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Archive for March, 2005

Work Harder, Not Smarter

March 30th, 2005 by Bob Bly

Business book authors tell us we can succeed by ?working smarter, not harder.?

The problem is, many of our competitors are as smart as we are. And some are smarter.

Therefore, ?work smarter, not harder? is a myth.

The fact is, almost without exception, the very successful people I know ? all of whom are smart ? also work hard: 50 to 60 hours a week or more.

The people who regularly post on this blog are successful, so let me ask you ? how many hours a week do YOU work?

A. less than 40.
B. 40 to 49.
C. 50 to 59.
D. 60 to 69.
E. More than 70.

And do you work that hard because you want to ? or because you HAVE to?


Category: General | 96 Comments »

The Key to Success: Networking or Talent?

March 28th, 2005 by Bob Bly

I hate networking for several reasons.

One is I?m introverted and shy.

The other is I like to be home ? not out schmoozing for business.

But let me ask you?.

If you HAD to pick one or the other, what factor would you say is the most important contributor to business success?

1. WHAT you know — your skills, knowledge, training, expertise, and experience, or

2. WHO you know — the contacts you make through networking?


Category: General | 87 Comments »

Are You a Blogging Consultant?

March 25th, 2005 by Bob Bly

I frequently get asked by readers, “Can you recommend a blogging consultant to help me set up and run a blog for my business?”

If you are a blogging consultant and advisor, please let me know by leaving a comment in response to this post, so I can add you to my referral list.

Also, should my clients hire a blogging specialist to help set up their blog … or can their current Web designer do it just as well and easily?

Your thoughts?


Category: Blogging | 787 Comments »

Secrets of Making Six Figures as a Freelance Copywriter ? or in Practically Anything Else

March 23rd, 2005 by Bob Bly

In his post on this blog, John Thomas asks, ?What counter-intuitive ?secrets? would you say there are to becoming a successful direct response copywriter, since that would be a particular business you are familiar with??

I assume he means ?freelance? direct response copywriters, since most of the top DM copywriters are in fact self-employed.

The answer, John, is the same for freelance copywriters as it is for dentists, optometrists, financial planners, attorneys, CPAs, and anyone else offering professional services on a freelance or independent basis:

Assuming you are reasonably skilled in the service you provide, the differentiating factor between those practitioners with the highest incomes and the others in the same field is the ability to marketing and sell their professional services to clients.

In other words, success at self-promotion is the biggest (but not the only) factor separating the $50,000 a year copywriter from the $500,000 a year copywriter ? or the financial planner writing $1 million in premium (and earning $65,000 a year) from the one writing $10 million in premium (and earning $650,000 a year).

Do you agree? Are those who make the most money in any profession the best salespeople and marketers ? or the best craftspeople and technicians?


Category: Success | 121 Comments »

Comb Your Hair, for Goodness Sake!

March 21st, 2005 by Bob Bly

Do employers have the right to tell employees how to dress?

I?m not clear on whether employment laws say they do. But I think they should ? and now the city of Cheyenne apparently agrees with me.

Cheyenne?s municipal government is considering a ban on restaurant workers wearing nose rings, tongue rings, and other facial jewelry.

Reason: the Cheyenne Department of Health has had several cases of restaurant customers finding tongue rings in their food (though not yet in a tongue sandwich).

But even if a foolproof method could be found for preventing tongue rings from falling out, I think they should be banned in restaurants and most other professional workplaces.

Here?s my logic: your employer is paying you not just to perform a specific job function, but for your total contribution to her business.

Part of that contribution is the impression you make on customers. When you dress too casually or outrageously, that impression is negative ? and the business that pays your salary suffers.

Yes, I am a cranky curmudgeon. But I?m betting that you will agree with my on this one. Yes?


Category: General | 94 Comments »

Answer to “Test Your Business I.Q.”

March 21st, 2005 by Bob Bly

The correct answer is ?B.? MM, a successful bar owner, says the best people to hire as bartenders are attractive young men.

?You want to fill your bar with young, successful men, because they are the most profitable bar customers,? says MM.

The attractive male bartenders cause the bar to be filled with women ? and the crowd of women, in turn, attracts men.

Both Harry Joiner and Bret Cooper nailed it in their comments responding to my post.

?Assuming you want a large clientele who spend big bucks, I?d say you need hunky young men,? says Brett. ?Guys, particularly young guys, buy most of the drinks. They don?t go to bars to pick up female bartenders. They go to pick up female patrons. Hunky bartenders ensure more female repeat customers who in turn draw more paying men.?

The point is that in almost every business, there are a few success principles that are known to people who are in the business ? but are invisible to everyone else.

And usually, these success principles are counter-intuitive — the opposite of what common sense and intelligence would predict.


Category: General | 83 Comments »

Test Your Business I.Q.

March 17th, 2005 by Bob Bly

You are opening a new bar. For your bartenders, you can hire either:

A. Hot, beautiful young women.
B. Hot, hunky young men.
C. Frumpy, middle-age men.
D. Frumpy, middle-age women.

Which would you choose? And why?

Note: After you?ve had a chance to respond, I will reveal the correct answer, the logic behind it, and the business lesson it teaches us.


Category: General | 216 Comments »

RSS Feeds Better than E-Mail? Not for Marketing, Bunky?.

March 16th, 2005 by Bob Bly

In a recent survey, copywriter Nick Usborne asked readers of Excess Voice, his newsletter about writing online, whether they prefer RSS feeds or e-zines.

The results:

* 49% had no idea what an RSS feed is.
* 31% said they are RSS fans and prefer it to e-zines.
* 20% said they subscribe to some RSS feeds, but don?t see it replacing e-zines.

What caught my eye here is that almost 7 out of 10 readers of an e-zine about online writing either didn’t know what an RSS feed is, or knew but preferred e-zines.

?E-zines give you an intangible benefit simply because they appear in someone?s inbox at a particular moment,? comments Nick. ?With RSS, you run the risk of losing that sense of immediacy, of being in the reader?s mind in the here and now.?


Category: Blogging | 172 Comments »