Six Reasons You Have to Join a Mastermind

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How can you get a fresh perspective and new ideas for your business with confidentiality assured?

The Answer: Join a Mastermind Group

 

This week I had the great pleasure and privilege to spend a day on the company of a diverse and stimulating group of business people led by Chris Ducker.

If you don’t know Chris, visit ChrisDucker.com and then go an subscribe to his podcast on iTunes.  Chris is a successful entrepreneur, blogger and Podcaster and, I am sure, by this time next year, New York Times best selling author (no pressure, Chris!).  Before we start, take a look at this short video in which Chris explains why he finds Mastermind Group so valuable.

 

I want to share with you my experience of the day and why I learned so much and am now hugely enthusiastic about Mastermind Groups.  Here are Six Reasons YOU have to join a Mastermind. [Read more…]

12 Marketing Podcasts for Entrepreneurs – 2013 Calendar

As it is Christmas, I thought that I would give you an early Christmas Present as well as try to inspire you for 2013.

A Christmas Stocking stuff full of amazing sources of brilliant content!

I have collected together my favourite 12 Podcasts which I believe will give you, the Entrepreneur, great value, fantastic ideas and above all inspire you to take your business forward in 2013.

You can see the Slideshare embedded deck below:

To make it even more fun, I have created a 2013 Calendar also on Slideshare, which you can download for free and with no sign ups.  This has one Podcast per month and will remind you to go and listen to a different one each month.  Where appropriate I have included links to iTunes and to the associated Blog.  Please note there are no affiliate links whatsoever in this post, after all its Christmas and the time of gifts and goodwill.

The Calendar is available in UK and US versions (public holidays).

This is the US Calendar

These are the people who inspire me – I hope they inspire you!

In no particular order…

Duct Tape Marketing – Jon Jantsch

Apart from being an amazing Author of three great business books, Duct Tape Marketing,      The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine, John has a great podcast with fantastic guests.  His website has a great list of resources and you can also download a free ebook” 7 Essential Stages of a Total Online Presence“.

The links to his website and the iTunes podcast are below.

http://www.ducttapemarketing.com

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/duct-tape-marketing/id78797836

The Eventual Millionaire – Jamie Tardy

Jamie conducts some great interviews with successful entrepreneurs who are Millionaires.  They share their story and through their experience, Jamie aims to help you, the Eventual Millionaire.  The Podcasts are great fun but contain some serious content and are well worth subscribing to on iTunes.  Her site also contains links to her interviews under the Case Studies section.

http://www.eventualmillionaire.com

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-become-millionaire/id414496714

Marketing Over Coffee – John Wall and Christopher Penn

John and Christopher present a weekly discussion format podcast which covers the latest developments and controversies in Online Marketing.  Their discussions, combined with an active Linkedin Group, are both entertaining and very informative.  I also find their “Almost Timely Newsletter” which comes out once a week, well worth signing up for.

http://www.marketingovercoffee.com

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/marketing-over-coffee/id251299460

Mixergy – Andrew Warner

Andrew is the maestro of the Entrepreneurial Interview.  With over 800 great interviews conducted, his meticulous preparation results in well structured and incisive discussions with successful entrepreneurs.  He offers over 80 courses in his membership site, Mixergy Premium,  which you may consider joining once you have listened to some of his interviews.

http://mixergy.com

The Rise to the Top – David Siteman Garland

David’s show is never dull – he has such great energy.  He always has real “A List Mediapreneurs” and I have learned a great deal from listening to his interviews.  His site has a great blog and his product recommendations are worth reviewing too!  If you have any doubts, just go and listen to one episode, but don’t blame me if you develop an addiction for the podcast (I did!).

http://www.therisetothetop.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rise-to-top-1-badass-show/id395547693

Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel

Mitch provides one of the most intelligent discussions on marketing that I have found on the Internet.   He has great interviewees and often does a double hander with Joe Jaffe and neither of them is afraid to be controversial.  Mitch has written a best selling book, Six Pixels of Separation which is also well worth a read.

http://www.twistimage.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/six-pixels-separation-marketing/id157616278

Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn

Pat’s blog and podcast are one of the riches resources on the web for Entrepreneurs who want to improve their online marketing, as well as understand better the road to a passive income.  Pat’s free ebook on how to write, publish and market an online ebook is a great worthwhile download in its own right.  Pat offers fantastic value for his readers and listeners and I very much enjoy is podcast and blog.  If that was not enough, he also has some brilliant How To videos which can be found on YouTube and I recommend subscribing to his channel there.

