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35 Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success From 35 Of Today’s Best Entrepreneurs

On Wall Street they have this concept of a rainmaker.

You know the type, popularized through movies like “Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps”, and others.

You can learn a lot, perhaps the core essentials of an industry, by studying its rainmakers, and comparing what they say and what they do.

Take politics, for instance.

Now, in that field, the top players almost always say one thing and do another. Maybe that’s how to win in that messed up field.

What about entrepreneurship?

This is naturally the field I care about most because the Hackishword Hackers are quintessential entrepreneurs.

The brilliant Moussa Sarr and myself are doing a lot of entrepreneurial work with startups, you can check out UnicornPoach and some other secret stuff that we are not allowed to disclose.

Learning from the best is definitely one of the things I’ve had in my sights for a long time.

Working with startups is hard work, and starting a business from scratch prompts you to answer over and over again why you do what you do. Money? Passion? Fame? Notoriety? Boredom?

How can you bring together your competing motives to actually synthesize something solid that a good section of society will feel passionately enough about to let you lead them on a journey whose destination even you, the entrepreneur, are only vaguely knowledgeable about?

It’s a tall order, especially if it’s your first time being an entrepreneur.

So I thought I’d share with you some of the best nuggets of entrepreneurial wisdom I’ve come across from some of the best entrepreneurs and maybe you’ll take away some good lessons in the process.

 

Tony Robbins

Quite simply, the secret of success is modeling those who are successful. You can learn from the best. Whatever you need to do, find a guy or group of people who have accomplished that goal, and copy them. Study them, find out what it is that they do that makes them achieve those sorts of results, and do the same for yourself. One good way to get started on the goal of making it big in Nashville, you know, is actually getting on the bus and heading to Nashville in the first place!

 

Jack Ma

Success, without a doubt, is hard, hard work. So there is no substitute for persistence. Once you hit on a good idea, be as persistent as a bed bug, it typically takes a long time to see the results of all your hard work. Hitting the good idea is the easy part, seeing it through to completion is the part of champions.

Gary Vaynerchuk

You have to be willing to hustle harder than 99.9% of the planet. Hustle when other people are at the football game and at happy hour and partying. Hustle til you make it. If you’re an entrepreneur there’s no other way.

 

Elon Musk

Think from first principles. Challenge the status quo. Don’t accept good enough. Always seek for criticism. I know this sounds harsh but you have to do it, from your friends, from anyone who has good knowledge about what you are trying to do.

 

Moussa Sarr

Always do intellectual stuff. Challenge yourself. Each day do one thing harder than the previous day. Learn learn learn. Learning is underestimated, but in the accomplishment of any great thing, you can be sure while everybody else was merely watching, the eventual winner was doing a whole lot of learning.

 

Paul Graham

Ship the code and actually go out there! So many so-called entrepreneurs get in the comfort zone of just working endlessly on a product that no-one ever sees, and this is a surefire way to sabotage your own success.

 

Amy Hoy

Take baby steps and actually launch. So many people get stuck trying to build the “perfect” thing. The entrepreneurs who win are the people who are willing to throw caution to the wind, and just release their tiniest possible product to the market, and then learn from the market’s reactions.

 

Warren Buffet

You have to be willing to swim against the tide. Just because everybody else is doing it one way doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. In fact, to achieve entrepreneurial success, you often have to rewire your brain in the opposite direction.

 

Daniel DiPiazza

Be willing to hustle. Success has very few shortcuts, and the way to get there is really to do massive amounts of work. Every day, don’t stop. Come out and hustle and give your A-game, every single day. It doesn’t matter you don’t feel 100% on that day. You’re fighting in the most brutal league, and that’s the A-League, so be willing to hustle.

Zed Shaw

A lot of people talk about code, write about code, think about code, and even daydream about code — everything, that is, except code. You don’t really need anyone to tell you that’s the entirely wrong approach to getting work and startups done do you? Get the code written. Write code! Then more code! Yeah, you heard that right. If you don’t actually write code, we’ll simply stop paying attention to you right now. A good place to begin would be “Learn Code the Hard Way.”

 

Chris Guillebeau

Think long and hard about what makes you unique, then build a business around that. There is something powerful about having a unique story that sticks in the minds of people. Be aware though that most people you tell your story to won’t care either way. That doesn’t matter, because your job is to find the 5% of the population who care about the story you’re trying to tell.

 

Steve Jobs

History is made by those who take their chances. If you’re actually too weak, too wimpy, and too scared to stand up and make your point, you might as well give up before you begin. To change the world, you’ve got to actually be brave and bold enough to try. If you don’t succeed, at least you’ll know you tried it, and it didn’t work.

 

Bill Gates

Dedicate yourself to your work. If you are actually trying to make a contribution to the world, you had better become a master of whatever industry you’re trying to go into. Don’t rest until you have totally mastered it. You have to have a deep drive to see things through to their ultimate conclusion. If you’re making an operating system, might as well make it the operating system the entire world runs on. That sort of mindset.

Donald Trump

Pay particular attention to the things that matter, and spend very little time on the things that don’t matter nearly as much. If you go into business but you’re not actually willing to do the homework and read the fine print of your deals and check out potential partners, you’ll have a hard time keeping your shirt on your back. So immerse yourself totally. In business, as in a deal, it’s all or nothing.

 

Brian Tracy

Be committed to learning a ton of new skills if you are going to try entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur is a guy who takes the shortest path possible to learning the most practical skills to make his business a success. Every skill you have to learn, is learnable. So take the time. Read books, talk to experts, watch documentaries, invest in yourself.

 

Yaro Starak

Learn from other smart people around. Quite often, people think you have to stay in one job all your life, working a 9 to 5, not realizing it’s your life, and other people have found alternative ways of making a contribution. But it’s a learning process, and one good way to shorten the curve is to learn from others around you. Learn from people who have already walked the path and made it work for them.

 

Lewis Howes

Don’t accept the limitations that you might have placed on yourself. Just because you haven’t achieved your childhood goal doesn’t mean you cannot achieve what matters to you in life. You have to just very consciously define what true success means to you, come up with the goals that align with who you really are, and go for that. You’ll find more success on that path than you ever dreamed possible.

 

Glen Allsop

The value of hard work cannot be overemphasized. Frequently, people set goals that are not big enough because they’re not willing to stretch themselves. To be successful, however, you really have to be bold, go for the big, crazy goals that everyone else is afraid of, and you will see wonderful things begin to happen.

 

Dan Kennedy

What trips up many entrepreneurs, quite often, is simply a lack of knowledge about marketing. Before you are even in the business of doing what you do for a living, you are first and foremost in the business of marketing what you do for a living. Subtle disctinction, and, sadly, many entrepreneurs have missed this crucial piece of knowledge. Make a serious and concerted study of marketing if you want to actually have a good time while you make a go at running your own business.

 

DHH

Optimize for programmer happiness. Making a good product starts with the actual process through which you get to the product eventually. And if you are being miserable all the way to the actual product, chances are, your users are gona be miserable as well using it. So begin with yourself. What makes you happy? Why are you doing what you are doing? Optimize for programmer happiness to begin with. You can’t go wrong with that.

 

Rob Walling

Doing a startup or being an entrepreneur does not necessarily mean being a venture-backed company, and spending hundreds of thousands on your offices and initial hires. You’ve got to be willing to begin small. Bootstrap! Too often, entrepreneurs hold themselves back because in their mind they cannot proceed unless they have the reassuring hand of YCombinator or the latest popular incubator on board. You can do better than that.

 

Steve Wozniak

It’s no secret that Steve Wozniak and the Wright Brothers are our favorite entrepreneurs here at The Hackishword Hackers, With Elon Musk and Steve Jobs close behind. So this means get your Wozniak on and get hustling, much fun awaits! And oh, learn some electronics while you’re at it!

 

Mark Anastasi

To make it as an entrepreneur, you need to implement faster than the ordinary person. Speed of implementation is absolutely essential because those who implement faster get to fail faster, and as a side-effect, get to figure out much faster what doesn’t work, and try more things and find out faster what actually works! As an entrepreneur, if you are not implementing, you’re falling behind!

 

Naomi Dunford

Marketing is important for any entrepreneur to grow their business. Marketing comes in so many flavors though, so you have a wide selection of tools and techniques you can use to your liking. These include, serious, very consistent blogging, serious very consistent public outreach, serious very consistent podcasting, and a dozen or more such approaches. If you don’t like some of them, pick the others. If you don’t like any of them, however, now you’ve got a major problem in trying to make it as an entrepreneur.

 

50Cent

Be your own man and don’t depend on anybody. Dependence dulls the mind and kills the creativity. Besides, when you are working for someone else, you are at their mercy. You can lose your job any time. You can fall out with people. Same with creditors. If you owe people money, they can call the shots in your life. That’s no place to be if you’re serious about entrepreneurship. Go out there on your own dime and hustle your way to the top. Or die trying!

 

Steve Ballmer

Do it with passion. If your employees and your followers can’t feel the passion, if you can’t fire up the troops to want to take on the world with you, you’ve lost half the battle before you even began. Your passion for your products, for your business, for your customers, and for the people who work for you must be core facets of your business if you are to compete against world class competition in the marketplace of ideas.

 

Peter Diamandis

Embrace the opportunities available to you now. It’s all too easy to get bogged down looking at challenges and seeing the difficulty in every opportunity. Instead, if you decide to act now, you can have a hand in crafting the future and making it a much better place than the past ever was. And that only happens if you decide to take action today.

 

Seth Godin

Choose yourself. I mean, what are you waiting for? You can be lost in the crowd, no-one noticing you, and hesitant to take action because you have not yet been picked, no-one has written you back, they didn’t call you, they didn’t open the doors for you. If you accept those doors slammed shut in your face, you will limit your God-given potential. Instead, go out there and start doing stuff like you already picked yourself and that’s all that counts! You’ll have a lot more fun too!

 

Grant Cardone

People don’t take nearly enough action. What you should really be doing is taking 10X the action. Come up with massive goals 10X the size of your normal everyday goals, then take 10X the action you think it will take. That’s how you achieve major breakthroughs, that’s how you change your life in the course of a single year.

 

Sean Ogle

Today the possibilities with entrepreneurship are really broad and varied. It makes less and less sense to work in a cubicle in a normal job. So if you are up for a little adventure, you should really just make a go for it, become location independent, explore the world and build a business while you are doing it. In the process you will make new friends, learn new languages and build something you can be proud of.

 

Steve Pavlina

We all have some sort of skills that can be applied in an entrepreneurial bent. If you know some code, you can be quite dangerous, for example. But also if you know business skills, coaching, whatever. You just need to make the decision and contribute value to someone else’s life in a way they are willing to pay you for it, and you’re in business.

 

Benjamin P. Hardy.

There’s a term called “Slip-stream time-hacking”, which is all about finding the slip-stream. In the slip-stream, time moves a whole lot slower because you, the person, are moving a whole lot faster. So a person who is moving 5 times as fast, can get 5 times as many things done than the person who is moving at the normal speed. So you essentially gain 4 days for every one that you use up. Once you start exploring the possibilities and applying slip-stream time-hacking to your own entrepreneurial adventures, you will make more progress, faster, than you ever thought possible.

 

Lisa Sasevich

Entrepreneurial success often comes down to if you can make the sale, and this is a key area that can help an entrepreneur in today’s environment. You have to know how to get your audience to trust you and your solution to their problem, and give them a reason why you are the ideal person to guide them. How you position yourself, as an authority, or just another sales guy, can really make or break the sale. Spend some time learning about the sales process so you can be more effective right off the bat.

 

Joanna Penn

Fight resistance and get things done. Your work often won’t be sharply defined whilst it’s in the process of emerging. You need to just slog it through those times and trust that the final result will be worth it. This applies in writing as much as in marketing or developing any product for the market.

Richard Branson

You need a little flair and lots of drive if you’re gonna do this. The drive, to make it through the tough parts, and long nights of work releasing your latest product, and the flair to make things fun again and lighten up. It helps if you enjoy what you are doing and if you can commit to your ideas for the long term.

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Why Foundation Rocks for Developing Your App

In the past I developed apps with a mix of Bootstrap, Sass, Bourbon and other great UI frameworks. Recently I’ve made the switch to Foundation by Zurb. Going forward most of my apps involving HTML will use Foundation. I think relying on a great tool like Foundation can save you time, development costs and ultimately lead to faster product development and shorter time to market.

Foundation rocks and can help you ship great apps quick, and here’s why.

Great Defaults

Out of the box, Foundation comes with sensible defaults and a nice layout. Buttons, forms, blocks, notifications, and the like, are already themed nicely so you can prototype really quickly. If you need to override things down the line, you’ll have a far easier time doing so from such a solid, eh, foundation! I guess now I know why it’s Foundation…

Simple and Straightforward

The other thing you will notice is how simple and straightforward Foundation is. It really has a flat learning curve, and you can find plenty of sound tutorials on the internet. You shouldn’t have too much room to get lost. Just go over the docs a few times, and check out some of the tutorials that Zurb has on their learning page.

 

A Ton of Useful Conventions

Foundation ships with mobile-first responsiveness, a first-class grid system, simple naming conventions, a command-line tool via Foundation CLI and plenty of other goodies. What this means for you and your team is that you can piggyback on a battle-tested UI framework and get apps done fast!

Don’t forget, if you are interested in working with us for your app development for ecommerce, startups or other use cases, feel free to leave a comment or send an email: seotomahawk@gmail.com

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How To Make A Huge Dent In The Universe: A Parable For Entrepreneurs Who Think Big

Back in ancient history and ancient civilizations, the mines were the object of attention for generations and generations of enterprising men, cities and kingdoms.

The Chinese mined gold, the Egyptians mined gold, Alexander the Great had gold, the Romans mined and extracted gold. Every important historical figure it seems, has had something or other to do with gold.

If you study the mining of gold closely enough, you will get an excellent model, in simplified terms, about a most common manner of conducting entrepreneurship.

What is it about gold that makes it be mined in the first place? Why do people mine gold?

Well, gold looks nice, right! You can make nice ornaments out of it, you can make excellent gifts that look costly and valuable, conveying a prestige that’s hard to match. And as this becomes more and more apparent, more and more prestigious and wealthy people who want to flaunt their wealth and convey status (similar to how our businessmen today might choose to charter a flight, seeing first-class as somehow “beneath” them), and so as the demand for gold goes up, so does its price, and scarcity, and it quickly becomes not just a conveyor of value, but also, a store of value.

Now you’re guaranteed that not only does having gold items show you to be someone of significance in society, but it also is a good way to store your wealth and significance. At any one time, you’re guaranteed to sell off a chunk of your gold now for a significant sum indeed. So that’s how gold became gold, how it came to be mined and to signify value, and to store value, and also, even, to be used as currency.

What about the actual utility of gold? You might say, but that’s why it’s traded, because it’s useful. No! Hold on.

Warren Buffet is fond of trashing gold. He says he’d rather own a good company, land, plants, any other, to use his own terms, “productive” or “useful” thing than gold.

And he’s right, absolutely?

What you gonna do with gold? Eat it? No you can’t! Let’s see, ride it like a horse so you can go into town? No way! Lie next to gold to keep you warm at night? No, gold is cold.

So, gold by itself is fairly useless, remarkably so for something that has a ton of value. Notice the difference here between value and utility in the sense of first-object use, i.e what good does the thing by itself do to you in the absence of other intermediaries.

With an egg, the answer is obvious: you can eat it. With a dog, even, the answer is obvious: when all else fails he can guard your house. Even a knife, because you use that to cut your food, and with yet a bigger knife, a battle sword, you can defend yourself. So you have all these things that have immediately obvious usefulness, but of course much less value than their weight in gold. But in a tight spot with a lion on your tail, would you rather have the weight in gold of any of these things, or the thing itself?

Now, on to the actual mining of gold. We have here established why anyone would WANT to mine gold. But why does gold HAVE to be mined in the first place?

Well, no doubt some gold has existed right in the open, and may be found just by stumbling upon it.

But gold offers us a lesson in the natural principle of scarcity, which underpins entrepreneurship and human existence from the beginnings.

There is very little gold on the surface of the earth, and whatever there is, is not enough to go around so everyone would quickly fight for it if it were found, and quickly, the easy sources of gold would be dispensed.

I don’t know about you in Arkansas, but here in Accra, Ghana, where there is a lot of gold in the ground, I can’t walk around and see any gold at all anywhere. Believe me, and I’ve been in this country for a while. So gold is scarce.

Now, extend this principle to any useful, or desirable thing. Us humans, and the animals, are faced with a scarcity of anything worth having, anything that could better our lives or improve our enjoyment of our lifetimes. Entertainment, fun, shelter, clothing, water, food, medicine, safety, whatever, the scarcity of gold gives you the clue from which you can extrapolate the next big lessons. I mean, animals eat other animals, that’s how scarce things are!

So then, you quickly discover if you look around the cheap sources of gold, that there’s other gold just underneath wherever the easy gold was. Yes, there’s other gold there, but you need to do a little bit more to get.

Surely you smart entrepreneurs out there can see now how this all ends, right? Anyone care to buy a shovel from me!

Okay, you take the gold just there, and then you discover, the key word is “down”. Yup, you got the gold under the easy gold, and then, to get even more, you realize you’ve got to keep digging a little bit more, just a little bit more cause there’s more gold down there! And when that’s done, you go: down, and down, and down.

And if you keep digging all this gold, you’ll realize that, while at first you were stunted by a stunning curse of the scarcity, you quickly realize if you keep digging, well, there’s no limit to the amount of gold you can have!

But you just have to keep digging, and going down and down and down.

But, of course, there is actually a limit, depending on your abilities, and strength, and drive, and so on. Past a certain depth, you are getting more and more gold than you could have seen on the surface ever, and so, you’re now seeing more gold than you ever thought could exist in the whole world!

Wonder upon wonders, surely you must write home about this! But it’s not all sweet things and nice things, because, now you’re come so deep, you’re now discovering water. Yes, it’s down here too, just like all that gold you lugged up to the surface. And at first it’s nothing but probably a refreshing puddle on your feet, but soon, you discover there’s streams, and even flows and currents of water the deeper you’ve dug, til, finally, you stand waist deep in water and you realize you’ve come about as far as you can go with this. You’ve discovered the limits of gold. Time to pack it in, go home and sell all that gold.

Except of course, you have the brilliant idea that if you could bring a water pump to suck all that water out, you could get even more, and now, possibly ever higher quality gold, just the finest anyone has seen. And so you do, til at last you’ve got a whole multi-stage industrial process of gold mining and it’s a huge gigantic vocation in itself, above all the other things you have to do in life.

You reached the limits of gold, then you broke through the barrier using technology, inventiveness, strength, brains, and anything else at your disposal. But now, every extra ounce of gold you get is always going to be a result of pushing against the barriers at the limits.

You’re operating at the limits of gold, and every further gold you get is no longer coming from improvements in your efforts anymore, but improvements in your ability to improve the technology and machinery of gold mining, and this process is now much much slower than all the road you took to arrive at this point.

You’re now at the limits.

Yes, there’s still a ton of gold down there, you, now an expert on gold, know that better than anyone else, but you’ve now reached the limits and you know many of these will never ever be broken through in your own life time. You daydream and wonder what sort of abilities would exist, if only, another 20 years in the mines and developing new abilities, another 100, 1000 years, you can foresee some great developments but they are mostly beyond you, you’re constrained at the limits.

So that’s the process and the value of gold.

And this is also, not surprisingly, the process and value of entrepreneurship.

What is your art? What is your field? Accounting, law, dentistry, medicine, engineering? It’s all like this. We’re all out to solve and address the human problems due to scarcity. You start, and certain solutions, the basic ones, are easy and light, but quickly things progress as you dig more and more and advance and provide ever more value, until you have to expend more work than you have ever done to improve things and meet even more needs, til at last you are at the limits, and any improvements at all, if any, come very slowly in a humbling little trickle that sees breakthroughs only most once in a blue moon.

Now, the thing with the gold-mining model of entrepreneurship is that it has one fatal flaw.

Can you see what the fatal flaw of the gold-mining model of entrepreneurship is? Leave a comment in the section below this post, and I will personally review your answers.
To find out the flaws in this storied model of entrepreneurship and discover the ways you can improve upon this very useful approach, you will need to go on to the second part, which covers the “water-diversion” model of entrepreneurship.

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Please Don’t Show Hillary This Post: 6 Things A Female Donald Trump Would Say To Win A Debate Against Trump 2016

The Donald has made a big splash in almost every presidential debate he’s entered beginning with the first debates in Cleveland, Ohio in 2015. Nothing, it seems, can get him down. He’s just too smart a player for anyone…except, quite possibly, another Donald Trump. To make it a more amenable an affair, how about a female Donald Trump.

Here’s some of the ridiculous soundbites you should watch out for. Trump, female version, unleashed!

We’d be in for perhaps the most explosive presidential debate in the history of TV and the nation, and debates, period.

“Trump is too fat. What kind of Commander In Chief is that going to be! Even The Russians could spot him and nuke him all the way from Moscow.”

