Archives November 2015

Reality 101 & Working in ‘Burst’ Mode!

Burst mode happens at times - lots of coffee and smiles is the best solution...

Burst mode happens at times – lots of coffee and smiles is the best solution…

Today has been a day of pure craziness for me. I write a blog every day and I am sitting down now at 10:32PM to write this what I hope will be an awesome mastermind piece of humanity (I wish LOL).

If I think of many of the awesome business owners I know (right from start-ups to people with many zeros on the end of their earnings), there is the reality of ‘Burst’ mode many times.

This is basically where you may have little happening and then all of a sudden, everything happens at once! This has been certainly that today for me with everything being approved and seemingly happening at once.

I would be working on an urgent job, with another urgent job coming in and it was a funny day which reminded me of one of my earlier roles as an employee (where I would chase my tail all day). Usually for me it’s not like this, however at times it just does happen and it’s a great sign of success.

This experience got me thinking back to other ‘not so awesome’ people I have met in my working & business history. What comes to mind is an old client who was really nice and I liked – however, they just didn’t like working.

Regardless of what I would suggest they wouldn’t do it that well and would always be looking for the ‘easy way out’. It didn’t end up well for them, they moved on from my advice and hired someone who sold them ‘easy street’ – only to lose out big time.

It was a tragic example and talking to the positive – the people I know who are rocking it are forever pumping out great work and keeping up with the reality of ‘burst’ mode where you just have lots to do and get it done.

For me keeping up in burst mode has just rocked and equally I rest when I can.

My advice? Realize there will be some very busy moments – and keep up! Pure and simple.

The better you do it, the happier you shall be and the more productive you shall become.

Love your work, thanks for the read – and stay awesome!

Coming up with Creatively Profitable Marketing Ideas!

Creative ideas are where future profits start!

Creative ideas are where future profits start!

With 2015 coming to a close and the new 2016 upon us, for me it’s been a great one of working with tons of new awesome clients and working on my own Business & Marketing Plan for next year.

For many of us and myself, it’s been a process of looking at key areas of our business and coming up with new ideas. This has included everything from looking at my offerings, revising my marketing strategies and cutting what hasn’t worked + investing in new awesome concepts.

The pressure and focus I have found is really coming up with creative new ideas that are likely to stick. What I mean by stick is that people love it, it get’s shared (let’s say on Social Media) and the most critical part – it leads to sales.

It’s been a journey for me lately in getting away from the office, working “on” the business and thinking up clever new ideas that are likely to work. To share some notes with you, some great ideas / changes I have made lately (that are already working):

– Upgrade Business Networking: Move on from the smaller breakfast clubs and focus on high level Chamber events. Bigger businesses and it’s been great.

– Facebook Video: This has rocked and it’s been a pleasure upgrading to Video on Facebook. Pumping these out all the time has been just a fine idea.

– Speaking at Bigger Events: I have always spoken at events and now it’s getting just that bit better. Speaking at bigger events has just rocked and I have loved it.

– Running Partner Events: Basically this means I donate my time and intellectual property and someone pays for and runs and event – awesome!

From all these ideas, I have reflected hard on all this to come up with great things from really getting my creative juices flowing.

My advice and thinking? Creativity at all levels is important in business. Same old doesn’t make money – so one needs to have their head in the market to come up with great ideas. Spend time outside of your business and “Work on it” so you improve and evolve.

Love your work, thanks for the read, check out my Awesome Marketing Vault if you need a hand – and stay awesome!

My LOVE for Facebook Video Marketing!

Facebook Video Marketing - It's just Awesome!

Facebook Video Marketing – It’s just Awesome! (Image Credit: The Awesome Vault Boy, Fallout & Bethesda Softworks)

Over the last few months I have been putting more and more energy into my work with Video Marketing on FB. I originally ‘played’ with it using it here and there whilst favoring more direct links to websites (be it a Lead Page for Webinar signup on my website).

With my own research and some early promising results, I found that Video was really taking off and clearly was the way forward for me and my future on the Facebook Social Media Platform.

Over time with testing, feedback and results – all the feedback has come in basically this answer:

– Video Marketing (with Links) is generally better than Links Alone!

I still use Links alone mostly for warm audiences and particular events, however I find that Video is just the best technique for building trust as quickly as possible – then people decide to click a link.

I have found in short that the way it works is basically how much people are primed before visiting your website or webinar sign up page. If they just ‘Click On It’ – I find the results can be really poor with high bounces. That is, let’s say they see an ad – just click it for the heck of it, they aren’t really vested in what is going on / what they are seeing.

