Good Morning Steppers!
It’s 0558 on October 31st and I’m starting a new tradition: Six for Saturday.
Here’s where I tell you the W’s… What, When, Who, Where, Why, and hoW I am staying current with the state of Digital Marketing for small businesses.
But first… since it’s Hallowe’en after all… let me urge you to avoid the <====gruesome touch of Zombie Kurt (shudder)
WHAT I am Reading
Okay, enough frivolity. Enough about me. Let’s talk about what YOU think of me. Hahaha…
It’s so important to sharpen the saw, no matter in what business you happen to be.
Normally I start my day with some Bible reading and devotions (today it’s 1 and 2 Peter), but then I pick up a piece of nonfiction like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, or something more recent like Ask by Ryan Levesque.
Actually rather than reading a book this week, I’m scouring the Members area of the Fletcher Method by Aaron Fletcher. His quick and easy checklists are what any small business marketer needs, and I’m getting a much-needed review there.
Full disclosure: I’m NOT an affiliate of the Fletcher Method. <== SO if you click on this link I’m a-gonna give you, no money changes hands. It’s just that I wanted you to know where some of my latest thinking is coming from.
WHEN I am Working
When am I NOT working? Sheeeesh….
Actually, I’ve been working less and getting more done. “Getting out of my own way” has caused my martial arts studio to grow quite a bit of late. I stopped teaching a particular class and delegated it to one of my young instructors. That class has TRIPLED in size recently!
Rather than taking a blow to my ego, I’m taking a shine to letting Students love another instructor more.
And I kinda like that trend. Think I’ll see how much I can get away with not doing and still have the paychecks rolling in 😉
It’s difficult sometimes for a business owner to let go of the reins and let someone else mush the dogs for a bit. But it’s essential. If you think you must do everything yourself, you’re right. It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy (or more like a self-propagated myth).
But if you accept that maybe some folks might do a better job, and that it’s YOUR job to find those folks and give them the means to do it… you’re being wise.
What tasks are YOU doing right now, that you could delegate, automate, or just plain NOT do and still do just fine?
Most entrepreneurs make themselves ambitious, lengthy to-do lists. Then feel like hammered “ish” when they don’t get everything done.
Do yourself a favor: make a to-DON’T list and see how well you can stick to THAT. Probably be the best thing you do for yourself and your business this week.
WHO I am Following
We’re all followers. Good leaders are themselves good followers… IF they choose the right ones to follow.
In my quest to stay current with all things digital marketing, my choice has got to be Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe.
Besides the regular serving of awesomeness this marketing maven gives us every Saturday or so in the Weekly Marketing Skinny, there are a number of posts on this site that have shaped how SS101 does things.
Let me point you out to a few of her best and brightest, including a guest post by yours truly:
The Weekly Marketing Skinny is the result of Ana’s diligent scouring of the latest news on all things digital marketing, served up on a silver platter for you and me. Her most recent digest is from a few days ago October 26, but you can get the most recent one every time by signing up for her newsletter.
Beside the weekly (or so) happenings , there is a wealth of timeless wisdom for all business marketers, whether your business is local like mine, or as vast as the world wide web. Here are just some of my faves that Ana has produced:
and a favorite from THIS author, a guest post by yours truly called,
In which I expose Ana Hoffman ^ as a Russian spy…
If you are wondering about how to get more traffic to your site so you can generate more leads, customers and CASH for your local biz… please enjoy all these posts on Traffic Generation Cafe.
Then come back here.
Because I love you.
Where We Are Going Next
Ooh! Oooooooooh! I’m excited to tell you that my “video bumpers” are finished, and soon you will have a new way to consume the awesome marketing wisdom of Shoestring101.
My buddy Jay Haynes is going to film me giving talks about:
How to Get Your Local Biz on Google’s Front Page Without Spending Anything
How to Cultivate Your Mission Statement
Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) Makes You the
Logical ONLY Choice
Building a Keyword WEB to Catch Every Customer Prospect in Your Area
Why and How Working Less Equals More Time AND Money
Steppers, I think you’ll enjoy these and other titles we are working on. They are taken from my real experiences and the experiences of other marketers.
The most important thing you’ll get from these short vids is HOPE… hope that your small business can operate leaner, profit bigger, and take less time and energy from you and add to your life instead.
This Week’s How-to: How to Craft an Elevator Speech
In case you live under a rock, the phrase “Elevator Speech” refers to a statement that describes your business and how it specifically helps the group of people it serves.
The Elevator Speech can be delivered so fast that you can speak it in the time it takes to ride an elevator
from your room at the Hyatt to the lobby, and still have a moment to answer a question or two 😎
BTW! Your Elevator Speech isn’t for cornering strangers in elevators, then following them out throwing business cards at ’em… Kinda creepy, dude.
Yes, it’s useful to have an impressive answer ready when someone asks, “So what do yo do?”
But the greatest value of the Elevator Speech is to help you be specific about EXACTLY what your business does, who it serves, and why they should do business with you.
In fact, your Elevator Speech is one of the necessary 5 Steps to Your Killer USP (Unique Sales Proposition) that will become part of everything you communicate, whether digitally or otherwise.
So how do we cut down “what our business does and who it serves” to just one concise statement?
