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December 15 2010

How to get smarter, sleep more, and get more sex - today

Some stories are easier to tell than others.

We learn not to touch a hot burner because it hurts like hell. It’s obvious.

Sleep is not obvious. It wastes you away slowly if you don’t get it, and half the time you won’t even notice because we’re too hopped up on caffeine.

When the guys at Zeo sent me a Personal Sleep Coach, I already knew a lot about sleep. But I knew there was a bigger idea here. So we made this infographic for you that tells the whole story, and why it matters.

Oh! I also convinced them to give away a free Zeo, which Tim Ferriss talks about (along with paleo diets, etc.) in the 4 Hour Body.

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Click to see the whole thing!

November 06 2010

Every Business is a Machine

I hear a McDonald’s franchise costs over a million dollars to buy.

When you buy one, though, it basically starts to print money. They have the system down so well that you can plop a McDonald’s down anywhere and tell ahead of time how much money it will make. Likewise Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and all those places. A franchise is essentially a business in a box– a machine.

Other businesses, the unique ones, are machines too. As I sit here at my local coffee place by the canal, I realize suddenly that the gears beneath it are identical to the place I go to downtown. Different owners, different staff, different food– same business. It’s a formula, and that means that there’s a lot of it you can predict.

The only part you can’t predict is the human element. Can the staff upsell you their lattés, or make you show up more often? Once you’ve got it running, though, that too is mostly math. You know how much you make any day of the week under most circumstances.

If you’re a freelancer and you mostly work with clients, you may never understand this, because your business doesn’t work this way. You have low overhead because it’s basically you and your work, but it also can’t be automated. You can’t let your success work for you as much, unless you use existing infrastructure. (It’s why singers release perfumes.)

I bet if you run enough businesses, you start to see the machines inside every business. If you know real estate, you can walk into a building and see how everything is going to work 5 years from now, and tell the risk of the tenants from how they greet you.

By the way, we here online should be able to do the same thing with websites. Can you?

October 28 2010

It’s time to start holding social media accountable for ROI

No question, we’re in the midst of a veritable explosion of B2B social media usage.  Led on by numerous evangelists, increasing numbers of online marketers are pushing out wall posts, tweets, blog posts, etc., hoping to gain traction in their target market. We’d like to say, “It’s all good”;  but we know, of course, that [...]

October 21 2010

Webinars: so easy, even a small B2B can do them well

Webinars:  along with white papers, they’re a highly effective means for B2Bs to communicate complex material and/or establish thought leadership.  They can be used either as “lead bait” (i.e., as an offer behind a landing page) or as a nurturing step for existing prospects. So why is it that relatively few small B2Bs make use [...]

October 12 2010

Landing-page optimization: another area where less is more

OK folks, today’s post takes us to lovely Andover, MA to eavesdrop on the recent Conversion Leaders Summit.  Well, not physically to Andover, it was a virtual meeting;  but Andover is home to SeeWhy, who sponsored the Summit.  And home base for Charles Nicholls, who posted a nifty summary of a Summit presentation on improving [...]

October 01 2010

How NOT to select – and work with – a website design agency

No question about it, finding the right web design agency is tough …very tough.  Start with the fact that it’s never an “apples to apples” comparison …maybe not even apples to oranges.  Agencies vary widely in price, methodology, core competencies, creative capability, pricing models, technologies supported, and a host of other factors. But in trying [...]

September 07 2010

Could an autoresponder keep your B2B from drowning in prospects?

Some of you are probably familiar with the notion of an email autoresponder;  but for those who aren’t…  an autoresponder is a program that sends one or more automated messages in response to either an email or a Web form inquiry.  It may be as simple as “Thanks for contacting us!” to a series of [...]

August 12 2010

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