Category Archives: Business Ideas

Pocket Now Recommending Articles To Read, Save

Pocket, a popular online bookmarking software, is now offering users the ability to read and save articles the company recommends.

Pocket logo-online bookmarking This online bookmarking software gives the viewer the ability to read articles, then save them for future reference. Pocket uses tags, either recommended or created by the individual user, to both save and access articles.

When I clicked on my Pocket bookmarklet to save an article this morning, this is what I saw:
Pocket recommends articles for reading, saving

Three articles recommended to me by Pocket. A bit of research indicated these recommendations may be given based on how I currently use Pocket. The program also displayed a smaller version when I tried to “pocket” another article:
Pocket offers exploration to recommended articles for reading, saving

I can also recommend articles to read on Pocket. These recommendations show up in my Pocket profile and followers’ feeds. Cross-posting to my Twitter and Facebook news feeds? No problem. The program does caution, however, that political articles may display as Recommended, and their filtering system currently can’t filter for views or bias. To manage the articles you see, click the three dots in the upper-left-hand corner. manage article views in Pocket, click three dots

Currently Pocket offers browser extensions for Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. For those using Mozilla Firefox, the extension is built in to their browser.

Looking for a strategy for blogging ideas or keeping an eye on your competitors? Click here and let us know how we can help you.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.

Learn How To Build Your Business Using A Hand Mower

hand mowerYes, I’m learning how to build my business using my hand mower. You’re probably thinking I spent too much time in the sun mowing my yard (and I live in Phoenix!). How in the world can using a hand mower help me build my business?

  1. Power up! Pushing a hand mower is very different from pushing a power mower. A power mower is started, mows through the grass, and you’re done. A hand mower takes more muscle and sweat to run, so you want to stay in tip-top condition. Stay hydrated, rest when necessary. The business lesson: Embrace hard work. Get started and pace yourself so you don’t grow too quickly, don’t tire easily and don’t stagnate. Keep yourself physically strong, mentally sharpened and conditioned to run your business. Remember to eat well, exercise and rest. The better care you give to yourself, the better care you give your business.
  2. Stay sharp! Pushing a dull-bladed hand mower through your grass is like trying to run a business without a business or marketing plan. You have to sharpen the blades of the mower every so often to make sure it can cut the grass effectively. The business lesson: Your business and marketing plans are the blades of your business. Sharpen these blades often. For a business plan, revisit each year before the end of your fiscal or calendar year and ensure you’re following your road map. For a marketing plan, revising every 3 or 4 months to make sure your goals and objectives are on track with your road map. If not, make strategic adjustments either to your objectives, or the goals themselves.
  3. Strategize! It is possible to just go out and cut the grass. A better approach would be to figure out where the tallest, thickest grass is and how to divide the yard so you can see measurable progress. The business lesson: Find out where your target market can best be found vs. the “low hanging fruit” you can easily get, and plan how you would divide not just your marketing/sales activities, but also your marketing/sales tools to make the best approach with measurable progress.
  4. Go over each area often! Sometimes the grass is too thick for just a pass or two. In order to get a good cut, you have to go over each area often. The business lesson: Visit each target market more than once and review the follow-up process and product or service offered at that time. They may have passed on your offering before due to a number of reasons: timing was not right, not in budget, not aware of a problem/issue, etc.. Ask each prospect if they would like to subscribe to an email notice about sales and new products or services, and ask how frequently they would like to see the notices.
  5. Don’t spin your wheels! With a hand mower, you can cut taller, stubborn grass by passing the mower quickly, then stopping abruptly so the blade wheel spins for a bit. The business lesson: Spinning the wheel might work for the hand mower, but it is nearly the same as beating your head against the brick wall to see if it moves. Remember: marketing is a process; it can be an instant attraction but not an instant reaction. Think of a way to reintroduce a common approach in your industry with a different phrase. Try a different marketing tool or a different time of the year. If something in your marketing or sales plan is not working, re-evaluate each quarter and stop using what’s not working.
  6. Ask for help! You can mow a yard with a hand mower all by yourself, but at the end of the day you will be exhausted. Ask a family member or friend to lend a hand. The business lesson: It’s okay to ask for help! Hire out your weaknesses so you can stay focused on your strengths. Ask your current and former clients for referrals. Brainstorm with a trusted mentor family member, partner, or colleague on new ideas to keep your business ahead of the competition. Evaluate your business plan with an advisor to help you stay on task. Defer to a local print shop or your graphic designer on suggestions for design layouts, types and thicknesses of paper stock and coatings.

It’s never too late to spice up your marketing plan! Call me at 602-423-2106 or email me to schedule a free 1-2-1 to talk about strategically incorporating both social media and inbound strategies into your current marketing plan.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

3 Goals For The New Year

Happy New Year 2015Happy New Year! It’s time to set our goals for the new year! By now you have made your business plan and marketing plan and are ready to implement both for business growth in this new year. If not, it’s never too late to get started! Plan your action, and work your plan!

Most people like to make resolutions about the changes they want to make during the New Year. For business, I like to make goals and commitments. One of the challenges I have is trying not to make too many goals! Think about it: many business owners have a lot of facets of their business they would like to change. If they stop to really analyze their business, they might find that by changing three critical points, some of the other facets may fall into place. Too often, however, there are so many things a business owner would like to change, it becomes an overwhelming, daunting task, with no real opportunity to follow through on those changes. Remember: A goal without a strategy is just a wish. What commitments are you making for the new year?

  1. In making a goal or set of goals, realize everything has its own purpose, its own goal. That being said, if you make a goal that may be unrealistic or not focused on what you want to do for your business, you likely will not follow through. Accordingly, if you set the expectation bar too low, you may not follow through because it will seem too easy, allowing procrastination to set in. You have to decide if you are looking for business growth, survival, customer retention, improving skill sets, et cetera.
  2. Once you set your goals, commit a time frame for completion and share with a trusted colleague, mentor or friend. This is a bit like going to the gym alone vs. going with a buddy. This creates a sense of urgency, a sense of “gotta get it done now!” in your mind. Share your ambitions with an accountability partner and stretch yourself toward success!
  3. Finally, as you achieve each goal, reward yourself! It doesn’t have to be a raise; it can be taking an hour in the bath, an extra Starbucks, buying yourself that new book you have been eyeing, or spending an extra hour learning about social media. Make sure your reward compensates the goal you have set. For example, say you have set a goal to make one cold call each day for three months. Your reward might be to treat yourself to Starbucks at the end of each week for completing the weekly task, thus moving yourself toward the three-month goal. The three-month reward might be picking a day to sleep in, taking a day off, having a picnic, going to a movie, et cetera — you get the idea.

Here are my 3 goals for 2015:

  1. Making 10 cold calls each week. I’m going to match these results to those achieved via inbound marketing and see who wins!
  2. Create one amazing blog article each week. This doesn’t mean I’m not blogging more than once weekly, heavens no! All this means is, of the articles I create this year, one article each week will be as remarkable as possible to help others move their business along.
  3. Write my book! It will be about social media and business, so stay tuned!

Also, I’m going to add a newsletter component shortly to my website. If you’d like to test-drive, please email me at and I’ll send you a link. If you enjoy it, please sign up for more!

Now it’s your turn! what three goals have you decided to make for your business? Yes, only three! You can make more goals as you move forward in the year; by keeping the initial number of goals to a low number, it’s easier to achieve and maintain, thus inspiring more goals as you move through the year.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.