All posts in April 2008

  • Hunting and Gathering in the Information Age

    By: Shama Hyder Back in the caveman days, our ancestors survived by hunting and gathering food. Today, we have obviously evolved. Thanks Martha Stewart! However, when it comes to making sense of the online world- our business survival still depends on hunting and gathering. Here’s how: 1) It’s Impossible to Learn it All– …first hand that is. It is, however, completely possible for us to function as a community and learn from each other. Even when our ancestors started farming, they didn’t give up hunting. Their survival depended on the variety of strategies they used to get food. Today, our businesses are like that. We can very much plant our own gardens of information and service. But, more importantly, we also have to seek out information. We have to hunt for the best. 2) Eat What You Gather/Hunt- What would happen if back in the day people gathered the best crops and didn’t eat them…they would rot. Knowledge is like that today. You can read a million blogs, attend hundreds of seminars, and purchase thousands of books. But if you don’t put those concepts into action-it rots. 3) Tribes Rule- Species that gathered together survived. Loners usually died out. The…

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  • Twitter: Why it Should Matter to You

    By: Shama Hyder If you haven’t already heard of Twitter, you are probably hiding out in a cave! Twitter is the social media site which allows you only 140 characters at a time to convey your thoughts. Think of it like a huge ongoing chat room. Doesn’t sound too appealing you say? Keep reading! 1) Why Twitter?– Twitter is like having your own personal search engine. Once you build up enough followers, you can use Twitter to: •   quickly mastermind with others •    find resources and make friends •    share links to interesting articles (your own and others) •    learn what’s hot and relevant in your industry •    people watch online! (think e-cafe) •    drive traffic to your site (20% of After The Launch’s traffic comes from Twitter) 2) Get started!– Go to and setup an account. This takes less than a minute. Then add me as a friend by clicking "Follow Me." I will follow you back. This way you will have your first Twitter follower. You can follow whoever you like, but also have the option of keeping your own updates private. Meaning: you get to approve who follows your "tweets" (or messages). Then, watch and learn. See…

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  • Book Reviews-Guidance, Giving and Inspiration

    By: Shama Hyder Aside from marketing, all business owners need one thing: motivation. This round of book reviews covers books that I have personally found inspirational and motivating. They aren’t mainstream but fall under the category of hidden gems. Inner Guidance and the Four Spiritual Gifts– Howard Wimer proposes that we all have some inherent spiritual gifts that serve as the foundation of our being. He also shows how to use your personal gifts to become better communicators. Great read! The Power of Inner Guidance-  Quick read with a powerful message. It takes you back to the basics of sound decision making: balance, acceptance, and inner strength. Dr. Pam Garcy has packed quite a punch in this book. The Giving Zone– There are a lot of books out there on the power of giving, but every once in a while I will stumble upon an author who seems to be living his work. This book by Bruce Painter is a great example of that. Talking with Giants– Scott Schilling interviews some big hitters (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, T. Harv Eker) on what drives them. Though some questions are fairly straightforward, some you will want to earmark for future reference….

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  • Never Write a Proposal Again

    by Shama Hyder Yes, this defies conventional wisdom. But it also saves an immense amount of time and weeds out prospects who aren’t serious. How do you go about doing this? 1) Redefine Proposal- Alan Weiss, super consultant, says "Proposals are meant to be a summation, not an exploration." If a client asks for a proposal, use this quote! Tell them you will be happy to provide a document summing up items already discussed, but don’t see the need for a full proposal. I have never had a client ask for more. 2) Submit a 1 page Summary Instead- Swap proposals for one page summaries. You can do it in bullet points. Just be sure to include objectives, price points, and a list of deliverables. You will never go back to doing proposals again. 3) Don’t use a proposal to sell- This is key when it comes to getting away with doing proposals. Don’t use them as a selling tool. This is worth repeating: Don’t use proposals as a selling tool. Sell over the phone or in person and then use a one page summary to recap the sealed deal.

  • How to Use Facebook to Get Clients

    By: Shama Hyder 1) Leverage your Profile– If a client walked into your office, what would you want them to see? Would it be articles you have written? Your professional looking demeanor? Awards you won? Your Facebook profile is your virtual office. If you wouldn’t put it up in your office, don’t put it on your profile. Your profile allows you to showcase your talents to prospects. Use this space wisely. 2) Reach out– I am not sure what it is about Facebook, but people respond to messages faster than email. It’s more casual and has a coffee shop hello feel to it. I have reached out to many people I didn’t know and the result has always been positive. Ask for advice, offer feedback, or just say hi. The idea is to get the conversation started while being respectful of people’s time. 3) Add applications selectively- There are some applications that are MADE to get your business noticed. Some of these applications are: My Box, Business Card, and Blog Reader. You can search for these applications on Facebook and pick the ones you like best. Don’t clutter your profile. Keep it clean and professional. These applications are marketing tools….

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  • Marketing Mistake #2

    By: Shama Hyder A while back I covered the number# 1 marketing mistake people make. Today, I’d like to share with you marketing mistake number 2!  Asking HOW before WHY. Most business owners ask: How can I get more clients? Wrong question. First question needs to be: Why will clients come to me? You can’t ask the how before understanding and conveying the why. The WHY is positioning your business in such a unique way that it becomes irresistible to clients. If you establish the value and convey it perfectly, marketing becomes simple. If you mess up the basic steps, marketing becomes frustrating. So, ask marketing questions in this order- Why will clients want to work with me? What’s the value here? How can I get more clients? P.S.- This is After The Launch’s 100th blog post! = )

  • Rain Making by Ford Harding

    By: Shama Hyder As many of you regular readers know, I am a book-a-holic. I read voraciously and every once in a while I spot a real gem worth sharing with you guys! One of these books is Rain Making by Ford Harding. The tagline reads: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field. A big promise but the book delivers. It teaches everything from how to work with media as an expert to do the dreaded….cold call successfully. This 2nd edition builds on his 1st successful edition released in 1994.   Here is a chapter list: Writing and Publishing Your article Finding a Podium Marketing by Mail Organizing Seminars and Conferences Getting Publicity A Few words on the Web Eliminating the Dread of Cold-Calling Networking: The alternative to Cold Calling Special Rules for Special Networks: Trade associations, Formal Networking Groups and Internal Newtorks Increasing Network Quality How Markets Structure Networks From Networks to Leads Building Client Relationships that Last The Sales Meeting: The First Five Minutes The Sales Meeting: Questioning and Listening The Sales meeting: Offering Your Solution The Sales meeting; Formal Presentations The Sales meeting: Handling questions and Concerns Team Selling Shortening the Sales Cycle Writing a proposal…

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