You should live large – like your dog

Ace ad copywriter John Carlton reminds us of an essential truth. To be successful, rich and happy, “we gotta be healthy.”
That means taking time every day to nurture your body, brain and soul.
• Learn to breathe deeply.
• Eat fabulous, fuel-laden food. Pizza and burgers are treats, not sustenance.
• Meditate every day at least 20 minutes. It’s a natural way to recharge your battery.
• Exercise with gusto and purpose.
• Feed your brain. Read good books. Talk with intelligent people. Think about life.
• Feed your soul. Your life force shrivels when it’s ignored. Attending worship services helps if the pastor has a brain and a great spiritual message to share.
Prayer is the main attraction. This is not where you air your wish list. It’s where you ask for divine guidance in meeting challenges and maximizing opportunities.
Your dog knows most of these tricks – stretching with pleasure, running with joyous abandon, eager to walk with you, eating and sleeping with unabashed bliss.
Be more like your dog. Live large like a healthy, gleeful dog. Your rewards await.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com . Want an electronic copy? Click here to visit the Amazon listing.
Next: Have you ever been hungry?
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

You’d better make a profit – or else

Our old boss Don Carter liked to ask job applicants what they thought was the 1st duty of a business. A few got the right answer – “to make a profit.”
We were reminded of that truth the other day when the CEOs of something called the Business Roundtable declared that their 1st duty was to “social responsibility.”
That sounds warm and compassionate on paper, like the Green New Deal.
In reality, it is entirely irresponsible.
There are many values right-thinking business owners and corporate executives should hold dear, among them are:

  1. Incredible customer service.
  2. Honesty and fairness with customers, employees, partners and investors.
  3. Meeting and beating the competition.
  4. Keeping a keen eye on the bottom line and growing net revenues.
  5. Terminating profit killers and accelerating profit builders.
    After you have complete command of those 5 objectives, you can start thinking about other means to serve the market and community where you live and operate.
    Without profits, you will be useless to everyone and quickly out of business.
    We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com. To get an electronic copy visit Amazon by clicking here.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to super-charge your motivation

Do you struggle with motivation? An executive recruiter friend keeps on his desk a photo of a fire truck-red Lamborghini he wants. This is no toy. The car costs $200,000. The photo goads him to achieve his daily goals and buy the car.
He knows exactly how many calls he will have to make, how many rejections he will have to take, how many contacts he must develop and how many executives he has to place to take care of all his other costs of feeding and clothing his wife and 4 rambunctious boys … and buy the Lamborghini.
I’ll bet you any amount of money you care to wager he will do it. He is highly motivated and that Lamborghini goads him.
The workaholic rules a few of us over-achievers live by say work should be its own reward. You and I both know it’s BS.
As you enjoy more success, the risks are greater and the prizes more lavish. You must be motivated to stay on top, achieve your goals and acquire your Lamborghini.
The way to burn out is to finish a grueling project and jump on the next one.
Take a break. Go to the Bahamas. Reward yourself with something you’ve always wanted. Donate to or volunteer for a cause you really believe in.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com . To get an electronic version, visit Amazon by clicking here.
Next: Can you pass this test?

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to get free business publicity

Savvy business owners seek relations with local newspaper, magazine and broadcast reporters, editors and news directors.
When they have something about their business the community should know about, they know who to call and how to pitch the news to appeal to journalists.
In other words, advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray for.
Here are 5 steps you might take:

  1. Know your local editors and news directors or hire a publicist who does.
  2. Find out who reads their publications or listens to or watches their newscasts.
  3. Find out their deadlines and keep your news releases or email messages short and to the point. That means 150 words or less. They don’t have time to wade through your life story. Get to the point.
    And use email and the phone. Save hand writing for your thank you notes.
    By educating yourself about them, their audience and what they will print or put on the air, you’ve taken an important step.
    For example, we welcome business news for our Around Town column.
    If you have won an industry award or some other honor, let us know about it.
    We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com .
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Rank your business on the SWAG Meter

Last week we talked about you and your business’s SWAG. That’s:
S = Self Confidence. Customers trust you because you believe in yourself.
W = Wonderment. Your confidence creates their feelings of being amazed.
A = Assertiveness. You don’t wait for something to happen. You make it happen.
G = Greatness. You don’t settle for just being good. You aim to be great.
To find out where you stand on the “SWAG Meter” score yourself between 1 being low and 25 high for Self Confidence, Wonderment, Assertiveness and Greatness. Be absolutely honest with yourself. Don’t rate yourself better than you know you are.
Add the numbers. What’s your score?
90 – 100 is excellent. You are highly profitable helping customers. Keep it going.
80 – 89 is pretty good, but what can you do to really step it up to hit the next level?
70 – 79 means you need to pay more attention. Your business is not standing out. What are others you admire doing?
60 – 69 means you may not be in the right business. Is it time for an overhaul? Start by discussing it with customers. What more do they want from you?
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Copyright 2019, The Bellun e Co., Inc.

Your local advertising drives higher sales

Local advertising is a small business’s best bet to attract customers, say advertising experts Brian and Michelle Mattingly.
A simple, targeted approach to advertising will almost always yield better results if you work with limited dollars.
A primary benefit of local advertising is forming local connections. These are more powerful than the shallow, national connections big corporations try to form with a geographically diverse audience.
You need to continue to do digital advertising with social media, your website and online offers to your customers. But Brian and Michelle advise not to underestimate the value in local print advertising.
While others are investing their last pennies in digital campaigns, your audience is saturated with online advertising. You need a presence online, but it’s smart to set aside a healthy portion of your budget to invest in local newspapers.
Find an affordable, reliable printer to help you develop creative local campaigns with booklets, brochures, calendars, catalogs and other tangible resources.
Your dollar will stretch farther and you can measure the results.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email Jerrybellune@yahoo.com .
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to win the war with your rivals

Remember what Sun Tzu taught us in his “Art of War” – know your strengths and weaknesses and your competitors’, too.
Our competitors are in print, online, on the air, on cable, you name it. We never under-estimate them. They are savvy rivals.
We watch their every move. We not only need to know what they’re doing but to steal their best ideas as our own.
We read their publications, listen to them on radio, watch them on cable or TV, see who is doing business with them and how their customers invest their precious advertising dollars with them. What are their advertisers offering that our readers, online and in print, might be interested in?
If they offer products or services our people need and want, we would be remiss to fail to give our rivals’ advertisers an opportunity to make offers to our readers, too.
Does that make sense? Your rivals are fishing the same pond for the same fish.
Test their products and services. Check how they treat customers. Even hire a Secret Shopper to check them out.
This is fair, legal … and smart. You won’t be blind-sided ever again. And you’ll never be ashamed that you failed to do this.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

See more great content on this blog or by visiting https://www.lexingtonchronicle.com/business.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Anecdotal lede: Watch for mushroom clouds

I confess to being an advocate of storytelling.
I also favor the anecdotal lede – with caution.
I once taught this to my Seton Hall students, tongue in cheek.
The story is about a Russian nuclear attack:

Mary Jones went to retrieve the morning paper and guess what?
A giant mushroom cloud hung over her neighborhood.
She wondered if it was going to rain.

You may have to overlook my warped sense of humor.

Our friend Denny Hatch is an ace copywriter.
He cautions us to use this technique with grace and style. 
He certainly doesn’t want us to beat it into chopped liver.

“Your 1st 10 words are more important than the next 10,000,” he writes.
“All writers are in the business of selling. 
“Your single objective is to sell the reader in going on to the next sentence, next paragraph, all the way to the end.” 
This is true of every literary form – letter, article or advertisement. 

“The place to start selling is the lede
“What’s a lede
“The introduction to a news article, the first sentence. 
“The ‘lede’ is a deliberate misspelling of ‘lead.’ 
When printing was done with lead type, it prevented confusion.
The lede not only tells what the story is about.
It invites the reader to read further.

Denny believes many of us start by:
• Clearing our throats.
• Rolling up our sleeves.
• Rubbing our hands together.
By then our poor readers have already gone on to Page 2. 
Create a lousy lede and chances are the reader will go no further.

In “Capitol Weekly,” Will Shuck wrote:
“I am sick to death of the anecdotal lede, that annoying habit of news writers to start a straightforward story by painting a quaint little picture.
“If the story is about a bill requiring pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs (just to pick an imaginary example), the anecdotal lead first tells us how much Janey Johnson loves Missy, her cocker spaniel.
“No doubt Janey and Missy are a lovely pair, but a lot of us have jobs and kids and commutes and precious little time to muse about Missy’s reproductive potential.”

My humble advice is to use the anecdotal lede when it makes sense.
Have an exceptionally good one to open your story.
Take a hint from that fabled novelist Snoopy.
He always opened with “It was a dark and stormy night …”
Mine might open with an early morning mushroom cloud.
Pick your own poison.

Advance orders for my $19.99 “Little Red Book of Compelling Writing” are going at a $10 discount – only $9.99.
Get your order in for the eBook today. It will be out in July.
Call Katie at 803-359-7633 or email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Do you have enough cash to avoid disaster? Do you want profits or wealth?

Do you want profits or wealth?
As a business owner, you need both.
You cannot have wealth without profits, says our friend Ruth King of ProfitabilityRevolution.com .
Many business owners focus only on the Profit & Loss statement and totally ignore their Balance Sheet. They focus solely on profits rather than building wealth.
You can go out of business ignoring wealth to focus solely on profits.
Ruth tells of a contractor who, in a single week, lost 3 major clients to bankruptcy and more than $1 million in uncollected receivables. He needed cash to survive.
Had he focused on building cash (i.e. wealth) in addition to profits, he might have struggled but his business survived.
Here are 2 steps you can take.

  1. Check your Balance Sheet the last day of each month. Is your checking account growing this month over a month a year ago? By how much? Should you transfer any of that to an interest-bearing account?
  2. Ask yourself how you might grow your cash faster. What expenses might you trim or eliminate? What can you do to grow your gross sales and net profits?

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com . Purchase an electronic copy by visiting Amazon.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to get prospects to open your emails

How can you get prospects to open your emails?
Want to write subject lines that work?
Subject lines that prospects will open?
You are competing with the 121 other emails most of us receive each day.
The only way to attract traffic, conversions and sales is to stand out.
These subject lines are backed by 20 studies. Your goal should be to use the best-performing email subject lines.
Put these 10 subject line templates in your “swipe file”and post by your computer.
• 3 steps to a {desirable outcome}
• What a new {idea, product or service}can means for {prospects’ life or career}
• Stop {undesirable emotion} now
• What {credible influencers} say about {topic, idea or strategy}
• {Someone prospects look up to} can afford any {product} but she uses this…
• You’re missing out on {something prospects desire}
• Tonight Only: A {prospect’s role, goal or career}’s dream
• Want 587% more {sales or results}?
• If you’re sick and tired of {whatever}
• {Name}, gain {something desirable} today only
Use these in ads and sales letters, too.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com. You can purchase an electronic version on Amazon by clicking here.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.