When I shared my life experience on Warrior Forum and challenged others to rise up to be the top 1-3% within their respective craft, it was definitely not motivated by money. In fact, I spent a good part of last year telling everyone here to focus on the exact opposite of money; real success comes from going out of your way to help your customers. And I don’t care if you sell hot dogs on the side of the road or ten million dollar homes in Beverley Hills, the formula never changes- people want to work with true professionals that are willing to go the extra mile with awesome service.
So in no particular order, here are some skills for you to work on in 2016-
Helping Others with No Expectation of Profit
One of my first Fortune 500 clients posted on Elance about five years ago searching for someone to write two post cards for a charity event. I did the job for like $20 because I never bill charities unless I have to…and I also delivered 5 postcards with full formatting and everything. But after I blew her away with the copy, she informed me that she was the VP of marketing for one of the largest tech companies in the world and she wanted me on her team.
To date, I’ve billed her company over $375,000…all from paying it forward for a nonprofit.
Folks, I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me in my career. So I want you to remember this phrase- “Good things happen to great people.” If you give 110% and show everyone around that you actually care about their needs, then you’re going to be absolutely blown away by how many doors open up from it.
Creating a True Business Image
For those of you that don’t know, I built my business website about ten months ago so I’d have more of a boutique marketing firm image. Now, it’s just me behind the scenes doing everything, but I realized that I would never be able to consistently land larger clients unless I looked the part.
So I spent several months last year cranking out close to 100 pages and optimizing the site…and then something truly incredible happened. Every time I reach out to a new client, they visit my site and hire me about 15 minutes later. But large brands are also reaching out to me now as well, and suddenly I no longer have to sell myself. Nobody asks for references or samples anymore because they see my site and know that I’m an authority.
This lesson is just the opposite of “Fake It till You Make It”. If you have the skills to take on larger clients, then you absolutely have to go big and take a chance. And the same can be said for any industry- if your website sucks, then your business sucks in the eyes of consumers. That’s just 21st century logic and there’s no way to overcome it.
Learning Not to Oversell
Likewise, it absolutely amazes me how many entrepreneurs completely choke when it comes to their websites and landing pages. I see it every single day. People are so hyper-focused on selling that they forget that there are people on the other side of the transaction- and their page copy is nowhere near optimized to impress actual customers.
Others will pump out 100+ emails a month…all with a bonus offer off of their freebie product…and they wonder why their lists are dead within a matter of weeks.
Remember, your ONLY initial job as a marketer is to gain the trust of potential customers. And there’s simply no way to do that while you’re selling with some played-out gimmick that a million others have done fifty times already. So if you’re wondering why your sales funnel doesn’t produce, it’s because you have zero respect for the people you’re trying to sell to. Fix that on your website and your sales will increase.
Forget about Search Optimization
It’s kind of funny…an organization called me up a few weeks ago and said that they wanted to present me an award for being one of the top SEO authorities in the country. Honestly, I think it was a scam so don’t get too impressed…but it made me think about what I’d tell a room full of people about search optimization if I went somewhere to accept an award.
And you know what I would have said?
Learn to listen to your customers, answer their questions and entertain them through great page copy. Then fill out your meta info and forget about everything else you’ve ever learned about SEO.
Because really, that’s all modern search optimization is. If people stick around on your site, regardless whether they buy anything or not, you win. If they leave quickly, you lose. And the only way to keep them there is to have great visuals (photo/video/graphs) and plenty of dialogue to make them trust you.
Push Yourself Harder than Ever Before
My final piece of advice is basically my life’s motto- work 80 hours a week, spend money like it grows on trees and spoil the heck out of your kids. Most of us are really good at one or two of those things, but we fall short in the actual “work department”.
Quick story- back in 2000, I bought a failing pizza restaurant for $75,000. I knew the industry well and I’m never been scared of work, so I literally spent every single day walking the local neighborhoods and talking to potential customers. Then I’d open at 4PM and work until midnight…and do the exact same thing the next morning.
Well, I was amazingly successful at first. The sales went from $2,500 a week to around $6,500, and I was clearing around $6k a month after all was said and done. So what did I do? I hired a manager, cut back my hours and started writing as a hobby. And within 6 months, my sales were back down to $4k a week.
The lesson here is that you may know EXACTLY how to make great money through your business, but there’s always ways to step up and become even more successful. And make no mistake; every business loses customers over time for one reason or another…so you have to constantly focus on ways to raise the bar and find new streams of revenue.
So even if you’re making awesome money right now, use some of that cash to ensure that you’ll also be doing just as well next month or next year. And don’t get lazy on me- if you’re young, then you need to put your friends on hold and start working your butt off. That’s the only way to become wealthy and truly successful.
Well folks, hopefully you found some wisdom in my 1,000th post and it does some good in your life. Happy New Year!