Under30CEO » Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:00:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Under30CEO interviews successful young entrepreneurs to hear about their story and journey while starting their company. These young founders have over a million dollars a year in revenues and have been through many ups and downs to get there. These stories are meant to inspire, educate and motivate more young people to take a leap and do what they are passionate about. Under30CEO clean Under30CEO jared@under30ceo.com jared@under30ceo.com (Under30CEO) Under30CEO Interviews with Young Entrepreneurs on Starting Businesses entrepreneur, business, interview, young entrepreneur, business advice, startup advice, founder interview, ceo Under30CEO » Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/u30logo300x250.png http://under30ceo.com All Alone, Surrounded By Friends http://under30ceo.com/alone-surrounded-friends/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=alone-surrounded-friends http://under30ceo.com/alone-surrounded-friends/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:00:47 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38912 Sitting in a room with all my friends, I realize that I am so much different than they are… MY FRIENDS…the people I chose that I am going to probably be around for the rest of my life. How is it that their views on life and business can be so different than my own? […]

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Sitting in a room with all my friends, I realize that I am so much different than they are…

MY FRIENDS…the people I chose that I am going to probably be around for the rest of my life.

How is it that their views on life and business can be so different than my own?

None of them can see an opportunity when it hits them in the face, not one of them would “throw away that much money” to hire a coach, and none of them are willing to take a small risk in stocks to make a great gain, let alone risk everything you have to start a business.

It is futile for me to even talk or argue with them about business because they have been taught and raised with the idea that you go to school, get good grades, get an education, and get a good job.

Nothing I say now can change their mind, no matter how hard I try to tell them they could have financial freedom, help their families, do whatever they want, accomplish their dreams and live life on their own terms instead of having to listen to some person tell you what to do for the rest of your life.

Every time I try to tell my friends (my closest and best friends), maybe change their views, and bring them over to freedom, they take it as me saying I am better than them, or that they won’t be successful, and even take it as me talking down to them.  Frankly I hate it, so I have stopped telling these friends about how they could live life on their own terms, and will let my “craziness” speak for itself.

Without saying, obviously there are big risks you have to take to do this, but the reward is well worth it.  And of course every now and then you have a set back or two, but as long as you stay focused and determined and make the best moves you can, you’ll bounce back two-fold.

There are so many different ways to be successful in life, but for me being successful means that I accomplished the one task that I set out to do, everything else I get or do that comes along with the success is lagniappe.

So what is that one goal that I have?

Well, funny enough, it’s not just me that has this goal; I share a common goal with my brother.  If you’ve read some other articles of mine, you will notice I talk about my brother a lot, and that is because our mindset is so much alike, sometimes its scary; we sound the same, we sometimes use the same patterns of speech, and we will even know what the other is thinking or going to do, but I guess that’s developed with the bond you have spending 18 years with the same person.  His views and goals mirror mine (or vise versa), but even then we still have different personal goals we want to attain.

A while back, a little bit after my brother and I were both out of high school, lets say three years ago, my brother and I were talking about business (as we often do) and how we wanted to both have our own companies so that way we could do what we wanted, and truly live with out having to worry about anything.  In short, we both wanted to be millionaires (who doesn’t right!? maybe even billionaire, why not!?).  But this isn’t the point…

We started talking about why we wanted to have the businesses and why making that much money is important to us, and my brother surprised me with his response, being that it was the same as what I was going to say.

Our grandparents and parents worked very hard their entire lives, at some pretty menial jobs, to get our family to the level we are at today.  They did everything they could to give us what they couldn’t have and to provide for us, even if it meant they had to go without.  As children, we took all of this for granted, we were spoiled and didn’t really understand.  But as adults, he and I both understand and appreciate everything our parents and grandparents have done for our entire family.

So we vowed to each other we would get our family to that next level, and we agreed that we would do whatever it takes, no matter what, so that they no longer have to worry about money and can enjoy the rest of their lives.

Most of all, no matter what, we will never give up.

Our goal is to hit the million dollar mark by the time we turn 30, if not sooner.  Not because we feel like that is enough money to set our family up for life, but just because it is a benchmark that will tell us if are reaching our goal or if we need to re-think things.  Of course there are other things we want to do as well, such as: cancer research-since it has had such an impact on our family, wildlife and coral reef conservation-because we both love the outdoors and love to dive, along with many more things I won’t bore you by mentioning.

These are all attainable goals though, and I feel that my brother and myself could make a huge impact. But I was told by a friend that this agreement was “pretty arbitrary” and that I should just focus on getting my degree and getting a good, high-paying job that would provide for my family, because that is what’s more realistic.  She then proceeded to tell me that it couldn’t happen anyway because my heart is in it for the wrong reasons.

Like I said earlier, my friends don’t think like you or I, so when they say things like this, we may have a little heated argument (especially with the arbitrary comment), but we stay friends.

As far as what the right reasons were, she couldn’t tell me, but if this isn’t a reason to accomplish any goal, then this isn’t the world I want to live in.

As far as how this plays out, and if we do reach those goals, I guess you’ll find out in about 8 years. Don’t be afraid to make those goals, take those risks, and make that leap of faith.  If you are determined, you will make it; if you half-ass it, you will most definitely fail.  Trust me, it’s worth it, and no matter what, never give up!

Brandon Jolicoeur is a young business professional from the New Orleans area. You can follow him on Twitter @bpjoli.  As a native of New Orleans, he prides himself on being a food connoisseur of sorts and a travel and adrenaline junkie always staying true to his family’s motto, “Be Adventurous, Live Life!”

Image Credit: www.pinterest.com

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3 Key Factors To Becoming a Confident Business Owner http://under30ceo.com/3-key-factors-becoming-confident-business-owner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-key-factors-becoming-confident-business-owner http://under30ceo.com/3-key-factors-becoming-confident-business-owner/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38886 It appears theres never been a more exciting time than now to start a business.  According to statistics up to 543,000 businesses start up every month.  Every week there is the warning that more and more jobs will be taken over by technology and companies will be finding more efficient ways of operating with less […]

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entrepreneur

It appears theres never been a more exciting time than now to start a business.  According to statistics up to 543,000 businesses start up every month

Every week there is the warning that more and more jobs will be taken over by technology and companies will be finding more efficient ways of operating with less cost (i.e. staff).

The solution given suggests becoming self-employed/freelance and work under a more ‘project-based’ basis.

The world of business can feel like a war at times. Ups and downs, success then set backs. It is easy to feel like your business is not working and I won’t be the first one to tell you self-employment can be a lonely game.

So what can you do to ensure you function as a confident business owner rather than ending up as a stat in the age old warning that ’90% of small business go bust after the first year’?

1.  Be in learning mode, rather than owner mode

There are 2 components that make up confidence:

  • Self-confidence (the belief in you as a person)
  • Competence (the skills you possess in a given context. In this case, your particular business)

You may have confidence that you will succeed, but you may not necessarily have the skills to function as a business. It is possible you love what you do, but you don’t love the business of what you do.

That is why it is important at the start, you are more in learning mode, than owner mode. This creates a mindset that set backs and mistakes initially will be the norm. You’ll take on more you can handle, you’ll be busy without actually getting much done and the admin part of your business will be a constant burden on your life.

But it is a learning process and this will be easier to swallow if you are in learning mode, rather than owner mode where you can start to think hang on, I’m the owner but I feel this is more of a job than when I worked for someone!

2.  Make it about your customers, not you

Attaching the success of your business on your self-worth is a massive drain on your energy. Every setback is about what it means about you as a person. There is a better way; make it all about your customer base.

Recently ‘I will teach you to be rich’ creator Ramit Sethi did a survey on why people want to have an online business. He was shocked to see the majority of the answers were focussed on what it will give them, rather than what the business will do for the customer.

This is the wrong way round!

By making it about your customer early on, you create a culture of being customer focussed. Its why Zappos has succeeded, its why Amazon has no real competitors and its how you can become a confident business owner.

3.  Manage your expectations, especially time

Lets clear something up. There is no such thing as overnight success. Even the popular apps that get sold for billions were the result of years of trial and error.

If you say you’ll be breaking even after 6 months, its more likely to be a year. This prediction is ok, you are just falling victim to the human bias called Planning Fallacy.

Having hope and expectations of when you’ll be able to have a successful running business whilst sipping mojitos next to a beach is completely natural, but have a buffer in your thinking to make room for the fact that you’ve largely underestimated how long it is going to take.

Being a confident business owner is an ongoing process that typically starts with cold sweats and sleepless nights. But as you continue your journey recognize these 3 factors and you’ll last much longer.

What 1 piece of advice would you give to a someone what is starting their business TODAY?

Aaron Morton is the creator of The Confidence Lounge. A site that helps introverts get more of what they want through confidence, conversation and connections.  Why not try increasing your confidence in the next 7 days by taking part in Aaron’s free confidence course clicking here.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Get Taken Seriously By Your Employees http://under30ceo.com/get-taken-seriously-employees/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=get-taken-seriously-employees http://under30ceo.com/get-taken-seriously-employees/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:00:45 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38683   If you want to be effective as a manager, you need your staff to take you seriously. This can be a challenge for new CEOs, starting entrepreneurs, and business owners who are not used to being in a leadership role. No matter how long you’ve been in management, you need the respect of your […]

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employees 

If you want to be effective as a manager, you need your staff to take you seriously. This can be a challenge for new CEOs, starting entrepreneurs, and business owners who are not used to being in a leadership role. No matter how long you’ve been in management, you need the respect of your employees. When you want them to take you seriously, the following tips can help.

Separate business life from personal life

It’s important for your employees to see you as the boss and think of you in that role, so don’t bring too much of your personal life into that relationship. Don’t regale employees with tales of your dating adventures. Don’t have a beer chugging contest after work.  Don’t spend hours on personal phone calls (especially when people can hear you). Nobody will take you as seriously if they witness these parts of your personal life, so keep that away from your business persona.

Tip: as their boss you have to be authoritative with your employees. It’s important for them to see you as an example and not as their friend.

Set an example with time

You want your employees to show up for work on time, and put in a full and productive work day. You need to set a good example on this.  If you take two hour lunches every day, they may think it’s OK for them to start stretching their midday breaks as well. If you cut out of the office at 3 o’clock on Fridays, then don’t be surprised if they start leaving early, too. Set a good example, and demonstrate the behavior you want to encourage.

Don’t pass the buck

Leaders get a lot of credit when things go well, and they have to take responsibility when things go badly, too. Don’t think you can pass the buck and shift the blame to your employees.  What they do on your watch is a direct reflection of your management ability. If workers need more training, better supervision, or even reassignment to other duties, it’s your job to make that happen.

Treat them like employees, not servants

Unless this is your personal assistant, remember that they are employees of the company, not your personal servants. They’re at work to accomplish corporate objectives. Don’t expect them to pick up your dry cleaning or buy your theater tickets. It’s demeaning, and shows that you don’t value their real job, when you want them to take time out for such menial tasks.

Tip: Organize weekly meetings and talk freely about your employees’ concerns. Treat them like humans; everyone has problems so it’s up to you – the boss – to fix them.

Keep confidential information to yourself

As a manager, you’re privy to certain confidential information. This can include company plans, personnel issues, and budget and salary numbers. When information is shared with you on a confidential basis, you need to keep it that way. Sharing private information is a big no-no. It’s equally important for employers to educate employees on the perils of giving up too much company information to others. As a boss and company owner you need your people to trust you. That can only be achieved if your relationship is strictly professional and respectful.

Help your team out

When there’s a looming deadline and you’re asking your team to put in some overtime hours, then it really helps if you’re willing to do some extra work, too. If you’re out playing golf all weekend while they’re slaving away to finish the project on time, it can foster resentment. See what you can do to chip in and help out. Put in some extra effort yourself, and make it a team effort. They’ll respect the fact that you’re willing to go the extra mile, and they’ll take you more seriously the next time you ask for that extra effort.

If you want your employees to take you seriously, you have to act like a human being. Even though you are in charge, try not to make abuse of your position. Today’s working environment is all about communication, interaction, and cooperation. People like to connect at the workplace because mutual ideas foster great ideas and great ideas lead to good business.

This article is drawn by a regular business writer Jason Phillips. His articles are usually published by high ranking sites and appreciated by readers too. Also he writes for a site http://www.peopleinsight.co.uk  where you can find solution for employee surveys.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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5 Biggest Social Media Lead Generation Mistakes http://under30ceo.com/5-biggest-social-media-lead-generation-mistakes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-biggest-social-media-lead-generation-mistakes http://under30ceo.com/5-biggest-social-media-lead-generation-mistakes/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38893 Lots of companies are trying to use social media for lead generation, but too often, they get mediocre results because they’re going about it the wrong way. Social media lead generation is a different medium than traditional advertising, and you can’t expect the same types of “sales pitches” to work. Here are a few of […]

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social media

Lots of companies are trying to use social media for lead generation, but too often, they get mediocre results because they’re going about it the wrong way. Social media lead generation is a different medium than traditional advertising, and you can’t expect the same types of “sales pitches” to work.

Here are a few of the biggest mistakes that companies make with their social media lead generation, and how to avoid them:

1. Talking instead of listening.

Social media is a conversation, not a lecture. Too many marketers make the mistake of thinking that social media is just a one-way-street, just another broadcast channel to tell the world about your latest product or other announcements. The truth is that you can use social media for lead generation by listening to what others are saying. Search for relevant keywords on Twitter to hone in on your competitors – you might find a prospect who is complaining about some bad service or a faulty product they purchased and is ripe for the picking. See what people in your industry are “buzzing” about on LinkedIn – this can be an effective way to get business intelligence and uncover new sales opportunities. The Content Marketing Institute found that B2B content marketers believe LinkedIn is the only social media portal with an effectiveness rate of better than 50%.

2. Failing to answer people’s questions.

Every time someone reaches out to you via social media with a question or inquiry, that is an opportunity that needs to be followed up on, just as if they had called you on the phone. Make sure to monitor your social media accounts and respond to questions, inquiries and mentions of your business. Smaller firms find that Twitter is the most effective for generating leads and requires the least amount of time. Checking in a few times a day, learning the best methods for using Twitter Search, and setting predetermined times of the business day for social media interaction will allow you to achieve more one-to-one conversations with customers that you couldn’t possibly have in person or even on the phone – and 50% of these interactions will result in a lead, per CMI. Even if people don’t have a question, if someone pins one of your products to their Pinterest page or posts a nice comment on your company Facebook page, be sure to thank them publicly – and follow up to see if there’s anything else you can do for them.

3. Taking a scattershot approach.

With traditional advertising, the focus was “getting your message in front of as many eyeballs as possible.” With social media lead generation, the focus needs to be on “building trust and making people want to seek you out as an expert in your industry.” With social media, it’s less important to amass large numbers of followers, and more important to have high-quality interactions with the followers that you do have. A few influential followers who will share your articles, spread the word about your business and introduce you to their audiences are more important than simply blasting out social media “spam” to as many people as possible. Take a focused, disciplined approach to building your social media audience and focus on telling a story, since 73% of consumers prefer to be marketed to in this manner.

4. Using too formal of a voice.

Social media is a great lead generation tool for business, but that doesn’t mean you have to sound “businesslike” all the time. Social media is a more casual and conversational form of engagement. Talk to people in a friendly tone, as if you were already on a first-name basis. Trupanion, a pet insurance company, found that by posting short videos to their website they encouraged customers to share their own testimonials on the company’s Facebook page, creating traffic and leads from both their friends and from competitor’s pages who weren’t utilizing rich media content.

5. Giving up too soon.

Social media lead generation can be a powerful long-term asset for your company, because it gives you a list of dedicated followers who care about your business and who listen to what you say and share it with others in addition to time being the only cost. Many small business owners get discouraged when they’ve been “doing social media” for 2 or 3 months and still have “only” a few hundred followers (or less). The key is to make a consistent effort. You don’t have to spend lots of time every day, but you should make social media marketing a regular part of your routine. Keep creating good content (a picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth 1000 pictures) that can educate your customers about your solutions and how they’re superior to others in the industry. Keep engaging with people. Keep seeking out influential people in your industry who have a bigger following than you do, and look for ways to build relationships with them (such as writing a guest blog post or participating in an online discussion with them on LinkedIn). While 70% of social media marketers feel their marketing wasn’t effective last year, 75% of those same marketers plan to expand the amount of resources they spend on social media in the next 12 months. Nobody has cracked this nut yet, but everyone values the high ceiling that engaging directly with customers can provide.

