ways to expand your market…
© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved