This was a really well written article from Carrier Management I found from the insurance industry on the need for creating separation from competition and how to go about it…the focus should be on building your people up!
I love the point he makes about not just telling an individual what procedures to perform, but to help them understand their role and their value to the company. His explanation of the CSR’s position and role in the company (in the last section titled…”Oh, I’m just a…”) as the customer’s first line of contact is fantastic…”Oh, so you’re about the most important person in the agency.”…well said!
There are tons of posts on blog ideas for makeup, food, travel, gardening, lifestyle, books, etc, but how about B-to-B. I’m running 2 blogs and have only been doing this a little over a year, so I’m still learning, but here are some B-to-B blog ideas that seem to work well:
- Help customers get the most from whatever you are promoting…that’s adding value! How-to’s, videos, step-by-step, webinars, complimentary products that work well with yours, etc. These are really good for B-to-B…either do some of the above yourself or help direct people to good content you know is already out there.
- Current Trends: latch on to what’s hot. Sometimes pushing B-to-B is hard, associate yourself with something trending to make it more fun…Comic Con, a hot App, new Star Wars movie, etc. No idea what’s hot, just look on the left hand page of the Twitter home page for hot trends for the day and jump in
- Similar to the above, use Annual or Weekly Events and relate them to your product or service: Elvis’ Birthday, St. Patty’s, #TacoTuesdays, etc…it’s endless. Sometimes it helps to map it out. It’s then easy to jump into the social media hype over that topic when that day hits…build out your content so you are ready ahead of time and then hit up social media when everybody’s eyes are watching your topic
- Show how you failed: everybody wants to know they aren’t the only ones with struggles…these can be huge hits, even bigger than victories as showing someone what not to do is hugely helpful! Sometimes people also just like to hear somebody else is a bigger failure than they are… #FAILURE
- Mentioned it above but review or mention complimentary and/or non-competitive products: reciprocal help for both of you to grow traffic…reach out and see if they will return the favor. All B-to-B marketers need help to get traffic, reach out and find a friend.
I’m still working at getting better at all of the above.
No matter what, focus on the quality of your content. Also, what do you want, just lots of traffic, specific customer traffic, or just to ramble? All are fine, but be relevant to the audience you are going after..
Help a brother out…What are your favorites?
Here are some other links with some great ideas as well:
Five Post Ideas for Your Business Blogby Krista Stevens (@wordpress)
60 Blog Post Ideas For Entrepreneurs, Marketers, And Businesses (@bloggingwizard, @elnacain)
Comic Con 2018 has come and gone and the masks must come off. What’s left…just you and your Superpower…what is it? Do you even know…if you don’t, ask others, they can tell you.
Maybe your super power is that you are extremely patient or cool under pressure, maybe you are super curious or a great listener, maybe you are super persistent or out hustle everybody else. Maybe you are a great idea person or visionary, maybe you are a great mathematician or extremely mechanically inclined, or maybe you are a great speaker or writer. How about any of these: Tenacious, Problem Solver, Hyper-Focused, or Extreme Attention to Detail. What is it that comes super easy to you and you could do all day because you just love it? Don’t box yourself in to just what you’ve been doing for the last 2, 5, or 10 years…how did you get there anyway?
I love this older post from John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing on the same subject where he says “you may have to dig deep to reacquaint yourself with your superpower. You may have masked it because you think it’s not very business oriented. You may have to go back to when you thought anything was possible, back to when you played like a kid.”
Being bigger and stronger than everybody else doesn’t always work either…think David vs. Goliath or the sharp tree spears in Braveheart that they waited for the last minute to pull out on the advancing cavalry. That’s also why there is a draw play in football…suck the super aggressive defenders in and then run right through the middle as they outrun the pocket. Sometimes you need to restrain that superpower a bit or maybe your super power is to be clever enough to outflank your overwhelmingly strong opponent with one of the above maneuvers.
Find your superpower and bring it to work with you in every aspect of your day. Get out there and do the unexpected. Also, remember, the key to success isn’t just applying this superpower to your work, but also not focusing on the shiny new things that are not your superpower. Is there somebody else working with you that has these powers that you lack?
Focusing on your superpower is how you create separation between you and the rest of the pack. So, go ahead and take off that mask you’ve been hiding behind and go be you with all your unique superpowers!
For all those of you struggling with coming up with your next blog post ideas, this post on bloggingwizard is fantastic…
If there is one law that I apply over and over, all day long, to whatever I possibly can in my life, personal or business, it is the genius of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto and his brilliant 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle which simply states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
The basic idea here can be seen everywhere:
- 80% of your sales probably come from 20% of your products
- 80% of your revenues probably come from 20% of your clients…20% of your clients probably also give you 80% of your headaches and probably not the same 20% that drives revenue
- 80% of the wealth is held by 20% of the population
- You probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time
- 700 common words make up 2/3 of everyday conversations
- Who are the 20% of your acquaintances that make you the 80% most crazy
You get the idea. Sometimes it can be way more extreme than 80/20 and you need the right balance. Having 1 customer that drives 95% of your business may feel easy, but not when they disappear…look at all the companies that have supplied Apple in the past that they have laid to waste when they changed suppliers.
