Trends in my Business

On 06/21/11 5:37 PM, Pamela Moore wrote:
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Hello Daniel: I am actually a competitor of yours, but I’m doing research on our industry. I am testing regions of the country to learn where our industry has been hit the hardest. Would you mind sharing with me how you feel this economy has impacted your business? Thanks

Pamela Moore

 

Hello Pamela,

This is a really great question.  I know that the media and public see the current state of the economy as a negative right now.  There are a lot of people struggling and losing their homes, jobs, income, security and confidence. These things tend to make it all over the news.  We are inundated with talks of the economical collapses, and corporate and government shut downs which comes in the wake of decades of poor management of our countries resources.  This has definitely affected the local, corporate, as well as world, markets of today’s economies.
However, what most fail to see is; This [right now] is the single greatest time in our history to make the greatest economic change for the average person.  We are in a world of economic migration.  I believe, and most experts agree with me, the addition of the world wide web, social media, global economies and technological advances have offered up the greatest opportunities for the greatest number of people.
These innovations alone have had the greatest impact on my business.  For the first time in a really long time, American’s are recognizing that the social and economic principles of the industrial revolution no longer hold true or apply to the success and livelihood of today’s general population.  We are experiencing mass lay-offs and economic turmoil at the individual level.  The illusion of job security and the fringe comforts of a corporate retirement (pension, 401K, IRA or otherwise) are no longer the viable options we once believed them to be.  (Don’t Even Get Me Started on Social Security).
I am seeing that there are an increasing number of people who are just plain down and tired of following the path they were “taught” only to lose it all because they were playing a game that decided to change the rules along the way and didn’t bother to tell them.  These people are no longer looking for a “Plan B” they are desperately searching for a “Plan A”.  People are starting to ask all of the right questions; What do I do now to provide for myself and family?  Will I ever be able to afford retirement? What are my true options in this economy? Where do I find the solutions/ answers to my personal problems? How do I know who I can trust?
I think we can agree that these answers are not going to be found by looking to the government.  I also think we can agree that more and more of us are realizing that these answers cannot and should not be answered by the government.  They need to be handled and dove into at the personal and individual level.  What they are finding is that companies like mine are beginning to hear these questions and provide them with answers and solutions.
What I am seeing is that now more than ever, people are beginning to remember their history lessons. This country was founded on the simple, yet elegant and noble principle that every person has the God given right and is entitled to life, liberty and to the PURSUIT of happiness.
That pursuit of happiness is the trend shift I am seeing.  More and more people are taking it upon themselves to find their own happiness.  In my profession and what my company does, we encourage, incubate and facilitate these very same ideals.  We promote charity, prosperity and duty to self and others.  This is the real America our forefathers envisioned and died for.   They are the basic principles and tenets we as Americans lay claim to, and are the only real truths we have ever truly known.  They are the cement which unties us into one common mass, and society.
The economy has had some undoubtedly negative affects on the workers of Corporate America.  The social classes are converging into what is typically referred to as the “haves and have-nots”.   At least that is what the media will lead you to believe.  I like to believe that what we are really beginning to see is the convergence of two mental classes the “Do and Do-nots” This supports what I am seeing in my business and the impact that this economy has had on it.
I would say that what we are now seeing is a new wave of Independent Social Entrepreneurs.  We are seeing a shift in the mindset of many Americans who are realizing that there is not now nor ever has been anyone more reliable or responsible for your own future than you. They are realizing that by giving back/paying it forward, being part of the community and economy you truly become the driving force in your personal success.
I am very optimistic for the economy, my business, and what I do.  I have faith in mankind’s innate need for survival and tendencies towards good will.  I believe that we are only just now seeing the tip of the iceberg, and if the trends hold true, we will see some definite reformations at the grass-roots level of this countries economy in the very near future.

5 Ways to Market Your Business Using Cell Phone Technology

“It’s predicted that the cell phone will be the world’s primary tool to connect to the Internet in less than 10 years! With that in mind, it’s crazy not to be using this powerful little marketing tool!”


Written By: Wendy Kenney.

