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The Ellory Wells Show: Actual Entrepreneurs Share Actionable Advice to Help YOU Build YOUR Business!

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3 Questions that Help You Qualify Your Customers and Make More Sales

Have you ever spent time with a prospective customer only to find out they weren't interested in you or your product in the first place? Master salespeople are also masters at qualifying their customers. By learning how to weed out the tire-kickers, you can spend your time with the people who truly want what you have to offer. And qualifying questions (and how to use them) is what we're going to talk about today. Want to listen? There's an audio version (with BONUS content!) below One of the first things you should do in sales is to learn how to ask qualifying questions. You need to know if the person in front of you or on the other end of the phone is interested in you and your product or if they're just killing time. Applying Good Sales Technique Back in college, I was part of the recruitment effort for our fraternity. Baylor had just built a new three-winged, multi-floored, completely-enormous science building, and they wanted to show it off. Related: How to Increase the Value of Every Customer The plan was to have each fraternity occupy a separate lecture hall. The freshmen who were interested in pledging (i.e. applying to a fraternity and going through the membership process), had to register with the university and pick up their rush cards. On each card, like a Bingo board, was a spot for each fraternity. Before the freshmen could make their decision about which fraternity they wanted to join, they first had to get their Bingo board stamped by a minimum number of fraternities. The purpose of the card was to get young men to meet new people and see what other fraternities were out there. Since my fraternity was smaller than the others, it was nice to have the opportunity to get our message in front of people who might not otherwise see it. The Weed-Out Process However, the Bingo card also brought about problems. So they could fill up their cards, the freshmen swooped from room to room, had quick conversations, and left once they got their stamp. Also at this time in my life, I was working for Dell, back when they had a call center in downtown Waco, Texas. Dell had spent weeks training our sales team not only on the company's products and services but also on how to be better salespeople. And one of the things we'd learned was how to effectively determine if someone was ready to buy or if they were just looking for more information. Dell had taught me how to effectively use qualifying questions. So when our lecture hall was empty between throngs of freshmen, I pulled our fraternity members aside and taught them how to ask qualifying questions to determine if someone was actually interested in joining us or if they only walked through our door to get a stamp on their Bingo board. By asking qualifying questions like those listed below, our current members were able to filter out the stamp-getters and free up their time to focus on the freshmen who were truly interested in the fraternity. 3 Qualifying Questions: What brings you in today? What are you looking for? How did you hear about us? By asking these easy qualifying questions, the guys who were only there for a stamp were politely handled and shown the door, while the young men who were interested in our mission and our message got the time and attention they deserved. A Good Qualifying Question is: Open-ended Inviting Un-assuming When you ask qualifying questions to your audience, you can determine how best to help them. If you ask the right questions, prospects will practically tell you what they need and how you can make a sale. Yes, it'll take some practice, but your efforts will pay off. As a result of a few minutes of training my fellow members, our fraternity was able to have one of the largest pledge classes we'd had in several semesters. Buying vs. Being Sold People don't mind buying, but they rarely want to be sold. However, having the option to buy all of the options is often a good thing. But I'll come back to that. A couple of months ago, we needed to get our SUV serviced. Nothing major, just the routine oil change and tire rotation, etc. So I drove my wife to work, dropped her off, and headed to the closest Nissan dealership. When I got on-site, I had a hard time finding the service entrance, so I pulled up in front of a group of sales guys who worked for the Chevrolet dealership owned by the same company. I hadn't even gotten out of my car and I was immediately swarmed. “What