One of the many exciting opportunities of social media lead generation is that it makes it possible to get sales leads from anywhere, at any time. You can put your business in front of a much wider audience where the audience actively finds you – instead of constantly trying to pursue prospects, you set up a “magnet” that draws sales leads to you. Social media also becomes a long-term asset that your company owns – instead of renting ad space, you have a list of people who have a valuable relationship with your company.

Just remember to keep your social media presence sincere, human and generous. Offer great content, tips and commentary on your industry. Answer people’s questions. Build relationships with prospects and industry colleagues. The best way to get sales leads from social media is to present an inviting, engaging human face for your company – be the kind of person that people want to be with, and in time you’ll attract the audience you deserve.

Al Davidson is the founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, a “leading light” among lead generation companies, delivering B2B lead generation and appointment setting services for clients ranging from local small businesses to the Fortune 100. Since 1989, the company’s sales agents have generated over 7 million sales leads, and created millions of dollars for clients.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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7 Steps to Creating a Profitable Newsletter http://under30ceo.com/7-steps-creating-profitable-newsletter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-steps-creating-profitable-newsletter http://under30ceo.com/7-steps-creating-profitable-newsletter/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 19:00:52 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38773 What’s the point? That’s the question I asked myself after another newsletter didn’t produce results. Sure, I was “keeping in touch” with my leads and prospects. I spent a couple of hours writing great content, optimizing for various devices, tweaking headlines and when I finally hit send, nothing happened. After months of getting no results […]

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email newsletter

What’s the point?

That’s the question I asked myself after another newsletter didn’t produce results.

Sure, I was “keeping in touch” with my leads and prospects.

I spent a couple of hours writing great content, optimizing for various devices, tweaking headlines and when I finally hit send, nothing happened.

After months of getting no results with my email newsletter, I finally found myself asking “what’s the point?”

The Problem with Most Email Newsletters…

Or at least the problem that I faced was I was afraid to use my newsletter as a sales tool.  I didn’t want to be one of THOSE companies.

You know, the companies that send spammy, over hyped, promotional garbage that you delete without opening or unsubscribe from altogether.

And I didn’t want to be one of those companies.

My emails were full of helpful information and tips that folks could apply to help with their business.

I told myself “If I just keep producing great content and build trust, people will eventually call me and want to do business with me.”

But that happened far too seldom.

I tested and tweaked my newsletters until I finally hit on a formula that would generate sales leads without being spammy, over-hyped, promotional junk.

It’s what I call the…

The Sales Bridge Newsletter

If you are like me and create content heavy email newsletters that are meant to build trust and relationships, then all is not lost.

According to the Neilson Trust in Advertising report, 84% of all consumers trust a recommendation from someone they know.

And more specifically, 56% of consumers trust an email newsletter they just signed up for.

The Sales Bridge Newsletter is a way to help bridge the gap between building trust with your email list and making a sale without being spammy.

Below is a 7 step process to create a Sales Bridge Newsletter

Step 1:  Eliminate Clutter

One Saturday, Sheena Iyengar, a researcher at Columbia University set up a free tasting booth to allow customers to try jam. She had 24 flavors available for tasting.

The next Saturday, she set up six flavors available for tasting.

According to her book The Art of Choosing, when she had 24 flavors, 60% of the customers stopped by to taste, but only 3% bought something. When she had six flavors, 40% of the customers stopped by, but 30% bought something. This turned out to be an increase in sales of 600%.

Unfortunately, most email newsletters have far too many distractions that take away from the ultimate goal of the newsletter.  Distractions like elaborate headers and multiple links to various pages take away from what you want the reader to do.

Make sure every image, video, and paragraph moves the reader closer to the one thing you want them to accomplish.

Step 2:  Create a Headline that Gets Opened

The easiest way to create a headline that gets opened is to promise to solve a problem that your market has.

The email that I’m going to break down was written for marketing consultants who are looking to generate more highly qualified sales leads.

After working with consultants for some time, and being one myself, I came to understand that their three biggest problems were standing out from their competitors, getting their potential customers to notice them, and closing deals.

For the title of this email, I promise to tackle all three of these problems.

“Positioning, Exposure, and Making the Sale”

Step 3:  Grab their Attention

Once the email is opened, you’ll need to get your audience’s attention so they keep reading.  The easiest way to do this is to reinforce what they’re going to learn by reading your email.  I like to use an “if… then…” statement.

For instance:

“If you’re a marketing consultant looking to generate more highly qualified leads, then I’d like to quickly share with you a brief marketing plan that can help you find more high paying customers who value your time.”

 

Step 4:  Brief Background

Now you need to give your email some credibility so your readers actually believe what you’re saying.   One way to do this is to introduce 3rd party data from a reputable source.  This will tell your readers that these aren’t just your ideas and theories, there’s actually science behind what you’re saying.

“According to a recent survey on Hubspot, the three biggest challenges consultants face are not generating enough leads, variable cash flow, and difficulty signing up new clients.

This simple three step marketing plan will help you with all three challenges.”

Step 5:  Useful Content

This is the meat of your email newsletter.  This is where you solve the promise you made in your title.  For this newsletter, this comes in the form of the first two steps of the marketing plan.

“Step 1:  Positioning

Actually, this is already complete.  I spent the past few months working on the positioning of the boot camp.  What started out as a product to show marketing agencies how to gain exposure, turned into a product that shows marketing agencies how to sign up higher paying customers.

It went from being a “marketing course for marketing agencies/social media consultants/etc.” to a “sales course for marketing agencies/social media consultants/etc.”

