Archives for January 2013

Jan
31

The wimpy truth of where I’ve been for the last few days

I pride myself on staying healthy, and being ‘sick-free’. I’ve done good for the last 3 yrs or so without getting sick.

But I got a flu bug on the weekend. It sucked. Not as bad as it could be.

Besides the alternating chills and sweats, toss in a decent sized headache or three, so much fun.  But I was able to get some decent work done. Tried sweating it out through some exercise a few times. (Belinda at Be More Fitness http://www.bemorefitness.com said a quote I love today… “sweat is your fat crying”…awesome!)

Feeling better now but wow that one threw me.

Proud of going that long without getting sick, especially having a couple daughters bringing home bugs from school friends.

I no longer feel invincible.

Oh well.

Keep on plugging.

Hopefully you have avoided some of the viruses floating around.

Hate the flu vaccine, and you could never convince me it would have helped me.

Done more than enough research on it for clients in the medical field, like Dr Natasha Iyer http://better4life.ca – Does far more harm than good if you look at true facts, weeding through the media bs they feed you.

Anyhow, another time.

What IS important… is that you stay healthy this winter.

Me being ill for a few days is livable.

A couple weeks – not.

Or more.

Entrepreneurs MUST be vigilant about their health.

…No sick pay (online marketing residuals help with that though).

…Usually no one to cover your ass while you get better.

We work long hours, oftentimes sitting at computers.

Exercise and good food are very important to you staying at the top of your game.

Which is critically important when being your own boss.

I will keep doing what I was already doing with the immune system supplument I take (3 yrs sickness free, until now), eating good (developed a love of salads over the past year), and exercising as much as the body lets me (mixed in with martial arts, walking the dog at the park, and interval training with Belinda’s company).

I am determined to kick this flu’s ass… almost beaten it to the ground now.  24 more hours and all good.

You look after your health, would you?

…your income and productivity depend on it!

I feel a shiver coming on.

Chow.

Jan
25

I just got my butt kicked by a group of girls (marketing lessons galore!)

You may or may not know, I love my martial arts.  I am second degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon do, and train actively 3-4 days a week in it.

This January, I decided to add more stuff to my workout schedule.

On top of my twice a day walk with the dog, I now am also mixing in kettle bell training with flow training.  Flow training is a fantastic program that Belinda and Colin with BeMoreFitness.com in Calgary put on.

Today was flow training.

No weights.  Just some high intensity interval training.

Holy crap!

Got my butt kicked by a bunch of girls.

I am sore enough from the flow training on Wed, now this?

You know what though?

As I was gasping for air this morning, I realized how similar this was to marketing.

We all get comfortable with things that are working for us.

In the fitness side – I was comfortable with doing my daily walks and regular martial arts training.

So I added in kettle bells and flow, and wowza (!!) what a difference.

I am sore, but damn it feels good and I can see the fat melting off wayyyyyy faster than if I had just stuck to what I was comfortable (comes in handy now, this whole dating thing is kinda new to me – been a looooong time!).

In marketing – it’s the same.

We get complacent doing things we are comfortable with.

We stick to things that we know.

Things that keep us in our comfort zone.

Even if they work – there are wayyyy better results that can be attained when you add in new things to your marketing mix.

Only doing Facebook?

Add in PPC.

Only doing PPC, add in SEO.

Only doing online, add in offline.

You will see dramatic results fast!

I see it in my fitness and I see it in my marketing.  I am testing, tweaking and refining ALL KINDS of things in my marketing beach bum business

(new video can be found here http://youtu.be/74l8oP0O69g)

The results have been great – and (best part) the results I am getting there apply to any and every kind of business out there.

But if I hadn’t spread my wings and tried new things – those results would NOT be there.

Make sense?

January is closing next week.

Are you rocking and rolling on your goals for the year?

Have you changed things up?

Are you adding in new things to your personal and marketing mix?

I challenge you to switch it up.

Results happen fast when you take massive action.

I am here to help… let me know how I can help you.

Have a great day!

Troy

Jan
23

Advertising that turns deadly

There was an interesting article on the huffington post site about baby formula ads and the deadly results that come from people who read and believe those ads.

Formula advertising in and by itself is illegal.  But educating potential customers through “advertorials” is ok.

“Yet companies are still allowed to use advertising to convince parents to use their products. Some argue that manufacturers only advertise to convince those already about to use formula to use their brand, which is part of what they are doing of course. But if you know anything about advertising you know that creating demand, expanding the market, is not just a bonus, it is key to the game itself.”

The gist of the article is that baby formula advertising is killing babies because the mothers stop breastfeeding earlier.

“Yet companies are still allowed to use advertising to convince parents to use their products. Some argue that manufacturers only advertise to convince those already about to use formula to use their brand, which is part of what they are doing of course. But if you know anything about advertising you know that creating demand, expanding the market, is not just a bonus, it is key to the game itself.”

Here is an interesting quote on the article about what would happen if you started being completely transparent on everything in your advertising:

“But let’s say you were to convince me that formula advertising has a role. We would want the ads to be truthful, no? How about the ads having to say: “warning: using formula instead of breast milk may cause asthma, ear infections, obesity, diabetes, leukemia or necrotizing enterocolitis” in nice bold print? Put that in your ad budget.”

Imagine if everything you now wanted to buy came with warnings like that!

90% of the crap in the grocery stores would have to label each and every package with all the harmful ingredients and potential side effects of each and every ingredient.

Every car you buy would have to tell you every single mishap that’s happened when someone else drove that brand of car in the past – heck, cars in general can be deadly – wrap the advertising around the cars and forget the paintjob.

How about consumers actually take OWNERSHIP of what they are going to buy and (gasp) do their research before they do!

That’s tooooooo difficult, the whiners say.

Sad, sad what we have come to.

People are lazier and lazier, choosing to point blame at anyone and everyone else before taking ownership themselves.

Imagine a world where no advertising or sales was allowed!

How would you find products to buy? How would you know about the alternatives on the market?

“Word of mouth” you say?

Word of mouth marketing IS an exceptional marketing tool.

But what is the difference between that and sales, or advertorials?

Who’s not to say the person who refered the product to you isn’t getting a cut or commission if you buy?

If you are making advertising and marketing illegal, wouldn’t word of mouth marketing also be illegal?

What’s the difference.

So destroy the advertising and marketing business, along with the direct sales industry ($150 billion a year in sales alone in North America).

Millions of jobs…. gone.

BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars in revenues and profits… gone.

All those people out of work.

Devastation everywhere.

But at least there is no advertisements out there!

Ridiculous I know.

But this is how stupid society has gotten.

They want everything banned…

…but want the right to pick and choose anything and everything they want.

The rich are bad and the poor are noble.

Companies are bad. Profits are bad.

Ever wondered what would happen if the rich were no longer paid to innovate, to create businesses, to hire people?

Complete meltdown.

No jobs.

No money.

That’s a fun idea!

Bit of a rant today, but the idea of banning marketing and advertising is absolutely ridiculous!

Jan
22

George Carlin nails the power of words in advertising

You know what amazes me about the video below?

George Carlin probably put more effort into this bit than 95% of entrepreneurs put into their own marketing message!

Sad, but true.

Words can move people and influence them to buy.


Words can also repel them and drive them away forever.

Choose your words carefully, those minor differences can be major differences in your sales numbers.

Jan
15

“If your life sucks, it’s because you suck” – 2 interesting stories today

Here’s a fact you need to know for 2013…

If you are only marketing online right now, you are completely IGNORING 60% of your prospects and clients!

How’s that for a wakeup call?

Epsilon just conducted a study of Americans and Canadians (2012 Channel Preference Study) to measure what buyers want from their suppliers… email or direct mail.

More than 60% of people surveyed actually want to see mail in their physical mailbox, not their email inbox!

75% of people surveyed say they PREFER direct mail over email because they can read the information at their convenience.

Not only that…

…73% of Americans and 62% of Canadians said they receive a lot of emails that they simply DO NOT OPEN.

You know it and I know it… the email inbox is cluttered and difficult to weed through.

But every year, fewer and fewer businesses are using direct mail.

So, if you are looking for an untapped marketing opportunity right NOW… add direct mail into your marketing mix!

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“If your life sucks, it’s because you suck”
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We all need a good scolding every once in a while… right?

chief-clarence-louie-osoyoos

Chief Clarence Louie

Chief Clarence Louie is the leader of the Osoyoos Indian Band.

From a young age, he has brought fresh ideas to the table to help his reserve clean up their act, and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit.

He is a no B.S. leader and is commonly hear reprimanding the whiners out there that like to blame everything about their life on someone else.

One of his common statements?

“If your life sucks, it’s because you suck”

Truth hurts!

It also works…

Since Louie founded the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corp. in the early 1980s, the reserve has launched more than half a dozen major projects, including a luxury resort, golf course and a construction company.

In late 2012, they landed a $200-million federal prison contract, bringing another 240 full-time jobs to the reserve’s new industrial park near Oliver, B.C.

Under Louie’s leadership, which started in 1985, Osoyoos Indian Band has gone from rags to riches, from Indian Affairs bankruptcy management to economic self-sufficiency.

