Email Marketing Bootcamp Part 1

Email is part of every entrepreneur’s life. But, email marketing remains a mystery for most. Why? Because to do it cost-effectively and to achieve the right business objectives has become increasingly complex. That’s where our guest comes in…

In BusinessCast podcast episode #93 Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 1 our guest Matthew Vernhout, email guru and voice behind the authority EmailKarma.net spells out how entrepreneurs — of all sizes and across industries — can develop email marketing campaigns that truly work. In Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 1 Matthew addresses:

  • The key players involved in any successful email marketing campaign
  • How to establish relevant and measurable goals
  • How to build and grow your database of email subscribers

In a few weeks, Matthew will be back to address the final stages of any profitable and effective email marketing campaign. So, in Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 2, Matthew discusses how entrepreneurs can optimize their campaigns by:

  • Ensuring that email actually arrives after you send it
  • Getting your emails opened
  • Ensuring your email is acted upon
  • Measuring success and improving follow up campaigns

You’ll enjoy this, our first ‘bootcamp’ series because it mixes some high-level approaches and some practical to-do’s — all of which will help your email marketing campaigns work better for you. Chances are you’ll also be inspired by Matthew because he shares our philosophy of business which is: “by sharing best practices and tools, every entrepreneur wins!”

Make sure that you listen to next week’s episode as well — particularly if you’ve ever thought about franchising your business or investing in a franchise. Robert and I chat with Lorraine MacLachlan, President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association (www.cfa.ca). Lorraine brings passion and excitement to the topic of franchising. And, the timing couldn’t be better because the CFA is hosing the Canadian Franchise Show on February 21 and 22. FYI, Robert and I will be at the show gathering compelling stories, lessons and insights for you from franchisors and franchisees.

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Networking for Entrepreneurs: Part 2

In BusinessCast podcast episode #92 – Networking for Entrepreneurs, Robert and I interviewed the inspiring networking guru and author of Smart Networking, Liz Lynch. She shared some of the background and core lessons that can be found in her book. But, do we think that her book is going to become the new networking benchmark? Short answer: yes!

Here’s a rapid book evaluation and review which outlines why this is an important resource for any busy entrepreneur looking for practical tools they can use in the short- and long-term. Specifically, Smart Networking:

1) Identifies and addresses the most common obstacles to effective networking. For the most part, these obstacles are ways that people feel about — and therefore approach — networking. Smart Networking addresses these mental blocks head-on rather than avoiding or ignoring them. This is a refreshing approach that will appeal to anyone who hesitates with the prospect of networking (pgs 11-32).

2) Succinctly outlines a straight forward approach to ensuring networking success: be found, be personable and be credible. This foundation may sound simplistic but, the reality is that everyone can build on at least one  of these principles (pgs 33-44).

3) Provides practical and foundation-setting tools that can be used by every current or budding entrepreneur regardless of industry (pgs 45-62).

4) Identifies actionable strategies that entrepreneurs can implement based on their own skills, willingness, availability and budgets (pgs 63-119).

5) Addresses available online tools and communites as a method to optimize networking efforts and results  (pgs 120-164).

6) Outlines a realistic and measurable networking plan (pgs 165-177).

Bottom Line for Entrepreneurs: Smart Networking is a critical networking tool — ideal for those who want to begin or hone their networking activities. Also, check out Liz’s site which complements the book with tools including an initial (and free) self-assessment.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

BusinessCast Round-Up

Well, Robert and I have done over 20 shows since our last BusinessCast Podcast round-up. These shows are always popular because they give all entrepreneurs — i.e. new subscribers and loyal listeners alike — a quick and easy way of hearing what business-critical issues we’ve covered over the last handful of months. So, in BusinessCast Podcast #89 – Greatest Hits Vol. 3 we highlight some of the most essential topics and key learnings from BusinessCast episodes as far back as episode #67.

Specifically, in Greatest Hits Vol. 3 we highlights shows AND key BusinessCast blogposts where we provided practical tools and advice to help entrepreneurs address key issues such as:

  • Building Profile for Your Business
  • Developing Sales Incentives That Increase Revenues
  • Tackling Crisis Communication
  • Establishing a Strong Foundation in Mobile Marketing
  • Speaking Confidently in Public
  • Securing Financing
  • Emerging Stronger When Good Employees Leave
  • Finding the Right Business Partner
  • Increasing Cash Flow
  • Dealing Effectively with Cross-Generational Values
  • Overcoming Sales Objections

In so doing, we also recount some of our most memorable guests, including:

  • Catherine Swift (Canadian Federation of Independent Business)
  • Michael Younder, Senior Product Marketer (Research in Motion)
  • Paul Chato, President of YourWebDepartment and member of the Canadian comedy troupe the Frantics
  • Bruce Hunter, Fortune 500 heavyweight and insightful author

And, we do it all in under 20 minutes!

As always you can listen to each of the shows we touch upon in Greatest Hits Vol. 3 by clicking on the BusinessCast Podcast Archives.

Finally, a quick thank you to all BusinessCast Podcast fans who voted for us in the 2008 national blog and podcast competition. The BusinessCast Podcast Canada’s was voted as Canada’s 2nd most favourite podcast!

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Bringing Out the Passion

Robert and I are always talking about passion — particularly when it comes to passion that entrepreneurs have for their businesses. Over the last few months, we’ve interviewed business entrepreneurs who truly exude passion in everything they do. In fact, they eat, sleep and breath their business.  In BusinessCast Podcast #88 – A Business Passion Play, we sat down with Paul Chato — President of Your Web Department and member of the hilarious Canadian comedy troup the Frantics — who is passionate about his business because he sees it as a tool to re-connect entrepreneurs with passion about their business! Paul provided some keen and entertaining insights as well as a handful of very unique ways for tapping into and extracting passion about business. This podcast will make you laugh and think! Enjoy!

After speaking with Paul, we asked ourselves, “How is that people lose passion for their business?” After all, why have a business unless it energizes and inspires you! So, we spoke to a number of BusinessCast Podcast listeners and fans and came up with a shortlist of reasons. Here are the top seven reasons why entrenpreneurs lose passion for their business:

  • Frustration with the time, effort and expense required to have customers understand the benefits of products/services
  • Keeping pace with rapid fluctuations in product/service development and marketing costs
  • The inability to consistently anticipate costs and revenues accurately
  • Losing touch with customers’ demands
  • Experiencing turnover of key staff
  • Spending considerable time and expense recruiting and hiring staff
  • Feeling the burden of needing to control every aspect of work

But, hope is not lost if your passion is waning. We address many of these issues head on other episodes of the BusinessCast Podcast.

Finally, read 12 one-and-a-half page stories of how entrepreneurs with passion solved today’s most common business challenges .

BTW, if you want to see Paul in action, here are a couple of classic Frantics skits from YouTube –

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Great Book Give-Away (September, 2008)

Robert and I are offering our BusinessCast podcast listeners (and blog readers) leading-edge business resources — for FREE!

Currently the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Great Book Give-Away‘ includes the following titles — mostly from the folks at McGraw Hill:

  • The Four Pillars of Profit-Driven Marketing (2009) – Leslie Moeller and Edward Landry
  • Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals (2009) – Don Gabor
  • How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships (2008) – Leil Lowndes (OUT OF STOCK)
  • Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs (2009) – Karen Berman and Joe Knight(OUT OF STOCK)
  • Sales Coaching: Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach (2009) – Linda Richardson
  • The Inspiring Leader (2009) – John Zenger, Joseph Folkman and Scott Edinger
  • Blogging for Fame and Fortune (2009) – Jason Rich (OUT OF STOCK)
  • Business Lessons from the Edge (2009) – Jim McCormick and Maryann Karinch
  • Smart Networking (2009) – Liz Lynch
  • The Customer Rules: The 14 Indispensable, Irrefutable and Indisputable Qualities of the Greatest Service Companies in the World (2009) – C. Britt Beemer and Robert L. Shook
  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (2009) – Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (OUT OF STOCK)
  • The Extraordinary Leader (2009) – Joseph Zenger & Joseph Folkman
  • Get Content Get Customers (2009) – Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
  • Am I the Only Sane One Working Here (2009) – Albert Bernstein
  • The Organizational Champion (2009) – Mike Thompson
  • The Purpose Linked Organization (2009) – Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon
  • Every Family’s Business (2009) – Thomas William Deans
  • Performance Intelligence at Work (2009) – Julie Bell
  • Databases: A Beginner’s Guide (2009) – Andy Oppel
  • Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications (2009) – Paul Argenti
  • Winning Sales Letters (2009) – Ralph Allora
  • PowerPoint Presentations That Sell (2009) – Adam Cooper
  • Mastering Communication at Work (2009)
  • Fearless Leadership (2009) – Loretta Malandro
  • Click: 10 Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships (2009) – George Fraser
  • Financial Statements Demystified (2009) – Bonita Kramer and Christine Johnson
  • Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business (2009) – Donna Fenn
  • Succession and the Family Business (2009) – John Geddes
  • Loops: The Seven Keys to Small Business Success (2009) – Mike Chaet and Stephen Lundin

Some of these books or so new they aren’t even available in stores yet! So, why not get a jump on your competitors by sending an email to Robert (Robert@BusinessCast.ca) to get a FREE copy of one of these business tools.

*Note: These titles are among the BusinessCast Business Book Essentials List.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing For Entrepreneurs: Pick Up! Opportunity is Calling!

Have you ever wondered how you were going to leverage the ‘next big thing‘?

Well, it’s here and it’s time! It’s mobile marketing!

Mobile marketing is quickly becoming one of those rare phenomenon in business where a number of technologies and markets converge so powerfully that thousands of new and exciting opportunities emerge for entrepreneurs– semingly overnight.

So, to get a handle on the current/upcoming opportunities, take two simple steps:

1) Review Mobile Marketing – Part 1 – a blog post that includes a handful of very focused resources to get you comfortable with mobile marketing fundamentals;

and

2) Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast (Episode #75 – Don’t Hang Up: Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs) which will be posted on the BusinessCast Archives on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

Our very special podcast guest is Michael Younder — one of the many ‘movers and shakers’ at Research In Motion (R.I.M.) — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry!

Michael shares entertaining stories, insights and trends about mobile marketing, product development and branding. At the same time, Michael — along with Robert and I — highlight those lessons relevant for every business entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Secret Marketing Tool: Your Job Postings

Entrepreneurs have often told Robert and me that they are constantly on a ‘recruitment drive to hire good people’ and get them productive as soon as possible. That’s why Robert and I devoted an episode of the BusinessCast podcast to what entrepeneurs should/can do in order to get new candidates and get them ‘up and running’.

But, in addition to attracting and retaining your next potential employee, your advertised job description — which is very often the only tool an entrepreneur invests in when recruiting — also sends very strong messages to your next customers!

So, make sure that whatever job description you develop also answers — either implicitly or explicitly — the following questions:

  • What makes your organization unique?
  • Why would someone choose to work with your organization over your competitors?
  • What is the personality of your company?
  • What is exciting about your company?

Other things to keep in-mind:

  • The job description should be professionally written, designed and layed out.
  • You should be comfortable with the reputation of the online/offline publication in which you place your job description.
  • Your job description also reveals your potential growth plans for competitors.
  • Your job description may be monitored (and copied) by competitors.
  • Your job description should be memorable and positive.

Because of these marketing-related issues, think of any job description you have posted as just as important as any ad that talks about your brand, your products and your services. In fact, given the various audiences that will review the ad — existing customers, prospects, suppliers, potential employees and potential investors — your job postings are secret and very powerful marketing tools.

Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business – books for free!**

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes