Monday, December 19, 2011

People aren't afraid of success. They are afraid of the extra work success will bring!

Yes this quote is by me. In my line of work I'm always asking prospects and clients where they want to take their businesses. The answer is always the same. "To make more money but if my business grows so will my workload." So my next question to them is "If business is slow and income is down. What exactly are you spending your time on?" That is where the conversation usually ends. They would rather spend the time complaining about how bad business and the economy are instead of doing something, anything about.

For you college grads, "A body at rest will remain at rest unless an external force is applied to it." Thank you Sir Isaac Newton! Makes sense in Physics, exercising and even business! So if anyone is inclined to so something in the New Year about themselves or their business we at Lone Keep Internet are having a Dream Board session. It will be New Year's Eve at our offices in Asbury Park. Click here to find out more about our Dream Board session.

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, December 2, 2011

‘Tis the Season!

Happy Holidays my ass! Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia, defines Political correctness as a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense. I don’t know about you but I take offense from the term “Happy Holidays”. My response is always “Which one?” And why don’t we use “Happy Holidays” in February when there are even more holidays? Should we not use the term “Happy Birthday” because a lot of us don’t want to be reminded that we are getting older? Of not! So why are we afraid of use the name of the actual days we celebrate?

Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and clients. Happy Boxing Day to my English clients and friends. Happy Victory Day (Dec 16, Bangladesh) to our waiter in Venice, Happy Monkey Day (Dec. 14), St Stephen's Day (Dec. 26), Happy International Solidarity Day (Dec. 31), Happy Saint Nicholas' Day (Dec. 5), Happy Saturnalia for my pagan friends, Happy Winter Solstice Stephi and Connor, and for the rest Merry Festivus! This list can go on… But don’t they all deserve the respect to acknowledge something that may be near and dear to them.

What does this have to do with business? Glad you asked. Everything! If my friends, vendors and clients don’t know what is important to me should I feel good or bad about? Or maybe they should just say nothing like any other awkward social situation. But no… they jump in there and feel they have to say something because everyone else is.

Remember when your mother use to say “If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you?” Actually I did once… but that is another story. That saying never made any sense to me as a kid but now it makes perfect sense. I will not follow the crowd into the Political correctness abyss but be my own person and say what I feel.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Richard M.J. Jarosz on LinkedIn
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Importance of a Mission Statement

We all understand the value of a tag line – a neat one line statement that others can use to remember what you do. However, a tag line does not always completely describe what you do or how you do it.

When more description is needed what do you do or what do you say? We all ramble on saying what we think the other person wants to hear or we can offer our “elevator speech” which is often nothing more than an extended tag line.

The best way to avoid the rambling is to generate a living Mission Statement. The actual act of writing a living Mission Statement forces you to think through an explanation what you do that will resonate with the prospect.

The Mission Statement will often:
- Contain a phrase reflecting standards
- Contain a phrase reflecting a unique approach
- Is written so that it can be provided and understood by the prospect
- Serves as a daily reminder for you and your staff
- Provides focus

Several examples of Mission Statements:

“The Comfort Keepers mission is to provide our clients with the highest level of quality of life that is achievable. We shall treat each of our clients with the respect and dignity they deserve, as though we were caring for a member of our own family.”

“The Potter Pest Control mission is to provide chemically safe, personalized and scheduled services that focus on prevention of infestations and to follow through in response to all requests for help until the client’s problem is eradicated.”

"The Ives & Associates mission is to fully understand and then capture the essence of what a company does and how they do it in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing, factually accurate and useful for branding and marketing purposes.”

“The mission of the Atlantic Center for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine is to enhance that quality of life of every patient through the provision of alternative treatments and therapies and to assist the patient in identifying live style changes that may reduce the frequently or intensity of illness and discomfort.”

My thanks to Rob Robison, of Comfort Keepers, for letting me use his idea for this post. He presented this as an Educational piece at one of our BNI Shore Money weekly meetings.

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Currently working on the Mission Statement for Jersey Shore Coupons

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Personal Brand Statement: 5 Winning Steps to Creating One

List your attributes
The goal here is to find the one or two things that separate you from your competition and make you unique. Keep in mind that the brand statement is only supposed to get people interested, and not say everything about you or your business.

Choose an audience
Creating a statement that is too broad and undirected to any particular group will most likely be wasted on any of your prospects. The purpose of a personal brand statement is to briefly list your primary skills, so it is necessary to target the industry where those skills are most useful.

Make it memorable
The statement of your brand should be something that others can remember easily since you need to be able to use it whenever a networking opportunity arises. Try telling it to a friend or current client one time and see if he or she can easily recall the entire sentence. If so, you’re off to a very good start.

Make your self-impression = other’s impression
If you have trouble brainstorming personal skills, ask close friends or current clients what they think your strengths are. Even after you have decided on a statement, it is a good idea to check with a friend to make sure that your idea of yourself matches what others think of you and your business.

Market yourself
I cannot emphasize this fact enough, when looking for clients you have to be willing to be your own advocate. A personal brand statement will not help you much if you are not telling people what it is. Make sure to keep it consistent across platforms, however, because using the same sentence every time will help others remember it and associate it with you. Having a short brand statement means that you will be able to market yourself quickly whenever a chance for networking arises.

