With so many business people writing books, accepting out-of-area speaking engagements, and seeking more ideal clients (that is, clients who are a pleasure to work with and pay well), time is of the essence. With that in mind, below are three common wishes for today's busy entrepreneurs, and tips for making them come true with minimal effort.
1) Getting more book reviews on Amazon or customer reviews on Google:
Mike Michalowicz, business guru and author of The Pumpkin Plan, gives the following formula for authors who are seeking more book reviews on Amazon. Michalowicz claims that a large number of reviews can help you sell books, for two reasons. First, reviews get you noticed, and good reviews can help sell your book. Believe it or not, even a bad review or two could help. The one-star reviews tend to arouse controversy and curiosity... and call attention to your book. As of Nov. 25, 2012, Michalowicz has 423 reviews for his first book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and 105 reviews for his latest, The Pumpkin Plan.
1) Click on your book on Amazon and scroll down to "Customers who bought this item also bought."
2) Go to the customer profiles of the people who have reviewed these other (competing) books. Most of the time, the person has listed an email address in his or her profile. Sometimes, the customer's full name and address are listed.
3) Email or snail mail them and tell them you saw their review of "so and so's" book. Ask them if they would also review your book if you send them a free, signed copy.
Local businesses can adapt this concept to get customer reviews on Google Places:
1) Look up reviews for other local businesses in your area that serve your target market.
2) Invite these reviewers to sample your service or product and write an honest review.
2) Traveling for business efficiently and stress free:
Chris Guillebeau, author of the NY Times bestselling book The $100 Startup, has visited almost every country in the world before the age of 35. He gives the following tips:
• Strive to get elite status at the very top tier on an airline by staying loyal to that airline and following the appropriate guidelines. Guillebeau states, "Once you achieve elite status with one carrier, you can often leverage it into elite status with competing carriers through status matches." Elite status on airlines at the top tier can award you free flights, complimentary first class upgrades and premium seating, and can save you time and aggravation when boarding and exiting the plane.
• Never check bags. Carry-on only, always.
• Get work done in 10-minute segments. Make the best use of your waiting and commuting time. Post on social media, use Gmail offline and clear your inbox during the flight, and write your emails. You don't have to wait for a whole focused hour to get things done.
3) Meeting "THE" person who could refer your services or become your client:
I've observed that many people, when faced with the daunting task of meeting the strategic partner or client of their dreams, waste a lot of time in inertia. To get moving, I suggest using my "quick and easy" formula for meeting the right people:
1. Try not to think about getting hired, endorsed or referred. Instead, invest your time in the relationship with NO expectation. This is totally counter-intuitive, but you have to let go of your business agenda so you don't feel needy or come across as desperate.
2. Help them. Here are some great ways. You decide what fits:
• Compile a list of "preferred partners" and use it to refer your clients. When you go to meet possible strategic partners (e.g., you're a yoga instructor and you want to meet reputable physical therapists), call them up, meet them, add them to your list, and start referring clients to them. Don't settle for a brochure or an office email from your potential referral partner.
• Think of a "business match made in heaven" for them. Call or email their office and ask if you can introduce them to one another; over lunch is ideal, but email works too. Example: pair a title agency owner with a real estate attorney. Or pair a mechanic with an auto-body specialist. Then follow up to see how the relationship is going.
• Find a way to help them get exposure or visibility.
• Volunteer at their charity events.
I hope you've found these tips to be helpful. Please feel free to comment below and share great business ideas you've discovered on your own. Wishing you freedom and success in business.