Category Archives: Success

Local Business Marketing Case Study

Applying Business Sense to Fundraising & Social Media

We just finished an interview for Social Media: Cheap and Easy with Bill Garlough.

I know, you've never heard of Bill Garlough. That's okay. We'll be meeting a lot of business owners we've never heard of. That's because it's important for all of us to see examples of people - people just like us - being successful. Then we know we can do it, too.

Here's the success:

Bill and Karen Garlough founded Soup's On - a fundraiser - 3 years ago. In 3 years, they went from 750 attendees to 1,200 in the first 90 minutes. And they've skyrocketed to raising more than $110,000 with a 5 hour event.

Not bad, right?

Their success is definitely impressive. But the best thing about the whole event is that they've followed good business practice in developing it. In fact, what Bill and Karen have done is nearly textbook perfect. So much so that Soup's On is going to be one of the case studies in the 2011 version of the Business Owner's Guide to Social Media.

Now let's look at how they applied good business sense to this fundraiser. Continue reading

3 Content Tips for Local Business Marketing

Are You Smarter than a Highway?

Ever hear the phrase "Dumb as a post?" Or "Dumb as a box of rocks?"

How smart is the typical roadway? Right. Not very. And that may be about to change.

Here's a video I saw this morning on a Rotary e-Club site:

Nice video, yes? And how, you may be wondering, does it fit in with my mission of transforming advertising from an expense to an investment? It doesn't even mention social media!

Well, aren't I lucky you asked... 🙂 Continue reading

4 Tips on Direct Mail for Local Business Marketing

I just had a conversation with the Executive Director about building the list for her non-profit with direct mail. It was interesting, and there are some good points to share.

First, she's under pressure from her Board to increase the number of names on the mailing list. Now, this is just "let's get it done" pressure rather than "do it or you're fired" pressure. In fact, the Board is also willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on renting a list to see what results they get.

Which brings me to the first good point: Never buy a list.

When Judy (not her real name) e-mailed me, she said they were looking at buying a list - what did I think. Well, I was headed to the bank anyway, so I stopped into her office afterward.

Direct Mail Marketing Tip #1

If you can BUY the list, then it isn't worth having.

Direct mail lists are always rented. You send your mail piece to the list broker, or printer, and they address the envelopes. You only get the names of people who respond to you offer. And you get their names through their response. (I know...killer obvious.)

Okay. So Judy and I are going through the list criteria because Continue reading

Linchpin by Seth Godin

This started out being a hard read, but now that I'm over halfway through I'm liking it.

The concept is simple. Imagine there are 3 circles around you. Inside the first circle are your friends and family. The second circle holds clients, and the third circle is everyone who likes what you do. Seth doesn't talk about it, but obviously there is also a group outside the third circle.

The folks on the outside are those who don't know about you, aren't particularly interested, or who maybe want to throw stones. They are a pool of potential admirers and customers as well as a source of learning and growth. (I'll come back to this.)

Seth's proposition is that you grow the second circle - paying customers - by being generous to the first and third circles. Now, that's the proposition. That's different from the idea he's Continue reading

Small Business Marketing

The Glocal Wave and the Future of The Marketing Spotlight

Can you stop marketing, take a break, and still come back to success? Yes, you can.

When Friends, Followers and Customer Evangelists: The 2010 Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media (#FFCE) was being prepared, David Hancock (Founder, Morgan James Publishing) asked me to stop marketing. That’s a radical position for a publisher, don’t you think?

In all fairness to David, he was only telling me to Continue reading

Success in 2010

3 Reasons to Go For Gold

Olympians fulfilled their dreams in Vancouver, BC this year. They competed at the peak of their ability, and with the best performers in their sport.

In an earlier post, I gave you 3 reasons why you can just lay down and quit. But this is an Olympic year, so I feel obliged to balance that with 3 reasons why you should keep striving, keep working toward your goals, and hang onto your dreams.
Here are the 3 biggest reasons I’ve ever seen for taking hold of success:
I don’t have time
I don’t know what to do, and
I need help
I know what you’re thinking...These are the same reasons from the other article, right? How can they be reasons for quitting AND reasons for succeeding? Let’s have a look and find out…
I don’t have time
We’re all pressed for time. Mostly we want time to relax and enjoy ourselves, but I’m not talking about a vacation.
Imagine waking up in the morning – every morning – and knowing that you don’t have to report to a job. Feel the security that floods through you because you can decide how you’ll use your time today. That’s the most relaxing thing I can think of – a sense of security.
But how do you get there when every day is filled to bursting?
Let’s step back to that earlier post and look at something I wrote. Keep in mind that I chose my words rather carefully…
So let’s start with knowing we aren’t going to get everything done – today – that we want to get done.
The linchpin in that sentence is “want.” We’re looking at the things we want to do. Of course, we all know the difference between things we want to do and things we need to do. Which should be leading us to ask why we keep focusing on the “want” when doing the “need” naturally gets us both.
Consider an Olympian. At some point, she decided she wanted to compete in the Olympics. Now what was the very next thing she thought about? Right. She focused on what needed to be done to achieve that goal.
Well, our goal is to have more time. We want to have control over how we use our time, and that often translates into wanting financial security.
Okay. That’s cool. We know what we want, and even why we want it. That’s a great foundation for making a plan to get it. So what’s the next step?
Just like the Olympian, our next step is to plan what we need to do to achieve the want.
I don’t know what to do
You never have, you aren’t going to, and that’s what makes it fun!
When Bob Bly gave me my first writing assignment – Writing e-Books for Fun and Profit – I didn’t know what to do. It was my first big project, and I was intimidated by the prospect of writing for Bob.
When I started writing Friends, Followers and Customer Evangelists, I didn’t know how to use social media. That’s why I started writing the book. I figured most people would have the same sort of questions as me.
Now I’m looking for sponsors to do a book tour. I don’t know what I’m doing.
But there are people out there who do. I have a friend in Toronto who runs BizLaunch.ca. His name is Andrew and I’ve asked him for help. Then there’s the internet…You can bet I’ve done a couple of searches for information on writing sponsorship proposals.
Of course, David Hancock and Rick Frishman are helping me along. Since Morgan James Publishing is publishing Friends, Followers and Customer Evangelists it makes sense for them to help, right?
And what about the sponsors themselves? Since I’m a Rotarian, and the book tour is being arranged using the Rotary Districts as a roadmap, do you think potential sponsors are interested? And especially that they’re interested in reaching that target market of business owners who are active in their communities and live by the credo of Service Above Self?
You betcha!
Here’s the point: No one knows what to do until they take action.
Tim, my accountant, didn’t know how to write a good article. So he took action and asked me to coach him.
He made a small effort every day, and learned a little bit. That little bit, and the small effort, added up over time – just like compounding interest on an investment. Today, Tim writes a better article than most journalists.
I need help
These are words that come out of my mouth at least twice every single day.
Yes, I need help. You need help. Every business owner, mother, dad, and student would really like to have some help. Really, really…
The problem is that we’re looking for the wrong kind of help.
I’m forever saying “I wish there was someone to do this,” or “I wish I had an assistant.” Sure, having an assistant would take some of the load from my shoulders, but dreaming about it isn’t helping to get the work done. See what I mean?
As valuable as an assistant will be to me, I need a different kind of help to get through the day today.
Back up a second and look through the first two reasons for quitting again. Do you see how breaking things down into smaller, manageable tasks makes the time issue easier to handle?
It also makes the knowledge barrier smaller by breaking the learning down into easy steps. I didn’t know how to write a book for Bob, but I could handle researching one topic and writing 1,500 words about it. Put enough topics together and you get a book.
Tim didn’t know how to write a good article when we started. He put in the practice time, learned a few techniques, and now he’s a solid writer.
The cool part is that the help you want comes along while you’re making progress.
The “trick” is getting the help you need to make that progress. The help you need is support and encouragement. That comes from two places.
The first one is what you expect – a friend, family member, somebody you know who encourages you. That’s easy. The second one is something you might not have thought of – your role models.
When I want support, I look to what Jon Hansen is doing. I also look to Michel Fortin, Armand Morin, Connie Ragen Green, Dr. Jeanette Cates, Jeff Herring and several others who have “made it” in my industry. Studying their websites, reading their articles, and buying their products is a great source of support. They make the learning a lot easier because they’re good examples to follow.
Are You Ready to Succeed?
There you have it. The 3 biggest reasons I’ve heard over the last two years for getting my life in gear and reaching for success. They’re also the 3 biggest reasons people use for not even getting started.
There’s a tag line I use when signing books: Life is a marathon. Be social. It’s slightly different for my e-mail signature: Life is a marathon. Be diligent. Finish strong.
In both cases, the core thought is the same: Life is a whole lot of days strung together.
One year from now…One day from now…That time is going to pass no matter what interval you choose. These next 24 hours are yours to use in any way you choose.
Choose success. Complete one task today that improves your mind, builds a better future, and makes you the person you want to be. Read 10 pages from a book, write the blog post you’ve been putting off (check – that’s done!), or tell somebody you love them.
It is that simple. One day, one choice at a time, we are all building our future. What will yours be?

