All Posts by Jim Kukral

The Hard Truth of Hanging Around Industry Rockstars

One thing you quickly learn once you begin to attend conferences in your industry, and actually meet industry leaders… is that…

You’re never going to be a rockstar/leader like them unless you stop settling for being average, and instead make strides to take your stuff to the next level.

Probably my most shared post of all time is 13 reasons you’re not as successful as you should be. Most of those reasons cover what I’m talking about here today. There are usually a lot of reasons why you’re not kicking as much ass as the superstars in your niche.

But when it comes down to it… YOU are to blame. Because frankly, you’re just not kicking enough ass to get there.

Nobody is going to hand it to you. Every one of those industry rockstars have worked their ass off to get where they are. Believe it.

What? You just expect to make it to their level just because you worked an extra hour past 5 last night? You think you can continue to create mediocre content and business models and products and services and dominate with them?

Unfair? Not really. They worked for it. Hard. Did you work as hard?

Get to work. Quit whining and take your effort to the next level, or don’t. Just stop thinking it’s all just gonna fall into your lap.

You Suck At Sales

I recently filled out an online form in search of fishing camps in Ontario. What happens is I fill out the form, then they take my lead and mail it to all of their advertising partners (fishing camps). So within 48 hours of filling out the form, I have gotten about 50 fishing camps contact me to tell me about their camps.

But 99% of the sales pitches they have given me completely suck.

99% of them just email back a one-line “We’re awesome, check our website here www.fishingcamp.com”. And just one of them actually called me. One! So this got me ranting in my head about bad sales so I wanted to share with you some sales tips I’ve learned over the years that might help you out.

Sales is hard and requires effort.

I always hear about businesses who complain they don’t make as much money as they should/could. But then when I investigate their sales process I find things like this example mentioned above. They make some assumption that people will just flock to them and they don’t have to do any work to close a sale. Of course, that’s dead wrong.

Pick up the phone. Read my inquiry and cater a pitch to me. Tell me/show me what I need to hear and what will make me buy. Take five minutes and sell me.

Don’t make me work to buy from you!

This is another big one I see from time to time. People want me to participate in a survey or interview process or want me to buy something from them. But before I can buy, they ask me to do work like filling out a form, or spend time creating something for them. Let me say this another way to make it clear… “PEOPLE DON’T BUY WORK”. Customers pay for things so they don’t have to do them themselves.

Follow up!

If I show any interest at all. Follow up immediately. That means I’m a hot lead. You have a much higher chance of getting me to buy if you do this. Even if I don’t show interest, I’m worth at least one follow up.

Show me you want my business!

Imagine you’re courting me for a date. You have to show interest. Customers are attracted to people who want to help them solve their problems.

Solve my problem!

As you’ve read many times in my books or heard me say before, people come to the Internet to have a problem solved. Your job… is to solve that problem as best as you can. When you pitch me as a potential customer, you must first understand what my problem is, then show me how you can fix it.

The Moment I Knew I Never Wanted To Work For Anyone Ever Again

I’ve never told this story before. Not in a blog, or in one of my books, or to anyone really. I suppose I suppressed it. But I recently pulled it out of my memory bank because I was listening to a Chris Brogan podcast about why you should quit your job and it spurred this memory up and I wanted to share it with you.

I believe this moment has made me into the entrepreneur I am today. Read on if you’re curious.

This happened in 1996 or so. I was the fourth employee at a “new media company” here in Cleveland, Ohio. “New Media” was code for Internet company back in the day in case you were wondering what the heck that meant. I took the job without knowing one lick of html, or really anything about the Internet. The first day on the job they handed me an html book and said, “learn this”. So I did. Mind you, this was before html tables. Remember when all websites were linear and didn’t have columns? Yeah, I’m that old.

I took my graphic design abilities and learned how to make websites. The company grew from 4 of us to 20. Then to 30. Things were going great. I loved working for the guys that owned the company. They were fun and we had no rules. I could sit at my desk and smoke cigarettes, or/and get drunk if I wanted to. I had a great office with a balcony. And because I had no family yet, and the job was fun, I worked my ass off. Probably close to 14-hours a day, if not more. I basically lived at the office.