can we get you into today?” “What kind of payments are you looking for?” “What's your budget?” “This new Corvette is nice, isn't it?” They dove on me like flies at a fall barbeque. Yes, the new Z06 was nice, but I wasn't interested. I asked where the service place was, and they were of no use. Either they were idiots or they had no desire to help me. They couldn't even tell me that the service department I was looking for was less than 100 yards back the way I came. Sales Stereotype I'm sure you've had the same experience. Nobody refers to car salesmen as the pinnacle of selling technique. Are you doing the same thing? Are you asking people to buy into you, your ideas, or your mission before they even know who you are and what you're about? I share the story above to show you one end of the sales extreme – the “in your face,” obnoxious example that you've likely experienced and want to avoid in your business. Successful businesses understand they need to understand their customers. We must get inside the mind of our prospective clients and learn what they need, what they want, and where they're going for information. That's why defining your ideal client avatar is so important and why content marketing is so effective. I'd made a wrong turn, and before I'd talked about my needs, before I'd shared what I wanted, and before I'd even showed a single buying signal, the idiots at the car dealership made assumptions about who I was and what I wanted. If the stooges at the car dealership had asked me, “What brings you in today?” they would have known I was not in the market for a new car, and they could have either gotten back to their conversation or moved on to someone else who was looking to make a purchase. Side note: there was no one else at the dealership, perhaps because the dealership had earned a “car salesmen” reputation in the community that was off-putting. When to Ask Qualifying Questions Now that you know three qualifying questions to ask, let's talk about when to use them In short, there is no bad time to qualify your customers. You can ask qualifying questions at the beginning, at the middle, and even at the end of your conversation as you lead someone through the sales process. At the Beginning As I mentioned in the examples of my fraternity and the car dealership, asking qualifying questions when you first engage with someone is very effective. By asking questions at the beginning, not only do you invite your prospect to tell you what they need, but you can quickly determine if they're the right customer for you. But beware, qualifying someone as soon as they get out of the car or walk through your door can be off-putting. You should let someone get their bearings and get a feel for where they are before you swoop in. Heck, at the very least, give them an opportunity to stretch their legs or for their eyes to adjust to the lighting in your store. In the Middle Once you've determined someone is in the right place and that they'd be a good fit for your products, your job is not done. By asking qualifying questions throughout your conversation, you can determine if someone would be interested in cross-sells or upsells you have to offer. Additionally, you can learn more about what the customer wants so you can offer the best possible product to them. PRO TIP: Whenever your prospect mentions a different product or an upgraded feature, ask them qualifying questions about it. Ask, “What about that appeals to you?” or “What interests you about ____?” A good salesperson is always seeking more information. At the End After you've determined if the prospect is interested in what you've got to offer, and after you've figured out how to meet their needs in the best way possible, your job is done, right? Wrong. Every good salesperson knows that their job is never done. Everybody buys SOMETHING to go along with what they're buying today. A notebook needs a pen. A movie ticket needs popcorn and a coke. A car needs oil changes and a warranty. Even offline, brick and mortar stores need websites. Asking good qualifying questions at the end of the sale closes the conversation. Like bookends, great questions open and close the relationship and often show your customers that you care about them beyond just the sale of today. Summary Good questions get the customer talking. The more they're talking, the more they're going to tell you about who they are, what problem they have, and what type of solution they're looking for. A good bit of sales advice is this: let the customer do most of the talking. Click here 3 Questions that Help You Qualify Your Customers and Make More Sales to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


