Why The Inability to BS One-Self is The Most Valuable Asset an Entrepreneur Can Own!

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We, collectively as a species, have an infinite capacity for self-deception. I think Einstein said that… not sure, didn’t look it up, don’t care… IT’S TRUE!Continue Reading

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If You Change Your Words, You Change Your World

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Writing and producing compelling, persuading and entertaining content is what I enjoy doing the most in my business …the thing is… it is also what most people, businesses and projects are in desperate need of, but guess what… Most don’t even know it!

Most businesses downplay or outright ignore message strategy altogether, instead they focus on what I call “tactical beauty”, which is usually devoid of any real thinking or client-centric strategy.

The power of your words, when properly and effectively applied, engage both the conscious and the subconscious mind. Meaning that a properly crafted and positioned message, with a strong value prop, targeted to the right audience will have an effect at different levels of someone’s psyche, which will usually prompt them to take action.

Just remember, before you touch the brain you must touch the heart! …Also, don’t forget, if your product, service or you SUCK …it won’t matter what words you choose!

To illustrate just how important it is for you to shift your thinking on this topic, here’s a video I usually point customers, clients and prospects to in order to describe not only what I do, but the mindset they must have when it comes to creating content and copy for their businesses and organizations… Enjoy!

Stay sharp and fired up 🙂

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Aligning Healthcare Providers and Patients

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The secret to better care in hospitals is about aligning providers to patients. The question of course, is how?  The way we do it is by creating an immersive environment based upon data. The end result is that people change. The ideas that surround them, help connect people in a deep, emotional way. –@gapingvoid

What I love about this idea, what I find powerful about it… is that it’s premised on the belief that “people change”.

If you’ve spent any time in the healthcare trenches you instinctively know this is a novel concept.

Why? Because the level of bureaucracy, cynicism, and apathy in healthcare is the highest of any industry.

Healthcare is in dire need of change, specifically a culture change. No wonder listening to the guys from

No wonder listening to the guys from healthUX @gapingvoid lead the conversation with empathy, better experiences, and deeper connections between healthcare providers and patients fills you with hope and wonder about the future in this space.

The good people in the industry need to hear this, they need to feel the energy around it if they want a change in culture.

The focus must be on the people with the right attitude and on patients and their families!

 

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What You Need To Know To Market Your Business in 2016

whyareyoumarketing like isYou hear the buzz, people talking, you see it online, read it on magazines, it’s everywhere!

Everyone is telling you to look into social media for your business!

But the information is overwhelming, plus you wonder, does it really work?

You may be thinking, “I’m financial planner, a dentist, a retailer… I’m not a marketer or a media company, plus my patients are not online anyway!”

I understand, I do… But listen, don’t be the guy that bought 500 horses in 1907… Why?

Because the Model T made its debut in 1908 with a purchase price of $825.00. Over ten thousand were sold in its first year, establishing a new record. Four years later the price dropped to $575.00 and sales soared. By 1914, Ford could claim a 48% share of the automobile market.

…and you are stuck with 900 ponies at an Avg price of $300 a piece …and guess what!!? You lost!

Don’t be that guy …bet on the future, bet on progress, especially when your business, your life, depends on it!

So here’s what you need to know first before you do something about it:

  • You are not what you do, today you are a media/marketing company first, then you are everything you went to school for!
  • Produce content in the right context in any form that provides value, answers questions, and solves problems for the people that pay you for what you do or sell.
  • Educate yourself when it comes to marketing your specific business online …the information is out there, make the time!
  • Today the market decides how good, and therefore how valuable you are. Your income will reflect your value in the marketplace.
  • Respect people’s time above everything else.
  • Learn to engage with millennials and centennials (boomers, it just rhymed!), they have the man and the purchasing power.
  • The number one thing you are competing for along with everyone else is one and one thing only: Attention
  • Mobile phone screens are where the attention is. Phones are the gateway to people’s minds, hearts, and pubic areas. Make sure you show up on people’s phone in the context of all 3, or at least 2 of the 3.
  • You need to have an effective presence on at least 3-4 of these social channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest, Medium, Anchor …and be on the lookout for new platforms. Learn the user psychology of each of these.
  • You need to start telling stories in video micro-segments that lead to bigger micro-segments…
  • You must have a website that does only 3 things: educates/informs and offers solutions to problems – collects emails (builds an email list) – and generates leads and sales.
  • Get out of your office and go meet new people.
  • Orchestrate an organized referral process with your existing customer base.
  • If Amazon sells what you sell, get rid off your inventory and find something else to do! I’m serious…
  • Start using video and voice in your business. Look at FB video, Instagram, Snapchat, all have newly minted video functionality …start using them, your clients are there!
  • Social Media is the internet today …don’t bet against the internet!

