Archives for March 2011

Mar
28

40 veteran in entrepreneurship reveals his system

When I heard about it, I couldn’t wait to send you this email.

Recently I met a multi-millionaire entrepreneur named Steve Little. After speaking with him for only a few minutes, I knew that his message would change entrepreneurship forever.

He has created a fantastic video training program that helps wanna-be, early-stage and veteran entrepreneurs generate big-time success results FAST!

http://www.entrepreneurprofit.com

You’ll learn how to design your business so it really delivers the personal fulfillment and financial rewards you want.

You’ll learn the powerful techniques and methods used by legendary super-successful entrepreneurs.

And he’s made it all available to you for free

http://www.entrepreneurprofit.com

Go check it out. It only takes a minute to enroll and the insights you get are truly invaluable (downright amazing actually).

Let me know what you think.

Troy White

PS. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start a business right now or not, you’ve got to hear what Steve has to say about creating a powerful advantage-making success mindset.

Mar
26

Atlas Shrugged… a Must See Movie

About flipping time this was made into a movie.

atlas-shruggedIf you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged – you have missed one of the greatest stories of all times.

I have read it, and just finished the 63 HOUR (!) audio book. I would listen to it each and every time I was out for a walk with the dog, driving, or had an hour of free time.

It took me a couple months, but it was the most enjoyable ipod time I think I’ve ever had.

Guess what?

They FINALLY made it into a movie!

53+ years in the making.

It’s an independent film, so how many movie theaters it shows in has yet to be determined.

As of yet, it isn’t schedule to run in any Canadian theaters (booooooo), but you can help make that happen.

I have put my vote in for my city – and no matter where you are – you should as well.

Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site!

Here is the Youtube video as well:

I saw one site that had advanced screenings and the audience was VERY happy with the movie.

This is not an easy one to produce – if you read the book – you know why.

Glad they did though and I hope every politician, bureaucrat and mooch out there is FORCED to watch the movie.

Read the book – demand the movie be shown in your city, and help spread the word of this legendary story.

I am doing my part – hope you will help.

Troy

PS: I thought you should get the Atlas Shrugged review of the book from Wikipedia, to further motivate you…

Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand’s fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing.[1] The book explores a dystopian United States where leading innovators, ranging from industrialists to artists, refuse to be exploited by society. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry (including Taggart Transcontinental, the once mighty transcontinental railroad for which she serves as the operating executive), while society’s most productive citizens, led by the mysterious John Galt, progressively disappear. Galt describes the strike as “stopping the motor of the world” by withdrawing the “minds” that drive society’s growth and productivity. In their efforts, these “men of the mind” hope to demonstrate that a world in which the individual is not free to create is doomed, that civilization cannot exist where men are slave to society and government, and that the destruction of the profit motive leads to the collapse of society.

The novel’s title is a reference to Atlas, a Titan of Greek mythology, who in the novel is described as “the giant who holds the weight of the world on his shoulders”.[2] The significance of this reference is seen in a conversation between the characters of Francisco d’Anconia and Hank Rearden in which d’Anconia asks of Rearden what sort of advice he would give to Atlas upon seeing that “the greater [the titan’s] effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders”. With Rearden unable to answer, Francisco gives his own response: “To shrug”.

Atlas Shrugged includes elements of mystery and science fiction,[3] and it contains Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction via a lengthy monologue delivered by the strike’s leader, John Galt.[4]

The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is “the role of man’s mind in existence”. The book explores a number of philosophical themes that Rand would subsequently develop into the philosophy of Objectivism.[5][6] It advocates the core tenets of Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and expresses her concept of human achievement. In doing so it expresses many facets of Rand’s philosophy, such as the advocacy of reason, individualism, the market economy and the failure of government coercion.

Atlas Shrugged received largely negative reviews after its 1957 publication,[7] but achieved enduring popularity and consistent sales in the following decades. In the wake of the late 2000s recession, sales of Atlas Shrugged have sharply increased, according to The Economist magazine and The New York Times. The Economist reported that the novel ranked #33 among Amazon.com’s top-selling books on January 13, 2009.[8]

PPS: I am such a Atlas Shrugged fan, I even made this little clip for you

Mar
23

Big profits from practical jokes and weird passions

Back in my University days, I put myself through school, and nurtured my entrepreneurial spirit, by owning a College Pro Painting Franchise. I had started my own painting company in high school, and it was only natural to take this bigger and better with the College Pro name behind me.