Posted By: Daniel Genchi

Do you remember when the cell phone came out?  Not being an early adopter by nature I laughed at the idea.  “I mean who really needs to talk on the phone and drive at the same time?”  I thought it was crazy!!  Since then I’ve changed my mind and so has most of America.

It’s estimated that over 93% of men women in America own a cell phone.  That’s over 250 million people!  And it’s predicted that the cell phone will be the world’s primary tool to connect to the Internet in less than 10 years!   With that in mind, it’s crazy not to be using the cell phone to market your business.  Here are some ideas that you can try:

1.  Text message marketing: The beauty of using text messages is that consumers voluntarily sign up!  Restaurants and retail stores can text special offers, coupons, or discounts.  Service-related businesses can send text-message appointment reminders or service updates.

The key to successful text message marketing is urgency. Expiration dates and offers need to be short lived.  Don’t send a coupon that expires in a day; send one that expires that day.

Text to win campaigns are popular.  So are text trivia contests.  Realtors or high end retailers can use text messages to deliver product details to customers who request it.  Some text messaging providers include:  BoomText.  http://www.boomtext.com, and HipCricket http://www.hipcricket.com/home.aspx

2.  Get recommended on popular apps: The I-Phone store has over 65,000 applications to purchase and counting; and for good reason, people are buying them.  Last year over 1.5 billion apps were downloaded!  There’s an app for everything you can think of. And now, with the launch of the new Google Nexus One and the Motorola Droid phone, there’s even more opportunity for apps.  So how can you market your business with an app?  Well you can start the easy way, make sure your business is visible (and recommended) on the most popular apps for shopping, geolocation or reviews.

Here is one example:

Foursquare is a mobile phone application (game) available for both the I-Phone and the Android that says, “We’re all about helping you find new ways to explore the city.”  Foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. Members “check in” each time they visit a location and receive points based on how many times they’ve been there before or whether it’s the first check in of the day.    Members can also give tips about where they checked in and can become a “Mayor” of a certain location if they’ve been there more than anyone else.  Many restaurants will offer “mayor” specials such as a free cup of coffee or special discount to the latest “Mayor” of their venue.

Some others:  Gowalla.com, Yelp for Mobile, Google Maps, Google Local, Google Places Directory,

3. Build your own app: An app can be as simple or as complicated as you like. For example, GPShopper is an application created for Best Buy which connects avid gamers to Best Buy products and promotions. This application features Weekly Deals, search, customer reviews, product details, and a store locator.  I-Phone applications require approval from Apple first.  And you’ll need to hire a programmer, or a least be one, to get this done.  The benefit however, is that you can use an application to provide a valuable service to potential clients and put your business at the top of their mind.

4. Mobile phone advertising:

Coupons. Instead of creating your own app, you could simply sign up for an application like My Coupons available at http://www.surveynotify.com.  Starting at $4.95 a month you can make your coupon available to thousands of users within a 20 mile radius of your location.   The benefit is that the users have already opted in to receive the coupons, and your business will be in front of them, without you having to do the work!

Ads: Similar to online advertising, however, your ad appears on targeted applications.  You can pay by click or pay per call.  Highly customizable.  Google Mobile Advertising http://services.google.com/advertisers/us/media/mobileadvertising#utm_source=google&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=gmobile

5.   Your mobile website: The number one place that people go to search for information is the Internet and I predict that Internet service will become the norm, not the exception, on all phones not to far ahead in the future.  With that in mind, your website needs to be small screen friendly.   Check with your web designer.  In some cases, this can be easily done by adding a plug-in to your current site.

Make sure that your website has all of the information that your customers are looking for.   For example, if you own a restaurant, list your menu, hours of operation, a map to get there, and specials.  Make your site very easy to read by including more photos and video and less text.

What are your favorite mobile apps for either I-Phone or Droid?  How else can you market your small business through cell phone technology?  I appreciate your comments!

Selling Yourself: The Key to Successful Network Marketing

Selling Yourself: The Key to Successful Network Marketing

Written MLMDir.com

Posted By: Daniel Genchi
If you’ve been working your program for a while and just aren’t generating the results you need, it’s time to take a step back and analyze just what it is you’re trying to sell. If you’re sending out emails and e-zines and newsletters like all the others that hit email boxes on a regular basis, odds are you’re on the wrong track.