Let this sink in for a few days, then come back to it and start checking off what you are already doing versus what needs to be done, and get busy.

A few points to remember:

  • don’t get overwhelmed.
  • pick your sources of information and education well.
  • listen to everyone, but act on only a few.
  • stick to practical advice, learn, do, fail, learn, do, fail, learn, do, succeed.
  • productivity is key, be smart with your time.
  • social media is hard work.
  • In social media: strategy before tactical, always.
  • Don’t spam people.

This is broad I know …it’s a map, you can use it to get closer to the objective of using social media to promote your business for the benefit and in the context of your specific target market.

Rock on!

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How To Make The Most Of The New Year

new years resolution

-A brief guide on how to put true resolve behind your New Year’s resolution!

Can you guess what the failure rate for New Year resolutions is?

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of goodwill or self-improvement starting New Year’s Day.

We are all too familiar with some of these resolutions, for example:

  • Lose a few pounds
  • Start exercising
  • Improve mental well-being
  • Improve financial status
  • Self-improvement and personal development
  • Make new friends
  • Find that special person
  • Read more
  • Travel more, be more adventurous
  • Reduce stress
  • Make more money, save more money, spend less
  • Find a better job
  • Be more spiritual, find a connection with your creator
  • Give more, volunteer and be more philanthropic
  • Call your parents more often
  • Grow closer to your spouse and kids
  • Buy a pet
  • Get more clients and customers

This list can be as long as you have goals.

With deep religious origins, ancient civilizations were well versed in the practice.

Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year. The Romans began each year by making promises to the God Janus. In the Medieval era, knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year in order to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.

But don’t worry …they also broke promises and quit on their resolutions, just like we do!

Statistically, by January 15th ninety-five percent of people break, forget, or quit on their New Year’s resolutions.

But why?

We felt so committed to making changes. What made us walk away with such indifference just a few days later?

We’ve all done this, there’s no point in hiding or justifying it. There’s also no point in re-living it.

But, we need to first figure out why we failed in the past so that we know how not to blow it this New Year!

Here’s why we’ve failed in the past:

We weren’t asking the right questions!

Most of us, when faced with a challenge or goal, begin by asking a question …and it’s a good question, but it’s also a premature one!

What do I need to do? …to lose weight, to gain weight, to make more money, to be more social, to meet more people, to have the life I want.

We focus on the “What”. This is the wrong question, at absolutely the worse time!

In the quest for success at anything, you must first think strategically!

Here are the 3 key questions you need to be asking when looking to make changes:

  1. The “Who”
  2. The “Why”
  3. The “What”

In this order!

Who do I need to become?  In your mind, what do you aspire to be? … and start modeling that behavior even if you haven’t achieved the results you want. Find a role model, a mentor, or a powerful idea and start behaving congruently with that vision and in line with your newly created identity.

Why do I want to achieve this goal?  If you don’t have a strong reason to change or achieve “that” something in your life, you will quit at the first sign of push back, and believe me, life will push back! So the stronger your reasons to stay in the fight, the better your chances to not only survive but thrive in adversity. Find a powerful reason, a meaningful “Why” …and look at it every day!

What do I need to do?  Now it’s time to ask this question because your head’s in the right place! The first 2 questions get you in the right mindset. This question is about how to take massive action, set the parameters, figure out the tactics and the mechanics. What rituals and systems need to be in place for you to succeed? This question is about first organizing and then putting in the work and action that fuels your desire.

This 3 step formula has helped me achieve things in my life I never thought I could do. Now I’m passing it on.

I wish you Happy Holidays and a meaningful, permanent and successful New Year’s resolution!

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The Amazing Simple Secret To Attract Meaningful Clients

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-business-group-row-leader-open-hand-image37707187Aren’t you tired of living in obscurity and neglect? Watching other companies and people swipe the clients and customers you should be getting while you live your life wishing and wanting but never achieving?

I hate that feeling!

But look!  -You have to decide what kind of company you want to be.

I kept it simple, I want to inspire people. I want them to see their business in a brand new way …a better way, and I’m confident I can help!

If you are pitching someone who’s not inspired or doesn’t have enough imagination to be a better version of themselves with your help, then don’t take them as a client, don’t work with them!