It was a fabulous way to spend my summers, and had 8 painters working for me at any given time, and usually 4 houses on the go.

Like me, there were quite a few other franchise owners and managers who were putting themselves through school.

…One guy, we’ll call him Keith, had this fantasy about going out to a house to do a quote, and meeting up with the hot and bothered house wife.

You see it in the movies (well, a certain kind of movie anyhow), and to Keith it was his ultimate fantasy.

…It drove him to work harder every summer.
…It fired him up talking about this great escapade that he was ‘going to find’.
…He knocked on doors on weekends looking for home owners who needed painting done.
…He was relentless in his pursuit of the housewife fantasy.

So, me and some of the other managers did what many others would have done… we set him up.

I lived in a house he had never seen before, so we had the ultimate setting.

We had one of the managers girlfriend phone and set up a time for Keith to come out and do the quote.

We had hidden cameras set up inside the house so we wouldn’t miss a thing.

…We had it planned perfectly.

Keith comes out to the house, the girlfriend was there looking all cute and house-wife-ish.

Me and the other managers were hiding nearby.

…It went without a hitch.

Keith thought he had died and gone to heaven.

He done the walk around. Worked out the proposal. And gone inside to present his painting job.

She was all professional at first, hearing him out and letting him give her his best sales pitch.

Then she started joking around with him. Flirting a bit. Insinuating that he come out and paint the house himself… shirtless.

…Then she offered him a beer.

Which he gladly accepted as his eyes twinkled, thinking and believing that THIS WAS IT!!!

She turned on the music and started to get close to him, even offering to give him a little dance show.

Well, Keith was grinning ear to ear right about now (remember, we had it ALL on video).

She got him to take off his shirt.

He was already planning out how he was going to brag this one up.

And then the door knocked.

Quietly at first.

Then this booming voice behind the door started SCREAMING at her to “open the $%^$%^ing door!!

Who the HELL is in there with you?

Who’s truck is that in the driveway?”

By now Keith was in FULL PANIC MODE.

Then the door busted in and a very scary biker-looking dude came charging in.

Keith near wet himself right then and there.

He took off like a bat out of hell…

…out the front door

…into his truck

…burning away at light speed

(he even forgot his shirt there!!)

We actually had to get one of the managers to chase after him in his own truck to make sure Keith didn’t get in an accident!

He caught up with him and told him the truth.

Meanwhile the rest of us had been busting our guts and watching the video of Keith’s face when that door busted in.

It was the funniest thing I have ever done.

And the only real lesson I have in this one is this…

…Keith had a passion that drove him to be highly successful in his painting business.

He wanted to find that one housewife.

It pushed him to knock on more doors.

To quote more painting jobs.

To close more deals and hire more painters.

…It made him one of THE most successful franchise owners.

He got what he wanted, kind of.

He sure made a boat load of money those summers, we all did (it was a FANTASTIC summer gig).

…All kidding aside here – what is YOUR over riding passion?
…What is your big audacious goal for your business.
…When you reach a certain milestone – how will you reward yourself?

This one seemingly simple little thing can be THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO IN YOUR BUSINESS.

Find it.

And let it drive you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

If I could track down that video – I would LOVE to share it – but it disappeared years ago… sadly.

Funniest thing I ever did or saw.

Have a great week.

Troy

PS:  I also wrote a post about my business and marketing lessons learned while at College Pro.  A great read for entrepreneurs in every industry, if I must say so myself.

Mar
21

Client appreciation parties

Who doesn’t love a great party!

Your clients do – and it may be time to throw together a shindig for your clients and prospects alike.