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/smart-passive-income-podcast/id383084001

Social Media Marketing – Michael Stelzner

Although Social Media Examiner has been a cornerstone of the online blogging world for many years, the podcast only started in July this year and is on episode 18 as I write.  That having been said, it is definitely not one to miss.  Michael has had some amazing guests and also provides some great advice and resources.  Listen out for his voice over man – a brilliant american cockney, Guv!

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/social-media-marketing-podcast/id549899114

CopyBlogger – Robert Bruce and Brian Clark

This site, as it title suggests, focus on the detailed matter of content creation and the importance of copywriting.  That having been said, the interviews with great interviewees are always engaging and this is the sort of podcast that Evernote was built for.  Try listening and not taking notes!  They also offer Scribe Content Marketing software to show you how they do it.

http://www.copyblogger.com

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/internet-marketing-for-smart/id402427480

Online Income Lab – Trent Dyrsmid

Trent’s podcast is full of helpful and practical advice to make the most of your online presence.  You do not need to be in the “make money online space”, if you are creating content he will help you to do it faster and smarter. Trent is a strong advocate of outsourcing low value and repetitive tasks and this can be a real time and money saver for small businesses.  His resources section is worth checking out on his Blog here.

http://onlineincomelab.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-online-income-lab-blog/id442831905

Social Triggers – Derek Halpern

This podcast and blog focus on the psychology of online marketing and Derek covers some really clever and thought provoking material in a totally accessible way.  His interviews are also brilliantly engaging and well worth the time subscribing to in iTunes.

http://socialtriggers.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/social-triggers-insider-marketing/id498311148

Chris Ducker

It is impossible to produce a list like this and not include Chris Ducker.  I listened to every one of his “Virtual Business Lifestyle” podcasts and these can be found on Tunein – see the link below.  Chris will shortly be launching another podcast and based on the past,  it will be on my iTunes subscription list the day it launches.  Chris has an active Facebook community which is worth following and a great blog.  When I thinned out all my mailing list subscriptions, Chris’s stayed firmly in there!

http://www.chrisducker.com

http://tunein.com/radio/Virtual-Business-Lifestyle—Online-Business-Start-Up-Entrepre-p412751/

Bonus: The Four Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris

The Art of Meta-Learning.  OK, strictly speaking this is not a podcast or a blog but a trilogy of three books which will help you to challenge the way you organise your life and your business and at the same time teach you some of Tim’s brilliant techniques for Meta Learning or hour to learn 80% of what you need to know in 20% of the time.  Four sentences does not begin to do Tim’s work justice – go out and buy one of the books.  Then try NOT to buy the other three.  I have the Four Hour Work week on my iPad but I am having to buy the paperback to use it as a reference guide.  Now how many books can you say that about today?

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com

http://fourhourbody.com

http://fourhourchef.com

Please note there are no affiliate links whatsoever in this post, after all its Christmas and the time of gifts and goodwill.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever your Creed or Faith,   a very Happy Holiday to you all!

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What are the Benefits of Twitter?

What are the benefits of Twitter?

 

What are the Benefits of Twitter?

In the last post in this series, I discussed the Benefits of a Social Media Funnel.

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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In this post, I want to move on to look at some of the Social Media platforms and I want to start with Twitter.

Here is the video….

Twitter needs to be an important part of any integrated Social Media Strategy.

Its unique format means that you can have a conversation – due to the limit of 140 characters

You can listen to the conversations of those you are following and, just as importantly, you can listen to what others (including your customers) are saying about you, your company and your products and services.

The scale of the platform means that there is an incredible diversity of conversations going on all the time and when you combine this with the platform’s search capability you can use it to keep yourself informed on a wide variety of topics.

