Get It Done or Give up Now

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You will not succeed in your own business if you do not fully commit to your success. You demonstrate your commitment in every action you make. Every minute spent working for someone else, checking out Facebook, watching tv or anything else not related to your enterprise is a minute your competition has to gain an advantage on you. There is no longer 3 months, 6 months or a year to get your product out into the market. you need to get it out into the hands of your customers NOW. Don't wait for perfection, understand that good enough really is. In the end you must make your own success in business and life..

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Read, Listen or Die!

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Road to success - road sign showing the way to...

I'm back, home after spending the last week out of town and away from "the studio". During that week I had a chance to catch up on my reading and listening list. While going through all of the vast array of articles, podcasts and books it struck me that I have not shared with you my Read, Listen or Die list. It's not quite as serious as that, but in terms of the success of your business these blogs, podcasts and books should be considered mandatory.

As a favor to us, we'd ask that you please fill out this listener survey. You will help promote our podcast, and help us to improve.

Blogs:

  1. Master of 500 Hats - Dave is a  flat out stud. He has been involved in just about all of the noteworthy Silicon Valley Start-ups. He is a geek, angel investor and generally a really smart guy. He does not update the blog very often, but when he does the insights he provides are, well valuable.
  2. Danny Asling- A fairly new blog, but has already made two top 100 lists, Danny focuses on Social Media.
  3. An Extension of the Net- This is a community blog for developers, but I have found it extraordinarily valuable in keeping tabs on emerging trends. They consider themselves an online design magazine focused on all things Web Design.
  4. Entreprenuer.com's Blog - A wide range of contributors and a diverse array of topics all relevant to entrepreneurs, this site is one of my daily stops. They cover pretty much everything.
  5. Ben Horowitz's Blog - Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of the VC firm, Andreesen Horowitz and co founder of LoudCloud. He has some great insights from both the entrepreneur and the investor point of view. I read his posts as often as he provides them.
  6. Joel on Software - Explaining development

43 Folders - Merlin Mann's website devoted to setting your priorities and arranging your time and life to fit. He has several great video podcasts and always makes great poignant points.

Podcasts:

  1. Business Innovators - Adrian Bye interviews CEO's from top Internet businesses. These podcasts offer great insight into the minds of some of the hottest companies.
  2. Success U - How could I not mention my podcasts, I really do try to make it a valuable tool for the entrepreneur, and I honestly, regularly send customers to listen to old podcasts...
  3. Marketing Over Coffee - Recorded in a local coffee shop, John Wall and Christopher Penn cover both classic and new media marketing in this weekly podcast. They have done some great interviews with people like Seth Godin and James Connor.
  4. The Passionate Entrepreneur- Kenneth Brown hosts this podcast where he covers everything from best practices for sales to becoming more productive, efficient and profitable.
  5. The Small Business Brain- Every week David Wolf interviews a small business leaders to bring you their insights and unique perspectives.

Books:

  1. 4 Hour Work Week - I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Every successful entrepreneur I know has read this book, and we all talk about it quite often. Many great tips on leveraging outside vendors to increase your small teams productivity and profit, cheap.
  2. Crush It! - Why Now is the time to cash in on your passion. Gary Vaynerchuk shows how anyone can build a career around the things they are passionate about.
  3. Rework - How to break the rules and make a fortune, this book made me uncomfortable, and challenged my assumptions. This turned out to be a good thing. Short, and direct, you NEED to read this book.
  4. Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress Free Productivity. This book is a kind-of whole life organizing self help book, without the annoying preachy nature of most in the genre. Great book for helping you organize your life.
  5. Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day- This book is a fantastic introduction into the use of Social Media to market your product or service. This should be considered a must read for anyone planning on using online media.
  6. The E-Myth Revisited - Anyone who is looking to start a new business should read this book. Voted #1 by the Inc 500 CEO's. You should read this first.
  7. Change Your Brain Change Your Life - Question your assumptions and challenge your comfort zones.
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What Would Apple Do?

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We started the conversation discussing how to determine the best price point for your product and then went into a wide variety of tools you can use to drive sales online in the first part of this podcast. In this podcast we continue the conversation by looking at one particular company that has done it right… Apple.

There are many ways to look at driving your sales and a plethora of tools to use in doing so. Apple is the prime example of a company who has used many of these tools to develop a unique and profitable brand identity with an almost cult like following. How have they done this? We talk about some of the techniques they use, and we found this great post “What Would Apple Do?”.

Here are several more resources for developing your brand:

First Steps to Developing a Brand Identity

Personal Branding 101

Creating a Brand

Creating the Brand: Halo Effect

Creating a Brand on a Budget

In our next podcast we will put the pieces together for you and walk through the process of developing a unique Brand ID and how to drive sales using this new brand.

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Driving Online Sales

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Part one in a two part series on generating sales by using several simple and effective tactics. In this podcast Ben and Christian debate how pricing will effect your online sales and how several other factors such as affiliate marketers can radically increase your sales.

Creating exclusivity for your product is a major driver for sales. By creating the sense of urgency you help a prospect come to a decision rather than delaying. Your goal is not to force them into action but to give them an incentive to do so. Exclusivity can be created in several ways, higher price point, limited availability, limited duration, limited quantity.

Here are a few other resources:

Tips for Maximizing Sales

8 Ways to Attract Affiliates

15 Reasons Your Affiliate Campaign is not Working

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Social Media 101

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In this podcast the Innovocus team explains the basics of using social media for your business. By creating value for your readers and followers you gain prestige in the community. By doing this you actually create a demand for your expertise.

There are a few things you need to understand in regards to social media for business.

1) It is more important to create a loyal following than it is to promote a product or service.

Long term you will gain more from providing real value to your followers by increasing their reliance on you for information in your field. When, you become an expert in the eyes of the community, you can now influence their opinions. At that point you can sell, but if you do it too often you diminish your value.

2) To gain a following you must create value.

How do you create value? By giving your readers, listeners and followers information that they want to know. If you are a celebrity, your fans are interested in every little move you make, so sharing your experience at a drive through is valid. However if your fans or followers find you to be valuable as a resource for SEO information, well then, make sure you give them access to even more. By doing this you increase your prestige in the community, and become yet more of an expert.

Social Media Marketing Sucks

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Tools such as Twitter, Digg, and Facebook are Horrible sales vehicles. In fact using them poorly can do more to hurt your brand than help it. Social Media as a tool for business is much more useful to your PR group than it is to your sales team. At best it is a soft sale tool, that is not to say it cannot be part of a holistic solution that radically increases sales. In fact it can be a part of an overall system that is very effective in driving sales. The trick is knowing how to use them.

Most people immediately try pushing a product or service, and end up with no followers or friends. Some try and tweet advertisements. All of them fail for one simple reason. They are not creating value or giving an interesting reason for anyone to care what they are doing.

That is really all Social Media comes down to, be interesting.

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Viral Marketing Podcast

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Street sign which says Business

In this podcast I talk about viral marketing, what it means, and how you can use it to sell your products or services. Social Media Marketing and Viral Marketing are very closely related and both are parts of the same whole. Using them is a bit of an art, and it is a simple one to learn if you just understand that all marketing is, is telling people why your product helps them, or adds value to their life. In fact it is the same thing you should of first determined when developing your product.  In one sentence "Why would anyone care?"

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The Online Marketing Mess

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Team leaders business concept with people on c...

With the rise of online media over the last decade their has been the death of many traditional media sources. This has put the traditional marketer in a state of confusion, with hundreds of tools and ever changing rules it is a tangled web.

Ben and Christian discuss the opportunity this represents to the well informed and savvy new media marketer.

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First Success U Podcast

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Business Model Panel at Podcast Hotel Seattle ...

Our first in what will hopefully become a long line of podcasts, in which we discuss and explain all the myriad of tools and techniques to get your business noticed online.We will also discuss starting a business and how to be successful.

If you have a question you'd like to ask or have a suggested topic for our podcasts feel free to contact us via the contact us form on this site.

We hope these podcasts are useful and thank you for stopping by.

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