Yes, a female Trump would not be above taking personal comments a bit too far. Would she complain if someone else mentioned height, weight or other personal unselling points? I can’t say for certain, but she’d want to play the victim in front of all the cameras. Slick, Trump.

“Trump is too weak, and kinda low energy. I mean, look. The guy has been dumped by two women he married already, and now he’s on his third. Who knows how long that will last?!”

Excellent campaign soundbites like that would be a female Trump’s trump card (ignore the pun). If they’ve got a better policy on immigration or the financial sector, never mind! Point out how many women they’ve been with or something a little hot button like that. Works every time!

 

“With hair like that! Jake(the moderator), we should really do something about that. Someone please give Mr. Trump a hair makeover. He thinks we’re on some kinda reality show and not, you know, an actual live debate.”

Trump has been roundly criticized for covering over a bald spot and pretending there’s nothing to it. You wonder if he’d be doing the same thing to the Benghazi affair it it was him, and not Clinton, that’s on the hook for that. At least give him some credit for actually knowing where Benghazi was. He must have read his notes on this one. Behind the simplicity facade, Trump is actually quite smart. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I leave you to judge.

“One good thing about Trump, he’s a team player, supportive, you know, the guy. He supported both Romney and Obama in the last campaign. Sounds like flip-flopping to me.”

Trump and Romney have had a nasty spat lately, with Romney saying Trump would never do as the presidential candidate. You would think the feeling is reciprocal. Doesn’t matter that Romney is a very rich guy. As Trump likes to mention, he’s worth at least several Romneys, and flops several times as much. Which country was supposed to pay for that Mexican wall, again? Oh the Mexicans, that’s right. Or was it the Canadians. With Trump you’re only as sure as the last election!

 

“Trump wants to establish better relations with our best friends and enemies as well. So of course he’s mentioned the first thing he’d do as president is invite Putin over to the White House. Well, let me tell you how that’d go. I guess he thinks they’ll high-five each other with Putin, roll around on the floor and some judo, and then somehow the Russians will go back home, move out of Ukraine and we’ll all be allies again like it’s 1943!”

Trump has been roundly castigated for offering simplistic solutions to major problems, with good reason. A wall to hold the Mexicans in! I guess Pink Floyd were really writing about a guy named Trump, about 30 years too early.

While it’s commendable that he thinks he can establish better relations with the Russians, just so they can avert WWIII, the suggestion smacks of self-promotion.

Y’all can’t handle the Russian bear, so of course tough ol’ cowboy Trump is gonna come down Mt. San Antonio, grab the Russian bear by the collar and whip him into a bear-hugging, friendly basset hound. Ha! I hope he’s bought some good bear insurance plan, or this ain’t gonna end good.

Trump, always got a grandiose statement to make. But he knows it, at least give him some credit.

“Nice gesture, someone told me Trump had some kids from the local shelter over to his mansion for Christmas. Poor sods, too bad no-one told them they’d be filling in for the Latino staff that had gone down to Mexico for the holidays!”

Yes, Trump is controversial, there’s no denying it. One moment he ruffles the Democrats’ feathers, the next he’s ganging up with Bernie Sanders against Ronald Reagan’s tax policy or praising Mike Tyson for knocking out guys the way Trump would do it. No wonder the Democrats can’t quite figure out how to attack him best, nor the Republicans how to support him!

Yet would America be a better place if Trump were elected president? Who knows?

It’s funny when you consider it. Our schools like to pick on people who are a bit different from everyone else. And that’s something that Trump seems never to have grown out of, yet. On the other hand, he’d be rich pickings for a female Trump. Please don’t show Hillary this post!

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Exclusive Guide: How To Fix The 7 Deadly Sins That Can Wipe Your Hotel’s Search Traffic and Repeat Bookings

You’re in for a lengthy post, so buckle up!

Download as PDF

You’ve discovered this timely SEO guide to getting your hotel or resort back in front of potential visitors and the search engines! Before you high-five yourself, some sobering thoughts.

The booking landscape is now more competitive than ever for hotels and resorts.

If you are in any of the major global tourist destinations which I focus on, such as Las Vegas, Cape Town, Siem Reap and Bangkok, then you know how tough it is to get a chunk of new business from first-time visitors who will go on to become repeat clients of your hotel. There’s a lot of growth in Asian markets, for instance, but the U.S. and mature destinations are quite cutthroat as it is.

competitive hotel online marketing

Most hotel marketers are now familiar with the need to do regular content marketing to improve traffic and engage with your brand fans.

Many, however, are unaware just how competitive the content marketing scene is becoming and what you need to do to stand out against all the link farms cropping up over the internet, many laying claim to the same hotel keywords that you might be targeting for your SEO efforts and social media. According to IBM, about 90% of content available online was created over the last 2 years.

This means unless you are tapping into the best content and traffic developing insights, your hotel site might get lost in the flood of voices online.

In this comprehensive guide I will show you the 7 severe digital marketing mistakes that many hotels, casinos and resorts are making that cause their online marketing efforts to fall flat, why most hotel marketers are failing to grow their sites, why you might be missing massive traffic available to you, and my proven ways to solve them.

If you take these lessons and carefully apply them to your own business, you can grow your hotel or resort business with more traffic and greatly increase bookings. Then we can all go back to playing Monopoly and reading web comics about why hotel digital marketing efforts fail!

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The First Deadly Sin: Your website is not SEO optimized for mobile, and is slow like 90s internet 

Let’s not pretend we’re in the 90s anymore. Consumers want things fast, snappy, and, preferably, mobile!

Mobile unfriendly sites can be the death-knell for your search engine optimization efforts. Slow sites, no matter how content rich, suffer from a bad case of bounce-it-is. With a high bounce rate, visitors come to your site, then they notice how slow and clunky everything is, and they bounce.

If you are to get the hotel’s SEO house in order, optimizing for mobile traffic will take you far.

There is no excuse in this day and age to have a site lacking responsive design. If you are absolutely cheap, you can still get a fairly nice theme from a vendor or theme developer for less than a hundred bucks.

Mobile now accounts for a majority of traffic

For hotels in particular, mobile traffic accounts for as much as 50% or more of all online traffic. About 68% of travelers use a mobile device to conduct research on an upcoming trip for personal travel, and more than 53% use mobile devices to check in to hotels, cruises and flights. With so much mobile traffic and activity, you should really be laying down the infrastructure to capture a lot of that incoming traffic. Operators in niches like ecommerce and retailing have really latched onto the behavioral shift towards mobile access.

So should you.

Consumers prefer the convenience of always-on access and are researching travel destinations from every conceivable location and time. Many expect to be able to find a convenient hotel room and book it in one session from their smartphone or tablet.

The truth is, if you think this is some utopian scenario that will revert back to the norm over the next several years, you are in for a rough ride.

Expect this trend to accelerate in the next few years.

As newer devices enter the market and give visitors new options for querying the availability of travel and hospitality options, hotel brands that jump on the trends will jump-start their way to deeper visitor engagement and deeper pockets.

Your slow website messes up your UX and will be penalized by Google and other search engines

Google has placed emphasis in prior updates for webmasters on optimizing your sites for mobile access. In particular, Google will penalize sites with a poor mobile user experience. This makes sense from a usability standpoint for Google’s customers, the many millions of people who use the site regularly to find directions for travel and information sources as well as make bookings.

Your mobile customers are out there.

If you are offering them a bad mobile experience, some other web-savvy hotel or worse, an online travel agency like Expedia that has invested tons of money into offering a smooth mobile experience will hijack them.

First steps to a better mobile experience: a speed test or other performance test

Smart marketers realize that the customer experience does not begin when someone purchases a ticket on your website. Rather, it begins earlier in the process, when they click around on your site for the first time, trying to get some information or a contact.

You want to impress them at that point. So try and put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and investigate how optimal your site is for those mobile browsers that will be checking you out.

There is a wide variety of performance test tools now to allow you to evaluate your site.

Task your developers to come up with daily, weekly and monthly reports for your site speed, and benchmark them against other figures from your competitors.

Be warned though: other hotel websites might not be the best comparisons because they are so slow themselves. Pick another, more technically-aware niche, like search engines, and use figures from that to benchmark your own speed figures. You may want to test for mobile access speed as well as peak load performance, simulating when potentially thousands of prospects are hitting your site at the same time to access a hot deal.

You got some results. Now what? Optimize your site for speed, forget everything else

Armed with data from your speed tests, it’s time to take inventory and pinpoint where you are falling short. A major site overhaul may be in the works. Certainly I would not rest easy and go on with a slow site with the excuse that it takes money to revamp your site.

An investment into a mobile-friendly and faster website will pay back for itself in higher traffic and more satisfied online visitors.

Some people will say they optimize for images or some preferred vanity metric.

As far as the search engines go, however, you wouldn’t believe how much emphasis they’ve got going for your site’s speed. Everything else is secondary. However, think about how you will convert high levels of traffic into repeat visitors.

Look into using a CDN to deliver certain asset types

Hotels operators love using images in their marketing materials, and with good reason. Good images put a picture and a face to your address and claims of picturesque hotel surroundings. I’ll say images are indispensable, since visitors want to get a sense of where they will stay and decide if they can put up with where you want to put them for an entire week’s stay.

However you need to be mindful that large, high-definition images are the bane of web speeds, especially on mobile. You will therefore want to use a CDN for delivering most images and certain asset types like videos and other non-text content. Some video-hosting providers have popped up on the scene lately to deliver this service.

You should go with a good one. I should warn you, however, that some of these websites will promise you global fast load times, but the reality is that it is cheaper for them to deliver content to certain geographic areas and more expensive for other locations. Some will short-change you by loading images and video more slowly in more expensive locations other than the one where you are likely to be located.

The world of devices is yours, so test your sites on a variety of mobile devices

There’s stunning variety and fragmentation in the Android devices market, but the same is happening for iOS and Blackberry, along with the many new mobile operating systems coming out.

Be prepared to test your mobile-optimized site for all these devices and operating systems.

Consider releasing a mobile app for your hotel brand and offer it to loyal customers

To give loyal customers the most convenient access to all that your hotel has to offer, you really want to create a mobile app. It’s such an easy and obvious gain that it’s surprising how many hotel owners will resist going mobile.

In this day and age, a mobile app is a smart way to stay in your visitors’ back pocket wherever they go, and the convenience of being on their app dashboard can’t be overstated. Tie some offer into the app, for instance they get a monthly exclusive package or enter a draw when they download the app. More app downloads will lead to more interactions and deeper relationships with your customers. Then look into how to convert mobile subscribers into repeat visitors of your resort or hotel.

Communicate your brand better with nice, clean, simple designs

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Don’t go for cluttered designs in your website or mobile app unless you absolutely have to. People sometimes take a look at the cluttered designs of some sites like Amazon and think they should do the same. They have good reasons for doing that.

Instead, your hotel website really needs to jump on the flat design bandwagon.

Take a page from the simplicity of Google search page.

Just a text box, a logo and a button. It can’t really get much simpler than that. If you have to be fancy, compare the performance with simpler designs first to make sure. Your customers may well prefer the simpler, easier-to-use design.

 

The Second Deadly Sin: You are relying on your OTA for bookings, love and everything

 

I hate to break it to you.

OTAs are not what you think they are. You see them as a quick way to make a buck, and they see you as a quick way to make a buck. What’s going on here, sounds like someone’s gonna get hurt!

Here I break down how this works.

Assuming you’re now done optimizing your website for mobile sites and maybe even have a brand-new mobile app using the guidelines detailed above, we’ll now turn to this traffic source that a lot of hotels think will bring them lots of free traffic instantly.

There’s a lot of these online travel agencies (OTAs) like Hotels.com, Expedia. OTAs specialize in bringing you orders for rooms at a percentage cut of the revenue from the orders they bring in. While they are fine for getting some minimum level of business coming your way, there have been a lot of complaints against OTAs, with complaints ranging from high commissions to brand erosion. These are meritable complaints.

From a hotelier’s perspective, in an ideal world there would be no OTAs and you would manage relationships with your hotel or resort’s visitors yourself. Why rely on someone else, a third party with different motivations, to stand between you and your customers?

You need to invest in traffic and revenue channels that leave you in firm control of your brand and long-term relationship with hotel visitors.

The reality: OTAs limit your relationships with your customers

OTA

OTAs promise that they will give you visibility on their websites with images, videos and customer reviews being showcased to communicate your message clearly to customers and get repeat bookings.

Well the reality is that by allowing the OTA to go find the customer on your behalf, you’re surrendering the upper hand in the relationship. This would be a marketer’s deadliest sin back in the offline world, except you expect the OTAs to hand over the customer conveniently to you and bug off! No way.

These are smart organizations with smart agendas and backed by millions in venture backing or with deep pockets comparable to online giants like Google and Apple.

By having skin in the game, they are making sure they will always have a say in what your customers do and where they go to spend the night. And, increasingly, unless you’re very smart, they will control the relationship between you and the customer.

More, OTAs limit your rates

OTAs are notorious for forcing on you best-rate guarantees, which they then turn around and sell to their customers as the best thing since sliced bread. The bit about the best thing since sliced bread might be true, not for you, but for the customers!

You on the other hand, get nothing more than a steady stream of cheap customers from the OTA, all trained to hunt for the best bargain, and unwilling to book at higher rates, because “a better deal is sure to come along”.

OTAs limit your growth as a brand because you under-invest in marketing

Along with catering to the OTAs bargain customers, you’re now distracted trying to match every other hotel’s low prices in the neighborhood. You are not spending much attention or dollars on your own marketing. Need I tell you that this is a bad idea?

Perhaps you expect the OTA to market for you.

This is bad for multiple reasons. If the OTA ever decides you are not complying with their terms, conditions and whims, then all of a sudden there you are, out in the cold. Inventory management for hotels need not be this random and risky. Where are you going to drum up the visitors overnight that you had come to rely for on the OTA and you under-invested in your proprietary marketing mix?

First of all, use multiple distribution channels.

The path to better sleep at night and greater hotel profits in the future lies in maintaining a proper customer acquisition mix that involves your own marketing message and assets. You will want to have multiple distribution channels for your tickets, think about comparing among multiple OTAs, and having a variety of affiliate partners that can all handle your excess inventory.

That brings me to another point.

Ideally your distribution would be so ship-shape that you don’t need OTAs and affiliates except seasonally, for offloading excess inventory. Then you can make peace with cutting temporary deals for specific times and customer segments. Most hotels are a long way away from this ideal, but you should aim for it, and begin developing your marketing today to get there. It’s not as impossible as it looks

Evaluate distribution channels based on performance and be prepared to negotiate

Look periodically at your distribution channels, and be prepared to bump off the ones giving you a mix of the lowest prices and the worst repeat customer conversion rates. Don’t forget that the goal is not customers at all costs. So if a channel is particularly low-end, like a lot of OTA programs are tending to go, put less emphasis on it and look for alternatives.

“But where do I start”?

attract hotel guests

Fire up your social media accounts so your customers can know you better

Social media is not a quick-fix to your traffic and bookings problem. It’s something larger than that. If you take away a single point from this section, this is it.

Social media is a way to communicate with your customers and get them to know you better, while you get insights from them about exactly how they are wired, what they want most and the sorts of things they care about. Think of it as a way to grow relationships with many people at the same time, who all happen to like something you have to sell, and you will begin to approach it effectively.

Engage in native story-telling around your brand.

Are you close to a mountain-climbing area? Then show customers a bit of your company’s soul by showcasing what goes on up in the mountains and what travelers say when they come back to the hotel at night.

If you are near the beach, you can leverage that for telling stories on all the major platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. You should probably have someone responsible for every major social media platform.

The risk of not doing so is that you are missing attentive customers who are on these platforms looking for you.

Communicate your value to clients, hire a copywriter if you have to

Pay close attention to your copy on your landing pages and on your home-page. Consider hiring a professional copywriter tasked with improving the performance of your website copy every so often, like every quarter, or every month. A great copywriter can greatly increase the stickiness of your site, and visitors’ propensity to place bookings through the site.

I don’t want to go off into copywriting techniques in this traffic-focused post, but invest in this aspect of your business to communicate your value clearly and optimally to visitors.

Get to grips with SEO, Facebook, Social Media, it’s the wave of the future hotel marketer

Some hotels have been slow to embrace social media, SEO and the “new marketing”. Many think Facebook performance is not a good yardstick for their brand.

“We’re a premium brand and don’t really need to go there.”

But your neighbors are going there.

And they are cleaning up. If I can say a word on this, you need to embrace Facebook marketing, PPC, SEO and the new tools that allow you to reach an online audience 24/7. It’s the future of hotel marketing, you need to roll with it.

 

The Third Deadly Sin: You are not optimizing your email capture efforts to get customers on your email list at every turn  

 email marketing for hotels and resorts

It seems counter-intuitive, but if you are not optimizing your email capture efforts to get customers on your mailing list, the battle is just about lost at this point.

You are not alone.

The third deadly sin you will have to address is something that most newcomers to the hotel marketing scene will struggle with well for a good long while.

No, Email isn’t dead

Despite some beginner marketers’ proclamations to the contrary, email isn’t dead.

Email marketing is alive and well. Yes, customers are still eager to hear from smart, helpful marketers in their inbox, as long as they can deliver messages of substance and value in every interaction.

What customer doesn’t want to wake up and see beautiful images of some far-off destination posted from the balcony of their favorite vacation hotel?

That has to be your premise!

Why the smartest hotel marketers prefer email

The smartest marketers leverage email marketing to its best effects and get oodles of traffic for their sites and delighted prospects visiting their hotel sites for more bookings.

Email is more personal than being in a group on Facebook or following some company on Twitter.

When a customer decides to give you their email, that’s permission for you to market to them over and over again. Now, do not abuse this responsibility and this enormous power. Email once a week, if that. Any more frequently, and visitors are likely to unsubscribe.

Email drives conversations and promotions

 

Be conversational in your emails. I like receiving emails from email marketers like Daniel DiPiazza and Amy Hoy covering everything from startups and self-development because these two write conversational, first-person emails.

I’d suggest studying the email marketing of some first-rate email marketers, and pairing that up with some examples of good hotel copywriting.

You want a personal tone in all your emails so you don’t come off as some stiff, bureaucratic hotel email system, or worse, some hack who’s trying to foist their products on an unsuspecting public.

So take some time. Hire a professional email copywriter. The return will make up for the cost as you increase conversations and profits from multiple email-driven promotions.

Use A Lead Magnet

CREATING HOTEL LEAD MAGNETS

Great, you say. But how do I get those visitors into my email list?

You need a nice, juicy piece of goodies that your prospects can look forward to when they share their email with you. Give them a sample of the value they are going to get from your email updates. That’s the lead magnet.

How about you offer them a weekly roundup of the best room deals available on each Thursday? Then, if they are traveling, they can get a timely deal booked for the weekend.

Or a special series of travel guides to their favorite travel destinations where you go in-depth to uncover the hidden locations that offer tourists the most bang for buck in experiences and sights.

Something cozy and valuable like that.

Design a nice landing page

Along with your lead magnets, you will want to optimize your landing pages to put maximum emphasis on the value of your lead magnet. Landing pages are an art form in their own right, easy to make but hard to make work well. I recommend getting a CRO expert to design your landing pages and another expert to write the copy.

Don’t go cheap and throw up some random gibberish. That will just disappoint you and make you forswear landing pages altogether.

Use A Mailing system

With tools like MailChimp and AWeber, developing an email sequence, lead magnets and landing pages is now somewhat easier than before.

You still can’t beat talent, however, so get some people who have been around the block to optimize your email marketing setup and communication. Make sure you put your personal touch on the brand message, however, so visitors see you communicating with them and engaging from the front-lines.

 

The Fourth Deadly Sin: You have lost control of your unique hotel branding message and are becoming a commodity online 

 brand management for hotels

While taking your hotel online brings so many promises and you’ve bought into the message, perhaps nobody told you about the dark underside of all this online opportunity.

What I’m seeing now, is a general widespread commoditization of many once valuable hotel brands.

Hotels are having a tough time standing out in the consumer’s mind. It kind of makes sense. When they’ve given over the reins to the OTAs and are barely active on social media, it makes sense that consumers are going where the conversation is, and joining the OTAs networks.

Commoditization or competing on price

That might be all dandy and fine for the online travel agencies and the big search companies like Google and Bing, but you’re playing in shark-infested waters now.

Consumers see you on the OTA, and they decide they can get all the information they want about you from the OTA’s website. After all, there’s about 500 other hotels that all look exactly like your own, and no-one is saying yours is special in any way. So you can imagine what customers are going to do.

That’s right, they toss a coin and pick the one with the lower price. Talk about a race to the bottom.

Commoditization leaves you where you don’t want to be, and that’s competing on price with every other hotel offering rooms in the neighborhood.

What success looks like in the commodity world

In the commodity world, you are kind of doomed if you do, and doomed if you don’t.

When you succeed, you get to have more bookings, at a nice, overall lower price.

