Goal Setting for Entrepreneurs: How to Set Smart Goals & Accomplish Them

Goal Setting and Setting Smart Goals

Want to know the secret of getting your goals accomplished? 

I’ve been fortunate to work with THOUSANDS of entrepreneurs…. as a practicing attorney, business coach and mentor.  

And when you’re that kind of trusted advisor, you see the good, the bad, and the fugly.

When you’re a lawyer, you see deep inside businesses – the stuff most business owners do not share with anyone else, including their spouse. 

You learn quickly to spot what’s working and what’s deeply broken.

And I’ve found there are 3 simple secrets to smart goal setting and to getting your goals accomplished.

Of course, setting smart goals is what actually moves the needle in your business and leads to real growth.

Whether you run a consulting business, you’re a life coach, you’re a financial advisor, or a dog walker, or you sell those annoying little fidget spinners that just seem to be everywhere all of a sudden (seriously, where did they come from?), if you want to be smart about goal setting and set smart goals you will follow through on and accomplish, it really boils down to 3 simple things.

If you can nail these 3 things, you can accomplish nearly anything.

Ready? Here they are.

#1 – Make Smart Choices

[Read more…]

How to Get More Clients Using the “Pedestal Strategy”

You ever have trouble connecting with a big client prospect?

Maybe you recently got a great lead… and you’re just wishing/hoping/praying they become a client.

But you reach out and then …. it’s nothing but crickets.

Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

It’s not easy getting clients, especially when those clients are big, successful, and too busy to return your call or email.

But don’t despair, because there is a solution – and it’s easier than you think.

Why It Is So Hard to Connect with Prospects

Maybe your ideal client is a busy CEO.

Maybe it’s a busy HR exec.

Maybe it’s working Moms.

Doesn’t matter.

No matter who your ideal client is, they’re probably busy. Because everyone is too busy these days.

You know and I know how hard it is to get a returned email or a phone call.

Especially in today’s day and age.

I get emails every single day from readers and podcast listeners who want to know how they can connect with their prospects and get calls and emails returned.

I even give away email templates which work like magic – but the job is still hard if you don’t use the templates right. 

And it is especially hard to connect with your prospects when you are viewed as a “seller” – someone seeking to connect so that they can sell a service or a product.

It’s like everyone suddenly has “spidey sense” for people who trying to sell these days.

So how do you get through?

How do you get clients when it feels like an uphill battle just to get people to return your emails or phone calls?

Do you …

Just dial the phone again and again and again?

Do you need better “cold email” templates?

Maybe use some super ninja software?

It’s none of these things.

After a career spanning a stint as a White House Aide, a speechwriter to a Governor, 10 years as a practicing lawyer and running 3 separate multiple six figure businesses, I figured out a formula which you can use in any industry to get clients – no matter what kind of client you are pursuing.

I didn’t invent this formula, and I’m not the only one who uses it. In fact, it’s been tested millions of times. And I’ve used it throughout my career to connect with VIPs, Influencers and high level clients.

I call it “The Pedestal Strategy.”

What Is “The Pedestal Strategy”?

Let me ask you this… what if you had a strategy that could “cut through the noise,” bypass gatekeepers, grab your prospects’ attention and take you straight to talking directly with decision makers, without being salesy or forcing you to stumble over awkward small talk?

That’s the Pedestal Strategy.

[Read more…]

How to Use Humor in Sales | Lessons from A Standup Comic

Want to make more sales? Use humor.

Brendon Lemon is a standup comic based in Chicago who also works in a day job in sales.

In this interview, Brendon shares lessons learned from years of doing standup comedy which can be applied to make more sales. Learn how to not be a cheesey salesperson in this quick interview.

Results of the 2018 Entrepreneur Goals Survey!

Smart Business Revolution Entrepreneur Goals Survey

Drumroll please… today I am excited to reveal the results of the 2018 Smart Business Revolution/Rise25 Entrepreneur Goals Survey!

A few weeks back, we surveyed all of our subscribers to find out what YOUR goals are for the next 12 months.

Every entrepreneur knows… making and keeping goals are two separate things. It’s one thing to make goals, but following through and making them happen is a whole ‘nother matter.

So we figured it would be helpful – as well as insightful – to do a survey and find out what goals people are setting for themselves.

I’m a big believer in setting goals, and I also find reading other people’s goals can help you to set more specific and realistic goals. (You can ready my post, Year in Review 2016 & Goal Setting for 2017 here).