21 Oct 2019

Rank #1

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Everybody Makes Mistakes. Here’s What You Can Do About It

Everybody makes mistakes. Our flaws are one of the things that make us human. However, if we can minimize our mistakes we'll have better chances of success. But is perfection the goal? Or, is that homemade look and feel a better way? Want to listen? There's an audio version below A couple of Mondays ago, one of my clients called me up. She said she had a personal issue and was wanting to see if I, as a coach, could offer her any advice about dealing with her son and helping with “it.” I remember watching a college football game a few years ago. It was late in the season, and the rankings had already been established, though not solidified. One of the best teams in the nation was playing one of the worst. Between plays, the cameras would show each team on their sideline, and I noticed something interesting. Related: 7 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make When I watched the McGregor versus Mayweather fight I noticed it. When I scroll through my Facebook feed, I notice it. When I study the greats to learn how I can get better, I notice it. And, what “it” is, is what we're going to talk about today. The Mom When my client called me up one afternoon, I didn't really know what to expect. She said she had a “personal issue” to ask me about, but, prior to her call, I had no idea what it was or how to prepare. She told me that she was facing challenges with her son, who was a significant part of their family business. He was in charge of marketing, writing emails, and engaging with their clients on social media. His efforts had helped their company expand beyond their “garage” and grow into a business that generates over $100,000 in sales every year. My client's son has helped their business become a player in their industry, someone to be reckoned with, and who is disrupting the long-entrenched status quo. But now her son is making mistakes. He's getting sloppy. The Sports Team When I tune into sports, which I rarely do, I don't expect to find a lesson on success. But that day I did. After the play was over and the ball changed hands, the losing team, who was losing by several touchdowns, was acting like most amateurs. They were discussing plays, yelling at one another about the things that were going wrong, and were buckling under pressure. On the other hand, and on the other side of the field, the winning team behaved like professionals. But it was the subtle things that stood out to me. I remember watching as one of the players sat on the bench while one of the equipment managers picked the mud out from between the cleats on the player's shoes. The Professional Fighter One of the biggest sporting events of 2017 was the boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. Conor, a multiple-belt-wearing champion of the UFC, was going to face Floyd, who, at the time, held an undefeated 49-0 record. Conor was going to leave the octagon and step into the ring with a world champion who was on the cusp of setting a new record. The fight started off well. Conor came out strong; Mayweather ducked, bobbed, and weaved, taking a few blows and giving a few as well. But as the rounds continued, Conor started making mistakes. He was over-exerting himself in a game of endurance. He was dropping his hands and leaving himself open. He was getting arrogant while in the ring with one of the most winning boxers of all time. The Cost of Mitsakes Before I go on, I'm not browbeating you about mistakes. I'm also not claiming I never make them. Our mistakes and flaws make us human, and when we can talk about them in the larger context of our stories, they can help us be more relatable to the people around us who aren't perfect either. Put another way, perfect is boring. It's bland and uninteresting. Our mistakes and flaws give us character and make us interesting. However, in the case of the mother and son, if you're going to sell a product for $5000, you have be worth $5000. But, before you can prove your worth, you'll be judged by whether or not you look, feel, and sound like $5000. Character flaws are one thing, but massive errors in judgment and mistakes in your communications show people you don't care enough to check your work. In the case of the football teams, while the losing team was worried about calling the “right” plays, the winning team was focused on eliminating the mistakes caused when shoes can't get the traction the player needs. If you're struggling with the basics, fine-tuning your processes doesn't matter and is largely a waste of time. It's a Fine Line It's a strange thing, we like homemade and homegrown, but only to a point. We don't like buying things that look TOO homemade or TOO homegrown. We prefer that little bit of spit and polish that's required to make something look professional. We're ok with buying cookies that aren't perfectly round and we don't mind purchasing things that look hand made. However, we don't want to buy something that looks like it was made by a toddler. There's a fine line between perfectly flawed and carelessly thrown together. Success is NOT about Perfection Success is not about being perfect; it's about making the fewest mistakes. Perfect is impossible; it doesn't exist. Perfect means that it can't get any better, that there are no flaws, and the best possible product has been created. Perfect does not mean success. Success is the elimination of enough mistakes so that you can outperform the competition. Note: sometimes the competition is ourselves At every new level of achievement we want to attain, we have to eliminate more mistakes. When you're first starting to write, spelling and grammatical errors are to be expected. In high school, to achieve a passing grade, you have to eliminate your mistakes and clear a bar that has been raised. In college, the bar is higher. And, for a doctoral dissertation, the bar is higher still. However, if you want to be a professional copywriter and sell your work and charge companies top-dollar for your words, you have to pass the highest bar yet. At every new level, the margin for error is thinner and thinner, and the tolerance for mistakes becomes less and less. As I've said before, the level of skill that got you on the team won't help you win the championship. You're good enough to start, but not yet good enough to win. 32 The other day I had lunch with an aspiring author. He wants to go “full-time” as a writer. When he stepped away from the table, I turned to his wife (whom I know very well), and asked her if she thought her husband was good enough. I then asked her how many high schools there were out there with football teams. “I don't know,” she said. “Tens of thousands,” I said. I asked her about the number of colleges, and we agreed there were not “tens of thousands,” but probably multiple thousands. Then I hit her with the number of professional football teams there were. I told her the number of teams that paid people to play football. There are 32. If you want to play at the highest levels, you have to be the best of the best. And, to reach the next level in your business, you have to think like a professional athlete and work on eliminating your mistakes. Again, success isn't about perfection. At the top, everybody is good. Success is about making fewer mistakes than the other guys. Click here Everybody Makes Mistakes. Here’s What You Can Do About It to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


14 Oct 2019

Rank #2

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10 Reasons Your Content Creation Efforts Might Fail