What’s not to like?

You won’t necessarily make up the lost revenue from charging lower prices. It’s a bitter truth of the online world and in particular coming to rely on OTAs and search channels to do all your marketing for you.

I can’t stress this enough, so I will repeat that statement for profundity:

You won’t necessarily make up the lost revenue from charging lower prices. It’s a bitter truth of the online world and in particular coming to rely on OTAs and search channels to do all your marketing for you.

For your hotel to succeed in the brave new landscape, you need a better approach.

Don’t do this: How it ends and how you lose either way

As a commodity, your best hope is to break even. You won’t really grow.

That means when a catastrophe happens to the entire industry, like the last recession in 2008, you get a haircut like everyone else. Most likely you won’t survive.

The Red Pill: What it takes to get your brand back on message and on track

It doesn’t have to end this way. Give it another shot.

For struggling hotel owners out there, let me be honest and say: it will take a different set of actions and marketing outlook to get back on top than the easy actions it took to get stuck with low growth and low occupancy.

If you have to, get a new person in charge of marketing, and make sure they know all about digital and how to thrive in the space.

You will need to spend money, good money on fast-response strategies like PPC and social media ad-spend, and invest in strategies like local search and long-tail keywords for your hotel. In particular, I see a lot of opportunity for creative hotels to really dominate on new channels like SnapChat, Vine, Pinterest and Instagram. So maybe you missed the Facebook bonanza but that doesn’t mean the bounty is gone from you.

Yes it will be a long, hard slog at first.

But it will be so worth it when the returns come in. You will capture traffic share back from your competitors, and chart a whole new destiny for your resort or hotel brand.

last-minute-vacation2013-lowest

The Fifth Deadly Sin: You are allowing in last-minute deals that disadvantage your most loyal customers who book in advance 

 

Imagine this outrageous scenario which takes place in the hotel search industry:

You’re a loyal customer for Holiday Inn or another big chain.

More, you’re even on their rewards program and are collecting points like crazy.

On a whim one night when you’re checked in, you go online on one of the deals sites.

There you see them offering the same room you checked into or the room next door for a fraction of the price that you, a loyal customer, are paying to get the same sort of room. And they are offering better deals to total strangers who haven’t spent a dollar with them before.

And you, dear reader, are stuck paying higher bills to a hotel chain that doesn’t appreciate you anymore.

Which is when a lot of hotel customers decide to jump ship and go with the OTAs. After all, if the hotels can play this game, they decide, they can play it too.

Last minute deals set the wrong expectation

When your customers see a last-minute deal on on some OTA, and they snatch it up and get a great return on their investment, next time around they are going to skip the whole ticket search and wait for the special deals.

If you are not offering them, they will simply look around for someone else who might be offering a cheap last-minute deal.

And because the industry as a whole is all too eager to oblige, customers are educated to wait last-minute to book. They’ll get the best deals that way!

Offloading excess inventory all the time is the wrong strategy

The other major problem with last-minute deals is that hotel owners are having last-minute deals all the time.

Once you open that door, it’s hard to close it again. An easy, quick flood of hotel bookings and new customers.

Except, it quickly dries up.

Once something becomes available all the time, visitors are desensitized to it. They take it for granted, like the laundry machines standard in every chain hotel.

Pretty hard to stand out for your laundry machines, isn’t it? But that used to be a special feature.

Then why would you offer standard deals and price cuts, all the time?

Your secret backdoors are not so secret

Well maybe you are sneaky and go through some back-door like OTA-only pricing.

This is the internet, and tech-savvy customers are going to find out. And when they do, they are going to be righteously angry and indignant.

And they will tell the whole Twitter-verse about it, and their friends will, too!

When you mistreat your best customers, you can kiss repeat bookings goodbye

The result? You are going to be facing a massive exodus of your most loyal customers when they discover loyalty doesn’t count for much anymore.

And that’s the end of all those repeat bookings you thought were going to make up for the lost revenue and all the hassle you had to go through to get this far.

Special programs should be special

If you’ve got some once-off deals, make sure they are once off deals. Nothing cannibalizes your online brand and reputation more than your own ignorant trashing of your brand, sometimes in the false hope that you’ll make up for your sins later.

Beware of special programs.

Don’t just run special programs because you need to offload some rooms.

Do a good deed to offload excess inventory, then get publicity for it

What’s your alternative?

Glad that you asked. There are plenty of good promotional programs that won’t cannibalize your brand.

You can get more bookings to offload excess inventory, and you can get a good name in the media whilst you are at it. More of your regular customers will come back to check out all the buzz, and you’ll get more bookings to boot.

You should look into running a social promotion with some good deed to it, like a special 2-week promotion for veterans.

Now who doesn’t appreciate military veterans?

Or a budget program for students during the first weeks of the summer.

Create a lot of buzz around the promotion. Get media outlets to cover it. Get all your best people on the ball.

This will be way better than running another lame duck special and hoping for the best.

You get to fulfill your business goals, but you get to help out a group that needs, and appreciates your help. And you add value to your brand in the process.

There is enough demand out there. Don’t drop prices just because it’s easy to do

I can’t emphasize enough the need to be creative in your hotel and resort online marketing!

The big bucks are going to be made by hoteliers and resort owners who take big bold steps to separate themselves from the pack and stand out in building communities of happy, delighted repeat visitors.

So there is demand out there for your hotel’s  inventory. You just need to know where to look.

Don’t be the one-trick pony that thinks of cutting prices whenever it looks like you won’t make your occupancy targets.

link-building-services

The Sixth Deadly Sin: You think that link building is for startups only, and like to keep your hotel employees in the shadows  

 

With semantic search moving forward and the seeming decline of link-building on the radars of expert marketers, it’s little wonder many in the hotel industry thought you really don’t have to build links.

In reality, that’s a dangerous myth to believe.

If, like many, you’ve decided to leave link building to Silicon Valley startups and big media companies like BuzzFeed and Mashable, I’m here to shatter this myth. Don’t believe a word from the naysayers.

You need to start building high quality backlinks to your hotel or resort website.

It’s still the surefire way to assure long-term traffic and visibility, second only to having a vibrant audience across multiple social media channels.

The other related mistake you might be making here is not having natural conversations with your readers, because you’re keeping your hotel personnel in the shadows and not leveraging them to connect with visitors, who are, after all, living, breathing human beings who connect best with other breathing, living human beings.

No links equals little authority in your field

When the search engines evaluate your hotel website, they compare it against others in your niche to determine who is the big fish who can best answer organic search queries with their content.

If you’re in a competitive area, like, say, New York, and you’re trying to rank for “best hotel close to Times Square”, well you’ve got literally hundreds of other good quality properties targeting the same competitive keywords.

Search engines are going to look past your content and try to determine which of the hundreds of competitors is the most authoritative site on the topic, based on the number of references to your site found across the internet.

That’s where links come in.

You need links because they are currency

Links are therefore a vote or endorsement for your website. When another webmaster links to you in an article or maybe a resource listing, it’s a sign that they trust your site and your information for quality and for being able to provide value to their visitors whom they’re pointing to you as a source.

Links come in all varieties, from low quality spammy links to high-quality editorial links from reputable sites. The better a website’s Alexa rank, the better its linking power and capability.

High quality links matter more than ever

If that’s the case, that means you want to be getting the greatest number of links possible from the best websites.

Some examples include local and regional chambers of commerce, colleges near you, professional associations, big blogs that are placing a spotlight on your geographic area, and big media journals and the like.

Try and get in the news as often as you can.

Put out press releases whenever there is anything worth publicizing going on, like if you are hosting a meeting or conference, which many hotels regularly do. Do not just mention it on your website and then leave it at that.

Have event days where you invite bloggers and members of the press to write on the events along with your own professional blogging staff.

Make your people the story

Also put a spotlight on your hotel employees. If you’re like a lot of hotels, you’ve got some pretty amazing people manning the house: chefs, line cooks, waiters, hall staff, all the way to repairmen, hotel managers and receptionists.

If you post video and other interviews with your own people on some aspect of their work, it puts a human face to your brand, and makes for particularly link-worthy and engaging content that people want to read and watch.

Do competitor analysis to see where other resorts are getting their links

Even though you might be struggling to get quality backlinks, you can trace the footsteps of other properties that have been able to get massive citations by bloggers and others in the hospitality industry.

A good SEO strategy for your hotel involves mapping out your 10 best performing competitors, and running a competitor analysis on them to find out their best linking opportunities.

You want to find out the types of content that are getting them the best links, and how recently those links were acquired.

Armed with this knowledge, you approach those linkers and highlight your own similar content.

Engage a professional link builder

If you don’t have high-quality content similar to what you find performing well, take it from me and hire a good professional link builder skilled at producing standout content.

People will generally only link to really valuable content, if they’re running a high-authority site, so go with a professional who knows how to dedicate the time and resources to do outstanding work.

A professional link builder will also know to reach out for linking opportunities, and to get your content the thousands of high quality links that it deserves.

You will want to budget some time for this, maybe 3 months is a good minimum time-frame to start seeing significant results.

What about your own links: fix broken links

In line with keeping your own content as up-to-date and authoritative as possible, make sure to fix broken links in your content.

Links break when pages get deleted or content gets moved and the original link no longer leads to the page.

A lot of broken links signify a stale page that’s no longer being actively maintained. You can imagine search engines are averse to sending searchers to such pages mainly because the page might be outdated and no longer answer the questions searchers are trying to answer. So do a bit of spring cleaning, and check links on your website and blog thoroughly for up-to-date references.

 Google-Panda

The Seventh Deadly Sin: Your content is shallow and unreadable, and might (as well) have been written by a 3rd grader   

 

Many of the hotel operators who jumped on the content marketing bandwagon fell into an easy and deplorable trap: producing content for the sake of producing content, which nobody needs.

If that’s you, stuck on the treadmill of constantly producing poorly-conceived, pointless content, you might as well stop.

They key to higher online traffic and more bookings is not content, but great content!

Poor content should be a crime

Hotels and resorts have some of the most content-worthy environments, yet they do a bad job with content, unbelievable!

Poor content should really be some sort of crime if you’re surrounded by scenic views and occupy a spot in one of the most sought-after travel locations of the world. Paris, Singapore, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, you got hotels in all these places that have great views of oceans, wildlife sanctuaries, beaches and whatnot on their doorstep, and they are posting bland images of the corporate board on their website as their best effort!

How to devalue your brand with low-quality content

A lot of the written content online is also low quality. Good writing is difficult, takes time and costs money.

However, when your visitors visit your site and see some empty fluff, and, sometimes, a lot of typos because you couldn’t invest in well-written content, well it sends a pretty bad message about your brand.

