JT Ippolito

Multitrepreneur, Speaker, Media Disrupter, Consultant, 5 Time consecutive #1 international Author

JT Ippolito is the CEO and Founder of Media Marketing Management. He is a Multitrepreneur, Speaker, Media Disrupter, 4 Time #1 Best Selling Author, and  IT and Online Marketing Consultant.

His companies specialize in cross channel marketing that is designed to help companies increase their revenue with his proprietary ideas, tactics and strategies.

Because of the Irma and Texas emergencies

Because of Irma and Texas emergencies

I thought I would put together a list of cyber related and identity theft resources.

FILE A CYBER-RELATED REPORT OR COMPLAINT

Report a Missing, Abused or Sexually Exploited Child

File a cyber-related complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, (FTC) – Example: Identity Theft, SPAM, Online Scams and more.

File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – IC3 is sponsored by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.

IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION AND VICTIM ASSISTANCE

Obtain a Free Credit Report – Identify fraud early

Identity Theft Resource Center – Victim assistance at no charge to consumers throughout the United States

PROTECT CHILDREN AND TEENS ONLINE

Netsmartz – Age-appropriate resources to teach children how to be safer online and offline too. A program designed for parents, guardians, educators, law enforcement and children ages 5-17.

OnGuardOnline.gov – Cyber Security Education as a result of a partnership that includes the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

ONE-ON-ONE PHONE OR EMAIL ASSISTANCE FOR PRIVACY-RELATED ISSUES

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse – nonprofit consumer information and advocacy program – identity theft, data breaches, telemarketing, employment background checks, debt collection practices, social media, financial privacy, medical records, credit reporting etc.

Create your next great digital experience

Think about how we live. People don’t really “go online”
anymore. We just live our lives, and the online component is
part of that rich tapestry.

There’s an expectation of excellence about what we’ll find online, -- an anticipation of consistent delight. Users, both individual consumers and business users, assume that their online experiences will be rich, engaging, personal and available wherever they choose. They want an experience that delivers value and becomes a seamless extension of their lives.

When something interrupts that flow or fails to meet expectations, people notice. And, moreover, they act. Consumers share their disappointment within their immediate circle as well as with their social networks. And because there are typically multiple competitors, and the web enables easy portability, disappointed visitors often move on to other
sites or other businesses that better understand them, and anticipate and meet their expectations.

Delivering on these heightened expectations, and building the relationships that will enable those organizations to thrive, requires businesses to do more. To compete, businesses must pull together data to understand the needs of their clients, partners, citizens, and employees, engage the individual and their community and deliver
exceptional service while simplifying the experience
for their users.

Millennials: Time To Start A STartup

Millennials: Time to start a startup

Millennials: It’s time to start a small business. You know you want to be your own boss, and there’re lots of great small business ideas out there.

Millennials-those born between 1982 and the 2000s according to the Census Bureau — have good reasons to consider striking out on their own.     

Why? Because many Millennials came of age around the time of the Great Recession, when the economy fell off a cliff. They entered the job market when jobs were scarce, leading to lower pay and, often, less desirable jobs.

They also graduated from college with crushing student debt; according to Edvisors, in 2015, average student debt reached an all-time high of $35,000. 

All of this might not seem the best situation in which to become your own boss, but there’s good reason to bet on Millennial entrepreneurs.

They’re the first fully-digital generation, growing up alongside the Internet. They use social media like crazy, and they’re the ones most likely to be able to succeed at using the Internet to find customers or conduct a crowdfunding campaign to help get their companies funded. 

Millennials are young, enthusiastic, and energetic, and contrary to common perception, willing to work hard. Many do not yet have family obligations, giving them more time to devote to getting a company off the ground. And they want to align their careers with their values while still having flexibility in their own lives. 

That’s why certain types of small businesses are particularly well suited for Millennials: 

Socially responsible businesses. Many Millennials want their work to make a difference in the world, not just a difference in their bank account. Young entrepreneurs look at problems such as climate change, global poverty, hunger, and see opportunities to create sustainable businesses. For example, many startups have come up with innovative ideas for recycling waste into useful products, such as Hungry Harvest, founded by Millennials, which diverts “cosmetically challenged” fruit and vegetables from landfill and delivers them to customers’ doorsteps. It successfully pitched ABC’s Shark Tank in 2016.

 

Business ideas for the socially-conscious Millennial include developing vegan foods and meat replacements, selling alternative energy systems, distributing clean water systems in developing countries and building and manufacturing tiny houses for low-income people. To connect with others involved with socially-responsible business, check out organizations such as Conscious CapitalismSocial Venture Network,  and Business for Social Responsibility

Tech businesses. Millennial entrepreneurs are more likely than older business owners to gravitate toward tech businesses, according to Fundera, an online small business loan marketplace, especially in industries such as Ecommerce, online services, creative marketing, and electronics.

Good small business sectors for the techie Millennial include eCommerce sites for apparel, apps of all kinds, wearable tech, online marketing, and perhaps less sexy, but always in demand — IT support and consulting.

Businesses that allow flexibility. Millennials grew up with a mobile device in their pockets, so they expect to work where they want when they want. According to a study b Xero, the small business accounting software company, 79% of Millennial business owners say that having flexibility and work/life balance is how they measure the success of their company.  

Good business ideas for the Millennial who values flexibility include freelance jobs with repeat clients, such as web design, video production, social media consultant, crowdfunding consultant and copywriting. 

Existing businesses owned by Baby Boomers. The Boomers,  born after World War II and 1965, are near or beyond retirement age. If they own small businesses, they’d prefer to sell, not simply close up shop. Buying an existing business may offer many advantages over building one from the ground up, such as having an established customer base, a desirable location, an existing and proven product, a great team, and equipment or other physical assets. Couple these advantages with the fresh ideas and energy that you, as a Millennial, can bring, and that can be a recipe for success.    

9 Lessons From A Sales Expert: JT Ippolito

9 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from a Sales Expert JT Ippolito

Most aspiring entrepreneurs believe that a great idea alone will assure business success. Experts argue that it’s more important to have a great plan, and personal business acumen. Hardly anyone mentions selling principles. Yet in this age when customers have a thousand alternatives, and are overwhelmed by a multitude of messages, sales efforts can make or break a business.
In fact, I believe modern entrepreneurs need to be super salespeople, in the most positive sense, to their team as well as customers. My business pedigree is 40 years in sales leadership roles, and I was amazed at how many of my sales lessons are great lessons for new entrepreneurs as well.

Based on my many years of watching entrepreneurs struggle and too often fail, here are some of my key lessons for dedicated sales professionals that every entrepreneur should take to heart:

Focus on what customers want to buy, not what you want to sell. You can either find customers for your solution or you can find solutions for your customers. The smart answer is to find solutions your customers need. Putting all your effort into driving your favorite solution can lead to forgetting the problem being addressed in the first place.

Your first idea about where pain resides is nearly always wrong. Smart founders and smart salesmen look for customers with a painful problem, rather than pushing a nice-to-have solution. No pain usually means no sales. Then every startup has to learn to pivot, because their first understanding of the real problem is usually not quite right.

Your price and their value are not the same thing. Entrepreneurs set the price of their solution based on their costs, and their perception of value. Customers set value based on similar products found. For example, with smartphone apps, most are free. Thus, no matter what your value, it’s hard to build an app business that makes money today.

You and the customer have to be on the same side. Too many entrepreneurs, especially ones with work-at-home schemes and multi-level marketing, believe that someone has to lose to help them win. Like many salespeople, they see themselves as hunters. With the best solutions, the customer gets value that exceeds your revenue.

You are not the servant of your customer. At the same time, every customer isn’t always right. Entrepreneurs need to be customer advocates, but not a slave to their every whim. Businesses must part quickly with low-profit or abusive customers to focus on those who deliver greater return, and appreciate the value their solution provides.

Proactively look for problems, rather than react only. In every new business, as in every sales territory, problems happen. Reacting to a customer crisis is always more expensive to recover than to view a problem brewing, and head it off with proper actions. That mentality has to be part of the culture of every startup team member from the start.

Make the tough decision rather than no decision. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to postpone decisions in tough situations in favor of more study. Yet, a startup image can be destroyed more quickly than a big auto company, by not taking action on a customer problem today. Salespeople alike, who won’t face their fears, lose in the long run.

Telling isn’t selling. A snappy presentation on your solution or startup is great, but it’s only half the battle. Entrepreneurs need to actively listen to customers, investors, and other constituents, just like salespeople need to listen before they talk. Push marketing doesn’t work well in today’s age of interactive networking and peer reviews.

People buy from people and companies they like. Entrepreneurs who fail to invest in establishing rapport with their customers will suffer the same consequences as salespeople who don’t put themselves in the shoes of their prospects. Through social media and customer interaction, you must convince customers that your culture matches theirs.

I espouse a selling success triangle of good techniques, behavior, and attitude to turn prospecting opportunities into business success and personal value. Again, these same attributes are equally relevant for an entrepreneur turning an idea into a business. So before you conclude that your technology alone will catapult you to riches, take a success lesson from some super salespeople who have learned the hard way.

8 Signs You Need To Get Out of Corporate Life

8 signs you need to get out of Corporate America

There are a lot of perks that come with working in corporate America: the pay is usually good, there are usually decent benefits, and sometimes you get to sit in beanbag chairs and get your workout in during your lunch break.

