It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Keep on sharing. It really DOES matter.

Who are you? What do you know that is of value to others?

You are you. You are unique and your experiences do really matter to other people. You create value when you share who you are, as well as what you know.

I know that the people marketing and sales would have you believe that all about what you know. It’s not that what you know is not of, or does not create value. It’s more that who you are is an important and integral part of the value created when you share what you know.

People buy people. People buy feelings.

Do you really think that purely what you know is enough to make people spend money? Or is it the outcome that they will achieve for themselves?

I believe it is, for the most part, the latter. By learning from you people hope to get a specific result for themselves. That result, in turn, delivers a specific feeling for that person. The greater that feeling is in importance to them, then the greater the value it has to them.

This is where commerce comes into play. The people that you create value for have access to resources that are of value to you. The resources they have maybe skills, knowledge, networks, attention, time or money. And as we know, one of the main resources that is traded for the value you have created and the value that you desire to receive, is money.

Granted, it’s not all about money (at least it isn’t for me). It’s also about the one email, tweet, Facebook or LinkedIn message where you hear from someone the you never met.  In that message they thank you for changing their lives for the better through what you’ve shared. [I’ll share the message I received in a later post]

You may, like me, have forgotten what you wrote. But you will know that it came from a place of compassion, and passion. At that moment you will get that feeling of knowing that what you do and who you are really does matter.

I say all that to say this….

i2i TMM Global reach 20121119I have been writing blogs fairly consistently now for over a year. I know that it is necessary for me to share what I know and who I am. Until recently, I did not take a look at the web statistics that shows the global reach of what I say about what I know and who I am. The image in this blog was taken from my website stats analysis.

With that said, I want to say a big “thank you” to you for taking the time to read, watch and listen to what I have to say. No matter where you are on this global map (shows the countries that people have viewed this blog from) there are people just like us all over the world that seek to grow, share and walk together on this journey called life.

In 2013, I’ll be focusing most of my thoughts, videos and writing around a few core subjects. This will help me to focus my time, energy and efforts in a way that I will be able to establish a clearer “message” that we can discuss and share together.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Do you have a message that you wish to share? Have you allowed fear, or the illusion that it does not matter to others to be the reason for not sharing that message? Or have you allowed “planning to prepare” and “getting ready to get ready” to be the reason for not starting or building a rhythm for sharing your message?

If so, please know that what I have done is a baby step. But even the baby step is still a step forward.

This is all that we need to do. It may not be perfect, it may not be as consistent as we desire (at first), but is, can be and will be SOMETHING.

This is not about you, this is about them. All the people in the orange and red countries of your global reach map waiting to hear what you have to say. It may start small, with only one blog or video. It will become more, in time.

And in time you will hear the stories of how your words have impacted and changed the lives of others. This is my story, this is my song. And I thank you for taking the time to sing along.

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Money is NOT the root of all evil

The last step of ATM is a doozy.

So far you’ve learned the importance of getting the attention of the people you want to serve,

You’ve learned how essential it is to spend quality time with them to let them know how you can add value to their lives

Now you’re at the point where you can see if they really value what you have to offer, you’re at the last step where it’s time to put up the ultimate ‘applause for a job well done’ and ‘sign of commitment and interest’…. It’s the money step.

Money. Despite the misquotes and slander, money is NOT the root of all evil. The actual quote is “the love of money is the root of all evil” 1 Timothy 6:10

In fact, there can be a number of inhibitors and blocks for people taking the ‘money step’ can exist on both sides of the transaction. Yes, YOU can be the block through your own behaviour, attitude and perceptions about money.

It’s fair to say that YOUR perceptions about money can often be the greatest block. For that, I’d suggest a few sessions with your life or business coach.

I say all of that to say this….

When you can get and keep the attention of an audience. They are have invested in you on one level.  They have given you a small part of themselves to test the waters before they invest a larger portion by spending time with you.

During this important exchange it is your responsibility to make good on the promise you made when you gained their attention. You have to provide real and connected value that is of use to the people who  you share your message with.  You have to prove yourself, credible and worthy of further investment of time.  And when over the course of time you have proven yourself, they will exchange something that you value and can use….. money.

Money is a means to an end.  Money is a clear indication that they want to continue to invest in you and themselves. It’s for mutual benefit.  You will give them something that is of greater use value to them than the financial value that you have requested.

Attention, Time and Money. Straight forward yet far from simple. It’s sort of like a maze. And like a maze it is far easier to navigate if you have the benefit of a guide or a map.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

What does your brand communicate? Has it been engineered to gain and keep their attention?

Are you making good on the promises you make after you get the attention of the people you wish to serve?

What is the clear pathway, product matrix or product staircase that you’ve created to continue to serve your customers as time goes on?

If you’d like to find out how to build your own product matrix and product staircase, you can visit your nearest branch of The Business Wealth Club in the UK or USA. Alternatively, you can get a 1:1 ‘i2insight Session’

This is a 40 min session discussion specifically about YOUR business and looking at quick wins to grow, have more impact and make more money.  The qualify for that session you have to complete the following three steps

Complete the questionnaire (takes 3 min) [ www.bit.ly/i2insight01 ]

Select and make a donation to one of our four charities (min £10 donation)

Book a meeting time with me [ www.bit.ly/i2ischedule  ]

During the session we are likely to discover ways for you to generate NEW business and more profitable customers. This will pave the way for increased cashflow and opportunities for you to invest in the business.

I look forward to connecting with you.

The second step to fill your personal ATM

Trust leads to revenue. Trust takes Time.

OK, so I think I’ve got your attention.  Well, in fact, if you’re reading this you’ve already proven the validity of the next step the principles of ATM.

How many times have you sat at your computer with the intention of doing one thing and found yourself doing something else? It happens to a lot of people, in fact, companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and the like BANK on the fact that you will do just that.

It seems that we’ve moved into a new age of communication.  There was a time when we were in the information age, when we were hungry for access to information and the new ‘information superhighway’ (as the internet was called back then) was the place were everyone wanted to get a fast track to the fast lane.  As the old saying goes

“Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Now, as my coach Scott Smith has noted, we’re in the age of ‘information overload’.  If you think about it, we’ve taken a very distinct change from getting information on everything to only wanting information on what we want, when we want it and in clear, distilled, limited to 140 characters, up to the second information.

I say all of that to say this….

Once you have the attention of your potential client, customer or partner you want to create a way for them to spend time with you.  This can be in the form of the written, spoken or presented word.  In my V3E strategy, I stress the importance of shaping your message so that it is aligned with your values and vision for yourself and your partners.  Regardless, the way to build trust and relationship is to create and master ways to spent time with the people you want to work with.   Ideally, you should have a product staircase or product matrix that you can clearly map out the pathway for your customers.  The product staircase is a way to let your customers take steady steps from product to product as they learn more about you, trust you, and decide if YOU are the one to solve their problem e.g.

Attention:  0 – 10 seconds

  • Your headlines
  • Your Logo
  • Your tagline

Time:  10 seconds – 30 minutes

(in order of typical duration)

  • Your tweets
  • Your audio blog (audioboo)
  • Your podcast
  • Your Facebook or LinkedIn messages
  • Your blog
  • Your videos
  • Your webinars

These are just a few examples and ideas that are progressively longer and longer and provide an opportunity for people to hear what you have to say, the value you have to offer and learn to trust you.  And what is a clear indication that they find value in what you have to offer? Well, that’s for the last step

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Take a look at your favourite brand or product and consider the path that you took from first giving them your attention and then your time.  Consider the other pathways that they have created to allow you and other customers to spend time with them.

Do you have a product staircase or matrix? If you do, then what do you have in place to ensure that the steps are easy and comfortable transitions based upon the services that you offer.  If you don’t, then consider checking out the product staircase strategy at www.thebusinesswealthclub.co.uk to visit your nearest club (if you are in the UK).

The staircase is the structure, V3E shapes the content. The next step is the step that keeps you in business.

Make Your Business Into Your Personal ATM

If you want cash from your business, fill your ATM

After 25 years in business, both as an employee and being self-employed, I’ve picked up a few things along the way.  One of them is being VERY aware of the fact that

Cash is King.  Without cashflow, your business is dead.

This begs the question “How do I keep the cash flowing?”  There are a number of models, theories, strategies and techniques that are publicised and taught in various forums.  There is, however, a simple set of principles that – from my observation and experience – that they all rest upon.

Attention, Time & Money

Whether you are looking at your marketing strategy, sales pipeline or communication policy – Attention, Time and Money (ATM) principles apply.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll send a little time on each of these elements.

Attention

The DNA of ‘Attention’ as it relates to the ATM Principles

  • Duration of time:  0 – 10 seconds
  • Typical Modalities:  Visual, Audio
  • Products & Tools:  Logos, Advertisements, Signage

If you live an a city of any decent size in one of the Western nations, chances are that you are exposed to over  3,000 ‘brand impressions’ per day.  That’s based upon one study that I read and I suspect that if you live in a city like New York, London and the like, then it’s a lot higher.

Think about it…. from the logo on the packaging of your breakfast and the badge on your car (or other mode of transport) to the ads on your mobile apps or on TV – there are thousands of organisations vying for your attention.

As a consumer you are getting more and more discerning about which brands or messages get your attention.  In fact, marketeers are getting more and more sophisticated about doing it. Now technology is used to create communicate messages deep into your unconscious mind so that when the next message in the series (i.e. campaign) is sent, it will have a familiar ‘feel’ to it.

There are very clever, very well paid people who study semiotics and advise organisations how to communicate in powerful ways just using shape, form and colour and do to so in a fraction of a second.

Your brain is constantly filtering out things that are not of interest to you in order to let things through that you told it are important.  No wonder women are tired after a day of shopping.  It’s not just the walking and carrying of bags, it’s also that they have been making complex decisions between wants and needs / logic and intuition while the powerful messages are bubbling up to the surface of their minds.

I say all that to say this….

Really, when you step back and look at it, you don’t want to give your attention to everything.  It would be overwhelming. You’d be stuck at a place of inaction because your TIME would be taken up with the collective ATTENTION items.

The purpose of the Attention Principle is that it allows your brain to be aware of something and then assess whether or not you will

  1. give further attention and, therefore, time to it
  2. store it or
  3. ignore it

Getting customer’s attention is getting more and more difficult, but it is the mandatory first step before they will give you their time or their money.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

What message are you conveying in the first ten seconds of ‘experiencing’ you or your brand? Does it reflect your values? Is it compelling? Does it invite others to spend time with you?

Maybe it’s time to pay a little attention to the first impression that you make when you first ask for or gain the attention of your audience, potential customers, partners or employees.

Whether it’s your logo, your office or even your appearance. Gaining attention is the first step and the crucial first qualifier before we will spend time with anyone or anything.

Are you selling your most precious resource too cheaply?

Your time is your life. Don’t sell yourself short (or cheap)

In a recent blog I noted that your CV is as much for you as it is for the prospective employer or investor.
An interview or presentation to get work has the potential to change more that your bank balance.  If you are successful in getting the job you are about to sell your most precious resource….. your time.
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When you consider how precious your time really is, then you’ll see that it’s important to interview and know as much as you can about the interviewer.
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Whether you are interviewing for a job to clean toilets, design toilets or run the company that makes them, the interview should be taken very seriously.  By ‘serious’ I don’t mean that you should ‘stress out’ and lose your mind.  What I am saying is that accepting a role for a full-time position is a major life decision that should not be taken lightly.
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If you need convincing, then let’s do the math.
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If you work a 9:00 to 5:30 job and have a 45 minute commute your day looks a little like this:
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  • 45 minutes getting ready for work
  • 45 minutes commute to work
  • 7.5 hours at work
  • 45 minutes commute home
  • 15 minutes ‘wind down’
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That’s 10 hours out of 24 hours.
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If you manage to get 8 hours sleep that leaves only 6 hours for family, friends and the ‘life’ part of the “work, life balance”.
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Even if you count your weekend, you’ll get 32 hours to spend time with those you love (noting that some of that time will be spent talking about or thinking about the work week that was or the work week to come).
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When you consider that so much of your time is spend either at work, getting ready for or travelling to work you’ll see that any role that you choose to accept is about to take a BIG chunk out of your most precious resource…. your time.
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The scale of the decision should now be more apparent.  So, ask yourself, “If I’m about to give THAT much of my life to this single thing, then shouldn’t I spend a little time to find out more about the organisation, the people and what the job will ADD to the course of my life (Curriculum Vitae – CV)”
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I say all of that to say this….