Marketing pieces that promise financials rewards, the freedom of owning your own business and ground floor opportunities, will not return interested prospects. The key to successful network marketing is actually much simpler. People do not like to be sold but they do like to buy and they will buy from people they like, trust and respect.

Now, sit down and think about that for a minute. Your potential prospects don’t really care about the products or the compensation plans. What they’re looking for is someone that they can go into business with.

Someone they can count on for motivation when the going gets rough and someone that has already done what they’re trying to do and has done it successfully. So, go back to the drawing board.

Think about who you are and what you can do for the people who decide to take advantage of your opportunity. Think about what the program has done for you and how you’ve made it work. Reflect upon your training and identify what you liked and what you didn’t.

Think about building relationships and lasting friendships, think about how rewarding it would be to help others like yourself move towards financial freedom. And then write it all down.

Make a list of things that you personally can offer to the people you recruit and bring into your business and then using that information, write your letter. Don’t make false promises or hype it up. People are ignoring those messages by the boatloads. Concentrate on sincerity and warmth. Think partnership.

Once you’ve written your letter and are ready to assemble your packet, it’s time to take a closer look at who your information says you are. We’re not talking about the words now; we’ve already fixed that problem.

The appearance of your information, however, sometimes says more about you than the actual print. Is your information presented professionally? Does it tell your prospects that you’re making money and thereby have it to spend or does it say you’re barely making it and trying to get by?

Are you having your materials printed professionally or simply making black and white copies? Are your envelopes personally addressed or do they look like standardized junk mail? Do your packets make prospects want to work with you?

If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Keeping all of the above in mind, make the necessary changes. Even if you’re not yet rolling in money, you’ve got to be able to make it look like you are.

Simply cutting back the number of packets you send out while making sure to maximize the ones that you can afford will immediately increase your actual return on investment while making your information the one that actually stands out in someone’s mailbox.

These tips are not rocket science and with a little time and a little more effort you will begin to the results. Pass your success on to your downline and in no time at all, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the rewards of owning your own successful network marketing business.

For more information on how to succeed in Network Marketing follow the link: http://dgenchi.magneticsponsoringonline.com/?c=Craigs+list

Can Right-Brain Thinking Change the World?

Can Right Brained Thinking Change the World?

Published: VOA News.com Washington, D.C.   23 March 2009

Posted By: Daniel Genchi

Best-selling author and business analyst Daniel Pink believes that for the past several decades, western society has placed too high a value on so-called left-brainers: people like accountants, lawyers and economists who use the linear, logical functions that scientists have determined are controlled by the brain’s left hemisphere.

In his recent book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, Pink says society is learning to better appreciate the non-linear, creative work of right-brain thinkers such as artists, musicians, designers and storytellers. He argues that the left-brain abilities that used to matter the most simply aren’t working in today’s world.

“These left-brain abilities – the logical, linear, spreadsheet abilities – still matter, but they matter less, and it’s now the right-brain abilities: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, big-picture thinking. Those are now the abilities that matter most,” he says.

One of the reasons left-brain professionals are becoming vulnerable, says Pink, is that they easily can be replaced. Consequently, more and more professions like accounting, law and computer programming are being exported to cheaper workers overseas or are being performed by computers.

“So you now see tax preparation software doing the work of accountants. You see legal Web sites doing the work of certain kinds of lawyers,” Pink says.

Pink believes that in order to survive – and thrive – in today’s competitive world, workers have to offer something more, something that can’t be duplicated or automated.

He gives the example of engineering as a field that is becoming vulnerable. The engineers who are really flourishing, he says, can do the basic engineering, but they also have good communication skills. They have good inventive skills. They understand design. Maybe they’re multicultural; maybe they’re multilingual. They have a much more robust set of abilities.

“So the idea that you can succeed as an engineer today by simply being good at doing math problems is wrong,” Pink says.

Businesspeople benefit from artistic training

Pink, who analyzes business trends for major media networks in the United States and abroad, based much of his book on extensive interviews he conducted with people all across the world. He says he was surprised to discover how many of the successful people he interviewed – including those with left-brain oriented jobs – had backgrounds in the fine arts.

