2013 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Yearly Archives: 2013

The Hard Truth of Hanging Around Industry Rockstars

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.


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.