When it comes to effective content marketing, it's great knowing what types of content to create and things you should do to maximize the impact of your efforts. However, it's also important to understand what not to do and what to avoid. Having the right ingredients can spur experimentation, but without knowing what you should avoid as well, you might make mistakes. Want to listen? There's an audio version below So, to guide you through the pitfalls of content marketing and to help you minimize your mistakes, let's look at ten things that might cause your content marketing efforts to fall flat. 1: Your Audience is Too Broad As the saying goes, “the riches are in the niches.” But, to help you understand what I mean, let me offer a few examples based on the businesses of some of my clients. If you're are copywriter, instead of marketing your services as “copywriting for businesses,” narrow your messaging to a specific industry. Focus on being the best copywriter for pool companies or for local restaurants with fewer than five locations. If you don't yet know where your expertise lies, niche down to something you're interested in or passionate about. If you're unable to narrow your focus to where you can have the most impact, be specific to the industry where you'll at least have the most fun and evolve from there. 2: Wrong Product Offerings When coming up with your product or service offerings, it's key to sell what your customers want, not what you want. If you worked with the hearing impaired, you probably shouldn't start a podcast. I know that's an extreme example, but extreme examples often most clearly prove a point. Remember, you are not your customer. Sell what they need at a price point they can afford, not just what you want at a cost you'd be willing to pay. 3: Weak or Unclear Branding In my earlier days, I struggled with weak and unclear branding. It wasn't until I had a conversation with Mark Mason in mid-2014 that I realized I needed to clarify my message and focus on people who were like me. As a result of that fateful chat, I began to tweak my branding to focus on people who were miserable at work, who felt undervalued by their company, and who wanted to turn their talents into a business. Instead of trying to reach all aspiring entrepreneurs with a weak message, I began to speak directly to people who were going through what I'd gone through, and who could relate really well to my story. If you can make the necessary changes to clarify your message to a targeted audience, I promise you'll begin to get improved results. 4: Slow Production Timelines When you come across a need in the marketplace, how long does it take for you to create a solution? One of the subscribers to Catalyst Monthly owns several pieces of real estate. If she's at capacity, meaning all of her properties are rented, how quickly could she turn around a new product? In this scenario, her new product might be a new home to rent. Another subscriber creates email marketing sales funnels. For his business, a new product could be a new type of funnel that specifically targets who've visited a landing page or added a product to a shopping cart. In business, it's important to be able to react quickly to the changing needs of our customers. If people keep asking for a product you don't have in stock, the faster you can get that product into the hands of the people who would buy it, the faster you'll make money. We live in an on-demand world – thank you, Amazon Prime – and if you can reduce the amount of time someone has to wait for a solution, you can win. 5: Uninteresting Content As we've established, you should be creating content to market your products, services, and business. With that said, don't make the mistake I made early on. I was boring. Ya, I was boring. I made the error of thinking that in order to be authoritative and to have an impact, that I also had to be aloof and detached from my writing. My writing had no emotion, and because of that, I failed to connect with my readers, listeners, and viewers. As a result, my blog struggled to take off, and my business faired no better. Reality television is captivating because people are interesting. On past surveys, responders from my community asked for more personal stories. Your stories and experiences, like the stories and experiences shared on reality shows, will make your content more engaging. Don't be afraid to take a stand, cause controversy, or take an unpopular viewpoint on current events. Interesting content is shared content. 6: Inefficient Processes While I was bootstrapping my business in the early years, I was terribly inefficient. Few things were automatic, and none of my software talked to the other pieces of software I used. When you're starting out, it's important to get everything up and running before you prioritize efficiency. However, as you grow, you'll want to reduce the number of tasks that take longer than they should and eliminate all of the systems that hinder your growth. If you're looking for a full list of hardware and software that I use, I recommend you check out my tech stack – i.e. the hardware and software that powers my business. Regardless of what stage of business you're in, to get to the next level, you'll have to become more efficient. You'll have to organize, streamline, and remove any and all snags. Success at the highest levels usually isn't about who's the best; it's about who makes the least number of mistakes. And, as a side note, the more efficient you are, the faster you're likely to also be at producing things of value. 