He says he realized that artistic training was actually doing these people a world of good in the business realm.

“They had a very good left brain, but they were dealing with people who had only a very good left brain, and no right brain, so they were able to become better leaders, better problem solvers, more impactful team members.”

While conducting his research, Pink came to another surprising conclusion: The old numerical index of brain power known as the intelligence quotient, or IQ, may not be the best indicator of a person’s ability to succeed:

“The people who perform at the highest levels are not simply people with high IQs,” Pink says. “IQ matters relatively little in overall career success.”

Both sides of children’s brains need nurturing

Pink believes that in order to become more competitive and successful, society must rediscover ways to develop and nourish right-brain thinking -starting with how we teach our children. He says the U.S. education system is “out of sync” with some of these ideas and with the world of business.

“If we really want to prepare kids for the workplace of the future, we got to make sure that we’re working the left side and the right side of their brains.”

Pink says he’s troubled that a country like the United States has sought merely to produce what he calls “armies of good test-takers,” who are little more than “vending machines for the correct answers.”

“That is a recipe for disaster,” he says.

Parents, teachers take message to heart

A lot of people have taken Pink’s message to heart. In the Northern Virginia city of Alexandria late last year, fans of A Whole New Mind – including parents, teachers and students from across the city – gathered at public libraries, coffeehouses and living rooms for an unusually large community reading event.

Melynda Wilcox, president of the Alexandria Parent-Teacher Association, helped organize the book discussions.

“We think overall we had about 500 people in the city who all read the book at the same time. The feedback has been just overwhelmingly positive,” she says. “People have really enjoyed reading the book.”

Wilcox said she read Pink’s book for the benefit of the reading groups she helped organize, but also as a concerned mother. Wilcox says reading the book even has changed how she looks at parenting.

“I realize how important it is for our kids to be empathetic, for our kids to have a sense of their future being more than just getting good grades or getting good SAT scores,” she says.

Francis Chase has been an art teacher at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past 19 years. He says reading Pink’s book inspired him to change certain elements of his teaching style.

“I used to do a generic lesson plan, where if I had 20 kids, I would try to reach the whole higher, lower and the middle [school],” he says. “Well now, if I have 20 kids, I do 20 different lesson plans.”

Chase adds that the “whole new way of thinking” promoted in Pink’s book is nothing new for people like him working in the art field.

“I’m just smiling and excited that the rest of the world is now catching up to what we’ve been doing for decades,” he says.

Whether the world “catches up” or not, Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind has sparked lively discussions across the land – not only about our remarkable brains, but about new and possibly better ways to cope with an increasingly complex world.

Tweet Tips – Effective Social Network Marketing For Article Marketers

Article by: Jan Verhoeff

Posted By: Daniel Genchi

Everyone has twitter? Really? I’m shocked. Although it’s a readily available messenger (even from your phone) that gives all your peeps the message at once, I was really surprised when my son said, “Everyone has twitter.”

Then I realized, I don’t know very many adults in business who don’t HAVE twitter, and most of them use it frequently. Many of them don’t know what it is. So, to help those who have missed the latest birdie boat – Twitter is a unique kind of social marketing that allows you to post giblets of 140 characters each, adding flavor, traffic, and informative BUZZ to your website. The primary site doesn’t have to be related or relevant to your site – but if you’re not promoting your website there – you’ve MISSED the tweet boat. Return immediately to the doc and get it right!

Tweet Tip #1 –

Occasionally, say something valuable with no links attached. Your peeps want to know what’s going on in your life, of value – not how many carrot sticks you ate for lunch – without following the link.

Tweet Tip #2 –

Use HASH tags to identify specific kinds of tweets. Like a #TweetTip is a tip that encourages and motivates tweeters to use the program effectively. Use wisely – and please, don’t abuse them.

Tweet Tip #3 –

Use shorter than usual URL’s please. Find a quick URL snipper and cut that long URL into a manageable size unit with less than 30 characters. (Your peeps will love you.)

Tweet Tip #4 –

Encourage your readers to follow people who offer relevant data on their twitter, and suggest information through twitter.

Tweet Tip #5 –

Promote your article marketing with auto-tweets to your peeps from ezinearticles.com, so you can spend more of your valuable time writing articles.

Tweet Tip #6 –

Include your twitter ID on various posts to refer people to your account. Encourage them to follow you to find valuable information. (Be sure to produce.)

Tweet Tip #7 –

RT tweets you believe your followers would be interested in reading. Don’t over do it, your peeps may be following other peeps you follow too.

Are you ready to get onto the twitter power line and tweet your peeps?

I know it’s corny as all get out – but you really gotta do this!

5 Steps for Successful Social Media Marketing

5 Steps for Successful Social Media Marketing

Posted by Pete Caputa
Mon, Nov 03, 2008 @ 08:26 AM
Let’s say you’ve gotten the approval to get your company involved in social media marketing and are ready to launch your efforts. How will you define success?

This is an important question, because a large number of companies have jumped into social media without any clear business strategy. Before the financial meltdown of the last few weeks, some companies had the resources to experiment with social media without worrying about financial accountability. But now, most businesses must demonstrate an ROI on any new effort.

In fact, the lack of good metrics is cited as the biggest barrier to marketers’ adoption of social media. Particularly in this shaky financial climate, measuring impact is one of the definitive measures of a marketing strategy’s value. If you want to skip the blind experimentation, particularly in view of our current global financial crisis, we’ve assembled a list of 5 tips to help you start leveraging social media with minimal investment and with strong systems in place to measure success.

Step #1: Identify Your Target Market and Listen to Them

The first step to measuring success in social media marketing is proper scope. There are new social networks popping up each week. It’s a waste of resources to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them. Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes.

Here’s some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: Technorati, Google Blog Search, Ice Rocket, Bloglines, Twitter Search, AideRSS and  HubSpot’s HubFeed. More advanced social media monitoring tools include Radian6 and Techrigy.

Step #2: Get Involved in Conversations

The second step towards success is consistently utilizing social media to engage prospective customers. When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company that aren’t very complimentary. That’s ok. Your job now is to engage these customers and find a way to help. Be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen. Customers are surprisingly forgiving if a company engages in an honest and egoless manner.

If you’re one of the lucky companies who only has enthusiastic and happy customers, recognize their desire to interact with you and be generous with your time. Be open to engaging with them on their turf. They’ll reward your brand with greater enthusiasm – which is a message that spreads through social networks like wildfire, and solidifies your brand.

For instance, on Twitter both Starbucks and Whole Foods share customer comments, local specials, and ask customers what their favorite items are. It’s casual and open, yet subtly appeals to the attractiveness of the brand. Check out some of the brands on Twitter, and implement some of their conversation techniques.

Step #3: Give! Give! Give!

How involved is your team in communicating with prospective customers, influencers and current customers on social networking sites? How often are you publishing great content that helps your prospects do their jobs? How often do you blog, Tweet, post photos on Flickr, comment on other blogs, Podcast, upload videos, etc? The more content that you produce and publish on social media sites, the more traffic you can attract back to your website. If your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads, these activities will help you increase sales.

Step #4: Master the Tools of the Trade

“Social media strategy should tie to business and communication strategy, rather than being based on the available tools. But it is not possible to develop a social media strategy without at least having an understanding of the various tools that are available, their functionality and purposes, and the kinds of audiences and conversations for which they might be best suited.” – Joel Postman, Principal Socialized PR

It’s critical to tie your business strategy to your social media strategy. However, without a knowledge of what social media and social networking sites enable you to do, it’s hard to know how to do that. It’s important to establish a blog as your home base. Then, learn the capabilities of each site to help you interact. For example, Twitter provides an almost unfettered ability to connect with your prospective clients. But, it only allows you to type 140 characters at a time. So, maybe a video posted to youtube would be a better way to publish a “how-to”. Linkedin & Facebook let you see who your contacts know. But, facebook makes it much easier to connect with them. LinkedIn Answers is a much better place to answer business focussed questions than any other social network.

