Social Media Helpful Tips from Around the Web


Have you been wondering what you should be doing each day on social media to build your business? Should you been on Facebook before breakfast? Should you be tweeting 10 times a day? Does this photo belong on your Instagram account? There are so many questions revolving around the world that is social media. With World Conference on the horizon, are you wondering how to best optimize social media to raise awareness of the event and grow your business? Well, you’re in luck! Today we are sharing some of the top tips from around the web that everyone can benefit more from! Read on:

Tip #1: With a huge business building event on the horizon, join in on the conversation NOW to increase awareness.

The amount of knowledge that you can gain is at event – especially social media specific training – get involved before the event even starts!

Tip #2: While it’s ideal to post content every day on Facebook, post your most important content towards the end of the week.

According to PR Daily, content that is posted towards the end of the week (Thursday, Friday) get higher engagement. Read up on the best times to post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ here.

Tip #3: Make sure you are posting the correct sized images and post lengths on each platform.

Each platform has its own sizes for a cover photo, profile picture and size image to use for a post. HERE are some guidelines to use for image sizes. According to social media leader, Buffer, there is a correct size for each post based on the platform you are using. Check HERE to see if you are doing it right!

Tip #4: Get more followers on Twitter by being “topically focused.”

Did you know that Twitter accounts that are more topically focused tend to get more new followers than others? For example, an who focuses on tweeting entrepreneurial-themed content the majority (90-100%) of the time will earn more followers than someone who tweets about being an entrepreneur, their love for dogs, yoga and French cuisine. Find out more about this as well as other steps you can take to gain more followers organically here.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid of new things!

There are so many new social media tools that arise every day; but some of ours include HootSuite, Latergram,, Google + and more! Don’t be afraid to stray away from the social giants like Facebook and Instagram! Check out some of these social tools and additional platforms that will not only make your life easier, but rapidly grow your social success and for your Business.

How to Spark Your Revolutionary Idea

Rev. Idea

Need a clue how to do it? You’re not alone, Entrepreneurs tend to fall in love with their original ideas or vision, which keeps them from growing the business, he says. To ignite new light bulb moments, start with these idea-generating tactics:

Embrace fear. Ask yourself: “What scares me?” Then, explore that dark space. What if you overhauled your product and reintroduced it — what features would it have? Where would you invest money if you replaced a major conference or trade show with other lead-generating activities? Even if something is working for you, is there a way to make it better? As for your competition, instead of studying what they’re doing, contemplate what they’re afraid of, too. Don’t let fear deter you from exploring potential new ideas, Koulopoulos says.

Pull the trigger. Generate new ideas by trying an exercise Koulopoulos calls “triggering.” First, state your problem or challenge. For example, let’s say you want to create a new product to compete in the crowded protein bar market. You would then gather several unrelated items, such as a stapler, coffee cup, a yoga mat, and a pencil. “I put them all on the table and say, ‘Relate every one of these things to your problem,'” he explains. “What happens is people start to think in very nonconventional ways.” Maybe your protein bar could be formulated with herbal ingredients for energy (idea sparked by the coffee cup) or relaxation (think yoga mat). The ideas don’t even have to make sense at first. The goal is to find ways to connect them back to the product.

Create a massive matrix. Gather ’round, get out your big white pad, and create a huge matrix — he calls it a “morphological matrix” — of all the possible ways that you could address a problem or seize an opportunity. When done in groups, Koulopoulos says this gets everyone thinking about how to attack every element of the problem. Then, recombine those elements in unique ways. “Burger King’s new bacon sundae is a good example of how you can take a company’s existing resources and recombine them into something new that people are talking about,” he adds.

Take time out. It’s summer. Take a break from your business, even if it’s just a quick getaway or a weekend disconnect. Rest and recharge to stoke creativity and prevent burnout, which is the enemy of great ideas, he says.

Turn your Idea into a Million-Dollar Business


I assume everyone has ideas. I get ideas constantly. When I’m brushing my teeth, when I’m driving to work, when I’m at my desk reading an article. But that does not mean that all can be converted into million-dollar businesses.

Not that these cannot be converted into million-dollar businesses, but I may simply not be driven enough to see those particular ideas through to that milestone.

You may get many ideas, too. But if you don’t, don’t despair. You don’t need ideas to start a business. Regardless, your business ideas are worthless. Let me explain why.

Ideas are just ideas. An idea is the seed of a successful product or service. Without proper care and maintenance, it will not bloom. Ideas require solid research of the target market, a good strategy and a sound business plan, without which, ideas cannot go much further.

If you want to start a business and make a go of it, you need more than just an idea. To begin turning startup dream into a million-dollar business, consider the following advice.

1. Settle on one business idea.If you’re mulling a number of ideas, odds are good that none of them will see the light of the day. Why do I say that? Because your approach is all wrong. Skimming through different ideas every day and figuring out whether they motivate you or whether they work won’t get you anywhere.

The amount of time you’re spending on them will likely be insufficient. An you’re probably not passionate about any of them. So how do you fix it? Take one idea that moves you, that you feel most passionate about and stay with it. Stay with one till you can’t go any further. Until you’ve given it your all.

Only then will you know whether or not that business idea is worth a million dollars.

2. Validate your idea.Your idea is absolutely worthless if you keep it to yourself and do not test it with actual customers.

Writing a business plan with projections through market research is a sure-shot way to a startup doomsday. Nothing beats an actual customer using your product or service.

So how do you get to customers when you’re at the idea stage and don’t want to spend a huge sum building something they don’t want?

Build a minimum viable product or a prototype. The idea is to put out something that offers the main value of your startup or that solves the core problem of your customers.

The prototype could be a PowerPoint slide, a dialogue box or just a landing page. This is something that you can often build it in a day or a week. A prototype can be an actual functioning product with the core features offered.

Share this with your network and see the response. Are people excited to use it? Do they feel their needs or problems are resolved by using your product? Is it easy to use?

3. Execute.There is no such thing as a million-dollar idea. Facebook was not a million- (or billion) dollar idea until it saw the light of the day, until it was executed.

Ideas evolve into products which themselves evolve over a period of time through constant customer feedback and use. You must build a prototype, beta or a minimum viable product and get it out in the hands of the customer. Let your customer decide whether the idea is of value or not.

Most people just don’t get their products out in time and spend most of their resources in trying to build that one perfect product. Save yourself some grief, time and, most of all, cash, and build on a product that your customers want.

4. Find a large market.Don’t waste your time on an idea that does not cater to a large audience. Sure, you can start local and expand later, but is your idea solving the needs of a few hundreds? Is your idea scalable to the next hundred thousand? If not, you’re not building a business.

Validate whether the problem that you are trying to solve is truly the problem of the masses. And not just yours and a few neighbors and friends or your network.

Think big, think global, if you can.

Base your idea on a large audience and you’ve got yourself a product with the potential to grow into a larger and a more successful business.

5. Make it a must-have, not a nice-to-have.A lot of ideas are utter nonsense. Those can surely be turned into selling products, but you won’t end up building a business out of them. These are the nice-to-have ideas.

You must spend time getting to know from the market whether your idea or product is a nice-to-have or a must-have. Nice-to-have products are mostly in the novelty domain or are not compelling enough for customers to buy or own.

If you want your ideas to develop into successful products that help you create and sustain a business, then go after must-have ideas.

So, decide what is important to you: the figment of your imagination that tells you your idea is a million-dollar one or validating it to build something that can get you the actual million dollars.

4 Main Ideas to Build Your Personal Brand


Personal brands are not just for famous people. Oprah, Donald Trump and Jane Smith all have successful personal brands. Oprah is the empathetic advocate for entrepreneurism, women, overcoming challenge and education, epitomized in her “Live your best life” motto. Donald Trump is the often-disliked titan of real estate who has built a brand of luxury, ruthlessness and savvy business strategy.

And Jane Smith? She’s a well respected and valued professional in her company and industry who we’ll discuss in a minute.

Celebrity status works for Oprah and Donald Trump because it provides them the platform to promote their passion. For professionals and entrepreneurs, targeted personal branding builds a sustainable relationship with customers, clients and stakeholders.

Let’s go back to Jane Smith. Jane is a professional in a growing financial company. During a recent performance review, Jane received surprising feedback from her supervisor: Her staff perceives her as hard to work with and pushy. Jane has a personal branding crisis. The way she thought she was perceived is not how her staff sees her.

Knowing that her reputation directly impacts her career success, Jane took action. She saved her career and grew her value to the company by following the four basics of successful personal brands.

1. Start with a strategy. Jane realized there was a disconnect between how she thought she was communicating and how her staff perceived her. She set out to identify her blind spots and the behavior which created the perception. Jane asked herself: What perception have I created with my staff? What do they believe to be true about me?

The answers helped Jane evaluate her current brand. The most important part of building any personal brand is to be authentic (genuine). Jane knew that to be the manager she aspired to be, she needed to be herself but better. Her strategy included excitement for her passions and representing her authenticity.

2. Credibility necessitates authentic values. Successful personal brands earn and build credibility. Credibility starts with articulating the values unique to that individual, then demonstrating that the individual walks the talk. Jane realized that to be credible as a manager and team builder, she had to articulate her values and act consistent with those values.

3. Focus on the target audience. Building a personal brand necessitates identifying a target audience. For Jane, the target audience is her staff.

Jane saw that people are typically good at understanding what their target audience needs functionally. An audience’s functional needs are often spelled out in job descriptions and RFPs. Not as easily identified are the audience’s emotional needs. Sometimes, her staff couldn’t tell her what they needed to feel that would make her relatable. But, as human beings, Jane knew that emotions drove feelings and therefore perception.

4. Maintain an online reputation. Jane admits she’d neglected her online personal brand. She learned that individuals with successful personal brands take control to ensure that who they are online matches who they are in person because clients, vendors and staff often look online to see who they are.

She set out to build her online personal brand, remembering that nothing she posts online (regardless of privacy settings) is permanently private. Her goal was to must project a positive and consistent image.

When cultivating your online reputation, keep in mind that recommendations and connections matter. Online platforms are searchable, so make your profiles more findable to prospects, colleagues and partners by carefully selecting key words in your summary, title and experience descriptions.

Social networking is networking. Instead of sending and receiving thoughtless social connections, Jane set out to build online relationships and engage with her connections. She was able to correct her personal brand crisis by taking control of her behavior and how she marketed herself, in person and online.

Your personal brand is your reputation, your legacy. Others assign you value based on how they perceive your value to them. When you take control, develop and promote your authentic personal brand, you are directing the legacy you will leave behind and the reputation you can enjoy today.

Doesn’t Just Fixing LinkedIn Presence for Your Personal Branding

LinkedIn Presence

Now everyone is free to muse on professional matters through LinkedIn’s blogging platform. Make sure that your personal branding efforts shine and are memorable. Don’t limit yourself to just one platform.

Too many CEOs and executives (and their PR handlers) think that if they have a great LinkedIn profile and are active on the site, their job of marketing themselves is done.

That’s wrong. Businesspeople can promote themselves in smart, creative ways beyond LinkedIn, both online and in person.

Here are just a few low-effort marketing strategies that professionals can employ to maximize the positive effect on their personal brand — for their career and company:

1. Optimize speaking engagements.

If you land a speaking engagement at a conference, make the most of it. Find out if the event is being filmed, ask for the footage and use it to create a show reel — to use for pitching more speaking gigs.

Offer to work with the event’s organizers on articles or interviews in advance that will increase your reach. Note the event’s hashtag and use it to engage with people on social media. Inquire whether if any members of the press will be attending and contact them to offer them a briefing about your company.

You might be scheduled for only a 30-minute talk or panel, but you have an opportunity to squeeze way more of a return on the investment of yourtime onstage. Be thoughtful about optimizing and amplifying your presence before, during and after the show.

