Six great sales and marketing books you should buy now.

Each year I try to read around 20 books a year, the thing is if you have been running a business for many years you can still pick up a few tips from one book which can add revenue for your business. My advice is to take some time each night before you go to sleep and read 30-40 pages of a book. I wanted to share six great books I am reading at the moment below. The main focus for books I usually read are on running business, marketing, growth, sales and the body.

1. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries (Rating 4/5)
– A book on running startup businesses lean.

2. Double Double – Cameron Herold (Rating 4.6/5)
– A book focused running business, marketing, growth ect.

3. Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff (Rating 4.3/5)
– Sales focused book based on selling anything.

4. The Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes (Rating  4.5/5)
– Sales focused book based on strategies.

5. The 10x Rule – Grant Cardone (Rating 4.7/5)
– Book on life and sales and how you should be doing everything 10 times.

6. Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross (Rating 4.5/5)
– A book on growing software business.

What are you currently reading please share it in the comments below, if you want to recommend any great books please also list them below.

The-Entourage Unconvention Sydney Review

On Saturday I attended The-Entourage’s unconvention Sydney event in Sydney. I went along on the day as a friend of mine Pieter was interested to attend. I was also interested too see speakers from companies like UBER, Airtasker, Canva and Rewardle and how they all have grown their businesses over the years to now be worth millions of dollars.

Now I have been running my current business for three years which I started from the ground up and I have also sold businesses in the past along with been in online marketing for over 9+ years. I will admit am not really the main target group for the conference as it is really focused for individuals who have yet to start something and are keen to get motivated.

From the day my two favorite speakers were Tim Fung from Airtasker. Tim seemed to be one of the only presentations on the day where he actually showed the crowd how he built his business and what growth tactics he used many of the speakers on the day gave far more general style talks. Tim talked about numerous areas of how Airtasker grew traffic in the early days from Guerrilla PR stunts to ASO (App Store Optimization) he also provided some good frameworks for Startups.

I also liked the talk given by Ruwan Weerasooriya, as it was quite an inspiring presentation about his life and how he went from been a university drop out to starting a ISP, web dev company, Taxi advertising business, Cafe Advertising business and now a ASX listed Rewards Program business for SMB’s.

From the day I decided to select 10 inspiring quotes or pieces of advice and share them below –

1. Lean Startups principles are a must have for any startup business owners.

2. Get out their and be a street fighter in business and be sure hustle 24/7 to gain new business.

3. Focus on building an amazing team around your business.

4. Unique PR stunts that have a feel good story work really well, but make sure the marketing communication is rehearsed.

5. Integration with business partners and app store optimization are good ways to grow traffic.

6. Gumtree is a perfect market research place to see what Australian potential customers are looking for.

7. Tim Fung shared a great graph from Paul Graham @ Ycombinator on Business timelines –
 Paul Graham Ycombinator Timeline

8. At Scale Stage get your business processes and efficiencies in to your company. Otherwise you never Grow & Scale.

9. Become self sufficient business and fix the leaking boat before asking for investment.

10. During the gold rush most gold diggers didn’t get rich, the hardware stores did!

Overall if you are looking to start a business I would say the Unconvention is a good event for you to attend. If you are an established business owner and startup community member the event may not be ideal for you. Tho as I was talking to some other business owners on the day who were established they all said they attend because they want to get motivated from the talented speakers on the day I will admit they do fire you up.

Thanks to the team from The-Entourage for putting this event on.

Why WhatsAPP is so valuable?

Why is Whatsapp so valuable?

So over the last few days the tech blogs around the world have been going crazy about WhatsAPP’s acquisition price. Facebook confirmed in a press release the sale price was 16 Billion in cash and stock with early investors in the company gaining a huge ROI. I have noticed many negative comments about the price paid for the APP, many people say it is a crazy price to pay for an APP I agree in some ways yet in others I can see where Facebook has merit in the buy.

Now I decided to do some quick research into the APP and one of the best usage data trends I noticed was the image below (Global messaging usage data)

Why is WhatsAPP so valuable?
Source: Onvao Insights

This data shows how powerful the APP is in various markets, the user base is well over 450 million which has jumped 200 million in the last 9 months. The app is also sticky with users with over 70% use age rate on the app.