But there are also a ton of drawbacks. Here are 8 reasons you’re probably not well suited to the corporate climate and might consider getting out. You shouldn't necessarily quit and run off to join the circus, but, you know, start looking around for other opportunities.

1. You're not a natural brown noser.

Schmoozing is a requisite for the corporate world. Your talent and skills and the work you deliver—no matter how top notch—is not enough to get ahead. You could be by far the strongest link on the team and still get passed up for promotion in favor of some guy who just knows how to kiss butt. If you’re not the type to cultivate this skill, or you find the whole process abhorrent, maybe corporate is not for you.

2. Phonies make you sick.

Ever had a conversation with someone in the business world where you can tell they’re not really listening, not really there? Laughing at jokes like a zombie chorus when the jokes aren’t even funny? Coming out with lines that sound right out of an HR ad? Spewing corporatese left and right with no idea what they’re really trying to communicate? If you can’t handle a world of fake smiles and meaningless buzzwords anymore, just remember: it’s not you, it’s them.

3. You yearn to be in charge.

You’re not in the driver’s seat for your career—the corporation is. It will look after itself first and foremost: its own health, goals, longevity, and profit margin. If you want more control or agency in the way your career moves forward, try smaller businesses or other career avenues.

4. Benefits go bye-bye.

You used to get great perks and full benefits packages in corporate gigs. But nowadays, more companies are cutting costs by passing those costs on to their employees. Keeping their workers loyal, healthy, and happy is not as much of a priority anymore compared with profit margins and appeasing shareholders. You’re just a cog after all—and totally replaceable. If you want to be valued for your loyalty, maybe start looking elsewhere.

5. You're not into being cutthroat.

People are leaping over the backstabbed dead bodies of their colleagues to get ahead. And this type of behavior will always be rewarded. If you’re a bit too tenderhearted for this, then you should rethink where you’re working. Especially considering you’re not necessarily being rewarded for your talents.

6. It’s all about the money.

No one cares about you personally in a corporate job—and certainly not your partner, your aging parents, or your kids. No one really cares about making a difference or saving the world—despite what their commercials lead you to believe. What they care about is profit. That’s the bottom line. If you’re more altruistic, or just a little bit less profit-obsessed, maybe move along.

7. The hours are too much to handle.

It’s one thing putting in ridiculous hours for a job you really love, one that’s really doing something for your life and career goals, i.e. doing what you love. It’s another thing entirely to be slaving away nights, weekends, after hours, when you know you’re not personally valued and the work you’re doing isn’t making much of a difference in the world.

8. You’re too creative.

Never mind being too tenderhearted for the vicious Game-of-Thronesy work climates, you’re just too darned creative for the structure and the monotony of meetings and memos that comprise the corporate 9-to-5. Maybe you find yourself unable to focus on all the meaningless noise. Maybe you’re not productive on the normal daily schedule and work best from, say, noon to six. Maybe your brain works best in fits of productivity, with plenty of time to roam around and do other tasks in between, to rest your juices. Maybe you’d be much better off getting paid a higher amount per hour and working fewer hours. Maybe you just feel a cubicle is a cage for your brain. Maybe numbers aren’t your jam. And maybe, just maybe, you’re incredibly talented and need a bit of an unorthodox structure in a place that values your particular set of skills. Either way, you’re very likely to be stifled in the corporate world.

How To Know If You Should Start A Business in Your 60s

How To Know If You Should Start A Business In Your 60s

When you start a business, plenty of people will think you’re crazy, even if they don’t say it to your face. The fact you’re taking a risk and seizing an opportunity might make them both nervous and envious. But what if you start a business in your 60’s?  Tom Malone was thrown for a loop when a retired corporate executive he met with essentially told him he should be winding down and giving back, instead of gearing up.

“I was very proud of the new knowledge I was creating and disappointed that a friend not only couldn’t appreciate my hard work but thought anyone over 60 should be retiring to a life of leisure,” he says. “Not me, I thought! What I understood that he didn’t, was we have entered a long period of discontinuous, explosive change I call the ‘New Normal.’ Retirement may not be affordable or desirable for many people, especially given growing longevity.”

JT Ippolito is the author of the new book, “Encore Entrepreneurs: The Baby Boomer's Guide to Reinventing Your Life (The Reinvention of Your Business Pedigree).” He proceeded to do exactly what he recommends to readers. This included looking at five different, related business possibilities and choosing two to pursue: “New Normal” planning for individuals/couples between 50 and 80, and consulting for businesses and organizations that provide advice, goods, and services to people between 50 and 80.

He says there are three good reasons for starting a business:

  1. You simply cannot work for other people any longer.
  2. You need income in addition to your eventual retirement funding, whether or not you give up your current job or work.
  3. You are still very talented and energetic but are seen by others who could hire you as post-employment.