2. Divide up your social media time.

My strategy for online personal branding is to use a 60/40 rule. Sixty percent of my social-media updates are professional and 40 percent are personal in some way. This ensures my followers and potential connections get to know a little about me beyond just my work-related thoughts and opinions.

Sharing my love of cricket and real ale and regularly talking about the trials and tribulations of being a parent to two young daughters adds a bit of color. These details might serve as positive conversation starters when I meet someone in person.

Find something natural from your downtime to talk about or share on social media. Many people worry that their followers might not want to hear personal details, but the lines between work and play have blurred over the last 10 years, thanks to digital media, and you’ll be completing the circle of personal branding by giving your posts a human touch.

3. Take an interest in others.

Working on your personal brand doesn’t mean you have to talk about yourself 24/7. Taking an interest in and heeding the comments of others will endear them to you and you’ll probably learn a few things that will help your professional development as well. Simply having empathy with peers who are facing professional problems will have a positive effect on your brand. Plus it just feels good to help people who are in a bind.

Make a conscious effort to spend time in asking your peers about their work roles, what drives them, where they’ve had the most success and how they behave in adverse situations. No one knows everything, so allocating your time to fill gaps in knowledge can help your company and your personal brand.


Tech Entrepreneur’s Challenging Upbringing Led to Solving Problems

If I know then

If I Knew Then: Tech Entrepreneur’s Challenging Upbringing Led to Passion for Solving Problems.

Editor’s Note: The If I knew then series puts more-established entrepreneurs under the microscope — asking them what they would do differently if they knew then, what they know now.

A long-time member of Seattle’s tech scene, serial entrepreneur Naveen Jain is the center of a rags-to-riches story that has him now reaching for the moon. Literally. Growing up around impoverished Uttar Pradesh, India Jain’s difficult upbringing had him often feeling hunger pains and frequently having his home uprooted, spending no more than a year in one location. Despite his hardships, Jain managed to get a degree in engineering and his MBA. Upon graduation, he moved to the U.S. with $5 in his pocket and soon began his entrepreneurial journey.

After having a stint at Microsoft in the late ’80s, Jain went on to found online-search company Infospace and public-record service inome (formerly Intelius). Currently, he is the founder of Moon Express, a commercial space exploration company dedicated to discovering the Moon’s resources.

We caught up with Jain to discuss what he’s learned on his journey and what advice he would impart to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting up?

A: I learned a great deal with my first startup InfoSpace. In particular, I learned the hard way how one should build out a team.

At InfoSpace, I was the sole founder and lacked a group of peers and advisors, as well as the experience to know how badly I needed them. My own personal identity became interwoven with the identity of the company. I prided myself on being involved with every facet of the day-to-day operations of the business, being involved in every important meeting and taking full responsibility for every mistake and victory.

I did things considerably different when founding inome. Our six co-founders were experts in a variety of different areas. So while today I may be not immersed in every decision, I am surrounded by a team of experts, each charged with the responsibilities to drive their own elements of the business. As a result, we were able to scale quickly and create a sustainable, profitable business that has stood the test of time.

Q: What do you think would have happened if you had had this knowledge then?

A: I would have taken an approach to team-building with InfoSpace that was very similar to what we’ve done at inome.

Q: How did you learn this lesson?

A: In the early days, InfoSpace was a small operation. I ran it intentionally lean to maintain costs and also didn’t want to over-expand. We had a small office in Bellevue, Washington with little support staff. As the principal of the company, when something broke, it was my responsibility to fix it.

On one occasion, during a particularly heavy rain storm, our office was at risk of flooding. I spent hours alone boxing up everything I could and then placing anything I couldn’t transport onto tables, chairs, old computer monitors — anything to get them as high above ground as possible. In those painstaking hours, I realized this experience was a metaphor for the entire business and that its future was based strictly on what I brought to the table, as opposed to being able to leverage the skills and expertise of a team. The experience was an eye-opening moment in my career.

Q: How do you think young entrepreneurs might benefit from this insight?

