There’s a new book coming that’s unlike any other business, self-help, and strategy book. Where most books try to rah-rah you into success with motivation, this book does not. Some business books might share stories about big businesses like Starbucks or Nike and how they found success. Fat lot of luck that does for your knit shop or whatever. Some books might tell you the world is your oyster, you can do anything, and everyone is just sitting on the Internet refreshing to find your website.
This book does none of those things. Instead, it asks you to actually think like a normal person.
On social media followers:
If you have your phone handy look at Instagram and YouTube’s top subscribers. There are the usual suspects in there. Big entities like TV networks, maybe some news agencies. But once you filter past the big budget stuff that bought their way in and look at the “everyday stuff”, what do you notice?
On Instagram and YouTube, it’s the same thing: young pretty people with fantastic bodies and great teeth. On YouTube they even sound the same. The Atlantic dubbed it “YouTube voice”. I will go further and coin the phrase Instagram Face™ just so we have something to call bland white people with attractive and inoffensive ears, noses, and eyes.
Everything, and I mean everything, on these people is perky. If anything about you or your business sags, go try LinkedIn or the corner of a dark subreddit, because unless your ability to share memes before other people do is on-point, you will not find success.
Consultants have ruined the word “consultant”. I’ll prove it by challenging you to find any sentence about consultants and then swapping the word “consultant” for “asshole” and telling me if the sentence doesn’t make more sense than it did before.
On customer service:
Trying to hide problems, slowness in revealing problems, and sloppiness will doom a relationship in slow motion. Like how building a house on a faulty foundation and then covering it up with carpet is bad for everyone – eventually. If you encounter a problem, admit it. And when you admit it – regardless of which side of the relationship you’re on – address it, apologize, apologize again, give a solid solution to how you’re fixing it, and apologize again.
And on sharing your business secrets:
BBQ pitmasters often have as much class and talent as television chefs. But BBQ pitmasters seem more authentic and “small business” than big business network television chefs. Here’s an entire industry that prides itself on secrecy in technique and recipes and skills. Most pitmasters won’t ever tell you what it’s in their sauce or how they smoke their meats. But the surprising thing is the ones that do share all their secrets do better. They sell more because they get more attention and, thus, make more sales.
This is the example I give to clients when they fear the challenge they’re up against in a market and industry and don’t want to share any of their secrets.
The BBQ restaurants deep in the heart of Texas and South Carolina that routinely spill their secrets have lines that start early in the morning and go long all day. They get televised and in the local newspaper because it’s hard not to notice a crowd every day. When the pitmasters share videos on Facebook, people share those videos further with their grill-loving dads and other amateur grill masters.
This is my book where I sell my secrets. You can pre-order it now from Amazon. A paperback version will be available November 1 (sign up on the pop-out window to the right to be notified about it.)
This is the perfect book for small businesses, designers, developers, agency leaders, and anyone not afraid of a swift kick in the teeth about their work and chances for success. This is the reality for small businesses, nonprofits, and small governments.
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