I think the key reason that Facebook made the acquisition is for market protection, they are probably worried that a competitor in a similar business could purchase the app and develop it into a social network with the room to win in on a percentage of Facebook’s user base. That been said they also have purchased the APP to increase the overall use rate of the messaging product and as Zukerberg states “Connect the world”

The only concerns from an investment point are the following:
1. The only revenue the business has is the $1 per use use fee.
2. The users of the app are very anti- ads, the founders claimed they do not want ads on the product.
3. What happens if another competitor comes up in the market at the same pace? Will Facebook be forced to make yet another multi-billion acquisition.
4. Overall I think the price page was defiantly on the high side yet from the metrics above when you start researching into the product you can see why this was a strategic move they needed to make.
5. So overall it will be interesting to see where Facebook has a long term ROI strategy in this business.

Another funny twist in the story is that Facebook and Twitter both had the chance to hire the developer who was a founder of WhatsAPP, yet he was turned down. It was a hire worth several billion at that (refer to image below)

Whats-app-founder-facebook

In addition to this many people are now in the market to develop an APP in the past we have written about how to promote you APP online, which may be helpful to users – http://jamesnorquay.com/the-surge-mobile-apps-basics-promote-mobile-app/

Let me know your thoughts on the WhatsAPP purchase below:

Arnold Schwarzenegger Sydney Event Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger Sydney
Arnold Schwarzenegger Sydney

I attended the Arnold Schwarzenegger Business Motivational speech in Sydney yesterday. I have always been a fan of his movies and body building career for a while so it was good too see the motivational talk by the big man.

The talk lasted around 2 hours with around 20 minutes Q&A.

A few interesting facts from the talk by Arnold:

– Arnold was not paid for the movie Twins, he had a 40% owner ship of the movie with Danny Devito, the movie made over 216 million so it was a huge payday which keeps bringing in money.

– Arnold made his first million in a property and bricklaying business in LA.

– Arnold was told when he was 15 in Austria that he was never going to be able to make it to the US, people never had the belief that he could go to a new country and learn a new language.

– Arnold said his favorite leading lady to work with in movies was Jamie Lee Curtis.

– Arnold said it is good to learn 15 minutes a day about something totally random such as classical music and continue this for several months. .

– Arnold said that when was body building at a young age he did it with no shoes on.

– Arnold relaxes by driving around in his very own tank.

– When Arnold was in the Army he still took all his weights on the road with him and trained every night for 2 hours.

Arnie’s top 5 tips for every one attending:

1. Have vision and follow it – it is important to have a big vision in life, set your vision down and go for it.
2. Aim Higher – Set high goals, if you think you can do something go for it, nothing is impossible.
3. Forget naysayers – Don’t listen to people who say you can not achieve something any thing is possible.
4. Work hard – you need to work hard on things if you want to achieve a goal, nothing is going to come easy.
5. Give back – Try to give back to your local community or charity where possible. You can have millions and millions but it will not mean you are happy.

Quick video from the Event, 4 minutes (sorry about the quality) it was taken from my phone.

Exact Target Connect Sydney Review and Notes

Recently I attended the Exact Target Global connect at Town Hall, first let me say that this is one of the best venues for a conference I have been too. It was also good too see the Sydney Online Marketing field out in force with 1000’s of people turning up to the event.

Now the conference itself had some fantastic speakers from all over the world, two of the best speakers from the day would have to be:

Kyle Lacy – https://twitter.com/kyleplacy
Author of Twitter for Dummies

Rachel Botsman – https://twitter.com/rachelbotsman
TED Speaker & Social Innovator

A few notes from the event with I would like to share with the readers of my blog from the event are:

Note 1. SoLoMo social = trust, local = close proximity, mobile = game changer. watch an example of this concept here:

Note 2. Crowd funding set to be huge in the near future sites like: outgrow.me

Note 3. Stats on Asia show the growth in the region

Mobile growth in Asia is really set to explode in coming years.

Mobile Growth in Asia
Mobile Growth in Asia
Stats on Asia
Stats on Asia

Note 4. It’s a ok to be a little creepy with marketing but not too creepy – This was an interesting statement that kyle had the audicence chanting over and over.

Note 5. Over 520 million online shoppers in China by 2015 – It just shows you how huge the Chinese digital market is going to be by 2015, far out pacing any where else in the world.

Note 6. Use the mum and dad test for design and CRO, if they do no get it it’s not simple enough for your customers!

Note 7. mobile-patterns.com is good website for mobile design ideas, people submit design ideas which have worked in the past to save you time.

Note 8. Using a service such as Exact Targets IGoDigital: By tagging every part of your website you can increase your relevance to visitors profile = increased conversion.

Note 9. 74% of customer don’t leave home without their smartphone, which just shows you how important marketing via smart phones is set to become.