I did this simply by asking all of you what you wanted and made the changes.

I’m not naive enough to say it’s the ONLY one of its kind, but I’m not competing with all of the other “social media marketing” courses out there.

Step 2:  Exposure

Now that the positioning is set, I need to tell people about the course.  The two ways I’m going to do this at first are guest posting and Facebook ads. (I’m guessing you aren’t surprised…)

Some of the publications that I’m going to target are:

  • Blog 1
  • Blog 2
  • Blog 3
  • Blog 4
  • Blog 5

I’ll also target business blogs and freelancer blogs and I’ll write 2 posts a week.

As far as Facebook ads go, I’ll start with a budget of $100 a week.  That should translate into at least 300 clicks per week.”

Step 6:  The Bridge

This is where you transition from marketing collateral to the sales process.  One of the features of the product I was selling was giving consultants a step by step breakdown of how to enter a sales meeting and seal the deal.

The third tip of the email directly correlates to this feature.

“Step 3:  Make the Sale

We’ve created our unique selling position.

I know how I’m going to tell everyone about the product.

Now it’s time to make the sale.  For me, making the sale is all about identifying the pain and then showing you how to solve the problem.

After talking to customers this was relatively easy.

Here is the pain of my typical customer:

  • They want to work with companies who won’t weasel every last possible nickel out them
  • They want to work with companies who won’t demand their first born child
  • They want to work with companies who treat them with respect
  • And they are tired of writing proposals and then hearing nothing.”

Step 7:  Call to Action

The final part of the email newsletter is to get your reader to take some action.  This doesn’t have to be a hard sell.  Just a simple statement saying what you want the reader to do next.

“Click here if you’d like an even deeper breakdown of the sales process so you can find clients who will pay you what your worth, treat you like a business partner, and pay their bills on time.”

Your Turn

Creating an email newsletter is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business.

Unfortunately, too many companies are so afraid of selling to their list, that they never capitalize on the huge potential of customers that actually want to buy their products and services.

By following these seven steps, and creating the sales bridge newsletter you can create an email newsletter that will be profitable without annoying your subscribers.

Greg Digneo is on a mission to help B2B companies create email newsletters and email blasts that generate revenue without being spammy.  If this is you, then check out his new video series where he shows you how to Double Leads with Your Next Email Newsletter.

Image Credit: www.pinpointe.com

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5 Reasons Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It!) http://under30ceo.com/5-reasons-job-application-didnt-get-response-can/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-reasons-job-application-didnt-get-response-can http://under30ceo.com/5-reasons-job-application-didnt-get-response-can/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38854   In the midst of an arduous job hunt, you will find that many of your applications and resumes are not getting the response you expected from employers, let alone a response at all. More likely than not, you won’t even get a rejection letter from 90% of the places you are applying to. Why […]

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job application 

In the midst of an arduous job hunt, you will find that many of your applications and resumes are not getting the response you expected from employers, let alone a response at all. More likely than not, you won’t even get a rejection letter from 90% of the places you are applying to.

Why is this?

1. Competition/ATS

One of the most prominent reasons that you didn’t get a response to your resume is that you’re facing dramatic competition. Remember that the Human Resources Department or the screener for the hiring manager, might receive hundreds, maybe even thousands of resumes weekly.

In order to deal with this, the HR departments and recruiters have turned to ATS software or Applicant Tracking Systems. These automated systems are looking for very specific keywords in your resume that match the keywords in the job description or offering.

What You CAN Do About It

Do your homework and research. Have some industry related keywords in your resume. Be sure to follow-up with an actual person who has either screening or hiring authority and pursues an answer on your resume.

2. Sloppy Resumes Filled with Mistakes

Sloppy resumes that are disorganized and have spelling or grammatical errors will either be thrown out by the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or rejected by the actual hiring manager.

If your resume is 5-7 pages long you can expect it to not to be read at all.

What You CAN Do About It

Make sure your resume is processed through a spelling and grammar check even, if the resume wasn’t produced in Word. Copy it to Word and make sure there are no additional errors in the resume. You could have another person proof read it for you as well. An extra set of eyes always helps.

In addition, remember that the length of the resume counts. If your resume is 2+ pages, there’s a good chance it won’t even be considered. Hiring managers do not have enough time as it is, nor will they make the time to read and understand your lengthy fluff filled resume. A one-page resume is ideal. Consolidate and highlight your most profound and applicable skills.

3. Resume and Cover Letter Not Targeted

Did you cut and paste your resume into the application from this specific company and did you fire off your generic cover letter? Once again you might be dealing with an Applicant Tracking System that is looking for keywords in your application and/or resume.

What You CAN Do About It

Take the time to get it right. Do not cut and paste a generic resume or cover letter. Go to the job description and find your skills that match the company’s needs. Make sure the language in your resume is exactly the same as the language in the job description as it relates to those skills.

The same is true of your cover letter. In fact the cover letter might be more important than the resume because a person will be reading it not a computer. The cover letter should show how your skills in past jobs relate directly to what this company needs.

Look up information about the company and include it in the cover letter. Be sure to ask for the interview in your cover letter in an assertive but not aggressive way.

4. Delivering Your Resume Without Following Instructions

Send you resume to a real person who can respond to it. Don’t send it to HR@somemail.com or to jobs@thiscompany.com. If the job ad and description do not give you a person, then take the time to do some research and find the name of the HR Director or even better the name of the head of the department the job is in,

What You CAN Do About It

Follow the instructions that are given with the ad and/or job description.  If the instruction says only complete the application than only complete the application and do not attempt to send a cover letter and/or resume.