Some important things to keep in mind while you plan your client appreciation party:

– invite all your existing clients (no matter how long it has been since they’ve heard from you)

– ask and encourage them to bring their friends and business associates

– create a list of media, potential jv partners and associates you would like to attend and

invite your suppliers as well (the people you pay money to – the ones that should be throwing you a party! – chances are good they will talk you up big time to other potential customers in tohe upcoming weeks and months

make them RSVP to get a ticket – no ticket – no entrance (this is your way to get the mailing addresses of those you have never met before). You can be lenient at the door, as long as you get the contact information for those who show up unannounced.

No sales pitches or talks allowed – this is not a reason for a pitch-fest (doing so would cause you much more harm than good)

– Send thank you cards to everyone who attends – include a business card only

– Work on getting some sponsors to put together door prizes and a take-home package (samples of products could be included)

– Find something (or someone) you can make a big announcement around (charity donations, personal announcements, celebrity in attendance, etc) – this can create a highly memorable part of the evening that others will talk about for a long time [Note: at my Wild West Wealth Summit, I gave 10% of ticket proceeds o Ronald McDonald House. I brought my wife and kids up on stage to present the check to the Director of the Charity. The tears in the eyes of those in attendance was reward enough for what we did. I am also contributing 10% of home study DVDs and CDs to the charity as well

– You would be wise to bring on an event planner for a larger party – it can be very time consuming and easy to forget small but noticeable details

– You could also consider posting an advertisement in the appropriate trade magazines or newspapers that your ideal clients would be reading

– Prepare or post an agenda. People like to know what to expect in the event. You can also mail his out with their invite.

– If you are a low energy type of person, bring along some high energy staff or family members to energize the group.

If you don’t want to throw a large party – or are just looking for ideas for smaller group appreciation events, how about some of these ideas:

Host a scuba diving event where you meet with clients and family members at a local dive shop/pool – book off the entire pool – and have an under the sea party where they get to try scuba diving for the first time in a supervised safe environment (even the die-hard dives would love to come to this!)

Host a wilderness hike. Hire a tour guide or experienced outdoors hiker to show you the surroundings, point out the areas of interest. Have a lunch delivered and catered to the top of mountain. Provide everyone maps and transportation.

Extreme sports can always be fun (but you may limit who attends). This could include 4x4ing, zip lining, mountain climbing, race card driving, sky diving, ATVs, bob-sledding, etc.

Go boating (and invite me when you do!). Not everyone is a boat freak like I am, but people love to be pampered. Rent a nice boat and have a drive, and serving staff in place – treat them like royalty and show them the open water.

Host a murder mystery night. Hire a company that does this for a living – you can even go to your local acting and drama schools. Everyone loves a good show and you can combine the show with a party and a great meal.

Last…

…don’t forget my invite!

Troy

Mar
11

Gene Simmons… Rock and Roll Great and Marketing Superstar

A few years ago, I was having dinner at the Grand ole Opry hotel in Nashville, getting ready to attend the Dan Kennedy Superconference.

Just up to my right I saw someone come out of a discretely placed side door, and start walking down the hall towards me.

“Hey. There’s Gene Simmons!”

Gene was booked to speak at the seminar the next morning, but here he was wandering down the hallway all by himself. No one had even really noticed who this living legend was that was casually strutting his stuff, all by his lonesome.

So me and my buddy Owen jumped up and went to say hi.

gene-simmons-troy-white

Before the crowds saw him…

He was incredibly friendly, offering us signatures or photos if we wanted. As we were snapping a couple pictures, people around us started to figure out who this was… and the crowd soon surrounded him.

What impressed me was watching him with the crowd.

There’s a guy that knows who pays his bills!

He was patient and friendly with everyone.

Photo? Sure.

Sign this? Sure.

He made sure every single person who wanted it, either got a picture with him or went home with something signed by Gene (the girls usually went away with some very strategically written ink on their bodies).

No rush – he was there to be with his fans.

One fascinating thing about his fans was the multiple generations that consider him the best in the world.

Grandmothers there with their grandkids – each of them as giddy at meeting Gene as the other.

The next morning he gave a fantastic talk about thinking big and success in business.
Gene Simmons KISS
Many people judge Gene by the image he portrays in his old KISS costume, with makeup, platform boots and tongue sticking out.

