How to Nearly Guarantee Your Success in 2017 | The Marketing Calendar

As a marketing expert, I get asked all the time – especially around the end of the year – “how can make my New Year even better than this past year?”

Although there are lots of tactical and strategic methods for accomplishing this, one specific strategic tool can [nearly] guarantee your success every year.

It’s called a Marketing Calendar.

In a nutshell, it’s the single most valuable time you spend ON your business each year.

The thing is, most businesses have no marketing calendar and make plans on desperation or who is trying to sell them the next “shiny object”. In fact, less than one percent of all businesses actually do it. And, those that do have a HUGE competitive advantage.

When you create your Marketing Calendar, be sure to devote specific uninterrupted time to create it. If you have a team, be sure to solicit information and/or help from key people you work with and agree on specific marketing initiatives that can be accomplished with specific deadlines.

In designing your Marketing Calendar, space out your marketing initiatives where your clients regularly hear from you on a consistent basis. Prior to each marketing initiative Continue reading

His Name Was Ramon | Celebrating EMP’s Anniversary

If you know anything about me, you know at least that I have been a student of Dan Kennedy for about 21 years now. I found Dan Kennedy’s book in a Buck-a-Book store in Boston, MA in 1993 and my life hasn’t been the same ever since.

Back in 2006, there was an announcement that GKIC (Glazer-Kennedy) was starting these local chapters around the country to share Dan Kennedy’s philosophy, meet like-minded entrepreneurs, and share ideas, and learn new cutting edge marketing strategies. I was VERY interested in starting a chapter, until….

Well, let’s just say the investment in a local chapter was more than what I was earning in a year at that time. I had lost a lot of money trying to invest in real estate foreclosures, and life was difficult at the time. I saw that the only local chapter of GKIC was down in Orange County – the far end of OC! So, each month I’d drive for an hour down to the meeting, spend two Continue reading

To Boston and Back In One Day? | Time to Reflect on Your Business

Imagine getting on a plane from LAX and flying nearly six hours to Boston to have lunch with your family for 3 hours at the airport, then hopping back on a plane flying nearly six hours back to LAX… all in one day.

That’s basically what I did this past Saturday, except I didn’t fly. I drove.

My father and step-mother had a wedding to attend in Santa Cruz this weekend and had invited us up to spend the weekend with them. Unfortunately, Mini-me had some ‘major’ commitments, and only I was available.

So, with a CD player filled with new Dan Kennedy CD’s (Seven Secrets to Mind-Control Copy and The Five Essential Copy Elements), I left bright and early on Saturday morning at 6am and drove “all the way” up to Santa Cruz, making it there just after Noon. Of course, I had to stop for a pee break. But, really… how long could that take?

Then, three hours later… because my parents had to get ready for the wedding at 4pm, I was back in my car headed back to Pasadena, re-listening to the same Dan Kennedy CD’s I listened to on the way up (which were VERY good, by the way).

I don’t know when the last time you drove up the middle of California in the Central Valley, but it’s a tad boring of a drive (to say the least). Farmland, as far as your eyes can see. Smelly cattle, as far as you can smell. Dust and bugs everywhere. Good times.

Other than visiting Boston this past August, I don’t get to see my family much. So, was it worth it? Absolutely… if only but for three short hours together.

Anyway… during my drive, I had lots of time to think about my business and the direction I’m heading towards in the future. Time alone, sometimes, without distraction is a very good thing. I don’t recall having that solitude anytime recently.

When was the last time YOU had some time to think about your business? Your goals? Your future? Your plan to get there?

Many get so caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of ‘doing’ their business that they forget what they’re really working for in the first place. It’s important for reflection, solitude, and planning of what you truly want in your life.

My drive up to Santa Cruz on a lovely Saturday – the equivalent of flying from LAX to Boston, having lunch, and hopping back on the plane back to LAX – was totally worth it because I got to do just that: Reflect deeply and passionately to make sure I’m headed in the direction of my greatest dreams and ambitions.

Make sure you have quiet time for yourself to reflect on what’s important, what you want, and how you plan on getting there. It’s critical for your continued success.

That’s it for today. Have a FANtastic day.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income in 2014 (and beyond!),

‘No BS’ Craig

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No BS Craig Valine Takes A Trip Back Home to Boston

As you may have heard, a close uncle of mine passed away recently and I had to go home back to Boston for the funeral.

The good thing about funerals is that you get to see family you haven’t seen in years. It’s unfortunate as to why we all get together. But it is fortunate in that it becomes somewhat of a family reunion.

Since Mini-me was on summer vacation and still had a few weeks left until school started, I took him back with me. We stayed at my step-father’s house in a little town I grew up in called, Hull. It has one of the most popular beaches around the Boston area called, Nantasket Beach.

