What do you think you need more than anything else to attract more of your ideal clients?Many people will say, “better information to show me how to do what works.”Others will say, “more motivation and drive to implement what I already know.”Another common answer is, “more time to fit marketing activities into my schedule.”And lots of people will say, “I need better goals and more clarity about what I want to achieve.”In writing this ezine/blog for the past 20 years I’ve talked about the importance of all of those.But I’m finally understanding a factor that is much more important: good habits.Over the past year, I’ve been a big advocate of the writings of James Clear. He writes a blog about success and habits. And he just came out with his first book, Atomic Habits, which is fantastic.Even though James isn’t a marketing expert, I’m convinced he’s right when he says that the ultimate determinant of success is building positive habits.This idea is simple but true: Self-employed professionals who establish regular marketing habits have a much better chance of succeeding than those who don’t.And the crazy thing is that the four items – information, motivation, time, and goals – I mentioned above don’t actually make a huge difference.Information. These days, we have access to more information about marketing than ever before in history. And much of it is free and instantly available through a Google or YouTube search.The problem is that most of us have not established a regular habit of studying what we need to know to become better marketers. The information is useless unless we become proficient at implementing it.And even if we pay good money for courses and programs, much of it goes to waste. I just learned recently online that 97% of people who buy a course online never complete it.Motivation. If we measured motivation by intention, we are all motivated. Don’t we all want and need to grow our businesses? But we keep getting distracted and don’t follow through on our intentions. Again, the issue is poor habits.Time. If only we had more of it. But unsuccessful marketers have just as much of it as the most successful ones. The key is that they dedicate more time to implementing regular marketing habits.Goals. Nothing wrong with goals except that they are only a starting point for success. And they can get us stuck in the future, instead of doing what needs to be done today – the routine marketing habits that we perform every day or week.”A habit or system beats a goal every time.” – James ClearThe research is in and the conclusion is clear.Establishing positive and consistent marketing habits have a bigger impact on marketing success than anything else.We may have great information, high motivation, lots of time, and clear goals, but unless marketing activities are performed regularly and habitually, the chances of success are slim to none.The question you should be asking is, “How do I start establishing better marketing habits?”James’s Atomic Habits goes to great lengths to share a multitude of ways to become an expert habit practitioner. So I highly suggest you get his book. It could be the most valuable ‘marketing’ book you’ll ever read.But let me also give you my perspective on what it takes to establish new marketing habits.The C – SPAT ModelThis is a model I came up with for one of my marketing programs.Coaching or Context. A coach declares the game, how it is played and how to win at it. And this creates the context in which you play the game. It helps if you have an outside source that can hold you accountable to play by the rules necessary to succeed.This principle is why when you’re working with a coach or in a program that you suddenly find it’s easier to take action and form positive habits. The context of the game helps shape your behaviors.Notice that all professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants go through rigorous training in the form of a professional school and internship. And in this context, professional habits and protocols are established.As independent professionals, we’d all prefer to do things on our own, charting our own direction. That’s nice, except that it doesn’t always work very well, does it?Study. A big part of the game is study and learning the body of knowledge necessary to perform effectively. Again, the information required to be an effective marketer is readily available, but you need some assistance in sorting the wheat from the chaff and studying what is most useful.Planning. All successful marketing needs a plan. The alternative is implementing random marketing activities with little structure and direction. So it’s not how much you know, but how you put what you know into action.Action. Success doesn’t come from being busy or doing a lot of things, but in doing the right things at the right time. This is where establishing regular marketing habits comes in.To some, it might be writing an article once or twice a week. For others, it may mean setting up more meetings with networking contacts. Or it could be booking regular speaking engagements.The secret to making this work is to leverage the first three steps of the model – Coaching, Study, and Planning, into marketing Actions that you perform as consistently as possible.Tracking. What gets measured gets done. And when we fail to measure, habits don’t tend to stick. When we measure and track habits, the chances increase dramatically that they are performed consistently.It can take some time to establish positive habits. You know that’s happened when you don’t even have to think about it anymore; you just sit down and write that article every Monday or make five calls to prospects every week.And when you’re in action like this, you create a feedback loop, learning what works the best and what doesn’t. This enables you to fine-tune and adjust over time until your marketing habits become more established.So, stop putting so much attention on searching for the “perfect” marketing strategy, getting motivated, finding more time, and setting goals.Instead, use the C – SPAT approach to establishing positive marketing habits.Cheers, Robert
You have discovered the need to enlist the help of a technology partner, doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult to find, just Google it, right?The dizzying amount of results that this simple search returns will put a kink in your plans to have a list of potential technology partners to your boss by this afternoon. There are a lot of things that need to be considered when picking your technology partner and a lot of criteria you should keep in mind when making this decision. Seize the opportunity to turn this decision into a strategy to stay ahead of your competition.First, let’s define what a technology partner is and how a technology partner is different from any other technology company. Technology partners offer technical expertise to assist you with your technology needs. A technology partner works alongside your team, taking the time to learn your business and educate you on the technical options available to you. Rather than just waiting for the end product, a technology partner will communicate and collaborate with you throughout the entire project so that the final product meets your needs, saving you time and money. Now that we have defined what a technology partner is, there are considerations that need to be addressed prior to choosing the right partner for you.You have discovered the need to enlist the help of a technology partner, doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult to find, just Google it, right? The dizzying amount of results that this simple search returns will put a kink in your plans to have a list of potential technology partners to your boss by this afternoon. There are a lot of things that need to be considered when picking your technology partner and a lot of criteria you should keep in mind when making this decision. Seize the opportunity to turn this decision into a strategy to stay ahead of your competition.BEFORE YOUR SEARCH:Before you even begin searching for a partner you need to consider your budget, internal resources, your intended market, and role of the new software. You should know where your company stands on this project and how much your company is willing to spend on this project. These are all important things to understand yourself before you engage potential partners.It is important to ask yourself a few questions about the project itself. What will you need the software for? How intuitive do you need the software to be for the end-user? Is there something on the market already that would fit your needs? After you have answered these questions you will be able to see the extent of the project and have a better idea of the resources that you will need from a technology partner. With a better understanding of the project itself and how your company will handle it, you now have to determine what attributes are important in a technology partner.CONSIDERATIONSWhen it comes to making the decision on which company to partner with on your project it is important to take multiple factors into consideration. Your company is investing a lot of money into this one project so it is important that the project is set up to succeed. This decision can make or break your projects success so you need to take your time and do your research to find the company that is the best fit for your company and your project. You will want to see a track record of a potential partner’s level of customer service. You may have to obtain referrals and references from past customers in order to prove the level of customer service they have provided. Past projects are telling of what you can expect from the companies on your project.To have a successful project you need to hire a company that has an understanding of your business or a company that makes understanding your business a priority. A lack of understanding in these situations can result in a project that is disjointed from your company and your message. Although companies might have an excellent level of technical expertise it will do no good if they produce a product that does not look like yours. One of the reasons that you are in search of a technology partner is likely because your company is similar to many others out there and resources are hard to come by. Make sure that potential partners have the resources you need. This information can be validated by asking for referrals, references, and looking at a portfolio of projects the company has completed. Another great way to find this information out is to ask what technologies the company uses and ask to see examples. This is one area where it will pay off to do your due diligence.To confirm a company’s experience you should ask for a timeline of projects they are currently working on and the projects they have worked on in the past. This will be helpful for you to see if they have worked on projects similar to yours in the past which will demonstrate if they have the ability to complete your project. A timeline will also be helpful because you will be able to see if they have worked with teams and companies of comparable size.One of the keys to a projects success is the ability to meet deadlines and make the release date. Responsiveness is a big part of being able to complete the project on time and you want a company you work with to respond to you when you have questions or changes that need to be made. You should be able to tell if a company will be as responsive as you expect from early on in your engagement.It is important when hiring a consultant to work on your project that they are objective. You want the potential partners to be able to give you objective advice about technology. This can be an issue when some companies are only willing to work in one technology. You want to use the technology that works the best for your project and will be the most beneficial. Make sure before committing to one company that you ask what technologies the company works in and you should be able to tell from their answer their willingness to work in different environments.Making sure your business style will work with the company you choose is important. If the company has an informal business style, but your company is formal there might be some issues. The level of professionalism should match, limiting the number of problems you might encounter. This might ensure the teams are compatible and will integrate well with each other.Are these potential partners going to be available when you need them to be? Confirm with potential companies that they have more than one employee dedicated to your project. You may want to consider using a company that uses Project Managers or Engagement Managers to ensure that you will be able contact someone when you need to. Project managers are helpful as a single point of contact.Chemistry and ease of doing business are important aspects to consider when choosing a technology partner. If the rapport between your team and a potential technology partner are off there will be issues that will be hard to overcome. You will get an idea of this from your initial look into the company, were they easy to get a hold of? Did you mesh well with the employees you have spoken to?Does this project require ongoing support and do the companies you are considering offer the support you will need? Will the company prepare your own team to take over maintenance upon completion? You will have to consider what you need from the company after the completion of the project and then match those needs with a company that offers those services.
When looking to adopt an anti-aging diet the 3 main rules to follow are:1. Keep a watch on your total calorie consumption and make sure you don’t eat too much saturated fat.2. Eat plenty of wholegrain products, oily fish, fresh fruits and of course lots of vegetables3. Reduce your intake of salt and sugar.As you can see these guidelines are nothing new and are pretty general for adopting an overall healthy balanced diet. However if you want to adopt a more focused anti aging diet you must start to include specific foods that have a greater impact to help your body with the anti-aging process.Try and include foods with a high ORAC value. ORAC means oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Prunes, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kale, spinach, and broccoli are among the highest. These foods have natural vitamins that mop up damaging free radicals. In other words, they help prevent aging!Other high ORAC fruits and vegetables include:Anti Aging Fruits – Prunes, Raisins, Blueberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Strawberries, Pomegranates, Raspberries, Plums, Oranges, Grapes, Red Cherries, Kiwifruit, Grapes, White Cantaloupe, Banana, Apple, Apricots, Peach, Pear.Anti Aging Vegetables – Kale, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Alfalfa Sprouts, Spinach, steamed, Broccoli Florets, Beets, Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Corn Eggplant, Cauliflower, Peas frozen, White Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, String Beans, Tomato, Zucchini, Yellow Squash.Also make sure to include a variety of nuts in your daily diet such as pecans, walnuts, and pistachios as they all have high anti oxidant properties.To give your diet an extra ORAC boost use lots of different spices and herbs in your cooking. Ginger, Garlic, Oregano, Turmeric, Sage and Thyme to name just a few have extremely high anti aging properties so are essential for a really effective anti aging diet.It is also a good idea to become knowledgeable about supplements. A good multi and an antioxidant complex are a must. Anti Aging Gurus such as Leslie Kenton (Age Power – the revolutionary path to natural high tech rejuvenation) for example suggests using such supplements as alpha lipoic acid, co-enzyme Q10, natural fish oils and more. She explains the benefit of each supplement in detail as well as natural sources of the vitamins. Obviously no one wants to rattle when they walk, but you may like to invest in these age fighting super supplements from time to time as an addition to you anti aging diet plan.The science of anti-aging is no longer a mystery. The information is out there. It is now up to you to use it. We can look younger for longer!