If you’re like most business owners, you have a lot of irons in the fire. So many that it’s easy to get the “deer in the headlights” look when someone actually tries to get ’em to pin down what it is they actually do. Many folks offer so many products and services to so many different types of people and businesses… that they are STUCK trying to narrow that simple Q down to a quick, concise A.
So they stammer along and start with one thing they do for one group, but then backtrack and say something else. They FISH for what answer might appeal most to the one person they are talking to.
Or worse, they start trying to impress their victim, er, prospect with ALLLLLL the things their business does, and for whom. “Oh, but we also… and it’s not that we only… and one of the other things we do is…and a lot of our customers like that we…”
Awww, whatever. QUIT it. I totally quit listening after the third time you said “I” or “we”, while beating your chest.
Just the facts, ma’am.
And here’s a great hint… talk about your prospects’ FAVORITE subject: themselves.
Right after introducing yourself, rather than talking about yourself, talk about them and what they want.
Let’s start and end our elevator speech with what they want.
Here’s a perfect outline for your elevator speech:
Hi, I’m ______
(use your real name, slick.)
I help __________
(name your target market. Keep it narrow and specific, even if you help a LOT of groups of people, choose your best and brightest)
(now fill in what ONE problem you solve or what benefit you deliver… even if you have lots of services, solutions or products stick to your best or what’s selling best)
so they can ________________
(do this thing they want)
(have this thing they want)
(this thing they DON’T want)
There’s your outline!
Let’s put this to work:
Hi, I’m Kurt.
I help small local business owners
to use the tools and techniques that are working right now in digital marketing
so they can concentrate on delivering high value to their customers
and totally DOMINATING their local market
without working longer hours or spending more on their marketing.
Now siddown, right meow, and fill in those same blanks for yourself and your business.
I promise that this short exercise will not only serve to give you more clarity about what to say and to whom about your business… it will double or triple your results from marketing if you effectively USE it in your marketing.
Okay now. On to the most important part of the W’s… the WHY.
Why We’re Doing This
When I first started Shoestring101, the whole premise was to help people that wanted to start a business.
I believed (and still do believe) that you can start a real, profitable business from scratch using less capital than most Americans can expect to take out of the first hour of a garage sale.
We even demonstrated this idea of starting a “real”, PROFITABLE business, in a short time with the posts,
My 30-Day, $1,000 Challenge, followed by
We MADE It! (30 Day, Thousand Bucks Challenge) and the year-later followup,
Another Case Study: Five Steps to Five Figures Per Month when that same small biz topped the $500 profit per day mark.
Yes, SS101 used to be about encouraging people to start businesses and do it quickly with very little capital.
But then I started to see a trend… people spend a whole lot more time OWNING businesses that they start, than starting them in the first place.
So most of my audience are already business owners, or soon will be.
And while I still want Shoestring101 to be a resource for startups… it’s more important to teach what to do afterwards.
So you get to actually own your business… instead of IT owning YOU.
You might want to check out the recent post, New Direction for Shoestring101 to read more.
Why We’re Doing This, Part Two
But I’ve got a deeper, more relevant reason to share with you Why We’re Doing This.
Meet the African Village I belong to, Abokoro.
This village is composed entirely of single mothers and their children. Some are survivors of rape. Others had their husband just pack up and leave. Still others are widows.
These lovely mamas comprise one of about thirty village cooperatives in the Beauty For Ashes Uganda program that I advocate for.
We’re teaching them about budgeting. About small business startups. About clean water and sustainable agriculture and responsible hygiene and medical care.
Steppers, if ANYone needs the Five Steps to Five Figures it’s these byoootiful ladies and their children.
So I’m asking my Shoestring Steppers to “Step” up and help with the program.
$23 per month matches the typical monthly income of an unskilled worker in the Teso region of Uganda. That’s what some of these ladies earn before learning to cooperate and found small businesses.
Your gift of $23 monthly matches that income and helps send these mamas’ kids to school… buys mosquito nets to keep malaria off of the little ones… and helps us provide agricultural gifts like dairy cows, dairy goats and egg-laying hens so they are able to get out of abuse or neglect situations and become self-sustaining.
I’m going to place a link here to the “Join Our Village” program, and ask you to check out what Beauty For Ashes Uganda is doing. In one of the poorest regions smack-dab in the middle of one of the most richly blessed (in terms of natural resources) areas of the world… real people need some real help. And we are committed to providing as much of that help as needed. Won’t you join me?
Click here to Join Our Village! Make sure to choose “Abokoro Village” from the drop-down list.
If you do choose to support Abokoro Village, write me at kurt at shoestring101 dot com with the subject line, “I’m a VILLAGER!” and I’ll send you a special gift.
On to the finish line, Steppers. Thanks for reading this far.
Steppers, I sincerely hope you enjoyed seeing what I’m doing this week… the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHO, HOW and WHY.
NOW! I would just looooooove to hear what YOU are doing to sharpen YOUR saw and make this sport of doing business more enjoyable, profitable, and meaningful.
So if you would, punch it in down below in the comments. Let me know what you are doing, where you are going, who you are following… to get YOUR daily cup of awesome. (besides SS101 of course 😉 )
Oh, and if you’re feeling particularly helpful and good-lookin’, hit one of those share buttons.
Okay Steppers! Thanks again for reading Shoestring101.
Look here next week for another “Six for Saturday” and…