When I grew up there we had an amusement park in the town called Paragon Park. The park was 80 years old when they finally tore down the rollercoaster. Boatloads of people used to travel over from Boston just to spend a day in our little town. It was crazy growing up there in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Hull is on a peninsula. It has Hull Bay on one side of it, and the Massachusetts Bay (the Atlantic Ocean) on the other side of it. My parents live on the Hull Bay side (pictured) and each and every morning I got to wake up to the beautiful site and smell of ocean. Despite being three hours ahead in Boston from my usual time here in California I rose up bright and early at 5:30am with my step-mother and the little kitten they just got who was pouncing above my head playing with the blinds. (Good times.)

My view each morning while I worked at the dining room table was gorgeous (Pictured). It was both distracting and peaceful. No stress whatsoever. Since my 73 y/o dad sleeps in until 9am and Mini-me sleeps in late anyway, all I experienced was just peace and quiet. Got to say, “#ineededthis.”

With the hectic nature of being an entrepreneur, do you make time for yourself to get some peace & quiet?

While we were visiting, Mini-me and I trekked into Boston via two buses and the MBTA Red Line train. It took almost an hour and half to get there. It’s funny, because we could see Boston from the deck of my dad’s house. But, because of public transportation—waiting for the buses and the trains, and making all the stops along the way, it took way longer than we wanted.

Nevertheless, we did make into downtown Boston and treated ourselves to a nice lunch at Quincy Market (aka “Faneuil Hall”). I knew exactly what Mini-me wanted: A nice fresh Lobster Roll with a side of Clam Chowdah. 🙂

Well, we walked through the Hall a few times and found a seat at a counter where they had really fresh seafood. We both had our Lobster Rolls and shared the Clam Chowder. It was “like coming home again.” 🙂 I missed that. It had been quite a while since I had “fresh” Lobster, and really good Clam Chowder.

When was the last time you treated yourself to something nice? A great restaurant? A great experience? When?

The week passed like that and it was almost time get ready to go home. The day before we were supposed to leave, something in Mini-me said, “I’m in the mood for a good hamburger.” So, knowing that there was a local celebrity-owned hamburger place a town away (“Wahlburgers”), we hopped on two buses again and made our way to get our hamburger.

You may or may not know that Mark Wahlberg, along with his brother Donny and another brother have capitalized on their celebrity with a reality show featuring this restaurant that we went to. So, luckily for us, we got there before the big rush to get a seat. But, we didn’t get there fast enough to order our hot, tasty burgers. It took almost 45 minutes to get my burger and onion rings, which were cold by the time I got them. The waitress was a little stand-offish and not very personable. The place was packed and chaotic—and I’ve gotta tell you… Not impressed.

So, my advice… if you go to Boston, don’t feel the need to check out Wahlburgers. It’s an over-sensationalized burger place with nothing really special about it. Heck, I could have saved two bus-rides and got bad service at Burger King. Geesh!

When was the last time you had such a great—or– lousy experience at a restaurant you just had to tell everyone about it?

It’s too bad. I wanted to enjoy it, but I could not.

Anyway… glad to be back home in Los Angeles.

After finishing some lead generation/funnel projects, I have a few openings to take on some new projects. If you would like to discuss how we might work together, please call my office (626) 507-8228 or send us an email at Info@EMPResults.com

Become the Instant Authority

It’s my birthday… well, almost. On Monday, May 12th… it’s my birthday.

And, in honor of my birthday, to celebrate I’m holding a birthday “Sale” of sorts.

Let me explain exactly what the heck I’m talking about.

Just about every person I meet who becomes an EMP member, a Mastermind member, a Coaching or Private Client… I recommend first and foremost that they write and publish a book to create ‘Instant Authority’ in their target market. A book, physical or in Kindle format, is by far one of the best tools to create instant authority, share your expertise, use as the ultimate lead generation magnet and selling tool, get media coverage and free publicity, and more!

So, because I just had this conversation THIS week with some folks I was presenting to, I thought I would create “The Instant Authority Blueprint” package in honor of my birthday. Afterall, 29 doesn’t come around too often. (Am I right? 🙂

And, let me tell ya…. this program is an absolute bargain!

Click here to watch a short video on how this program works.

Being able to tell people you’re the author of your own book will change the way people look at you. Just tell someone, “I’m an author. My book is on Amazon.com” and they say “Wow.” It’s kind of funny, actually. But it’s a common response that I always appreciate. My book has changed my business life – I have become an instant authority because of it… and it can do it for you too.

Click here to watch a short video on how this program works.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income in 2014 (and beyond!),

‘No BS’ Craig

P.S. You will create Instant Authority with your new book and by letting the world know You Are an Author. Click here to watch the brief video that describes some of the other great benefits that come along with this great birthday package.

P.P.S.  By the way, don’t forget to email me on Monday to say, “Happy Birthday! 🙂

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Success Is Hard (But it’s worth it!)

Almost two years ago I met my friend Michael Levine briefly at one of David Fagan’s events at his home in Ojai.

Michael, if you don’t know, is a best-selling author of 19 books (including Guerrilla P.R. 2.0 and Broken Windows. Broken Business), and he’s one of Hollywood’s top Celebrity Publicists and Media experts, representing superstars like Michael Jackson, Charlton Heston, Barbra Streisand, Michael J. Fox, Demi Moore, Dave Chappelle, Prince, Joan Rivers, David Brenner… just to name a few.

Growing up, he had a love for politics and celebrities. In his young adult life, it was leave New York City and either head to Washington, DC – or – head to Hollywood, CA. He started his P.R. firm in 1983 without a shred of experience or know-how, but was determined to make it in Hollywood. Because of that determination, he is one of the most well known Media Experts in the country.

When asked, “How did you get your first A-list client?” at a live event we both spoke at, his response was legendary… to me at least. (cont. below)

He said, “I’ll tell you… but you’re not going to like the answer.”

“Ready?….The answer is….SOMEHOW.”

“Somehow I got the first A-list client. Every front door, every back door, every side door, every window, every chimney… I was there.”

He said, “The great one’s always find a way….somehow.”

Shortly after I heard that, I sought him out via Facebook. We met for coffee and since then have become great friends. We literally talk on the phone and/or email several times a week. We have mutual respect for one another. But, every time we meet I learn a lot from his years 31 years of experience in Hollywood – and the interesting stories he tells so eloquently to make a point.

One time over dinner he shared his disgust over how “so many people are looking for the easy button, but they’ll never find it.”

He said, “There is NO easy button to success. Success is hard! But, it’s totally ‘F’n’ worth it.”

Michael has made it his mission to teach the lessons he’s learned from the Super-Successful people he’s worked with. His speech, “The Three O’s of Super-Successful People” inspires me to action each and every time I hear it. In fact, I’ve heard it so many times, I could probably give the speech myself.

If you have the mind and desire not only to be successful – but SUPER-successful, I have a special gift for you.

On our site at www.SuccessIsHard.com, I’d like to give you a Free Audio of Michael’s famous “Three O’s of Super-Successful People.” 

On these audios, you’ll hear:

  • “The Three O’s” of Super-Successful People
  • The Peculiar Similarity Between Super-Successful People and a Junkie Trying to Get His Next Fix
  • The Power of Paradox
  • Get it FREE today!

—> Click here to get access to your free audios 
These audios are not for the faint of heart. There is some explicit language (he’s from New York!) and there no ‘B.S.’ – he doesn’t let you get a way with a lot of excuses.

But, if you you’re determined to be the very best you can be in business and in life, then…

—> Click here to get access to your free audios 

That’s it for today. Have a SUPER-successful week.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income in 2014 (and beyond!),

‘No BS’ Craig

Register Pasadena

Which One Would You Choose?

Happy Tax Day!

Here’s a fun fact I bet you didn’t know:

In 2009, the IRS reported receiving 131,543,000 individual income tax returns. If each return were processed at the rate of one per minute (and that’s fast!), it would take more than 250 years for one person to do the job.

Interesting, eh? 🙂

I hope you’ve received help with your taxes – you know, from a Certified Tax Professional or CPA. But, let’s just say you did not yet and you’re looking for someone qualified and you type into Google, “Tax Preparation Services.” You click on the top two sites: (Two actual examples, by the way.)

The first site reads, “LA Tax Preparation Services. Knowledgeable About Federal, State County and City Tax Agencies. In Business for More than 10 Years. Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff. High-Quality Services. Call to schedule an appointment. (323)123-4567(323)123-4567

The second site says, “Free Consumers Guide Reveals: What Every California Resident Needs To Know Before You Ever Hire a Local Tax Preparer.”

Copy below it reads, “In this Free Guide, you will discover:

  • The Five Most Costly Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Tax Preparer
  • Four Myths and Errors that Cause Taxpayers Thousands of Dollars Each and Every Year and How to Avoid Them
  • Six Critical Characteristics You Should Demand From Your Tax Preparer
  • Five Simple Steps to Finding the Right Tax Professional For Your Unique Situations
  • The Three Different Types of Taxpayers: Which One are You?

Which one would you choose?

I think it’s obvious, but let’s just say why. Although the first example answers the call, “LA Tax Preparation Services”, and albeit done very poorly, it is trying to sell you on why should hire them on why they are the best Tax Preparer for your needs.