A: Talented co-founders who offer complementary skills are critical. They have expertise in specific areas you don’t. I am consistently skeptical of executives who think they can do it all. Mature executives have made a clear assessment of what they are good at and where they need to rely on the skills of others.

Successful entrepreneurs find great talent, add them to their team and continue to give credit where credit is due.

Q: Besides inventing a time machine, how might they realize these sorts of helpful pearls of wisdom sooner?

A: I believe there are three fundamental ways we learn: by asking questions of others, by reading and by doing. Certainly, the first two are very important. However, at the end of the day, there is no substitute for actually taking the plunge as an entrepreneur and learning from your own mistakes. Successful entrepreneurs are constantly experimenting and tweaking their products and other aspects of their businesses. Failures are inevitable and should be celebrated for the subsequent opportunities they bring. The key is to learn from them quickly and make adjustments.

Q: What are you glad you didn’t know then that you know now?

A: I’m glad I didn’t know how many professionals are simply going through the motions, feigning interest in an idea or business, without a real passion for them. If you don’t care deeply — very deeply — about what you do, what’s the point?

Too many people compartmentalize their work and personal lives when the truth is, successful entrepreneurs know the two bleed over in countless ways, each and every day. And the best entrepreneurs wouldn’t have it any other way.

Q: Best advice for young entrepreneurs?

A: Have a passion for solving a problem rather than a specific idea or product. When entrepreneurs grow highly attached to ideas and they start to invest huge amounts of time and money, it often becomes impossible to let go. Over time, your products will change and business models will evolve. There really is no such thing as a magic product. And rarely is there “overnight success.” Success is brought about by hard work, focus and indeed, passion.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned: don’t forget to enjoy the journey. The road to success is long and mired with landmines, well intentioned mistakes and sleepless nights. It is important to celebrate the milestones and successes along the way, however small they may be. Through this enjoyment you will create a more loyal and passionate team and a more well-rounded and passionate you.

-This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.

Mastery the Business from Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins3

Constantly evolving. Constantly improving. Constantly adding value. These are ideals that Tony Robbins lives by. And strives toward. And encourages others to strive for, too — in their work and their personal lives.

Robbins, 53, is best known as an acclaimed life and business coach, author and motivational speaker. He is the face behind a broad network of books, products and events. His live seminars alone have attracted 4 million attendees from all over the world, he says.

At six feet, seven inches tall, Robbins is a large man who has a deep passion for business and helping others succeed. Ahead of his next Business Mastery seminar in Palm Beach, Fla., next month, we caught up with Robbins to find out how people can be better entrepreneurs and grow their businesses. What follows are his responses, edited for length and clarity:

Entrepreneur: You say that “seven forces” are the keys to business mastery. What can you tell me about these forces and what they mean for entrepreneurs?

Robbins: They’re the seven parts of any business that have to be consistently managed to consistently grow and succeed. Most people know that 50 percent of all startups are gone within the first year and that 96 percent of all business fail after 10 years.

Why do so many business fail? Because even a small business requires consistent improvement in many areas simultaneously in order to compete and win. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs have some core skill sets — perhaps they’re extraordinary at writing code or creating extraordinary products — but their marketing skills are low. Or, their marketing skills might be off the charts but their inability to make effective financial analysis in the end destroys all they’ve built. They make poor decisions, and decisions shape our business destiny.

So, for a quick review, it’s best to start with the end in mind.

The seventh force and ultimate outcome for any business is to create raving fan customers and culture. Satisfied customers leave you when somebody gives them a better deal. Raving fan customers are loyal, they know who you really are and they stick around even when you screw up because you’ve consistently added value to them in a way that nobody else can.

After that, the first force that will shape a business is knowing where you really are and creating an effective business map. The biggest challenge for business leaders is that they’re not honest about where the business really is. They often see it better than it is, which keeps them going but it causes them to have blind spots that inevitably undermine or even destroy the business.

Knowing what business you’re really in, or what business you need to be in long term is critical. Knowing why you’re in the business and ultimately what outcomes you want the business to serve is critical for a business owner. Then, you have to know who you are and who you need in order to have long-term success.