If that is all you know about Gene, you will be astounded to learn how successful he has become marketing himself, his brand, and his many companies.

Gene Simmons - Marketing SuperstarSeriously, Gene is a marketing genius and his Sex, Money, Kiss book gives you some incredible insights into the way he thinks, acts and grows his businesses (a warning though: if you are easily offended and unable to see past some of the points he makes, you will not enjoy this book. If you have thick skin, this is packed solid with marketing lessons).

If you watch his Family Jewels show, you catch a glimpse of how he runs some of the business and makes tens of millions of dollars a year, when most Rock-and-Roll-Oldtimers have fried up and blown away.

Did you know Gene has never used drugs or been drunk?

Most have no clue.
…Most don’t want to believe it.

But that’s how he stayed sober when all the rest of the band fell victim to drugs and booze.

Gene took control of the main assets and has continued to leverage his success for decades now.

He is one of the BEST at being a showman. He knows when to put on his game face, and does it incredibly well.

Some of the lessons I have picked up from Gene that are ideal for small business marketing:

1. Make it a cool and catchy name. Many of the major successes in business are centered around products and businesses whose names are memorable (or they paid huge bucks to make it memorable).

Also, Gene is big into the designs and packaging of the name you use. You cannot deny the success he has achieved with this strategy. Make the name into a catchy logo, and, the real key, make the logo attractive enough that you would wear it on a t-shirt, or baseball cap, or on a poster, etc.

Gene has created a multi-million dollar empire out of merchandisable clothing, posters, stickers, electronic gear, etc …. all with a very catchy logo and designs.

2. Think through each and every area that you can generate revenues from your business and offerings.

a. Your main product or service offering – price it at the high end (trying to win the low price game is not something I ever recommend). Prices at the high end may attract fewer buyers (sometimes it attracts more buyers), but the profits are higher, and the effort required to close a high end sale is typically as easy as selling the cheapest on the market.

b. Find ways to incorporate a membership program into your business. This is a BIG money maker if done properly (the KISS members club has a massive client base that will buy anything that is promoted). You can price your membership program monthly or yearly, definitely worthy of testing both options. With a membership, they should get some form of discount of future purchases, they should have special member-only days, they should be eligible for contests, points for purchases – redeemable for additional goods, or impressed clothing or hats.

[Side note: I have been watching closely all the different places that use memberships lately, and they are, typically, one of the leaders in their market, usually VERY busy with paying customers, and usually very unique, in that their competitors are too scared to implement membership programs.]

c. What is your conversation piece? When someone talks about you and your business, what one thing are they likely to bring up in the conversation? If you don’t have that, yet, start thinking it through.

It could be the bizarre things you do in your It could be the bizarre things you do in your ‘off-time’ (think Richard Branson) – it could be who you regularly write about in your newsletters (I used to write about my twin daughters extensively in my newsletters, as they taught me much about life and business).

Find something, anything that can position you as highly unique Find something, anything that can position you as highly unique.

d. Have annual customer appreciation events (more frequent is even better). People LOVE a good party – give them one. Make it free for all customers – you can combine the free event with an extra paid event, but do it at a separate time and make the paid event highly valuable.

e. Is there any way you can license your brand, your products, your services, even your marketing process or ads? Create something unique in your business and how it is perceived by others, then approach others in unrelated markets (even competitors in non-competitive areas). Sell rights to use your licensed goods in their business. For them, it gives them more to sell to their clients, for you it provides additional income streams to further grow your business and bank account.
Donald Trump recently discussed the fact that 15% of his revenues come from the licensing of the Trump name. People pay him significant fees to use his name, fees are payable in advance before they do anything with his name.

You and I may not have a name like Trump or Simmons to license, but we definitely have assets we can and should be licensing.

f. Cross promote everything that you sell, or want to sell.
Each and every part of your business needs to be selling the other parts. You can do this through inserts in your product shipments, in your electronic newsletters, in your customer follow-up pieces, you can even create catchy cartoon or graphic logos that make for great stickers – include a bunch of stickers with each shipment (this has worked great for me and the Wild West Wealth Summit and the cowboy cartoons I have used).

g. Create systematic 1-2-3 launches for every new initiative you are undertaking this year. As you lay it out on your marketing calendar you will start seeing where the majority of your time will be allocated throughout the year- and where the overlaps are on your launches, which can be powerful in the eyes of you customers – or confusing, if not explained properly.