However, in the second example, it is educating you first. “…Before You Ever Hire a Local Tax Preparer”, you must know these things. This one says, “I’m looking out for you. Don’t get scammed. Don’t trust your taxes to just anybody.”

Does that make sense.

That’s the difference between ordinary businesses who don’t understand the power of lead generation – of the ‘Like, Know, and Trust’ Factor – and an extraordinary business of showing up like no one else.

This is the power of The Consumer Awareness Guide.

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

Have a FANtastic rest of your day.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income (and help you show up like no one else!),

‘No BS’ Craig

P.S. There’s a special Tax Day offer for you once you click on the link – but it’s only good until tonight at Midnight. So, if the above examples made sense to you, take action and let’s get started right away. If you think you’re already showing up like no one else, “good for you!” If not, what the heck are you waiting for?

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

Brochures don’t work like this does…

I get asked all the time – in fact, just over the weekend at Mini-me’s Track & Field event in Sherman Oaks:

“What’s the difference between a Consumer Awareness Guide and a brochure?”

There are many types of businesses that offer a brochure. You see in most publications and any classification, the ads generally will tell people to call for a free brochure. They all look alike. What this session talks about is a consumer awareness guide. If someone actually has in their ad to call for a free Consumer Awareness Guide, it differentiates them from everybody else.

The mere name “A Consumer’s Guide to _______” is different. It speaks to consumers and seems almost official. And instead of it sounding sales-like, it tells prospective clients something educational–you’re giving them information.

Why Brochures Don’t Work

The first thing is that they immediately yell out THIS IS A SALES MESSAGE. When someone thinks you’re trying to sell them something they’re much less receptive. Even if you have exactly what a prospect needs, if they think you’re a salesperson it will be difficult to get through to them. A brochure is immediately recognized as a sales message. It’s fancy, but it’s boring.

Also with brochures you can’t cheaply and easily change your messages. Fancy four-color brochures are usually very expensive. And normally you have to get at least 1,000 or so printed at once in order to even get a good cost. But then you have your money tied up in inventory. Things can change quickly in business. With a Consumer Guide, you can make those changes easily. Maybe you decide to offer a new service or discontinue a particular service. Or say you have a company brochure and you’ve got your whole staff listed on it. Then you decide to let someone go, and now you have a warehouse full with 10,000 brochures that are pretty obsolete.

You can’t change them easily without losing a lot of information.

Instead, have a printed device that you can easily change and that you can print in small quantities so that you don’t tie up a lot of money. Then you can redo it and update it whenever you need to. So that’s one benefit.

Another disadvantage of brochures is that you can’t cheaply test them.

Remember, you should always test, test, test everything that you do because then you know if it works or not. That’s the great thing about this type of marketing–everything can be tested without spending a lot of money. If you just go out and spend money on brochures you have to get a lot printed at once and then if it doesn’t work you’ve wasted a lot of money. If your letter or your consumer guide didn’t work as well as you like you can easily improve it. There’s no waste.

Consumers Guides and letters and Free Reports always get a better response.

The reason is that they look and feel personal. People think of Consumer Guides as personal and from an authoritative source, and they think of brochures as sales. They think of Consumer Guides as educational and brochures just giving a little bit of information about the company but really trying to sell them something.

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income in 2014 (and beyond!),

“No BS’ Craig

P.S.  If you think a Consumers Guide doesn’t apply to your business, just change “Consumers guide” with “<insert your target market> guide”.  For example, you might use “The Homeowners Guide to….”, or “The Pasadena Restaurant Owners Guide to….”, or “The Amateur Photographer’s Guide to….”, or “The Stay-at-Home Father’s Guide to….”. See how we adapt? It’s easy.

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

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Lead Generation Workshop

After three different conversations with members and friends this weekend about lead generation methods that bring you new customers/clients/patients, I want to throw an idea out to you and see if there’s interest.

It came up in discussion, “Craig, I’m not good at getting new business. I need to learn how to generate new qualified leads for my business, fast!”

So, based on that feedback from three different members, here’s my question for you:

If I were to host a small intimate workshop at my home on “Simple to Advanced Lead Generation Methods” early next week, would you be interested in attending?”

The fee would be nominal (as far as workshops go), but incredibly informative and useful for your business immediately.

I’m thinking off the top of my head, but topics I would address: Continue reading

Don’t Send Christmas Cards to Your Customers

Ok… before you reply with a ‘hate email’ let me be clear; I’m not telling you to stop sending out Christmas Cards to your loved ones and friends. I think you should continue to do that.

I’m telling you to STOP sending out Christmas cards to your Customers.

Here’s why:

Have you ever received a Christmas card in December from a business? Of course, you have received a bunch of these through the years -competing with personal Christmas cards from friends and family.

Are Christmas cards in December easy to ignore because most people get so many of them?

YES… But… Continue reading

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