We started to get BIG clients like Ernst & Young and Sherwin Williams. I actually hand-coded and designed Ernst & Young’s first website ever, and their second. Back then coding and building websites was long, tedious work because you didn’t have the tools you did nowadays. Every little change took big effort. For example, if the site had 400 pages, and they made a change to the navigation, I’d have to go into every single html page by hand and replace the code. There was no such thing as find and replace back then.

Anyway, I’m getting to the point.

I worked my ass off those first years. I basically lived at the office and I loved it. But I assumed that because I was the fourth employee, and I was such a big part of the growth of the company, and that I worked so hard, that I would naturally see the financial benefits of my labor. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I made about $30,000 that year. Maybe less.

So things were good, and it was December and the business was booming. My wife had just gotten a sizeable Christmas bonus from her firm the weekend before and I had it in my mind that I would of course get one from my bosses as well. I mean, I was a big part of the company’s growth, and I was working my ass off, etc…

You see where this is going? Here’s how it went down.

A few days before Christmas I’m at the office, as usual, and I don’t see the two big bosses anywhere. Nobody knows where they are. We’re all about to break for the holiday and I’m wondering where the bosses are and when I’m getting my big Christmas bonus. I’m kinda freaking out about it because I was really expecting it.

So the big bosses/owners finally appear around 4 that day, thank God. They finally come down to the office to talk to us. They were super excited. I mean, they were bouncing off the walls in excitement. I figured they were excited to give us our bonus checks before we went home. I was wrong.

Turns out they decided to drive out to Ikea that morning and drop $18,000 on furniture for their offices. I repeat. $18,000 in Ikea furniture for just their offices upstairs. How you can spend $18k for two offices in Ikea, I’m not sure, but they were so proud to boast about how they did.

I figure, “whatever, give me my bonus check”. So they did. I eagerly opened the sealed envelope and dreamt about what amazing Christmas present I was going to buy my fiancee. Or about how I might use the money for a down payment on a new car. Or maybe I could buy an engagement ring with it! I was excited!

I opened the envelope and it read $400 bucks.

Not what I was expecting. Not even close. My mind started racing and calculating the numbers. 10% of my salary would be $3,000. Heck, 5% would be $1,500. Those are the kind of numbers I expected for giving so much of my life to this business.

And especially after hearing they dropped $18k at Ikea that very day.

But no. They gave me $400.

And here’s the moment I knew I never wanted to work for anyone ever again.

My stomach sank. I thought I was going to puke. I really felt ill. I looked up at them in contempt. I can’t imagine what my facial expression was. I must have given them some kind of stink-eye. I stood there in disbelief for a minute. Then I grabbed my keys and coat and walked out in disgust.

I got into my car and I was ready to cry. $400??? Really?

I thought to myself… “I’m a fool. I worked my ass off for this company for this?” I drove home and was too embarrassed to tell my fiancee right away. I had the check in my back pocket and the thought of it ruined my Christmas.

And that, my friends, was the story about when I realized I never wanted to work for anyone ever again.

This is the exact reason why I always tell my kids, “You don’t want to work in this restaurant, you want to own this restaurant.” YOU control your destiny. YOU control how much you get paid and what bonuses you have. YOU are the boss and you can do whatever you want.

Agree?

I suppose I should thank them. They are directly responsible for my entrepreneurship endeavors and the career and lifestyle I have this day.

I’m sure you have a similar story? I’d love to hear it. Share it with us.

Book Discovery with PinYourBook.com

If you’re an author trying to find ways to reach new readers in this new world of self-publishing, then you know that it’s hard. This is why book discovery is the single most important issue facing new authors today. It’s something we all need to be aware of and something we should all be concerning ourselves with.

eBook discovery was the reason I created the Author Marketing Club over a year ago. Since that time over 7,500 authors have signed up for free tools and promotional help. Our mantra has always been “We LOVE Free Book Promotion!”.

With that being said, we’re always looking for new ways to help authors promote, and to help readers discover new books. That’s why we launched PinYourBook.com.

Pin Your Book – eBook Discovery, Best Selling Free & Bargain Books | from Author Marketing Club

Pin Your Book is a site modeled to be like Pinterest. The point is for readers and authors to visit the site and post and discover new books. Head on over and have a look at let me know what you think.

The Most Difficult Thing To Do Is Talk About Yourself

Anyone who is in the business of marketing will tell you… The most difficult thing to do is talking about yourself. That could mean you, your brand, or your business. For years I’ve struggled with answering the question of “What do you do Jim?” And, “tell me more about yourself”. So much so I’ve hired professionals who have a much easier time of explaining what I do and what I have done.

