June 30, 2019 Daily Post
Ever have the fear in the back of your mind that your product or service may not be worth it?
If so, good, it’s a healthy concern:
Perhaps there’s an add-on you’ve been pondering or a piece of work you’ve been thinking of cutting. By allowing ourselves the concern, “Does this work really matter?” we can isolate what was missing that we were too afraid to add. The things that we’ve pondered before, but were scared to implement because “that’s not how our industry does things.”
At the same time, allowing ourselves this concern will reveal the things that–actually–we should have stopped doing long ago. The parts of our work that we do “because it’s what we do”, and perhaps turned a blind eye to the fact that our customers and clients never seem to get much value out of it.
How could the quality of work you render to the marketplace benefit from being challenged with the concern, “Does this work really matter?”
Tip: Asking this question is a key part of the ABC exercise that’s designed to help you stand out, sell better, and make more impact. Get it free at BuiltForImpact.net.
June 29, 2019 Daily Post
Are you unintentionally, unknowingly being D.U.M.B. in your cause-driven or sustainable business?
When we don’t believe there’s more out there, we hang onto opportunities far too long.
It could be an idea that stinks…but if it’s your only idea, you’ll run with it.
It could be a prospect that doesn’t need your product or service…but you continue to chase against your better judgement.
There’s always more out there if you keep at it. Don’t be desperate.
We’ve all seen people who have been unfortunate. Perhaps they didn’t get that project they wanted. Perhaps their market collapsed and they fell victim to that. Whatever it may be.
You can only be unfortunate if you came up short of expectations in a particular situation. But those who keep at it–who work smart–don’t allow themselves to lean upon only one or two opportunities. If some fall short, others succeeded.
You come out on top if you play a bigger game. Don’t be unfortunate.
Everyone else is me-focused.
So the only thing you need to do to be different here, is to focus on them too, instead of yourself. As they say, to be interesting, first be interested. To be fascinating, first be fascinated.
Knowing your audience is the first step to standing out and serving them.
Blabbering is the fine art of saying a lot…and yet saying nothing at all.
Most marketing messages we see and hear are the result of a company’s blabbering. Many words, none of which captivate us. None of which engage us.
To avoid blabbering, building upon ‘knowing your audience’ above by ‘knowing what to say to them’. Communicate better.
Most companies are at least a little bit D.U.M.B. How about yours?
Tip: If you want to get crystal-clear about who your audience is and what they want to hear from you, BuiltForImpact.net can help you with that.
June 28, 2019 Daily Post
How involved are you with your own marketing.
If you’re like many cause-driven or sustainable brands, not nearly enough:
You can’t delegate marketing because marketing is everything you do. Your message is at the core of who you are. To delegate that is to delegate the vision behind the company.
But your company can recruit a team where marketing is operationally executed and philosophically discussed with you, if you choose. Ideally, with people who are excellent at defining your message. Brilliant at refining that message. Exquisite at consequently representing your vision in the marketplace.
Delegate marketing to lose your soul.
Recruit a team you trust to earn your choice of market by developing and nurturing the message that connects you with those you wish to serve.
Tip: If you haven’t found the winning messaging structure yet, go to BuiltForImpact.net.
June 27, 2019 Daily Post
Do you get caught in the weeds in your cause-driven or sustainable business?
This is a popular one for eCommerce companies. Did they change? We turned on the ad, is it working yet?
These distracting “checking every couple hours” activities can be addictive, the and the FOMO will cost time as well as breaking your focus.
Setting a scheduled reporting check-in schedule allows you to put the FOMO and anxiety aside, so you can focus on doing important work designed to drive your vision forward.
This is popular for cause-driven businesses of all sizes and stripes. Whether it’s your CPAs, or what your CPA says, allowing your numbers to produce emotional responses is a killer.
Specifically, if you allow each thought or check-in to be emotional, it will eat your energy and slash your stamina for your workday.
Remembering that they’re just numbers, that what is measured will be improved or stabilized in response to your work, empowers you to actually do the work that needs to be done. Allowing them to capture your energy only slows you down.
If you managed to get past the first two, you’ll probably head straight toward this one. It’s no better than the other two, since it’ll send you straight back down to square one if left unchecked.
In this place, we start breaking our own rules. Tweaking marketing campaigns without data. Breaking what’s working, missing the reasons things improve. Behaving in ways that are counter to that which gave you your success in the first place.
Focus on the mission, and the next step to achieving it.
This rarely involves stressing over data, being lax with your processes, or FOMO.
Tip: If you want to make the marketplace focus on what makes you great, and on taking next steps with you, BuiltForImpact.net has the blueprint you need.
June 26, 2019 Daily Post
Sustainable and cause-driven companies–like their conventional counterparts–see a lot of urgency in the coming quarter, the coming year.
There are customers to acquire this month. There are competitors to outmaneuver this quarter.
From our focus on the short-term comes the pursuit of advancement, but the long-term sometimes tells us a different story:
Paper has outperformed digital media for archiving and retrieval in the past. We can still access the ancient writings of Seneca and Socrates, but not select science papers of the 80s. Paper still works, whereas files left on a NeXT computer are now a real challenge to access. We embrace the allure of digital to the degree that paper must soon be EOL (end-of-life). When we embrace technology, do we do so expecting our business to be around in 20 years? What are the implications of our technology decisions when we see it through that lens?
The boardgames I played when I was little still exist. We can still play those. But there are no TVs anymore that accept the input from the videogames that had my attention shortly after that. We embrace the allure of advanced entertainment to the degree that what came before it must be deemed ‘boring’. When we embrace innovation and advancement, do we do so expecting our business to be around in 20 years? Are we behaving like a company that will?
In our sustainable and cause-driven businesses, there are trends and patterns that draw us in, whether it’s favoring fast-fashion over quality production, or shedding human resources in favor of total automation. These trends promise further advancement and profit. It’s not an either-or situation. When we explore market trends, do we do so mindful of where that leads in 20 years? Will it help us or hurt us if we pursue that path?
Basecamp, the project management software company, invests heavily in customer service. They’re one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Send them an email, they’ll reply within the hour with a comprehensive, warm reply. That is a skill they’ll thank themselves for in 20 years time.
Agencies that focus exclusively on Snapchat marketing on the other hand, while effective today, may find themselves on the back-foot in 5 years, never mind in 20 years time.
Today’s question is this: how do the business decisions you make today affect your company in 20 years time? Do you like what you see?
If you want to make a lasting impact in the world with the work you produce and for those you wish to serve, it’s your responsibility to invest in both short-term and long-term. We all need you to stand the test of time.
Tip: Being able to communicate properly with your market, so that you stand out, and sell better, is a skill your business needs if you’re to make a lasting impact. BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 25, 2019 Daily Post
For your customers, that is.
See if you ever find yourself saying these phrases:
“They don’t understand”: Did you define their responsibilities? Perhaps refunds are up because your communication skills are down. What if your brand invested in better messaging, so those same customers can be secure in their understanding and appreciation for the process?
“There’s no pleasing them”: Did you understand what would please them? Or has your company simply been throwing guesswork at them in hope you’ll strike gold? Less processes = more pain. Are you the reason there’s no pleasing them?
“That customer was irrational”: Were they, or did they not clearly understand the dissonance between what they said and what they wanted? Who’s job is it to educate those in your care about what success looks like in your engagement, if they’re not yet clear?
You’re both the problem and the solution. If you’re a cause-driven company, look for the problems. Congratulations, they’re yours. Now you have the power to do something about them.
Tip: improve your messaging, improve your results. BuiltForImpact.net can help educate your potential customers about why you’re the best fit for them.
June 24, 2019 Daily Post
If your cause-driven company offers a product or service that is better in every way than that of your competitors…
…but nobody knows it’s there, or how or use it…
Then is it really better in every way?
Let’s say the technology in your clothing material that enables it to adapt to your body shape, while also being more durable and long-lasting than competing product fibers.
Does that do us any good if we don’t know it can do those things?
We’ve seen many fashion innovations over the years, and the ones that succeed have invested the time in educating the market about what makes them special, through the eyes of the prospect.
Let’s say the buying experience is not only more fun than competitors, but that the act of buying also contributes to a lower carbon footprint for the customer, something that many European companies are taxed on (buy a great product, enjoy the experience, and save on taxes?
Does that do us any good if we don’t give the product or service a “fair shake”, because the competitors–while substandard–told a better story?