But he says there are also three good reasons not to go for it:

  1. You have too few years to financially recuperate from a loss; in other words, the risk is too great.
  2. You have no focused plan or intentions, therefore you are going away from something you dislike rather than going towards something you want.
  3. You have not done enough homework to accurately understand the market you are considering entering and how people currently build businesses and make money in it.

Ippolito believes that “best fit” is key to successfully starting a business. You need both aptitude and ability to create the best fit, he says. If one is lacking, the business is not likely to work. As an example, he says he’s a great cook but doesn’t want to do it anymore. Opening a restaurant or catering business would not be the best fit for him.

As longevity increases and our economic security becomes less and less certain, we will likely see an increase in businesses started by those in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or even later. Older entrepreneurs may enjoy benefits younger workers lack. Ippolito pointed out several of these, including supplemental income from Social Security or retirement savings, less worry about risk or family life than younger workers, and perhaps most important of all, experience.

Getting Started

What’s stopping you from starting a business? There are plenty of experts who can help you evaluate your idea and take the necessary steps to get started. 

It’s especially important to understand the financial reality of launching a business and keeping it going. “The average person doesn’t have great financial analysis skills,” Ippolito observes. “If you’re going to start a business, don’t neglect your education in this area.”

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) around the country offer free and low-cost consulting and training to help you fill in knowledge gaps as you get started. An accounting professional can also be invaluable. Ippolito sought out a CPA firm with experience working with clients running virtual organizations. He hired them to review his financial projections. “I wasn’t looking for them to approve or disapprove (my business plan)” he says. “I wanted them to critique my planning and make it smarter.”

Also, the key to launching a business later in life is an exit plan. Though you may think you want to run your business as long as you can, Ippolito recommends creating different exit strategies up front. Questions to ask yourself:

  • How long do you want to do this and what happens when you don’t want to do it anymore?
  • If you have a spouse or partner, how do they feel about you devoting major energy to the business? How long can they participate or be supportive?
  • What happens if you get sick and are no longer able to work in your business?
  • Is there a family member or employee who would eventually like to take over the business?
  • Will you sell it? If so, how? And when?

With research and experience, you may be able to create something even better than you’d hoped.

Ippolito, who had a successful corporate career before becoming a several-decade entrepreneur, has built a team of capable, motivated, project-based freelancers in specific areas such as website development, social media, sales, and communications. He’s been surprised by how much he now enjoys not just the work he does, but also being CEO of the virtual organization he’s created. 

If you’re thinking about starting a business, don’t let age stop you. “Contrary to popular perception, entrepreneurship is not exclusive to the young and hip,” wrote Ippolito in his book. “Entrepreneurs of all ages start businesses and create economic opportunity for themselves and others.”  

Encore Entrepreneurs: The Baby Boomer's Guide to Reinventing Your Life (The Reinvention of Your Business Pedigree)  http://ow.ly/8in630eenpO

What You Should Know About Retiring In A Foreign Country

What you should know about retiring in a foreign country

More people are choosing to spend their retirement years abroad, with over half a million Americans collecting their Social Security benefits in different countries around the world, recent federal data shows.

Many retirees decide to leave the U.S. for reasons like a lower cost of living and the ability to be immersed in a different culture. Some of the most popular destinations for U.S. expats retiring abroad include Mexico, Canada , and the United Kingdom. Factors including proximity to the U.S. and ease of language, in addition to friendly relations with those countries, make these locations attractive.

Health Care

How will you handle health care and insurance abroad? Medicare can be maintained while you are out of the U.S., but it generally doesn't cover the cost of any health care received while you're abroad. The upside is that certain kinds of medical care, such as elective surgeries and dental care, is often cheaper in other countries, even for high-quality services. (just ask the thousands of "medical tourists" going abroad every year.)

If you decide to forego Medicare coverage, you should check that your adopted country offers access to insurance, or at least affordable out-of-pocket care, and factor the costs into your budget.   

Retirement Benefits

Make sure you can receive Social Security payments in your chosen country. There are some countries where the U.S. government will not send Social Security payments, either due to sanctions or because the banking system is not sufficiently developed or secure.

Also understand the tax implications: The U.S. has friendly tax treaties with many nations in terms of retirement-related investment accounts, such 401(k) plans, but it is case-by-case. 

"You will always be liable for U.S. income tax, and may need to pay extra tax overseas, depending on the tax treaty," said independent financial planner Hui-chin Chen. "Also, you may need to make extra filings to declare your foreign assets or accounts if you move funds abroad."

Another potential pitfall: If you decide to move money into a foreign banking system, it will need to be reported. U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required to fill out a separate form declaring the amount of money in foreign bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds or other financial accounts if the value exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, or if the person has financial interest in more than one account.

