Apr 21, 2014 by Amy Schmittauer
One of the Ohio Growth Summit keynote speakers I’m very excited about is Jason Surfrapp, founder of IWearYourShirt.com. Jason, who was born Jason Sadler, but has auctioned his last time twice, used his passion and ingenuity to create multiple profitable Internet-based businesses, including IWearYourShirt.
There have been many profiles written about him by leading news organizations, and we interviewed him for our Reach the Summit podcast a few months ago where we got his take on creativity and the power it has to create successful business. Though his venture is truly unique, his story offers several lessons for all entrepreneurs and would-be business owners. Here are four of them:
All you need is an original idea and initiative. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs had to save money, beg for more money, write a full-length business plan and make a large capital investment just to open for business. While this is still the formula required for some businesses, today’s technology-driven world opens the door for people with great ideas and passion, but who may not have a lot of cash lying around. It has also created the freedom to test-drive your business on the side while working or going to school to gauge whether it’s worthy of a full-time endeavor.
Break the unwritten rules. Conventional wisdom in the social media world says a person offers little to no value unless they already have thousands of followers. When Jason conceived his idea, he had none. But he was able to sell his services right away while building a following. Are there unwritten rules in your industry? Break one. Is there something no one in your industry has tried because no one thinks it will work? Try it.
Give it away, demonstrate its value, then sell it for top dollar. One of the reasons Jason was successful initially without having a large built-in audience is that he practically gave away his service his first year. When he started in 2009, he charged sponsoring companies based on the day of the year; his first customer paid $1 for Jason to promote it on January 1, while his December 31 customer paid $365. There was virtually no risk to his clients if Jason’s efforts failed to pan out. The next year, he increased his rates from $5 on January 1 to $1,825 on December 31. Eventually he sold weekly packages for $1,500. The lesson: You may have to give away your product or service initially until you can prove its worth.
Be inspired by what others are doing. Jason was partly inspired by The Million Dollar Homepage, a site created in 2005 by a university student in the UK who wanted to pay off his student debt. So he set up a permanent webpage comprised of a million pixels, which he sold for $1 each to advertisers who now have a permanent link from The Million Dollar Homepage to their site. Ideas beget ideas, so learn from what others are doing, then brainstorm for a potential new angle.
The Ohio Growth Summit will offer more insight, strategy and resources you can use to grow your business so register now!
Apr 17, 2014 by Amy Schmittauer
The 2014 Ohio Growth Summit is less than two months away, and we have an incredible lineup of keynote speakers, including Steve Kloyda, founder of The Prospecting Expert. Steve is a highly sought after sales trainer who helps businesses attract prospects, retain clients and drive sales.
Steve puts together regular blogs, videos and podcasts to motivate, inspire and inform his audience. Many of his recent podcasts have dealt with the idea of change, a topic we discussed on the last Reach the Summit podcast with Dan Stover.
Some of the insights Steve has discussed in his recent posts, and that he’ll be bringing to his OGS presentation, include:
Being prepared when opportunity presents itself. “The whole world is a stage,” he says, “and it’s showtime.” Steve asks what blogs, articles and books you could be reading or what classes you could be taking to improve yourself to prepare for the moment when it’s your turn to perform. Work harder on yourself than your job, he says, and your gifts will always make a place for you.
A better life always begins with you. The decisions we made yesterday have led us to where we are today, and today’s decisions will steer us to tomorrow. To help you get to your ideal life tomorrow, make a list of the obstacles you face, then tackle one at a time. And do it with a great attitude!
Change for a Good Reason
If you change direction, do it for a good reason. Steve believes entrepreneurs and companies change course too often. They have a perfectly good plan laid out, but then veer off because of some new trend, an influential book, a different opinion or even just “bright, shiny object syndrome.” Changing direction isn’t bad if the path you’re on is not a good one, but sometimes you need to stay focused on where you’re headed. Are you taking the path of least resistance because it’s easier and not necessarily more beneficial?
Steve understands change firsthand. Steve began his sales career as a stockbroker in 1980 and quickly developed unique prospecting skills and disciplines that produced phenomenal results. In 1990, he founded his firm, Telemasters, to help salespeople find their own success.
After twenty successful years of teaching and coaching salespeople in a variety of industries under the Telemasters brand, Steve recognized that, just as the tools of the industry had evolved, so too must the name of his company. In March 2010, the company was renamed The Prospecting Expert to better acknowledge the vast array of tools available for salespeople today and to more clearly reflect Steve’s comprehensive vision for prospecting strategies in the 21st century. Prospecting is, after all, the foundation of every successful sales professional and business.
So as your world changes, what decisions can you make today to steer you toward the person you want to be tomorrow? What can you do to be ready when an opportunity comes your way? And, if you are planning to change direction, is it for the right reasons?
To hear more insights from Steve and the other keynote speakers and breakout presenters we have lined up, don’t forget to register for the Ohio Growth Summit!
photo credit: Phil Whitehouse via Flickr cc
photo credit: marsmet546 via Flickr cc
Apr 14, 2014 by Amy Schmittauer
Having a difficult time keeping Facebook’s different size requirements for images straight? Help has arrived! You’ll never need to search again because advanced Facebook marketer Jon Loomer of JonLoomer.com has created this handy infographic putting all the requirements in one convenient place. Need a glossary of Facebook ad terms or, specifically, a glossary for Insight terms? He’s got infographics for both–and great general information on Facebook advertising–as well!
Do you use any infographics that are helpful for streamlining all the little business tasks we do throughout the day? If so, share them in the comments; we’d love to use them too!