Is Social Media A Waste Of Time For Your Businesses?

There’s a nagging little voice, a devil on my shoulder, that tells me to scream obscenities at any “pro” marketer who recommends a small business work on their “social media profile”.

Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare… all that stuff.

It drives me crazy. And after working with hundreds of companies, of all different sizes, I’ve learned one universal truth about all business owners.

At the end of the day, the mom & pop shop, the radio store, the restaurant, none of those places care about how many social media followers they have… IF IT DOESN’T INCREASE THEIR REVENUE!

And that’s what most marketers seem to “forget” about this whole marketing thing.

The single purpose of marketing and advertising is to generate more profit.

It’s not a damn popularity contest.

Social media is NOT a commercial platform. It’s a BRANDING platform.

And unless you have $1,000,000+ in the bank, you’re wasting your time. It is FOOLISH to think you can complete on any level with brand advertisers that have million+ ad budgets and can afford $10,000+ TV spots.

So forget brand advertising. It’s not going to work. Any marketer that tells you they can dramatically, and quickly increase your profit by building you a Facebook following or twitter following is lying to you unless you have a HUGE budget.

So then, why does EVERYONE and their brother recommend social media marketing? Why do business owners jump on board like it’s the best thing since sliced bread?

Business owners jump on the social media bandwagon because it’s “popular” and business owners think they need it.

But new isn’t always better!

And here’s what grinds my gears… seasoned marketers KNOW this.
Professionals know that it takes quite a bit more than being someones friend on Facebook to get them to buy from you.

But guess what, It’s EASY, CHEAP and IMPRESSIVE, and business owners BELIEVE it works… and they’re willing to fork out big bucks because of it.

And the marketing companies are willing to take it… because it’s easy money.

And that’s unethical, and it’s wrong.

The mom & pop shop doesn’t need a Facebook fan page. The restaurant near the park… doesn’t need one either. Neither does the chiropractor, roofer or dentist. And when you’re asking huge sums of money without delivering the result your clients are expecting… you’re actually doing more damage than good. Because now they’ve spent their ad budget… and haven’t gotten any more sales.

Not cool.

Do you know what does work? Not this “brand marketing”, or social media profiles or twitter, Facebook any of that. You know what REALLY works.

Guerilla Marketing… Direct Marketing.

If you haven’t heard of direct marketing, in a nutshell it means using your marketing materials to get someone to respond to your advertising NOW, instead of later. Brand marketing = see brand may times, buy once. Direct Marketing = see advertisement once, buy many times. It’s a subtle distinction that will triple your sales… and it’s all I do now.

Here Are My 7 Cardinal Direct Marketing Rules That Every Business Needs To Follow To Make Money

#1 – Every ad must conform to direct response standards. What does that mean? It means every piece of advertising will have a headline, big emotional benefits and an immediate call to action. “Call now to book your appointment”, “Enter your e-mail address”, “Book a reservation”, “Buy Now!”… ANYTHING… any action that will get them closer to giving you money. You will STOP trying to brand your business. Every advertising dollar you spend should go directly towards getting you another customer, not making your business look pretty.

#2 – You MUST have a USP. Even if it’s just an “angle”. There are 100 pizza shops in town. What sets you apart? Do you have the best cheese, fastest delivery, freshest bread… heck even coolest boxes! It doesn’t matter what it is. You have to find something to differentiate yourself from everyone else. No more “me too’s”. You don’t want to be a commodity.

#3 – EVERY offer must have an upsell. The most profitable words in history are “Would you like fries with that?.” It instantly doubles your sales. It’s literally 1 simple question, you or your staff could ask any customer and instantly increase your profit without spending a DIME! And here’s the crazy part… no matter what you offer, no matter what the price, a large percentage of your customers will STILL buy. Always have something more expensive & something less expensive to sell.

#4 – You MUST collect customer and lead data. It is the most valuable asset your business will ever own and if you don’t have a list of your customers already, you’re throwing money away. The easiest money you will ever make is from a list of customers that have already spent money with you. Imagine this scenario for a second: You're a restaurant owner, you get your customers to leave their e-mail address to be added to a VIP customer list with discounts. The customer receives 10% off their bill in exchange. You send out an e-mail on a tuesday or wed (slow nights) to your VIP customers saying “come in tonight and get appetizers at half off with this coupon”. Suddenly your restaurant is full on one of the slowest nights of the week because you sent 1 email. And you can do that every week, as often as you like. Do not underestimate the power of this! It works in ANY business.

#5 – You MUST have a customer / lead follow up sequence that gets them familiar with your brand and encourages them to spend more money with you. This can be as simple as a monthly newsletter, or as complicated as a 2 week follow up course before prepping someone for a big expensive purchase. Either way, the more times you keep in touch with your prospect, the more likely they are to buy from you.