Make sure you cross promote your different businesses as well. Gene Simmons is very good at making sure each and every one of his businesses or clients is mentioned when he is in front of a crowd.

You just never know who is in the market for one of your other offerings!

h. Always be asking yourself how you can make more money from your existing products or services,
and how you can repackage them for bigger boosts in sales. Try surveying your clients to find out what they like most, and least, about the products and services you offer now.

3. Brand yourself as the personality of your business. Many of the world’s great business success stories (and turnaround stories) are the result of the business leader becoming the front person and personality in all their marketing. Lee Iacocca WAS Chrysler when he turned them around. He was front and center on the television, the voice you heard on radio, and the person people connected with when they wanted to buy a new vehicle (versus all the other ‘faceless’ corporations they had to choose from).
troy-white-copywriting
Use cartoons, if appropriate. They have worked well for me … and are working well for others. There is a major resurgence of interest in cartoons right now among adults. I don’t recall where I saw the article, but the growth in comic book sales to adults is experiencing a major spike right now – tap into it!

How would you sell you and your company if you were a rock star? You may not want to wear makeup and stick your tongue out (or maybe you would?) – But there is something you would do to stand out from the thousands of other rock stars out there re: What is your personality you want to portray?

Use that personality in your blog posts, in your newsletters, in your marketing and on your website – that is one of your greatest assets if you leverage it right.

4. Work harder (and smarter) than anyone else in your industry. Despite the premise behind the 4 Hour Work Week, hard work will be the key to your success. Yes, outsourcing and systemization is critical, but if you are working half the hours as your biggest competitor – they will become the leader.

I highly encourage you to pick up Gene’s book. It gives you a powerful look into the life of one of today’s greatest showmen. Gene Simmons - sex money kiss book

Few people in any business can make ten, twenty, fifty million a year consistently… for decades. Those that do, leave some serious clues on how you can do the same.

Even if success and wealth is not one of your ambitions, learning how a guy like that has been able to turn a flame-breathing devil into a multi-generational icon is a fun ride in itself!

To your success,

Troy White

PS: Speaking of membership programs… thanks to your survey results last week, mine is now in serious development mode. 79.2% of those who filled out the survey wanted more access to me through a membership program, assuming the price is right… which it will be.

With my next Story Selling Coaching program starting up in a month, I have decided to gift you the first 3 months membership into the program when you join Story Selling.

Sign up for the coaching calls and I will start helping you get immediate results in your writing and marketing – even before the course begins.

Not only that – you also get access to ALL future story selling classes as a refresher, anytime you need new ideas! Can’t go wrong for the price.

Gene Simmons marketing and success secrets

Mar
07

What Seth Godin has to say about Story Telling in Marketing

Seth Godin is quite an amazing man with an incredible portfolio of success beneath his belt.

His blog is a must read.

Today though, I wanted to share with you just 2 of his references to the use of stories in your marketing.

Apple tried to use evidence to persuade IT execs and big companies to adopt the Mac during the 80s. They tried ads and studies that proved the Mac was easier and cheaper to support. They failed. It was only the gentle persistence of storytelling and the elevation of evangelists that turned the tide. ~~ Seth Godin

and second…

People are moved by stories and drama and hints and clues and discovery. Logic is a battering ram, one that might work if your case is overwhelming. Wal-Mart won by logic (cheap!), but you probably won’t. ~~ Seth Godin

Amen!

Which is why I love showing you how to build stories into your marketing… because they work and immediately position you different as all other competitors out there.

They are scared of sharing stories – to them it is ‘unprofessional’. To your customers though… it is good business and a personal one-on-one connection with you… which is where ALL marketing is going.

If you want help – get signed up on my next Story Selling Coaching program and I will get you started down the right path before the class even begins.

Troy