7: Lack of Partners and Brand Advocates Yes, you need to be your own customer, and you absolutely MUST be your own cheerleader. However… Everything is easier with a team. And, in the world of content marketing, that means people sharing your stuff on social media, affiliates promoting your products, and people with platforms (i.e. blogs, podcasts, etc.) talking about what you're doing. When your business is small, you're forced to be your own cheerleader. As you grow, hopefully, you'll be interesting, entertaining, and informative enough so that other people will share your content too. These partners and brand advocates can give your content a viral effect. A tactic you can use to recruit partners and advocates is to interview them on your blog or feature them on your podcast or YouTube channel. Not only will this tactic boost your authority with your audience, but it will bring that person onto your team of people who are willing to share your content. The more people are talking about you and your business, the faster you'll grow! 8: Limited Distribution Similar to having partners and advocates, distribution allows you to get your brand and message in front of more people. Where the tactic above works from you outward, distribution works from the outside in. What I mean is that with great distribution, there are more ways people can discover you (outside-in), while advocates share your content to their networks (inside out). The power of distribution really hit me when I was on Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. After my episode went live, over the next month, I received nearly three dozen notifications from different websites, podcast networks, and other areas where Pat's show was syndicated or distributed. Related: Beginner's Guide to Twitter Great marketing won't save your product; it will only make it fail faster. And, distribution works much in the same way. A bad product with great distribution is still a bad product. However, a great product without great distribution will ultimately only serve a very limited number of people. 9: Outdated or Insufficient Technology As we get toward the end of our list here, I'm a little embarrassed about how many of these things to avoid start out with, “when I used to do it that way…” I guess it just goes to show that I've been there, done it one way, then learned a better way. When I first started, I used the cheapest web hosting I could get, a free theme for WordPress, and invested almost nothing in my website. In short, I used (somewhat) outdated (if not poorly maintained) hardware to host my website, and insufficient software (in the form of outdated and free themes) to power my business. RELATED: How to Choose the Right Hosting Company For Your Website It was nearly three years before I made any significant investment in the technology that powered my business. Now, although I'm smart about it, I don't hesitate to purchase upgrades that will make me more efficient or that will help me to deliver my products faster. RELATED: 10 Reasons I Recommend ThriveThemes to All of My Clients On one hand, “bootstrapping” your business is admirable. On the other, that scrappiness could be hindering your growth and professionalism. At some point, every business has to outgrow the garage. If you're interested in learning more about the software I use to power my business from anywhere, click here. Here's the bottom line: It doesn't matter what YOU like or what YOU want; what matters is what your CUSTOMERS like and what THEY want. I don't care if you don't like technology and refuse to use Facebook or think that the internet is evil. If your customers are there, YOU need to be there. If you need assistance getting your business online and up to date, I recommend these guys. 10: Lack of Influence Finally, your content creation business could fail because you lack influence. Perhaps your visitors aren't yet sure if they like you. They may be uncertain whether or not you can solve their problem. Influence comes from many sources, but the bottom line is that without influence, you won't be able to convince anyone to do anything. Without influence, you won't get people to take action. Related: How to Get Publicity for Your Brand and Business One way you can boost your influence is to talk directly to your ideal avatar and speak specifically about a real problem. When you can describe the problem in a way that creates a crystal clear image in someone's head, people will assume you know what you're talking about, and they'll assume you have the solution. Sometimes building influence is pointing out someone's pain and bringing it to the forefront of their mind. Like salty snacks at the bar influence drinkers to buy another round, thoughtful messaging can influence your visitors to buy your products. While missing any one of these won't cause your content marketing efforts to fail, miss too many and you'll struggle unnecessarily. Don't Ignore This! The easy thing to do would be to ignore this or write these tips off as “only for Millenials.” Or, “only for online businesses.” Or to say, “I don't do social media.” But that would be a mistake. Every business is in business to do more business. If you've got a million-dollar advertising budget, you might be able to skip out on content marketing. But, I doubt you do. Content marketing is the most effective way to grow your business and to get visitors, whether they come to your website or the walk through your door. If this helps you improve or helps you avoid content marketing fails, drop me a comment below and let me know! Click here 10 Reasons Your Content Creation Efforts Might Fail to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