I think we all just get too close to ourselves; plus the fact that most of us are humble (I know I am) and tend to speak lightly of ourselves. I don’t think that’s a flaw. I just think that’s how we are.

The good news is that you get better at it over time. I’ve always been a person who follows his passion. Which is why I always appear to be jumping all over the place with my focus and business models. Finally though, over the past 3-years or so, I’ve been able to decide what I do best, and what I like to do most. The video below explains it all in just over two minutes. Take a quick watch and let me know if I made it clear enough?

Here’s the script from the video.

Hi, I’m Jim Kukral

Thanks for visiting my website. This is a quick little video explaining what I can do to help you today. Ready? Here goes…

Number 1: I’ve been building websites and brands for people for over 16-years. My firm, http://www.Sproutar.com specializes in creating powerful WordPress driven sites and blogs. As well as logos and landing pages. Starting a new business? Need a refresher of your existing website? We can help you get it done so you can get more sales, leads and publicity. Affordably too. Want a quote? Visit Sproutar.com for more info and examples.

Number 2: I write and market books. A lot of them. As of right now I have 8 books for sale on Amazon. Got a book in you? You need an eye-catching cover, as well as a strategy to launch and market it to meet your goals. My firm, http://www.DigitalBookLaunch.com focuses on helping you write a book that makes sense for your agenda, and then market it. Check out our cover design services and marketing packages at DigitalBookLaunch.com. Then let’s get on the phone to chat about it.

Number 3: Like this video? Pretty neat huh? This type of explainer video helps you communicate your business in just a few minutes. That means more engagement and conversions for you! http://www.FunnerVids.com is my firm where you can get your very own video just like this for only $999. Curious? Check out our client list and video examples at http://www.FunnerVids.com

Hmmm, so what else? We’re running out of time. Gotta keep this video short. Here’s a few other things I can do for you.

Need a speaker for your event? Check out my speaking page for video samples and availability.

Need a Web business consultant? I occasionally take on clients who need help. Drop me a note and we’ll see if there’s a match.

Need a fishing buddy? Just say the word and I’ll put my waders on and meet you in the water.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to hear from you soon.

Another Book Jim? Yep, Introducing “The Webinar Way”

You know how to write a ton of books? Co-author them with other people. Introducing a book I’ve been working on with co-author Sherrie Rose. It’s called The Webinar Way – The Single, Most Effective Way to Promote your Services, Drive Leads & Sell a Ton of Products. Published by my book marketing firm Digital Book Launch.

How To Profit From Engaging, Easy-To-Create Webinars With Valuable Content That Participants Love!

Connect to your audience, gain influence with your ideas, turn stories into sales, and create recurring profits. Learn how to:

Master Every *Serious* Entrepreneur’s Favorite Wealth Weapon
When you run webinars, you will drive more leads, you’ll build an audience of targeted customers and make more sales, and your business will quickly grow. Discover:

* Why the 3C by 3T Matrix will put your webinar in simple perspective.
* What core elements you add for an engaging webinar with an irresistible close.
* What you need to successfully promote, run, and grow your webinar “enterprise.”
* How the Webinar Way Profit Calculator will track your metrics (and sales)!

The “7 Pillars” and WAMO approach to webinars are part of the much-needed solution to cash-in on your next payday webinar. This easy, well-structured book has the details to guide and motivate you through each step. Change the way you do business with The Webinar Way!

Really Make a Difference With Your Very-Own Knowledge
It’s very possible people just like you can learn to package their struggles, successes, research, or life’s story into advice for others and become the expert on any given topic using webinars as the platform to get the message out on a virtual (and global) stage. In the industry of people who share their advice and knowledge with the world, webinars are a must. If you’ve ever wondered what steps the gurus take to spread their message, serve others, and build a real business, then this is a must-read.

Automate High-Converting Webinars For More Recurring Profit
When it comes down to it, you want freedom. Freedom of time tops the list for most folks. Webinars are work but when you have a good one, you set up a perpetual webinar to automate profits for ongoing revenue while you go on vacation. Living the webinar lifestyle is possible. Want to know how?