#6 – You MUST track every sale & every lead you get. If you don’t know where your profitable business is coming from, how do you know what to focus your advertising on? Tracking brings clarity and confidence in your decisions. No more guessing as to whether the newspaper advertising generated a profit, or if that radio spot really worked. From this point forward, you track everything you do.

#7 – You will go out and GET customers. Do NOT wait for customers to come to you. “Inbound marketing” / SEO / whatever you want to call it, is a passive activity. You do the work, and then wait for the results long after you’ve done the work. Don’t do that. You’re wasting your time. Instead, focus on activities that you can do that will generate business for you NOW, not in 30,60 or 90 days. This means you have to hustle. If that means you have to pay for advertising, so be it. But don’t sit around and expect magic to happen. If you want something, go get it.

… and I have one more

#8… Be accountable. This is your business, this is your ship. You steer it. If you hire a marketing pro and he’s giving you more excuses than results. Fire him. Consider your marketing pro a general in your military, and your advertising dollars are soldiers. Every solider you send out needs to come back with at least 1 hostage…. another solider (dollar). If you had a general in the military, and he kept sending his men out to battle, and they kept dying, how long do you think he would keep his job? Your marketing pro is no different. Always hold your experts accountable. Numbers don’t lie.

If you liked this post, and you’re tired of dealing with marketing reps that give you the runaround, waste your time and don’t deliver results… feel free to send me a message, and we can set up those “7 Cardinal Rules” for your business in the next couple of weeks.

Cheers & have a great day!
– Adam Nolan

How To Keep Going When The Going Gets Tough

I want to tell you a story. It started about 5 years ago and ended up with me almost being homeless in the middle of a snowstorm, starving, a week before Christmas without a dime to my name.

Back up a little…

It was the summer of 2009 and things were looking up. I had just finished university and got recruited by a finance firm to manage clients. It was a straight commission job… but hey, I was good at sales, I’d done sales before so I wasn’t worried.

Days came and went and I found that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. I didn’t have a car at the time, so I would spend upwards of 3 hours on the bus every single day, bussing across the city, to ironically, give people advice about money.

On a lucky day… maybe i’d sell something. More often than not it was 2 hour buss rides followed by swift rejection. Sigh. It was tough. I had to slog through the rain and snow for literally less than minimum wage. Remember… straight commission. If I didn’t make sales I didn’t eat.

Thankfully I had a manager who took pity on me. See… they never asked if I drove a car, they just assumed. That was one of the requirements for the job, but too late now! I was in. So the manager felt bad about me spending half my day just trying to get to meetings to be rejected, and started handing me leads to go visit. I was ecstatic.

These were REAL people who wanted to buy something! Those little morsels of paper were so valuable to me! They were my ticket to eat that week! Not only was I starving for income, I was starving for any kind of nutritional food as well!

It was bad. I never let anyone know though. I had too much pride. I owed room mates money, was behind on rent. I owed $30,000 in debt. I felt awful. It was a really shitty place to be. I was trapped and caught in a downward spiral that I felt I couldn’t control.

And then things got bad…

In the middle of winter, in -30 celsius… conditions the rest of the world makes fun of us Canadians for living in… the bus system decided to go on strike.

My only means of transportation to the office, to my family, to my friends, to the grocery store (not that I had money for food)… was the bus.

I might as well have been stranded in the middle of Alaska.

Thankfully… THANKFULLY… just before the bus strike happened, I closed a deal and made $1000. The first money I’d made in weeks. And I was to get paid right before Christmas. My favourite holiday of the year. I was so happy I could get my family gifts, that I wouldn’t be hungry over Christmas. Basically… this is the “movie moment” that happens to the good guys. Happy ending, roll credits. Right? Not so much…

Turns out that not being able to show up to meetings or go visit clients is grounds for termination. So… because of factors entirely outside my control. I now had no job.

But hey… I had that last pay check right? I was going to be able to give my family presents for Christmas and show them how much I cared for them. Right? Everything was going to be ok. I’d start fresh in the new year…


*Ring Ring*

*Ring Ring*

“Hello?” – I pick up the phone.

“Hi Adam… this is *customers name*. You know that insurance policy you sold us the other day? Yeah, I think we’d like to cancel it. It’s just not something we’re interest in at this time.

… I was speechless. I stuttered something into the phone and got off as fast as possible because I knew if I spent anymore time talking to this man I was going to break down sobbing.

No job. No money. No transportation. No food. Only desperation and fear where Christmas joy used to be.

I had nothing.

I broke down and started crying. I didn’t care that I was hungry. I didn’t care that I lost my job. The ONLY thing I cared about at that moment was that I wasn’t going to be able to get my family, my baby sisters, that I love so much… ANYTHING for Christmas. I felt awful. I felt like a failure. I was disgusted with myself. It was rock bottom.