Note 10. Mobile phone email pre-header is key to CTR – Many speakers on the day stated when doing a mobile marketing campaign.

Note 11.96% of Australians online have signed up for an EDM (email list), 55% have liked a brand on Facebook, 6% have followed a brand on Twitter – this just shows you how willing Australian customers are to sign up to email lists.

Note 12. Exact Target purchase funnel – This was a great slide to show the customer purchase journey:

Exact target Purchase Cycle
Exact target Purchase Cycle

Finally the night wrapped up with a networking party with singers from the Voice and Dj Casey Connor from the US. The food was pizza and dumplings with Beers and win flowing, overall it was a great event.

10 Interesting Facts about Gen Y – Online Trends

Marketing to Gen Y is a lucrative area, as Gen Y is set to be one of the most dominant working age groups in comming years it is important to monitor their online methods and trends. I have sourced some really great facts about Gen Y which I thought I would share below:

What is a Gen Yer? – Any one born between 1980-2000 (so any one below the age of 33 and above the age of 13)

1. Gen Y will form 75% of the work force by 2025.
2. Only 7% of Gen Y works for a fortune 500 company.
3. Gen Y watch TV with two or more electronic devices – multi-screen viewing is becoming huge so make sure you invest in responsive design.
4. Gen Y trust strangers over friends and family when making online purchase decisions – make sure you have positive reviews online or it could hurt your business.
5. Gen Y are Three times likely to follow a brand or band over a family member on social media – so making sure your brand or band has a social media presence is vital.
6. 66% of Gen Y will look up a store if they see a friend’s check in – so online check in and making sure your business is set up with places is vital.
7. 73% of gen Y have earned and used some type of virtual currency.
8. Gen Y believe that other consumers care more about their opinions than companies do.
9. Gen Y are more connected on Facebook than average users managing around 696 average friends – it is important to monitor ways in which you can positively influence Gen Y’s social following.
10. 29% of Gen Y find love via Facebook while 33% are dumped via SMS or wall posts on Facebook.

10 Team Management Tips – Social, SEO and Content Marketing Teams

In recent times I find myself managing more and more employees, with these new employees comes the opportunity to run a large team effectively. More recently I have taken to managing a broader team of SEO, Link building, Social Media and Content Marketing professionals.
(These tips are designed for people who manage teams of around 2-10 people)

I have decided to put together a list of 10 tips for managing teams, this is by no means a sure fire list of management tips, I have recently done 4 day corporate management course. I thought I would put together a post to provide some basic team management skills for people managing smaller teams.

Tip 1 – Set up Google Docs files for team members weekly work.

Make sure that you set up a Google documents sheet with all your teams tasks for the week and up coming weeks.

– It is advisable to make sure that all team members have their weekly tasks in a Google docs file, you can also use other team management software for tasks but from a cost point of view Google docs can work effectively.

You can sign up to Google Docs here: docs.google.com

Tip 2 – Make sure you have weekly catch ups (1 on 1’s with team members).

Make sure that you have set up weekly catch up meetings with each of your team members.

– My advice is to set up a weekly on going meeting for 15-30 minutes with team members.
– I also find that having your weekly 1 on 1’s out side the office can be good, get some fresh air and go and have a coffee.

Tip 3 – Make sure you have weekly Group meetings (with your initial team).

– Make sure that you set up a weekly group meeting where every one talks about the up coming weeks tasks, it is good to collaborate with team members because some may have less work on you can delegate work to other team members, it is also a good chance for team members to talk about any key events in the up coming week.

Tip 4 – Get to know your staff better.

– Try to get to know your staff better by going to events if they invite you, such as birthdays and BBQ’s. I think the best way to meet a new team is by going out on social ventures we usually have monthly events where people invite you out for birthdays, make the effort to go to them.
– Another thing you can do is organize team days out for half a day, where you go and do a team event for half a day, it can be any thing from a game of soccer, canoeing or even learning how to surf together.

Tip 5 – Give credit to team members when it is due!

– Make sure that you give credit to your team when credit is due, if you receive a compliment from a client or senior management be sure to pass this on to your team members, if it means sending a group all email then do it.

Tip 6 – Get employees to set up a personal blog.

– Try and get your employees to set up their own blog and blog about what they do in their job or talk about something they are interested in, in my eyes setting up a blog is a key to learning SEO and also developing content in which your employees love, in the end of the day it does not have to be a blog about work it can be a blog about an interest they have.

Tip 7 – Use time Tracking software

– Get your team to use time tracking software, its something important because if you want to show senior management how busy your team management, that is if you require additional team members you can effectively plan this way.

– A good example of time tracking is Freckle, it can be used quite effectiely: letsfreckle.com.

– Benefits of freckle is that it allows you to use graphic overviews of your team members capacity, it also shows who is working and who has time let on projects.

Tip 8 – Motivate your team members!

– Motivating team members is very important, if you are not setting your team members up with motivation on a daily and weekly basis them they may be left de-motivated.

– Challenge team members with new projects.
– Let them be involved with a big business pitch
– Let them test their skills on new business with some small clients.
– Provide training for them so they have the skills set to move to the next level.

Tip 9 – Follow up a negative with positive comments!

If you have to say something negative to a staff member, make sure you follow it up with some positive points at least 3. Everyone makes mistakes every now and then but be sure to follow up the mistake with some positive points.

Tip 10 – Setting Personal Development Plans for Staff

Set personal development and goals for your employees, employees need goals to work for examples of personal development goals can be the following:

– Setting long term goals for promotion.
– Setting training goals which you company may offer
– Setting Google tests as part of the development.
– Setting ROI based development on clients total spend.
– Setting feedback from clients on how they feel the specific employee has developed over time with them.

Finally remember to have fun when you are at work, it is important to enjoy what you do and get along with the people you are working with.

The surge in Mobile Apps and the Basics on how to promote your Mobile App!

Mobile apps are a great tool in today’s society; Apps provide businesses with new and exciting marketing methods, internal and external assistance, brand awareness, brand loyalty, promotions, increasing user accessibility, user engagement and much more. On the opposite hand, apps provide users with entertainment and education that make every day living easier and more enjoyable. But how do we make people aware of our apps, how do we make them want to download it, how do we keep them using it month after month?

mobile apps
mobile apps

There are over 700,000+ apps currently in the app store and you wouldn’t be surprised to see this figure get close to the one million mark by this time next year. How on earth are you able to make a successful app with that much competition? It’s not as simple as uploading it to the app store anymore. You have to implement certain marketing tools, not only for pre-app release but ongoing as well. With this in mind, will the app still be successful?

Let’s take a step back for a second, back to the development. When developing your app, regardless whether it’s for yourself or for your company, make sure you know who’s developing, designing and testing your app. Staying local is always a safe option, often the initial quote may be more expensive than off shoring, but over the complete project it’s often cheaper and of a higher standard. It’s crucial to have clear communication with the development company; miss communication can result in the longest game of Chinese whispers you’ve ever played. Not only will it be frustrating but it will be time consuming, a waste of money and at the end of the day the app most likely won’t be what you had in mind. Finding a company that will be able to provide constructive criticism towards you’re app, demonstrates passion for success. If you take onboard the advice given to you by your developer the more likely the app will be successful. It’s very easy to say yes sir and develop this crazy app, which the client has in mind but realistically it won’t flow, resulting in a huge mess.

Your app has been designed, developed and is currently in the testing stage. 
It’s now time to implement these marketing tools. So what are they? There is no right or wrong way to market your app, this is still a very new process within this industry. First question should be, what’s my budget? If you have money to market, great, if you don’t, that’s okay. I will be focusing more on those with little to no budget. Next question, who’s your audience? Don’t market to the world if that’s not your audience, it’s a waste of your time. Have a catchy, relevant and straightforward name, don’t be alternative.

Provide a clear description of what the app does, what features it has, who’s it targeted at, possibly some testimonials if you have them. The description should implement key words related to your app, this will allow your app to be displayed in more searches both via Google and the app store. This increases your app awareness and SEO. The description should be supported with a tutorial video and screen shots, 9 out of 10 times users will skip to the screen shots so make them demonstrate the app clearly.

Set up a social platform for promotion. Twitter or Facebook are most common, this will be used for marketing pre-release and support post release, keeping users informed on any movements within the app. Get your users involved sharing high scores, pictures, posts, reviews or whatever it is relevant to your app, user engagement will increase your monthly users while also increasing your market reach. Micro sites are often used for a similar purpose, focusing on the support side.

Form partnerships, who with?
 The more people you know, the more people you potentially have using and talking about your app. Form strong partnerships with journalists, bloggers and app reviewers. These partnerships will allow your app to be widely discussed across the net, resulting in app enthusiasts reading and potentially using your app. An app without reviews or ratings looks terrible and usually reflects on the standard of the app; ensure you don’t fall into that category.