Think about how you apply this to your day, every day…
- Focus on what to improve: Break your problems down and focus on the items that particularly move the dial…layer on resources to really make an impact. 80% of your effort on the 20% that really get things moving
- Focus on what to remove: Look at the 5% of things that are not working in your business or your life…there is always 5% that can be cleaned up and may make you 20% more efficient or 90% happier!
- It’s not 1 to 1: realize that to improve by 50% doesn’t necessarily mean a 50% bigger effort, maybe a 5 to 10% increase in methodology can easily turn into a 50% return…talk about creating separation from your competition in a hurry
…some things you cannot change that easily, but just identifying your strengths & weaknesses will help you better cope. Try channeling Mr. Pareto more often and 80/20 your way to more success, freedom, and happiness!
Most companies focus too much on better products, when perception is far more important… the first product in someone’s mind is usually superior. In fact, it’s even better to be first than it is to be better. Be realistic about your place on the ladder (If You Ain’t First You’re Last) and then work to position yourself against the next guy in line. Everyone by now has heard of the Avis example of their “we try harder” slogan…whether or not they actually did try harder is besides the point, they were just trying to position themselves against number one (Hertz).
Don’t try to be better (it never works), try to be different. Think of these examples:
- 7Up moved from the tiny lemon lime soda market into the number three spot in the much larger cola market by calling themselves the Un-Cola.
- Apple focuses only on the high $$$ market…10% of the customers, but 75% of the profits
So, not only should you pick a niche, you must! But, make sure that it has enough profitable potential customers. All you need is 1,000 True Fans and you are off to the races.
What is your differentiator: Service, Distribution, etc. Look for the hole to fill. Everyone is interested in what is new, not what is better. Better is nowhere, different is where it’s at! I got a kick out of this video by Derek Sivers…one man dancing can start a whole crowd, but you must be bold enough to put yourself out there.
Now, go be different!
Life out of control? Need to better prioritize/organize? Here are 3 steps that might help you reign things in a bit:
- Eliminate – what can you just say “No” to? The “Hell Yeah”, or No approach is a great one for this
- Automate – eliminate first, after that what can you automate so no one has to touch it?
- Delegate – don’t do this until you’ve done the 2 steps above. Why pay someone to do something that shouldn’t even be done or can be done minus a human being?
No rocket science here, but a good way to try and bring back a little more control over your life. Here are some other ideas on how to Simplify even further.
“Most of us are good starters, but poor finishers…failure cannot cope with persistence” – Napoleon Hill
The first time I heard the term “the last mile” was relatively early in my electronics career when a customer was speaking of how difficult it was to connect all internet users at “the last mile”. What he was referring to was a phrase used in the telecommunications industry of the final leg of physically getting copper wire run to every single house so that every house in the world could communicate with every other. Maybe not a big deal in New York City or L.A. where everyone lives in close proximity of one another, but another challenge all together on a farm on the plains.
It is a similar problem for moving things like electricity, water, even packages (easy to fly a plane full of packages between airports, but need lots of vehicles to get them from their pickup point and out to their final destination).
When I first heard this I thought about how much it applied to life in general. Sometimes as I have previously written about it is quite difficult to even get started, but how many things have you taken to 80 or 90% and just never put forth that final effort to finish up…that last mile can be a killer sometimes.
So the challenge is one of perseverance…how do you push through when you really just want to quit?
Try this…I think I got it from this Tim Ferriss podcast with Josh Waitzkin: sometimes people will slack off at the end of a workout or at the end of a workday knowing that they are headed home. Instead, try focusing the hardest on the last 3 things you are doing and you will carry that with you as you sleep overnight, as you drive in the car, etc. Your body is now focused on precision and your body will subconsciously think that way instead of being sloppy.
Keep pushing through…this is what we mean when we talk about creating separation…that finish line is in sight!
“Coffee is for closers” – Alec Baldwin, Glengarry Glen Ross
Water boils at 212F…any more than that doesn’t boil it any more than it already is!
- If you are in a race, you only need to be a fraction of a second faster than everybody else…winning by 30 minutes makes you no first-er
- In basketball and football you just need 1 more point than the other team, in baseball just one more run…in fact if you are up by a wide margin, you sit your best players to let them rest
- Maybe you don’t need to study at all to get a C, but need to study 40 hours to get an A…what’s it worth to you and what are your alternative options with that 40 hours?
The point is, you need to understand what it takes to get ahead and work toward that. Just working hard with no knowledge of what it takes to achieve your goal may make you severely over work or maybe even under perform.
So, the question really is…what is the minimum effective dose that it will take to achieve the outcome that you really want?