Business Around A Lifestyle Volume 2 + Free Bonus

It’s finally here. Part II of my book series Business Around A Lifestyle (How To Create An Amazing Online Business & Profit From It) is live on sale on Amazon and ready for your reviews. If you haven’t read Volume 1 yet, I would suggest you grab it here first, then move on to Volume 2.

NOTE: Purchase a digital copy by October 22 and I’ll give you free access to my Online Video Toolkit 2.0 training site ($99 value). Learn how to make amazing Web videos. Just contact me after at jim at jimkukral dot com with your Amazon receipt and I’ll get you access right away.

In Volume 1 I focused on inspiring you to believe that you could in fact do this. You could change your lifestyle and build a Web business around it. Thousands of people have read the book and have left reviews like these.

“The book is full of inspiration and motivation and I know that anyone that reads this will come out enlightened and ready to take steps to change their own lives!” Dad of Divas

“This book offers guidelines for setting goals and getting started in a rewarding business and lifestyle.” Janette Fuller

“It’s hard to find an informational book that is just easy and enjoyable to read.” Mark Ward

So What Is Volume 2 About Then?

Simply put: execution! This book focuses on how to get it done. What types of Web businesses and business models make sense for your goals? What tools and resources can you use to create content and build a business online?

From the Amazon description.

Volume 2: On How To Change Your Lifestyle & Provide For Your Family

It’s Time To Execute! How’d You Like To Know Exactly What To Do To Create A Web Business? Provide for your family by learning how to build a real business online. Learn how to:

Know What To Do And What NOT To Do
Don’t spend years building a Web business that won’t work. Learn how to build it the right way. Learn how to build something that lasts and provides for your family for generations.

13-Reasons You’re Not As Successful As You Should Be
So why is everyone else rich and you’re not? Ever ask yourself that question? Find out the 13 reasons that are stopping you from having the life and business that you want. I’m warning you. It’s not going to be easy to hear, but it may kick your butt into action.

Exactly How Do People Make Money On The Web
The Internet has made millionaires out of millions of people. Real, regular people with skills and knowledge about any topic who use the power of the Web to build a legitimate and long-lasting online business. Want to know how?

Ducttape Marketing Guy Wants You To Make Work Worth It (podcast)

I recently had the chance to interview the great John Jantsch, aka Ducttape Marketing guy, to talk about his new book The Commitment Engine. Below is the podcast interview. This is John’s third book, and I look forward to reading it. His first two books, are books I have read and I highly recommend. So much so I’ve made video reviews of the both, that can be found on each respective Amazon page.

So what will you learn from listening to John today? Well, how about how to build a successful and powerful brand that can make you millions? You’ll also learn how to find out how to find the “why” in your life, which comes in useful if you’re trying to decide what type of business you want to be in.

Look, John is a mega-successful speaker and businessman. This interview is solid-gold in terms of information that will help you succeed. Get inspired by listening to John, I do every day. Oh, and grab his new book and get some bonuses here.

Videos For Business – Explainer Videos

Stop, before you read… a bribe. Go ahead and share my new company FunnerVids to your social network here, and get free access to my Online Video Toolkit 2.0 product ($99 value). Share it here.

As I wrote in my HuffingtonPost piece a bit ago, explainer videos are the new infographics.

Yes, infographics are usually very interesting, which makes them shareable, which is the holy grail of every content marketer’s dreams. Smart marketers and content creators make branded infographics that contain links or calls to actions back to their websites. As those infographics get shared naturally, so does their brand message and the opportunity for viral growth.

But what infographics can’t do is entertain, or explain in a way that a video does. Videos have the unique ability to not only visualize a message, but also add entertaining motion effects and sound; creating a much more powerful effect on the message delivered.

The time has come to take the world of infographics to the next level: video. Or as some are calling them, explainer videos. Explainer videos are short, actionable and instructive videos that businesses use to quickly explain what it is they do, and how they can solve their customer’s biggest problems.

Below is the intro video for the company I started called FunnerVids.com. Funnervids makes fun, inexpensive, animated business explainer videos that will wow your customers, all for the low fee of $999. Want to know more? Visit the site, or even better, watch the video below.

[leadplayer_vid id=”50649908EB85E”]

Here are some other explainer videos that you will like.

[leadplayer_vid id=”506499C926EA9″] [leadplayer_vid id=”506499FFAD42B”]
1 2 3 113