I wanted to do a survey and share everyone’s survey answers on this blog for a couple of reasons, including (a) posting your answers on this blog would hold you accountable to the goals you set, and (b) by sharing a link to your website with the survey results, I wanted to send more traffic to your website (which could, in turn, help you to achieve the goals you set to achieve).

Also, if you hadn’t set goals before hearing about our survey, hopefully it inspired you to take the time to set goals for yourself.

We got some really interesting results from the survey. In total, we had about 200 people fill out the survey. And I found people took it very seriously.

Here were a couple of the common themes we saw in the results:

  • Increase profit – a lot of you said you were hoping to make your business more profitable in 2018.
  • Make your business more scaleable – many answers focused on things you wanted to do to make your business more scaleable, like finally get a website launched or revamped, launch an online course, or publish a book.
  • Make a difference – I was really pleased how many of you focused your goals on helping others rather than focusing 100% of yourselves. I’m a big believer when you focused on helping others, it will come back to benefit you.

So, without any further ado, here are the results of our survey.

And here is to YOU achieving your goals in 2018!

P.S. whether you filled out the survey or not, would you share this post? You can share it in two seconds here. If everyone shares this post, it will help the entire community to benefit and to achieve their goals. A win-win-win. : )

P.P.S. One of MY big goals for 2018 is to help more of you to achieve your goals. We’ll be hosting a small group Intensive in late January in San Francisco where the goal is to help you to increase your revenue and create a more scaleable business. Learn more here.

What is your name?
What is the name of your business?
What is your #1 goal for 2018?
Ralph Chapman
I want to help even more companies fill critical HR roles than I did last year.
Bruce D Helmbrecht
To service my customers to the best of my ability , and to meet thier needs accordingly
Heike Ziegler
Launch and establish new mobile automated platform marketzoom4brands
Karen M. Ricks
My #1 goal for 2018 is to publish my second book, all about food, non-traditional education, and our family's world travels!
Pravin Singh
To impact 1,000 growing companies in data analytics by using my packaged products and services. Impact is measured by an engagement with >50$ of money exchange and by a certain feedback score of the clients.
Michele A. Barard
Pivot toward more coaching and training
John Lombard
Secure three corporate clients for The Language of Culture
Anthony R Joiner
Focus more on my brand story. Ive spent the last 2 years building my clients digital brand, now my time.
Sue Dunlevie
My top goal for 2018 is to work smarter, not harder. We hear this a lot, right? But I have specifics that I'm going to follow - only checking email 3 times a day, spending 2 "golden hours" creating content for my blog and programs. I'm excited for the new year!
Delon Delafosse
My number one goal for 2018 is to master being able to make money from creating a youtube channel
Tony Miller
Hiring and growing my team, perfecting our work processes
Marjorie Turner Hollman
Connecting with clients who need help writing/publishing their next book, business-oriented or family stories.
Karen Partridge
Our biggest goal is to keep our clients happy by continuing to help them meet their business and community impact goals.
Michael H Corcoran, Ph.D.
To be more productive in developing and providing useful and timely information to all in my niche
Susan Robertson
To create a revenue stream that takes less personal time. I expect that will be an online course.
April Richmond
Substantially increase our number corporate clients and decrease the number of events we host for the public
Diane H Spadola
To launch a successful 6 month small group coaching business booster class for face and body artists.
Stuart McAleese
To grow my business within my niche and add additional revenue streams
Lauree Ostrofsky
Help more women grow smarter, faster, stronger together because we do business differently
Michelle Kingsbury
To provide innovative shipping solutions to Big Pharma & CPGs driving value thru their supply chains and filling a cost savings need.
Mari-Lyn Harris
To expand Sedona Pies with packages to serve my customers better
Julia Kelly
$12,500 MRR
Justin Krane
To be intentional with my time and energy.
Kristi Brown
I am striving to streamline my business processes and systems. I want to build a self-managing company that operates seamlessly while doubling in size in the next 12 months.
Steven Daar
Build a process that consistently generates qualified inbound leads for the business (instead of relying on referrals & manual outbound lead generation)
Christie Garcia
To build and execute my vision for The Manifesto.
Jeremy Montoya
7 figures from my marketing agency, 6 figures from my personal brand
DB Bedford
To raise awareness on the importance of Emotional Intelligence
Nora Profit
To increase The Writing Loft's exposure through national creative writing seminars and workshops.
John Himics
More leads every month
Vaibhav Gupta
Generate revenue worth 500K USD
Rob Washington
Complete our utility "cash machine", leveraging our processes to create wealth time and
Thomas Schmitt
Build to 7 figure revenue
Horace T Bone
I would like to quadruple my monthly client base from 1-2 to 3-5/month.
Emilia Sabatowska
Our #1 goal is to become more visible in our community by offering free or low cost programs that help us reach potential new clients.
Jess Ostroff
I put my blood, sweat, and tears into writing a book in 2017, so my goal for 2018 is for it to be a success. I hope to sell some copies of course, but also build up my reputation as a leader in the virtual assistant industry.
Matt Inglot
To grow sales of my Freelance Start online course and email list.
K Bransen
Launch at least two more niche services that bring in +$25k/mo additional net income.
Stephen Goldberg
Expand reach more nationally to get better paying commissions.
Randolph West
Getting customers to sign up for my database health check subscription
Jordone Massey
I have a book, I Believe in God, Now What? which shares my testimony of overcoming addiction, depression, promiscuity, and a suicidal attempt. The book has helped a lot of people, especially teen girls and women, to overcome their struggles and pursue Christ. I'd love to see the book on the NY times bestsellers list so that it can help more people.
Alisa Blum
Get steady work throughout the year
Justin Herring
More qualified leads on a daily basis calling or scheduling a time to talk.
Ashraf Darwish
Build my first successiful Smart IoT broduct
Ryan McRae
Get to 5,000 email subscribers by December 31st, 2018.
Bill McCormick
To launch my LinkedIn Video tutorial by March 1st
Alan K. Hauser
Continue to gain traction with new accounts.
John Price
To find a way to use the new A.I. / bot technology yet still keep the close connection to our customers.
Jennifer Ledwith
Developing systems for my business
Alan K. Hauser
Promote precision medicine as the future of healthcare
Cynthia Scollard
To have 10,000 customers purchase our Murder and Mayhem Murder Mystery Quilt 2018.
Mark Alan Effinger
To Elegantly Optimize my Success Rhythm, doing significantly more with less.
Dennyse Kerr
I am a piano teacher, health coach and network marketer. I believe that it gives me a unique perspective into people's behavior.
Larry Stevens
To help the medical device industry manage the hurdles of FDA with a guaranteed successful outcome
Charles Harris
I will become a certified Stuck Breakthrough Strategies business advisor
Rob Rappaport
To create as many automated systems in every area of my life.
Brian Jowers
Signicantly increase subscriber list
Kimberly Weitkamp
Helo more companies increase sales and lifetime customer value with direct-response marketing techniques.
Allan Thomas
CONSISTENT lead generation.
Gary Patterson
Being a resource for 100 best in business niche experts (better and cheaper than current sources) for your next client pain point, challenge or problem.
Beth Anne Jackson
My #1 goal in 2018 is to expand my health law expertise to include the emerging field of medical marijuana compliance in Pennsylvania.
Jun Fu
I want to increase my customers upto 800 students in 2018.
Dave Bird
