3 Marketing Tools that Every Entrepreneur Needs

As an entrepreneur, it can feel like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all of the tasks at hand. There are a few tools that I recommend, to greatly impact your business while helping you manage your time.

Use Evernote to stay organized. When it comes to marketing your business, organization is essential.  You never know when a new idea will come to mind, and if you are not able to organize and prioritize your notes,  you may miss out on opportunities to grow. Evernote will assist you with capturing your ideas, trends, and inspirations, all while storing them on one easily accessible location. You can access this material on your phone, laptop, or tablet. This is a perfect tool to help capture your research and brainstorm ideas all in one place.

Buffer is helpful with Social Media Management. Buffer is a social media management tool that will help you establish your social posting efforts. Social media is extremely powerful within your business, this is why it is important that you stay active and relevant on different platforms. Buffer gives you the ability to connect on multiple accounts and then creates one dashboard to hold all of your platforms. With Buffer, you will be able to schedule and analyze the success of your posts. Buffer’s free plan would be beneficial for a new business that is looking to grow their social presence.

SurveyMonkey can be used to secure customer feedback. SurveyMonkey is one of the most popular free online survey tools. Surveys are a beneficial way to collect data from consumers in order to uncover trends and secure tangible insight on your business. This software is incredibly simple to learn and intuitive to use. Additionally, once you publish your survey, you will be able to analyze the results on the backend.

These tools can help you grow your business by freeing up more of your time, so that you can do more of the income-producing activities you need to do.

Keep pressing forward to success!

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Now is the time to start monetizing your ability!

Everyone has the ability to capitalize on their knowledge. You have a story to tell that can help impact an individual’s life!

I know that it’s human nature to suppress your confidence and tell yourself that you are not the current top expert in the field. While this may be true, if you do not keep pushing forward you will inevitably fall too far backward. As the saying goes, “the man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” -Vince Lombardi

The truth is, your business doesn’t remain stagnant. if we’re not moving forward, we’re falling back. So, we must continue to stretch ourselves, evolve, and continue to grow beyond what we are comfortable with.

To do this, you must make a decision that you want to step into your calling.  First, it is crucial that you define your knowledge and who it will benefit. Reflect on the core benefit of your ability. In other words, what problem are you helping people solve? For example, let’s say you need to get more eyes on your product or service so that you can scale your business.  EZMetrics helps people solve that problem by getting you more leads so that you can close more sales.

You will need to build a following. In order for you to be successful financially, you need to identify and attract your “tribe” who will eventually buy your product. You can create a community through social media. Your tribe will know, like, and trust you as long as you continue to provide them with valuable content. Eventually, they will be chomping at the bit WANTING to buy from you.  One way to stay in contact with your audience is to write a weekly blog. But beware… don’t get trapped in the content-creation cycle where that’s all you’re doing. Creating is great. But you must eventually ask for the sale.

Another great way to serve your community is by creating an online course to sell your expertise. This can be done by designing a series of materials that may include videos, PDFs, checklists, templates, and more!  

And lastly, consider hosting a live webinar which enables you to demonstrate your knowledge while engaging with your audience. During your live webinar, you will be able to provide advice to your audience while building trust. At the end, of course, you’re able to offer them the opportunity to work with you or purchase your product/service.

The bottom line is, no matter where you are now, you just need to begin. The world is a better place when people share their knowledge and expertise to help others learn.

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Unwilling to Quit

When I first started my Digital Marketing Agency (EZMetrics, LLCI would take every shot or opportunity presented to me; I still do. However, I learned very quickly that when taking every shot or opportunity, I would miss a lot of them. Big grand ideas would be crushed by the weight of failure and defeat; before I knew it, I felt like I had just gone 5 rounds with Mike Tyson.

So, I added a screensaver and lock screen to my laptop that said, “Unwilling to Quit”. It was my daily reminder that I, Jacob Salem, am Unwilling to Quit no matter how many times I fail.

One major key to success is failure. When thinking about success, it is easy to gloss over the numerous failures that you have had to overcome in order to get you where you are today. The more you fail, the more you begin to learn about yourself, your support system, and the flaws within your business.

We will all fail at something in our life at some point. We all have had a bad day that led us to make decisions that could have been altered, but that does not make everything a failure. It does not matter how many times you fail, inevitably, the feeling of worthlessness comes creeping up in the back of your mind. Please, let me remind you that you are not a failure. You are an expert, and you have something special inside of you that God wants to bring to fruition, but He cannot do it without your work, your effort, and more importantly, your commitment to push through your challenges and setbacks.

Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, “Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand new day…and it’s yours.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Through failure, you begin to learn. Failure by design is meant to give you skills to progress you to the next level.

First, you learn about yourself. When you feel defeated, you may begin to suppress your feelings, and try to immediately rebuild. It is important to understand the effects that failure can have on your emotions. It is crucial that you reflect on your failures so you can learn from them.

One of the largest challenges that entrepreneurs face is not that they don’t have the ability to succeed, but they ignore the failures that they will face. Failure will pave the way to you becoming successful.

You will need to have a strong support system to rely on as you begin to fail. It is important that you have people you trust, that will encourage you to get back up and try again. This support system can vary, this may be a family member, long time friend, or a mentor. Continue to pour into others for support as you go through hard times within your life or business.

Lastly, when you fail, you will find weaknesses within your business. Failures will open your eyes to areas that you need to improve on. It does not matter where you currently are in your life, you have to continue to try new things. You cannot stay stagnant in hopes to never fail.  The key to success is simple, learn to embrace and learn from failures to improve as a whole.

“Fail early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.” ~ Will Smith

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Growing Your Business

You have made the next step to create your business, but now what? Even if you have an amazing idea, product, or service, if you do not have people to buy, your business will not survive. How do I grow my business? This question is easier said than done, but it is important that you commit to following these steps.

Verification Through Testimonials: It is important that your potential customer can trust you and see how you have impacted other customer’s lives for the better. This means that you need to get video or written testimonials from customers who have used your business in the past. This gives the potential customer the ability to see how others liked the service or product. The customer will be more likely to buy if they are assured that your business will help them succeed. If you are at venue where people have used your business, grab your phone and ask them, “hey, would you be willing to give me a short testimonial on your thoughts regarding…?” These videos create PROOF that your business works!

Creating a Promotional Strategy: If you are just starting out, find one platform to leverage for marketing, and do it well! You can do this in a variety of ways. You can create Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Email Outreach, Create Partnerships, etc. The options are endless, but you need to commit to at least one strategy, consistently, in order to PROMOTE your business!

What is Your Core Product or Service?: You need to ask yourself, “are people currently buying this product from a different business?” If the answer is “yes”, you need to study what your competitors are doing. Observe what works, and what has failed. This will give you a headstart so that you do not make the same mistakes! Additionally, if you are just starting up, commit most of your productivity time to your core product or service. It is important to execute one service exceptionally well vs. three services mediocrely.

As an entrepreneur, it is important that you stay committed to your success! COMMIT to your core product or service to become the most reliable business in your market! Additionally, begin to grow your following through testimonial videos. This will give your customers a business that they can TRUST!

Selling Your Expertise

Each one of us has the ability to sell our expertise, but how do we do this? Throughout our lives, different events have occurred that shape us into the individuals that we are today. These experiences make us become more knowledgeable in a variety of topics.

Think of one topic that you excel in; this means that you know something that not everyone does. You have ability to teach and inspire others, best of all you can create your income while doing it!

You have untapped knowledge in your brain, you have the ability to vocalize your thoughts, now all you need is an audience. It is easy to get run down by pitching your amazing product to anyone that will listen if you’re constantly being rejected. Yes, you may get lucky and find someone that is willing to buy your product but, at what cost? Most speakers are pitching to the wrong audience.

Let’s think about this more…

If you are selling a self help motivational service, you would think you should pitch your service to struggling individuals that are not prospering financially. The reasoning behind this would be that your product will help encourage the individuals to make their goals become a reality. If you are thinking this way, you need to alter your way of thinking. You need to pitch to the wealthy and successful individuals. They have already made it, and they became successful by learning from others.

They made the decision to invest in themselves. The successful individuals will be more likely to buy your product because they have seen it work before in their lives. They are already convinced that self help is a good investment, and if you simply show them how your service will get them past the plateau they’re in so that they can up level their business, the sale is simple. You’re providing a solution who already values what you have to offer.

It is important that we change our way of thinking; we need to think logically on who will PURCHASE your product instead of who NEEDS your product. If you do your research and pitch to the right group of people you will begin to see your sales increase!

What Makes A Great Leader?

When talking about business leadership, many different characteristics come to mind.  A leader can be silent and put the focus on doing rather than showing.  A leader can also be assertive and full of excitement and gusto, relaying their energy and enthusiasm to their team to push them forward.  These are the two poles of leadership characteristics, and in most cases, business leaders display a little bit of both depending on the situation or context.

Then you have leadership styles. Wisetoast has put together a list of 12 common leadership styles among business leaders today.  These styles each take a different focus, whether it’s:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Strategic
  • Transformational
  • Team-Oriented
  • Cross-Cultural
  • Facilitative
  • Laissez-faire
  • Transactional
  • Coaching
  • Charismatic
  • Visionary

That’s a lot of style jammed into a single list.  Do you resonate with a few of the types above?

The truth is, humans are fluid.  We do not just fit into a specific box or “type”.  Someone can be an autocratic leader one week and a democratic leader the next.  We each have distinct personality traits from our character as adults.  In order to harness great leadership then, the focus should be less on style and more on personal attributes. 

Here are 5 attributes of great leadership that you can nurture no matter what personality type you are: 

  • Flexibility.  Being able to adjust plans and schedules without getting flustered is an important skill.  It takes composure and a realization that you can only control a small fraction of things in your vicinity – the rest is up to others, whom you have to trust.
  • Strong Communication.  Always being clear and remaining in touch with your team is important.  It can be a simple “hi, how are you?” or a detailed email about a new project.  Whatever the content, the motive remains the same, and that’s the key.
  • Courage.  Being able to overcome obstacles and remain confident is a requirement of great leadership.
  • Humility.  Appreciating the fragility of life and your place within it will help you make choices for the group, rather than for yourself.  A humble person is also able to admit mistakes. 
  • Organized and Responsible.  A leader must be on top of all responsibilities and organize people throughout all stages of a project. 

Contrary to what some people say, leadership is not something a few people are born with and the rest of us are out to lunch.  Hard work and vision are the key to becoming a great leader. 

Find a way to center your business culture around models of great leadership, and cultivate and environment that induces employees to take on more responsibility.  With responsibility comes accountability, and learning how to be accountable is step 1 on the road to great leadership. 


Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.”

It all starts at the top.  As a leader within your business, it’s on your shoulders to set the tone and be a great leader for the team by focusing on these attributes and how you can educate, equip, and empower your team to build your business. 

When Is It Time for a Branding Overhaul?

If you are in an upper management position in a company, or if you are the sole propriety of your own business already, then you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.  You need to be able to make the tough decisions at the right time, otherwise you risk compromising your business and the future of those in your team.  No one is going to make the decisions for you, and nobody’s even going to initiate a major change in operations because it’s not their job.  It’s yours.

When it comes to branding there are many vexing questions that you must have answers for.  One of the most challenging questions is: when is it time for a branding overhaul?

The answer to this question would have been harder in the pre-digital era.  Luckily, today there are a number of metrics available to make the decision easier.  You can consider:

  • Changing engagement rates relative to the most recent branding overhaul
  • Changes in direct traffic and potential reasons why
  • The success or failure of your most recent press campaign

Monitoring these metrics will give you a strong indication of whether or not it’s branding that needs to change in order to boost your business. 

Changing Your Brand Means Knowing Your Audience

Making a branding change is all about knowing how your business resonates with your audience and then capitalizing on it.  Here are three general tips to keep in mind while you contemplate the big decision of revamping the company’s image:

  1. Change your logo every 5 years.  Changing your logo (even slightly) within a five year span is smart business practice for a number of reasons.  The most obvious reason is that it keeps customers interested, and what’s more important than that?
  2. Does your business strategy no longer resonate with your branding? This is the tough question that you and your marketing team need to figure out.  It often happens that business strategy changes so quickly that branding is left behind.  Operating with an image that does not represent the specific service or purpose of the company will slice through potential revenue like a hot knife through butter. 
  3. If customer loyalty is lagging, it’s time for an overhaul.  This is another tricky intangible that you need to understand thoroughly before deciding to revamp.  Gauging loyalty has nothing to do with press clippings, direct traffic to your homepage or any other fancy marketing metric.  Loyalty is measured by word-of-mouth marketing and the number of social shares you get when posting a on Facebook.  It’s your community of customers that stand behind your brand, partly because they like what you do, and partly because they like your branding (the story behind your company and the message it shares with the world).  If this loyalty begins to lose steam, it’s definitely time to refine your message with a corresponding image.    

It’s All About Timing

Measuring the impact of your branding relative to the voice of the company requires constant attention.  There is going to be a right time every 5 or so years to change your image – it’s just important to figure out when that time is.  At the end of the day, a change in the tone and aesthetic of your brand might have the kind of measurable impact on sales that you’ve been looking for. 

The Future and the Essentials: 2 Books Worth Reading

Had I not heard Amy Webb on an episode of This Week in Tech, I would never have picked up her book, The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream (2016, PublicAffairs).

Had the first chapter not hooked me, I probably would have taken it back to the library and devoured one of the many novels on my pile.