So I wrote letters.

I literally had to borrow paper… but I wrote and I wrote. And I poured my heart out into these letters I wrote to my family. And in each letter I told my mom, sisters, dad, etc why they were special to me, and why I valued them. Every single one of them broke into tears. . . followed by me of course.

I said I was so sorry, I felt awful that I didn’t have anything to give them for Christmas. Then my mom turned to me and said something I’ll never forget.

“Adam, you didn’t give us nothing. You gave us everything you had.”

At that moment, I decided NEVER AGAIN.

Never again would I feel like a victim. Never again would I feel like I didn’t have complete control over my life. Never again would I be hungry. Never again would I be afraid.

I made a choice. Something snapped. I found my “Big Why”: My Family.

From that point on I made a promise to myself that no matter what it took, no matter how hard I had to work, I would NEVER be in that situation again.

And when I made that decision things started to change. I became proactive. I took charge. I didn’t just wait around for stuff to happen to me. If I wanted something, I went out and got it!

And I dug myself out of $30,000 in debt by the time I was 23. I didn’t take the “reduced owed” amount. I paid it off in full. Pride. I got myself into this situation. I was going to get myself out.

And slowly, I dug upwards out of the grave I had put myself in. And slowly I’d see little rays of light. It was tough. It was 2 steps forward, 1 step back. It took years to dig out, just like it took years to get 30k in debt.

And anytime I’d slip, or feel the tug of frustration & desperation. I’d think back to that night before Christmas and tell myself…


Then I’d smile, know that I was in control of my own destiny, and get back to work.

So… let me ask you something. What is your Big Why? Post in the comments below and let me know!

– Adam Nolan

How To Wow Your Customers And Sell More

Want to know the secret to attracting more clients and business than you could ever need?

One of the best way to get people to buy stuff from you is to simply over deliver whenever possible. Giving your customer more than they were expecting is a great way to keep them returning to your store or website. Who doesn't like to receive more than they had bargained for?

So how can you over deliver to your customers as often as possible? There are several ways you can do this, here are some great ideas to get you started.

Give your customer a bonus, this could be a sample product, access to a coaching call or access to a private mastermind.

Offer you customer a coupon for a discount on their next purchase. This also helps to get your customers visiting your store again. You don't have to stop at just offering a discount. You may like to offer a free sample, a consultation or a buy one get one free type of deal.

If you offer a service the best way to over deliver is to get the project finished ahead of time. Beating deadlines is a wonderful way to add value to your own offers and gain lifelong customers.

Small gestures can go a long way in gaining appreciative customers. Sending a hand written thank you note in the mail is one way to achieve this. Other small gestures include sending birthday and anniversary cards out. Remember you can come up with your own anniversary ideas too.

Why not set up something such as a Customer of the Month or Customer Shout Out. Here you would thank your customer or highlight something they did that you appreciated.

Don't forget to celebrate with your clients and customers and even fellow business owners. If they win a new contract or make a significant improvement in their business send them a small gift. This says to them that you are noticing what they are doing and are paying attention to them.

Another fantastic way to over deliver to your present customers is to network with other business owners. What you want to do here is to refer local businesses that offer quality services and products, which you do not carry. This allows you to create a rolodex of resources for your customers. Always ensure that you have taken the time to check out these sources, your reputation is hanging on it. You don't want to recommend a bad resource or product to anyone.

Ok… that's all I have to share today! I'd love to hear your feedback! I've set this post up on my blog as well – go here and leave a comment.


– Adam

The YoYo: The Entrepreneurs Most Powerful Tool

Ok… here we go. So this is a funny article name, and a bit of a weird habit but I started doing this a little while ago and I’m really glad I did. This is a great way to relive stress, clear your head, live longer, be healthier and make more money. And the only thing you need is a 50 cent YoYo.

When I was a kid growing up I used to love playing with YoYo’s. It was a hobby I had and I wasn’t half bad at it either. I brought it to school and other kids started playing too. It was fun.

So when I was going through a box of old stuff a few months ago and came across the old red yoyo I had, it put a smile on my face. I took it out as a “keepsake” and put it on my desk… not really thinking much about it.

A few days went by and of course I went back to work. I’d occasionally glance over at my red YoYo and think about past days when… you know, I’d actually have time to play with it! Ah… I’ll get around to it later. Back to work.

Well… back to work caused a lot of frustration that week. Tech problems, setbacks… Murphy’s law was in full swing! So out of sheer frustration…

I sat back and said “Screw It!”

And walked away. I picked up my red YoYo & started playing.

It took a bit to get back into it, but I was “walking the dog”, doing loops and all sorts of cool tricks in no time. And when I say no time… I mean it!

In less than 5 minutes I had completely forgotten about my worries, I had got up & walked around, I had got a drink of water, relaxed my brain, made myself smile and basically re-set my grumpy, frustrated mood.

All because of a little 50 cent red YoYo.

If it wasn’t for that YoYo I would have ruminated over the crappy “tech support” for another 3 hours and not gotten anything done and stayed frustrated for the day.

This was one of the best “state breaks” I ever discovered. Here’s why.

1. By picking up a toy & playing with it I was getting my mind off work. Your brain can’t actively think for an answer while you’re asking it a question. Stop asking it the question you want the answer to and you’ll get the answer. Forcing yourself to “walk away” does this. Playing with a YoYo makes you stop thinking about work.

2. Sitting all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health. It can literally shorten your lifespan by DECADES! Standing and walking around least once an hour fixes that. A YoYo requires you to stand and walk around.

3. It reminds you to “take breaks”. Concentration is a muscle. And it’s VERY hard to keep flexing that muscle for hours on end. So, believe it or not, but you’ll work faster, smarter and get more done… if you just take a 10 minute break every hour to walk around and clear your head. A YoYo is a PERFECT tool for that.

So next time you’ve got a few minutes or you’re feeling frustrated. Stand up, stretch, grab a YoYo & start goofing around. You’ll be surprised at how refreshed and productive you’ll be when you get back to work again! Just don’t play for too long 😉

– Adam Nolan

The Secret To Ultra Productivity

If you’ve been following my work for any length of time you probably already know that I’m really big on time manipulation, outsourcing, process design & refinement… It’s the type of thing that can literally “make or break” your business if you do it right (or don’t do it right)!

So while I’m waiting for some videos to upload I wanted to fire off a quick blog post to share with you the 3 biggest tips I have for getting more done in less time so you can go do other non-crappy-work stuff.

Tip #1 – Pareto’s Law (The 80/20 Rule)

If you’re a fan of the 4 Hour Work Week you probably already know about this. For those of you who haven’t read it… go read it now :) The 80/20 rule is a very simple, often forgotten rule of economics that states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the work.

The crazy thing is, this isn’t just applied towards business, you’ll find this in most areas of life and in fact, the ratio is often even smaller! A perfect example of this is the whole “We are the 99%” campaign that is going on in New York right now. 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth!

I digress… If you sit down, do a critical analysis of all the tasks you do in a day, you’ll find that only about 20% of them contribute to the bottom line. Maybe only 20% of your customers cause 80% of your problems. Whatever the ratio is, focus on acheiving the greatest amount of leverage. Fire the 20% of your customers that cause 80% of your problems. Find more customers like the 20% that give you your biggest source of revenue.

Once you’ve done your analysis suddenly priorities shift & business becomes much clearer.

#2 – Time Compression

I love this tactic. In fact, I’m using it RIGHT NOW to get this article done. You see… I have this problem. It’s kinda like shiny object syndrome… and I’m pretty sure a lot of my readers have to deal with this too. It’s the entrepreneur curse & this is the cure for it. If you want to accomplish incredible feats of productivity that is going to make your boss (or business partners’) head spin then pay attention.

Project length expands as time allows.

In a nutshell, what that means is that if you give a project 2 weeks to completion, it will take 2 weeks. If you give that same project 2 days, it will magically get completed in 2 days.

By setting ridiculously short deadlines on projects you complete them now and you don’t overanalyze. Just the act of putting pen to paper (or cursor to pixel) motivates you to keep moving & with the deadline constantly chasing you you accomplish your tasks VERY fast.  Using this strategy I’ve accomplished entire days tasks in a couple of hours. This works.

Tip #3 – The To-Do List

Ahh… the dreaded “to do” list. The epic, 10 page list of crap that you’re stuck doing because … well it needs to get done. You look down at your list, horrified at the amount of work and think…

“Screw it! I’ll do it tomorrow!”

Does that sound familiar? If it does – you’ll love this tip. I started using this a year ago and have had more productive days since then than I can count. The idea is simple. Your task list is intimidating and you don’t feel like you’re getting any progress. That’s why you don’t do it. How do we solve that? Easy.

When creating your daily task list only put 3 items on it per day. 1 big item and 2 smaller ones. When you have a short to-do list it seems manageable and you actually accomplish it.  In fact, most of the time you’ll just continue working beyond what you had to do today anyway! But the difference is that this gives you the motivation to get the ball rolling (especially with that egg timer chasing you).

Ok… so it looks like those videos are done uploading… I actually created them for you & you’ll get a chance to see them in the next few days. I’m really excited b/c I’m going to be announcing something I’ve NEVER done before and has really… never been done in our industry. The big announcement is coming this Thursday… & it involves you getting a FREE Virtual assistant. So keep your eyes peeled :)