Help more than 100 runners achieve their fastest ever marathon time!
Jayne Latz
Speak, present and inspire more audiences in 2018 than in 2017 on the topic on the Communicating with greater power, purpose and impact
Nanci Nicole W
To be considered for an important humanitarian work, ie. with journalist Nicholas Kristof
Kim Sutton
Launching my group coaching program
Have incomes from an administrative role in transforming organization through analytics and digital technology
Russell Warren Kukla
To Be Known For Creating Real Change In America's K-12 Education
Johanna Fassbender
Grow my business so I can do the work fulltime.
Denise Brosseau
Launch a top notch online class on thought leadership with LinkedIn Learning
Shawn Spaulding
Our goal is to increase web traffic, web leads, and web conversions from local online visibility.
J.R. (short for James Reid)
1 million in revenue
Julia Kollek
Inviting clients to view the value of the services I offer them (not the hours) and switching to packages to encompass a range of options.
Annesa L Lacey
QUALIFIED lead attraction.
2x Revenue from 2017
Jeanine Lett
Strategic action via epic collaborations with other small business owners.
Margaret Bohannnon-Kaplan
I'd like to write another book
Pam Vredevelt
Launch a new online course for women who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of a baby. My goal is to lead them on a proven path back to emotional freedom, vibrant confidence, and spiritual renewal
Alec Bell (or ZanderGee)
My website has 3 sections; Personal development, business development for small "local" business and online entrepreneurs, (plr etc.) My main goal for 2018 is to show how they are, or can be, inter-related.
John Burget
Build my project finance consulting to a viable monthly income.
Aaron Sanders
To assist current and small business owners how to get approved for a business or real estate loan regardless of credit
Alex Shmulsky
I would like to expand my client base. So that i can help more people and make more money.
Dr. Pat Madden
To enable writers to become more effective, persuasive, interesting, and intelligent communicators.
Frank Taylor
To help the unfortunte who suffer from chemical dependechy male/females. our goal is saving lives.
I would like to see more happy faces and satisfied clients.
Bill Henson
My # 1 goal is to triple my business by the end of 2018. I currently have 3 and myself as full time 107 pilots ( Drone pilots ), I would like to have at least 9 by the end of 2018, witch is very duable, with a lot of hard work.
Shel Horowitz
Landing clients who see the business case in creating/marketing profitable products and services that fix hunger, poverty, war, catastrophic climate change, etc.
Mervin Yeo
Start new introverts communities in 2 more cities in South East Asia.
Noel Gama
Specialise in White papers and e-books
Roger C. Parker
To increase conversions, I will replace my current website with one easier to navigate, mobile-friendly, distraction-free, minimalist design and SEO-optimized blog posts.
Marcellinus Nkpozi
My blog bringing in 6 figure income and publishing 5 -10 research articles in scientific journals.
Ronda Bowen
My number 1 goal for 2018 is to have all of my businesses launced
April Prescott
To establish paid gigs for my mindfulness business and re-pitch to Gary Vaynerchuk.
expand & get new customer.
Brian Hahn
Maintain or increase revenue from 2017
Attah Ezekiel Abah Jimmy
To give customers the best products for the best prices in 2018. Also to educate them on best product qualities.
Tufail Ali
Straighten out my financial affairs and expand sales
Adam Franklin
To release 2 new products that contribute to my body of work
Julia Wojnar
Growing revenues by helping more business owners become the speakers they dream of.
Terry Bahat ( Ms. )
My passion and vision is to coach / train 10,000 tired, stressed, overwhelmed, overweight, 40+ women be healthier, fitter, stronger in body and mind, with tons more energy and confidence. As a Mind/ Body Fitness Coach I use my 7 years of coaching in the Israeli army and my extensive experience to ensure women's health 7 fitness journey is Simple, Do-able, Fun...and it all starts in the...Mind.
Oscar Emetuei
Increase my brand influence and monthly earning revenues to 6 digits figures
Joe Connolly
Exceed my 2017 revenue total without working 7 days a week
Kurt Moeri
sell sugar Icumsa 45 Brazil
Craig Melby
Find a way to market my service better. People who find me love me. Most don't know me.
Charles Harris
To publish my second novel - a psychological chiller "The Forgetting of Ross Blackleigh"
Erica Waasdorp
Writing my second book on monthly giving.
Violeta Stoynova
I want to grow my skin care business and reach out to other estethicians and cosmetologists to private label my products.
Divya Parekh
Build strong partnerships to learn and grow our business together
Jim Robinson
My #1 goal for 2018 is to increase revenue by 20%+ by conducting monthly "boardroom" seminars with my ideal prospects.
Brooke Patterson
Our #1 Goal for 2018 is to guide 100 clients on the path to success with our new marketing coaching program for service based small businesses, launching in January.
Katie Albers
Consult with start ups to bring them the strategic and business benefits of UX
Increase my revenue by at least 30% over 2017, and continue to niche down my service offering.
Khierstyn Ross
My #1 goal for 2018 is to successfully rebrand myself as a Product Launch Strategist and pivot bigger than crowdfunding
Evelyn Fannin
To create a cooperative business using Cool Tools Math courses to help many children become Math Whizzes.
Mahenoor S
My number one goal for 2018 is to be recognized as a renowned blogger in my field.
Carole Gillespie
Translating IP into online services such as online courses /webinars
Stacey Cox Giovanni
Using my Life Coaching training to help as many people as I can reach their true potential and goals.
Brian T. Edmondson
Make more, give more, and make a difference.
Laura L. Dawson
Restore consistent flow of income in excess of costs in our medical and alternative energy projects.
Becky Berry
Harness my marketing and networking to triple the number of people Inwork with face-to-face.
Mia N Hall
Grow my Business to Increase Profits
Sherimane Johnson
My #1 goal has two parts, increase revenue by 50% while contributing to my community.
Laurence Winter
To advise busIness that from October, 2017, Google started warning their Chrome browser users about accessing websites, which do not encrypt data going from the website files to the browser making their websites appear insecure
Laurence Winter
I am looking to connect with professionals and business owners within the Latin Eurasia marketplace who want to grow, scale, participate and take advantage of the greatest intercontinental and infrastructure projects currently in progress and projected
Benny Higginbotham
get on the web
Ryan Douglas
Focus more on my 80/20. Double-down on what's working and ignore the rest.
Catherine Laub
My goal is to help as many people as I can to overcome the struggles of having a mental illness.
Jeffrey Brewer
Grow my customer base from 75 to 500 monthly paying customers
Michael Corcoran
Redirect appropriate marketing strategies for my niche to include active social media presence
Brian Wood
As a fairly recent company (in business less than 6 months), my primary goal is to gain clients in need of my services.
Establish dependable referral and lead gen streams
Kwame Watkins
To add 25 new clients is our company's goal for 2018.
Salomi Odendaal
My goal is to keep learning and improve my writing. I need to do this to deliver the best possible service to clients.
Felipe Adaime
To keep rendering top quality services to my clients
Teresa Almeida d'Eca
My goal is to have my pronunciation e-dictionary, From Portuguese to English: Pronunciation Made Easy, promoted as widely and successfully as possible
Neil W. Tyra
To monetize more fully my otherwise successful podcast - The Law Entrepreneur.
Scott Florin
Diversify consumer law practices areas.
Richard K. Peck
Continue firm growth and expand into additional consumer law practices areas.
Kyle Heebner
Improve our margins/improve the health of our company
Wayne Gurley
To raise $300,000 in front money for development of a new theatrical musical.
Melanie Thom
To maintain worklife balance
Irena Mykyta
Optimize my practice by maximal use of technology and finding ways to reduce overhead
Increase revenue while maintaining quality work/ life balance.
Dale Abrams
Double our December 2017 net, on average, for all 12 months of 2018
Todd Martinkovic
Building a marketing plan that results in 1000% growth over 2017
Pamela Lewerenz
Continue to grow my business by focusing on getting known as an expert in my field and expanding mentoring courses
Joshua Johnson
Continue to prove that immigration doesn't have to be the 3rd most stressful event in a person's life. And, increase our bottom line by 300%
Casey Sullivan
At Bookafy we are working to get to 20,000 customers around the world to use our free Online Appointment Booking software by the end of 2018.
Zvi Band
Ramp up my own branding and speaking as we prepare for a book launch in 2019!
Lumus Vick
Book 30 Events at the BEC PLEX Event Center. We plan to open February 01, 2018. To help make every client's event the most memorable celebration ever.
Carloyn George, MD
To maximize the effectiveness of our office to help patients realize their goals through strategic implementation of a health coach and our support staff.
Alicia Ann Berberich
To sell out all of the Women’s Marketing Luncheon events throughout 2018.
Niklas Goeke
My #1 goal for 2018 is to make a full-time living from writing and push towards a world where others can do the same.
Jon Schumacher
Build a power network of connections.
Melissa Smith
Successfully launch my second book, "Become A Successful Virtual Assistant"
David Musgrave
To launch my new book ‘Take Charge of your Happiness, Bellyfat and Sexiness – A Busy Woman’s Route to Wellness’ onto the global market, with associated products.
MaryAnn Davison
Refine my message of the importance of developing resilience and confidence in children and teens and get that message to the right people.
Kath Trout
Get my website up and functioning as part of my overall marketing strategy to increase our exposure.
to create more online products for my customers
Jamie Wallace
Do a great job for new clients
Jack Belton
provde increase in loan applications and increase net working
Mrs. Shahida Karimullah
To invest time in motivational change tobecome indepedent on taking responsibility doing things themselves
To find joy in my work.
Shawn Bezzant
Accelerate profitable growth across all segments of our business
Brian Hazelwood
Increase my Gross Margin above 85% and add at 1 attraction and upgrade 1
Brian D'Agostine
To create an experience project that will bring others into the joy of LEGO
to increse the sales and get more business
Sergio Ochoa
Launch my first product and match the income I was making from my corporate job
Dawn Strachan
To find 12 brand associates for Starr Tutoring who will own their own tutoring business with our branding and support
Darlene Susco
Build a Creative Parking Lot (Evernote). Take 5 or 10 minutes to write down (or record) moments of inspiration and new ideas as they occur.
Dr Marty Freihaut
To make a difference in the quality of life for those I serve one patient at a time.
Kathy Russell
My #1 goal for 2018 is to generate $15000 dollars from my website.
Richelle Futch
Get my invention to market
Shelley Pittman
Getting my new website up and running.
Wendy Arendse
Kids Empire
To start my own coaching practice for kids
Working Smarter
Cheryl Smith
To reach more people through a larger list, through speaking engagements and in coaching.
Mimika Cooney
To help unlock women's potential by launching a foundation, publishing a book & building a software program.
Tina Patterson
gross six figures in my law practice business
Jamie Mason Cohen
Do 33 Paid Corporate Keynotes as a Leadership & Performance Expert at my full rate and Create Collaborative Relationships-Workshops built from the Product Ladder Blueprint
Jerry Osheroff
Test and monetize a scalable solution for analyzing and improving healthcare delivery processes.
Brett Matheson
Expand my client base
Cara Lyn Greco
Develop a communication and conflict resolution skills development practice for my clients.
increase profitability margins, grow membership sales
Yvonne Garris
I have realized how lacking I am with my follow through, so my #1 goal and “word” for the year is Take Action!
Margaret Wright
3 clients who want to use technology projects to dramatically improve their customers' experience and enrich their people's skills and lives not just make money
Get regular and steady income stream to start replacing my 9-5
Gayle C Fowler
My goal is to implement a business digital marketing plan that includes social media activity, website enhancement and creating a blog.
Bala Subramanian
Get Humanity to Accept and Use AI as frequently as their Automobiles
Kelley Nielsen
Build both a business and a personal social network
Mark Di Somma
To work on problems that really fascinate me and to find wonderful answers that I am truly proud of.
Read more

How to Overcome ‘Victim Mindset’

victim mindset

Ever feel like nothing is going your way?

You know…

You got food on your pants.

That Big Client you wanted to work for won’t return your emails.

Your spouse is pissed at you (again).

Your clients are all upset – for one reason or another.

And you’re kicking yourself for not buying Bitcoin when it was 5 bucks.

We’ve all been there.

But… if you ever find yourself dwelling on the negative, over and over again….

Or you find you are spending a lot of time focusing on forces that are conspiring against you (like people who make you made) rather than appreciating the good which is all around you….

Well, I call this “victim mindset.”

What is Victim Mindset?

It’s a mental state where you focus on being a victim of the negative actions of others, often in spite of evidence of other positive circumstances.

A LOT of people struggle with this.

And it’s a major problem because when you dwell on negativity, it is hard to generate the energy and focus to produce positive results in your life (tweet this).

[Read more…]

How to Leverage Multiple Streams of Income – Review of Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark

I have a book you should check out.

But first, let’s chat.

You’re smart. (Not just because you’re reading this. ; )

You’re talented too.

You are GREAT at what you do.

Yet you struggle to build your business and to grow it without feeling like you’re on a treadmill.

Or maybe your business is humming along, spitting off cash faster than Trump spits out tweets, yet are so time-strapped, you can’t enjoy it.

What you need is NOT more of the same. You need to work smarter.

You need to create new income streams that allow you to leverage your time in a smarter way so you aren’t running yourself into the ground.

[Read more…]

“How do I research influencers online?”

I got this question from Michael, a subscriber.

He asked,

“How do I research influencers in my niche?  I want to get on podcasts and do interviews and become a thought leader, but I don’t know how to connect with the influencers. Any tips?”

Great question Michael.

But first, two questions.

Why do you need to connect with influencers in your field?

And… what do we mean by “influencer”?

First… the influencers in your field have already been “chosen” by a community of people as the leaders to be trusted on the subject matter domain you are also seeking to build trust around as an authority.

It makes perfect sense that you would want to reach out and get to know them.

If you want to be a thought leader, then these other influencers will one day be your peers, so you might as well introduce yourself, right?

And … when you build relationships with influencers in your niche or industry, then it opens up a world of opportunities, from collaborating on interviews or book projects to cross promotions.

Second question: what do we mean by “influencer”?

I’m going to take a controversial stand on this issue.

Yesterday’s influencers are dead. Today’s influencers you probably haven’t heard of.

Yesterday’s influencers are writing books no one is reading and not connecting with their readers, trying to get quoted in the newspaper or on radio, and flying around the country giving speeches.

Today’s influencers have built audiences across multiple digital platforms.

They are “influencers” because they can shape taste and steer thousands or millions of eyeballs in whatever direction they wish.

As my friend Ryan Williams, author of The Influencer Economy, would say… an influencer is someone who has created a bigger vision and built a platform around that vision.

Now as to Michael’s original question … what if you don’t know who all the influencers are? How do we research them?

There’s two ways you can research who they are. The faster paid way, and the slower free way.

Let’s start with the faster paid way.

Tool #1 – BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a tool for researching influencers in a particular field, as well as searching published content on a particular topic. They have free and paid versions of the tool.

To use it, you simply search for keywords and click on the Influencer tab.

Tool #2 – Ninja Outreach

Ninja Outreach (referral link) is like what would happen if BuzzSumo and a CRM got together and had a steamy, romantic night between the sheets, and had a baby.

Ninja Outreach allows you to run searches with keywords and compile lists of thought leaders. Then you can use their built in CRM to send outreach messages.

I’m long overdue for a longer review of Ninja Outreach, so stay tuned.

Now, there are a few less expensive options for doing all this research.

1.  Twitter

Not all thought leaders are active on Twitter, but there enough thought leaders who are active on Twitter that it justifies you spending some time there.

People say to me all the time “my people are not on Twitter” or “my people are not on Facebook.” To that, I say: sure, not all of ‘your people’ are on every social media platform. But most of the major social media platforms are large enough that there are enough of any given market present to keep you more than busy. Don’t worry about who is ‘not there.’

For an example, let’s search for thought leaders around “wine.” I went onto Twitter and searched for the hashtag “#wine.”

I found the Wine Bloggers Conference Twitter handle, which had in turn followed 4,200 wine thought leaders. That gives you a huge number of other wine thought leaders to research.

1.  Google

Don’t forget trusty old Google. Just googling the keyword terms you are researching may yield interesting results.

I searched for ‘wine blog’ and found numerous influential wine blogs written by thought leaders.

2.  Amazon

I always like to search for authors who have written books on a particular topic. So, carrying through with the “wine thought leader” example, you can search for books written about wine.

Be careful though. Just because someone has written an authoritative book on the topic doesn’t mean they are a true thought leader who has put together an engaged audience of followers who turn to that person for guidance.

Many authors do a crappy job of connecting with their readers. You want to avoid those kinds of authors.

Other authors may have written a number of books on different topics, so their “audience” is really focused on different topics.

3.  YouTube

I did a search for wine on YouTube and stumbled upon an interesting thought leader… it was actually a whole YouTube Channel called “Tipsy Bartender” – a male bartender who makes creative and funny videos with inventive mixed drinks. I found a video called “Wine for Beginners” which had 700,000 views, and his channel had 3.2 million subscribers.

The Tipsy Bartender channel on YouTube: http://buff.ly/2snpVsb

Another area to search for is by searching for your keyword plus “webinar” and you may find some interesting individuals or businesses hosting webinars on relevant topics for you.

4.  iTunes

Finally, you should check out iTunes for podcasts. Find the podcasters who have built a following around a particular topic.

Again, just as I cautioned regarding authors, you want to be sure they have actually built an engaged audience.

There are some podcasters who have huge engaged audiences, and others who have hardly anyone paying attention, even if they have published hundreds of episodes.

Time to Kick Ass

When my business partner Jeremy Weisz and I do a Rise25 webinar, we always end the webinar with our “ass kicking” section where we give people specific homework they MUST take action on.

Because education is nothing more than mental masturbation if you don’t steer it towards action-takin’.

So here’s your homework…

Spend 15 minutes researching thought leaders in your field. Create a spreadsheet and compile a list.

Next, send at least 2 emails to these thought leaders complimenting them. For bonus points, actually request an interview with them. You can publish the interview on your blog or on LinkedIn or Medium.

Happy researching!


P.S.: If you realize the #1 factor which will determine your success is “who you know” … and you realize you need to upgrade your network and connect with more influencers in your industry – so you can get more clients and more revenues in the door – then check out my free webinar “How to ‘Cold Email’ Any VIP.”

In this webinar, I share the 5 things you MUST do if you want your emails to be opened, read and responded to by VIPs you admire; How to go from a genuine relationship to building your income based on these relationships with VIPs and Influencers; How to go from getting your emails opened to building a genuine relationship and I’ll also share 5 of my best email templates you can use to connect with the VIPs you want to build relationships with.

Watch the webinar here.


Reader Survey: 300+ Websites You Should Bookmark Now

Recently I decided to “pay it forward” by asking my email subscribers to send me their website URL so I could share it with all of my readers.

My motivation was simple – I wanted to help more of my readers to get traffic to their website, and I wanted to foster more community among my readers.

I was overwhelmed by the number of responses – in fact, over 300 people replied and sent me their websites.

A number of people also emailed me individually and said they rushed to get their websites finished or revamped so that they could be included in this list, which was awesome. I love that this project lit a fire under a few people to get their websites done.

Other readers said they were touched by the gesture and sent me some very complimentary emails, and I loved that.

But mostly, I want this to be useful to you, whether you submitted your website or not.

This website – and now my business Rise25 with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz – has always been about building communities and doing so at scale.

I want to help more business owners – particularly from professional services backgrounds like me – to learn how to build better relationships in business, and how to do so in a digital world.

So this whole project is one big lesson in that chapter book.

In fact, here’s a few great ways you can make use of this list.
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5 “Ninja” Tricks for Using Contactually CRM to Make Money and Get More Clients


Do you ever feel like you can’t keep track of all the critical relationships in your life?

You know… past clients, referral partners, current clients?

Let’s be honest… you’ve probably let more than one relationship get stale. And I’ll bet it’s hurt your business.

I used to feel the same way… until I discovered Contactually.

Contactually is one of the slickest, fastest, easiest-to-use CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) on the market – a CRM you will love to use.

My last review of Contactually’s CRM software was waaaaaay back in 2014, so I was long overdue for an update on how I use Contactually now.

I’m a major power user of Contactually, meaning I use it all the time. And how I use the software now is very different from how I used it when I started.

So I thought it would be helpful to share a few “ninja” tricks for how to use the software.

I also think these ideas can be helpful if you use another CRM software.

To be honest, I don’t care which CRM you use but if you are in business then relationships are critical. And you should have an attitude that “I will spend $500 per year (or whatever it costs) to maintain my relationships.”

During the past few years, I’ve had a lot of people who know I’m a big Contactually power user ask me about how to use Contactually more efficiently.

So I put together a new video explaining a few key ways I use Contactually now.

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Year in Review 2016 & Goal Setting for 2017


Further reading: How to Create your 12-month Strategic Plan (and my 2014 Annual Review)

The funny thing about having kids is they make you laser-focused. If you aren’t laser-focused, you’re dead meat.

My wife and I had our 3rd child, another boy, this past April. So for those who keeping score, we now have 3 kids age 6 or younger, two of whom are still in diapers, and any 1 of which is likely to be throwing fistfuls of food across the room in our house at any given moment in time.

What that means is I don’t have as much time to work as I would like.

But big deal, I’ll bet you feel the same way too.

As I write this it’s New year’s eve and I have to be home in 51 minutes but I REALLY want to do a “year in review 2016” / “Goals 2017” blog post so I’ll make this a super quick.

I’m a big believer in the power of setting ambitious and specific goals for yourself.

Four years ago, in November 2012, I wrote a blog post titled My Next Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, where I wrote,

The big goal I am working on now is to build this blog into a platform and a resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to grow their businesses.

I plan to do that by writing about my entrepreneurial successes and failures, interviewing successful entrepreneurs (like this interview) and sharing non-boring legal tips for entrepreneurs. In short: by providing as much value as I can.

I want to diversify my business, to move from a model nearly entirely reliant on one-on-one client-based revenue to one which generates revenue from this blog, and from phenomenally useful, helpful information products like Business Profit Academy.

That’s why I dramatically overhauled Smart Business Revolution in May of 2011. And it’s why I continue to seek out opportunities for learning and developing my abilities so that Smart Business Revolution continues to become more valuable to its readers.

The really cool thing is most of this actually happened – thanks to the power of setting big goals, breaking down those larger goals into achievable smaller goals, and using a group to hold you accountable.

Here’s my philosophy about goal setting in a nutshell. You should start by envisioning the larger goals you want to achieve for yourself and your business. This is best done with the help of others who can give you crucial perspective and feedback.

Next: you break down your larger annual goals into quarterly and monthly goals.

Finally, meet with an accountability partner or small mastermind group and set 3 specific goals each week. Rinse and repeat throughout the year.

That’s it.

For bonus points, tell everyone what your annual goals are and join a community of like-minded people who will hold you accountable to achieving these goals.

Now, in this post, I want to first review my goals from 2016 and reflect on which ones I achieved and which I didn’t, and why. Next, I mention a few other things which went well, and what did not go well in the past year.

Then I move on to setting annual goals for 2017.

By the way, this is similar to a process we run through for our Rise25 Inner Circle members (which I mention below).

2016 year in review 

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