It’s important to learn how to use these sites in order to get business value out of your social media activity. Talk to an expert to determine where to spend your time to get the best return.

Step #5: Use Website Analytics Software to Measure Leads and Sales.

Many experts agree that social media will affect the next generation of search engine optimization techniques as search engines start to use the signals we collectively leave as we network and share media online. Even today, social media activity affects the success of many other inbound marketing techniques:

– Search engine ranking

– Social bookmarking activity

– Social networking connections

– Video/podcast views/listens

– Inbound links

– RSS subscriptions

– Comments on your blog

– Mentions of your brand

– Number of times people search for your brand

– Visitors (first-time and repeat)

– Leads & Customers!

The end goals is lead generation and sales. But, there are plenty of leading indicators as you ramp up your efforts.

Use tracking codes, a solid analytics package and closed loop marketing in order to track the visits, leads and sales that occurr as a result of your social media activities.

This article was co-authored by Peter Caputa IV from HubSpot & Ghennipher, a 10 year veteran of the Internet Marketing world. Ghennipher is an independent Social Media Marketing consultant and writes on Social Media’s effect on business. Subscribe to her blog here.

Photo by 4_EveR_YounG.

12 of the Best Articles on Social CRM

June 4th 2010 by:Jacob Morgan

There are some truly great and thought provoking Social CRM posts out there that I believe to an excellent job of helping move the SCRM space and the discussions around it forward.  I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of those posts and REALLY encourage you read to read all of them.  I did include two of my posts in the list as well just because I think they are quite unique and really do help add some value and perspective to the SCRM space (hey I could have just listed of all my posts like some other people do right?).  I know there are a lot of great other SCRM posts out there as well so if you have one you want to share with the readers of this site the please leave it in the comments section.  This should be a great reading list for everyone over the weekend, we’re going to start talking about some interesting in depth topics again soon and I think the posts I’ve highlighted below will really help you you understand SCRM and some of the topics I want to address here in the future.  So here is my list of some must read Social CRM posts.

  • The Social CRM Roadmap by Esteban Kolsky- a 5 part series that looks at what and how things are changing from CRM to SCRM.  Esteban goes pretty in depth in some of his concepts and ideas.
  • 6 Degress of Social Interactions by Mitch Lieberman- A very interesting look at how a customer goes from being non-social to social via a gradual progressions.  Good food for thought and something you will see again shortly in an upcoming position paper.
  • Definition of Social CRM by Paul Greenberg- Of course I had to include this seminal post by Paul which essentially explains what SCRM is.
  • The CRM Iceberg and Social Software by Ross Mayfield- A really great post from around a year ago which talks about people as the new platform and the importance of both internal and external collaboration.  A longer post put very thought provoking and worth your time.
  • The New Social Customer Advocate by Brian Vellmure- Brian asks some challenging questions around understanding and empower your social customer advocate.
  • The “S” in Social CRM is Not About Social Media by Wim Rampen- I think the title of the post says it all.
  • Enterprise 2.0 vs Social CRM, Fight or Tango? by Prem Kumar- A great post from around a year ago which talks about how E2.0 and SCRM need to work together in order to achieve an optimal result.
  • Hop on the Social CRM Express by Denis Pombriant- A great post on the value of communities and the idea of “doing” Social CRM without the use of technology.
  • What is the Real Value of Social CRM by me- I decided to include this post because I think it’s important.  I talk about where I see the real value of Social CRM.
  • The Evolution of the Social CRM Process by me- I really wanted to include this one in here as well just because I haven’t really seen many other posts that try to apply an actual process around SCRM.  I’m not saying that what I put together is right or wrong but I do think it’s a good starting point for companies and hopefully something they can visualize (also check out this post by Laurence on a Business Framework for CRM and SCRM).
  • Software Doesn’t Drive Relationships; People Do by Laurence Buchanan- Again, the title says it all

Again, if you have any other posts you think people need to read, leave links to them in the comments section.  If you have any feedback on the posts you read above then by all means please share it here and we can have a discussion about it.  Have a great weekend, see you back here Monday!

TAGS: best social crm articles, best social crm posts, must read scrm, must read social crm, scrm, Social CRM