Useful posts for new consultants and small businesses

by Peter Osborne on October 23, 2010 · 0 comments

Fast ride today.  As always, I’m trying to gear these links toward new consultants and small-business owners who don’t have time to surf the net and are more interested in finding ways to grow their businesses than in deep contemplation of some of the more technical online discussion points.  If I’m wrong, let me know!  This week, we add links to a couple of longer videos that are worth an additional time commitment.

Whose Permission Are You Waiting For?  Another strong contribution to the bookmarkable Escape Velocity blog, this one from Pam Slim (the author of Escape From Cubicle Nation), who talks about the anxiety that many of her coaching clients feel about launching their new businesses.  This post provides some good actionable steps for getting past that fear. 

Is an App a Tool or a Behavior?  Have you thought about an mobile-phone (or iPad) application that would be really useful AND promote your business?  Lots of people are, and this post from John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing could get you focused on coming up with that next, great (hugely popular) app.   And then,  a day later, comes a post from Jolie O’Dell at Mashable on how to build an application for your small business.

Just a Quick Question… I didn’t fully agree with Kim Woodbridge’s point in this posting about the issue of getting calls and e-mail questions from former clients.  But it raises an important issue and it’s worth taking a couple of extra minutes to read the comments (my own included).  Some good suggestions and it will get you thinking about your philosophy on the subject.

How to Focus on Your Ideal Customer.  Do you know the person who’s most likely to buy your services (or your products)? The more you know, the more easy it is to target them and figure out the best marketing strategy.  Maria Ross of Red Slice offers some great tips on picturing your perfect customer.

Four Easy to Use Tools to Monitor Your Brand Online.  Sure, there are great paid services out there, but for most of us some combination of these free services will let us keep an eye on what people are saying about your brand or within your industry.

Sales and Marketing Pipeline Funnels.   Focus.com went out and asked 14 experts from various industries to map their sales process as a one-page picture to help others better understand the revenue “funnel,” which serves as the basis of your sales and marketing strategy.  As Focus.com see it, once you understand your funnel, you are better informed about what metrics you should concentrate on, resource decisions and planning.  This is a download of a 20-page PowerPoint deck and requires you to provide some basic information, no doubt for future marketing.  But this is a great learning tool, so it’s your call.

And now, a few things in the multi-media category…

The cool webinar of the week comes from Michael Port, the author of Book Yourself Solid, who talked about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Marketers.  There are lots of great tips in this for consultants and small-business owners trying to generate new business or reinforce their relationships with current or past clients/customers, but be warned: He’s also promoting a new program he’s selling so there’s some of that in this webinar.

How Duct Tape Marketing Legend John Jantsch Uses Social Media.  No, not too much pressure there.  As Trey Pennington (who conducted the interview) explains, “John has a gorgeously balanced approach” to building communities online and offline.

And my favorite video of the week…Scott Stratten’s keynote address to open BlogWorld a few weeks ago.  It’s terrific for anyone who blogs, is thinking about blogging, and/or worries about how to market.  Scott is the author of UnMarketing, which I highlighted last week as a column by Ann Handley but here’s Scott in person.  It’s long — but you can immediately advance it because all you get in the first 19 minutes is background music and a few introductions from the event’s organizers (sorry about the 30-second ad at the beginning).

Here you go.  Have  a great week and don’t forget to please–please–add your links to great stuff you’ve read recently to the comments.  Thanks.

And one more tip: If you still have the energy after looking at these, go take a look at Marjorie Clayman’s 30Thursday version.  She brings a lot of heart to her choices of 30 posts each week…and many will bring a tear to your eye or get you thinking.  Have a great week!

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