We buy stories. Those stories become part of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. If your cause-driven or sustainable brand’s product or service doesn’t tell a better story, you won’t have the opportunity to give a better experience. Or to transform your market. Or to make the impact you set out to create.
What’s your story? And are you giving those your wish to serve the opportunity to engage with you through the power of effective messaging?
Tip: If you want to level-up your company’s messaging skills and engage more of your market, BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 23, 2019 Daily Post
If you’re a sustainable or cause-driven company, you should consider the kind of future you’re building:
The first type is the “charge for your beliefs, pay for your beliefs” model. Take Apple’s products as an example. Are they the best? Debatable, but that’s their pursuit. Are their stores the best? Debatable, but they try to make it more human. Are their staff looked after? Depends, their US workers are generally well looked after, paid a good rate, and are proud of their work.
Do they protect those in their care? Debatable; they took our headphone jacks, but save us from badly-written-or-malicious apps thanks to their aggressive review policy.
Do they make an impact? Seemingly, in its sustainable production and materials, or (historically) the innovations they introduced over the years.
The alternative is the “make it cheaper, pay for cheaper” model. Take Amazon’s products as an example. Are they the cheapest? Debatable, but that’s their pursuit. Is their store the best? Debatable, they try to make it as void of humans as possible to make it as inexpensive (and fast) as possible. Are their staff looked after? None of my friends who have ever worked there say so. A race to the bottom doesn’t give too much room for them to be, nor does it give them a great deal to be proud of.
Do they protect those in their care? Debatable; they’re customer-first and very flexible on returns, but they’ll call a broken product from a suspicious seller “Amazon Choice” because their algorithms can be duped.
Do they make an impact? Well, they save us some money, right?
We create the world we want to live in with our purchases and our practices. What kind of a world is your company committed to building?
Tip: If you want to show your market what kind of world you’re making, go to BuiltForImpact.net and communicate clearly.
June 22, 2019 Daily Post
Ever bought a book that has a great message, but is painful to read?
Sometimes, that’s how sustainable and cause-driven companies behave in the marketplace. We just don’t notice it in ourselves.
I struggle to not finish a book, even if it’s a chore to read. I want the insights, the lessons, the takeaways, even if it takes some chewing to digest. But in the market, customers and prospects aren’t prepared to chew. They need your message spoon-fed to them with melts-in-the-mouth delivery.
They were trained that way by the marketplace. They were taught that things should be easier, more convenient. Those are the rules of play.
If your work is great, but your message is average, you will serve people well but get only average results. You’ll be a secret, and advertising won’t help you. Perhaps you’ve been in this spot, where you’re wondering why the world can’t understand how great you are. It’s not their fault, it’s yours.
If your work is poor, but your message is great, you will harness the market’s attention, but you won’t deserve it. You’ll sever relationships as fast as you make them.
If your work is great, and your message is great, you’ve the foundations for transformation: in the lives of those in your care, and in the areas you’ve elected to make an impact in.
Which combination best serves your business, those you wish to serve, and the difference you’d like to make in the world?
Tip: If you’re a sustainable or cause-driven company that’s in business to make a difference, focus on making your work great, and leverage BuiltForImpact.net to get your message right.
June 21, 2019 Daily Post
Can achieving greatness be documented?
Can “any” sustainable or cause-driven company change the world?
Can we “follow the steps” to greatness?
We read the question and intuitively think, “Of course not, if it was that easy, everyone would be great.”
And in there lies our first mistake:
We assume everyone will take action on what they learn.
…When they won’t.
Thanks to the Internet, we have access to as many documented paths to greatness as we could ever hope for.
Most don’t take the requisite action to materialize what is documented, though. 85-90% of people sign up for online courses that interest them–that they paid for–then drop out.
Why don’t people take action? We’ll get to that in a minute.
We assume many paths must surely be unique and inaccessible.
…When they aren’t.
For sure, they vary from one person to the next. No path is ever truly identical. But since greatness can be documented, there are no shortage of familiar, accessible paths to success and contribution available to us.
If it’s accessible and documentable, why isn’t everybody great?
I believe that everyone, deep down, wants to be great. To do something important, meaningful. To contribute.
But inertia kicks in. Fear kicks in. Culture kicks in.