7 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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5 Ways to Track, Analyze, and Prioritize Your Ideas

I bet you've got some really good ideas for your business. I'd even bet that many of them are great ideas! So, with so many, how do prioritize your ideas and know which ones to pursue, which ones to save for later, and which ideas deserve to be taken out back behind the shed and put down? Nobody thinks they have bad ideas. I mean sure, we occasionally have an idea that's crazy, stupid, or obviously and hilariously bad, but other than those ideas, all of the rest are great! Right? Well, no. However, it's often difficult to see which of our ideas will make us money and which ones won't. That's why the most successful people have a mastermind group with whom they can discuss their ideas and determine which ones will deliver results. But, if you don't have a mastermind, here are five things you can do today to help you track, analyze, and prioritize your ideas so you can see the opportunity they hold, and figure out which one you should give your attention to.  5 Ways to Track, Analyze, and Prioritize Your Ideas 1: Focus on Your Goal Suggesting that you begin with the end in mind might seem obvious, but I'm surprised by how many of my clients come to me with ideas that aren't in line with their overall goal. As an entrepreneur, your time is precious, and pursuing ideas that won't take you closer to achieving your goal doesn't make much sense. When you have a clearly defined goal, you're able to judge every activity against whether or not that activity will get you closer to achieving it. If you have a list of ideas, begin by noting if each idea will get you closer or further from where you want to be in six, twelve, or eighteen months. Figure out which stage of business you're in. While this stage could change by time of year, during a product launch, or a variety of other reasons, these stages are generally Acquisition, Activation, Monetization, Retention. 4 Stages of Business Acquisition is when you're acquiring new customers and leads, or when you're driving traffic to your website. Activation is when you're asking those leads to make purchases or take the action you want them to take. Monetization is developing new products, growing revenue, making sales, and closing contracts. Retention is how you interact with your customers after they've paid you money. A couple of questions to ask yourself are: What stage of business am I in? What action do I want my customers to take? Am I trying to sell something, or is my goal to keep my brand in front of my audience? What will make the biggest impact the quickest? 2: Analyze the Opportunity If you don't know what you have, you can't figure out what you need or want, right? Ok, so profound! But this is where you can dive into your analytics and data. Why do people leave your site? Why do they leave your store? Or, why do they choose to do business with someone else instead of you? Then, once you've analyzed what you have, it's time to figure out how your great idea plays into it. Or, if it does at all. To analyze the quality of your idea and the opportunity that might come with it, here are a few things you can do. First, do a S.W.O.T. Test; which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Strengths are factors that increase your chances of success. Weaknesses are reasons your idea might fail – things like the economy, aggressive competition, timing, etc. Opportunities are the upside you might have if the idea works, and ways your idea could expand or lead to other things. Threats are events, people, competitors, technology, etc., that could prevent your idea from working. After you've done the S.W.O.T. test, see if your idea has been done before. If it has, did it work? Could you do it better or different? If your idea has been done, don't worry, that just means there might be a market for what you're trying to do. Are you in line with your industry; or are you going against common knowledge and practices? Finally, ask yourself if your idea will be fun. If not, maybe shelve the idea and work on something else. Or, if the upside is enough, maybe working on something that's not fun for a short time might be worth it. 3: Brainstorm Alternatives Now it's time to see how your idea stacks up in relation to how it will help you in whatever stage of business you're in. Some ideas will help you acquire new customers. Other ideas will help you maintain relationships with your existing clients and fall under retention strategies. Acquisition ideas (from my own list) could include: testing different lead magnets, (Thrive Leads makes this easy) or testing layouts of homepages and/or testing landing pages (I use Thrive Landing Pages) Activation ideas could include: new email series (autoresponders, automations), (ActiveCampaign makes split testing emails easy) testing coupons (BOGO, discounts, etc.), adding product videos to sales pages. Monetization ideas include: new products and services, reaching out to cart abandons, (ActiveCampaign has this capability) split-testing pricing, or adding upsells and cross-sells as we discussed in February's Catalyst Monthly. Retention ideas include: sending welcome-kits to new subscribers, new renters, or new clients, creating a “start here” email series, (See The Entrepreneur's Dictionary) calling new customers, or sending handwritten cards to clients. The key through this step is to write down everything. Don't just your ideas yet. Bad ideas are the seeds for good ideas, so don't toss something out because you don't love it yet. 4: Prioritize & Score Now that you have your ideas listed, categorized and analyzed, and brainstormed, it's time to get deliberate about determining which ideas to pursue and which ones to ditch. A phrase I've started using with some of my clients is “I.C.E. it.” I.C.E. stands for Impact, Confidence, and Ease, and it's how you'll score and prioritize your ideas. Impact Score your ideas based on how much of an impact they'll have on your bottom line and/or on your business today. Will they generate a lot of profit or a little? Will they keep customers coming back and increase the amount of money they'll spend with you? For example, adding a premium service to your existing product catalog would be a high impact. Confidence Score your ideas based on how confident you are that the idea will work. Are you confident that adding a new lead magnet or adding a new service will get you results? For example, if you release a new product based on the suggestions and feedback of your existing customers, your confidence would be high. Easy-ness Finally, score your idea based on how easy it would be for you or your team to implement it. Building a landing page would be easy for me, it might be difficult for you. As an example, buying a third rental home might have a huge impact on your business. And, if you buy it in the right location, your confidence in the success of that home would be pretty high. However, the cost of a marketable home in a desirable market might be more money than you have, so it might not be easy to do. Out of a possible 30 I.C.E. points (10 for each category), a buying a new rental home might get a 25. An idea with a score of 28 should be acted on before an idea with a score of 13. 5: Test & Experiment After you've gone through this process with each idea, you should have a solid list of things to do to grow your business. Now it's time to test and experiment. One of my goals and something you could use as well is to implement something we all learned in middle school science class – the scientific method. With every idea, develop a hypothesis about what you expect to happen. Build your new product, service, landing page, whatever. Validate your work to see if everything is working properly and error free. Optimize with a variant to test effectiveness. Then either scale (because it worked), or abandon (because it didn't). Finally, evaluate your idea objectively by asking if your efforts made the impact you'd hoped. If they did, were the results appropriate for the amount of time, effort, and energy you put in? Unfortunately, I’ve had several projects that went well but ultimately didn’t provide results that were worth what I put into it. One last piece of advice. Use your efforts to your advantage. As they saying goes, there is no such thing as bad press. If you tried something and it didn’t work (that’s ok!), then create some content around it. Say that you’re trying new things, trying to meet the needs of your customers, or doing everything you can to improve your products. You can be open, honest, transparent, and with the right messaging, your community will love it! In the comments below, let me know if you use one of these strategies and see success! Click here 5 Ways to Track, Analyze, and Prioritize Your Ideas to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