On the other hand, let’s say that they have watched a video first and then they click it – much better! My take is that let’s say they didn’t like me. They would just stop watching and move on.

But let’s say they do like me, watched the video and thought “Yes” this looks great and I’m in. They would then go to the link much more likely to take some sort of action and do something really cool.

Most of my FB Marketing are now videos and I love it! There are going to be more to come as it’s just purely rocked.

My advice and thinking on this one? Don’t just dump your Direct Link Advertising (as it may be great), but start testing more video. I bet you will get lots of positive results. As it takes off, do more and more of it and watch your sales and conversion grow.

Thanks for the read, love your work and stay awesome!

The Unprofitable Dangers of Perfection…

You will never get your messages perfect - just go for excellent! (Image Credit - Vault Boy + Bethesda Softworks)

You will never get your messages perfect – just go for excellent! (Image Credit – Vault Boy + Bethesda Softworks)

“Perfection” is a very interesting word and term in itself. Without looking it up online and giving a “Street Definition” of what I find people tend to believe, it’s usually quite a positive word.

For example, I had a perfect dessert, the weather is just perfect and my burger was just perfect – these are completely healthy lines and common expressions (all for that).

Where I am clamping down on perfection is especially that in marketing. Marketing by it’s pure definition is an “Artform” and not a “Science” (but make no mistake, you stuff it up & no business) – and in this area you can never be perfect.

Regardless of any Facebook Post, Newsletter, Elevator Pitch, Product Launch, Press Release or whatever – there is no right answer to it.

You just can’t come in and get it perfect and anyone can easily say something “Post Event” saying how it can be improved and the like.

This is the reality of Marketing and I learned this very well as a younger Marketing Manager right through to my Executive Level Corporate Days. Where perfection becomes an issue, is that someone tries to create the ultimate Post, Pitch or Angle that will just be perfect.

It’s like trying to paint the perfect painting and it’s never going to happen. You can do an excellence job (which I highly advise), however it will only be say 90% at best regardless of what you release.

When you get people caught up in the “Technical / Perfection” cycle it can be very hard for awesome small business person. I met someone great the other day that had trouble using Facebook in her own words “I just can’t get it perfect”. As she was stuck in this cycle, she was positing nothing on her page and her awesome business was getting no traction or exposure.

My advice and thinking on this one? Don’t get caught up in this thinking and if you are – be nice to yourself and take a “Chill Pill”. You are doing a great job and just do the best you can on getting our your posts, emails, pitches at networking events or whatever you are doing. Go for excellent and keep pumping them out. You will never get it perfect, but I can promise that if you are getting out great messages all the time – they will improve and you may even feel that you are “Getting it Perfect” one day.

Love your work, thanks for the read – and stay awesome!

Your Brain and 34 Degrees Heat: Staying Productive in Sydney!

The Sydney Heat is fun, but it can also be hard to keep your brain working in those conditions...

The Sydney Heat is fun, but it can also be hard to keep your brain working in those conditions…

Sydney is a fantastic city! I totally love it and as I write this blog article I am testing my own endurance. It’s 34 degrees heat and I love the warmth of Sydney.

I have lived in many places across the world. From the coolness of Hobart, to the warmth of Mid-Western America – I have been to many places until I found the city for me and settled there for good (I was from Melbourne originally and that place is totally freezing!)

Part of my motive for writing this blog on the train was to not only show off my love of mobile computing, but also test how I work under extreme heat. It’s super hot on this train right now, I am thirsty and could use some fresh air and air conditioning!

It’s actually really hard writing this. I feel hot, impaired, quite tired – compared to sitting at my cushy desk in my beautiful home office (with the Air Conditioner on Full). It’s inspired me to think carefully about life in Sydney in how to enjoy the great weather, but also how to stay productive and thoughtful.

For me during the hot season of Sydney, it requires the following to stay sane & productive:

– Minimize wearing clothing as much as possible!

– Trying to Stay in the Office without damaging sales.

– Going to the Gym / Walking after hours when it cools down.

– Drinking lots and lots of water.

– Enjoying the heat and doing fun stuff.

For me, it is so damn super hot but I completely love it. Sure, my jeans are a bit hot and bothered right now – but I can tell you now, this beats freezing your butt off in Melbourne.

My advice and thinking? Enjoy your summer in Sydney (or wherever you are from if it’s warm), but make sure you stay hydrated and productive. No point in making life harder than it needs to be.