Greatness can be documented. But it must be accompanied by great leadership to manifest. Within yourself. For the benefit for your cause-driven company, and for the benefit of those in your care.
Tip: To overcome inertia, fear, and cultural barriers, tell a better story. Create a better narrative. BuiltForImpact.net can help you make that happen.
June 20, 2019 Daily Post
How many sustainable businesses do you think start up but lose their meaning along the way?
Culprit 1: The marketing world
When faced with the promise of untold riches with a single technique or purchase, many experience a lull in their convictions. The Facebook ad that will ‘change your life.’ ‘You’re only one funnel away’ to success beyond measure. It’s a lie, but one many choose to believe.
It takes a brave soul to stand off against these messages. Moreover, it takes a better message to avoid the allure of such temptations. A message that is clear for you, but also for those you wish to serve. A message they too can believe in. One that makes marketing a pleasure–an act of service–rather than a pursuit of hidden riches.
Culprit 2: The rest of the world
When partners screw you over, customers leave bad reviews, and causes we vow to support only seem to get worse, disillusionment can be understandable.
Surely, the world was not designed for businesses like yours. It doesn’t quite know what to do with difference makers, do they deserve our support, or our ridicule? Are they stronger than the rest of us, or push-overs we can walk over if we choose?
We remain sustainable, ethical, cause-driven, through our definiteness of purpose and our ability to communicate that purpose effectively. To communicate it through the eyes of those we’d like to serve, rather than our own.
To tell a more powerful story than our conventional counterparts ever could.
Tip: If you need help crafting that story, BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 19, 2019 Daily Post
How committed do you believe you are to your company, your clients, and your cause?
There’s a good chance there’s a gap between where you think you are, and where you actually are.
If you’ve ever attempted to recruit people onto your team, you’ll have seen people making this mistake over and over again.
But you may not have seen it in yourself. See if you can spot the pattern:
When you don’t fully commit to a job application, you don’t get the job. Boilerplate cover letters, impersonal writing, slow replies.
It’s understandable…they may have applied for jobs in the past and been rejected. Perhaps they don’t want to over-commit to any particular job through fear of rejection again. But it’s that fear that is keeping them in the rejection pile. If they had fully committed–despite the discomfort–they would increase the likelihood of being chosen, right?
When you don’t fully commit to a client, you don’t get to keep the client. Is your marketing personal or boilerplate? Is your marketing and language bespoke to their needs, or templated and cold? Do you reply quickly or do you defer to 24 hour turn-around time, or worse?
Again, it’s understandable…you may have pursued prospects in the past and been rejected. Perhaps you don’t want to over-commit to any particular prospect through fear of rejection again. But again, it’s that fear that’s keeping you in the rejection pile. If you commit fully, would that not increase your chances of success?
When you don’t fully commit to a cause, you don’t achieve the mission. Seeing the pattern here?
Is it something you’re genuinely pursuing, or merely paying lip-service to? Are you pursuing it as strongly as you say you do? Are you committed to its success, or do you have other goals on your mind? If you don’t commit fully, what are the chances of success?
Are you as committed as you say you are?
Tip: Commitment requires action, but it also requires the right communication. BuiltForImpact.net can help you get your words right, so that your commitment shines through.
June 18, 2019 Daily Post
Sustainable businesses and info-businesses suffer massively from this.
What do you call a market imposter disguised as an entrepreneur?
Call them whatever you want; for this post we’ll call them an Impostepreneur.
Where’s your focus? Serving those in your care, or coercing people to buy a super-secret recipe?
Tip: You let the market know you’re different with the way you communicate with the market. BuiltForImpact.net can help you with that.
June 17, 2019 Daily Post
But the products with the best stories are.
The best products didn’t make it to the shelves because they didn’t have a great story. If you want to stand out, sell better, and make more impact, tell a better story.
Tip: BuiltForImpact.net will help you tell a better story.
June 16, 2019 Daily Post
If your business has a cause, a mission, an important reason for being… tomorrow isn’t a new day. Not if you can help it:
Are you perfecting your marketing messaging, your offers, your services? Or are you letting yourself get distracted?
Tip: If you want to give your cause-driven business’ marketing messaging an upgrade, check out BuiltForImpact.net
June 15, 2019 Daily Post
Is hidden in plain sight:
Ethical businesses are empathic businesses. Bring that empathy to your work and your relationships. It changes everything.