1 Jul 2019

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Why Being Nice is Good For Business

If you've been following me for very long, or if you've read my book Exit Strategy, you've heard me talk about the importance of “know, like, trust” in business. To really be successful, you need people to know you, like you, and trust that you're producing great quality products and services. But today, we're going […] Click here Why Being Nice is Good For Business to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


24 Jun 2019

Rank #5

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What I Believe – Life, Success, & Entreprenuership

I thought I'd make a bold move today, and lay out what I believe specifically and my beliefs about life, success, and entrepreneurship. This post might not be for you, or, maybe it's precisely what you need to read today. Regardless, this is what I believe, and if it resonates with you, then awesome. If […] Click here What I Believe – Life, Success, & Entreprenuership to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


17 Jun 2019

Rank #6

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5 Reasons You Need a Website

Do you have a website for your business? Why? Why not? Your website, if designed properly, can be one of the most powerful tools you could have in your business. Want to listen? There's an audio version below The greatest invention of our time, possibly in the last 100 years, is the internet. It's everywhere […] Click here 5 Reasons You Need a Website to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


18 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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6 Ways to Make Money Online

Do you want to start your own business? Are you looking to make some extra cash on the side? Whatever your reason for wanting to make money online, I'm here to help. Everyone should start a business at least once, so let me share six ways you can make money online. Want to listen? There's […] Click here 6 Ways to Make Money Online to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


15 Oct 2018

Rank #8

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10 Reasons I Recommend ThriveThemes to All of My Clients

Do you ever see those awesome looking websites and wonder how they did it? Are you the type of person who wants the absolute best software for your business? Or, maybe you just want something that's easy to use? Well, I've got a software recommendation for you that I tell all of my clients about. […] Click here 10 Reasons I Recommend ThriveThemes to All of My Clients to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


1 Oct 2018

Rank #9

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Starting a Business is Harder than Graduating from College, Here’s Why…

Being an entrepreneur and starting a business is harder than being a student and graduating from college. Agree or disagree? Want to listen? There's an audio version below  Here's why starting a business is harder than graduating from college. A Plan From the first day we start school, there's always a plan to follow. […] Click here Starting a Business is Harder than Graduating from College, Here’s Why… to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


