Funny Headlines

Funny Headlines - Exponential Programs Dot Com

Without Killer Kopywriting, Your Sales May Be Dying A Slow Death

Headlines like the ones shown are creative, attention-grabbing introductions to articles. Without them, most articles go unread.

How good are you at writing headlines and sales copy that sells?

Copywriting is one of the most valuable skills to have as a small business person, otherwise your message gets lost in the noise and ends up ignored.

I am NOT advocating you be sensationalistic to an extreme, but then again you should be so lucky to get THAT MUCH attention!

The point is, provocative headlines work as long as they don’t offend.

They get our attention and make us want to read the article, even if it’s just because we want to reward the author for the creativity in the headline.

How your business can benefit from a virtual receptionist

We all want to drive our business forward and make it a success. We all know the types of tasks required for this; sales, networking, marketing activities etc… the list goes on. However, there are also a group tasks that are equally important for business, but unfortunately are a lot less exciting and eat up a lot of time that could be used for sales or marketing.

These tasks are generally handled by a receptionist in medium to larger companies, and what a great job they do! This is not always a luxury that can be afforded by smaller businesses, resulting in employees sharing the workload that would usually be carried out by the receptionist. In an ideal world, all business owners would choose to have a receptionist, but this comes at a cost.

To solve this problem, there are many apps and services to help relieve employees from this workload so they can focus on sales, marketing and networking. One of the most useful and cost-effective services is an eReceptionist. An eReceptionist could be the solution to your current productivity woes!

If you’re struggling to juggle taking phone calls while getting vital work completed, chances are a virtual receptionist is just the answer you have been looking for. It is not always possible for you to be at your desk or available to handle incoming calls.

Zintel understands that answering phones and performing other front-of-office tasks is a necessary aspect of your business, but also one that can consume many hours of your valuable time that could have been spent serving your clients. The Zintel Receptionist is a professional business solution that gives you all of the benefits of an in-house receptionist, but at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Their virtual receptionist service automatically answers, manages and routes your calls for you. Zintel’s virtual receptionist service not only saves you time, it also saves you money.

The Zintel virtual receptionist service provides the same quality of service you would expect from your own in-house receptionist. Thanks to their convenient recording service, recorded by you, exactly as you want them, your clients will think your receptionist is sitting in your office. Since all calls are answered in your voice, with greetings and messages customised by you, to suit your specific business needs, no one needs to know it’s an automated service.

Each call is managed in a way you choose, whether you are in or out of the office. The virtual receptionist service enables you to manage your calls at your convenience, responding to clients at a time that suits you rather than having your workflow interrupted.

Perfect for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs to medium-sized enterprises, Zintel’s virtual receptionist service can be tailored to suit your individual business’ needs. With Zintel, there is no need to change your existing business telephone number, meaning you will not have to throw out those business cards you only had printed very recently. You simply divert your existing number to your virtual receptionist to meet your phone answering needs, then cleverly route your calls to where you want them to go. If you are not available to accept business calls, your virtual receptionist is there for you. Have calls directed to your mobile, home, office or take messages –- it really could not be simpler. For virtual receptionists visit Zintel AU. Stop struggling with your front of office tasks, let Zintel carry the load for you.

5 Ways to Keep Customers in Your Store for Longer

Aside from locking customers in your store (it’s called ‘kidnapping’!), there are numerous retail psychology techniques  you can use to keep your customers browsing and (hopefully) purchasing, for longer. A glorious new refit courtesy of a respected company such as TU Projects will definitely help but so can the following tips. Read on to hold on to your customers for longer.

Gender

Controversy aside, a recent article in The Journal of Retailing (“Are Men Seduced by Red?”) highlighted a study which showed that women are far more likely than males to process retail information. Essentially (according to the study) females are less likely to be ‘tricked’ by the common use of red to denote a sale or marked down price in a retail setting. Your business may benefit from identifying which gender is more likely to frequent your store and tailoring your marketing accordingly.

