So much good stuff this week. I realized I had queued up a few posts from My Escape Velocity but rather than highlight just one (although I really liked Chris Garrett’s Who or What is Your Real Target), I decided to link to the entire site and recommend you bookmark it or get the feed. One indicator of the extent to which this site — which is designed for people like you who are decided or have decided to strike out on their own — has taken hold, this site is a top search result when you plug in Brogan’s tagline of “your second-favorite blog.” As always, if you came across something great this week, please highlight it in the Comments.
The Reason Why Your Personal Brand Sucks. A lot of what I do is help people figure out what makes them or their businesses remarkable and then communicate it in a simple way. Successful consultants who have figured that out can focus less on marketing and more on delivering quality to their clients. Boy oh boy, does Chris Penn get it. Want to start thinking about your personal brand in a different way? Read and print out this post…and hang it up somewhere really visible.
5 Lessons Madison Avenue Can Learn from Startups. Even if your consultancy doesn’t focus on advertising or marketing, this post from Pedro Sorrentino (the first international student to attend the Boulder Digital Works graduate school) will get you thinking about better ways to approach your marketing and growth strategies.
The Simple Way To Get Everything You Want From Online Marketing. Do you have a great product or service? Are you still falling short each month when it comes to selling? Have you spent a lot of time designing your website or trying to let people know what you do or offer? Sonia Simone’s post on Copyblogger addresses the challenges of simply asking for the sale.
Business Consulting Agreement. Pure and simple, it’s a downloadable template from Inc. magazine that you can modify however you see fit. Resources like this enable you to focus on doing what you do…and that’s critical during the early stages of creating a business.
3 Perspectives You Need for Strategic Business Success. Mike Brown (not our co-founder) offers suggestions on who you should involve in the strategic planning process. Great advice for consultants to make sure they maximize their results on a planning project.
Mobile Compact Office: A Tim Vinik design (which probably means as much to you as it did to me, nevertheless…) that is very cool. Might be really useful if you’re a new consultant and aren’t sure whether you want to set up a separate home office. A warning: Although I clicked three times, I am still not sure exactly what it costs, which may irritate you if you decide you want one.
Google Alerts for Beginners. The second of a two-part post (with perhaps more to come) by Dawn Westerberg explaining how to maximize the free Google Alerts service, which directs news articles, website mentions, and Twitters in your mailbox. Part 2 focuses on your verticle/niche markets and keywords; the first (which you can find from a link at the bottom of the post) is on Google Alerts for customers. Make sure you also set one up for yourself and your business!
Airplane Reading. A couple of longer pieces that I chose because they’ll give you some perspective. I suggest The Buzz on Buzz by Jonah Lehrer of the Wall Street Journal and John Sculley on Steve Jobs, the transcript of an interview conducted by Leander Kahney of the Cult of Mac website. The Sculley interview is a great CEO interview but be careful if you’re printing it out: There are 135+ comments.
What Is Success? Thanks to Kneale Mann, who was the first to point me toward this great 2-minute video clip of actor Kevin Spacey offering his view of success to a group of acting students. I’m using a direct link to this clip, but Kneale argues in his post that “you could spend the rest of your life reading about the secrets of success and Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey sums it up in a minute and 52 seconds.” Here’s a link to Kneale’s blog; it’s always worth a read.