Tip: This involves good communication skills. BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 14, 2019 Daily Post
It may not be additional ad spend or talent that you need. It might be focus:
Tip: Get the focus you need on your audience and your message with BuiltForImpact.net
June 13, 2019 Daily Post
Which is better?
Do business with the gatekeepers, but be wary of their ways. Planting seeds may be hard work, but the fruits of your labor are yours to keep.
Tip: Whichever way you choose, if your message isn’t right, it’s all for nought. BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 12, 2019 Daily Post
Where do great ideas come from, be it for products, services, or blog posts?
Here’s how to never run out of ideas:
We can’t truly serve others by focusing on ourselves. We serve others effectively by falling in love with our chosen market.
Tip: The better we understand our market, the better we can market our work to them. BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 11, 2019 Daily Post
Ever asked yourself this question? We’re focused on the wrong thing:
How can they charge that much? Probably–because for those it is for–it’s the price people want to pay for the experience they’re buying.
Tip: The story is critically important in these examples. BuiltForImpact.net can help you command a price your story deserves.
June 10, 2019 Daily Post
Warning, if you’re changing these things, don’t:
Let these things learn and grow, through thoughtful nurturing, rather than forceful adamance. That’s where the success lies.
Tip: If you want to know how to nurture an effective marketing message, BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.
June 09, 2019 Daily Post
Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to be heard in such a large, noisy world?
In fact, the opposite is true… it’s not that big at all. Your actions matter:
A great marketing message reaches further than you may believe possible. It scales good leadership (eventually) and exposes the liars (eventually).
If you have great leadership, all you need is the right message.
Tip: BuiltForImpact.net can help you close that gap.
June 08, 2019 Daily Post
“I need more traffic to my website”
“I need more people following me on Instagram”
Let’s address these panic-stricken statements:
When we agonize over the wrong goal (“traffic”) we don’t ask the right questions. How would our work change if we swapped “We need more traffic” with “We need more relationships”?
Tip: Building relationships starts with your marketing. BuiltForImpact.net can help you build relationships from your existing traffic.
June 07, 2019 Daily Post
What are you best at? What are you secretly not?
Focus is a rare skill in the age of push notifications and unread messages. What could you achieve if you were to focus only on what you’re best at, leaving the marginalization to your competitors?
Tip: Communicating what makes you great to the marketplace is important work, and BuiltForImpact.net can help make sure you do it right.
June 06, 2019 Daily Post
What got them here won’t get them there:
What they think they need may not get them there. But it can be a good place for us to start.
Tip: This all lives and dies on your ability to communicate well with the market. BuiltForImpact.net can help you with that.
June 05, 2019 Daily Post
Is your–and your market’s–mindset holding your business back?
If the market was going to figure this out on its own, it would have done so already. It hasn’t. So it’s up to you to show them what greatness really looks like.
Tip: You can communicate this in your marketing. BuiltForImpact.netwill help you do that.
June 04, 2019 Daily Post
You know that thing you set out to achieve?
What happens after that?
This is true for our clients too. By helping them get clear on the journey ahead, they’ll be more likely to take the right steps. With you.
Tip: If you want to get your audience clear on their journey, so they’ll be more likely to engage you, BuiltForImpact.net can help make that happen.
June 03, 2019 Daily Post
What’s the secret to being the best?
You won’t be the best at everything for everyone. But you can be the best at something for those you wish to serve.
Tip: This specificity should manifest in your storytelling, messaging and marketing. BuiltForImpact.net can help make sure your audience is clear on why you’re best for them.
June 02, 2019 Daily Post
If you’re on a team that does work that matters, you’ve experienced these.
The entrepreneurial deserts:
Peaks would bring us no joy had we not first experienced valleys.
Tip: If you’d like to increase sales and signups by better engaging–and serving–your audience, check out BuiltForImpact.net.
June 01, 2019 Daily Post
What you know and what you do are totally different things.
The “knowledge gap” you should worry about is the gap between your knowledge and your execution. Knowing things doesn’t count. It’s what you do that matters.
Tip: If your marketing isn’t creating you the kind of results you know you could be getting, go to BuiltForImpact.net to climb out of the real “knowledge gap”.