On the other hand if the instructions call for a cover letter, a resume and a completed application, make sure you send all three. If they ask for salary requirements give it to them. If you don’t your resume might just get passed over. The company might want to see if you can follow instructions. So do what is asked.

5. Not Qualified/Holes/Job Hopping

First of all, are you qualified for this job? Make sure you are before you send in the application. Do you have gaps in your job history or a history of job-hopping? Without explanation these two items will cost you an interview.

Most hiring managers will just bypass those types of resumes if the Applicant Tracking Center doesn’t do it first. Even if there is no ATS used, an HR screener or recruiter will place your resume in the “no” pile.

What You CAN Do About It

As previously mentioned match up your skills with the requirements of the job description. This will tell you if you are qualified for this job or not. If you cannot match up most of your skills then don’t apply for the job.

Use a functional resume that doesn’t call attention to the holes and the changes in jobs as much as a conventional resume does. Also even with a functional resume, explain at the end of the resume any gaps or job-hopping.

Be sure to note any layoffs, acquisitions, mergers or company conditions that caused any gaps or job-hopping.

There are a number of ways to make sure your resume and application are noticed. Yes it can be a pesky economy for positions, and yes the competition is certainly stiff. However, if you follow the advice given here under “What You Can Do About It”, you should be able to defy the odds and find more success on your applications.

What common resume or application mistakes do you typically make? Share with us in the comments below.

Gerald Buck is the editor of http://www.ejobapplications.com, a website offering free downloadable job application forms, career information, job interview and resume tips, as well as much more. He can be reached via email at buckejobapplications@gmail.com.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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An Involved CEO is a Learning CEO http://under30ceo.com/involved-ceo-learning-ceo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=involved-ceo-learning-ceo http://under30ceo.com/involved-ceo-learning-ceo/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:00:47 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38725   What does that mean, “a learning CEO?” It is exactly what it sounds like: a Learning CEO is a CEO who is not only open to the idea of learning new information and skills but actively seeks them out. Brad Feld talks more about this on LinkedIn. When you look at the organizational pyramid […]

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 Learning CEO

What does that mean, “a learning CEO?” It is exactly what it sounds like: a Learning CEO is a CEO who is not only open to the idea of learning new information and skills but actively seeks them out. Brad Feld talks more about this on LinkedIn.

When you look at the organizational pyramid of a company, it’s easy to think of the CEO as the King of a fiefdom, shut away in his office all day and reaping the benefits of all of the work that is done by those below him. In truth, a good CEO doesn’t just hear about what’s going on in every aspect of his company, he understands what’s going on in every aspect of his company. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t trust his COO or CFO or that he should be trying to micromanage them. It simply means that he does the work to be able to understand the things his people tell him and to weigh in with an informed opinion if he wants to steer the team in a different direction.

In other words: he (or she) is an informed leader.

The idea of a CEO becoming too reliant upon his employees and becoming weak as a result isn’t just theory. Octavius Black, a reporter for The Telegraph says that most CEOs have a “five year peak” because as he relies more and more upon the people in his company, his own performance starts to wane.

There are two major areas in which you definitely need to always be learning and practicing: Networking and Finance.

Networking

When you think of networking, what happens? Do you slump down in your chair, scowling and think “nope, don’t wanna!”? It’s time to get over that. Networking is great because it helps you build your business and bring in new clients. More importantly, especially considering the context of this article, learning how to properly network will help you get to know everybody who is working for you. It will help you build connections that can be employed when someone on your team needs help “from the outside.” Like Tiisetso Maloma wrote, “I have noticed that some of the best relationships I enjoy are those where I added a bit of value, without being asked. And, some good people I lost because I persistently took from them.”

Being a good leader means adding value to your peoples’ experience and productivity, not just reaping the rewards. Learning to network will help you figure out the best way to do that with each of the people you employ and work with.

Finance

As the CEO of your company, you need to not just know what your numbers are every day; you need to understand how they got this way. Business money is more complicated than personal finance. There is more to it than simply earning from sales and paying your people. As someone who is intent on growing his company and earning as much as possible, you need to understand how to invest your company’s funds wisely.

You don’t necessarily need all the same sorts of certifications your CFO does, but you should know enough about those certifications to know who in your company should have them. Click here if someone on your staff requires investment management certification, or to learn more about what that training accomplishes.

Don’t forget that you can also learn from your people. Asking your employees and team members to teach you the things you don’t already know helps build morale. That morale helps you build your company’s productivity and profitability. So really, everybody wins!

Kevin is an account director at Online Rep Management and has been working within internet marketing and public relations for over 8 years. Kevin got his start working online in SEO, link building, and some affiliate marketing. Kevin is most passionate about helping good brands become online entities. Read more on Google+ follow Kevin on twitter!

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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4 Reasons Why Getting Insured Might Not Be In Your Best Interest http://under30ceo.com/4-reasons-getting-insured-might-best-interest/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-reasons-getting-insured-might-best-interest http://under30ceo.com/4-reasons-getting-insured-might-best-interest/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:00:25 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38708 With the Obama administration pushing for young people to “get covered” and the high cost of medical care otherwise, getting health insurance may seem like a no-brainer. However, if you’re young and healthy, getting insured might not pay off. Here’s why: 1. You may not be legally required to obtain insurance The Affordable Care Act, […]

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health insurance

With the Obama administration pushing for young people to “get covered” and the high cost of medical care otherwise, getting health insurance may seem like a no-brainer. However, if you’re young and healthy, getting insured might not pay off. Here’s why:

1. You may not be legally required to obtain insurance

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, includes a requirement to have health insurance by March 31 or else face a penalty of several hundred dollars or more, depending on your income. But if at least one of the following applies, you’re not legally required to purchase health insurance:

  • Your religion opposes health insurance
  • You’re an undocumented immigrant
  • You’re in prison (don’t do this one on purpose!)
  • You belong to an Indian tribe
  • Your family income is below the federal filing threshold
  • Health insurance would cost more than 8% of your income

2. You may be able to avoid a penalty

Even if you’re required to obtain health insurance, the IRS has limited capabilities to enforce the penalty. The IRS’s options include:

  • Taking it from your tax refund
  • Sending reminder letters
  • Suing you

The only significant threat is the first option, as three in four Americans received a refund check last year. Reminder letters may be a nuisance, but that’s about it. As for suing you, the IRS would have to ask the Department of Justice to do so, which, as Texas Tech law professor Bryan Camp told Yahoo! Finance, “if it’s such a small amount, it’s unlikely the government would sue for the same very practical reasons you wouldn’t sue someone for $25.”

3. You’ll be subsidizing Grandpa

If you buy health insurance, you’ll really being paying for older people’s health care. That’s because as we age we tend to require more health care services, and you—being young and healthy—will likely pay more than your fair share. That’s a double-whammy since the median net worth of senior citizens is more than 13 times that of young adults, so you’ll effectively widen that gap!

To illustrate, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made a similar argument about the young subsidizing the elderly under Obamacare. He stated that young adults now spend an average of $854 per year on health care, but under Obamacare they’ll have to pay roughly $5,800 for insurance. “The mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies … to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else,” Alito argued.

4. You’re not a knucklehead

First Lady Michelle Obama recently commented that young people need insurance because they are “knuckleheads”. She went on to explain that they’re the ones who are “cooking for the first time and slice their finger open, they’re dancing on the bar stool.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sliced my finger bad enough to go to the hospital. Also, I don’t dance on bar stools, and even if I did, I’d have to take one mighty fall to suffer anything beyond a few bumps and bruises. Thus, your health is largely within your control, so if you avoid risky behavior you may be able to skip purchasing insurance.

Every individual’s situation is unique. That being said, if these reasons don’t apply to you, sign up for health insurance to avoid a catastrophic loss in the future. 

Bisi Ibrahim writes for NerdWallet Health, a website that empowers consumers to find high quality, affordable health care and insurance. Take a look at NerdWallets Affordable Health Insurance Guide that covers the health insurance basics you need to know before purchasing a plan.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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14 Strategies To Say ‘’Thanks’’ To Your Loyal Customers In 2014 http://under30ceo.com/14-strategy-say-thanks-loyal-customers-2014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=14-strategy-say-thanks-loyal-customers-2014 http://under30ceo.com/14-strategy-say-thanks-loyal-customers-2014/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:00:51 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38753   Do you gain re-shares or re-tweets by your fans or followers? YES. What do you do in favor of those re-tweets and re-shares? Well, have you thanked your fans or customers for showing loyalty to your brand, hope so not? You might be unaware that these small gestures count a lot for your business. If you […]

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 Thank your customers

Do you gain re-shares or re-tweets by your fans or followers? YES.

What do you do in favor of those re-tweets and re-shares? Well, have you thanked your fans or customers for showing loyalty to your brand, hope so not? You might be unaware that these small gestures count a lot for your business.

If you spend a little time thanking your customers for showing loyalty, then it is surely going to count for your business. Now saying that you do not have time to say thanks as you have a busy schedule is a lame excuse.

If you can make time for your golf clubs or the three-course meals, then rewarding the loyal employees will just take a little more time from your busy schedule.

As we are after timesaving tools, so we all love to engage virtually, so as your customers. So why don’t you consider a virtual program to reward them back? Here, are some whacky ways to reward and be thankful to your customers.

1.     What about sending some hallmark e-cards!

You might send out handwritten cards to your clients, but for instant gratitude e-cards are just the apt fit for all occasions. Thank your clients for signing up newsletters or service, congratulate them on a lotto win, or greet them on their special eve like Birthday, Anniversary etc.

2.     Setting up VIP Clubs

You can set up VIP Clubs for best customers, to avail exclusive rewards such as discounts or free delivery. Many has been reaping many benefits with their VIP Clubs and incentivizing their customers. Therefore, grab this opportunity to spur your customers.

3.     Stitch a personal thread of connection

People you must call up your clients after you render them with their first service and ask for their feedback. This will give you the opportunity to thanks and assign them a point person in your company. The experience is great! As it makes your customer feel valued. Thus, you will see increased engagement on social channels and easily grow a brand loyal community with those customers.

4.     Have a virtual lunch

If it is not possible for you to meet the clients face to face, then let your video conferencing work. It grows older fast. This year we have a clinging and exciting idea – try out a lunch virtually. Give a treat in your customer’s favorite restaurant and let them cherish a good moment instead of those boring video calls.

5.     A simple “hello” can say it all

Customers feel special when they receive a call honoring them with thanks for being loyal to the brand. Even if your sales agent makes call only few days or few calls in a week, even then it goes a long path to establish a strong bond you and your loyal customers.

6.     Cross promoting your clients

Many brands are there in the market, which likes to promote their customers. This strategy works far behind than estimated. Offer them with the suggestion to be writers, set up introductions and create situations that will help your company overall.

7.     Rewarding your client with special offers or discounts

If you look that your customers has been loyally paying you, give them the opportunity to enjoy your service with some special discounts. This is a big scope to enhance your goodwill. If customers get something of tangible value, then it can delight them depending on the business model. Thus, this could make you more money in the run.

8.     Allow customers to have first-hand sneak-peak

If you have tech-savvy loyal customers, then they will surely enjoy the opportunity to sneak-peak your new services. Allow them to have access to beta-test, trouble-shoot etc. This opportunity will make them more engaged towards your brand.

9.     Customer badges give a separate recognition

Money rewards might not motivate your customers, but something extraordinary and personal can leave a mark behind. Customer badges are one such initiative that recognizes the customer milestones and treats them virtually for doing a good job.

10. Heard of the loyalty-card

If you have started to sell high-volume of products, then email stamped cards for every purchase your customers make online. As soon as they reach the target number, let them qualify for a free one, or let them collect few points to get a loyalty treat.  Do not forget the footnote saying ‘Thank You.’

11.  Time to do a little charity

Rewarding customers is no doubt great, but customers might start relying more on your brand if you reward those less fortunate. Such as when a customer buys a commodity in bulk, or within a certain number, let that purchase donate towards – giving food to a local pantry, or giving baby foods to orphanage or may be showing charity to the old age home. Customers will show up more as they will get a chance to benefit someone else in the community.

12.  Providing the extra value

Provide your customers with the extra benefit beyond what they pay. Informing customers over the email about timesaving tools, new trends, and customer will start appreciating your business even more. This shows that you take interest in your customers, besides selling them a service.

13.  Feature your customers

It’s time to highlight your clients and their success they experience working with your product/service. Highlight them in a blog post and show how they have grown using your service. Let the world know how great they are, this carries more value towards your business repute than money. You can align their success with your brand and credit them with celebrity and acknowledgement.

14.  Have a referral program

Word-of-mouth is a great way to spread the word about your business. So ask your customers to refer your business to their friends and family. Keep a reward for each referral, customers make.

Merci, Danke, Gracias or Thank You … perhaps one of the easiest, yet you often overlooked. The best way to reward your customer keeping all aside is simply saying, “Thank You”.

There are so many ways to thank your customers. Consider all the ways a company can reward their customers to bring reputable business profits that counts.

Jason Smith is a writer and a guest speaker presently residing in NYC. He is keenly interested in the changing face of global outsourcing economy. As a single dad, he often finds it hard to maintain the work-life balance but still manages to make time for his baby boy, his band and golfing friends.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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5 Things You’ll Regret Not Noticing http://under30ceo.com/5-things-youll-regret-noticing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-things-youll-regret-noticing http://under30ceo.com/5-things-youll-regret-noticing/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38821 There will come a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they’re up against something they don’t know how to handle. Luckily, even if you’re building a 3D printer, someone has done it before. The world is about resources, which is why I’m sharing what I know you’ll regret later on (could be next Wednesday, when […]

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entrepreneur

There will come a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they’re up against something they don’t know how to handle. Luckily, even if you’re building a 3D printer, someone has done it before. The world is about resources, which is why I’m sharing what I know you’ll regret later on (could be next Wednesday, when you fail to attract quality talent or when you’re leasing your first office space) if you don’t pay attention now…

1) Micromanaging

Just don’t do it. This is first on the list because it is the biggest no-no. Even though you’ve heard it before, I’ll say it again. Hire great minds and let them do their job. The surest way to lose awesome talent is to breathe down their neck. Especially if you aren’t a fan of mints.

With LinkedIn, GlassDoor and NSA spying, you can be sure that someone will hear about your managing techniques. They need to hear good things; don’t drive away new talent with your Horrible Boss-style antics. You hear me?

2) Getting Emotionally Attached

Don’t get so caught up in your idea of something epic that you miss out on something else. Don’t get emotional about your idea and don’t waste time raising funds for one thing when there is something better out there. Build a solid foundation for your company and raise funds after you are profitable or have crazy ass number of users. Focus on these two things and you will come out a winner.

If you aren’t making the progress you want to be, step back and make sure you’re working on the right project, with the right people.

3) Not Internet Stalking and Not Learning

Follow competitors like a bee, identify trends, read business magazines and articles every morning and before you go to bed. Pick up a sales book and read it…NOW! Never stop learning and never have someone do what you can (read this as: don’t hire a PR firm if you’re social media savy).

And, don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the big leagues. Email Bill Gates if you must. What’s the worst that could happen?

4) Productivity Booster

Find your muse and use it. If you can code like a Zuckerberg from the beach, do it. If you need coffee in the morning, don’t miss it. Approach this entrepreneurship thing like climbing Mt. Everest in a hurricane. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but in a way it does. Use every tool and resource you have because this job is one wild ride.

(This is a wildly important tip as well. If you don’t pay attention to what helps your productivity, it will suffer. Every day.)

5) New vs. Smart

We all want to be the next big thing, but you know what? It is simplicity that sells. Build smart features instead of just new ones. Creating an IP or utility patent will definitely get you places, but just remember Whatsapp. Simple, useful and worth $19 billion. If you can create something smart and functional, you’ve got gold, my friend.

Overall, there are a million little things you can do to increase your valuation or help you sleep at night. These are just a few I learned along the path of my entrepreneurial journey. However, these are definitely the things you’ll regret the most if you don’t take note now.

As CEO of Mindvalley Mobile - the iTunes of Personal Growth - Kshitij Minglani leads a team comprised of 10 different nationalities. In business, he has held leadership positions in areas such as Corporate Planning, Business Growth Strategy and Mergers and Acquisitions. In life, his love for travel and food has taken him amazing places and his passion towards making business ideas work to perfection gives him an adrenaline rush.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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