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The decision to accept a position as an employee or to take on a major client will have a significant impact on THE most valuable resource you have…. your time.  If you decide to start your own business, it’s even a bigger committment of time and energy. So consider it well to make sure that it works for you as well as the other party.
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This type of life changing decision warrants an investment of time to review the course of your life – where you have been and where you are going.  In other words, review and update your CV (step 1). Do the research into the organisation that you are meeting (step 2). Make sure that all parties (yourself included) are aligned and are clear about what they will gain.  This may require you allowing the other party to sell themselves to you! (If they are too arrogant to recognise how important that is, then it’s an indicator of things to come)
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Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

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Are you actively developing your ability to pitch yourself or your business? Do you know the signs that other people give (unconsciously) to show that they are or not interested?
Selling and buying require a range of skills that if they are not well-developed will result in the loss of opportunities or escape routes from potentially detrimental partnerships.
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If you want to develop your skills in doing all of the above (presentation skills, pitching and assessing a potential business partner) visit a local branch of The Business Wealth Club as it’s a place where businesses learn and get results.  www.thebusinesswealthclub.com is in the UK and USA and is a great place to network, learn, grow and get results in this and a number of key areas that are important to you and your business.

Three steps to increase revenue

How to make more money in three steps

Note that I didn’t say “three easy steps”.  That’s the headline that the internet marketers would suggest.  That would not, however, be the full story or really be the truth.

Heck, if it were easy then everybody would be doing it.

If it were easy then it would most likely be something that comes naturally to you (flow), you’d be doing it and you wouldn’t, necessarily, be reading this blog.

For the rest of the world that wants to make more money and realises that it will take effort, read on.

Recently, more and more of my clients have been sharing a common frustration.  How do I increase revenue?  (a sophisticated/business way of saying “I want to make more money”)

There are a number of ways that I’ve learned over the past 25 years working with businesses to help them grow.  I’ve even distilled it down into clear steps that have always yielded results (i.e. this is a strategy that has made countless people into millionaires)

There are lots of ‘answers’ out there but as I said in my last blog..

“the answer isn’t really the answer”

It’s more about the journey. Step by step, day by day, pennies to pounds.

OK, I hear you saying, “So what are the three steps?” Well, if you’re one of the many people out there that just want an answer, then here it is:

  1. Create value
  2. Leverage it
  3. Repeat

Those are the three steps of the strategy……… the answer.

Within the steps there’s more….. so If you stop reading now you’ll miss out on the part that will help you to take the next step. This is because there are questions that follow with answers that are all a part of the journey.

The challenge that many businesses face is that they believe they’ve created value but aren’t seeing the level of revenue that they desire.

The fact is, they’ve created value for somebody but it might be for a dwindling number of people.  Additionally, the people you may be connecting with don’t necessarily place a constant level of value on what you are delivering.

So, here’s the next question, “What are some of the easy indicators that you are delivering value?”

The answer: Attention, Time and Money (ATM)

  • Attention – If something is really of interest to you, then you’ll have no problem clicking a mouse, looking in a shop window or reading the headline on a leaflet or brochure.
  • Time – Once you’ve moved past the initial glance of the headline or clicked on an ad or banner, you’ll invest more and more time to investigate and learn more about the product or service
  • Money – Money is one of the most clear indicators of interest.  The indicator that, once given to you, can be exchanged for other goods and services.

I say all of that to say this….

The global economy is based upon the principle that people will invest into things that meet a need or a want.  You may pay (money) for something, but the money is usually the last step in a sequence of investments – the preceding investments being attention and time.

The attention and time investments that your customers make can be measured.  The level of investment will vary based upon how important the need/want may be to you (balanced with the attention and time that you have to invest)

These two key areas (attention and time), when measured, are important leading indicators of the potential for revenue.

If you make the effort to examine the buying habits of your customers and measure the

  • ‘attention’ that you are getting,
  • ‘time’ they are spending
  • money they are willing to exchange,

THEN you can see if you are really connecting with the right market and if you have created the level of value that makes them want to invest their ATM.

If your customers aren’t willing to give you their attention or their time, chances are that they won’t give you their money.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Do you have metrics within your organisation that measures attention and time invested by your customers?  If you do, bravo.  You are equipped with valuable information that, when used strategically, can help you say ‘no’ to products and services that are losing traction OR equip you to ask better questions about who you are trying to reach as a customer.

If you don’t then find a way to do so.

If you still have questions on specific measures, indicators or strategies, contact me or leave a comment and I will assist where possible.  It’s always better to have a specific and personal answer than to deal in the hypothetical.

This is another important step on your journey to go from an idea, through effective implementation and all the way to making the income you desire.