Develop a solid press release with relevant pictures, description, the story behind the app, who’s your target audience, why your app is better than competitors, a link to the app and correct contact info, distribute this to relevant publishers. Don’t limit yourself to the large publishers, focus on specific regional newspapers and newsletter; these are free to get involved with and often a lot easier to get published in.

There are plenty of other marketing tools to be mentioned, such plenty of other offline and online methods. Regardless of all the marketing your willing to implement, it comes down to the development of the app, make a quality, well written, good looking, user-friendly app. Don’t let it crash! Preferable keep the project (design, developed and testing) internal.

This is a guest post from Chris Hackett who works as a Sales Manager at www.buuna.com in Sydney, Australia. Chris can be reached by email on: chris@buuna.com

Great use of Experiential Marketing Lamborghini Taxi

Lamborghini-Taxi
Lamborghini-Taxi

Today when I was at a meeting in the city and on the way back from the meeting I noticed an interesting piece of Experiential marketing for the Need for Speed game. A $400,000 Lamborghini had been converted to be a taxi, now the sad part of the story is that you can no hail the taxi down you can only enter the car if you are a “competition winner”, we were actually trying to get a taxi when the Lamborghini drove past.

The interesting part of the campaign is that EA who runs the computer game is promoting this campaign and has pushed users online to use to the hash tag on Twitter: #mostwantedtaxi as we can see from the analysis below the tag is slowly starting to gain traction and when you monitor Twitter many tweets about the campaign do not contain the hash tag.

Twitter-mentions
Twitter-mentions

Overall I feel this is a smart way to use experiential marketing to promote a product.

10 tips to make a great Flippa sales template!

So recently a few people have asked me how to make a great Flippa sales template, over the past 5 years I have sold a few websites on Flippa from any where to $x,XXX-$xx,XXX range, so to some degree I know what to do.

Here are 10 basic steps to take when selling your site on Flippa:

1. Make sure that you verify your account: Use phone verification.

2. Update your profile, add images of yourself make it look like a person is using the account not a robot.

3. Make sure that if you are going to sell a site for $10,000+ make sure you do a smaller sale for $1,000 first for example so you have some positive history on your account and it will give users something to trust, it is similar with dealing with sales on eBay for example.

4. The sales title is important, make sure that you include key points things such as: “Easy to run”, “Makes $650
profit a month” “Limited involvement” these types of lines will entice a wider audience to invest in the purchase.

Example of a sale I did 4-5 years ago, I have removed some information for privacy reasons.

5. The next section of the sale Description:

– Background: Talk about the background of the site, talk about why you built the website ect.
– Advertising: Talk about any advertising that has been done with the sale, be honest with users if you have been doing a CPM buy or using PPC to increase revenue tell the buyers because the more honest you are the better result it will have for your site, also talk up any free advertising in which has been done, buyers will usually link free long standing advertising.
– Traffic: Break the traffic down month on month, be sure to include a long term history of traffic, from my experience selling a site with 6 months history will never be as stressful as selling a site with over 24 months history.
– What needs to be done to run the website: Talk about what needs to be done to run the website, talk about costs involved with elements of the website, example it costs XXX a month to host and it takes me 3 hours a week to manage the website and I outsource XX numbers of hours to my contractors.
– Financial Details: Make sure that you include all financial revenue details for the website, as above the longer term history you include the better it will be for the sale overall.

6. Payments to accept:
– I would advise on accepting most payment types such as Escrow, Paypal and even direct debit for local buyers. If you do not accept a high value options it could turn away buyers.

7. Attachments:
– This is a very important section to utilize to the full extent.
– I would advise to include a break down month on month to show various revenue streams for example, break down January, February, March, April, May, June, July 2012 Adsense/ Affiliate/CPM revenue images and show each month how much you are making. Be sure to include a long term revenue view on the website for example 24 months of history will be more beneficial over only 6 months. (see example below)

Make sure you remove any details which could lead you into trouble such as total impressions/ CPM rates as some publishers may ban this information from been shared publicly.

8. Any other information: Try to include every thing possible with the sale, any information from SEO tools which will assist the sale will be more beneficial for you becuase

9. Include any due diligence information and legals into the sale, if you want users to sign a NDA before they receive information this is also something you can do for a high value sale, my advice is to find a standard NDA form online.

10. Overall the more information you include into your sale the more beneficial it will be for you, with Flippa you need to remember that buyers want the following *Easy to run website *On going monthly revenue *no other issues with the domain and website such as Google penaltys, like with any sale the more honest you are the better also be open to replying to comments and show the buyers that you are 100% transparent with the sale.

If you have any further questions please feel free to ask below: