Here are some HUGE tools no small business should do without! I provided affiliate links below. But these are the ones you need to begin marketing your business or services online.
If you cannot let potential customers know what you have to offer, collect their emails, and send them awesome email messages designed to increase sales, then it doesn't matter how well you know Facebook or Instagram, or whatever other social platform you are using.
First, you need an email provider. No, not GMail or Outlook.com. But an email provider that can LEGALLY send out mass emails on your behalf to those that WANT them! I use Mail Chimp. It's easy and they have a free version for those just starting out. Although for just $10/mo you get the great Automation feature. That means as soon as someone opts in they get an email without you having to do anything! (once you set the email campaign that is)
Next, you need to create awesome looking sales pages designed to convert visitors into leads and eventually into paying customers! LeadPages is hands-down the best for getting these great pages up in minutes!
I have been using them for some time and I can't tell you how many emails we get from folks that WANT to hear more about our services. All through Facebook ads and YouTube videos linking to the LeadPage that asks them to opt in to get great, useful information about a specific good or service we offer.
All you do after you create your custom LeadPage is connect the opt in box to the email list you created in Mail Chimp! Then folks that want to learn more and volunteer their contact info can do so through the LeadPage and then that incredible automated email campaign can go out!Go ahead, check it out below!
I have put together some MUST read books I have found extremely useful for me over the years, and some more recently. These are the tools and approaches I drew upon to help me solve my client business problems, improve their programs, build teams, and more. I still use them today. I will update this section often so be sure to check back.
*Pro Tip: Listen to many of the recommended books below on the road, in the office, job site, etc. Just sign up for a FREE Audible trial and get 2 free books! Click HERE or the image below to get started!
I hear you! You’re ready to achieve transformational goals and get the most out of your life. And you’re determined. As Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
But you’re also apprehensive. You’ve been here before. You know you start out with good intentions. Your challenge is maintaining drive and enthusiasm – even when life gets in the way. It’s why you’re looking for tools to help. You want a proven system to keep you focused, help you hustle, and crush your goals quicker.
That’s what the SELF Journal delivers. Built around the success principles of positivity, productivity, and performance, this tool helps you overcome overwhelm so you can achieve big goals with ease! I use it daily, and the 13-week roadmap is a life-saver for all of my projects!!! I even talked about it one one of my podcast episodes. Grab it today!!! Click HERE (or the image below)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift (pivot) directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. I use this approach everyday! I have read this book several times now. This approach WILL change how you look at trying new ideas in your business.
The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth
In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries laid out the practices of successful startups – building a minimal viable product, customer-focused and scientific testing based on a build-measure-learn method of continuous innovation, and deciding whether to persevere or pivot. In The Startup Way, he turns his attention to an entirely new group of organizations: established enterprises like iconic multinationals GE and Toyota, tech titans like Amazon and Facebook, and the next generation of Silicon Valley upstarts like Airbnb and Twilio.
Drawing on his experiences over the past five years working with these organizations, as well as nonprofits, NGOs, and governments, Ries lays out a system of entrepreneurial management that leads organizations of all sizes and from every industry to sustainable growth and long-term impact. Filled with in-the-field stories, insights, and tools, The Startup Way is an essential road map for any organization navigating the uncertain waters of the century ahead. Again, a critical tool to use in business.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene ten years ago and revolutionized the way people communicate when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Since then, millions of people have learned how to hold effective crucial conversations and have dramatically improved their lives and careers thanks to the methods outlined in this book.
- Prepare for high-stakes conversations
- Make it safe to talk about almost anything
- Transform unpleasant emotions into powerful dialogue
- Be persuasive, not abrasive
Crucial Conversations gets you past the hard parts of dialogue and helps you achieve relationships that are real, productive, and that will enrich your life and career. A MUST READ for those that have to have these conversations with people!
Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior
Research proves that mishandled disappointments aren’t just morale killers, they’re institution killers–diminishing organizational performance by 20 to 50 percent. Everyone knows how to run for cover, or, if sufficiently provoked, step up to problems in a way that causes a real ruckus. Crucial Accountability teaches you how to deal with violated expectations in a way that solves the problem at hand without harming the “relationship”–and, in fact, even strengthens it.
Crucial Accountability offers the tools for improving relationships in the workplace and in life and for resolving all these problems–permanently.