Olympians fulfilled their dreams in Vancouver, BC this year. They competed at the peak of their ability, and with the best performers in their sport.

In an earlier post, I gave you 3 reasons why you can just lay down and quit. But this is an Olympic year, so I feel obliged to balance that with 3 reasons why you should keep striving, keep working toward your goals, and hang onto your dreams.

Here are the 3 biggest reasons I’ve ever seen for taking hold of success:

Continue reading

3 Reasons to Give Up and Quit in 2010

You’re ugly. Your mama dresses you funny, and you’re broke. What other reasons can I throw at you for quitting? Here are the 3 biggest reasons I’ve seen in the last 2years:

  1. I don’t have the time
  2. I don’t know what to do, and (my favourite)
  3. I need help

Welcome to the party, folks. It’s life. We’re all in the same boat, and I happen to think it’s a lot of fun. Continue reading

50 Lessons Life Taught Me

This is from Regina Brett, a columnist for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, OH.

You've probably seen an e-mail circulating that says she is 90. Well, she's actually 50 and has a book coming out next year (2010) based on these life lessons. They aren't earth shattering - or even anything you haven't heard before. They're good advice.

Since this is the time of year when we think about family and friends, and when we look at making a new start in the New Year, it makes sense to have a little bit of help like this. So read on and see what life has taught Regina.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update: Continue reading

Better Blogging – Day 20 of the 31 Day Challenge

The editorial calendar says I'm supposed to write about "copywriting - editorial vs. promotional."

I like that topic, and it's important - but it's either happening after lunch or getting pushed to tomorrow. (Gee, it's nice being your own editor!)

Why? Because Day 20 of 31DBBB is about Leaving Comments on Other Blogs.

When I read this through,two ways of commenting occurred to me.

  1. Follow the instructions and interact with other blogs. I'll do this.
  2. Expand on the instructions and write a comment post today about the 31DBBB book.

Picking up a copy of 31DBBB was a result of thinking "I need to get more organised about managing my blog."

To be honest, I had never heard of Darren Rowse and was Continue reading

Information Marketing – 3 Profit Generators

There are only three kinds of information product:

  1. Text
  2. Audio
  3. Video

There are all kinds of combinations for these three. We see them all the time. But these are the 3 profit generators of information marketing.

And those 3 profit generators take one of two forms:

  1. Free
  2. Paid

Whether it's the free-on-free offer for a newsletter with a report, the monthly payment of a membership site, or the hefty fee of a conference, all information products are either free or paid.

Looks pretty simple, doesn't it? Can information marketing really be that easy?

Well, I've written 6 books in 20 months that have combined revenues of Continue reading