You also need to know where you are. Every business has a lifecycle, just like a human being. Is your business in the toddler stage? Is your business in its prime? Is it aging? What to do in your business is completely controlled by where you are. Then you can decide where you want to go.

The second force of business is strategic innovation — finding a way to meet your client’s needs better than anybody else. Some companies innovate so often that they put themselves out of business because they are not being strategic about it.

The third force of business is world-class, strategic marketing. That just means having a process that gets a mass number of people to want to do business with you. Or, more importantly, the ideal client you want, to seek you out. It’s something I call “value-added marketing.”

The fourth force is sales mastery systems. It’s great that your marketing strategy is attracting clients, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you produce continued growth and sales.

The fifth force that business leaders must understand is the power of both financial and legal analysis. If you aren’t able to understand and analyze the financial condition of your business on an ongoing basis, you’re like a pilot of a plane who doesn’t know how to read the gauges in front of him. It’s easy to fly when there are clear skies (i.e., a good economy), but when you find yourself surrounded by storms and fog, if you can’t read the gauges, you’re going to crash. It’s only a matter of time.

Finally the sixth force is where you can create explosive growth in your company. Most people think in order to have explosive growth they have to make giant changes. In reality, if you understand the force of optimization and maximization of your people and processes, you can grow your business consistently while others are taking wild risks that don’t always pay off.

Entrepreneur: How can a business owner grow his or her profits by 50 percent in the next 12 months?

Robbins: The key to making documented, explosive profit gains is optimization and maximization. The goal is to make small, incremental changes that all together make your entire business significantly more efficient and profitable. If you’re not doing this already, you’re working hard every single day and you’re still not at the level you deserve. The secret is, little things aren’t little — they’re everything. Those little details — every lead you generate, every margin you increase, every promotion you run, every transaction you make, every sales person you hire — if you don’t measure it, you’re not managing it. So you’re not managing the driving force of what comes into your business to get those profit levels you deserve.

We’re treasure hunters. We know there’s treasure in our business, no question, and we’re going to find it no matter what it takes. If we try something and it doesn’t work, we’re going to try something else, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll make another change, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll shift something else until we get the result we’re after.

Entrepreneur: You say that looking through “a new filter” can help entrepreneurs uncover solutions to business problems. What do you mean by that?

Robbins: There are basic keys that offer entrepreneurs solutions, keys like finding a way to get more clients, and finding ways to increase your average transaction value. But beyond those basic keys, you need fresh perspective, or what I would call a new filter.

Take pricing for example. I did my first seminars for free. I advertised, I marketed, I did everything. I showed up in this room, I expected 500 people. Seven people showed up. Guess what I did for them? I dumped everything I had on these seven people. Can you imagine us in a room for a day? It was like Shallow Hal stuck in the elevator. But then I changed my filter. I changed my pricing, and I changed the size and venue for my seminars. Instead of intimate sessions in my living room, we were doing events at Madison Square Garden and people could learn from everyone else sitting there, which added even more value and reshaped the entire experience of the service. In many ways, it’s the same core product, but a different filter can make massive difference.

Robbins: People may come to my events to change their business, but I’m also here to help them change their lives. We all want to take both our business and our lives to the next level, and your business is a beautiful vehicle for doing that — it gives immediate feedback whether you’re in the right state, whether you’re telling the right story, whether you’ve got the right strategies. And it can provide a vehicle for your economic freedom and an expression of what you value most.

It’s important to remember that most people spend more time in their business than they do with their children, or with their spouse. For most business owners, the business is just an extension of their identity. So when we can help people make a shift or a dramatic change in their own psychology, that spills over to impact their business and every other area of their life.

If you’re able to meet your top needs in a positive way, then your life will improve. Similarly, if your business is able to first identify, and then meet, your clients’ top needs in a unique way, then you will develop a raving fan culture. Whether you’re becoming a better person or a better business owner, it’s really all connected.

The Importance of Being Fearless from Tony Robbins

Anthony Robbins2

Fear. It’s an emotion everyone experiences. We feel it when we think we’re in the presence of or doing something that might cause us pain or injury — physically, financially, etc. It’s what secures us from dangerous things.

But sometimes fear can stop us from doing great things. For example, fear of failure or loss of money often holds people back from becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business.

Fear is one of the many topics acclaimed life and business coach, author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins addresses in his seminars. You might have already heard of one way he does this: Robbins has attendees walk across burning coals. Yep, you read that right. The goal? To teach people to overcome their fears and take the first step beyond whatever might be holding them back.

While some have criticized the practice, others swear by it. Even Oprah did it. Her walk — as well as an in-depth conversation with Robbins — was featured on a 2012 episode of her TV show Oprah’s Next Chapter.

“People by nature are trained, almost innately, to be scared of fire and to keep away from it,” Robbins says. “That is why walking through a pathway of fire is a powerful expression of moving beyond one’s fears. Walking over any hot surface does encompass some risks, but it has been done safely for centuries, and when administered properly can have enormous value as a reminder of what we are truly capable of.”

So, it’s not so much about the act of walking over burning hot coals, but about having people face and overcome something in spite of fear.

“It’s simply a metaphor for them to break through their fears and limitations,” Robbins says. “If you look at what holds people back from expanding and deepening the quality of their lives, what prevents them from taking the actions that are necessary to transform their body, relationships, career, business or impact their kids, invariably, it’s fear — of failure, of success, of rejection, of pain and of the unknown.”

In his business seminars, Robbins encourages entrepreneurs to move past fear, in their personal and professional lives, in order to become more confident, productive and successful at everything they do. “Just like anyone can start their day with a killer workout, find a way to master a craft, find meaning in their work or create a passionate and loving relationship,” he says, “the secret lies in being able to break through the fear and unlock the limiting beliefs to create the life of your dreams.”

Improve Your Sales Game From Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

Through his books, videos and presentations, Robbins provides insight into effective selling. 

When it comes to helping people improve their lives there is nobody in the game with stronger credentials than Tony Robbins. The “Michael Jordan” of thought leaders, Tony has affected millions of people around the world through his performance coaching. And his words of wisdom has also had a huge impact in the business world.

Here are the six lesssons entrepreneurs can learn from Robbins on the secret to successful selling.

1. Know your purpose. In your day-to-day sales world, you MUST have a sense of meaning. Walking into the office, grabbing a coffee, checking your email and taking your day “on the fly” is just not going to get it done. When you’re at the office everyday you have got to know what you’re going to get done that day. Knowing your purpose will make the biggest impact you can imagine.

Give positive meaning to everything. The sales rep’s life is all about risks. The more you take the more you win (and lose). It’s how you respond to the losses that makes you special. Keeping a positive attitude (regardless of the issue) will keep your head in the game and ready for the next opportunity.

3. Realize that everything you do has a consequence. There’s no neutral in sales: A sales rep’s interactions with customers will either be positive or negative. Every action you take matters. It’s not just about being on your best behavior, it’s about knowing your strengths and lining them up to reach your desired outcome.

4. Know that everyone is unique, different and amazing. Sales is a competitive world where people put themselves on the line every day. They often get shot down. Looking at the world through the lens that everyone has meaning will positively affect every facet of your performance. Don’t get deflated when buyers and competitors don’t behave like you want.

5. Be driven by your desire for adventure. What drives you? Your past? Your competitors? Or even your fears? Or are you focused on your successes — on solving the next client problem and taking the next step for your company? It’s important to know what moves us and makes us do what we do.

6. Expect the unexpected. What are you going to do when something unexpected happens in sales? (By the way, something crazy always happens in sales.) Why do you think we’re always the storytelling life of the party? When any situation arises, it’s important to respond with the right action that helps you solve a customer problem and take the next step.

Tony has coached presidents, celebrities and olympic athletes to perform at their top of their game. Putting the secrets above into action will improve your performance too. The mark of a great leader is one who is highly coachable. So let these ideas guide you to higher commissions, happier clients and ultimate satisfaction.

Winning Strategies for a Sales Presentation

Sale Presentation

How to win over prospects and make more sales.

We’ve all seen it–people listening to a sales presentation, eyes glazed over and their minds anywhere but on what the speaker is saying. As an entrepreneur, whether you’re selling yourself or your products and services, it’s critical to avoid the missteps that put prospects to sleep and kill the deal. Here are five must-follow rules to win over prospects and seal the deal.

1. Listen before pitching. One of the mistakes business owners make is talking too much about the wonders of their company, instead of asking questions and listening to a potential customer’s needs. Your prospect probably did some research about you beforehand anyway, so don’t waste precious minutes going on about your qualifications. “Nothing is more annoying than when someone is pitching you, and it’s all about them, their products,” says Jared Reitzin, founder of mobileStorm, a Los Angeles-based provider of Web-based email and mobile and social communication platforms.

Kyla O’Connell, vice president of business development and sales trainer for Washington, D.C.-based Asher Sales Strategies, suggests opening your presentation with a question like, “I’m prepared to discuss our solution for you, but has anything changed since we last spoke?” or “Is there anything else I need to know before diving into a solution?” Before long, Reitzen says, “The customer will give you the key to how you can win the deal. You just need to ask enough questions and then shut up.”

2. Put in more prep time. No matter how good you are at thinking on your feet, don’t wing the presentation. You’ll risk jumping all over the place without a logical flow, says Terri Sjodin, founder of Sjodin Communications, a sales training and consulting firm in Newport Beach, Calif. Take the time to prepare and to practice from an outline, making sure your presentation covers all your points clearly and concisely, suggests Sjodin, who is also the author of Small Message, Big Impact (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2011).

Reitzin says he always reviews a prospect’s website to learn about what it sells, how it makes money and how he might be able to fix its problems. He also checks for any mutual connections on LinkedIn. “I will give them a call or shoot them an email asking more about the prospect’s personality and what I could say that would make the meeting successful,” he says. “Sometimes people will give you a heads up with how you should approach the prospect, and it can be invaluable.”

3. Liven it up. Many professionals don’t realize just how boring their presentations are–too many facts, a flat monotone, tired stories. “Sometimes professionals have been giving the same presentation for so long they just slip into autopilot,” Sjodin says. “In today’s competitive market, your presentations must be entertaining in order to obtain and maintain the attention of prospects.”

Be creative and put some energy behind your presentation. Sjodin suggests practicing with a tape recorder to determine if your presentation falters and make improvements. “The tone you use and your vocal variation allow you to project your own personality and to create a positive response whether you are speaking to one person or a large group of people,” she says.

4. Don’t use visual aids as a crutch. If brochures, handouts or slides could sell a product or service on their own, companies would not need salespeople. “Depending too much on visual aids can give us a false sense of security,” Siodin says. “We tend to think it isn’t necessary to prepare thoroughly because our props will lead us right through the presentation. We let the visual aid become the star and virtually run the show.”

Strategically place visual aids in your presentation to highlight major points, but remember that your style and personality will have much more impact. Most important, ask yourself whether a visual aid is for you or for them? “If it’s for you to get you through your presentation, scrap it,” Sjodin says. “If it’s for them so they can visually understand your presentation, keep it.”

5. Be ready to take the next step. Not every presentation is going to end with a sale, so it’s up to you to establish the next step in the process. Zak Dabbas, cofounder and managing partner of Punchkick Interactive Inc., a Chicago-based mobile marketing firm, says one of his biggest mistakes early in his career was concluding meetings with a “we hope to talk again soon” mentality.

“The executives we speak with are incredibly busy,” he says, “and we realized that we need to determine next steps right then and there–before life gets in the way.” Be ready to schedule a subsequent meeting or follow-up phone call, which will show you’re serious about working together. “You may not have the sale yet,” O’Connell says, “but you at least have something set up so things can continue to move forward.”