The Truth About Employee Engagement: A Fable About Addressing the Three Root Causes of Job Misery
Bestselling author Patrick Lencioni takes on a topic that almost everyone can relate to: job misery. Millions of workers, even those who have carefully chosen careers based on true passions and interests, dread going to work, suffering each day as they trudge to jobs that make them cynical, weary, and frustrated. It is a simple fact of business life that any job, from investment banker to dishwasher, can become miserable. Through the story of a CEO turned pizzeria manager, Lencioni reveals the three elements that make work miserable — irrelevance, immeasurability, and anonymity — and gives managers and their employees the keys to make any job more engaging. This WILL help you find purpose in what you do!
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Throughout this story, the Author reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams, even the best ones, often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.
A MUST READ if you are on a team, lead a team or consult for teams!
Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business
Best-selling author Patrick Lencioni provides readers with another powerful and thought-provoking book, this one centered around a cure for the most painful yet underestimated problem of modern business: bad meetings. And what he suggests is both simple and revolutionary. For those of us that spend a lot of time in meetings, this is a life-saver!
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business
There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Timesbest-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how HEALTHY they are. Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified.
Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health—complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation’s leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way—one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles. A MUST READ for anyone looking to get into strategic organizational development!!!
The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues
In his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player.
Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players. Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling. If you read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team you MUST read this one! The RIGHT people make all the difference!!!
Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors
In yet another page-turner, New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed management expert Patrick Lencioni addresses the costly and maddening issue of silos, the barriers that create organizational politics. Silos devastate organizations, kill productivity, push good people out the door, and jeopardize the achievement of corporate goals.
As with his other books, Lencioni writes Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars as a fictional—but eerily realistic—story. The story is about Jude Cousins, an eager young management consultant struggling to launch his practice by solving one of the more universal and frustrating problems faced by his clients. Through trial and error, he develops a simple yet ground-breaking approach for helping them transform confusion and infighting into clarity and alignment. This is the book that intorduced me to the concept of the thematic goal everyone rallies around, regardless of which “silo” they sit in. Get this one!
Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty
Another extraordinary business fable from the New York Times bestselling author Patrick Lencioni offers a key resource for gaining competitive advantage in tough times. It shows why the quality of vulnerability is so important in business and includes ideas for inspiring customer and client loyalty. This book shows what it takes to gain a real and lasting competitive edge for anyone in the services industry as well as internally at your company and is ESSENTIAL READING for anyone wanting to go into the service industry (yeah, talking to YOU would-be consultants!)
Start With Why
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team
Start With Why has led millions of readers to rethink everything they do – in their personal lives, their careers and their organizations. Now Find Your Why picks up where Start With Why left off. It shows you how to apply Simon Sinek’s powerful insights so that you can find more inspiration at work — and in turn inspire those around you. Whether you’ve just started your first job, are leading a team, or are CEO of your own company, the exercises in this book will help guide you on a path to long-term success and fulfillment, for both you and your colleagues.
First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
THIS BOOK IS GROUND-BREAKING as I eluded to in one of my podcast episodes! In this longtime management bestseller, Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial firms. Whatever their circumstances, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup’s research were those who excelled at turning each individual employee’s talent into high performance.
Gallup has found that the front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. This book explains how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience, set expectations, build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix his or her weaknesses, and get the best performance out of their teams.
And perhaps most important, Gallup’s research produced the 12 simple questions that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. First, Break All the Rules is the first book to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction and the rate of turnover. This book presents vital performance and career lessons for managers at every level — and best of all, shows you how to apply them to your own situation! You want to grab this one!
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works.
When managers and marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next sale or campaign that’s going to knock out the competition. Even companies committed to jabbing—patiently engaging with customers to build the relationships crucial to successful social media campaigns—want to land the punch that will take down their opponent or their customer’s resistance in one blow. Right hooks convert traffic to sales and easily show results. Except when they don’t.
Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, CONTEXT matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. CONSULTANTS: THIS ONE IS FOR YOU! The success I have had is in part due to these strategies, NOT Google or FB ads (dirty little secret; I have NEVER paid for a Google or FB ad and have tens of thousands of podcast downloads as of 2017!). Slow and steady with content aimed at the RIGHT people!
The 12 Principles of Manufacturing Excellence: A Lean Leader’s Guide to Achieving and Sustaining Excellence
A classic! This book outlines a comprehensive, proven process for delivering world-class performance while also cultivating the right culture through leadership, mentoring, and hourly associate involvement.
While most books on continuous improvement focus on specific tools and methods, this book details a top-down strategy and process that Lean leaders can use to implement and sustain manufacturing excellence. It outlines a clear pathway to excellence via the 12 Principles of Manufacturing Excellence and provides a method for tracking progress―plant by plant and function by function, including EHS! Tapping into more than four decades of leadership experience, 35 years of it in the manufacturing industry, Larry Fast explains how to achieve both vertical and horizontal alignment across your organization.