Friday, January 26, 2007

Look Like You're Not Trying

Here is an excellent post by Seth Godin.

I think this is especially valuable for people in a home business. In particular, take a look at his critique of Multi-Level Marketing in the section "Too Much Effort". This is important. It is often the case where people in their own home business try too hard, thus offending many. The way to build a successful home business (for the long run), is to tell authentic stories.

Make sure you read the post.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quote to Ponder

I'm reading a book called, "On Earth as it is in Advertising?" by Sam Van Eman. Within the book he quotes Frederick Buechner on the idea of a calling. Buechner writes,

"The kind of work God usually calls you to do is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you've presumably met requirement (a), but ifyour work is writing TV deoderant commercials, the chances are you've missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you are bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only by passed (a) but probably aren't helping your patients much either.... The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."


Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Success of American Idol

American Idol continues to amaze me. Yes I enjoy the show, but I am always impressed by, and curious about how successful the show has been. In the start of their sixth season the show is breaking records with over 30 million people in the US watching each episode. Almost every TV show that has early success drops in viewers as the years go by and people get either tired of the show, too familiar with it, or excited about new shows. Not so with American Idol. So what is different - what has made the show so successful. Here are some thoughts:

1. American Idol only runs one season each year. You watch a full season of American Idol from January until May and then it is over. They don't try running two season during the year, like Survivor, or The Amazing Race. They also don't interrupt the season for a long Christmas break, or for reruns. They capture an audience right at the start and keep them until the show is over. In your business, this might relate to how you run special promotions. Create a short-term promotion that creates a sense of urgency for your customers or business partners. Don't be too repetitive. Create excitement for a focused period of time, and you can create momentum.

2. They let the audience have a role in the show. American Idol is truly the most audience focused show today. After the judges choose the top 24, the entire set of decisions is made by the audience. Fans have a vested interest, being able to cheer and support their favorites. They are able to vote and vote and vote some more. By allowing people to vote as much as anyone can in the two hour time period creates more passion in fans as the invest in supporting for their favorites. How can you get your customers more involved in what is happening? With the Internet and conference calls and message forums there are many ways of allow your customers to share their feelings, give advice and connect more with your product or service.

3. American Idol appeals to the whole family. While some may argue that the in the early episodes each season the judges comments need some filtering, for the most part the show is suitable for all ages. From children to seniors, everyone can enjoy watching American Idol. American Idol has filled a void that hasn't existed for some time - a show the family can truly gather together to watch. For your business, know who your target market is. Appeal to that group and allow that group to bring others to your business.

4. Good promotion. The American Idol team does a great job promoting their show. All of the judges, plus Ryan Seacrest the host, and even past winners have been all over the television circuit over the past few weeks significant excitement about the show. How can you do better at promoting your business? Are their more ways for you to get your name out? Look for ways to create massive promotion for your business.

Yes, I enjoy watching American Idol. The success of the show has been amazing to watch. I look forward to finding someone to cheer for as the current season evolves.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Curiosity, Excitement, and Urgency

These are the three most important things to keep in mind when making approaches for your home business. Whenever you are talking to a prospect, if you can create curiosity, show excitement, and establish a sense of urgency, you will be more than likely to set up the appointment.

The first of these is curiosity. Curiosity is what will get your prospect to show up at your appointment to hear what you have to say. There is one clear way to ruin the curiosity - that is to answer questions. Instead create curiosity and do not satisfy it. Get the prospect asking questions and then deflect the answers. Ensure your prospect that you'll answer all of their questions during the presentation, and then deflect the answers. Remember you are not hiding anything here, you just know that your prospect needs to hear everything at once.

The second is to show excitement. This comes in the tone of your voice and the way that you talk. You'll want to add a couple of notches to your voice. The person you are talking to will hear that you are excited and that will add credibility to what you are doing. Be sure to smile as that will also make a significant difference.

Lastly, you need to create a sense of urgency. I think this might actually be the most important of the three. To do this, there are a number of tips you can incorporate. First of all make sure you are trying to set the appointment for a time as soon as possible. You could say, "which is better... today or tomorrow?" In other words don't set appointments for a long time ahead, that doesn't show urgency.

If you can add curiosity, excitement, and urgency you will in crease the number of appointments you will book.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Wealth & Poverty

"One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth." Proverbs 13:7

I read this Proverb this morning in my quiet time and was struck by how important this is in so many ways. This is especially true in home business world where some businesses have a "fake it, till you make it mentality". Some companies actually tell you to look and act successful before you are. While this may be important on the attitude front it is foolishness when you treat your purchases this way. You should not be buying cars you can't afford, homes you can't afford etc.

So how come the man who pretends to be rich has nothing? In today's world it is very common, people who look rich own nothing. These people spend money they don't, run up credit card bills, and try to look good on the outside. These "rich" are more concerned about looking good and keeping up with the Jonses'. In the end, there is very little about their net worth that is actually rich.

The people who "pretend to be poor" stand for people today who are not worried about outwards appearance. They live below their means, saving and avoiding consumer debts. They don't spend what they don't have, they make saving and giving a priority and have no concern about how they compare to others. These are the people who are truly wealthy today.

Which will you be?


Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

We went to see the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" starring Will Smith. It is based on a true story of a down-and-out medical supplies salesman who decides to pursue his dream of becoming a stock broker. The movie is a very touching and inspiring movie.

The story traces the life of Chris Garnder and shows how he fights for his dream, the ability to have a good life for him and his son. A life filled with "happyness". What is most inspiring is the depiction of the perseverance and focus that Chris pursues his goals. It seems like he must work against every possible obstacle.

This is a great movie to watch if you want to be inspired. You'll be inspired to fight for your dreams, pursue your WHY, and do everything possible to grow your business. I strongly recommend this movie for every home business professional.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What Marketing is all About

This post from Seth Godin is one of the best descriptions of what is truly needed in marketing today:

How does this apply to your home business? Ask yourself, who is the 1% you are really trying to be remarkable to. Don't try appealing to everyone. Focus on the 1% and make yourself remarkable in that area. You will offend people. You will have people say "NO", probably often. However you will bring more passionate people onto your team. You will create excitement and energy, and loyalty. You will have a passionate and loyal following who will spread the word about your business.

PS. If you haven't read Seth Godin's book, "Purple Cow", I strongly recommend it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I wish everyone an exciting, and prosperous New Year. I hope you will all use this time of year to think about your mission in life, and set goals for the next year. Set goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic. Write your goals down, and post them everywhere. Then get started. Don't wait for long to get started. Time moves quickly, and you need to get started on your goals right away.