Love your work, thanks for the read – and stay awesome (as well as cool LOL).

The Profitable Networkers Mindset in Play…

You never know when you are going to bump into someone very cool and very awesome... BE READY!

You never know when you are going to bump into someone very cool and very awesome… BE READY!

Since my departure from my good old days with 4Networking Australia, it’s been an incredibly profitable tour of self-discovery, new people and new awesome clients.

I totally loved 4Networking at the start when I was running the show and for a few years it became my “Home Group” where I met lots of amazing people and had some great times.  It was very true that I didn’t fit in there anymore and as suggested to me by quite a few people, it was time for me to “find places that better suited me”. I will always miss those great people and power to them.

It’s now just a distant memory to me in that regard and when I originally was out of 4Networking, it was quite a shock to the system. Gone was the structure of the meetings and my position of seniority was no more forcing me to work on Charisma and ability to wheel and deal.

It didn’t take long actually, after about 2 – 4 weeks I felt very confident in myself and talking to the profitable positive, I found myself networking with larger businesses and have picked up new deals already! Yay – I am very happy with the way it’s playing out and in reflection I have been developing a “Networkers Mindset”.

Sure, I was a good networker – but lots of my results were based on my positional authority. Without that edge, I have improved my ability to network – and turn conversations anywhere into win / win business meetings.

I have already found that you never know when you are going to bump into someone you know. You have that pure moment in time and it’s possible that you may never see that person again.

So what do you do? Always carry cards, swap cards, add each other on LinkedIn, stay connected and build your presence.

For me I had a great one, I bumped into a very old colleague the other day who has been promoted many times since we once met – and we have a coffee meeting coming up (yay). Besides being a cool guy, he is a great business connection which you never know, could lead to some great Corporate Work for me.

My advice and thinking? Networking can happen anytime, anywhere and at a moments notice. Standing right before you may be a great connection for you. It however only will become a connection if you take the initiative and act on it. Have cards, be kind, think win / win, send follow up emails and network away.

Love your work, thanks for the read – and of course, stay Awesome!

A Complete Turkey, Betting on Putin & World War III?

I am betting on this guy...(Image Credit - Business Insider)

I am betting on this guy…(Image Credit – Business Insider)

It’s 9:58PM and I was going to write a blog tonight on something else, then I saw the headlines that Turkey has shot down a Russian SU-24 Fighter craft.

All I can say is “Wow”, World War III is already in full motion and the Turkish Military are asking for trouble. If you go back a little of time, Russia and Turkey haven’t been getting along for a while and I can bet you that Putin is after a big war.

The simple reason for that? Wars stimulate economies, create jobs and Putin has done an incredible job of waiting for the ‘Right’ time to invade the Middle East.

Basically Putin didn’t go into the Middle East to protect his Syrian Client / Comrade Assad too early. He waited for global support to be on his side for an invasion to get rid of ISIS and then secure the Resources & Oil deals for himself.

Turkey of course doesn’t want this to happen. If Putin & Syria become really strong together – that doesn’t exactly spell great times for Turkey.

I think Turkey has really messed up on this one for several reasons. Attacking the Russian’s is a really bad move in that:

– That have a massive military that can destroy Turkey.

– Turkey has done a great job pandering to Radical Islam and alienating the West.

– Turkey lacks the influence on the world stage to bring together any reasonable allies.

– Russia would love to take over Turkey and make it part of the “New Soviet Union”.

In thinking about this one, let’s say Turkey and Russia went to war tomorrow. Would anyone back Turkey? I doubt it. Uncle Vlad is friends and big supporters of much of the Middle East and you aren’t going to see Europe or the UK come rushing to help the Turks.

Basically, say goodbye Turks. I think the Russians will declare war and if they don’t – they will economically dominate their market / economy to their own game.

Will this start World War III? I think this incident alone isn’t enough to start it. It’s Turkey Right? Let’s way to see what really plays out…

Sleeping as much as you can, when you can!

You just gotta rest when you can!

You just gotta rest when you can!

What on earth has this topic got to due with my blog on Marketing?

The answer is a whole lot. I have found that during the working week, it can be crazy at times for us small business owners. From having evening networking events, awesome clients asking jobs of us at once, having meetings after meetings with the demands of family and life – it can all add up.

What I have concluded after several years in business is the importance of sleeping as much as you can!

Historically I would work throughout my weekends coming to Monday being totally exhausted. What I have learned was this wasn’t the best idea. I would work during the weekend and when the week hits, it would be just a struggle to make it through in once piece.

It would impair my performance, reduce my satisfaction and my production would just be lowered during the week.

As I know my weeks are heavy these days, I do my best now during the weekend to rest up. Be it hitting the gym, having fun, smiling and getting ready for weeks that I know will just be awesomely crazy / nuts.

Regardless of what we do in business (be it eCommerce or even owning a shop), we are going to have peak hour sessions that are just out of our control. We can plan as much as we want, but when there are demands – there are demands we just have to keep up with.

My advice and thinking on this one? Learning from my mistakes, don’t wear yourself out like I have historically. Do your work, but when you have a chance – rest up, smile and recharge.

It’s more fun and when the pressure is on, you will just do so much of a better job.

Love your work, thanks for the read – and stay awesome!

Project Bullies: Their Forms & Showing them whose BOSS!

It takes strength and focus to keep a project on track - and the bullies quiet!

It takes strength and focus to keep a everyone on a project on track – and the bullies quiet! (Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks / Fallout)

Over the past 4 years I have been involved in a whole lot of projects.

From working with clients directly, to running networking groups, to my own premium events and the like – I have been getting involved in more and more team work.

It’s been great for everyone and over the past 12 months especially, I have learned the importance of managing projects and dealing with ‘Project Bullies’.

These people come in different shapes and forms and regardless of whatever project you work on, you will have your bullies. I have been involved in lots of projects and here are some of my favourite bullies (and my own classifications):

The Non Contributor: This person adds no value to the project but is an active noise and nuisance. They will bring up issues that are irrelevant, banal – but equally try and make out how great they are with fluff & BS.

The Dominator: This person has to have the last word on everything and they are aggressive morons. They may have some great ideas, but only if it’s their suggestion. For whatever reason they think they are great, where in reality they suck.

The Ghost: They damage the project by never being there – but giving vague impressions of things from a mile away.

The Delayer: For whatever reason they don’t want the project to succeed and will think of every possible issue to slow it down / stop it.

These are some of the people I have dealt with lately and it’s tested my patience, but equally tested my resolve. What I have learned in projects is that be it you are the leader or not, you have to generate a lot of strength to keep it all moving so the awesome don’t get overwhelmed by the bullies. I have learned this myself and this is quite simply how you do it:

– Take the mindset that X must be done by Y.

– If anyone brings up an issue, tell them to fix it themselves (and if they don’t, it doesn’t get fixed).

– Put people in their place if they act like smartasses. 

– Give more airtime to the awesome and contributors.

– Let the intelligent people speak and keep the dumbasses quiet.

This has worked incredibly well for me and if I didn’t do this, no projects would get done (and if they would get done, they would take 5 x times the length and produce a poor quality product in the end).

I find when we act in this manner, the bullies tend to go quiet or leave the project, so then you and your awesome friends can make it awesome.

My advice and thinking? Make sure you don’t accidentally become a “Project Bully”. If you have, great chance to change your ways and add value. If you are the awesome (which I bet you are), just focus on what matters and smile.

Love your work, have a great day and stay awesome!

P.S. Thank you Bethesda Softworks & Fallout for the Image Use!

Having Clear Written Goals & Learning from Donna Benstead!

Make your goals more specific and measurable - sweet advice from Donna Benstead!

Make your goals more specific and measurable – sweet advice from Donna Benstead!

As I sit here writing this article, I am in Donna Benstead’s workshop “Design Your Future” in Sydney CBD. I am really loving it in that in reflecting on 2015 some of my goals have been achieved and some just purely haven’t.

This originally got my attention in terms of visiting her workshop and it’s getting me thinking about exactly what I want to get out of 2016. My take on doing this now is that when 2016 ends, I want to be a very happy man in terms of high levels of achievement and satisfaction.

One error in my goal setting which has educated me today is that I have been very “General” in some of my goals.

That is – “Be a thought leader”, “Sell More Vaults”, “Get More Clients” are perfect ideas, but they are hardly perfect goals in that they aren’t particular.

My own lessons are making these more specific, e.g. “Sell a Vault a day by doing X”, “Speak in front of a crowd of 200 x thought leaders” and the like.

I am really liking this in that the more particular we get, is the more our sub-conscious brain works to help us achieve the objective. For example – if we have an objective to say “Get More Clients” it’s pretty limiting in that if we get a client it’s achieved the objective. If we say “Get a Profitable Client each week”, then the brain tends to start crunching it down in terms of what must be done (e.g. hit 3 x networking groups, post on FB everyday etc).

Another great example we are talking about now is “Coffee Drinking” for example. I love coffee personally, but let’s say it’s not for us. Saying my goal is to “Drink Less Coffee” – great, I could just take less of a sip.

But let’s say I am “Caffeine Free” – that thinking will likely lead to a much better type of result.

My lesson and learning? Be particular, be specific with your goals. Talking marketing, great to put numbers on things to help guide one to improve.

Love your work, thanks fro the read, thank you Donna Benstead – and of course, Stay Awesome!

Business Networking with the “Right” People!

Networking in the 'Right' places is everything - one must keep an eye out and explore to find them!

Networking in the ‘Right’ places is everything – one must keep an eye out and explore to find them!

There must be something in the water in that many people are talking to me lately about their networking experiences and feeling a very common type of frustration which comes across in a question roughly worded like this:

“Edward, I need to target better businesses – how on earth do I do that?”

It’s a very intelligent and critical question that I have found few are able to answer. When it comes to the Business Networking community, Sydney (and most likely Australia) are covered with lots of great networking groups.

From dog walking groups, single mum groups, right through to leading Business Chambers – you have all sorts of gatherings.

It’s really important to contemplate what really works for you and what is the type of business networking that suits you.

For myself and many of us in the Small Business Scene, we have found that the smaller business networking groups aren’t quite suitable anymore. It’s full of great people, however in that as services evolve it requires us to make sure we have clients with the right expectations and thinking who align with us just nicely.

I think it’s great to put thought into your ideal client you are after. Assuming “Business to Business” like ourselves for this discussion – you may turn around and say you want clients with at least a few staff. This way you know they have the budgets to afford the solution you are offering.

For us to achieve that, we have found “Business Chambers” are a great way of getting bigger sized businesses. It’s worked really well for us in this example.

You may be different. For example, you may targeted just Manufacturers and find particular manufacturing events. You may target women, so you go to Women’s Networking Groups etc etc (you get it).

My advice? Take out emotion and think through really carefully who you are after and what you are targeting. Then make sure you are going to the right events where you fit in and they hang out. That will immediately put you in the game.

Love your work, thanks for the read, may I recommend Parramatta & NSW Business Chamber (for my Sydney Friends) and of course – Stay Awesome!

Welcome Home & Getting into Sydney’s Business Chambers…

Parramatta & NSW Business Chamber have been great new places for me build myself. 'Welcome Home' is all I can say!

Parramatta & NSW Business Chamber have been great new places for me build myself. ‘Welcome Home’ is all I can say!

Life has changed a lot for me over the past 12 months. Like many of you I am sure, I have had bad things and awesome things happen to me this year in bucket loads.

Ironically the start of my year totally sucked and now it’s awesome. I had people reject me, kick me out of places, give me lots of trouble and there was a good month there it took lots of focus and work to get through the days.

I was very blessed however to have some amazing people support me and help me through that time and I surprisingly came out on top really quickly (which quite impressed me).

One massive change for me was being moved on from some groups I was involved in and also being no longer welcome in key social circles.

My life went through lots of upheaval at the time and during this time of rejection & isolation – came into play an improvement of thinking and even though my “Online Life” was really coming into play just then (and my own events were rocking) – I wanted to find some great new groups to visit and get to meet new great people.

I started getting in much deeper with Parramatta (Western Sydney) Business Chamber and it was great. I went to more events, started helping out more and surprise, surprise – started getting more meetings & clients. It’s truly a great place which has been great for me.

As the storyline developed, I finally (finally LOL) joined the NSW Business Chamber and still buzzing / very impressed from my first meeting there today. Like Parramatta Chamber (and bigger), it’s full of bigger businesses, great people and potential that would hire trusty Marketing Mentors like myself for big projects.

Basically a lot of networking groups are full of Smaller Business Owners. Depending on your business, this may be good or bad – and for me, as time passed I have worked closely with larger business (hence Chambers have become more suitable).

In short, all I can say to myself is “Welcome Home”. 

It feels great to meet new great people and be part of an organization where I better fit in. Even though the business has grown and overall 2015 has been awesome, it wasn’t a nice feeling being “Rejected” from places, but it turned to my advantage (or perhaps I turned it LOL).

My advice and thinking on this one? Things change in Sydney and sometimes what we consider great places can change very quickly. Tragically when that happens, I find we have to be agile and ready to pack our bags and move on. For me, working through this process has been very liberating and it has been an honour getting deeper into the Chambers.

Check out their sites, they are awesome and well worth it. Thanks for the read, appreciate the love and stay awesome!