If the copy is that careless, is that how you’re going to treat guests as well when they want extra towels in their bathroom at 7a.m before they go to the airport? Will your coffee be half-cold? And who’s in charge if they need to ask a question.

What high-quality content looks like

Having a content-rich website, supplemented with an active, well-designed blog, is a sure way to inspire confidence and spark conversations with visitors to your site.

You want regular, updated content, preferably in a variety of formats.

For resorts centered around themes like skiing, mountain-climbing, ocean-front businesses, scuba diving and like, having image galleries and spotlight images works very well for engaging visitors.

Then you want plenty of video content, maybe you can post 2-6 videos every week, showcasing some unique experience around the hotel and tourist area.

Interviews with guests are also quite good.

Long-form written content performs extra well. You should target to release destination reviews, tourist guides and first-person articles describing an experience, along with plenty of colorful images.

Go viral with better content

To get the most from your content, you should engage followers on social media to comment and share widely. Try sharing some really unique thing, like a photo-essay of your chefs preparing a birthday cake.

The best content (sometimes) goes viral. Virality is an art form in its own right, so I won’t go into it here. But if you can stretch your content marketing and produce top quality content you’ll go far.

Target the persona your hotel represents

In line with producing better content, you want content targeted at the sorts of people you resonate with most.

If your best customers are middle-aged women who like mountain-climbing, then that’s who your content should be centered around. Not kiddy videos about bicycling, unless there’s an obvious link that you’re working with.

If your best customers are biker dudes who like road trips that span the whole weekend, you want to focus on that persona and create content appropriately suited for them.

Get your best content in the hands of your best fans

Now comes the fun part.

Now that you spent a lot of time and money to create targeted content, you want to get this content in the hands of your best fans, and give them the tools to share as widely as possible.

Maybe curate the 10 best posts, and send them in a special email update, with links to sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and the like.

If your content is really targeted at your ideal customers, it will resonate and create a bit of a storm. You want to be actively engaging with the response on Twitter and all the other social media platforms.

Have real, meaningful conversations with the people who are taking the time to engage with your brand. You will build a loyal community that values what you have to share, and who want to stay at your property whenever the chance presents itself, because you have built a lasting relationship with these individuals.

Forget Renaissance art. The art should be your hotel.

Like a lot of hotels, you probably have classical art and other art types plastered on your walls. Nothing wrong with that.

But people are not lining up to watch your copies of famous art online.

Take revealing images of your hotel and showcase them on your walls. Take snapshots from your most beautiful balconies, if you overlook the city, you want to take shoots of what that looks like at night, take images from the beach, and so on. Take images from the luxury suites on the top floor, and put your hotel on show.

Let your visitors have the best benefit of the experience of staying with you.

When you see your visitors taking shots of the images on your walls in your halls, that’s a sign that you are striking the right chords with them.

Welcome to the big leagues!

Bonus: Buying links and joining the wrong link directories

Another deadly mistake some have made in the past is to fall prey to spammy link building and buying links.

If you have to buy a link, it’s probably better to skip the link altogether. Google and other search engines have cracked down hard in the past on paid-for links, and you can bet the practice could get you banned.

When you go out to build links, focus on building quality links through having the best content in your location, and the most up-to-date posts and information on your sites. In addition, reach out to quality bloggers and highlight your link-worthy content for them.

Just do not go after paid links and link directories.

These tactics do not work as well as they used to, and have undone months of hard work that some SEOs had done in the past.

 

What To Expect When You Fix These Traffic-crushing Mistakes

 

You are putting your hotel business on a surer footing for online bookings and traffic. Your fame will spread wide and far as newcomers discover you through search, editorial posts on authority websites, and word of mouth through social media and email.

Commit to better digital marketing and SEO techniques for the long haul, and pay careful attention to putting out the best content you can. If you make the right moves now, you’ll be free in the future to chart your own destiny in the online markets, and not be reliant on some fickle marketing channels that are returning low profits and not yielding high quality long-term clients.

The value of your brand will go up as you win more market share against your competitors, and you will continue to delight more and more visitors with unique experiences that only your hotel or resort can provide, and make a sound financial return on all your investment and marketing efforts.

Begin the journey today.

 

How my Hotel Value Signals SEO can help

I specialize in SEO and Blogging Consulting for the Hotel Industry. I’m a Hubspot-Certified Digital Marketing expert, and will help get your hotel business in front of more prospects, as well as converting those prospects into loyal customers.

You can contact me via email on: seotomahawk@gmail.com

Or leave a comment below

 

Want to learn more?

Sign up for the Hotel Value Signals newsletter to discover elite hotel marketing techniques used by the best experts.

Sign up for the free 12 page report on optimizing your hotel’s social media communication for maximum bookings, covering all the major social media channels!

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How To Become Recession-Proof in 2016: 4 Remarkable Tips

Maybe you don’t want to become a billionaire. Maybe you only want to survive recessions better. Well I got news for you!

If you’ve been around the personal finance and self-development block for a while, you’ll realize that good financial advice is only as good as what you do with the advice.

I’m about to show you 5 worthwhile tips to help you recession-proof your finances, and set your financial outlook on a surer footing. What you do with these tips is up to you, but please ponder them, think about them and take something away.

Do What You Can Today, Don’t Wait

A quote by Robert Kiyosaki says, “The most life destroying word of all is the word tomorrow.”

Meaning, people procrastinate, no matter how good the advice.

A smoker can see incontrovertible proof today that at the rate he is smoking cigarettes, he’ll likely develop a deadly disease which I don’t want to mention by name because you gotta have some feelings, this is people’s lives we’re dealing with.

But, you know, he says “Okay I get. I’ll start quitting tomorrow.”

Problem is, he never starts tomorrow, and if you ask me, he doesn’t get it either.

Maybe he gets it on an intellectual level. But it’s another thing to “get it” on an emotional, “heart and soul” level, where you believe with all your heart and start acting as if the objective in your mind is the reality.

You might have been meaning to start cutting back on credit card purchases, get a better job, start a side business, something to improve your financial outlook.

Today is the day baby. Yeah get on it!

Develop More Than Two Income Streams

 

Turns out, a job is not as secure as it once was. In the last recession, plenty of hard-working workers lost their jobs when companies downsized or moved operations off-shore.

What would you do if that were you?

The answer is in, and it’s quite clear! Unless you develop multiple, independent income streams, your career and financial picture is hanging by a thread.

Start a business online or offline, start consulting, or some other line of industry. Turn a passion of yours into a second career. Sell stuff on eBay or Amazon or Etsy. Here’s a little guide on starting multiple income streams in case you need ideas.

Invest In Assets, Eliminate Liabilities

 

An asset is a cash-producing property or belonging. Maybe you can think of examples, here are a few:

  • A piece of commercial real estate that you can rent out.
  • A commercial vehicle like a light truck.
  • A dividend-paying stock
  • A small business that you start or acquire
  • A piece of intellectual property that you can sell, get royalties for, or otherwise get some type of rent or other income for producing or acquiring

Liabilities on the other hand, are technically things that you are on the hook for to someone else. However, there’s a better, more practical definition for the purpose of getting your finances recession-proof.

To you, a liability is going to be anything that takes cash out of your pocket, as long as it’s not putting cold hard cash in your pocket going forward, on a steady, reliable basis. That’s a liability. It puts your position at risk of a recession, not good.

Of course, buying a brand new car is now a liability, instead of an asset. The only way you justify purchasing bling is if it’s being rented out or otherwise generating a discernable cash flow each month, greater than cost.

Dominate 1 or 2 Industries

 

You want to play the game long-term, stay motivated and shoot for the moon. The best players in particular industries barely feel a recession. That’s the position you want to be in. Are you an accountant, a software developer, maybe a factory worker for a multinational?

You want to rise to the very top in your industry, preferably as an entrepreneur. That way there’s few brakes on your progress and you can really dominate an industry.

These are my tips so you can begin to recession-proof your finances. Begin today! Do this, and your financial future will be like never before. 

 

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3 Ridiculous Sports Cars to Watch in 2016

Do you want to know what the latest craze is in sports cars in 2016? Do you have a generous budget and want to snag a hot sports car ready to turn heads and start tongues wagging?

You’re in luck. Here’s my guide on some of the most ridiculous sports cars on the market right now!

FFZERO1 by Faraday Future

 

Talk about turning heads! To be honest, it’s not likely that you are going to be able to actually buy one of these in 2016, seeing as it’s a concept car and all, so! But it sure fits the bill. Your friends will be doubly impressed because they can’t buy one either.

 

The FFZERO1 is particularly impressive because of its 1000-horsepower generated via an electric drive-train and battery packs.

Everything about this sports car screams engineering prowess (and watch out Tesla)!

So, who wouldn’t want one? Frankly, I don’t know. It’s green, almost-zero carbon emissions, all-around fun to drive. How about you try Dick Cheney? Okay, okay I know, but I could see Trump driving this car.

“We gonna use this new car to accelerate our Mexican wall!”

The FFZER01 is built to go as fast as 200 mph, accelerating from 0-60mph in a sleek 3 seconds. Good luck trying to get your hands on a production version though.

Tesla Model X

Okay, I admit it, my preferences skewed the selection somewhat, but I mean, this is Tesla! And Tesla’s Model X is quite a ridiculous luxury sedan with a sporty inclination.

Just look at the doors! Tesla is pushing the envelope and they know it!

 

The Model X is radical for a production car. Nonetheless it zooms from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds, and takes just 30 minutes to charge batteries. The car has plenty of room for passengers and baggage, and can travel long distances on a single charge.

If you want to see the future of the EV industry, you just need to look at what Tesla is doing, and you’ll get a rather good idea.

What’s lacking? 

For such an ambitious car, Tesla could do more around entertainment and sleek amenities.

Lamborghini Centenario

 

One of the ridiculous cars that make a loud statement even when you’re trying to slip inconspicuously into the parking lot or car wash.

Everyone, and I mean everyone and their dog, is going to be staring at you come up the drive and parallel park, so you better start practicing that parallel park now!

This ride needs only 2.8 seconds to go from 0-60mph, and boasts a ton of power.

The Centenario is an exclusive type of car, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Should you get behind the wheel of one, take it easy now and don’t go beyond the speed limit. I know it’s so tempting, but it will end better for everyone trust me!

Which of these cars do you find intriguing? If you had all three in your garage and had to sell off one for some reason, which one would it be?

 

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5 Inexorable Tech Trends in Consumer Electronics for 2016

Brave new world of gadgets and consumer technology

2016 has now come, and with it a plethora of new consumer tech and devices for the everyday user. Fear not, I’ll point you to some of the most significant trends you need to pay attention to and ride for your own tech selections.

There’s tech for just about anything you can imagine these days. Well, not quite, but we’re getting closer than ever before.

That reminds me: I came across a new gadget in the last couple of months that allows you to grill pretty much any type of meat cuts you care for to near perfection. Talk about a bold application for tech! Imagine how you’d feel if you’d spent the last 15 years crafting the perfect grill technique. Well, look on the bright side. Now you’ve got company! Gets kinda lonely at the top sometimes.

 

Smarter Digital Assistants

The smartphone was only the gateway drug to something much much more sinister eh intrusive in your life. What did you expect?

Surely you can tell there’s a whole slew of other intrusive smart somethings coming straight down the chute, eager to have a little byte-size chunk of your attention and spew smart somethings at every given opportunity!

 

If you’re like most people, however, you’re not going to mind as much, when you realize all the new utility uses that these smart assistants can be put to! We’re talking smart cars, smart TVs, smart clocks, smart thermostats, and that’s right, smarty pants!

 

Make replaceable parts at home: 3D Printing

I personally think we’re still a long way off from realizing all the potential gains of 3D Printing. The day is going to be, doubtless, when a crack-team from the Spetsnaz is going to be able to 3D Print a rocket engine from outer space and do something kinda crazy with it, or a stranded pilot from a RAF ejection be able to 3D print a replacement solar stove out in the wild somewhere. And that won’t really be the acme of the art at all.

 

Home Sensors and Information of Everything

To take advantage of all the smart devices that are going to be inside your home, from smart TVs and smart remote controls, there’ll be more and more electro-mechanical sensor devices attached to pretty much anything you can imagine.

There’s more and more data being captured from these devices and their precursors, and the trend will likely only increase. Whether that’s a good thing I leave you to judge.

Better and Smarter Robots

For some time now, robots have been getting better and better. The dream to recreate a stand-in for a human being in a variety of tasks and functions hasn’t really died, though it’s been greatly impeded by implementation roadblocks and seeming near impossibility.

 

The level of robotic technology has since grown by leaps and bounds, and robots in 2016 are capable of doing some pretty impressive things, from cooking gourmet dishes, to expressing facial emotions, holding conversations with humans, to playing soccer. You might want to stick around though Pele! These robots can’t really win a World Cup, not yet!!

Green Technology

 

Consumers around the world are increasingly becoming environmentally aware. From electric cars, solar installations, to biofuels and recycling materials, consumers are looking to partner with brand choices that allow them to “go green”.

This deserves applause on several levels: firstly, that consumers are taking responsibility for global warming and the environment, and secondly, because brands will be forced to go green if they want to carve out a share of tomorrow’s market for themselves. Finally, brands and companies might just become more socially-responsible, overall, although that’s still a long way off.

So, a lot of great new technologies ahead for the tech-savvy consumer. But you might want to hang onto your smartphone for now. Some of these technologies are in an as-yet experimental phase, and more needs to be done on the cost and usability fronts. What new technology are you excited about this year?

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Some Singers And The Blues

Here’s an insight into some of the music greats who just seem to stay around in my playlists and make for really good working music. I’m a pretty big music fan and make some music in my spare time (at least I try to make music haha). So what do I look for in a good singer/songwriter?

Old Favorites Die Hard

 

I’ve been a fan of Gary Moore since hearing his immaculate guitar lines on “That’s Why I Play The Blues”. Gary Moore makes the blues real, the way he sings ’em and the way ‘e plays ’em. So he’s got a spot in my playlists, no matter the time or season.

Where to, the Gentry?

 

Montgomery Gentry give that vibe of the “good ol’ boys” from the ‘hood. So yes, they certainly are kicking around somewhere in my playlists. Besides, they write pretty well. Their songs tell relevant stories about country life, and then add a little something extra. You gotta hear them for yourself!

What?! These Youngish Bozzos: Hinder

 

A lot of “cool” people like to hate on Hinder. Okay, okay, I get it! Yes their lead singer was an alcoholic, but the dude has been recovering and stuff, so let’s get on with it. And besides, the guy can sing! Alright, and their rhtythm section is quite strong for a modern band. Not quite AC/DC Malcom Young strong, but strong nonetheless. So if there’s space in my playlists, I want me some Hinder in there as well!

Okay, enough about my playlists, what’s in your playlist?

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Choosing A Good Couch For The Home Office

I don’t know about you, but for me, working from home is one of the great experiences of being an entrepreneur. I recently came across some articles that describe some optimal choices around couches.

Why Couches?

You need a comfortable working space, and a good retreat for those moments when you need to take a break from all your hard work.

An office chair is good for hard, focused stretches of work, but face it, most entrepreneurs work extraordinarily long hours and need something a bit more — accommodating. If that’s you, here’s a few tips for selecting the best possible couch.

 

Go for Quality, Every Single Time

You can save money on other office supplies and leisure items, but don’t skimp on such an essential item. You can reference some good guides for determining the best quality couches on the market, or make use of the widely available reviews from e-tailers like Amazon and IKEA.

Be Creative With Colors

I recommend going with your heart on this. Make your home office as colorful (or as colorless) as you want! I have a particular preference for red, so I’d go with that. Nothing prevents you from going green or blue, if that’s your favorite.

Finish of the Fabric

You will want a mix between comfort and strength. If in doubt, go with comfort, after all, you will be spending hours of your working life perched on this couch over the next couple of years!

Let me know your thoughts, and if you’d like more advice on choosing the best furniture for your home office!

 

 

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Hire Me for Your Blogging

Hi,

 

This is Tomahawk.

 

You likely stumbled upon this page because you need a blogger. Have no worries, you’re in the right place.

 

Feel free to reach out to me: seotomahawk@gmail.com so we can discuss the work you need to get done.

 

Thanks,

 

Tomahawk

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Do-It-Yourself SEO tips from a SEO Consultant

When thinking about what advice to give my clients as a SEO Consultant, I’m focused on giving advice that can hopefully educate them and teach them something about the Search engine optimization process.

The same applies to Social Media Strategy. By teaching them and educating them whilst working through a site optimization, I want to enable them to be able to apply the ideas themselves in a latter setting.

In other words, not just give the man a fish, but also teach him how to fish so he can go fishing himself next time he sees something worth optimizing.

Here are some of the recurring themes that you will want to keep in mind as you try to optimize your own web site for Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Yandex and any of the other major search engines.

Learn SEO from a SEO Consultant

Learn SEO and social media strategy

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 1: Watch your competitors closely

You need to think like a sniper in Marine warfare. A good sniper keeps careful track of his enemies’ positions and their movement. When they move at last, he wants to already be a step ahead.

If you’re running an commerce store on Shopify, focused on, say, men’s clothes, well, you have a ton of competitors.

That’s not all negative. On the plus side, you have a ton of SEO case-studies. You want to figure out which of this subgroup of competitors is doing best in your niche, and then examine their tactics closely.

Then turn around and implement the same tactics yourself. Are they getting media coverage by contacting press and showcasing unique products? Well, you start doing exactly that. Do this, and you’ll likely see an outsize boost in your results.

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 2: Don’t just produce content. Spend even more time on promotion

Along with blogging, you’ll typically want a solid social media strategy that could involve Facebook, Twitter and Vine. With every blog post, you create related content and promote it on these or other social media networks, and drive some traffic back to your main content.

I also suggest reaching out to bloggers in a variety of fields, and impressing them with your content so you can get editorial links. Also promote content actively to your email list and personal network. Some of your own friends who work in the space could benefit from tips that you release in your content. Share widely, and share generously.

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 3: Self Education is the key to becoming a better SEO 

Like many entrepreneurs and business-people, you might have very little time to focus on search engine optimization, but the fact remains that you do need to invest in your own education. This will yield rewards in the long run.

Good SEO knowledge and staying up-to-date with effective techniques can grow your business so much faster than just focusing on “operations”, all those other things you do in order to run your business.

Carve out an hour or two each week, preferably each day, to learn some good SEO tips and other information.

Practice SEO, Become Better at SEO

Practise SEO, Become Better at SEO

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 4: Good SEO is practical SEO

That said about learning search engine optimization techniques, you’ll want to experiment with the new techniques you learn. This is the only surefire way to reinforce the learning, and on the pure alpha side, to reap the benefits of all your newly-acquired knowledge.

Keep your mind sharp, and your practice even sharper, through constantly putting into practice all your newfangled knowledge.

SEO practice makes you better

SEO practice makes you better

What do you think of these do-it-yourself SEO tips? Post in the comments below or reach out to me on email: seotomahawk@gmail.com

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How to be an entrepreneur: the essential guide

Few occupations are better than being an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, the world is your oyster, and you can pursue whatever opportunities take your fancy.

Why then is it that few choose the path not taken and do not become entrepreneurs?

How to be an entrepreneur, the simplified version

How to be an entrepreneur, the simplified version

Most likely fear is one such reason, along with a host of other good reasons like working for a company whose mission you passionately believe in, and so forth.

Here his my essential guide to be an entrepreneur and to do entrepreneurship well.

Learn Marketing

Marketing is the process of communicating your message and brand in the marketplace.

A traditional job, unless it is in the marketing department of your company, or the sales department, is generally not good preparation to master this skill.

Entrepreneurs I respect like Brian Tracy and Jim Rohn have talked about the importance of marketing and sales.

You’ll want to look them up and learn a thing or two about marketing from these guys.

Quit your job, or start a business on the side

It’s hard to be an entrepreneur whilst you’re employed full-time. It requires a certain dogged tenacity to take your entrepreneurial venture seriously if you’re only spending a few hours a week on it. But it can be done.

Consider starting your business on the side, then, once it becomes profitable, drop your other commitments so you can double down on your new entrepreneurial ventures.

Develop grit or: entrepreneurial stamina

Develop grit or: entrepreneurial stamina

Develop a reputation, and more importantly, capability, for grit

Grit is the ability to exercise mental strength to an extent perhaps not routinely demanded of all people equally at all times.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve had to fight competition, nip problems in the bud, stare failure in the face, and still make the correct call, to move on, and always operate with little in the way of a safety net.

This is not your mama’s kindergarten.

This is entrepreneurship.

Blood, sweat and tears.

I urge you to develop the mental character to sustain yourself in the marathon of your life.

Focus single-mindedly on growing your business

Focus is essential. If you can’t focus you’re as good as dead in this business.

And growth is essential. If you don’t grow you’ll diminish and get crushed under by your competitors.

Needless to say, you need to focus on growth. Focus on growing your reputation. Grow your client list. Grow your sales. Grow your revenue. Grow every good thing that can be grown in your business.

