Three Ways to Increase Your Success

Wherever we’re at in life,  we all wish to succeed…at something.  At the core of our being, that’s why the majority of us believe we are here.  Whether love, money or power is your goal, if you read success books about people who have accomplished what they’ve set out to do,  you’ll find three traits shared by all:

  1. Successful people see what they will give.  They  can envision what their product or service will do for the person who will use it.  They “see”  how it will be distinct…and of greater benefit than anything else available.  They create a vision of the one…or of the thousands…or millions…of satisfied receivers.
  2. They create a plan.   Successful dreams require a road map, with places to visit (to-do lists) and checkpoints.  From A to Z, they create the steps needed to keep going while ALWAYS keeping their eye on the destination.
  3. They take action.  More than a dream…there is action.  Successful people take action every day.  Even if it’s just thinking about what they want to happen and ways to move around potential barriers, there’s always action.  Sometimes these actions work out, and sometimes they don’t, but the successful person keeps striving…taking another action step.

Sounds pretty simple, right?  And…common sense.  So why do we make it so hard?

My theory…and it’s only that…a theory…is that most of us are either hard-wired or programmed (or both) for near-sightedness.  We see ourselves in the middle of a forest, and get caught up in seeing only to the edge of the clearing we’re standing in.  We create products or services that never leave the clearing…things that capture neither the imagination nor the heart of those who could benefit from what we might truly be able to provide.    We fail to see that in the forest all around the clearing there is potential for products and services just waiting for our imagination to find a way to make something useful for ourselves and many others.  Or sometimes we just fail to find a way to help the receiver “see it” from where they are standing.

I like to think that I’m a pretty successful business person…writer, speaker, e-mail and social media marketer. I make a comfortable living and my clients like my work.  Of course, it hasn’t always been that way. When I look at the mistakes I’ve made along the way (and who hasn’t?),  most of my failures came from not focusing on these three traits.

Some people pay thousands of dollars to a “success guru” for consultations and classes who…if you boiled all of their advice down…focused your attention on these same three things.  They may have given you dozens of charts, or maybe CD’s and DVD’s, and workbooks, and perhaps told you some things to put on your “to do” list, but if you think about it…didn’t they really just expand on “see the end, create a plan, take action?”

I’m not saying their advice wasn’t worth whatever you paid. These three traits are important.  If their advice helped you focus, plan and implement a success story, it was clearly worth every penny.   There are a couple of quotes I’ve heard numerous times throughout my career…as have many of you I’m sure.  One of them is “Those who can’t do…teach.”  Another one, one that I much prefer, is “Those who teach…learn.”   Successful coaches aren’t just great do’ers, they’re great teachers.  And the great teachers will help you find a way to apply these three traits specifically to your goals, whatever they may be.  So don’t be afraid to spend the “big bucks” if you find someone that really helps you develop your passion along this path.

If you can’t afford the gurus, however, or…you’re pretty confident you can make it on your own with this simple template…”GO FOR IT!!!”

I’ve had many lessons from the experts…I’ve also been the facilitator for many “how to be an expert” classes. I’ve been the passionate entrepreneur trying new paths without a solid framework.    I’ve had both success…and failure.   What I’ve learned…and want to share with you…is that success comes from thinking about…and applying… three traits…to whatever you’re doing.

So…today…give yourself the gift of three traits…create success the simple way.

 

Offer the Best…Because Your Prospects are Worth It

Whether you’re marketing hair care products, clothing, perfume, housecleaning, remodeling services, or marketing services, the person you are speaking with…your prospect…wants to be convinced that whatever you’re offering is the best…because they’re worth it!

As a marketer, on line or off-line, your ability to persuade someone to do something they already want to do is the difference between getting the sale…or not.  It is the ability to convince your prospect that they are a star…that there’s a performance going on…in this moment… in which they have a huge role…along with an obligation to act…in their own best interest.

