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Top 10 Insights from 2011 Issue!

Top 10 Insights from 2011 Issue!

December 21, 2011

Phew! What a year it's been - and I'm thankful for that.

Our business grew more than 50% since last year, we continue to add more business, marketing and personal people to our team and we have more subscribers than ever reading this column every week.

Even in a 'down economy' many of our clients have seen tremendous growth too - and here's why, together we refuse to rest. You see we are addicted to ABG (Always Be Growing). In fact, we're planning to grow at least 50% in 2012 and we're committed to making next year our best year ever. How about you?

To help YOU make 2012 your best year ever we've pulled our Best of the Best advice from 2008-2011 based on reader input and value. Here are our Top 10 most surprising and powerful growth strategies that can make a dramatic difference in your life and in your business in the coming year ... if you apply them!

Please, do me a favor. Just pick 2. That's it, 2. Then actually apply them and watch the improvements come to life.

So let's get started'

When creating time for the "Big Rocks" in your life, make it fun. In this case, I blindfolded my daughter and surprised her by taking her to the opening of a Harry Potter movie. It's all about the build up

1. Make time for the 'Big Rocks' in your life. This was the most popular article we have ever written. See if you can figure out why.

The problem is most people don't make time for the 'Big Rocks' in their lives. Everyone has 'Big Rocks' in their lives. These are things that matter most to you. For me, the Big Rocks are my spiritual life, my wife, children, the team at Brand Launcher, my customers, friends and community. The toughest part is MAKING the time for the 'Big Rocks' when all the little rocks (appointments, meetings, email, soccer practice, events, etc.) tend to pile up every day.

Focus on your 'Big Rocks' by putting them on your calendar weeks or months in advance. Make them a priority!

2. It all starts with YOU. I don’t want to discourage you, but if you’re making New Year’s resolutions for 2012 you should know that 3 out of 4 people will fail. I see it all the time with people we work with.

They’re excited about an idea one day and totally abandon it the next. Except for “Paul.” He’s unlocked the secret to staying committed to his goals. His advice: Take small steps. It’s all about changing habits. And just like when you exercise, the key is to work through the “burn.” Full article.

Here is Erik Chopin. The question for you is how can you show a before and after impact that your business has made on your customers?

3. Learn the lesson of the Biggest Loser. Remember Ali Vincent? She is the first female to with the Biggest Loser TV show, who lost nearly half of her body weight as America watched her slim down from 234 pounds to just 122! Her story and others like it have helped 24 Hour Fitness, the show’s sponsor, earn an additional $11 million in revenue by illustrating dramatic before and after stories.

I call it “spotting the story.” Every product and service can tell dramatic before and after stories that show prospects how they’ve made a difference in the lives of customers. Full article.

Source: Meaningful Marketing, by Doug Hall, Jeffrey Samp, Ph.D., and Sergio Zyman
 

4. Resist the urge to cut prices. No matter what business you’re in, price is ALWAYS the biggest objection.The secret to overcoming the objection is NOT to simply lower your price.

That’s what you do when you have run out of good ideas. Instead, you need to create MORE value. Here are 4 game changing questions to ask yourself:

  1. How can we enhance our packaging to create a higher perceived value? (Don’t think retail packaging, its much bigger than that.) 
  2. What else (tools, features, bonus products, etc.) can we add to the offer? 
  3. Do we give prospects enough reason to believe our claims? 
  4. Do we use testimonials and stories to overcome the most common objections among our hungry fish? Full article.

5. Give your hungry fish a chance to just say, “Maybe.” Years ago, you could get prospects to either say, “yes” or “no” to an offer. But today, we live in an age of advertising resistance. That means it takes longer to get to the sale. More people are skeptical.

They want to try it first and be convinced that your product will meet their wants or needs. The key then is to get your hungry fish to say, “Maybe” by signing up for a FREE e-book, an e-zine, a webinar or a giveaway. Why? Because based on our research people who say “maybe” are 50% more likely to say, “YES!” to a sale! Full article. 

Cool ads like this one win lots of awards. It's entertaining and it's funny. But that's not what good ads. Click on the image and see it for yourself and discover why it's completely useless.