"If you move overseas, you have to clear your bank or custodian on board with the fact that you don't have a U.S. address," JT Ippolito told CBS MoneyWatch. "In some cases, people can establish a P.O. box in the states which might work for this purpose, but you have to see if that's an issue for your taxes."  

Encore Entrepreneurs: The Baby Boomer's Guide to Reinventing Your Life (The Reinvention of Your Business Pedigree)

Always $.99 to give back to others.

It's time for you to take back control of your life. You don't have to keep working in the same job that you hate. This book especially is for baby boomers who have lost their jobs due to this crazy economy, who hate their jobs, or who simply want to reinvent themselves and move forward in a positive and prosperous direction, finding the dream you've always wanted instead of the rut you ended up in.

http://ow.ly/8in630eenpO

IBM’s foray into autonomous car design focuses on people with disabilities.

WOW A Game Changer Watch my review from inside Ollie at Sync Media Network's Youtube channel https://youtu.be/jGc5Azhzyqk

IBM’s foray into autonomous car design focuses on people with disabilities.

The technology company last year unveiled its Watson-powered self-driving shuttle, called Olli. Sachin Lulla, global vice president for automotive strategy and solutions leader at IBM, said it’s an example of the company’s focus on providing personalized experiences for those who may otherwise struggle to drive.

IBM’s foray into autonomous car design focuses on people with disabilities.

The technology company last year unveiled its Watson-powered self-driving shuttle, called Olli. Sachin Lulla, global vice president for automotive strategy and solutions leader at IBM, said it’s an example of the company’s focus on providing personalized experiences for those who may otherwise struggle to drive.

Passengers can also ask Olli for recommendations on local destinations such as popular restaurants or points of interest.

“It’s about mass personalization,” Lulla said. “We have to cater to everyone’s personal preferences.”

IBM launched Olli in Washington, D.C., in June 2016 and has expanded it to Miami and Las Vegas. It can seat 12 passengers and does not include a driver. IBM said it’s the first vehicle to use the cloud-based cognitive computing capability of IBM’s Watson Internet of Things.

Lulla said shuttles are 3-D printed in 10 hours, in partnership with Local Motors. By next year, he said the vehicles will take just three hours to print. It can easily be configured for taxi companies, corporate campuses or other uses.

“The advancements we’ve made in material science help us meet the expectations our consumers have,” he said. “They want things now, or at least in a matter of days. It’s no longer about five-year vehicle cycles.”

Invisible Eyes (Your Eyes Are Looking At You)

We no longer look at images–images look at us. They no longer simply represent things, but actively intervene in everyday life. We must begin to understand these changes if we are to challenge the exceptional forms of power flowing through the invisible visual culture that we find ourselves enmeshed within.

OUR eyes are fleshy things, and for most of human history, our visual culture has also been made of fleshy things. The history of images is a history of pigments and dyes, oils, acrylics, silver nitrate, and gelatin–materials that one could use to paint a cave, a church, or a canvas. One could use them to make a photograph or to print pictures on the pages of a magazine. The advent of screen-based media in the latter half of the 20th century wasn’t so different: cathode ray tubes and liquid crystal displays emitted light at frequencies our eyes perceive as color, and densities we perceive as shape. 

We’ve gotten pretty good at understanding the vagaries of human vision; the serpentine ways in which images infiltrate and influence culture, their tenuous relationships to everyday life and truth, the means by which they’re harnessed to serve–and resist–power. The theoretical concepts we use to analyze classical visual culture are robust: representation, meaning, spectacle, semiosis, mimesis, and all the rest. For centuries these concepts have helped us to navigate the workings of classical visual culture.

But over the last decade or so, something dramatic has happened. Visual culture has changed form. It has become detached from human eyes and has largely become invisible. Human visual culture has become a special case of vision, an exception to the rule. The overwhelming majority of images are now made by machines for other machines, with humans rarely in the loop. The advent of machine-to-machine seeing has been barely noticed at large, and poorly understood by those of us who’ve begun to notice the tectonic shift invisibly taking place before our very eyes.

This invisible visual culture isn’t just confined to industrial operations, law enforcement, and “smart” cities, but extends far into what we’d otherwise–and somewhat naively–think of as human-to-human visual culture. I’m referring here to the trillions of images that humans share on digital platforms–ones that at first glance seem to be made by humans for other humans.

On its surface, a platform like Facebook seems analogous to the musty glue-bound photo albums of postwar America. We “share” pictures on the Internet and see how many people “like” them and redistribute them. In the old days, people carried around pictures of their children in wallets and purses, showed them to friends and acquaintances, and set up slideshows of family vacations. What could be more human than a desire to show off one’s children? Interfaces designed for digital image-sharing largely parrot these forms, creating “albums” for selfies, baby pictures, cats, and travel photos.