Taking the search capabilities a step further, you can use the platform to research topics as so many tweets link to great content which has been posted out on the web.

You can use Twitter as a syndication tool for your own content sharing blogs, podcasts and videos to name but three.  Twitter is also very good at sharing pictures.

Finally, as you can follow an initial limit of 2,000 other Twitterers with very few limitations, you can search for people who are relevant to your business and extend your network by following and conversing with them.

I hope you find this discussion helpful.

If you would like to know more you can contact me directly for a no obligation discussion to see whether I can help you with your Social Media Strategy.

You can reach me by email at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com or call me on my UK cell phone +44 7813 672 612.

In the next video in this series I am going to look at the Benefits of Google+

Thank you for joining the Conversation

 

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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What are the Benefits of a Social Media Funnel?

 

What are the Benefits of…a Social Media Funnel?

In my last post in this Series, I discussed the Benefits of Engaging on Social Media.

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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In this, the third Video in the series, I would like to discuss with you the benefits of having a Social Media Funnel.

Here is the video….

 


A Social Media Funnel is all about moving prospective customers from the outer reaches of the web, through your social media properties and content so that they convert.  There is a Six Stage Process to this

  • Find Me
  • Know Me
  • Like Me
  • Trust Me
  • Do Business With Me
  • Evangelise Me
When you are designing your online marketing strategy you need to have this structure in your mind and make sure that everything you do helps this process.  

I hope you find this discussion helpful.

If you would like to know more you can contact me directly for a no obligation discussion to see whether I can help you with your Social Media Strategy.

You can reach me by email at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com or call me on my UK cell phone +44 7813 672 612.

In the next video in this series I am going to look at the Benefits of Twitter.

Thank you for joining the Conversation

What are the Benefits of Engaging on Social Media

What are the benefits of engaging on social media

 

What are the Benefits of Engaging on Social Media?

In the last video I discussed the overall benefits of a Social Media Strategy.

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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Now I want to look a little more closely about the benefits of Social Media Engagement and why it pays to get involved and engage with your audience who are, after all, potential customers.

In this video I discuss the topic under the following headings:

  • Listen
  • Be Selective
  • Be Social
  • Be Responsive
  • Be Adaptable
  • Be Original – Be Yourself!

I hope you find this discussion helpful.   If you would like to know more you can contact me directly for a no obligation discussion to see whether I can help you with your Social Media Strategy.

You can reach me by email at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com or call me on my UK cell phone +44 7813 672 612.

In the next video in this series I am going to look at the Benefits of A Social Media Funnel.

Thank you for joining the Conversation

What are the Benefits of a Social Media Strategy?

 

What are the Benefits of a Social Media Strategy?

If you are new to Social Media then this series of videos will help you to consider whether you should be putting more effort into your Social Media Strategy.

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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This is the first video in which I address the subject as a whole…

In this video I consider Six Benefits, following the Six Minute Strategist Methodology.  Of course, there are many more but in the interest of brevity and clarity I have focused on:

  • Community
  • Multi Media
  • Audience
  • Engagement
  • Analysis
  • Save Money
I hope you find this a helpful introduction to the topic.  If you would like to know more you can contact me directly for a no obligation discussion to see whether I can help you with your Social Media Strategy.  
You can reach me by email at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com or call me on my UK cell phone +44 7813 672 612.

In the next video in this series I am going to look at the importance of Engaging on Social Media.

Thank you for joining the Conversation

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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Can You Bank TO the Future?

Can you bank to the future?

Can you Bank ON the Future?

Well, in this market, no one can.

However you can Bank TO the Future!

How is this possible?

 

 

Let me introduce the subject with this short video…

Simon Dixon has launched a UK Crowd Funding site – Banktothefuture.com – which is seeking to increase the competition in the UK Banking Sector by making it possible for investors with capital to directly access Entrepreneurs and Early Stage businesses.

The real innovation here is that Investors can invest through both debt and equity, as well as make donations in return for non monetary perks, such as pre-orders of a new product.

What are the challenges?

Banks currently do not lend to small early stage companies.

Early Stage UK Venture Capitalists represent a small part of the market and most will not invest in businesses with less than £1m in revenues (although there are a few rare exceptions).

The Stock Market is not available to very small, early stage enterprises.

The Angel Market is very difficult to access other than through Angel Network Organisations and although they help early stage enterprises with the process, they need to be paid for their work and introductions which can be expensive, especially if a relatively small amount of money is being raised ie less than £100,000.

What is Crowd Funding?

Crowd Funding enables investors to invest small amounts of money in a range of investments, thereby diversifying their risk through a portfolio.

The Crowd Funding Loan enables investors to chose which companies their money is invested in and removes banks from their traditional role of taking in deposits on the one hand and making loans on the other.

It is also possible to donate to Crowd Funds to help create businesses for a non monetary perks and help young businesses get started.

Online platforms enable donors and investors to directly reach entrepreneurs and enable them to invest equity, lend money or support by donating money in return for non monetary “perks”, normally a pre-order of the product being made by the new business.

Other examples of Crowd Funding sites include Kickstarter, AngelList and Investedin.

There are two models. One in which the project has to raise the amount it states it needs within a stated time frame.  If the target is not achieved all monies are returned to the pledging investors.  The second model allows the projects to retain the money even if the target is not met.

Bank to the Future falls into the former category.

So what does Bank to the Future do?

The Online process enables entrepreneurs to initially Crowd Fund the finance required to start their business by raising equity.

There is the opportunity to donate money to projects in return for non monetary perks, such as pre-orders of new products and thereby assist the enterpreneur to start his business in a more socially responsible way.

Donating allows investors to increase their Social Capital through Bank to the Future. (Click to Tweet)

The Crowd Funding approach enables entrepreneurs and investors to work together on terms that all participants accept.  An investor cannot change the terms of a deal at the last minute to his advantage.

Later on as the business develops, the enterpreneur may have a better credit rating and be able to raise crowd funded loans from Bank to the Future Investors without having to surrender further equity.

What is the significance of the Crowd Funding Movement?

Since 2008 the difficulties small businesses have in raising capital or getting access to loans from banks have been widely debated.  At the same time the Government (both Labour and Coalition) have consistently taken the position that the SME sector, which accounts for 67% of jobs in the UK, is vital to the recovery of the economy as it has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

While the Small Business Sector has more than pulled its weight, it has continued to struggle to get access to the capital it needs to invest.

The internet has proven to be a highly disruptive force in many industries – think of iTunes and the Music industry and Amazon, initially with books and now just about every other product category in B2C retail market.  There is no reason why financial services should be immune and with the continued development of online, disruptive business models emerging, market inefficiencies and the status quo are constantly being challenged.

So is Bank to the Future the new future of Banking? (Click to Tweet)

Full disclosure: I have no financial arrangements of any kind with Bank to the Future.

What Next?

Take a look at my FREE video Tutorial “How to Turn Your Great Idea into a Business” which is all about Starting a Business and Raising Capital.

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Thank you for joining the Conversation.

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Audience or Influence?

Audience or Influence?

What is more important online?  Audience or Influence?

Is it better to have 10,000 twitter followers or 100 Evangelists?

What does this tell us about our own Social Media strategy?

 

 

 

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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Is Anyone out there?

Across the major Social Media Platforms, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google + etc we are continually being told how many people are “members” and encouraged to go out and convert as many of these members to Fans, Followers or subscribers.

Take a look at this short video in which I introduce the subject…

Does this really make sense?  What does it mean to have 10,000 Twitter followers? How can you “friend” this number of people, when the Dunbar number tells us that the actual number of people an individual can have interactive relations with is 150.

Is this all about Social Proof? Do we chase these numbers to convince others that we some how have significance on social media?  And of course, in so doing, encourage them to join the multitude of fans and followers because clearly the others know something they do not?

Who are these people anyway?  If I look at my “networks” I find that there is actually very little overlap between say my Twitter followers and my Linkedin connections.  Should I be doing more to cross convert one to another?  Would this make me more influential or make any difference to my business?  I doubt it.

Social Media is not a Soap Box! (Click to Tweet)

So what about Influence?

Do you have Kred? or Klout? or a signifcant Peer Index?  Check out the links if you are not sure what I am talking about.

Is it more important to influence your followers and fans than just accumulate them?  Even more important should you try to reach out and connect with Influencers who score highly on these influence measurement platforms, hoping that some of their magic dust will rub off on you?

In my view sharing information and engaging with people who have a common interest in a topic is far more valuable than simply building a follower list.  If you have some value to give and you take the time to blog or tweet or post on Facebook, then you want your audience to gain that value from you and make use of it.  Simply collecting fan and follower notches on the social media bedpost is a waste of your time. (Click to Tweet)

Seth Godin argues in Tribes (Amazon affiliate link) that you only need 1,000 true followers and that influence tops audience any day of the week.  The great thing with Social Media is that you have the tools to create these communities and interact with turning them into your “tribe” in the process?

  • The challenge for business today is how to do this most economically and effectively?  How many networks should you focus on?
  • What type of media should you use?
  • How do you integrate this with your “old style” outbound media?
  • How do you use each platform to best effect?
  • Do you need to become an expert on everyone?
  • How much time is all this going to take?
  • How do I measure the ROI and find out if it making any difference?

Where on earth do I go from here?  Well, if you are facing these questions and challenges and would like to take some initial steps to answering the questions, contact me and we can discuss the challenges you face and how we can address them.

Tell me what you think!  Leave a comment or email me at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com.

Thank you for joining the Conversation.

Would You Like to Know More About Online Social Media Sales and Marketing?

Click Here to Find Out More About My Video Course – The Social Sales Cycle: 8 Steps to More Sales Through Social Media

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Can you find me the Right Investor?

“Can you find me the right investor?”

“What are the chances of success?”

“What are the odds of finding an Investor for my Company?”

 

I am asked these questions all of the time as if finding investors for companies was like throwing darts at a dart board; if you hit the bull you get funding, Right?

Well not quite.  In this blog piece and the accompanying video, I will try to share with you some of the complexities in the funding process.  I want to try to demonstrate that building a systematic funnel is much better than throwing darts!

Lets start by looking at some statistics from Crunchbase.  This free online database lists over 100,000 companies and over 30,000 funding rounds.  Crunchbase also shows us that there have been literally thousands of Seed Rounds, Angel Rounds and Series A, B and C rounds.  Furthermore over 9,000 funding rounds are unattributed.

In our research over the past decade, we have identified over 1,200 investors in the UK and this dataset only has a small number of Angel and High Net Worth investors.  We are predominantly talking about funds, networks and family offices.

So where do you start?

In the video I walk through a series of factors that need to be taken into account when trying to select investors.

These include:

  • Investor Type
  • Sector
  • Stage
  • Funding Round
  • Deal Size
  • Risk
  • Geography
  • VC Portfolio
  • VC Specific Odds
  • Investment Criteria
  • Deal Criteria
  • Process
  • Documentation
  • Term Sheet
  • VC Deal Flow
  • Conflicting Interests

Unfortunately, finding the Right Investor involves kissing a lot of frogs!

I do not believe that there are any short cuts, they take too long!

I hope you find the video useful and if you want to know more or to discuss any issues I bring up, you can email me at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com or contact me through the blog.

You can also download the slide deck from Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/jbdcolley/can-you-find-me-the-right-investor-5-oct-2012

What Next?

Take a look at my FREE video Tutorial “How to Turn Your Great Idea into a Business” which is all about Starting a Business and Raising Capital.

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Six Minute Strategy Review Bonus

 

I wanted to give visitors to my site a free gift to say thank you for visiting.

No Names, No Sign Up, No Hooks.

I decided to prepare a brief video and slide presentation (with a more detailed Appendix of questions) that you can watch and download.

The objective of this is to enable you to organise your own Strategy discussion within your business.  I provide an outline framework and some suggested questions for this process which you can obviously adapt to your own requirements.

I want to challenge you to think strategically about your business and to carve time out of your busy schedules to do this.

I have embedded the video below:

You can find the slidedeck on my website landing page at http://jbdcolley.com

I hope you find this useful.  If you do why not sign up to my subscribers list to receive more of my content.

Thank you for joining the Conversation!