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The lesson for today?
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We have a brand new year in front of us and the same-old-same-old is NOT the way to start your year.

Think about the untapped opportunities you have in front of you, like direct mail.

Add it into your marketing mix and you will see a boost in sales.

Not only that, add in new initiatives for the year like the Chief has, and through diversification, you can add more income streams and completely change how 2013 plays out vs how 2012 played out.

I love, love, love new and innovative marketing ideas.

It’s the reason I am heading to Austin Texas on Thursday for the Empower conference (http://www.marketingbeachbum.com)… it was a different initiative I added in 2012 and I absolutely LOVE the marketing training and cash flow it added to my life!

Think like the Chief and get aggressive in your plans for the year.

Have a great one.

Troy

PS: The 2013 Cash Flow Calendar is PACKED with innovative marketing ideas that work in both print and digital.

Pick up a copy of it (less than $0.30 a day!) and use it.

If you don’t make at least $5,000 extra by using it throughout 2013, I will return your investment.

Fair? Get yours here http://www.cashflowcalendars.com/2013cfc

Cash Flow Calendar and Marketing Plan for 2013

The 2013 Cash Flow Calendar and Annual Marketing Plan

Jan
11

My failures in Cathouse Construction and the marketing meltdowns

Something I bet you didn’t know about me…

…my name is Troy, and I build cathouses.

Built is more like it.

I have always been an animal guy, even going as far as wanting to be a Vet many moons back.

My buddy Rob and I have been best of friends since we were about 4 years old.

Rob is a blue collar kinda guy who is a master at wood working.

While I was slugging my way through University, I lived with Rob in a house that doubled as a booze-bin 🙂

No idea HOW I actually made it through University with my Bachelors degree, but I did.

Anyhow…

Rob had this idea way back when to build a small “cathouse” that went on the outside of the house and was connected to the “milk chute” (fyi – a milk chute used to be built into houses in Calgary so the milk man could put the milk inside the chute in the winter, keeping it out of the worst of the cold.  The milk chute was basically a hole on the outside and inside of the house big enough to fit a jug of milk, small door on each side of the hole).

cat condo plan blueprint
The cats could go from inside the house to the outside without us needing to open the door.

Brilliant!

Everyone LOVED them.

So Rob and I started building bigger ones.

And bigger…

…and bigger.

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The last one we did had 29 windows, 7 doors,
2 patios, insulation, lockable doors,
and a jacuzzi (kidding).

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cat house and condo plan blueprint

 

 

 

 

It was flipping AMAZING.

So were the hours that went into it.

But we plugged away and tried to sell our masterpieces (remember, this is ~20 years ago).

     GET THIS: even Bloomingdales was interested in our “cat palaces”,
     as we coined them.  (I came up with the tagline “Uniquely Crafted
     Cat Palaces” for our venture).

DAMN were they hard to sell though!

20 years ago, high end pet products were not nearly as common as now.

No one was doing anything even remotely like what we were doing.

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The problem?

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It wasn’t the size of the market – cat lovers everywhere.

It was the excess hours we put into these things.

The last one built had over 400 (!!) hours in it.

Do the math on what we would have to charge to make it worth our while to build these babies.

Ya.

See the problem?

So, we started doing VHS tape sales showing others how to build small ones themselves.

Instead of investing $10,000 with us, they could invest $150 and get the blueprints and video on how to make a small one themselves.
cat house and condo plan blueprint
That worked.

But the mega-monster-cathouses didn’t.

These days it may be a different market than back then.

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But it still has the inherent problem that
there were FAR too many hours involved in the
product creation to make it feasible.

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Which brings me to my point today.

It isn’t ALL about a marketing problem.

Sometimes the product or service you are selling has far too many moving parts or hours involved to make it worthwhile.

Sometimes you have to just DROP IT… and move on to something new…

…as painful as it is to drop a labor of love, like our cathouses were.

But we dropped the idea of luxurious palaces and moved on to selling the videos and made money that way.

There still was and IS a market for high end products and services…

…but marketing to the affluent is an entirely different ballgame.

One that requires specialized knowledge, training, and systems.

I am partnering up with an expert in Marketing to the affluent and we are hosting a live training event in 2013… watch for more information.

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If you have a product or service that isn’t selling,
you may need to loosen up your ego and drop the idea.

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So think about the products you have that are sluggish in sales.  What could you do to revitalize them, re-target them, or re-package them?

Oftentimes, all it takes is a simple re-do and re-launch of a product to find new markets and new profit centers.

As always, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Troy

cat house and condo plan blueprint