But the analogy is deeply misleading because something completely different happens when you share a picture on Facebook than when you bore your neighbors with projected slide shows. When you put an image on Facebook or other social media, you’re feeding an array of immensely powerful artificial intelligence systems information about how to identify people and how to recognize places and objects, habits and preferences, race, class, and gender identifications, economic statuses, and much more.

Regardless of whether a human subject actually sees any of the 2 billion photographs uploaded daily to Facebook-controlled platforms, the photographs on social media are scrutinized by neural networks with a degree of attention that would make even the most steadfast art historian blush. Facebook’s “DeepFace” algorithm, developed in 2014 and deployed in 2015, produces three-dimensional abstractions of individuals’ faces and uses a neural network that achieves over 97 percent accuracy at identifying individuals– a percentage comparable to what a human can achieve, ignoring for a second that no human can recall the faces of billions of people.

There are many others: Facebook’s “DeepMask” and Google’s TensorFlow identify people, places, objects, locations, emotions, gestures, faces, genders, economic statuses, relationships, and much more.As governments seek out new sources of revenue in an era of downsizing, and as capital searches out new domains of everyday life to bring into its sphere, the ability to use automated imaging and sensing to extract wealth from smaller and smaller slices of everyday life is irresistible. It’s easy to imagine, for example, an AI algorithm on Facebook noticing an underage woman drinking beer in a photograph from a party. That information is sent to the woman’s auto insurance provider, who subscribes to a Facebook program designed to provide this kind of data to credit agencies, health insurers, advertisers, tax officials, and the police. Her auto insurance premium is adjusted accordingly. A second algorithm combs through her past looking for similar misbehavior that the parent company might profit from. In the classical world of human-human visual culture, the photograph responsible for so much trouble would have been consigned to a shoebox to collect dust and be forgotten. In the machine-machine visual landscape the photograph never goes away. It becomes an active participant in the modulations of her life, with long-term consequences.

Smaller and smaller moments of human life are being transformed into capital, whether it’s the ability to automatically scan thousands of cars for outstanding court fees, or a moment of recklessness captured from a photograph uploaded to the Internet. Your health insurance will be modulated by the baby pictures your parents uploaded of you without your consent. The level of police scrutiny you receive will be guided by your “pattern of life” signature.

3 Biggest Guesses Entrepreneurs Make

GUESS #1

Your Market

“I think it’s a good market...I’ve done the research.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this...

And it turns out that the market they’ve chosen isn’t as passionate or as lucrative as they originally thought.

GUESS #2

Your Copy

When you sit down to write your website copy, do you write what you think people want to hear?

Do you know the exact words your customer uses to describe their problem? Do you know the exact situation they’re in and how they talk about it?

Do you know what will make them push that buy button (or not)...or are you just guessing?

GUESS #3

Your Product

Conventional marketing wisdom says that 1% of your traffic should convert to customers. 2% is great. 5% is amazing.

The question is, WHY do we simply accept that the vast majority of our website visitors are not going to buy?

When we know exactly what our customers want and precisely how to give it to them, based on their exact situation... we drastically change how we find traffic and convert visitors into lifelong customers.

Dream Big.

Dream big. My fellow marketers, you CAN move up the food chain of bigger business. I can show you how. Women entrepreneurs/Men entrepreneurs
35 years software sales for IBM, Xerox, AT&T, NEC and my own marketing and consulting businesses since 2005.  Set a discovery call

What I tell my corporate clients and you should be telling your clients.

What I tell my corporate clients and you should be telling your clients.

Marketers also often feel pressure to measure too many things at once, which makes it difficult to determine where to focus. Instead of wasting time gathering “number of” metrics (number of Twitter followers, the number of clicks, number of Facebook likes), start looking at the big picture.

This means tying marketing campaigns and activities to key organizational goals, like increasing revenue through customer acquisition or growth in wallet share of existing customers. A new follower or like won’t tell you much about people’s purchase behavior, but their downloading a video or requesting a free trial might. These are the metrics you want to be paying more attention to in order to assess whether marketing efforts are moving the business in the right direction.

Understanding which customers are most profitable will also help to focus targeted marketing efforts. The more clearly marketers can identify customer personas and journeys, the easier it will be to track the effectiveness of their targeting. The right metrics, such as calculating the potential lifetime value of various customers, can help you differentiate who is most likely to be profitable over the long term.

While the responsibility for developing effective marketing metrics belongs to the CMO and marketing team, it’s really up to senior management to challenge marketers on answers that don’t make sense, or worse, are tied to the wrong questions. Don’t just ask: How are we doing? Ask: Why is it important that we track this? What do we learn from this metric? What else should we be looking at?