What I want to share with you today will GUARANTEE you success IF you stick to just one basic rule.

This super-simple formula will allow you to build exactly the kind of business you dream of -with only the clients you envision working with -and to create the kind of business that will give you the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

Don’t you want to be in constant demand, be booked months in advanced, and have a waiting list of prospects turning down your competitors because they must see you?

If you like the sound of that, then you must do this:

MAKE YOURSELF WANTED, NEVER NEEDED!

Take a minute to reflect on this, because it’s either going to make total sense to you and hit you like a Mike Tyson right hook, or you won’t get it, and you will stop reading right here while you curse me and my entire family!

By the way…that would be a shame because I know you can make this work. But please do yourself a favor, KEEP READING.

You may say to yourself, but I already do that… I make myself EXTRA-wanted, and I say to you: NO YOU DON’T!

Thinking and wishing are not the same as working and getting results, the results you really, really want!

I don’t mean to come in like a bull in a china shop with this advice, and believe me I want you to make it out like a bandit at whatever you do, but it makes my blood boil when I see incredibly sharp and talented people choosing to work with clients that don’t appreciate them and are totally devoid of inspiration and creativity!

The money is almost always – NOT WORTH IT.

Are you still a doubting Thomas? -Let me prove it by asking you…

Why are you in business, most specifically, why do you offer the services or products you do?

Most people will answer:

Because I’m filling a need in the marketplace, people NEED what I have, I do a great job, I’m priced in the right range, and I’m unique in the way I deliver my product or service!

And this answer is also why most people are getting their ass kicked and on the road to oblivion.

oblivion: [uh-bliv-ee-uh n] – The state of being completely forgotten or unknown. The act or process of dying out; complete annihilation or extinction.

Think about it for a second. Haven’t the most important decisions, and by most important I mean the ones that have affected your life in the most profound way, been made out of wants more so than needs?

Think hard now and give me an honest effort! 🙂

  • Did you want or need to get married?
  • Did you want or need to drive the car of your dreams?
  • Did you want or need kids?
  • Does a woman need or desperately wants to make love to a man she secretly daydreams about?
  • Do you need or want to lose 40 pounds? The fact is that no one that says “I need to lose 40 pounds” actually does it. Only the ones that REALLY FREAKING WANT to change their lives for the better ACTUALLY do it!
  • Do you want or need to summit Everest?
  • Do you want or need to be an Olympian?

Need I go on?

So why don’t you stack the deck in your favor for once!

Everything that ignites a purpose-driven life and the ACTION that precedes is based on deep burning desires, not mere needs!

So I ask you once again.

How do you want the world to relate to you … via deep desire or basic need?

Do you want to be perceived as a mere need, a necessary evil, a reluctant obligation?

Or do you want to be seen as someone who people say:  “This is the guy I want to work with” “This is the company I want to be associated with” “These are the guys that get what I’m about”

I’m done here …anymore talking and I’ll come across as If I’m trying to convince you of inevitability (which is, you are great already! Just show me!), and like my grandfather used to tell me:

Don’t ever try to convince anyone of the inevitable, you’ll look like a jackass!  …Thanks Abuelo!

Oh, and just in case you are wondering how exactly you make yourself Wanted and not Needed, I’ll dive deeper on this topic soon!

Stay sharp and fired up 🙂

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The 3 Step High-Impact Customer Ad Formula

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Here’s one big business myth that’s pervasive both in the online and offline worlds:

We just need to get our name out there!

Not true today, it’s never been true, and it will never be true!

Your ad doesn’t need to get your name out, it needs to reel customers in.

Your content marketing and ads work only when they attract a targeted profile or customer you want to engage and sell your product or service to.

In order to make content marketing and advertising work, you need to know how both relate to each other, and what advertising really is: “Salesmanship in print

Here’s a 3 step high-impact customer ad formula:

Step 1 Make sure your headline is a total problem solver with a unique benefit. Keep it simple and focused on what they want to hear, touch and feel. Do not include your name or company info, nobody cares!

Step 2Do not mention the price. At this point they don’t want to be sold, in fact, NO ONE ever wants to be sold, but we do like to buy stuff don’t we! So appeal to the buyer in them, not the bargain hunter, keep price out of it, price is just a detail, not the deal itself.

Step 3Spend time working on your “Hook”. What is the one thing that YOU know they will react to? I know step 3 and Step 1 seem almost identical but they are not. The “Benefit” the “Offer”, the hook provides.

Everything we do online and offline needs to solve a problem, assuming your product is an awesome solution, just remember no one knows that yet!