2 Jul 2018

Rank #10

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How to Build an Email List

If you don't have an email list for your business, you've got a huge gap in your efforts to build a community, update your customers, and generate revenue. But if an email list is so important, how do you build one? Want to listen? There's an audio version below In a recent post called 3 […] Click here How to Build an Email List to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


24 Apr 2018

Rank #11

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How to Use Quizzes To Grow Your Email List and Send Personalized Emails

Have you ever wondered why companies like Clinique ask visitors to take the skin type quiz? Ever thought about why bloggers, podcasters, and other entrepreneurs are offering free online “assessments?” In each of these examples, businesses are using quizzes to grow their email list. And today, I'm going to share how you can do it […] Click here How to Use Quizzes To Grow Your Email List and Send Personalized Emails to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


16 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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How to Get Started as a Coach

It was a cold and cloudy day in Toronto. Jason, Mike and I sat at the long table, pushed back our plates, picked up our mugs, and finished dinner. Want to listen? There's an audio version below Throughout the conversation that followed, the three of us discovered that combined, we'd spent over $20,000 on conferences, […] Click here How to Get Started as a Coach to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


21 Dec 2017

Rank #13

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The Entrepreneur’s Dictionary of Terms

Have you heard a term or a phrase mentioned on a podcast or during a conference and wondered what it meant? The purpose of this page is to keep a running list of popular terms you might come across while on your journey of entrepreneurship and online business. Want to listen? There's an audio version […] Click here The Entrepreneur’s Dictionary of Terms to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


22 Aug 2017

Rank #14

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Why You Should Treat Your Online Store More Like a Retail Shop

Having a successful online business isn't all that different from having a successful offline or retail business. Buyers are buyers, whether they're in your store or on your website. Want to listen? There's an audio version below Today, let's look at some of the basic principles that work both online and offline, and how you […] Click here Why You Should Treat Your Online Store More Like a Retail Shop to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


2 Aug 2017

Rank #15

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I’m Giving Up on Evernote and Switching to OneNote

Evernote, I'm done with you. I've had it. I'm moving on. I started using you six years ago, and you help me sync and store over 1100 notes in more than a dozen notebooks. I've talked about the power of using you several times here on my blog, but now I'm done. Want to listen? There's an […] Click here I’m Giving Up on Evernote and Switching to OneNote to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


3 Jul 2017

Rank #16

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4 Tips for Growing Your Email List

One of the most common requests I get through my community survey is for me to share more about how to grow an email list. Want to listen? There's an audio version below I guess talking about how to get better results with your email campaigns in this post, and how NOT to grow your list here, and how to get […] Click here 4 Tips for Growing Your Email List to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


1 May 2017

Rank #17

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EP99: How to Write a Book, Get it Published, & Become a #1 Bestselling Author w/ Jimmy Burgess (@JimmyBurgess8)

Episode 99 of the Empowered Podcast features author, speaker, writing coach and my friend, Jimmy Burgess. If you've ever wanted to write a book (and who hasn't) this episode will show you how. From time management tips, to writing formats and formulas, to the strategy you can use to become a #1 bestseller, this episode […] Click here EP99: How to Write a Book, Get it Published, & Become a #1 Bestselling Author w/ Jimmy Burgess (@JimmyBurgess8) to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.

1hr 14mins

15 Mar 2016

Rank #18

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EP94: Becoming a Successful Coach w/ Valerie Groth (@ValerieGroth)

Episode 94 of the Empowered Podcast features life coach, speaker, blogger, podcaster and philanthropist, Valerie Groth. If you want to become a coach, but don't know how to get started, or, you want to charge for your services, but don't know how to price them, this episode is for you! Today, Valerie shares how she got started […] Click here EP94: Becoming a Successful Coach w/ Valerie Groth (@ValerieGroth) to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


29 Jul 2015

Rank #19

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EP38: Why Two Doctors Started an Online Business with Ryan and Allison Gray (@MedicalSchoolHQ)

Episode 38 the Empowered Podcast features doctors Ryan and Allison Gray. Even with busy schedules, Ryan and Allison have found time to create an incredible online business. They share their story of why, as medical doctors, they decided to start an online business called Medical School HQ. The Grays share how they find the time, where […] Click here EP38: Why Two Doctors Started an Online Business with Ryan and Allison Gray (@MedicalSchoolHQ) to visit Ellory Wells and leave a comment.


11 Jun 2014

Rank #20