The best marketing teachers…Clayton Makepeace, Armand Morin, David Garfinkel, Ray Edwards, Robert Bly…all talk about it.  In his new book Writing Riches, Ray Edwards calls it “aspirational language” or words that evoke the image of the end result of what the prospect wants…what he or she aspires to. Robert Bly, in The Online Copywriter’s Handbook, advises the use of laser-like focus…to “practice the art of selectivity.”  Clear, concise and compelling language  that will…capture attention, gain interest, create a desire, and invoke actionAIDA…the acronym you’ve heard trumpeted by marketers forever.

So…why do some marketing efforts, even using AIDA,  succeed while others fail?  Perhaps it’s the story.  What about your efforts? Continue reading

Are You Worried…that the Next Pink Slip is Yours?

Are you one among the many today who are continually worried about your company and whether you might be the next person called and let go?

If you are, you certainly have a lot of company.  And I hope you read this article thoroughly, because I want to share with you some steps you can take now.  These steps may or may not prevent your lay-off, but they can help you be prepared for the future, and to move through each day with confidence.

The first thing I’m going to suggest is that you believe in yourself. As odd as this may sound, there are a good number of people today who don’t truly believe they have talents and skills that can either help them hold the position they have, or to be prepared to step promptly into a new position.  People who see themselves as too old, too young, too quiet, too gregarious, too “average”….and the list goes on.  Are you one of them?  If so, today is the day to begin to view yourself differently.  Today, you can put together a plan that allows you to hold your head up and know that…no matter what…you will succeed. Continue reading

Three Ways to Lose Your Audience

“Begin with the end in mind.”  I’m sure that concept is familiar to anyone who’s ever heard of Stephen Covey, and his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  I first heard it more than 20 years ago at a management seminar, and it’s retains  its significance to this moment.  It’s ingrained in my marketing philosophy.

I thought it might be helpful to look at and review the three ways that Internet marketers today fail to adhere to that concept and as a result, lose their audience. Continue reading

Three Things You Could Learn From a Turkey

I admit it…I’m spoiled.  My office window looks out on a large open area of hillside and pine trees where it’s not uncommon to see deer, wild turkeys, moose, elk, chipmunks, porcupines, the occasional coyote, a variety of birds,  and other wildlife.

Yes,  I love it…and hate it.  I am a nature lover and am delighted that we share common space without interfering…too much.  I hate how much it distracts me at times,…like when I find myself quitting writing to watch the wildlife.

This morning, however, as I watched a young turkey hen with her baby chick  when I sat down to write,  I realized there are some valuable lessons that could be learned from her behavior.  And I decided to share.  OK, I know…who ever equates turkeys with marketing measures?  Well…today, I am…and I hope it’s meaningful.

Tell me, after you read this, if you agree with these three turkey behaviors that could make you a better marketer: Continue reading

Three Things To Do Before Lunch

When you’re first starting a new project for a client, it’s important to have a long-range vision and some strategic planning.   You want to know what the product or service is, who the target audience is, and why this particular product or service is something they should purchase.

Questions typically asked by marketers of their clients at this juncture  include: “When do you need this project completed…or What is my deadline?”  along with “When will I receive your overall marketing strategy,” and “What would you like me to focus on as major selling points?”

While all of these questions may be valid, there are three things to do before lunch at your first meeting that will secure this client, and get your project launched successfully.

“Thing #1:  Start with the most important question first: Continue reading

Coming Back from the Brink

Business, whether online or ‘brick and mortar’, is a lot like life.  It can have some unanticipated, amazing twists and turns.

My life recently brought one of those “twists,” when I was diagnosed with cancer.  Totally unexpected.  Totally unanticipated.  And, of course, as an entrepreneur and writer, I knew it would affect my business. 

I also knew that it did not have to destroy it.  That it was up to me to assume responsibility for managing my business in much the same way I have always done with my life…meeting whatever challenge is presented with a positive attitude and total belief that I was in charge of the outcome. Continue reading

Is Cancer Growing In Your Online Business?

Like cancer in your body, potential destructive cells can sit in your online business.  Like the discovery of cancer in your body, once it’s there, you have only one choice…kill or be killed.

Maybe you’re thinking that’s a little over-dramatic, but think about it for a minute.   Are the destructive cancer cells in your business activated just like the destructive cancer cells in your body?

There is a school of thought, that if you can abstain from “the blame game” can move you fairly quickly to a solution set.  Let’s start with cause and consequence.

What does it take to have a healthy business and a healthy body and what happens when any of the basics are missing?  Would you agree, the basics are:  Continue reading

Seven Agents for Successful Marketers

Have you ever thought that all successful marketers must have an even more successful agent?  If you have, then you’re right.

In fact, most successful marketers have at least seven agents.  And the best part is, you can employ them all to achieve greater levels of success than you ever dreamed possible.

Am I tweaking your curiosity?  Are you wondering who you can afford to hire that will guarantee your success…and not just one agent but seven?  If so…keep reading…’cuz here they are: Continue reading

Are You Socially Acceptable in the New Social Environment?

Are you new on the Web, and still feel like that awkward teenager…wanting to be socially acceptable…but not sure how?

If you’re an Internet entrepreneur, and just getting started, this can be a real challenge.  You know you should have a social media presence to get your business name  spread around, but you just don’t know how to go about it.  Both personally and in business, we want others to like us.   We tend to behave in ways that we believe are most socially acceptable to the people or groups we want to be accepted by.  In business, we understand how important that is…it puts food on the table and clothes on our backs.

You’re passionate about your product, and you’ve just put up a website.   Now, you want to take advantage of some free advertisement through social media.  What can you say on social media…facebook, twitter and the myriad of other sites…that will attract visitors…especially buyers…to your site?   How do you present your ‘best face’ in 140 characters or less?

Well you can relax a little…the rules may be modified for the new social media, but they really haven’t changed.  People who are searching for a good business relationship, on-line, or in a brick and mortar store, are still looking for the same basic things:

  • Relationship…can we communicate in a way that makes both of us richer in some way?
  • Honesty…can we trust the relationship?  Be your authentic self…regardless of the environment, because pretending to be something you’re not will always show through in the end.
  • Consistency…will you treat me the way I want to be treated every time we do business?

When you’re trying to get a business off the ground through communication, especially social media, who you are is what you say…succinctly.  People searching for information on line are usually looking for a quick solution to a problem they wish to solve.  If you have a solution for losing weight, for example, and you can convey it well in 140 characters or less on Twitter, you are highly likely to be able to draw attention to your website.  For example, if you were to tweet “Left Behind…60 pounds in 6 weeks” followed by a website address, you would undoubtedly draw visitors.  However, if those visitors found a website that either did not convey weight loss information, or did not convey that information honestly, your communication would fail.

I’m not saying that dishonest communication doesn’t occur on the Internet.  It does…and a small percentage of it is very successful…in the short term.  If you want to have a long-term business relationship, however, the same tenants for success that have always worked will still work…

  1. Care about your customer.
  2. Focus on your customer’s needs.
  3. Always do the best you can for them.

What’s different in the new social communications world, is that you must rely on a few words to make a strong connection with your audience.  To be well-received socially on Twitter, for example, you’ll need to know what your customers…or potential customers…care about so that you can sing the right tune.  Focus your very short message on their needs…something that can show them where and how they can meet that need.   With only 140 characters, your message needs to be powerful…and short.

For a long-lasting relationship, and to build new relationships, your message will need to be repeated in multiple ways multiple times.  At the same time, the message needs to remain fresh and relevant.

Learn the art of new social media communication.  It can be fun and creative.  It will hone your skills as a communicator and increase your ability to develop relationships with a larger and more diverse group of people.  Just remember…to be well received in the new social environment as well as the old, it’s still all about building relationship…in a brave new world of ever-evolving communication styles.