They don’t know who you are, so the only way anyone is ever going to find out how awesome you are is by finding your copy more compelling than convincing and raising their hand to find out more.

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Stay focused :-)

 

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The Official Claudio Alegre Father’s Day Gift List

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A great father’s day gift is a combination of simplicity and careful pseudo-thoughtfulness. In the end it only needs to appeal to the lizard brain.

The criteria is simple:

Can I get instant gratification from it, does it temporarily fill the void of a much deeper and unknown desire, and can I and my ego bludgeon someone with it psychologically or physically …it doesn’t really matter which, either one will do!

Anyway hurry!  Because you only have today and tomorrow left to get him what’s on this list!

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled – If you are a rabid Marvel fan then here’s where you start. Own the collection, watch with the kids, by yourself, or make it a whole family affair and force your wife to share your fantasies 😉

Survival Life lifetime subscription – A man’s one stop shop to all things survival, outdoors, family protection, tools and survival disaster tips and programs. I spent most of my time in working with businesses in the digital world, Survival Life offers me an awesome pattern interrupt and totally different point of reference and a way to unplug.

The BBQ Briefcase – Impress you brother in law and friends! You will look like you know what you are doing with this BBQ set even if you can’t overcook a burger.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60 turntable – As a product of the 80’s I can’t just turn my back on throwback technology, even though I can’t live without my iphone, soundcloud, Pandora and the other 175 technologies I depend on to fulfill my existence and those of my clients!

Gopro Hero4 Silver – I just think this is freaking cool and I want it!

The 80/20 Individual: How to Build on the 20% of What You do Best – THE 80/20 INDIVIDUAL, Richard Koch reveals the secret of their success: they discovered what they do better than anyone else and rode it for all its worth. Love this concept, grab it! It’ll change his life!

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything – I am now convinced that the most resourceful, smartest, mentally diverse and coolest people in this planet are astronauts! This would be a great gift for father’s day …great inspiration for fixing things around the house, but don’t tell him that when you give it to him, and definitely don’t say it was me!

If some of these don’t find their way to him today or tomorrow, there’s always birthdays and X-mas!

Either way Happy Father’s Day, and give your Dad a big kiss. I know mine’s getting a huge one 🙂

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My Top Five Favorite Memorial Day Stories From Around the Web

Memorial Day - Venmark Media

Is remembering better than thanking?

Both are verbs so action is required, but which one would have more meaning for american servicemen and women and their families.

I don’t know, I’m not a soldier. I don’t know what is like to feel the pride of having served or the pain to having lost friends and family as a consequence.

This is my way of remembering, it’s also my way of thanking you.

Here are five posts that not only touched me but educated me on what the meaning of this day represents for so many of us!

Enjoy 🙂

Memorial Day 2015: The Real Story Behind the Holiday

I’m a Veteran and I Hate Happy Memorial Day, Here’s why

As Memorial Day Observations Decline in Popularity, Powerful Lessons Remain

A Day To Be With Family and Remember

The General Who Apologized To The Dead Soldiers

 

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Do You Focus On Client’s Negatives or Positive Solutions During a Presentation?

Positive Solutions Focus - Claudio Alegre

“If you’re pitching your product to corporates, should you highlight their negatives, such as bad reviews on TripAdvisor for a travel company, or focus on positive solutions in order to explain true product benefits?”

This was an actual question on Quora.com I bumped into this morning. I thought it was a terrific question by the way, one that will come up time and time again if you make presentations to sell your products or services.

Here’s my answer –

[ I would approach it from a general viewpoint, yet addressing the issue:

“…one of the many special benefits this “widget” provides is reducing the customer service calls turn-around-time. A huge and usually justified source of customer discontent in over 90% of companies in your industry. This is currently costing your peers over 1 Billion in repeat business. Whomever can fix this issue the fastest, will most likely emerge as the market leader”

I usually stay away from indirectly blaming or pointing sticky fingers to the very people I’m trying to sell my services to.

Beside, many times the real issue is not what they think it is anyway. Usually the issue they tell you they are having is a symptom of the real problem. So if they bring up their pseudo-problems to the table, sure address them in the same way, but be empathetic in your approach and believable in your solution regardless.

When you focus on commonalities, benefits and solutions you can bring your point across in a more constructive and in a “let’s-get-you-in-front-of-the-pack” kind of way. ]

What would your approach be?

Would you focus on positive solutions to make a sale or would you point out defects and weak links to sell such solutions?

 

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