What is a Strategic Adviser

What Is a Strategic Adviser?

A strategic adviser guides work, rather than executing it. Think of the position as someone who tells you what to do rather than doing it himself. Strategy is the creation of goals and how to get there, while tactics are the tools you use to do the job. A career as a strategic adviser is consulting in nature, requiring expert skills and knowledge to advise companies on what they need to do and how to do it.

Strategy vs. Tactics

People often use the words “strategy” and “tactics” interchangeably, but they are two different tools for business. Strategy is the “what,” while tactics refer to the “how.” For example, a business might decide on a strategy of increasing sales of its low-margin products. Tactics might include selling the product in big box stores instead of boutiques, changing the packaging or selling it online. A strategic adviser’s primary goal is to help companies plan specific strategies to fix problems or create opportunities. The plan includes deploying tactics to do so, but the adviser’s main goal is to make sure the company starts out on the right path, identifying realistic problems and pursuing attainable opportunities.

Planning

Strategic advisers research and assess the performance of a business or department to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This usually involves reading financial and production reports, interviewing key personnel and evaluating the competition. The adviser might interview customers, potential customers, and vendors. Once the adviser has gathered this information, she can identify specific problems or opportunities and develop plans to solve or take advantage of them. A business might have several strategies it can follow to achieve its goal, but a strategic advisor will choose the one with the biggest likelihood of success, based on objective data.

Tactical Development

Strategic advisers often help to execute suggested tactics that support a strategy. At some companies, a consultant’s report identifying strategies and recommending tactics might be enough for the company to use by itself. In other instances, an adviser brings enough valuable experience that he is hired for a second phase of work to help execute his recommendations. While the consultant doesn’t do the work himself, he’ll meet with key personnel, give them tasks, train them and monitor their work. For example, a strategic adviser might identify that sales are down because customers aren’t getting products in a timely manner. This is because of the accounting department taking too much time to process orders. The adviser might then identify ways to shorten invoice processing time.

Support

After an adviser gives a detailed how-to plan to a business, she might remain on board to monitor, track and support the new initiative. Just because you tell someone what to do doesn’t mean he can do it. An adviser might have industry contacts, methods of doing things and the ability to spot problems, bringing value to companies that are executing new strategic initiatives. If an adviser finds that a clothing company is losing sales among female customers, she might suggest the company target young, single females or married women with children. Using her industry contacts, she might suggest designers and manufacturers who specialize in this type of clothing and help negotiate contracts and develop sales promotions for the new line.

How To Select a Strategic Advisor, Business Coach or Consultant

Congratulations on starting your search for a strategic advisor/business coach/consultant! There are many strategic advisors to choose from, so it helps to have clarity about what you're looking for in an advisor.

Here are 15 tips to get you started:

