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6 Ways to Market Your Business, Product, or Service With Little or No Money

Marketing With No Money

We all wish we could have huge exposure for our business, product, service, cause.

Very few of us have it.

You might have found yourself saying, “if only I had a huge Instagram or twitter following I could blast my message out to millions of people in an instant at no cost”. (Of course, you could always build such a following.)

Or thinking, “if only I could afford a huge ad budget like Coca-Cola I could get the exposure of Superbowl half-time ads and people would know about and flock to my product”.

But of course, at millions of dollars per minute that advertising is out of reach for most people.

So today we’re going to explore the reality of being in an early stage business…having limited resources in particular limited financial resources and what you can do in this situation that will get you big budget results with only a small investment.


Contents:

1 - Best for Early Stage Businesses & High Value Long Term Clients

2 – Best Way for Artists, Authors, Musicians, Models, and Also Great For Short Term Promotion

3 – Hardest Way But Great If You Get Lucky

4 – Good if Your System is in Place

5 – A Solution that Buys You Time

6 – The Best Way for Most Businesses


Background – The 6 Resources & The Dreamlife Ratio

We’re going to discuss ways to market with little or no money. It’s important to recognize something though…

There is ALWAYS an exchange.

You won’t get away from exchanging something in trade for customers or exposure. What you can do is exchange something you do have in place for money.

In other words, the way we grow our wealth is to exchange what we do have and isn’t as valuable to us for what we don’t have and want.

At Richucation we discovered there are 6 types of resources so by understanding those you can get a long way towards not having to spend money while marketing extremely successfully.

The other thing we can do aside from trading something other than money for exposure and customers is to be more efficient about what we exchange.

Get more out for what we are putting in, which is the essence of our Deal ROI training.

In particular we talk about the Dreamlife Ratio and Factors of Disproportionate Influence to get massive results with minimal output.

These are big parts of what makes Richucation different and helps us to get really rapid highly effective results consistently when others struggle or fail.

Ready?

Let’s go get exposure, customers, profits on a tiny budget maybe even no money at all!


1 – Best for Early Stage Businesses & High Value Long Term Clients

The first way to market without spending money should be fairly obvious, it’s what most small business owners and entrepreneurs do, it’s continuing to do this that keeps them small, at least in most cases.

What is it?

It’s trading your time instead of trading your money.

This is the hustle.

It’s going knocking on doors.

It’s making phone calls.

It’s attending networking events.

It’s making social media posts.

You should NOT do this as you grow. This sort of behavior will keep you small. If you try to do this in stage 3 business you’ll never get to stage 4 because stage 3 is about building a profitable sales and marketing machine where business can come in the door every day consistently without YOU needing to be out getting it.

For an understanding of each of the 5 natural stages businesses grow through, which stage you’re in and what you should do to grow quickly to the next level ​enter your name and email below:

​The 5 Stages of Business that Will Make Your Business Grow Bigger, Faster, Easier

5 Stages of Business

Trading your time is a fantastic way to go at stage 1 and somewhat in stage 2 because you want to get to know your customers.

It puts you belly to belly in conversations with real buyers and potential buyers so you can adjust your product or service, figure out what the market wants, learn how they communicate and consequently what to put into your advertising and messaging to move them to buy.

This is also useful at the start of stage 3 where you might be employing sales people because you learn to systemize what you’re doing and teach it to your sales team so they can replicate it.

There’s one other case where this can be useful…

If each customer is EXTREMELY valuable and long term.

What do I mean by this? If a customer is worth a million dollars to you, it’s going to be a long-term relationship and the value of the customer will grow with time it’s worth it to invest your own time and there isn’t substantial value in having someone else doing it or building a complex system.

This is best illustrated by a real like case study:


Case Study – Warren Buffett Turns 13 Clients Into $80 billion

Although he’s actually not a bad salesman, Warren Buffett only ever really got 13 customers and those 13 customers have led to his deca-billion-dollar fortune.

Sure, along his journey he had to sell his professors, he’s built a team he needs to communicate with and engage, and of course he’s done various deals to buy companies over time but the only people ever to really give HIM money in his investing business were the investors in his first partnerships (officially 7 partnership arguably with 13 “customers” though some of these customers were small families).

Back in 1956 Buffett was working for his mentor Ben Graham who ran a famous investing partnership. But Graham decided to retire and close the partnership down so Buffett moved back home to Omaha.

There he started Buffett Associates Ltd. with 6 family members as partners. Over the next few years he adds a few other partnerships through a few other investors initially recommended by Ben Graham and through his social circles as well as asking one doctor who was a client to bring together some other doctors for an investment.

After this he never ended up needing more customers.

Why?

Because he could compound their money. In his business each of those customers was worth a fair amount to him If he did well (and of course he did) but more importantly the more he grew their money the more valuable they became to him.

If you’ve got customers who are extremely valuable and long term like this, it’s not so necessary to ever move away from direct personal sales.


Richucation Personal Marketing Tip

A lot of small business entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing because they are trading their time for money it is free. This isn’t true, your time has value often more valuable than money, which is why as you grow you want to get away from it and rely on a sales force or advertising.

When you realize you’re investing your time and your time has value it makes sense to also consider how efficiently and effectively you’re spending that time. In other words, it costs you to do bad marketing using your time.

To help address this apply the same principles of marketing you use in any other situation:

  1. Target the right people – most networking is ineffective because you’re not talking to the right people
  2. Communicate a compelling offer – WHAT you’re selling matters and will make a huge difference in your success as will what messaging you wrap it in
  3. Master communicating the way your customers buy – know the difference between a poor sales person and a great sales person? It’s all in how they communicate so if you’re going to be in front of people it makes sense to learn to communicate with them effectively so you’re making the most of your time and theirs


2 – Best Way for Artists, Authors, Musicians, Models, and Also Great For Short Term Promotion

Unless each customer is REALLY valuable you’ll never do particularly well marketing by using your time, you simply can’t talk to enough people at once (public speaking helps but then you’ve got to fill the room and how do you do that? It brings you back to this same problem and also our next method).

Some of the strategies we’ll discuss later work best for most businesses both mid and long term but not for all.

The classic examples are how do you succeed in marketing yourself if you’re a musician or author where each customer will spend maybe $20 with you?

It turns out this method works really well for a lot of other businesses though especially if you’re doing a short-term promotion.

In fact, when I used to be in the event business we found this was the most effective method to fill rooms and led to some incredible marketing successes for us when others said it was impossible.

So, what is this magic?

Instead of trading money you trade relationships by getting others to promote you.

You can achieve this in a few different ways.

The easiest where possible especially for artists, authors, musicians, etc. is to collaborate with others who have a similar market.

For example, you say how the musical artist Pitbull exploded doing “featuring” songs with a whole host of other artists essentially combining the audiences and giving exposure they might not have otherwise.

How does this work? Well, you’ve got an audience even if it’s small. These are the people you know and who know you, these are your Facebook friends and any customers or fans you get. As you grow you’ll of course grow these numbers.

Others have the same. Your objective is to say “let’s collaborate, both promote this to our audience and therefore get double or triple the exposure we would normally”.

Obviously, you’ve got to do this with people or businesses you actually respect and believe your audience would like, which there’s a good chance of if they are similar to you.

You’ll notice this is very reminiscent of one of the main strategies in the Formula for Building a HUGE Instagram Following.

Also note, you don’t have to collaborate with those who are the same as you they could be complimentary.

For example, if you had a business offering cleaning services you might pair up with a furniture business or a realtor.

The ideal is to find collaborations you can do over and over again or with multiple people in the same space rather than exclusive cross promotion because each person or business has a new audience and you can expand your audience rapidly through collaborations.

It’s not always practical to do a swap though so in those cases where a swap or joint promotion isn’t possible you can lean on relationships.

This is where you call up an influencer you know and say something to the effect “I need your help, could you please…” and state your ask. It might be asking them to bring out multiple people they know for an event you’re hosting, sending a promotional email, doing a social media post, inviting their friends, etc.

How do you get 50 people to attend an event?

Easy you get 7 people who know, like, and trust you with whom you’ve got relationship capital to each commit to bringing 7 people to help you out.

The downside of this strategy is you can’t do it repeatedly as an ongoing method of marketing as you’ll burn out those relationships but for an occasional promotion or launch it’s fantastic.

How do you find these people? Try our climbing the ladder networking method.


Case Study – Mint.com 1 million users in 6 months

Noah Kagan joined the Mint.com team with the goal of heading up their marketing and getting them I believe it was 500,000 users in a year.

How did he do it?

Aside from a few other strategies he started building relationships with personal finance blogs and other related publications with followings.

Rather than reaching out to them and asking for exposure (don’t do that, it doesn’t work well when you haven’t built relationships capital), he reached out to share with them how cool the product was they were developing (this was during prelaunch) and get feedback.

Over several months they built a relationship and excitement over the product as the bloggers, media people, etc. developed a relationship with the brand and the product in testing and providing feedback.

When it finally came time to launch he had relationships with these people, they knew and liked the product and he was able to ask, “would you mind writing an article about it?”

Of course, at this stage they were happy to and the exposure resulted in double the number of users targeted in half the time.

You can do the same in your business building and leveraging relationships as a principle method of marketing.


Richucation Relationship Marketing Tip

When you do this make sure you turn this exposure into an audience and an asset so you can reuse it again and again without relying on the collaborations.

How do you do this?

Collect emails, gain social media followers, build brand recognition and spot influencers among them to invest time in building personal relationships with.

For example, if you got 7 each of whom brought 7 identify more (say another 7) from among the 50 to invest time with building personal relationships over the next while to grow your network of champions.


3 – Hardest Way But Great If You Get Lucky

This next method isn’t exactly a direct trade but can be a skill you learn so let’s call it a means of using your expertise.

More than anything else on this list it’s very hard to predict and to achieve success you’ve got to be willing to try a lot of things and pay attention to what works.

In fact it’s so random we don’t recommend you rely on it instead we recommend you use it as fuel to boost another solid strategy.

What is this method?

Virality.

What is virality?

It’s when people start sharing what you’ve got and spreading the message on their own because they like it.

You’re probably familiar with viral videos but it could be viral images, articles, videos, events, etc.

There’s plenty of tenants to achieving virality and we devote an entire section of the 7 sections in our Marketing ROI program to covering how to create viral spread.

For now, the easiest thing to understand is:

  • You want to make it easy to share
  • You want to make it stand out so it’s got novelty
  • You want to focus more on it spreading fast than it spreading a lot

This is where producing content often comes in.

Keep in mind though not all content platforms are viral for example, Instagram isn’t a particularly viral platform whereas Facebook is. If you want to be viral you need to make it accessible on viral platforms and encourage continuation of this.

There’s a bunch of tricks you can use depending on the field you’re in.


Case Study – Old Spice guy commercial gets 55 million Youtube views

In 2010 Old Spice was a lagging brand being dominated by Dove and Axe so they wanted a way to stand out and create buzz.

To do so they created a now famous commercial titled “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”.

It spawned a viral session. To date the Youtube video has been viewed 55 million times, but this just scratches the surface.

The campaign spawned follow up engagement with audiences called Questions and Responses. One of the Questions videos alone has been viewed 25 million times.

The campaign has gone on to serve as a case study for viral marketing worldwide.

Another notable example from a smaller company is for the product Poo-Pouri whose viral videos launched them to prominence. One video along has been watched over 40 million times.

Consider how much advertising would need to be spent to get that much exposure.


Richucation Virality Tip

Achieving virality isn’t purely random, nor is it purely audience driven.

Generally, you’ll find virality is something that builds onto an existing campaign and requires a certain critical mass.

In other words, you don’t simple produce an image or video and have it go viral in most cases. You usually need to put enough marketing behind it or enough exposure through one place or another to get enough people sharing it to kick off the craze.

Since it’s so hard to predict what will work (you might say funny but lots of funny videos don’t go viral and a bunch of videos that aren’t funny do) so the key lies in following the approach of the site Upworthy.

Create a bunch of different options you think will be good, then test them and refine building on what works cutting off the losers and feeding and refining the ones with the best response.

For more information check out our program on Marketing ROI.


4 – Good if Your System is in Place

What small business owners often dream about is performance-based marketing or sales.

What do I mean?

Hiring commission only sales people, getting affiliates paid based on client acquisition to promote your product or service, etc.

In my experience usually, this is short sighted and normally doesn’t work very well for them for two key reasons:

  1. It’s hard to get people to work for you or promote you on a performance only basis
  2. When they are working performance only your ability to manage and optimize their process goes down

It makes sense it’s hard to get people because the best people are getting offers for performance plus extras.

Small business owners often think “if they are good and can deliver results they should be willing to work just for commission or performance fees” but this ignores the reality of the market where the best people are in high demand and so to sweeten the pot others are offering them upfront fees plus performance bonuses.

Put yourself in their shoes if you were being offers $100k+ commission or just commissions, which would you choose as a top sales person?

The result is often it’s very hard to recruit people (sometimes meaning it would have been easier simply to focus that time on getting customers then investing what you made off those customers into hiring someone good not performance only) and the people you do recruit are far from the best.

Since they aren’t the best it becomes more necessary to help them succeed by directing their efforts and guiding their process to actually get results.

The problem here is when you’re paying someone you can tell them what to do, when you’re not paying them it becomes much more difficult to do so.

What’s the solution to all of this?

Small business entrepreneurs often see hiring commission only sales people and affiliates as a solution to not knowing how to market and sell.

The exact opposite is true.

The best sales people and best affiliates want to market and sell where they can make a lot of money.

For them to make the most money means your part of the process they don’t control needs to be tight otherwise you might persuade them to promote or sell for you but you’ll burn the relationships and your reputation when they don’t get the results they want.

In other words if you want affiliates to send you leads you need to be able to close them and make them worth a lot.

If you want sales people to work on commission only you need an amazing system to deliver them lots of quality leads and help them turn those leads into loyal buyers.

This is where most small business entrepreneurs go wrong, they want to abdicate responsibility for the marketing process because they aren’t good at it but no one will do it for you.

Your job is to build a system that works then recruit others to work and compliment the system.

This process of making your overall campaign and pipeline tight is what we teach in detail in our Campaign ROI program where we walk you through step by step how to build campaigns that make money where you can invest a dollar and get two dollars back.

Or in our Built With You and Built For You Profitable Sales and Marketing Machine programs where we actually get involved hands on in helping you we do the same thing but to an even higher degree.

Build a Profitable Sales and Marketing Machine for your business where you can invest a dollar and get two dollars up and scale it but also where you don’t have to be involved at all in the marketing and selling so you’re free to enjoy the lifestyle you wanted when you became an entrepreneur or focus your time on actually growing the business to stages 4 and 5 where you make massive profits and leave a lasting impact.


Case Study – Legacy vs Jablonski

We’ve got a lot of clients who use these strategies successfully so we’re going to contrast a case where it was done right with another company in our social circle we didn’t work with who did it wrong.

The first was a pure sales organization called Legacy Enterprises, which specialized in customer acquisition mostly for large brands.

They worked on a very hard type of sales called canvasing where their agents went door to door selling services like cable TV, cable internet, gas and power services, bottled water, payment processing both to businesses and consumers.

Now, just imagine how hard this process is to walk into a business or home for the first time having never met the person and walk out with a sale.

Think how easily a sales person could get demoralized and want to quit.

Now add to this the fact that when the founder of the company started he couldn’t afford to pay people full time wages and as a result needed to resort to hiring people commission only.

If you were a sales person, just spent a day walking door to door getting rejected and not made a single dollar how would you feel? How long would you last?

However, amazingly, not only did sales people last some of them became career types and the company grew to $1.4 million within just a few short years.

How?

First, they had a process for sales that worked to produce consistent results. Anyone could learn the process and get results.

Second, they installed great management and training systems including shadowing, being paired with someone getting results to learn in the field, role playing, sales drills, etc. to make sure every new hire learned the system and could get results quickly.

Third, they implemented a regular rhythm of daily and weekly activities to keep everyone on track, motivated, aligned and most importantly accountable to doing the activities and following the system to get them results.

Compare this to how to do it badly – Jablonski.

In this case the owner who was a skillful though unreliable sales person himself hired a team of former sales colleagues on commission only, great job step one.

However, he didn’t have a predictable system that worked instead relying on his own skills and knowledge to randomly pick up sales here and there. There was no system for getting new qualified leads and no system for turning those leads into buyers.

He proceeded to provide virtually no training, no role playing, no drilling, essentially leaving the sales people to their own devices trying to pick up and close business.

Finally, he failed to hold them accountable to regular metrics, activities, and systems that worked.

The results?

This whole team of sales people collectively failed to achieve more than three sales resulting in barely more than $20k in revenue, they earned almost nothing in commissions, became discouraged and quit ruining his relationship and trust with them.

Make sure if you’re going to go down the performance based compensation road you adequately support those performance based sales people and marketers to get results. Your job is to make them successful and this means refining everything in your control to a finely oiled machine.

For more details regarding how to do this please check out our Campaign ROI program and Built With You Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine program.

Richucation Performance Sellers Tip

It’s important to understand what the people you’re hiring have expertise in and therefore how to compliment them. Affiliates typically are great at lead generation but not conversions. Sales people are typically good at closing but not generating leads.

So often entrepreneurs haven’t taken the time to deconstruct their sales problem to see where it’s weak and then build a solution accordingly. In our experience the first problem of small business owners is getting in front of enough qualified people. Without understanding how to do this they resort to hiring sales people thinking “they will bring sales” but this is rarely true and normally the result is a loss of $10k+ in wages not to mention time, training, management, etc.

Deconstruct your weaknesses then address solving them systematically. Check out the Free Goal Achievement Structure training we put together to help with this.


5 – A Solution that Buys You Time

The next method is what’s used commonly in Silicon Valley and venture backed start-ups.

This isn’t a magical solution long term but what it does is buys you time, which as a small business entrepreneur, solopreneur, etc. going it alone you don’t have because you simply don’t have the money, you need to generate and live off revenue.

What is this mystery method?

It’s to raise capital from external sources in order to be able to afford marketing, which doesn’t have to pay off for quite some time.

This allows you to go through a learning curve.

It allows you to pay for customers now and make up for it over months or years on their lifetime value.

Let me repeat this is NOT a great long term solution in fact this solution is only worthwhile if you eventually figure out some other way, generally the method we’ll talk about in #6. However, it’s often what’s needed for small businesses to gain some ground.

What’s the big problem with this?

Raising money is a form of marketing in and of itself and can be as challenging as getting customers for your product or service.

It’s also limited by the fact that you can only raise so much money based on the valuation of the company whereas you can theoretically get unlimited customers making marketing a far better source of capital long term.

To learn some tips for raising capital check out our article on How to Raise Money For Your Business or Project.


Case Study – Facebook

When it started Facebook wasn’t making any money they were simply spending money. They were however growing their user base very rapidly through viral growth.

To pay for servers, to continue development, to continue to eat they needed money. Where would that money come from?

They could go sell advertising but they weren’t set up to do so and they weren’t sure how doing so would affect their platform.

It wouldn’t have simply been a challenge of getting the customers, they didn’t have a technology platform within their system to easily process those and finding advertising customers would have been a distraction away from their core focus, which was continuing to expand a platform of users that was growing extremely rapidly organically.

So, they turned to outside investors. Some top venture capitalists such as Paypal’s Peter Thiel provided early stage funding and brought credibility to win over the big VC firms and pave the way ultimately not just for a better team but also for a future IPO.

At the time it made sense to invest because the company was growing fast even though profits hadn’t showed up yet. Thiel and others knew getting users organically and virally at little to no cost was one of the greatest challenges, which over time could be worth a lot so they took a bet. Turns out it was a good one as they made billions.

Richucation Capital Raising Tip

Entrepreneurs often naively look at raising capital as a way to mask a poor business then wonder why they are struggling to raise capital.

It’s important to understand raising capital isn’t a substitute for the underlying fundamentals The Formula of successful entrepreneurship and successful business. It is an enhancement to run the business better.

If you never learn to nail the fundamentals the capital will dry up in time.

The best way to be able to raise capital therefore is to have nailed one or multiple of the other methods outlined here so the investors can see they are investing into something high yield.

If putting their money in results in huge outsized growth it will reward them and they’ll put in more “what gets rewarded gets repeated”. If their money gets spent with nothing much to show for it that gravy train will end really fast.

This bring us to our last and most important method.


6 – The Best Way for Most Businesses

For most small businesses marketing is an expense.

In many large institutions repeat business pays for an ongoing marketing budget without concrete accountability for the results.

But if you want to grow a small business there is one way that’s by far the best way and everything else is gravy.

This is to earn a positive return on your marketing dollars by turning the advertising or sales spend into profit.

What do I mean?

The way the best businesses, the fastest growing businesses on the planet grow and the way you should too is to build a system, a machine where you can spend a dollar and get at least a dollar but ideally two or more dollars back almost immediately.

How does this work?

Say you pay a sales person $3000 for a month. They go make some calls and this results in acquiring a couple new customers each of which pay you $5000 so you made $10,000 in revenue. Say your cost of goods sold is $5000 so you made $5000 in gross profit. You had to pay the sales person $3000 so that’s your cost of sales and you’re left with $2000.

What just happened?

First, you got your $3000 back so you can pay the sales person again the next month. If they have a solid system, they can repeat the process again each month and you never have to take a dollar out of your pocket to pay them.

Additionally, you made an extra $2000, which you can reinvest into growing the business. After two months of this you’ll have $4000 so you can use it to hire another sales person now you’ve got two, which with a good system can each generate $10,000 so you’re up to $20,000 and so on.

Notice, you didn’t need more than a few thousand dollars to start, which you got back within 30 days so you didn’t need a big budget to market. In many cases you need a lot less than this to get started (see the case study below).

THIS is how businesses are ultimately built.

You can download the formula and levers used to make this happen for free by entering your name and email address in the box below:

​The 6 Levers to Make Your Marketing Profitable

Now, of course, this is easier said than done. As we mentioned above most small businesses hiring their first sales person far from making money on them actually lose money and don’t get results. Hence because of their lack of confidence in their system or lack of a system at all they are afraid to spend money on the person or advertising.

This is such a big problem it represents the key inflection point in a business moving from Stage 3 to Stage 4 in business growth.

It is the #1 predictor of how much money you’ll make as a small business entrepreneur.

So what’s the solution?

You need to build a system not reliant on any one person you hire where to the extent the system is used it spits out profit. We call this a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine because it works you don’t and it works profitably spitting out profit each month so you can focus on growing the business and actually enjoy the life you wanted when you became an entrepreneur.

So if that sounds good to you we’ve made it one of our core focuses at Richucation to help entrepreneurs precisely with breaking through this challenge because it’s made the biggest difference for us not only in business and wealth but also in lifestyle.

Check out our Campaign ROI program, which walks you through step by step the process of predictably turning your marketing dollars into profit using a proven template for getting consistent results regardless of business or industry.

Or if you’d like more direct assistance where we actually work with you directly step by step to build out a profitable sales and marketing machine in your business you can apply to work with us to see if there’s a fit.


Case Study – Augesir Recruiting

When I started my second business I had no idea how to market and sell I only knew it was important. I hated sales and I sucked at it. I tried all the things described above networking, selling on my own, getting referrals, etc.

I got some business from this but it was unpredictable one month we’d get a great new client and make some money the next month or two we’d make nothing.

It was stressful, I couldn’t predict my income, which made budgeting hard. I tried different sales model, different products and customers but I didn’t have the skills.

Everything changed when I nailed down by accident what to sell and who to sell it to. Then in a very short time I was able to hire someone just part time at first because I had almost no money. They worked for me 10 hours per week doing sales. It cost me $120/week and made me $3000 that first month.

Taking this success, I was able to triple the number of hours I paid the sales person for and grew the income to $9000/mo.

The best part? I wasn’t doing the sales, which I hated myself. I spent about 2 hours per week managing the sales people and was able to focus on what I enjoyed.

You might say the key was hiring someone, that helped but I’d hired someone before and lost thousands of dollars.

The key was figuring out who to market to and how to market to them, then hiring someone to work the system for me, focusing on coaching them to do well rather than doing it myself, controlling my risk through a small test then scaling up when it worked.

Richucation Profitable Marketing Tip

If you want a profitable sales and marketing system it helps to understand the steps involved in going from a cold market to making money. Often people think “I’m not getting sales” but the question is “why?”

By laying out a flow of the steps that need to happen to get new business you can work on what’s weak and address it.

Are you getting in front of the right people?

Heck do you know who the right people are?

How are you capturing and qualifying them?

Are the people you’re getting in front of converting?

Are they spending enough money with you to be worth the effort?

Are you reaching them inexpensively enough or do you need to find ways to drive down the costs?

Here’s the formula – you need a list of people to reach ideally high value customers.

You need a way to convert them from a cold audience into leads.

You need a way to get them to buy.

You need to make sure they spend enough money with you.

Then you systemize the process, you apply people, templates, technology and automation to remove yourself from the process and scale up.

Which of these is a breakdown for you in your business?


Next Steps

Hopefully the above has been helpful for you.

If it has I’d invite you to work with us.

If you’ve enjoyed this information please share it with us or reinforce your learning by teaching them what you learned (write a social media post about it, call a friend and summarize it for them, write an email to someone explaining how they can benefit). This will go a long way towards reinforcing what you’ve learned and help someone else in the process.

Learn more about learning faster in Mastery ROI.


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Raising Money For Your Business or Project

Money being exchanged with a handshake

When I started my first few businesses I had no money.

When I started my fourth business I did and in case you haven’t had both experiences it’s 1000 times better to start a business with money than without.

Sometimes though you don’t have money of your own and you need to raise some money for your business or project.

Heck sometimes even when you do have money of your own you need to raise extra.

We devote a whole section and several lessons in our Scale ROI training to raising capital, determining what types of capital to raise when, working through common challenges, etc. but for now here’s a basic overview for you of how to raise money for your business or project if you don’t have it.


Lesson #1 – Raising Capital is Marketing

People sometimes paint raising capital as something special and it definitely has it’s own language terms like:

  • Debt vs equity
  • Security
  • Term sheets
  • Cap tables
  • Valuations pre-money and post
  • Etc.

The difference is you’re selling a part of your company (shares/equity) or a rate of return (debt). In some rare more modern cases you’ll crowdsource or do an ICO or something similar but most capital raising comes from debt or equity and if you’re talking about a very small company it’s almost always equity because debt is considered too risky.


Lesson #2 – Your Offer is EVERYTHING

There’s always smart money for smart deals.

A lot of people are either poor entrepreneurs with poor/non-existent reputations or have poor offers and then wonder why they are having a hard time raising money.

The best way to start making raising money easier is to work on yourself as an expert entrepreneur, build your reputation and improve the quality of your offer.

What is your offer?

It’s what you’re giving the investor or the perception of what you’re giving the investor.

If you’re talking about debt this is usually fairly simple you’ve got credit, you’ve got an asset, you’ve got cashflow, you’ve got security and you’ve got offered rate of return. You can improve the quality of the offer by improving any of these things.

If you’re raising debt then it’s about coming up with a better company, demonstrating better how it’s a no brainer success opportunity for the investor, offers higher ROI and you’ve giving them a bigger share.

Think about it do you want to invest in something pretty much sure to succeed or very risky? The former of course so come up with a plan with a very high chance of success think through everything that could go wrong and find ways to work around those.

Go a step further by demonstrating you know what you’re talking about and can actually execute, usually this is achieved by bringing on team members with a track record.

Would you rather invest in something that could be the next Facebook or best case will be the next local sandwich shop? The former of course so what’s the upside of your business? Paint a vision for what it will become but ground it in reality and immediate actions.

Where possible show traction and how it’s already picking up, signs of early success sell better than anything else.

Would you rather own 1% of the next big thing or 10% of the next big thing? The later of course. Now, obviously, you don’t want to give up too much this is like discounting your product but it will factor into whether people want to invest with you or not.

Lower valuation and higher percentage or better terms will both help you raising the money.

Bottom line if you make a really compelling offer everything else becomes 10x easier.

This should answer the question “What’s in it for them?”


Lesson #3 – Create a List of Possible People to Provide Capital

Getting investors is fairly straight forward in some respects. You need a list of people who have money (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot though you need to be mindful of capital raising rules wherever you’re raising money as the process is usually fairly regulated) who fit your criteria.

You can often start with your basic social circle here as well as asking around and/or looking for local angel investor groups.

You start by simply making a list of everyone you can think of or every capital raising hub you can think of.

To expand this list you ask those people and others you know who they know who might be looking for a business to invest in. Very often the people who are looking for investments know others who are looking for investments.

Ideally, those people can give you an intro.

Key Richucation tip here – many people have only one or two people on the list. You won’t close them all so it helps to have a lot of people you can talk to as it increases your chances of success and doesn’t make you as vulnerable to offers from any given person or group.

Final Richucation tip here – start building relationships with these people before you are ready to raise the capital. Keep them updated as you hit key milestones to build their excitement and interest in your project sharing the wins. By doing this when you call asking for money they are far more likely to jump in.


Lesson #4 – Communicating with Possible Investors

Knock off any intimation you might have about capital raising terminology it’s perfectly normal for new entrepreneurs and start-up founders not to understand the fancy investing lingo ask them to explain it to you instead.

Your focus should be on three things:

  1. Your company
  2. How you’re going to deliver results
  3. Understanding the hot buttons of your target investor

Understand each investor has slightly different preferences but they are all looking to invest money to get a return.

Some might say they only invest in real estate or tech or biotech or whatever that’s fine they aren’t your target ask if they know someone who might be a fit and stay in touch, learn what you can from them and treat them well.

You don’t know who they know there’s an expression “a dud can bring you a stud”. Maybe a little crass but true.

The most important point here is don’t get right into pitching your business instead take time to listen and hear what’s important to them then learn to pitch your business or project in the most attractive terms possible.

In a sense this is basic sales.

Entrepreneurs often fall in love with their company or vision but what’s in it for the investor?

What does the investor care about. You probably think your idea is amazing and the truth is it’s probably full of holes, it helps to identify those now rather than later but also don’t get discouraged.

You’ll probably get rejected a bunch of times, that’s normal learn from each pitch and learn to refine it accordingly. You don’t need to be articulate or charismatic to get the results look at the Google Founders or Mark Zuckerburg when they started, nerds!

Realize sometimes a no today just means you need to refine your offer, your pitch, your story more. Failure is feedback, take it and improve then come back once you’ve improved your offer.

Chances are they’ve also got more business experience than you so use this as a free education on things to consider and improve.

This being said don’t take everything they say to heart, opinions are like assholes everyone’s got one and they all stink. Focus on listening to the market more than the investors.

Pay more attention to what the investors say about HOW TO EXECUTE than what your product or service or business should look like that’s where they’ll have more useful and more universal experience.

If they have an objection try asking them how they’d suggest handling it.

Request permission to stay in touch and provide them with updates as you grow they can become valuable advocates.


Lesson #5 – Be Ready to Take the Money

Know what you’re asking for, what you’re giving in return and if they are ready to invest be ready to take the check.

They might require a particular corporate structure or some changes to your structure, it’s best to consult an expert on this it could be perfectly reasonable or could be a way for you to get screwed.

This is also where having multiple offers helps because you can compare them to each other.

Be aware one of the biggest questions almost everyone will ask and you need to be able to answer is “what do you need the money for/how will you use the money?” We call this “use of funds”.

You should have thought through what the money is going to be used for.

You should have thought through how much it will cost and not be asking for substantially more but probably a little more to offer a cushion because your estimates will probably be low.

The amount you’re asking for should usually be enough to bring you to your next major milestone.

Ideally find someone or a group who can provide you more capital if needed there’s nothing worse than running out of money shortly before reaching that next milestone.


What’s Next?

This is just a start your best advantage is going to be learning and there are 3 things to learn:

  1. How to be an amazing entrepreneur and build an incredible business – this will help raising capital more than anything else. This is something we can help with through our products and services if you’re interested check out our Advisory or Products section of the website.
  2. The Language and process of raising capital – this is a pretty quick study honestly, you can read a bunch in online articles, learn from the investors you talk to, as mentioned we cover it a lot in our Scale ROI training.
  3. Marketing in general – this will make your business more successful but will also help with finding great investors and pitching and comes back to point #1

Keep iterating and improving your business, your story, your pitch, your method of finding investors, and you’ll be in good shape.

This is a journey of continual improvement where the fastest learners win.

If you found this article helpful please share it with others who would also find it helpful or share with them what you learned here as it will reinforce your learning. Write a social media post, explain it in a conversation, or write someone an email.

If you’d like to learn more please check out our other articles, free resources, and programs we’re here to give you an unfair edge in being an extremely profitable entrepreneur.

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Turn An Ice-Cold Audience Into Blazing Hot Leads

Audience bored and then engaged

Have you ever run an ad and gotten no response?

The first time I ever ran an ad I was in high school, it was in the classifieds section of the regional newspaper for my computer business. I was so excited, I put pricing sheets next to each phone in my parents’ house so when someone called I’d be ready to quote them and make the sale.

I got a grand total of one call, zero sales. It was disappointing and I lost money.

For many people advertising is an expense when it should be an investment. The difference is often the message/offer and the funnel process you’ve got to warm them up and turn them into a buyer (our Campaign ROI program deals specifically with how to avoid this and actually make money from your advertising).

Now, years later I’ve learned a lot more, we’ve run hundreds of campaigns for my own companies and helped clients with their campaigns for their companies and I understand the process much better.

If you learn to master this process, which very few small business owners do, a big part of the reason so many small businesses fail and the ones who do survive very rarely thrive, you’ll have a skill for life to change your life and the lives of anyone you work with.  (Mastering this skill is the purpose of our Marketing ROI program).


STEP 1 – DON’T​ GO FOR THE SALE

We’re talking about generating leads here not making sales.

Of course, ultimately your goal is to make sales and you’re not going to turn down anyone who wants to buy, but you need to think of this as a relationship building process.

Would you ask a stranger to marry you? More importantly would they be likely to say yes? Of course not, so we’re going to make them want to get to know you, to become familiar with you, to trust you and then not only buy from you but buy again and refer others.

So, if you’re not going for the sale what are you going for? You’re going for a lead.

Going for leads has two objectives:

  1. Allow you to remarket more cheaply because you can target more precisely and communicate for less money
  2. Keep track of who is warm and interested so you can continue to warm them more and take them deeper through the process

A lead might be:

  • Someone whose come into your store
  • Someone whose called your business
  • Someone whose given you their email address or other contact info
  • Someone who attended your seminar
  • Etc.

The point is you’re going to get them to take some smaller action so they are more likely to do so, which is going to build trust in you and allows you to communicate to them more directly at lower cost going forward.


STEP 2 – ALL COMMUNICATION IS PREDICATED ON ATTENTION

If you can’t get someone’s attention it doesn’t matter what you have to say so your first step is to break through the noise, stand out from the crowd and get noticed.

To do this it helps to understand the context they are looking in…what else are they seeing or hearing? What else is drawing their attention away and how can you stand out?

This might mean ranking higher on Google. It might mean getting your ad noticed on Facebook or in a newspaper. It might mean being the subject of conversation.

Here are several points to consider:

  1. The easiest way to get attention is to go where they already have their attention – this is why we use celebrity endorsements or pay to get someone with a following to promote us to their following rather than trying to go after them indirectly
  2. Be different – our brains are filtering machines so we tend to place our attention on that which is different from our surroundings. Usually, this means being loud (not just in terms of sound but could be visual, flair, etc.) Not always though, it’s about contrast in a way that stands out (you can’t get drowned).
  3. Go where there’s less noise – distractions are going to kill marketing effectiveness so ideally find mediums of communication with less competition for audience attention

Download our FREE Finding Your Ideal Customer Action Sheet for ideas.


STEP 3 – COMMUNICATE A BROAD COMPELLING OFFER

So, what do you put in front of your audience?
Three really important considerations:

Make an offer as broad as applicable to your market/service offering

For example, if you offer roofing services don’t target based on shingles at this stage. Instead you might target more broadly based on home renovations or repairs.

You don’t want to go so broad it doesn’t speak to what you’re selling/offering but also want to be broad enough you catch the highest percentage of the audience seeing your marketing.

The reason for this is you’re paying for each impression and you will get the best ROI by maximizing the highest number of them.


Make sure you’re providing an offer

A big problem in a lot of marketing is not making an offer. An offer very simply is “give us x in trade for y”. This might be “come to our store to…” or “call us to…” or “enter your email address to..”

The important point is you’re asking for them to take an action, which makes them stand out from audience members who aren’t interested so you’re able to speak to them personally in the future.

An offer is not a slogan. “Just do it” might be a nice tag line but it’s a horrible lead generation offer.

An offer should answer the question “what am I giving you?” and “what am I asking in return?” the former being more important than the later.

For example, “free video – how to…” answers the question “what am I giving you?” It’s a free video.

Call now for your free video – how to…” answers the question “what am I asking in return?” it’s a call.

The “what am I asking in return?” might be implied by the context. For example on Facebook it might be a link on a link.

Choose an offer that fits your product/industry. It might be a free evaluation, quote, estimate, etc. It might be a piece of educational content. It might be some sort of free trial or experience.


Make sure it’s compelling

A compelling offer has two components and especially at the lead generation stage should include both.

  1. The first is high perceived value.
    Obviously, you want to reduce your costs in what you’re offering but the point is what you’re offering should be something your audience really wants. It’s meaningless to give away something they are indifferent about.
  2. The second is low perceived barrier
    For example, are you asking them to spend a day with you? This is likely too much for an initial ask. It’s easy to make a quick phone call, harder to make an in person visit. This means an in person visit is probably a more qualified lead but they’d also typically need to be further along in the buying process to take this step.

One of the easiest offers you can make is for them to click to read an article or something comparable. It’s fast, it’s accessible and as a result someone who isn’t in the immediate buying cycle will likely do it.

Putting these three components together you want to make a compelling broad but still relevant offer to your audience through whatever marketing communication/message you put out there.

Be sure this is congruent with the medium you’re communicating through both in terms of what you’re offering and what you’re requesting in return.

Download our FREE Trust Pyramid Action sheet to help communicate your offer more effectively.

STEP 4 – CAPTURE THE LEADS

The above is largely wasted if you don’t do something to capture the leads so you can follow-up with them. 
These are all people who have expressed interest through their actions with in you sell. 

On the flip side since you’ve gone really broad with your offer you’re going to get all kinds leads at different stages of the buying cycle and with different preferences and values.

The objective is now to communicate to them over and over to warm them up further and ultimately turn them into first customers then long term advocates.

To learn how to afford to get in front of these people Download our FREE Turning Marketing Into Profit Action Sheet.


What's Next?

This is obviously the tip of the iceberg with plenty more to learn and apply but it's a great place to get started.

If you’d like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.



,

How To Get A HUGE List of Targeted Prospects

How do you make money?

It’s not a trick question but the simplicity of the answer baffles most people.

When I give talks and pose this question to the audience I get consistent responses:

  • Provide value”
  • Offer a service”
  • Work a job”
  • Get educated”

The truth is you can do all of those things and not make any money. Money comes from only one place. You have to get someone who has money to give it to you. This is the lifeblood of success in your business and in your financial life in general, it’s where it all starts.

So, in achieving a financial goal you’ve got to start with this question of “who” and follow it up with “where”. If I’m going to launch a campaign today to achieve a goal the first thing I start with is thinking of who has the money and the need for what I’m offering.


For you in building a list you should start with two questions:

QUESTION 1 - “WHO ARE MY MOST PROFITABLE MARKET SEGMENTS?”

If you’ve already got customers (people giving you money) you can examine what the best of them have in common. If you don’t then you’re going to speculate.

In sales there’s an expression “you sell to the M.A.N.”, which means someone who has:

  • Money – they can afford/have budget to spend on your products or services
  • Authority – they have the power to make the buying decisions…this isn’t as simple as it sounds because sometimes you’ve got to consider influencers for example a husband and wife in a family
  • Need – don’t get hung up on needs/wants the important thing is they’ve got demand for what you have to offer

When you pay attention to who is most profitable consider three areas:

  1. How much do they spend – this could include a single transaction or take place over multiple transactions. It’s about lifetime value not just one transaction.
  2. How easy is it to get them as a customer – the more you spend getting them as a customer and the more it costs you to maintain them the less worthwhile it becomes.
  3. How many people do they refer to you – a small customer who refers a lot might be worth a lot more than a big customer who refers no one

If you want to get deep into the process we teach the 7Cs of targeting in our training, you can download a FREE Action Sheet here or check out some of our paid programsYour objective is to come up with a particular type of person or ideally certain specific people.


QUESTION 2 - “WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM IN THE GREATEST CONCENTRATION?”

This speaks to groups these people are a part of and how many other people like them are a part of those groups. You pay for each person you contact so you want as many of them as possible to fit your message.

This answers the question of “what list?”

  • One list might be the circulation of a newspaper
  • another might be the listeners of a local radio station
  • another might be the attendees of a conference
  • or the subscribers to the mailing list of a particular author or speaker.

Think about the people you described under “who are my most profitable market segments?”

Now ask yourself who has a list of a lot of those people? More importantly since not everyone on the list will fit this criteria who has the greatest concentration of those people?

Where will you get your list? You’ll go to those people who already have the list (some are known advertisers so no problem, others you’ll need to build a relationship with) and offer to buy, rent or joint venture with them to contact the list.

Final point, it’s not all about who has the most or even who has the greatest concentration.

It’s also about what it will cost you to reach them. An Instagram influencer might charge you $50 whereas a radio station might charge you $5000. Pay attention to the lowest cost per member of your target market.

Finally, different types of communication will have different levels of impact. A phone call generally has better impact than an email and speaking in front of an audience (the list would be conference attendees) has better impact than a booth on a trade show floor. Sometimes you pay a premium per person but it’s worth it because you gain added credibility, clarity, and time with the audience.


What's Next?

​Obviously, this is the tip of the iceberg with plenty more to learn and apply but it's a great place to get started.

If you found this article useful and would like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.

,

Find The Right People To Join Your Team

Find the Right People

Your net worth is equal to your network.

Not totally true but the value of relationships in almost any area of life cannot be denied.

It’s a double-edged sword though.

People can be your greatest asset or your greatest liability.

The right aligned team can take you to the moon (literally) and the wrong unaligned team can kill you (also literally just ask Julius Caesar).

People come to us again and again asking “how do you find the most outstanding people?”

I’m going to give you a simple high level process to you.

Be aware as with any aspect of success it takes work.

It’s not like there’s some magical site you can visit post an ad and get superstars. If it was that easy everyone would be doing it and based on almost universal struggles and complaints in this field we know it isn’t true.

There is a method to make a HUGE difference though I’ve used to build an amazing network all over the world of high level people, hired some amazing team members and helped clients do the same.


Lesson #1 – It Actually Doesn’t Start With Them It Starts With You

For 7 years I ran a recruiting company.

​​At one stage we even had a USP “we can hire top people better than you can and to prove it we’ll hire you superstars and only get paid based on their performance”.

Sounds pretty good right?

Turns out not so straight forward for a range of reasons but I’m going to give you the biggest as it’s probably the single most important advice I can give you about attracting, retaining, and optimizing a great team.

What we learned working with dozens of companies in a multitude of industries and across many positions is this…

It was comparatively easy to hire great people for great companies and almost impossible to hire great people for bad companies.

To clarify by “great companies” I don’t mean “big”, “well branded”, “successful”, etc. often these are horrible places to work and often small unknown companies are some of the best.

A players like to work with A players.

They like a certain kind of environment.

This is mostly about the people and in particular about the leadership within the organization (note I said leadership not just management or ownership).

So you want great people? Start by being great yourself. Have a great project, work hard to execute flawlessly, develop your leadership and management skills, actually care about the people you work with (show and practice empathy and understanding) and care about and work intensely with diligence on your project.

Intensity is perhaps the best predictor of success in many areas of life but with people understanding is the best predictor of success so work on yourself.

There’s a famous law called the “Law of Bob”, which states “if Bob has a problem with everyone then usually Bob is the problem”.

In this case you are Bob. If you consistently have problems with employees then take a good hard look in the mirror and figure out how you can change because when you change everything will change for you.


Lesson #2 – There’s No Such Thing as Good People

Within certain circles we hear talk of “A Players”. For a while I believed this and preached it. Now after many years, many employees, many clients and situations I can tell you this isn’t true.

One of the most important lessons we learned through all our testing and analysis was:

Management trumps recruiting every time.

This means you can hire someone “great” and you can destroy their productivity with bad management.

You can also hire someone horrible and develop them into someone great with the right environment, coaching and management (granted this is very hard in most cases and often not worth it but more on that later).

Here’s a couple of anecdotes.

A number of years ago my brother was hired by a glasses factory.

He’s a truly quality guy, diligent, dedicated, responsible, hard working…but traditionally a slow learner. I’m not sure why but whereas I’m a quick study he picks up things slowly.

He’s smart though he’s realized he might not be the fastest but he can persevere longer and outwork others.

Not everyone else knows that though and he’s introverted so has struggled learning to express confidence and communication with his team. He’s great at it now but back then he wasn’t.

What was the result?

They almost fired him in the first two weeks.

How big a mistake would it have been?

He went on to set the record for highest performer in his jobs within the company, stayed longer than almost anyone else, got promoted to team lead then went on to have the highest performing team in the company.

Two other important examples.

Back around maybe 2010 my recruiting company was focused largely on hiring sales people and we hired one lady in particular who did great and you might have figured this wasn’t surprising since she’d been a top performer in a previous position.

It’s not so clear though since early on in that position she did quite well then something turned. I can’t recall exactly whether it was changes in her personal life or health but she started to struggle and for almost a year she was a losing investment for the company.

She thanks the manager for continuing to persevere with her and believe in her because she eventually recovered and rose to top in the company.

We hired another similar sales person who had a history of crushing it in previous roles including #1 in the country for nearly 10 years at a major national brand, extreme success in a position very similar to the one we ended up hiring him for…

And he crashed hard making hardly any sales and eventually being fired with disappointment all round.

What was the difference? Same person dramatically different results. The answer in his case was environment. The factors present when he first succeeded weren’t there in the new situation.

I could give you countless examples illustrating similar principles from well known athletes to average store clerks.

What it’s important to realize is it’s not so much just about the right person as the right time, the right environment, the right management.

Very often someone who will thrive in one environment will crash and burn in another.

Someone who will thrive at one point in time will collapse at another.

So beware the idea that someone is amazing, the question is “are they amazing right now for the environment and situation you’ll be putting them in and what can you do to adjust those factors to maximize their success?”


Lesson #3 – Almost Everything You Know About Recruiting Is Wrong

Recruiting is one of the most statistically ineffective processes within any business or organization.

Not only are failure rates among new hires incredibly high extreme outperformance and success are the extreme exception rather than the rule.

All of this in spite of people selection, delegation and management being one of the oldest responsibilities in history including billions of instances with monumental amounts of data.

It’s so bad that most smart companies will realize they’ll have to hire several people in order to get one who works out really well or at best settle for mediocrity.

Organizations have done all sorts of things in an attempt to mitigate this such as complex lengthy hiring processes, psychometric testing, and precise systemization.

Most hiring processes are essentially a crap shoot where you might as well select a random applicant and run the odds in fact for certain positions within reason we actually advocate this process but generally there’s a better process.

For reference efficacy of recruiting processes (their success rate) tends to vary from about 10% - 40% for the best common processes out there.

To understand why this is and what to do about it it helps to have a bit of context around what you need in order to succeed.

Think of the people you’re hiring like different dishes (very depersonalized I known, bear with me) in other words different flavors. Imagine the role or position like the taste of someone eating.

You’re trying to match the best flavor with the appropriate taste except with dramatically more complexity.

What do you need in order to do this successfully?

First, you need knowledge of the taste of the person eating. Second, you need knowledge of the flavor being offered so you can match them appropriately.

Chances are you don’t need an exact precise match in most cases a few taste options will work.

You’ve got 4 basic leverage points:

  1. Be really good at the match – we’ll focus on this shortly
  2. Adjust the tastes of the eater to give you more workable options (say through management)
  3. Adjust the flavor being offered to improve the fit (say through training)
  4. Become more efficient to run through more options

In general we suggest you do all four.

For now though let’s dive into #1, why it’s so hard and what to do about it?


Lesson #4 – The 4 Things You Need to Be Great at Matching

There’s a simple set of reasons most people and most hiring processes fail miserably.

In order to do it well on a consistent basis you need 4 things every single time:

  1. Understanding of the success factors – in other words what will make someone great in this position? Most people fail from the get go here.
  2. A lot of data about who they are hiring – people are so broad we need to know about all the different aspects about this person that might make them thrive for flounder within the role.​
  3. HIgh quality data about who they are hiring – it’s not enough that we have a lot of data the data needs to be of high quality or accuracy in order to be useful.
  4. Understanding of how to interpret the data – all the data in the world isn’t useful if you don’t know what to do with it.

Failing to properly understand the success factors in the role is the first major gap in fact most people don’t deeply consider what the role is, what skills are required, etc. to create a proper profile.

#2 & #3 explain how come the traditional hiring process of:

  • Review resume
  • Conduct interviews
  • Do reference checks
  • Make decision

Is almost a complete waste of time.

After all, you’re asking someone who wants the job if you should hire them. In a sense giving them a chance to sell you rather than really digging in to research whether it’s a good fit.

Candidates are NOT a reliable information source about whether they are a good fit.

For the most part highly reliable hiring processes should almost entirely disregard what candidates state about themselves and focus instead on external unbiased indicators.

Finally, none of this matters without an understanding of how to interpret what you hear and in particular this requires getting past cognitive biases.

The challenge is not simply doing all of this but doing so relatively efficiently so you’re able to achieve a positive ROI.


Lesson #5 – The Method of Putting It All Together

Of course none of the above matters if you don’t have any candidates at all.

The great news is there’s one method with higher statistical efficacy than any other achieving all of these at once and we’re going to look at how to supercharge it.

We call this the Climbing the Ladder method and I’ve used it for years in networking and putting deals together.

Where does the method start?

With something we’re all familiar with…getting referrals.

Notice the difference between getting referrals and asking for references.

If you ask someone for a reference about someone specific they’ll generally not want to provide a negative reference so it’s hard to get good quality information.

By contrast if you ask “is there someone you’d recommend who is amazing” they’ll simply not mention someone they might have wanted to avoid giving a negative reference to.

How does this premise work?

Your best data initially is regarding people you know and have relationships with but you only know so many people so you expand this by an order of magnitude by asking the people you know who they know and would recommend.

Here’s the simple math of how it expands your reach. Let’s say on average you know 200 people (most people know a lot more than this but with whom you have decent relationships this is probably reasonable for most people as a topline average).

Of these 200 very few might meet what you’re looking for but each of those 200 might know another 200 so this a total of 40,000.

Naturally, there’s overlap so it’s not close to that many but might be 10,000 or so. In other words in a small town almost everyone in connected through a maximum of 3 degrees of separation (you know someone who knows someone who knows someone).

Again most of those 10,000 people won’t be a fit but who knows if they might be a fit?

Those who have long personal relationships with them and plenty of experience.

So your recruiting process starts by going to your network with two questions:

  1. “Who do you know who might be a fit?”
  2. “Who do you know who might know who would be a fit?”

This will almost invariably generate a series of referrals as a starting point.

You’re now able to quiz these people about those they are recommending before you go to them:

  • “How do you know them?”
  • “What are they like?”
  • “What makes you recommend them?”
  • “What makes them better than others you’ve worked with?”
  • “What’s their style?”
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

You climb the ladder by going to those who were recommended and repeat the process:

“So and so recommended you as someone who might be able to help. Who do you know whose amazing at this or who do you know who would know?”

In cases such as these people don’t want to look bad so they aren’t going to recommend someone who they don’t think will make them look good.

Because they have direct personal experience and don’t have an incentive to lie they’ll give you higher quality data about the person than the person themselves would.

Because they’ve known the person for a long time you’ll get more data from them in a shorter time than you could ever gather in an interviewing process or test task where you’re limited to a few hours to a few days of experience, a very small context.

Super simple but super effective.

There is of course a lot of advanced strategy regarding how to do this if you want to get really into it that will help you dramatically improve your odds and your reach but this is a strong starting point to give you a dramatic edge over the traditional methods.

If you’d like more information reach out to us or check out some of our trainings.

​Where Are You In the Wealth Journey and What’s the Highest Impact Objective For You Next?

Wealth Formula Booklet

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How to Charge A LOT More & Increase the Amount Each Customer is Worth

Shopping

Do you know what each customer is worth to you?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is focusing too much on customer acquisition cost and not enough on ​increasing the customer lifetime value.

Although lifetime value is important so is the value per transaction and the short term value so we’re going to show you a bunch of fundamental ways you can radically increase your profit, increase your allowable customer acquisition cost and decrease the number of customers you need to hit your financial goals.

Less customers required of course means less work required and a general improvement in your quality of life not to mention a simpler life.


The First Step is Pretty Underwhelming

The first secret we’ll share isn’t going to surprise you…or maybe it is for its simplicity.

This is a HUGE mistake new business owners in particular and small business owners in general make namely charging too little.

When working with companies, we can very often enter and immediately increase their prices by 10% - 100% without affecting sales much at all and thereby radically increase their profits.

To give you some idea if you had a 50% margin previously and we raised your prices by 10% this is the equivalent of increasing your sales by 20%. If you had 20% margins this is the equivalent of increasing your sales by 50%!

The problem for new business owners and this was true for me as well, is we’re used to thinking in terms of how much we make working a job ie. “someone else would pay me $20/hr. so I should charge slightly more than that”. When in truth, you should probably charge 3 times that much (yes those are real numbers).

To avoid under charging when you’re starting, out my general advice is to charge whatever the market is charging or just slightly under (to capture market share) or over either to capture premium value (where you should normally sit as a small business).

Discover what your competitors are charging and base your prices off of this then modify based on your learning.

Bottom line, the first thing to do is simply to blanket raise your prices and you’ll almost always make more money.

The one exception is on what are called “known value items” where there’s a high degree of price sensitivity on these. It pays to price a little lower as loss leaders to attract customers, in order to get them on your more expensive items where customers pay less attention to price.


Who You Sell to Matters

One of the best ways to increase your transaction size and profit per transaction, as well as lifetime value, is simply to target higher end customers.

Look, if you’re selling accounting services to a business in Serbia you’re going to charge MUCH less than if you’re selling the same services to a business in London England. So go sell to customers who will pay you more!

How do you know who will pay more?

Look for prospective customers who are already paying a lot more for what they are buying. In other words, you’re selling to less price sensitive buyers.

This principle doesn’t just go for where in the world, though this is a valuable part of the equation, it also concerns who will find the most value in what you’re offering. For example, enthusiasts vs a casual audience or a corporate client vs an individual or small business client, etc.

Obviously, they need the money, but they also need the mindset to spend the money.

​Not sure how to find these high value customers?  Download the Finding Your Ideal Customer Action Pack.


Where You Sell Matters

Not as easy as who you sell to, the sales environment makes a BIG difference.

Here’s a story to show the point.

A few years ago I was in Thailand where there’s knock off watches, bags, etc. everywhere.

As an exercise, my brothers and I thought it would be fun to go buy some then research on the internet how to tell the difference between the reals and the fakes.

Later, we decided to visit the stores of the authentic brands to see in person how the knock offs compared.

Many were awful but some looked good, felt good and here’s the thing…most buyers weren’t very sophisticated and couldn’t tell the difference anyway. They bought because of the brand but here’s the interesting thing, how did they know to trust the brand?

When buying the knock offs it would be some street vendors or little garage shacks crammed with merchandise from floor to ceiling in every corner on the side of a narrow street.

The big brands had beautiful stores in high end malls with few items on display surrounded by nice fixtures and well dressed staff.

It occurred to me that some of these street vendors could have been selling the real thing and no one would have believed them. While the big brands could have been selling high quality knock offs and no one would have questioned them.

It’s a powerful lesson about how the buying context affects the perception of value and in this case allows you to charge a lot more.

​The free download Find Your Ideal Customers will help you  determine optimal locations if you're struggling.


What More Can You Sell?

The next most popular way to increase the transaction size and consequently the profit is to ask “what else can I sell them?”

Then add-on, bundle it, whatever to increase the value of the sale.

The classic examples are at McDonald’s “would you like fries with that?” “would you like to make it a combo?” and “would you like to supersize it?”

Why is this so effective?

A big part of what erodes your profits is the customer acquisition cost but once someone is making a purchase you’ve already covered that cost so your margins on everything else you sell them are much higher.

In your business, what can you sell that’s complimentary? An add on? An upsell?

Along these lines can you offer a line of products with higher end versions to charge more?

Could you sell warrantees or some kind of support?

There’s almost always dozens more things you can sell to increase the value of each sale.


Bonus – Bigger Profit Not Bigger Sale

The final thing to do is to provide smaller quantities.

This is a great strategy employed by many successful businesses and billionaires.

Take the amount you were going to put into that container and reduce it thereby dropping your costs. Because the container is the same size, the perceived value remains the same so you sell for the same amount and make more profit.


​What's Next?

There are literally dozens of general strategies to increase the value of each customer and each transaction, which combine into hundreds of permutations for your business.

If you’d like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.

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Powerful Communication That Turns Leads Into Loyal Buyers

Powerful Communication

Marketing is all about communication.

  • How do you communicate
  • When do you communicate
  • With whom do you communicate
  • About what do you communicate in order to monetize your product or service and convert it into profit.

The most personal portion of this communication is the actual communication driving them to buy, which we sometimes call sales.

For years I sucked at sales and for years I struggled to get people to buy. Then, I had a few key breakthroughs and eventually discovered the step by step process of buying. This will massively increase your conversion rates.

This is what we call “The Anatomy of a Transaction”. How a transaction naturally takes place mirrors exactly how you should communicate whether in person or through written or visual communication.


  Step 1 – Communicate To Their Demand

Eugene Schwartz one of the greatest copy writers in history pointed out we do not create demand we can only channel it to our product or service.

What is demand? Quite simply it means someone is in one state and they’d like to shift to another. This is what drives their behavior.

If you want a lead or prospect to buy from you the process starts with communicating to them that your product or service (what you are offering for them to buy) will move them from where they are to where they want to go.

This is alarmingly simple at the core. For them to trust you they need to feel understood and feeling understood is going to come from you communicating to them your understanding of where they are and where they want to go.

For example, if I was promoting a recruiting company I might say “stop wasting time on candidates not showing up for interviews and only receive amazing reliable pre-screened applicants who fit exactly what you’re looking for”.

This speaks to a pain or frustration they might have (scheduling interviews and having applicants not show up).

Your initial communication to the prospect should identify where they are at and where they want to go. It should identify the key benefit and/or fear/frustration of your prospect.

Note, some of this communication might be implicit. For example, think about the famous Apple ad for the iPod reading “a thousand songs in your pocket”. The benefit statement in this case implies what you don’t have as well as what you’d like.

Consider the famous offer from Domino’s “Pizza hot and fresh delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free!” We’ve got a strong benefit statement here (implies an after state) along with what your current state is (you’re hungry and want food fast!).

We’ll return to both of those examples soon.

Bottom line in sales we need to first understand what our client’s desired after state is and communicate to them that we’ll provide it for them. When communicating live we can ask probing questions to understand their needs but in advertising we need to have identified this in advance.

Start by either identifying that you will take them where they want to go by labeling where they want to go (not what they are getting but the state they’ll have as a result). You could start with where they are at now for example “suffering from crippling back pain?” but this needs to lead to the after state.

Two powerful questions we often ask ourselves at this stage are “what are they really buying?” and “why are they really buying it?” The first identifies the after state and the second identifies the story going on in their life providing the emotional drive to take action.

To help understand their demand it helps to know their context.  There are 7 strategies we use for identifying our customer's context.


 Step 2 – Crossing the Believability Gap

As soon as you communicate that "I can get you to the state you want to be in” the immediate subconscious question that arises is “how can I believe/trust you?” After all, a lot of people will tell you they can meet your demands in order to get you to give them money but many can’t deliver.

They will not buy if they don’t believe you…if you don’t transfer to them the expectation that they’ll reach the after state.

Somehow through your communication you need to answer this question. This is part of the reason articulating their before state is helpful because it builds some of this trust.

In our training we teach about The Trust Pyramid. To simplify down though the easiest way to build this trust and cross the believability gap is to show rather than tell.

Lots of people will tell others about what they’ll do, their credibility, etc. but none of these make it real for them the same way showing them does.

So how do we show? We might explain step by step the process so they can see how it works, why it works and that we know what we’re doing.

We might provide testimonials and case studies of how we’ve done it before over and over.

We might give them a free trial or similar direct experience of the product, so they know and believe.

The important thing is don’t tell them about how you can do it show them how you’ll do it.

At this stage a helpful question to ask is “why are they not buying?” as the answer helps us to focus on where to improve. The answer will also inform the next few steps.

To go really deep into understanding how to communicate this trust download The Trust Pyramid Action Sheet now for free.


Step 3 – Negotiating Value

Even if they believe you can deliver doesn’t mean they’ll buy…how come?

Well there’s the question of price for one.

In order for a transaction to happen what they are ​paying needs to be more than what it’s worth to you and what they are getting needs to be more valuable to them than the money they are paying.

As a result, you need to communicate value and negotiate the price.

Note, this process might take place in the aggregate through the market or it might come down to good old fashioned haggling.

This process essentially involves minimizing the price while increasing the value especially from an emotional standpoint. Ironically, although some strategies might include listing a higher price then discounting down, you might also do the opposite and charge more to increase the perceived value.

To do this, you need to really understand the hot buttons of your prospect and communicate to those, while using strategies to minimize the comparative price. Help them to envision how great their life will be with your product and how much worse it is now.

Here you might also utilize risk reversal strategies such as money back guarantees.

This is where you’ll use discounts, package deals, confusion pricing, comparative pricing, payment plans, etc.

Note, you won’t go through this stage suddenly after crossing the believability gap, you’ll be building value throughout the process so when you reach the point that you make an offer “I’ll give you X in exchange for Y” it’s a no brainer.

Of course it helps if it actually is a no brainer.


Step 4 – Be Different in a Better Way

You could do all the above and still not get them to buy how come?

What if there’s someone offering all the rest better than you?

To really win the sale you need to be better than others or at least come across that way in their mind.

A big part of this is yes of course being different, being better. Note being better doesn’t have to mean better in every way, you might offer a lot less in certain respects much like how a car offers a lot less than a plane but might still be a better option for you.

Domino’s did this well with their offer how? By changing the conversation from selling pizza to selling pizza fast and then backing it up with their offer of it being free. This changes the focus.

The other side of being different that’s relatively easy to accomplish is to understand them better and speak to their needs/concerns better than your competitors.

I’ve done this many times in my businesses. 

For example, in international structuring many people help form foreign companies, we’ll talk to them about the complexities of legal tax structuring. When they come wondering about legal tax structuring comparing us to others I talk to them about the complexities of banking and how it all works together.

These are very real challenges and pains they go through that communicate our expertise, set us apart from the competition and communicate a sense of understanding of the customer’s needs to them.

Ideally, you understand your customer better and tailor your service to serve them better so you win in both regards.

One way or another though find something that matters to the customer to talk about and emphasize that you do well that others do not or find some other way to speak to their demand and the process of fulfilling the demand in ways others aren’t and you’ll end up with a lot more sales.

This in a sense answers the question “why us?”

Note, it isn’t always a tangible difference so much as a communication difference show them you’re the experts make them feel it.

Again this differentiation in a better way should be a demonstration that takes place through the entire process.


Step 5 – Taking it Away

And finally, you could go through all those steps and still not make the sale…how come?

They might want it you might be right, it might be the right fit but they might delay and not do it now.

So, to finish off you might need to give them a little push to take action immediately.

In other words, this section answers the question “why now?”

This is sensitive because you don’t want to pressure them come off as salesy and lose the sale.

What you ideally want is for them to want to complete the sale now.

The way this happens is by stressing the pain of not taking action now and of course the joy and benefit of taking action now.

The key word is NOW.

An example is in one of my companies we help clients with tax savings so as part of the analysis we find out how much tax they are paying and point out what each day of not taking action is costing them in additional taxes.

The idea isn’t always to close the deal now sometimes the client isn’t ready and pushing them will just put them off, that’s fine.

In other cases they want to take action but their personality is such they need a bit of a push and assuming the sale is helpful to get them going.

If you’ve done your job and they aren’t ready to buy now they’ll come back when they are and you can schedule some follow up.


Conclusion

That’s it the 5 definitive steps that make up the anatomy of a transaction.

On final thought. If you do this and do it well, not only won’t it come across as salesy, since it’s simply a natural communication process mirroring the buying process, it will also build loyalty and referrals because you’ll have educated the client through the process on your differentiation and built incredible trust.

Go through your own sales process and sales material to see how aligned you are.


What's Next?

If you found this article valuable and​ would like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas. 

This Productivity Sleep Hack Isn’t For Everyone.

I have probably the most bizarre sleep schedule out of anyone you know.

I also might have the most productive sleep schedule out of anyone you know.

I’ve just finished a painful week of having a friend staying with me making me very unproductive.

No, it isn’t that he’s been so distracting or wanting to party.  He’s here so we can work every day and grow our businesses along with my taking him to see my muscular skeletal experts to fix his back pain issues.

The dreadful thing he’s done is forcing me into a regular sleep schedule, essentially the same sleep schedule he is on.

The results?  I’ve seen my productivity drop literally in half and had to push back.

 

What Can You Expect?

I have to warn you this schedule is not for everyone.  In my eyes I pretty much live the dream.  But if you can manage it even just part of it this could massively boost your productivity.

I’m famously lazy.  It’s been one of my goals for years to have the freedom to do as little I don’t value in my life as possible.  Where possible I’m all about doing less not more while still accomplishing and experiencing more juice in life than others.  Seems like a pretty logical philosophy right?

There’s a strange flip side to my laziness though.  I’m also hyper productive often shocking people with how much I get done in a day.

A business partner will say “I need you to create a blog post for me by the end of the day” and I’ll give him 10.

In spite of this I get a lot of criticism for my quirky schedule.  At first this surprised me since it is really the absolute ideal I thought, “shouldn’t everyone be envious and want to copy it?”  You might face the same.  I chalk it up to people tending to attack what is unfamiliar or they don’t understand.

Note though that using this system if it’s right in whole or in part for you will require some adaptation (I think pleasant adaptation) and it doesn’t work for everyone depending on your roles.

 

The Theory Behind the System

By now you might be asking “what is this? Is it split sleep?  Is it uber sleep?”  Uber sleep if you don’t know is a crazy sleep schedule that’s very broken up that was used by the creator of WordPress who famously said it was his most productive time when he was using it.

I don’t use uber sleep.  That’s way too crazy and way too structured for me.  I’d feel like I was in a prison.

My sleep schedule is based on two key theories I think you’ll find very agreeable.  But first a story from my life.

I was homeschooled in grade 10 and 11 and partially grade 12.

I used to eat lunch with my mum around noon, pretty normal time and then struggle through the afternoons.  Maybe it was my diet or maybe it was something else but I’d sit at the kitchen table quite sleepy trying to do my work.

This type of pattern continued on later into my life where I’d find myself at times struggling with fatigue pushing myself to get stuff done and frankly not accomplishing a lot.

You might ask “so did you start taking naps?”  No, not exactly…you’ll see.

When I first built a business that ran without me I adopted this new approach and have continued it on since then as I’ve gotten involved in building new companies and doing new projects.

The two theories are:

  1. Work when you’re most productive
  2. Listen to your body

It’s literally that simple.  I think these are principles anyone could agree on right?

See when I paid attention to all the time I tried fighting my body I wasn’t really productive anyway and it was a huge waste of time.

On the other hand, have you ever had one of those moments when you’re “in the zone” and get a massive amount done in a short period of time?

If you’re like me, you can probably get literally ten to twenty times more done during those flow periods than in the fighting your body periods.

My realization is stop judging myself for how I think I should be and start working with what is.  What is is that there are times when I’m hyper productive and times when I’m pretty useless.  If I try to force myself to work during an unproductive period just because that’s what society says are regular working hours then I’m just hurting myself and missing out on living life.

Not only do I get way more done this way I’m also much happier.

Big Consequences

Most people are chronically overtired.  Or at least studies show most Americans are chronically sleep deprived and I haven’t seen any reason to believe this isn’t a problem affecting a lot of the rest of the world.

Do you realize the negative consequences of this?

Studies show short term sleep deprivation leads to:

  • Foggy brain
  • Worsened vision
  • Impaired driving
  • Trouble remembering

Long term sleep deprivation leads to:

People often credit me with having a great memory but maybe it’s just that I’ve had enough sleep?  Maybe you could have an amazing memory with more sleep too?

People’s relationships suffer too as they become more irritable, less sensitive to the subtleties of those around them, and frankly just have less to give.

My basic theory is productivity has a lot to do with energy and focus and both of these suffer when you’re overtired or heck just sleepy!

So how do I do it?

Very easy, the easiest sleep schedule in the world.  I don’t worry about having 6 hours or 8 hours or 10 hours of sleep.  I don’t worry about having naps in the afternoon.  I just listen to my body and do what it tells me.

People ask “what time do you go to bed?”  The answer “I go to sleep when I’m tired”.

The other day a friend asked me “what time are you going to get up?”  The answer “when I wake up”.

In other words I let my body tell me.  If my body is naturally waking up I assume it’s not tired and doesn’t need the sleep.  If I’m struggling to keep my eyes open I assume my body wants to go to sleep and I’ll go lay down.

Sometimes this means I go to bed right after dinner, other times not till late at night.  Sometimes it means I take naps, sometimes those naps last all afternoon.

I go to sleep when I’m tired and I sleep until I’m not.

Things to Watch Out For

If you’re like most people you’ve probably got a ton of objections right now.

“I can’t do that I have meetings”

“I can’t do that…”

Fill in your own blank.  And I get it really I do.  I live the dream but I don’t live in a fantasy world.  I also have appointments I have to make, calls I need to talk, clients I need to meet, employees I need to manage, etc.

So take a deep breath and I’ll walk you through some of the pitfalls and how to deal with them.  And as I already said this isn’t for everyone but I’m a firm believer if you can bring at least part of this into your life it will be better, you’ll be happier, and you’ll be more productive.  Sounds good?

Meetings, Appointments, etc.

Let’s face it for most people in most of life you’ve got obligations, things you need to do, places you need to be, people you need to talk to, etc.

Of course, you can’t simply decide “wow, I’m tired right now so I’m going to sleep rather than taking this meeting”.  You’d mess up a lot of relationships that way.

But if you organize your life well you’ll probably find you can place the vast majority of those meetings into fairly predictable blocks of time.  For me this is primarily the afternoons.  By the way if I can do it anyone can because I’m doing most of my business with people all over the world so I take calls from London, Hong Kong, Sweden, LA, etc.

Not all of these meetings will fall into a normal pattern.  Despite my best efforts sometimes time zones mean my preferred times don’t work for the other party.  That’s fine schedule outside of your normal block as the exception not the rule.

What I’ve noticed is your body is pretty smart so if you need to be awake and productive during a certain fixed period of a few hours each day your body will tend to adapt to this and you’ll be great.

Something else will happen.  People accumulate a sleep debt by chronically being overtired.  Because you’re not going to be overtired you’re going to be well rested your body will easily be able to cope the odd times when you wake it up sooner than it will like.

So what do I do?  I schedule the meetings around those fixed blocks as much as possible, set an alarm for the appropriate amount of time before them and let my body do its thing around that time.  This might mean I fall asleep right after a call or might mean I nap until just leading up to a call.  Either way it works.

Locations

You might say “I can’t sleep in a lot of these places”.  That could be a problem.

In my experience usually there’s places I can take naps if needed and if you’re doing this habitually probably you can create them too.  I’ll do this when I’m on a long drive where I pull over and go to sleep if I’m tired then wake up and continue driving when I’m not.

Again the more you let your body have the sleep it wants when you’re in a place where you can sleep the less it will be an issue when you’re in places where you can’t savvy?

Business Lunch

Be Mindful of Diet

Certain types of diet make me tired.  No way around it our digestion consumes an intense amount of energy and so one way to mind when you’re tired is to pay attention to what you eat and how you feel in the aftermath.

If you realize “hey when I eat meat” or “when I eat a lot” or “when I eat gluten” I get tired an hour or so later well then don’t eat that stuff if you’re going to need to be productive a few hours later.

Just by not eating I find I can often greatly improve my energy.

Change how you schedule your tasks

You’ve really got to be aware of prioritization when you do this and discipline yourself to getting to work when you are up and productive.

For me if I’m not on it there’s definitely a chance of a wasting a bunch of time not being on point when I wake up.

Remember the idea is to be more productive, which means not creating new deficiencies when we eliminate others.

I find having a list to work from helps with this so you’ve got something to go to without thinking when you get up.  Prioritization is very important particularly when you lead a team.

To assist with all of this perhaps the most powerful solution is our “first thoughts” concept from Richucation productivity.

Beware the 25 hour day

Finally, there’s a tendency if you let it get out of control a friend of mine calls the “25 hour day”.

This is where you stay up an hour later each day and eventually your day gets turned around to the point that it’s not productive.

To avoid this I find it helps not to leave my work till the very end of the day, which tends to push my bed time later.  By structuring the day so I can let my mind relax my body naturally falls into a rhythm.

Conclusion

This is very unorthodox I know.  But more and more with international business, working from home, remote contractors, etc. it’s an option for more and more people.

How much makes sense for your life is up to you.

What I’d suggest is at least take those two basic principles:

  1. Work when you’re productive
  2. Listen to your body

And refine your schedule to maximize your energy and your focus.

Then write and let me know how it worked for you.  Hopefully it makes you happier and more productive like it has for me.

Why Start Here?



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