What Webb proposes throughout the book is…well, it’s fun.

Especially if you’re a techie.

Even if you’re not a techie.

She begins, simply enough:

The future doesn’t simply arrive fully formed overnight, but emerges step by step. It first appears at seemingly random points around the fringes of society, never in the mainstream. Without context, these points can appear disparate, unrelated, and hard to connect meaningfully. But over time they fit into patterns and come into focus as a full-blown trend: a convergence of multiple points that reveal a direction or tendency, a force that combines some human need and new enabling technology that will shape the future.

She goes on to describe an experience she had in Japan in 1997, where she was first introduced to mobile web browsing…long before it became something so ordinary that we barely talk about it (unless you’re in marketing, and then you obsess over mobile).

Signals is a book that, Webb explains, “contains a method for seeing the future. It’s an organized approach that, if followed, will advance your understanding of the world as it is changing.” She spends the next 10 chapters and 250-plus pages teaching you the forecasting techniques she uses in her career as a futurist.

I couldn’t help but think that many of us — perhaps, in fact, all of us — should be reading books like this.

Webb’s approach is one of strategic thinking, a kind of thinking that the entrepreneurs and business leaders I’ve been working with for over two decades have long embraced. She’s outlined the exact steps she uses, and peppers the book with examples from both a looking-backward and a looking-forward approach.

I couldn’t help but smile as she outlined the cases for flying cars, or rather, the cases for not having flying cars. It became a shorthand conversation throughout the book, and I can’t say I minded it.

Do flying cars matter? No, not really. But how often are we blinded by the glitter of something like flying cars and lose sight of the very boring, very real, very obvious changes in the world?

Webb is challenging readers to see the future not as a big scary place, but as the next moment from now. The future, as it turns out, is something that’s not so shocking.

It makes me think, in fact, of a current commercial from CarMax. “I know this because I’m from seven days in the future,” the man on the screen says. At the end, after his monologue, he admits, “It’s pretty much the same,” referring to the differences between seven days and now.

But changes happen in small increments, gathering steam until it seems they suddenly take over: had you heard the “signals” that Webb teaches you to pay attention to, you would not have been so shocked (though you may be just as delighted).

How can we apply this to our lives? I can think of about 1000 ways, and rather than outline them, I would rather recommend this book and challenge you to read it for yourself. You might even want to highlight it, dog ear it, and come back to it later.

And that leads to the next business read that seems to reach far beyond my business background and into every nook and cranny of my life, from faith to parenthood and all the things in between.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown (Crown, 2014), was mentioned in a by-the-way manner on a call with my mastermind group. I really respected that person’s mention, took it as a recommendation, and ordered the book.

It then sat on a bookshelf gathering dust until we turned our house upside down rearranging and reworking our living space.

As I put it back on a different shelf in a different room, considering whether I would keep it or give it away, I remembered how Lisa had said, ever so casually, that it was a really helpful read.

I’m in a strange juncture right now, and “really helpful” triggered my desire to read it.

So I picked it up on a Sunday, instead of firing up my laptop to try to squeeze in more work.

Four days later, I was finished with it, but not before sharing images of it all over my social media channels and feeling my brain exploding.

The last time I had this experience with a business book, I was reading Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

In fact, I hate calling this a business book, because in so many ways, it feels like a “life” book. (The same is true of Covey’s writing.)

The way of the Essentialist is the path to being in control of our own choices. It is a path to new levels of success and meaning. Despite all these benefits, however, there are too many forces conspiring to keep us from applying the disciplined pursuit of less but better, which may be why so many end up on the misdirected path of the Nonessentialist.

On the page following this excerpt is a sentence that I could paint on my wall:

If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

I need that reminder. And don’t we all, especially as we carry around an electronic tether and find ourselves treating Saturday as the new Friday?

So often, we approach our lives as though they are a tunnel, and as though there is only one straight way through. Even when we’re at a juncture, we consider that there’s an A or B choice, not that we could choose both (or neither).

Sometimes, we just need something to shake us up, turn us upside down, remind us of what’s truly important.

There are many ways this can happen, and surely a book isn’t just the only way. I’ve had more than one of these experiences in the last decade, and I’m sure you have too.

But what do you do with them? How do you actually change your life and your way of executing?

That’s one of the things I really appreciated about Essentialism. McKeown isn’t speaking in theoreticals, he’s speaking in practicalities. And he’s not wasting words doing it.

I’ll be rereading this, that’s for sure. And I’ll be doing more than just thinking about how to apply the concepts: I’ll be doing.