10 Ways Small Businesses Struggle & How to Fix Them

Struggling in your job, business or pursuit of "the dream," is common. In fact, I would tell you, it's necessary. Oftentimes, we view the struggle negatively, or as if it is a consequence for a decision we made along the way. While that may be true, the fact is, struggles give us an opportunity to make a choice: Resent it or face it optimistically.  Struggles are real. I know, because as a 7x business owner and an employee for other people's entrepreneurial dreams, I've experienced each of … [Read more...]

Full Cycle Marketing, Version 2.0


My four-year-old son recently asked me: “Dad, why do we have rules?” It’s a good question and one that I have never formulated an answer to before. I thought about it and the best I came up with was this: Rules help bring order and boundaries. While this is true, something about it felt too narrow and defined. As a small business owner and a serious marketer, there’s one thing I know about rules: they’re good, until they’re not. A couple of months ago, I put together a process called … [Read more...]

6 Steps to Smash this Year’s Goals


Achieving your new year goals doesn’t have to include finding a new trick or fad to assist. If you failed in the past, chances are your failures weren’t because your goals were unobtainable. Likely, your approach lacked some key ingredients to ensure success. How we set up our goals will determine whether we're going to achieve them before we even start. [Tweet "How we set up our goals will determine whether we're going to achieve them before we even start."] Because I write about and for … [Read more...]

How to decide when and when not to use social media


Recently, my friend and photographer, Jeremy Cowart, posted a picture on Instagram and said... One more image from yesterday's shoot with @tribekelley. Sometimes you just can't out-light window light. A photo posted by Jeremy Cowart (@jeremycowart) on Dec 12, 2014 at 9:23am PST The picture is beautiful, but what he said caught my attention: Sometimes you just can't out-light window light. I've been to Jeremy's photography studio. He has dozens of lights to choose from to … [Read more...]

How to Build a Strong, Data-Based Customer Profile that Drives Results


Understanding your customer is critical to creating strategies that achieve the results you desire. Before you plan anything, you should have a clear and educated understanding of your primary and secondary “target markets.” These definitions should include demographic and psychographic details that give you very specific insights into who your customers are, what’s important to them and what their interests are. Utilizing this intelligence, you can begin the next steps towards creating a … [Read more...]

25 Questions to Help You Create a Strong Marketing Strategy


When building a strong marketing strategy, research plays a critical role in understanding who your customers are and how to compel them to buy your product or service. I get a lot of questions from my readers asking where they should do start their market research. If you don’t know where to start, it’s a good indicator that you haven’t fully identified your target customer. It could also be an indicator that you're struggling to get a clear picture of the product or service you’re trying to … [Read more...]