Well, I'm sure that you already have a whole list of goals that you've set for this year, but after reading this you may want to consider adding more. Whether you are in business now, or will be in the future, I know that these 3 resolutions will help you to make more money and grow as a person if you choose to put them into action.
1. I will never do anything for free this year (Church/Charity Excluded)
I'm a nice guy - but we honestly do finish last. Here's what I've got for being a nice guy and for doing things for free:
- A previous client that I almost had to take to court because I did work for them for 2 months without pay.
- A past customer that is #1 for most keywords that they've been targeting, yet cancelled service because they were scared to expand and didn't trust me to help them grow their business.
- The same client neglected to give me referrals when I asked once in the middle of a successful marketing campaign and at the end of service.
- A friend and client that doesn't understand why I won't build a website for him for under $100.
- and a many similar situations...
Here's the truth, people will trust you, respect you, and value you more as entrepreneur when you charge them what you or your services are worth. You don't tell your boss at your full-time job that you'll do some work for him for free because you are friends do you? Why would you do the same thing in your business?
Of course, you can give things away for free in order to get testimonials or to generate buzz, etc. But to give your services away in the name of friendship or because you are a nice guy is a sure way to kill your business and your reputation.
2. I will make at least 20 calls/emails per week to prospects
Sales will cure the majority of your business problems. I am lazy. I hate making sales call... but who doesn't? I am pretty sure that nobody wants to be told no 20 times every week. But, until you've built enough gravity toward your brand it's what you need to do.
I resolve to make at least 20 sales calls or to at least send out emails. On average, you should get about 2 meetings for every 20 touches that you make with prospects. If you sign up for my newsletter, after a couple of weeks you'll see how I find targeted prospects.
3. I will write 1 -3 blog posts per week on my blog
First off, blogging is useless if you don't have a goal with it. My goal is to sell my products, build gravity toward my brand, and to make some extra money through some of the affiliate programs that I use.
If you don't have a product this year, make one. Even if it's just an audio product of someone asking you questions about a particular topic, package it and sell it using something like E-Junkie. Even if you only sell 1 a month, that's $9.99 - $99.99 that you didn't have before. Plus, you'll be teaching someone how to do something in an hour what would have taken them many hours or days to learn.
Gravity toward your brand
What I love about blogging and about podcasting is that it is a great way to reach out to people without having to do much work. Don't get me wrong, having a blog takes persistence and requires a bit of expertise (I cringe when I see people starting out with blogger or WordPress.com blogs), but it's nothing compared to making cold calls.
Think about it, when someone comes to your site the only expert is you. Of course, if you are a good blogger you'll link to other people as well (you'll see me link to folks like Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, Paul Tran - sales genius and franchiser, Ted Nguyen - PR guru, and Neal Schaffer - Social Media Expert and consultant). When people see that you have amazing content and that you can teach them something of value, you will be seen as an expert. If your content is remarkable enough, it will lead to opportunities that come to you.
If you have services that you've used in the past, by recommending them to other people you will be saving them a lot of time and money. I don't know about you, but I'd hate to waste money on a service that didn't solve a problem that I was facing. Even if you make a little money off of your resources you'll be doing your audience a huge favor in recommending the best product out there.
Recommending products that you've used or that you know is of high value is also a great way to earn some side income. In fact, (no lie) I made $100 today from affiliate sales ($60 from a niche site that I've had and I'll be talking about in my Profitable Niche Adventure Series, and $40 from a sale from an affiliate on this site).
This is the year for business
We are in recovery mode, so this is your chance to make things happen. Don't be a faux Mr. Nice Guy. Don't use your talents for free (unless it's for church or charity). Now's your chance to get out there, talk to people, make sales, and build gravity toward your brand.