6. Always ask yourself, “What’s next?” Don’t worry if your marketing or advertising isn’t winning any awards. That’s NOT the point. Your goal is to get your hungry fish to take action. Here are 4 questions to consider before you run your next marketing campaign:

  1. What’s the promise we’re offering? 
  2. Is the promise BIG and BOLD enough that it will stand out from the competition? 
  3. What’s the benefit to the prospect? 
  4. What’s your call to action? What do you want your prospects to do next? Full article.

7. Your brand is NOT your most important asset, your ability to motivate your people is! Get that fixed first, then your brand can take off. But where do you start? With the “3 R’s” of motivation. 
Best of all, the “3 R’s” are cheap, quick, and easy.

  • Recognize your best performers. Most don’t take the time to talk to them. Seek their input. Good employees always have choices where they can work – even in an economic slowdown. 
  • Reward successes – and failures. It’s the activities that get you there, not just the outcomes. Gift cards for iTunes, Amazon.com or Target are great ways to show you appreciate a job well done. But what about failures? It’s a great way to reward innovative ideas that may not always work. I like to say, “F is not for failure. It’s for Finally figuring out what works and what doesn’t." 
  • Remind your team of your successes. Here’s the big rub…you have to slow down in order to speed up. Let your employees know how you’ve overcome difficult times in the past and achieved success. Take the time to celebrate. Employees will follow you if… they trust you and you inspire confidence. Full article.

Jim Goodnight, CEO, of SAS has fun at work and so do his employees. It's one of the reasons why the largest private software company in the world was named the #1 place to work by Fortune Magazine.

8. Obscurity and being boring are the kiss of death. Have fun! You know what you get if you keep your nose to the grindstone? A flat nose!

If you’ve seen me speak at an event or we’ve talked on the phone you know I love to have fun. We try to make work fun too. That’s why I’m so impressed with companies like SAS which is always among the top companies to work for by employees. Why? Because your best assets are not your computers or your facilities. It's finding and keeping good employees.

Here are 3 things you can do to keep them coming back: 

  • Ask your employees: What do you think we should do to make work more enjoyable? 
  • Poke fun at yourself. Humble yourself. 
  • Look for ways to make new initiatives and projects fun with contests, prizes or games. Full article.

9. In order for something to live…something else must die. This really upsets most people but it's true. You must be willing to let something to die, for something else to live. For most of us, we have more opportunities than we know what to do with. We're like alligators; we want it all!

So how do you decide which opportunities to pursue?

Based on our research with more than 1,000 clients over the last two decades we’ve developed 10 criteria such as speed, ease, ROI and consistent success to help you determine the SINGLE, BEST opportunity to pursue. Full article.

Guiding every decision at Nick's Pizza & Pub is the company's purpose and values that are on display for everyone -- customers and employees -- to see wherever they go in the restaurant.

10. It’s counterintuitive but, the best way to get what you want is by helping enough people get what they want. Don’t miss this last idea. If you held a gun to my head and said which one idea will drive performance here is what I'd tell you, "You'll find it on a board with stickers in this article. Its a board that gives employees a clear path of ascension and mastery."

Check it out. Your job is to create a company in which YOU would want to work. If you weren’t running the show, would you still want to work there? Be honest. Your goal is to create what I call a Compelling Company that attracts good customers and good employees.

Our client Nick Sarillo of Nick’s Pizza & Pub in Elgin, IL created such a compelling company that customers are turning out in record numbers to help him stay open. He also attracts high-performing employees with his self-management teams that allow people to pick and choose their own career paths.

How did he do it? By creating a set of right brain and left brain values that drive just about every decision he and his team make in the company. Full article.

Now, you know that every one of these 10 strategies are proven to work. The real question is are you going to just click off this page onto your next to do item or are you going to take some action to improve your business and life? Pick just two! Try them. Test them.

See for yourself how they can make a dramatic difference in your life at home and at work.

Wishing you the best year ever in 2012,

Jon

Jon Goldman, President & CEO 
Brand Launcher 
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