  1. Start with their knowledge level. Small business coaching and consulting are skills, and it takes a lot of education and practice to master them. Because small business consulting and coaching are not regulated industries, anyone can call themselves a coach, whether they've been trained or not. By selecting someone who has attended and graduated from a recognized coaching school, and choosing someone with several years' experience as a consultant, you have more assurance that they are skilled and knowledgeable. After all, part of what you're paying for is the ability to pick their brains and learn from them.
  2. Select someone who has experience, both as a coach and as a business owner. How long have they been a strategic advisor or consultant? How long have they been a  business owner? How many businesses have they owned in the past? How many clients have they worked with and in how many industries  Look for someone with a wide breadth of experience so you know they can handle your unique situation.
  3. Select someone who has experience, both as a strategic advisor and as a business owner. How long have they been a strategic advisor, business coach or consultant? How long have they been a business owner? How many businesses have they owned in the past? How many clients have they worked with and in how many industries  Look for someone with a wide breadth of experience so you know they can handle your unique situation.
  4. Know the size of your business and select a coach accordingly. Some business coaches specialize in coaching business executives with more than 100 employees, while others specialize in coaching business owners and solo entrepreneurs. Read through the coach's materials carefully to see if they indicate what size business their client's typically own and run.
  5. Choose a consultant who has both business skills as well as coaching skills. Coaching is all about getting unstuck, taking action, living to your potential, and managing your time. Consulting is about brainstorming and getting advice so you can create a solid business and marketing model, and implement a powerful action plan. As a small business owner, you know how important it is to have marketing skills, business strategy and planning skills, and good time management. A strategic advisor does all of the above but does not implement. If you need help in any specific business skill, make sure your coach is an expert in that area, so that he or she can not only coach you but can advise and teach you as well. You'll want someone with both skill sets.
  6. Continuous learning: In addition to learning new strategies, does the advisor continue to learn new business skills as well?
  7. Check the testimonials: Are the advisor's other clients similar to you? Does the advbisor have much experience working with business owners like you, in the industry you are in? (Note: Beware of unsigned testimonials. Look for the name of the client and the client's company name.) 
  8. Expert status: Does the business strategic advisor speak, write and teach on business topics? Is he or she a known expert in their field? Is the strategic advisor an expert on business topics: marketing (both traditional and internet marketing), customer service, strategic planning, financial planning, etc.?
  9. Additional offerings: In addition to strategic advising, does the coach offer other products or services, like books, audio programs, or classes?
  10. Free consultation: Does the strategic advisor offer a free initial consultation, so that you can get to know one another and see if there is a good fit between what you need and what your coach can offer?
  11. Good fit: After your initial consultation, do you feel that it's a good fit, personality-wise? Do you feel positive after speaking with them, or dragged down? If you are an energetic person and the strategic advisor is quiet (or vice versa), is that a good match? Do you feel you can trust the strategic advisor and have a good rapport with him/her? Do you enjoy their company? (You're going to be spending a lot of time together, after all.)
  12. Who you'll work with: Will you work directly with the strategic advisor in the business, or are there a team of strategic advisors who subcontract for the main strategic advisor? You want to know exactly who you'll be working with so you don't end up with a strategic advisor whom you've never spoken to and/or who you don't know their skills, knowledge, and experience (or if it's a good fit, personality-wise).
  13. Prompting insights: Does the strategic advisor ask you a lot of questions that give you "a-ha" moments of insight and growth? Part of a strategic advisor's job is to help you understand yourself, what you want from your business, and where you may be sabotaging your own success.
  14. Challenging: Does the strategic advisor challenge you to step up to your greatness, to be accountable for getting things done? Or does the coach let you get away with being less than you want to be?
  15. Availability: Is the strategic advisor available to work with you, when you want and as often as you want? Some strategic advisors only have daytime hours, while others only work evenings and weekends. Is the strategic advisor available via email between scheduled sessions?
  16. Fees and programs: Does the strategic advisor discuss their fees with you clearly? Are you clear about what you'll get for the price you'll pay?

Choosing the right Strategic Advisor for you will lead to a productive and inspiring relationship. Take your time and do your homework, and you'll certainly find the right coach for you.

Internet Marketing Strategist

Internet Marketing Consulting

Many small business owners fail with their online marketing efforts because they fail to create a cohesive, integrated plan or they fail to properly implement the plans they have.

Having an integrated and cohesive marketing plan allows each marketing technique to support the others, thereby creating a synergy of branding and growth for your business.

Internet Marketing Consulting can include:

  • Plan for a new website or a face-lift for an existing site
  • Determine why your website is not bringing in business
  • Discuss the use of SEO and paid online advertising, and walk step-by-step through the set-up process
  • Determine where social media fits into your internet marketing mix
  • Learn the pros and cons of using the 22 different internet marketing techniques and choosing the right ones for you

Because it's so important to create an integrated Internet marketing strategy that really will bring in business, get advice and mentoring from people who are already successful Internet Marketing experts. I've been successfully operating and marketing businesses and website via the Internet since 2005.

Do You Need A Speaker One Sheet

First off, please understand that your Speaker OneSheet is not meant to be just “thrown together”. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised at how many people don’t think this way. That’s not the way it works in the real world where Pro Speakers are getting booked solid consistently. It’s not all about throwing info together on 1 or 2 pieces of paper. Miss the important elements, and how they should be strategically placed, and you miss the boat.

If your sole purpose of a OneSheet is getting hired – what else is there? – then you need this mini-course. If you want to post something on your site so you can say, “Here’s my OneSheet” than this course is not for you.

Wondering what is takes to pull together an excellent OneSheet for Professional Speakers? The Crafting a speaker onesheet that sells you teaches you what are the very best attributes, ingredients, elements and aspects of a OneSheet that will get you noticed and booked!

Sometimes you just need someone to TELL you how to do it, break it down, walk you through it, and list everything you need. You need someone to show you how it should be displayed and how to connect.

With your OneSheet, there are really only 2 goals: 1) Entice the reader to go to your website to learn more and email you or 2) Pick up the phone to call you at the number listed on your OneSheet. Perhaps she might hang your OneSheet on her bulletin board for future reference, but that’s not truly your goal. You either want her to visit your website to contact you, or call you, right away. How do you create something that makes these actions happen? Wendi will show you how.

Be the purple cow in the field & draw on your individual talents, uniqueness & personality. You will have an amazing speaker OneSheet that will shine above all others!

Why do you need a Speaker OneSheet? It is the #1 marketing tool you need. It is the most powerful tool you must have to help sell your speaking services. Yes, demo videos are essential, but many Speakers get themselves consistently booked with only their OneSheet.

Copyright © 2013  - Joe Ippolito JTIppolito.com