Salespeople

Another study in the same Journal identified that salespeople who are able to ‘read’ the mood of potential customers assisted with customer retention – and the study advises that not all customers want a super happy, smiling salesperson either! If your sales clerks are able to correctly identify a customer’s mood and then act accordingly, there’s a greater chance of the customer staying in the store longer and making a purchase. Employing salespeople with strong emotional intelligence is highly recommended.

Store layout

There’s a reason why the milk is always at the back of the supermarket – it forces customers to pass through numerous aisles, thereby increasing the possibility of impulse purchases. It is, perhaps, a dirty trick but ‘all’s fair in retail’ as the saying goes. Other strategies include aisle order, line-of-sight and point of sale displays which also influence consumer decisions. Don’t make your store’s layout too confusing though, as this may put potential customers off.

Colour

The use of colour and its influence on consumers has been well documented. Red and yellow allegedly make you hungry while purple is supposed to encourage spending. If your business specialises in romantic or feminine products then pink will be your main choice of colour. Black is often used to symbolise luxury while blue suggests reliability and security. Spend some time researching the use of colour in the retail environment and reflect on your area of business – perhaps you need to redecorate accordingly?

Emotional Blackmail

Shopping Fitouts at Shopping CentresWell, emotional tracking actually. More and more businesses are utilising ‘emotional tracking’ to identify consumers’ emotions from facial recognition data. In essence, a computer program is used to assess the faces (and corresponding emotional state) of customers. This data is then converted into actionable information for the retailer. If you have a display and your customers are expressing confusion or frustration, the software will advise that something needs to be done with the display to convert the negative emotions into positive ones, thus keeping customers in store for longer.

Kidnapping aside, how do you keep customers in store for longer? Leave your tips below!

Best Books Of 2014

I used to publish a list of my top books, but then decided to keep that list confidential for my paying clients only.

As a speed reader, I consume over 100 books in a year and thought I could share ten of the best books I’ve read in the past 12 months with you.

Here it is – I am not advocating you read them all, just that I think they are worth considering the next time you want to read a good book.

  1. The Family Business Suicide Prevention Guide. Published in late 2014, written by yours truly. This is a MUST READ!
  2. Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn. You probably know about it because of the movie – I recommend reading the book first – the asynchronous style of writing is captivating, original and refreshing. Business people could learn from this book’s outstanding story telling and innovative approach to writing a novel.
  3. Scarcity – How having so little means so much. This is my “Business Book Of The year” selection.
  4. Curiosity – Another great contribution to our understanding of what makes us human.
  5. Talk Like Ted. Ted.com is YouTube for smart people. Ideas Worth Spreading. This is a book worth reading about speaking.
  6. Gold Rush – By Olympian and World Champion Michael Johnson. I am biased having spent a few hours at his facility. He’s the real deal and the book is worth every penny.
  7. How To Be Interesting – by Jessica Hagy. Who doesn’t want to be interesting?!?!?
  8. Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us – Gordon Rugg. Self-explanatory wisdom we all need to hear.
  9. The Demographic Cliff – Harry S Dent. If you haven’t this yet, I hope it’s not too  late!
  10. Wait – The Art And Science Of Delay – Frank Partnoy – No it’s not a justification for procrastination. You need to read it to get the nuances that are priceless and timeless.

There you have it – 10% of the book I’ve read this year. If you’d like to learn to Speed Read, get my program by clicking on the hyperlink.

Imagine read TEN TIMES MORE THAN THE LIST ABOVE – EVERY YEAR?!?!?

3 Ways to Ensure Your Brand Gets Noticed At Your Next Event

image003Standing out in the crowd at an event isn’t always easy for brands and businesses. Whether you’re hosting the event, exhibiting at a trade show or putting on a market stall, chances are your messaging is going to be competing for your audience’s attention. Below you’ll find some 3 helpful tips that will help make sure your brand stands out.

#1 Theme Your Displays

Think about how boutiques and retailers in busy shopping centres dress their shopfronts and windows every season. They don’t just do it to make their space look good. It’s to grab the attention of their target audience as they’re walking around the shops. While having your brand identity on display – things like your logo, tagline or slogan and company colours – is important, incorporating theming that complements your company or campaign is what is really going to get you noticed.

A well designed theme will help to set the tone and mood of your company or campaign while drawing people in to take a closer look or find out more information. Most importantly, it has to draw people “in”.

#2 Think about Your Furniture

Be creative and choose furnishings and accessories that suit your theme, décor and venue. When it comes to your event set up, black cloth covered trestle tables and dry bars with your company pull up banners are not the only way that you can present the business at an event.

Make contact with a variety of suppliers and see what they have available. Products like Flexad tension fabric display range (available from suppliers such as Tenji Concepts) can really help you add visual impact to your stand. While you can get custom build counters and display stands, there are also some really innovative options like full colour printed fitted and draped table cloths that are made to fit the standard trestle style tables available at most function centres.

#3 Get Creative with Your Promotional Items

Putting your company logo on a pen or USB stick may be cost-effective, but if you want your brand to really stand out, make sure you put some thought into your giveaways and promotional products. The best novelty items are unique, stylish and functional. This is the difference between having something that gets tossed in a drawer and something that becomes a conversation piece or regularly used item.

If you are including printed material, make sure you talk to your designer about creative ways you can present the information.

A little bit of creativity and planning can go a long way when it comes to making sure that people remember your brand. Events are a great way to really ‘introduce’ people to what it is like to work with your organisation beyond your service offering. Try to have some fun with how you present your company’s image; while professionalism is important, personality matters too. That casual, softer and personal style of interaction that events offer is where real and lasting business relationships develop and flourish.

Retail Strategy: Book Blind Date

This is such a great concept I saw at Elizabeth’s Bookstore in Sydney!
Book Blind Date

Antimimeticisomorphism: Poo Pourri

Every once in a while, someone comes out with a really great product… but the only way it can sell is by being provocative. Here is one BOLD example -  enjoy!

Antimimeticisomorphism: Street Art

Today’s post is a collection of artworks that interact with nature is a very unique way. Click the hyperlink to be amazed by these artists’s creations!

 

Marketing Case Study: Value Proposition

This is a Kickstarter campaign for Strongbody apparel. A great example of presenting the product’s “value proposition” clearly and convincingly.

STRONGBODY_APPAREL_Kickstarter

Thank you Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours for sending this through!

Personality Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

ju06Contrary to popular belief, anyone can be an entrepreneur – you don’t need to necessarily be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs “type”. You might just need to fine tune some of the traits that you might already possess as discussed in more detail below.

There are many different ways you can start your own business and if you are genuinely keen on doing so, talking to startup providers, like Telcoinabox, might be a great place to begin – take a look at www.telcoinabox.com.au to see what they can offer you.

Tenacity

Managing your own business can and will be hard, especially at the initial starup/launch stage. Even after that, you will encounter numerous obstacles. You have to be prepared for this! Some of the best entrepreneurs are not necessarily the ones that made the best creative decisions, but those that persevered through the tough times and made it to the “other side” Failure is not necessarily a negative, much can be learned from your mistakes. It’s the ability to keep going when the going is at its toughest that will make you successful.

Passion

Many entrepreneurs are not driven by money, but by their passion for the product or service they are providing. It’s difficult to be tenacious in an industry you are not fully vested in and this may lead to your downfall. Even if you think it’s hard to be successful in the industry you are passionate about, give it a go anyway. You might be surprised to see how far pure passion and drive can get you. There is nothing worse than being “stuck” in an industry, company or job you don’t like.

Self-confidence

Confidence is a very important trait for all entrepreneurs to have, because you need to be one hundred and ten percent sure in both yourself and the product or service you’re selling. A completely new product will always have its naysayers and harsh critics. You need to have the confidence to make sure you don’t take their words to heart prove them wrong. You have to be confident enough to be willing to take (calculated) risks, but not too confident that you trip over yourself. This is a balance you will find over time as you “get your groove”.

Flexibility

The ability to adapt is very important from an entrepreneurial standpoint – the survival of your business might depend on it! Markets and industries are ever changing, and you will need to change what you’re doing as the context demands. Alternatively, your ideas might not be turning out the way you expect, so you might need to think about what you can do to turn this around. Most successful businesses (and models) were variations of the original idea. If the founder had stubbornly stuck to his or her idea, the company would have joined the majority of failed businesses.

These are just some personality traits that successful entrepreneurs should possess. There are, of course, many more. One of the most important attributes is to believe in yourself and what you are doing, and go from there. Good luck!

  • Are you an entrepreneur or know someone who is?
  • What do you think makes a successful business person?
  • Do you agree with the points made above, or do you disagree?
  • Is there anything else you would add to this list?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Is your business paying you more than just a wage?

Does running your own business payoff? The answer is yes, and no.

In a recent BRW Magazine article, University Of Western Sydney researchers revealed that even though small business owners still don’t earn as much as the typical wage earner, they’re becoming richer and smarter with their money as they tend to accumulate more assets.

Australian business owners report a lower level of weekly income. In 2010, they took home an average weekly income of $1975 compared with those on a wage who took home $2173.

But a new University of Western ­Sydney study shows business owners outstripped their more secure counterparts by accumulating assets worth more than $1 million ($1.095 million in 2010), whereas wage earners ­accumulated only two-thirds ($673,000) of this amount.

“As a small business owner, you sometimes sacrifice some income in favour of reinvesting that,” Mark ­Sargent from Newcastle University said. “There’s evidence the typical model, where you take the risk and get greater returns, actually is the case.”

Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia), the study  found there are more than 2.1 million owner-operators of small businesses in ­Australia and the proportion of superannuation investment by both wage earners and small business owners has increased markedly.

The value of superannuation holdings in the sample group shows contributions from salary and wage earnings households between 2003 and 2010 rose 60 per cent whereas the contributions from unincorporated small businesses nearly doubled to 112 per cent.

“The magnitude of the change was quite surprising,” Dr Sargent said.

“Traditionally, people have started their own businesses with a view of one day selling their business and using the proceeds to fund their retirement.

“What we have now begun to detect is that more business people are ­dramatically building up their superannuation funds. This is a far more ­protected and secure environment for wealth creation.”

This is both good and bad news for small business owners.

First the good news: At least business owners are rewarded with capital appreciation of their assets. It is assumed the capital growth difference with their salaried peers actually compensates for the lower income and would the greater access to business deductions.

The bad news: The risk borne by small business owners is usually very high, with many primary residences collateralised for business bank loans and the on-going risk of default and bankruptcy especially in times of economic and geopolitical turmoil. An employee might lose a job, a business owner his/her job AND his/her house!

The great news: Some small business owners succeed at making a higher income and create greater capital appreciation than their peers. This small, elite group of business owners learns powerful strategies that are tried and tested. If you would like to join them, contact us. We’ll let you know if you qualify to join them.

What’s Coming

I have a special vocabulary I have created to define Exponential Mindset Thinking principles and concepts. One of the most powerful is 20/20 Foresight – the ability to create the ultimate future (destiny) you desire.

Admittedly it’s easier said than done, but not because the future is hard to predict, but because of the inertia you have that PREVENTS you from adapting to that (new) future which is why smart business people fail.

Please re-read that last sentence again…

I have been teaching this principle for some time and even blogged about it. In one blog post I explained the 20/20 Foresight – Strategic Planning Framework and in another I revealed how our clients are adapting to the impending “future forces”. In my personal coaching and mentoring blog I was much more direct in my prediction for the future.

There is no secret about what I expect to happen – Harry Dent has been promoting his views for some time and even published them in a bestselling book – The Demographic Cliff. After reading several of his books, I attended one of his information workshops in Los Angeles in May 2014 and was convinced that (1) I have to take this seriously and (2) I need to prepare my clients accordingly.

Simply stated, what I am advocating to my clients is that they prepare themselves professionally and personally – this is a lot easier than you would think. If the crash happens, they will be the “last man standing”, if the crash does not happen, they won’t lose anything, they’ll end up with a stronger, more robust business and bullet-proof portfolio. It’s all upside.

To learn what to do, you need to become a client. Contact us and we’ll let you know what to do to protect yourself and your business. If you choose not to become a client, good luck and please let me know how it all works out for you.

_____________________________

Note for future reference: Please look at the date this was published… which can also be confirmed as published on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In.

I know, don’t you wish you had (1) read this before it happened? and (2) if you did read it, that you had taken it more seriously?

 

 

Weird Al Yancovic – Word Crimes

All I can say is – WOW – what an awesome video.

I teach Killer Kopywriting and I will make this a must-watch component of the Pre Program Preparation for the workshop. So many lessons with captivating graphics.

 

At the Victor Valley Business Expo Next Week

I will be presenting my Keynote presentation “Antimimeticisomorphism” at the Victor Valley Business Showcase Expo 2014 next week.

Victor Valley Business Expo

If you”re in the area, you’re welcome to pass by.

Weird Al Yancovic – Mission Statement

I am not into buzzwords and business jargon even though I have my own list of definitions for what I do…

This video shows how you can talk a lot without saying anything… Courtesy of Weird Al Yancovic – the master of this art of parody.

Enter To Win

I guess the copywriter who wrote “Enter To Win” was a little too literal in his description!

enter to win

Project Pitfalls

Project Planning Pitfalls Doc ThumbnailWe all want to avoid mistakes, which is easier said than done.

That’s why this collection of Project Planning Pitfalls and Management Mistakes sponsored by Nebo Engineering is so funny and so true!

Click on the image to download the collection from Nebo Engineering‘s website.

This document is just another Exponential Marketing Strategy aimed at having fun as we help you grow your business or advance your career.

 

 

Ten common startup mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Startup MistakesNo budding entrepreneur wants to put blood, sweat, and tears into a new business venture only to see it fold in less than a year. Yet even with great ideas and adequate effort, most startup businesses fail in the first year.

The following is a list of the most common mistakes you need to try (at all costs) to avoid.

1. Focusing on passion instead of skill

A common refrain in business is to “do what you love,” yet this needs to be balanced out with a hefty dose of reality. You may love gourmet food, but you wouldn’t expect to succeed as a chef without the proper training. Work towards building your skill set to allow yourself to do what you love. This way, you’ll also be doing what you’re good at. Never, ever start a new business (with you as the central figure) unless you are way, and I mean way better at what you do than your competitors. Otherwise you’re dead in the water before you dip your toe in it!

2. Using a derivative idea

Whenever a new business achieves success, a crop of imitators instantly pops up around it. These rarely do as well as the originator, but they do create “noise” in the marketplace. The best business ideas are ones that provide a clear and distinct solution to a problem, rather than piggybacking on one that’s already solved.

3. Not having a specific ‘user’ in mind

Research is essential for success, no matter how large or small your business might be. You can’t create the right product for your ‘user’ if you don’t know who he or she is. Defining your target user allows you to refine your products, services, and marketing efforts to enhance profits. We have the Dr’s Demographic Descriptors and the Corporate Criteria Classifications to systemise an otherwise ‘ad hoc’ approach.

4. Not paying attention to the competition

Although you don’t want to consciously copy your competition, you also don’t want to ignore them. Is your competition out-selling you due to lower prices or a premium product or service?Antimimeticisomorphism is the key element to you standing out and above the competition. Not many people succeed doing this because it requires a substantial mindshift.

5. Trying to take on too much on your own

With the wealth of online resources available, it’s easier than ever to launch your own business from the comfort of your kitchen table, hone office or garage. Yet at the same time, if you want your business to grow and thrive, you must realize your “Peter Principle” – everyone has one. We cover this concept in our 1 Day Mini MBA Program. You can’t be good at everything – the sooner you learn and accept that, the better. There are only so many hours in a day, and some jobs require the eye of a professional. Get as much help as you can right from the start, for example hiring an accountant or bookkeeper if necessary.

6. Hiring too many people

On the other hand, hiring a full team before you’ve hit the ground running can rapidly deplete your initial fundraising efforts. If you need to hire a team before you’ve started turning profits, consider paying with equity rather than a salary. Also consider hiring contractors – we show businesses how to do this using web-based portals. Contact us for further details.

7. Not creating a budget

Creating a solid business plan is an important preliminary step for new businesses. It’s best to set a realistic, efficient budget that minimises your operating costs from day one. To assist with this, you may want to bring in a cost accountant who is qualified to help manage costs more efficiently. Click here for more information about what cost accountants do and start thinking about cultivating your own cost accounting skill set.

8. Avoiding online marketing

Let’s face it – if you’re not Internet savvy – stick to your day job. You are an entrepreneurial dinosaur. You cannot survive in business today without the Internet. Simple as that. Sorry. The world has changed. No one is searching in book with yellow pages anymore.

9. Relying too heavily on outside opinion

Asking for opinions from those around you can help you see your business from a pair of fresh eyes and lead to new innovations and improvement, but you wouldn’t ask your car mechanic to cut your hair, so remember to take UNQUALIFIED advice with a grain of salt, even if it’s being given by a professional. Each profession has its purpose and role mixing these up can be catastrophic.

10. Forgetting to take breaks and recharging your batteries

Running a new business is a full-time job and then some. Don’t forget to enjoy the hard work and take a break every now and again. Your best business ideas will come to you when you’re jogging through the park or fishing with friends on the weekend. You need the time off to “sharpen the saw” that is your mind and entrepreneurial spirit.

This was a guest post, if you would like to contribute content for one of our blogs, please contact us for our publishing, terms and conditions.

Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Hitler Billboard

What were they (not) thinking?!?
Hitler Billboard

Unfortunately most of the marketing mistakes people make are not this blatantly obvious.

I say unfortunately because if they are not obvious, then they are not recognised for the true blunders they are. These are silent killers that erode a company’s profits often to the complete ignorance of the business owner.

Ignorance is simply NOT KNOWING.

NOT KNOWING is no longer an excuse in this day and age of “Exponential Mindset Thinking” – It’s why MasterMind Groups were invented, work so well and are used by all super successful business people and the ultra wealthy.

You can’t be smarter than a group of your peers and you can’t outperform a group of your peers who are focused on your success…

It always baffles me when I hear and see people “going it alone” in business…

 

Digging yourself into a hole

I just came back from a trip to North America where I met some very smart and ambitious business people.

In contrast, upon my return to Australia, I came across a 19-year old squash player who wants to make it on to the professional tour who said “I don’t have a coach, I prefer to do things on my own, see what’s out there and do it my way.”

I was gobsmacked. His fate is sealed – he is already YEARS behind his peers. We have local players here in Sydney who at the national level are already YEARS ahead of him.

So what does this have to do with business?

Dig Yourself Into A Hole - The Exponential Growth Strategist

 

In as much as today’s example is squash related, the same is true in business. I see it all the time. Business people who have dug themselves into a hole and want to get out. In many cases, the hole is too deep and as a mentor, I simply walk away. The reason I do that is because as Einstein said “The thinking that created the problem is not the thinking that will solve it.”

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I decided a long time ago to work with the elite in business, those who know what they want and are willing to invest in themselves to get it.

One of the key principles is the quote above. AVOIDING problems and MINIMISING mistakes is a necessary part of success.

One of the most valuable aspects of what I do for my clients is help them AVOID mistakes – prevent them from picking up that shovel in the first place.

A common and all-too-popular hole people are digging themselves into is with social media, another is poor quality copywriting.

The next time you get yourself into a hole – ask yourself this simple question: “How could I have avoided picking up the shovel in the first place?”

If you can do that, you will reduce the number of holes you dig for yourself moving forward.