Learn Sales

You didn’t think marketing was enough, did you?

You gonna need to get down-and-dirty with sales.

Think like a salesman. Yes, act like one. Peddle your wares, wherever you might be. I don’t care. Social Media: Facebook, Youtube, Vine, Pinterest, wherever.

If people are there, you should be there. And if you’re there, you’re never without your product or service in hand. If networking in person, have a well-designed business card you hand out to all new acquaintances. Over time, this will bring in a steady stream of leads to your business.

If you don’t care enough about your product to sell it 24/7, then you’re probably attempting to sell the wrong product, and should focus on something different.

Read like a PhD Student. Well, a good PhD student.

That means stacks and stacks of books, treatises, academic works, works by practitioners, works by theoreticians, works by men of action, any kind of useful works in your field.

The more you read, the more your mind becomes exercised to spot opportunities where others only see challenges.

Typically, some people will dismiss new opportunities when they first see them. That’s because a lot of times, these people are not reading up on the latest available information. They’re probably making decisions on the basis of facts that existed 10-20 years ago and will therefore miss the turn of the tide when it comes. Don’t be like that.

Read like a real-life thesis PhD Student. As a thesis  PhD student, the whole universe of material in your topic is your exam reading, so you don’t dismiss stuff that could prove useful merely because “it’s not assigned reading”. If reading it doesn’t hurt, read it you shall.

Act like a man of action

A healthy bias for action will stand you in good stead in this field.

Look at all the accomplished entrepreneurs. Almost without exception, their success has come as a result of consistent, tenuous hard work.

Attack early, and relent last. Fire on your quarry hard, and fire at will. Pursue the quarry as far and as fast as you need to. There are NO LIMITS. You are the master of your destiny. Welcome to Entrepreneurship.

 

 

 

 

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3 Keys to Growth Hacking

As an entrepreneur, I’ve been growing this blog as well as an ecommerce site for face masks, beauty products and other projects I do for clients.

You can check out some of my previous pieces on this blog on the topics of how to succeed as an entrepreneur, SEO and social media strategy.

One challenge I’ve come across and which a lot of readers might be trying to solve is: how do you grow significant amounts of traffic to your site in a short amount of time?

It’s a real challenge, especially for a busy entrepreneur. That’s why I offer growth-hacking and SEO consulting so readers can have a knowledgeable SEO Consultant to help.

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While each business is different and you need to be creative, these are 3 key foundations I’d pay attention to if you’re growth hacking your product or website:

Growth Hacking Key #1: Release a flood of Useful Content targeted at your target market.

This is absolutely key.

You want to commit to a regular publishing schedule.

I know, I know, I can imagine some busy reader protesting: “How do I find time to publish content, let alone USEFUL content?”

Think of it as an investment into your business. In past you’d hire a salesman to peddle your wares door to door.

Now you let your content do the engagement with potential customers for you. Your words are the salesmen of the internet.

Publish sound, useful content, and your target market will start taking notice, and reaching out for your help and to use your products.

Growth Hacking Key #2: Share your content WIDELY

Publishing great content is only the beginning.

To be a competent growth hacker, you need to get in the sharing mindset.

Yes, that means you need to cold-email people and others in your niche, and share all your new content with anyone who will listen.

You never know, the right share can result in a high-profile link and grow your audience in a huge way.

Many people have not been trained in this way. You just need to treat your content like how you’d react in the early days of the internet when you came across a funny Facebook post. Back then you shared it with everyone of your Facebook friends

Growth Hacking Key #3: Be Smart and Measure Your Progress

I prefer to use an Analytics tool like Google Analytics to figure out how the market is responding to my actions.

That way I can see how my audience is growing, or, possibly, shrinking.

Then I analyze what I did before my audience increased significantly.

This is like a basic form of A/B Testing. You can also run a bunch of more complex analytics tests.

What channels did most new traffic come from?

At what times of the day did you post the most popular content?

What sort of content is converting best?

Is your bounce rate going up or down?

Growth Hacking on the Metal Gears on Black Background.

Growth Hacking on the Metal Gears on Black Background.

 

Keep in mind to always check your stats and query them for information that can lead you to make helpful optimizations for your growth hacking strategy.

These are just some of the keys to growth hacking. What have you found to be useful or worked for you? Leave a comment below. And as always, if you need to chat with me, drop me a line: seotomahawk@gmail.com

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The 5 Career-Changing Books Used By The Smartest of the Bunch Entrepreneurs

I want to recommend you a book that will change your entire outlook.

But first, I’m assuming you are an entrepreneur, as this 5-book punch will only really have the desired effect on an entrepreneur’s thought process and his/her career progress. These are move-fast books for move-fast people, and not suitable for a traditional 9-to-5 mainstream kind of lifestyle and thought process. If you are in that category, these books might waste your time.

Secondly, get ready to increase your personal effectiveness by 5 times or more the next 3 months alone, and much more over the next 20 years.

Third, don’t read any of these books if you can’t read them all. That has the dangerous effect, like a powerful medicine, that if you take it part-way and stop, you’ll miss the full process of transformation, your old state will return with more power from resisting this strong injection, and you’ll wind up lost in a state far worse than ever before. I don’t want that kind of responsibility over anyone’s career. So read ALL the books, if any.

Why These 5 Books?

As an entrepreneur who has survived recessions and started multiple businesses from scratch, I’ve distilled them from more than a thousand other books that have had some good impact on my thinking, and

I selected for that true entrepreneurial essence that, refined like a gold elixir, and concentrated like a fine liquor, will spark an entrepreneurial storm in your own life. This is a favor to you, just because, well, you’re an entrepreneur, right?

If you apply all the insights you learn in these books, you’ll be writing me a million dollar check this time next year, and saying: “your stupid book recommendations made a difference!”

Does the order I read in matter?

Absolutely! Nothing will ruin you quite like the right medicine taken in the wrong sequence.

#1: The Lab where we put your new mind together

The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay

I bet the old boy never thought he’d wind up penning one of the top 10 entrepreneurial novels out there, but this scrappy story of a young boy growing up on a farm in Apartheid days in South Africa vaults your thought process into an entrepreneurial state of mind. I won’t spoil the process and the story by telling you what to expect. And if you can put this book down once you start reading it, then you’re probably not a good reader, and one hopes you still have entrepreneurial DNA. If this book sparks something within you, that’s good. That’s your entrepreneurial mind coming together, and you’re sensitized to the possibilities of taking the world by storm. Lacking that, as an entrepreneur, you might as well fold and call it a day.

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#2: Master your internal weaknesses at the RoundTable of Wall Street, where money never sleeps

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre

In which a farm boy cuts his teeth on capitalism and dominates the market through psychology and a cool hand.

Loved by traders, and reviled by critics, this saga chronicles the indelible rise and adventure of a major force in the field of finance and the stock market, Jesse Livermore, a titan whose very word was said to move the markets.

Read and lauded by perhaps 70% of the top 30 traders on Wall Street, there are true psychology secrets, and grit to be learned in this ancient tome. Choice quote from the book:

“To learn that a man can make foolish plays for no reason whatever was a valuable lesson. It cost me millions to learn that another dangerous enemy to a trader is his susceptibility to the urgings of a magnetic personality when plausibly expressed by a brilliant mind. It has always seemed to me, however, that I might have learned my lesson quite as well if the cost had been only one million. But Fate does not always let you fix the tuition fee. She delivers the educational wallop and presents her own bill, knowing you have to pay it, no matter what the amount may be. Having learned what folly I was capable of, I closed that particular incident.” — Jesse Livermore

Wall Street

#3: The Little Secret that can make you a millionaire

The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires, by Brian Tracy

A real kick in the pants of a book. Brief, cuts to the chase and bam! Forget the gurus and the “experts”. This book is so powerful you’ll want to skip all the other three books above and “cut to the chase”. DONT! You’ll only be cheating yourself if you do. Your mind is not ready if you do, and you’ll have only yourself to blame when the results don’t come.

5 Books every entrepreneur should read

#4: How to Start and Run A Profitable Business and Take Over the World

The Millionaire FastLane, by MJ DeMarco

Gosh, you’ve come far now from the lab so long ago where we made your mind. Now apply it to starting and growing a wildly profitable business using nothing but pure grit and mindset, and a relentless focus on hard work and selling skills.

If you skip this book and the last one, you are going to miss out on how a successful entrepreneur does the things from day 1 that will, in the course of time, massively place him on the path to relentless business and sales success, and how the financial and other rewards of entrepreneurship inevitably follow. So do yourself a favor, curl up on a couch and read both these books cover to cover. Without the actual knowledge of how to start and grow a profitable business the right way, you are going to dither and struggle and won’t get anywhere, like the other 90% of would-be successful entrepreneurs.

The Art of Entrepreneurship

#5: The Elixir of Powerful Legacy and World-Domination: The Secret Behind World-Changing Brands like Ford, Apple, Nike, Berkshire-Hathaway and the Entrepreneur Master-Minds that started them

Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim, PhD(INSEAD Business School) and Renee Mauborgne, PhD(INSEAD Business School)

Here’s what the Harvard Business Review(best known for cold, non-excitable, pour-cold-water-on-your-party analyses) said about this mastermind volume, and it’s nothing less than that:

“So powerful is blue ocean strategy, in fact, that a blue ocean strategic move can create brand equity that lasts for decades.” — HBR

They are literally tripping over themselves, and I don’t blame them.

It hardly needs a qualifier. Only the smartest minds will bother reading this book, the top 1%.

Just as an example, this book is assigned reading at top 10 Business Schools and MBA programs in the entire world, including, with links to the assigned material:

MIT Sloan School of Business,

New York University Stern School of Business,

INSEAD Business School,

Harvard Business School

Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School of Business

The ideas of the Blue Ocean Strategy are such a huge deal, that INSEAD, rated inside the Top 4 MBA Programs in the world in 2015, has a whole Institute dedicated to its study and research, the INSEAD BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY INSTITUTE

Get it from me folks: This is the secret sauce that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are using to dominate the world, and leave you and all the other entrepreneurs and their brands way, way, and boy I mean way behind. And they are willing to hire armies of MBA grads who cut their teeth learning this secret sauce. Don’t say I didn’t tell ya, all that long ago!

If you want to create a world-changing institution that people will still be talking about, potentially centuries after you’re dead, rather than a mere company that makes you and your workers cash, this is the tome you had better not miss.

And these particular professors have combined years of research and academic work to deliver the goods.

Blue Ocean Strategy for Entrepreneurs

The smartest entrepreneurs are applying this research as fast as they can, all over the world:

The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success