All posts by Maze

Components of a Good Website

A good website does 3 things:

  1. It gets people who don’t already know you exist to find you and your business because it’s answering the questions they’re searching for.
  2. It makes the visitors comfortable that the website they landed on is the place where they’re going to find what they’re looking for…a place they can trust enough to do business with you.
  3. It delivers some sort of call to action so you can either generate a lead, initiate a sale, or invite a customer to walk in your place or call you.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9O77AIIiEI&w=560&h=315] Beautiful graphics, format, and layout all add to the visitor’s experience and can not be underestimated. But the big prize is getting people to find you and take action. It all starts with people finding you and that’s why your website should be full with all the possible content you can provide about the products and services you make, do or sell.

Small Business Marketing tips

Small Business Marketing Online-Creating a Massive Online Footprint

A website and a  couple social media accounts make up only a fraction of your online presence. One of the most important online marketing strategies, especially for small businesses which serve a specific geographical area is spreading your business information everywhere possible. I call it:

Internet Gravity: Building Out Your Online Presence

This video explains more.

How Do People Find Out About Your Business Online?

Think of having your business or professional profile and advertisements in dozens print publications. What would an ad all the most important and relevant magazines, newspapers and trade publications mean to you and your business? What if there were billboards with a photo of you or your company logo and phone number on the major roadways around town?

Thanks to the power of the web, you and your business can show up on dozens of highly visited websites, search engines and directories, pretty much for free. Doing so may not be quite as powerful has having ads in dozens of magazines, newspapers and on roadside billboards, however, it’s still very effective.

The Magic of a Good Online Presence Happens When People Find You Who Don’t Already Know You Exist

Google, Yahoo, Bing, all the social media platforms and dozens of other directories give us places where we can describe our business with words, pictures and details which all matter to people when they’re looking for a business like yours. Just about all the details about your business which exist on these sites is aggregated and delivered to people when they’re looking for a business or services like ours.

If you have been in business for more than a year, it’s probable you have already made it onto a number of online directories. However, it’s really important to be proactive and modify the information, enter your website address, check all details for accuracy, add images, and descriptive detail and generally take advantage of all the resources each of these directories allows.

There could be dozens more places you COULD be listed online with rich descriptive information about your business but you’re not. Use this FREE tool to find out where you could benefit by having a stronger online presence http://www.mazermarketing.com/local-business-search/

This Works for All Kinds of Businesses, Home Based, Services Businesses, Coaches, Advisers, Consultants, Realtors, Everyone

I have been using this method as the cornerstone of my efforts in improving the visibility to my business and my clients’ businesses for many years. It’s fundamental to marketing a local business (one which serves a specific region as opposed to a national company).

This is a core concept shared in The Business Owner’s Guide to Marketing Online book and seminar. Learn more, click here.

For help on this subject, contact Andrew Mazer by sending an email directly to andrew@smallbusinessu.org

ONE Thing You Can Do To Improve Your Business, Your Income and your Life

Over the last several months I’ve been studying the concept of single-minded thinking as it pertains to business.  What I mean by single minded thinking is focusing major time on the most important and high highest value task. NOT tasks (plural). Task (singular).  It’s not an easy thing to do. Much of the reading done on the subject describes how focused thinking is one of man’s most difficult of all tasks.

Single Minded Thinking on the Highest-Priorities

The big question is this: what is your highest value task, which, if you spent 4 concentrated hours per day on it, would make the biggest difference in your income and the quality of your life?  Do you know what it is? Have you given it much thought? Even if you have, are you sure this is the thing which is the most important and highest value task?

We often tend to pull ourselves by having a long to do list. But you know what? If you were to focus on your highest value task which produces the most new business, additional business and flat out income, most of the other things on your list would either become obsolete or you could easily afford to outsource them to an underling or Virtual Assistant for pennies against the value of your own time.

Do You Struggle With Focusing on the Activities Which Produce the Most Value?

Why am I studying this and writing about it? Because I struggle with it too.   It’s a very important subject and it’s a very real subject for almost all of us. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down all the things you already KNOW you should be spending more time, MAJOR time to improve your chances of growing your business. Sure, there’s probably more than one. Pick one. Pick the most important one which, if you were to spend 4 hours of uninterrupted time on it per day, would make a long-term impact on your business and your life.

Have you ever noticed how you have the ability to look at someone else’s business and know what they’re doing wrong? Pretty interesting isn’t it? Guess what? So can other people can look at your business and tell you what you’re doing wrong. Well maybe I shouldn’t say what you’re doing wrong but rather what you could be doing better or more of to improve any one of a number of areas in your business.

The Power of the Mastermind

The power of the mastermind puts a small group of like minded, forward thinking and dedicated people together in a positive spirit to help you see the things in your business you can’t see yourself. They bring a lifetime of experiences, resources and ideas from different angles which you could not otherwise get sitting all alone with pen and paper.

I know of mastermind groups which charge tens of thousands of dollars to join, meet only 4 times per year and member fly in and pay for hotel rooms just so they can be in the presence and brainpower of the other members of the group.

A mastermind group is a great place to run your ideas and your to do list or your priority list to get feedback. Another aspect of the mastermind is the stuff you learn from the general discussion going around the room even when you are not the focus of the conversation. The ideas that bubble and bristle in a mastermind meeting are dramatic.

A mastermind group is much more than just a networking group yes it is a place for members of the group to share referrals but it is more for sharing ideas and experiences. For asking questions. For getting answers.

As one of my mentors, Jim Rohn, used to say everybody wins when somebody shares.  And interestingly he also said “The more you pour out, the more will be poured in.” So when you do join one, be active in it and share.

Get your own mastermind group put together or find one to join.   Try it. Many of the most successful people in the world are part of one.

Ideas for Self-Promotion and Business Promotion

Marketing yourself and your business by giving away a door prize is a great idea but most people don’t know how to leverage this for optimal visibility and economy.

At the end of each Small Business University event we give away door prizes. This, of course, is a common practice at events of all kinds. The door prizes more than just giving something away and making the recipient happy.

Door Prizes are a Great Way To Promote Yourself, Your Business and a Partner

An opportunity that doesn’t typically come to mind is that the door price you sponsor does not necessarily have to be one of your products. For example, Joseph Cronin is a business litigation and personal injury attorney. He doesn’t really have something tangible to give away as a door prize. However at the last event Mr Cronin gave away a gift basket which he purchased from a local gift basket company. In this particular case, the gift basket company got visibility and Mr. Cronin got visibility by “sponsoring” the door prize. This gives Mr Cronin the advantage of being able to make it deeper connection with both the owner of the gift basket maker and the recipient of the door prize. Very smart.

Restaurant Marketing Idea: Sponsoring a Door Prize

In another scenario, restaurants are often happy to give away a discount certificate for such promotions. For example, I can go to a restaurant where the owners or manager recognize me and tell them that if they give me a gift certificate for their restaurant they will get free visibility at an event where dozens of business owners will be in the audience. We will market the door prize and giving the restaurant  visibility to everyone in attendance. I get visibility for being the sponsor of the gift certificate, The restaurant gets a new customer who will most likely won’t be dining alone AND most likely will be spending money in excess of the value of the gift certificate. Everybody wins.

How to Sell Products and Services on Video

You may not know this but I sell products on the internet all day everyday…for the last 14 years +. Besides the “gurus” I learn from, I don’t know anyone who does it better than me. My videos have been viewed over 1 million times.

Watch as I Demonstrate How I Use Video for Marketing My Website and Products.

Creating Video for Marketing is Cheap & Easy. You Can Do It! This morning I made a video to demonstrate a product that I sell in my wholesale company. I decided to use it also as a demonstration for you to see how simple video with virtually no production quality can make an impact in getting my company visible online. The amazing thing about YouTube videos is they don’t need to be commercial quality. In fact the less commercial they are the better (in most situations).

The following video was shot on an iphone. It’s not about perfection…it’s about being authentic and providing valuable information or ideas.

To create a video and get it “out there” used to cost thousands…maybe tens of thousands of dollars. Today, we all walk around with the technology in our pockets. The cell phone is excellent way to capture video which can help you market yourself and your business. Posting it on YouTube is FREE.  You could be leveraging this “gift”. If you’re not, you should be.

I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m a YouTube sensation but my videos of accumulated have been viewed over 1 million times. Do you think this is help me sell some product? You bet it has. It’s made a magnificent difference in my business and my life.

How to Get Your Videos to be Viewed

“Build it and they will come” is a nice wish but it doesn’t work very well in the real word OR online. Even though it’s cheap & easy to create and post video on the web doesn’t mean anyone is going to see them.  I have made a study of it.  You can too.  Start by taking 4 minutes to watch this demonstration and learn from it.

This video will remain online indefinitely and serve me and my company for years to come. Print ads, TV commercials and billboards are like dust in the wind in comparison.

I know many people who have attempted online video to promote themselves and their business and have failed. As the great business philosopher, Jim Rohn teaches, there are about a half dozen things which make 80% of the difference.  In marketing with video, there are a few techniques which make the difference between your videos being seen, consumed, and valuable to your audience to the point where they will come closer to you and engage you in a business relationship.

Success in video is not a miracle nor is it a matter of getting a video to “go viral.”  Learning how to leverage the power of video has made a massive impact on my business and I had zero experience or skills in the field.

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Want to learn how to create videos which serve you and your business in perpetuity? Reach out. It can be a game-changer for you.

Andrew Mazer

http://www.mazermarketing.com  1-866-799-2825

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Success is a Process…Not an Event!

At our March 16th event I will be sharing the fundamentals and distributing the tools of Tactical

Founder and CEO of Achievement Dynamics Institute & Achieveopedia.com

Founder and CEO of Achievement Dynamics Institute & Achieveopedia.com

Productivity. You will have what it takes to get unstuck and make powerful ideas stick!

Success is a Process…Not an Event!

Motivation is Inspiration…Training is Information…Empowerment is Transformation!

It doesn’t matter how high we jump, it’s how straight we walk once we hit the ground. How many times do we become energized by a great speaker or new and exciting ideas only to have them never become a natural and automated part of our success journey. The world is full of people who could write books with what they know concerning health and nutrition but never personally apply it and exist in a state of physical decline.         (Register for the March 16th event now)

It’s human nature, but overcome this and excel in your career and personal life.

This reality exists in all areas of our personal and professional lives! Our present knowledge base is greater than our action base. We live in an information age. Finding information is cheap and easy. More information doesn’t change mediocrity! Seeking more knowledge has become the path of least resistance and a false security for those looking to break their success barriers. Applying knowledge is the path to our success. So how do we transform ideas into reality?

We strengthen our mental and emotional muscles over a period of time by developing the skills, habits and perspectives that are needed to make the climb to achieve our goals. Like physical muscles, mental and emotional muscles need to be carefully stretched into place.

Irrefutable research proves that we stretch who we are by becoming accountable to the actions we are taking – not just being left to our own good intentions. Proclaim to do the right things within a designated period of time. Then be accountable to that proclamation!

Fighting against resistance makes us stronger and better

It is very similar to strengthening physical muscles in weight training. The weight creates resistance which causes the stretching of our muscles against the pressure on the bar. The resistance on the bar is what causes muscle growth and within time, increased strength!

Declaring our intentions and measuring our results creates the resistance we need to strengthen our personal effectiveness characteristics. The principles are the same, but the muscles are mental and emotional rather than physical.

Success is the progressive realization of our predetermined goals. Accountability on the numbers generates greater levels of commitment, progressive growth and incremental advancements. Also major breakthroughs begin to happen along the way! All of this is called “Tactical Productivity”. You stay open to learning new techniques and to “figure out” how what it takes to integrate new ideas that produce the results we want.

Measuring results using Tactical Productivity is best executed when supported by means of a Power Partner. Our Power Partner or Partners can be close friends, a peer group, manager, mentor or family member. Power Partners keep the flow pattern of achievement moving. They are a source of inspiration, creativity and support. Their most important quality is a sincere desire to see you progress and achieve!

At our March 16th event I will be sharing the fundamentals and distributing the tools of Tactical Productivity. You will have what it takes to get unstuck and make powerful ideas stick!

Learn more about this event and register now.

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Mario Pinardo is the creator and founder of Achieveopedia, an online destination for learning and personal development.  http://www.achieveopedia.com/

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Opportunity Cost, Where are You Investing Your Resources?

Have you ever heard the term, “Opportunity Cost”?  Opportunity cost is defined as: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.  It’s a powerful business concept but doesn’t get the spotlight it deserves.  This concept affects owners, managers (at all levels), sales people and professionals.

Your Product, Your Marketing, Time Management and Opportunity Cost

time management ideas

Are you missing opportunities by spending major time on minor things?

Developing your product and marketing it are the 2 most important, high-value tasks in your business or career.  Your product and your marketing of the product will produce more income now and set the stage for automatic income (repeat business & referrals)  in the future.

The best way to make $100 per hour is to stop doing $10 per hour work.  Most of us are on the mouse wheel trading time for dollars.  We fool ourselves with a long to-do list crossing off low-value tasks, responding to texts, emails and unscheduled phone calls.  We get a lot done on paper but it’s often minutia we should be paying a $9.50/hour assistant to do or not doing any of it at all.

Invest Major Time in Marketing and Product Development

Assuming you have a product to sell, whether a tangible item or a service, let’s focus on marketing it for now. When was the last time you can honestly say you dedicated major, uninterrupted time on planning your marketing and executing the plan?  No phones. No email. No interruptions. Inventing or discovering a marketing tactic which makes selling faster and easier is going to impact your income faster than anything else.  Sure, it’s easier said than done.  But it can be done and it must be done if you have any hope of doubling or tripling your income.

“It’s no in the dreaming, it’s in the doing.”Mark Cuban

An investment of just two 1-hour segments each day for focusing on major, high-value task is probably all it takes to make a huge impact on your business. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile really is.  If you study time management (and who doesn’t), this is one discipline which is actually very easy to do because it’s not hard to make an unbreakable appointment with yourself at the same time every single day.  Tip: Do this first thing each day and you’ll feel better and more productive. Everyone has their “best” time of day for energy and brain power.

Examples of Major Time Investments Toward Marketing Your Product or Service

  • Networking.  Get out there and meet more people. Be consistent in your networking. Show up and add value to others who network. Networking is a marathon, not a sprint but it works to stay the course.
  • Writing. Write a blog post for your website or for someone else’s. Other blogs (like this one) already have an audience.  Getting published extends your reach drastically.
  • Calling clients for sales, requesting referrals or to introduce them to something new.
  • Create a video.  Utilizing video for attracting leads is easy today. There’s probably someone in your industry doing it successfully. You can too.  All the equipment you really need is within 3 feet of you right now…your smart phone.
  • Create a direct mail piece with 5% conversion rate. (It’s a beautiful thing to have a message that pulls a consistent response)
  • Write a book.  It makes one hell of a business card.

“Is this the best use of my time?” What a great question!

Here’s a question which takes it a step further: Ask yourself “what ONE THING I could do to make more money faster so everything else could be done by others or not at all?” Then ask yourself, “what else?”. Sit quiet for an hour. Make this your first 1-hour investment in this exercise. Make a big list and then narrow in on the best 3-5 things you can do. Now you know where to invest major time for the rest of the year.

Aside from the highest-value tasks, everything else you do is trading away opportunities which await you if you were to be investing in “the majors”. This is opportunity cost. Keep this concept in your conscience by asking yourself constantly, “Is the the best use of my time?”

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Article contributed by Andrew Mazer, Founder of Small Business University and the King of Mazer Marketing

Five Steps to Develop Initiative

Initiative is a top skill of personally effective leaders. 

Initiative-takers are often presented with significant opportunities because others know they will see things through.   

 So what is taking initiative really all about?

Take initiative, get more done and lead the field.

Take initiative, get more done and lead the field.

  1. The person is able to see what needs to be done, and starts to take action before being asked.
  2. Initiative-takers surprise others with their commitment and follow-through because they typically go above and beyond the initial expectation.
  3. They reach out to others so that their collective brain power makes for a stronger solution to an issue or problem.
  4. Initiative-takers often serve as re-directors.  They sense when to steer something in another direction.  They don’t fear rejection or embarrassment.  They take a risk for the good of the whole.
  5. Initiative-takers differentiate between the trivial many and significant few.  They determine what is important, take action, and see things through to completion.  They are regarded as movers and shakers.

 Use these powerful  initiative-based questions to build stronger influence with others:

    • What isn’t working quite right with this situation?
    • What kinds of solutions may make it right?
    • How can I help make it right?
    • Who else can help?

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This article has been contributed by Diane Allen of Strategic Leadership Academy

  • Voted Best Executive Coach, South Jersey Biz Magazine, 2013
  • Winner of the Central New Jersey Women Business Owners’ Association SEED Award

Diane will be speaking at a future Small Business U event and is a regular contributor to our blog and newsletter. Learn more about our upcoming live events. Click here.

Strategic Leadership Academy LLC
PO Box 1616
Mount Laurel, NJ  08054

Writing Tips. What to do When You’re Stuck

It happens all the time.  Even right now, for me.  I just used a technique to get unstuck and I figured it would make a good topic for a quick article.  The topic:

Writer’s Block. How To Get Unstuck.

As I sit at my desk to write these tips, I got stuck just trying to figure out how to start this article so I will start with this as the first tip:

writers block tips

Break through writer’s block with these 7 simple tips

  1. Don’t sit down to write until you have something to write about. When you have it, start by telling your audience why you’re writing on it.
  2. Make the article a benefit for your readers. It’s about them. It’s about teaching them something they don’t know. Fascinating or inspiring them.  It’s about telling them what’s possible which may help and enlighten them.
  3. When you get stuck in a paragraph and there seems to be no place to go, switch the sentences around. Sometimes the last sentence you wrote works better as the first sentence in the paragraph, then you get unstuck and in the flow.
  4. Unless it MUST be done today, put it down and revisit it tomorrow or the next day.  Read it again.  You’ll find ways to make the sentences flow better. You’ll add new words and sentences and take a few wasted words out.  Your stuff must be easy to read and enjoyable. Small tweaks make a big difference.
  5. Short sentences.  Short paragraphs. No extra words. Keep adjectives and superlatives to a minimum
  6. Use an image. Find one which makes sense on the page you’re writing and write a caption for it.
  7. Write at the same time of day all the time. There is most likely a time when your brain works best on writing. This will help.

I hope these 7 quick tips on getting unstuck are helpful and motivate you. Write something valuable for your customers, friends and prospects to enjoy, learn from and share.

Resolve to Spend Major Time on Major Things

Time.  It’s more precious than anything because no matter how successful we are, we can’t get any more of it.  No one can have any more of it than anyone else but yet, some people get so much more done with it than others.  What’s their secret?

Time management does’t start with a To-Do List, it starts with priorities. The biggest time-suck is spending major time on minor things.

To-do lists are vital and I believe in starting a day, a week, a month with a list of objectives. However, it’s important to run your to-do list through a filter: “Is this a major thing or a minor thing?”  Basic RGB

Major things make us money, build our businesses or investments stronger and build our relationships stronger (maybe you can think of one or two more “majors”). If you can get someone to do stuff FOR you for $10.00 per hour or less, it is probably a minor thing and you should find someone to help you. This will free up your Major time.

To make $50-$100 per hour ($100,000-$200,000 per year) or more, make more time for Major things.

If you can’t afford to have someone at your beck and call for $10/hour, then this should be on your

All top performers are careful with their time.

All top performers are careful with their time.

goals list, not for the sake of relieving you of minutia but for the sake of driving more time into more major things.  When you can see through the cloud of menial tasks, you can set new kinds of goals for growth and expanded relationships.  THIS is how to build successes in all life’s most important departments.

What is “Major Time”?

Major time is personal development, relationship building, health, family, continuing to learn & grow. Major time, is prospecting, presenting and following up.  Major time is learning how to leverage technology to make better use of your time.  Major time is taking the time to train, manage and

quality networking in Philadelphia and south jersey

Be the best you can be. Become a part of Small Business University

communicate with your underlings so they can better serve YOU.  Major time is setting up systems in your life and business so your time and the fruits of your efforts become more predictable.

Major time is getting yourself and your message out there so people can get to know you, like you and trust you in order to build a network of customers and referral sources so you can create a steady flow of new and repeat business.

Major time is setting aside the time for networking and learning.  Come to a Small Business University event and find out why so many others dedicate a Monday morning every 60 days to network, learn, share and improve.