Marketing, Management and Life Lessons Learned In 2011
It’s fitting, early each year, to consider the successes, failures and other
sources of information from the prior year.
And, it’s essential if we want to progress, make more of our lives, and achieve
the things we want to achieve, that we learn from our experiences, the
experiences of otters, and from the useful information that now bombards us
with such ferocity, that it’s becoming ever harder to discern what really matters
and to find the nuggets, tricks, ideas, strategies, and practices that really
make life better.
So with that in mind, I look back on the lessons of 2011 and look forward to
how we can make life better for ourselves, armed with this information,
in 2012 and beyond.
For convenience, I have divided the lessons into several sub groups including
marketing, management and life lessons. But they are really not properly pigeon
holed in this way.
After all, what makes us more productive can make our lives better or worse,
if we’re not otherwise prepared.
A marketing plan that yields less of the desirable and profitable work and
more of the “bad” stuff, might make both our personal and business lives
worse not better.
By contrast, a simple, change in a personal practice (finding time for meditation,
or managing our energy differently) might make it possible to get more done at
work, host profit and make life generally more satisfying.
So read on with an open mind. Consider adopting or trying one or more of the
ideas. Find one that might fit you. And start to look for evidence of how it might
be changing things for the better. Enjoy!
It’s the nature of what I do (teaching persuasion, ethical influence, mediation, and
leadership skills as well as being a trust and estates lawyer for affluent business
leaders and family business owners) that I come into contact with some fascinating,
exciting, and wealthy men and women.
For years I was able to help them in many ways and I loved being around them.
But a while back, it struck me that if I only paid attention, and asked great questions,
I had an amazing faculty of teachers available to me. So while I helped them, I started
really paying attention to what they were great at, how they did it, and how I could
apply these ideas in my own world.
And, in 2011 I was surrounded by smart professionals, business owners, and
executives that taught me more than ever before.
Here are a few from the marketing area:
1) Most of the profit in any business is one the back end – This one was a reminder
from my friend Bill Glazer and his partner mean old Dan Kennedy. Bill is a super
savvy marketer and Dan is a legend and a brilliant business marketing mind.
When I spoke for them at their Super Conference, I also listened to everything
that they said. And this gem seemed simple to apply and was amazingly effective.
Client/customer reactivation can be an incredible source of wealth and profit.
We had a client reactivation campaign that was so successful, that we had to shut
it off until we got caught up. This cost us a tinny fraction of what it would have cost
to get that many new clients. And, since we had an up-sell and a back end of services,
we were better able to bring value to great clients while we increased the profitability
of each one.
2) Real profit and value lies in understanding your prospect/client and customer’s
problems and how they describe them. It was Eben Pagan who reminded me that
someone who is able to better articulate the client and customers problems than they
are, they will assume that you have the solution to that problem.
Make sure that you do then make sure you can explain both the problem and the
solution in the way that they do.
The first goal of effective marketing and product or service development must always
be create value for the client or customer. But nothing happens until you know and
understand their greatest fears, concerns, and aspirations and how to explain them.
3) Find a new source of the best types of business… but not just yet. First, make
sure that you have already dissevered the real problems faced by the real people that
make up your market, how to solve them, and how to sell them more real value
(even more profitably) on the back end).
But, once you have solved that, finding just one more source of clients and/or
customers can explode a business.
Some new sources to consider: 1) doing a joint venture with a “competitor” who
might have a list of clients and customers that would love your products and services and vice
versa. 2) discover a new advertising source such as Google image ads or Facebook,
3) start using a newsletter with a special offer (high value and lower cost for your existing
clients and/or customers, and 4) start using an auto responder to deliver more value,
information, and offers to existing clients and prospects – automatically,
5) Do more video for your web sites but do it strategically so that each video does
something specific in your marketing process.
1) Simplify – Bill Glazer and I were on the phone one day when I was asking about doing
a thing in more than one market. Bill encouraged focus. Then I was on the phone with
Frank Kern and he said “I’m not a fan of doing two things. Make one work first.”
The lesson? It’s better to do a few things that offer higher margins than many many low
margin activities. More usually creates stress and anxiety.
Simplicity leads to real understanding of the market, the business, where it comes from
and how it gets done. Improvement is easier and life is often better.
2) Create more systems – This sounds more complex but it’s actually simplification.
When you discover the many points in your business that can be systematized to create
more consistent results without your direct involvement, life will be better.
For example, marketing systems should be created and applied. Specific Example:
Create a video, have it edited, have it transcribed, have someone post it to your
youtube channel, have them cut and paste the transcript into the right field etc.
Likewise, the transcripts can be automatically sent to be edited and a report created
that can be posted to your site or sent to clients.
When these things are documented and applied consistently throughout a system,
real results are achieved without you spending time on less productive activities.
Creating systems is work and time intensive but yields results and might make it
possible for you to finally tame the dragon that eats away at your life.
3) Create training videos – We all know that we have valuable systems, knowledge
and skills. Yet, we live in few that an employee who is essential might leave.
But, it’s hard to document our systems and knowledge. But, creating videos of each
process and job can be easy, fun, and very valuable. Last year we had every employee
and sub contractor do a job description and then had summer interns video tape each
job, system, and process.
These were posted as private videos on our youtube channel created for truing.
Now we have a great resource. We have protected important information and have
created a training tool that takes some of the fear out of training new employees.
1) Say no more often and be more grateful – Every few years I resolve to be better
at saying no. I often agree to do things that are a distraction , that I don’t like, or
that simply make me less efficient at doing the most important things.
But, when I am focused on doing what’s important and remember that saying
no makes me better, I do it more often. Try it. It’s liberating.
2) Being more always, and paradoxically, starts with being happy where we are –
I don’t pretend to understand this, but when we want to be more, do more, and to
improve, we tend to focus on what we are failing to achieve.
But we practice loving life where we are right now, in our current condition,
we seem, as humans, to then be freed to do more. Try it.
3) Manage energy not just time – I learned this lesson from watching Tony Schwartz
lecture, and by studying the great resources at www.TheEnergyProject.com
This lesson yields amazing results.
4) Start using inevitability thinking – This is another one from Eben Pagan.
Eben’s theory is that when we set a goal or identify what we want, we need to say ask:
“What would I need to do, say, be? How would I need to act? What resources would
I need to have? To make it INEVITABLE that I would succeed?
There were many many more thoughts, ideas, lessons, strategies, and tactics than made
my life better, simpler, richer and more satisfying in 2011. I also learned a lot from the
failures and the points where I was stuck and failed to achieve.
I have a list…. a long one that will form the basis of loads of new posts, articles,
reports, and seminars this year and into 2013.
If you want to learn more about how being more influential in your business and personal life,
if you want to tame the tiger and the feeling of being so crazy busy that you’re life is out
of control, ad if you’d like to find freedom and financially do more with less, then
join me this year for one of my live events. For more information visit 3DaysToSuccess.com.
W usually meet in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tampa and/or Philadelphia.