Don’t procrastinate creating your statement. Since it is such a powerful marketing tool, you are going to want to spend enough time on it to make it fantastic and ensure that it projects exactly the image of you and your business that you want.

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Personal Branding: Is It Right For You?

I get asked how an individual can brand themselves. Personal branding can single an individual out as an expert in their field. If you believe in your talent, in your skills and ability - it's easier to sell what you believe in. Your image is already created - you just have to market it.

How do you market yourself? You must become: A pro in your industry; an expert in your field. When branding yourself you must create a strong and consistent brand. You cannot skimp just because it's about you.

Strong brands are clear about who they are and what they are not. Which is why branding yourself can be an easy process. You already know who you are and what you are not. Strong brands are also consistent. It's easy to be consistent in who you are.

By branding yourself effectively you will:
- Establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field.
- Build a solid reputation within your industry.
- Increase your notoriety/visibility
- Improve your perceived value in the marketplace.

The key to successfully branding yourself and doing it effectively is to first establish a personal brand identity, message and/or look. Once you have done that focus that message on who you are and what you stand for within your chosen field or industry. Your final step is to get the word out through a variety of media channels that are viewed by the people most likely to be interested in your message.

As people begin to see your name and become aware of the benefits and knowledge that you offer, before you know it hundreds of people will not only know who you are but they will begin to seek out your services and expertise. They will identify with your brand which is YOU.

Richard M.J. Jarosz on LinkedIn

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gain a Competitive Edge by Establishing a Personal Brand

You can, by establishing a personal brand that allows you to differentiate and position yourself from the competition. Most businesses today are viewed as commodities, unless they provide some unique value, which competitors do not share. Your goal is to stand out.

Your Personal Brand
Defined: Your total perceived value, relative to competitors, as viewed by your audience.

Elements of your Personal Brand
Personal Appearance - Including Logo, Business Cards, Presentation Material even clothing.
Personality - Your values, goals, identity and confident behavior.
Competencies - These are cognitive, business, communication and technical skills.
The Differentiator - Offering a unique value proposition or benefit to your target audience.
Media Channels - Ways to introduce your target audience to your Personal Brand.

Constructing a brand with a mixture of these elements will have a positive effect on the people around you and your business. After producing a personal brand, with these elements, you must weave them into a message that can be consumed by your audience.

Growing Your Brand
Personal Branding is an ongoing development that exists throughout an entire life cycle. As your experience and competencies grow, your brand will become enhanced, much like in a product-lifecycle. Creating, maintaining and evolving your brand will help you command your prospective audience and positively communicate your perceived and unique message.

Corporate branding and personal branding are very well connected and for most consultants they are the same. The only apparent difference is that instead of marketing a product or service, a person is being promoted and sold to your target audience.

Treat yourself as the product and sell it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to keep a #1 ranking in the Search Engines?

Hard Work! If anyone tells you different ask them if they are #1 for the keywords that you choose to find them!

Think about that... Some companies pay a lot both in paid placement and SEO to get to the top of the search results. But is this what potential clients are searching for?

Case in Point. I just got back from a meeting with a potential client and he wanted to be #1 in all the search engines on a very limited budget. He had all these technical terms for his business: Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kick boxing, Dojang etc. But what has been in the news lately that parents maybe searching on?

"Bullying", "self defense" are what's hot now!

So sometimes being #1 in the wrong place is not that great. Being #1 where prospects are looking is what you want...

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Personal Branding

As members and visitors to my BNI meetings (Shore Money) have noticed the last couple of weeks my 60 sec commercials have been out of the ordinary. This has been by design. Next week I will be one of the featured speakers. The small intros have all been leading up to that speech.

Several members and one guest have asked about the 60sec commercials also know as your elevator sales pitch. It you speak with people or in front of an audience and no one asks any follow up questions... One of two things my be happening.

One, your message was not clear. Second, your brand my not be established.

What I mean about that is... What are you selling? Your company/product or yourself. Real simple example: Old Navy or even Polo. Why pay the price for these shirts with their logo on them instead of buying a generic shirt for less and no name on it?

Not to get into a brand vs generic debate, but just think about it next time you tell people your and Insurance Agent or Mortgage Broker. What are you selling?

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

PS Sign up for my presentation on Branding and selling Worldwide

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The bo staff in Business?

The bo staff is usually made of hard wood, such as red or white oak, although bamboo has been used. The bō may be tapered in that it can be thicker in the center then at the ends. The average size of a bō is around 6ft but they can be a long as 9ft. The earliest form of the bow staff, has been used throughout Asia since the beginning of recorded history. No kidding since it started out as a walking stick carried by travelers and monks!

We all read the newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio. But like the simple walking stick we never give it much thought. How did that news item wind up in the paper on or the radio? Simply it may have started as a news release. A simple release put out about a topic or interesting item. Something of note!

When was the last time you put out a news release? To tell the world about yourself, your business or even your website? The Internet now makes it very easy to do just that. Over the years we have used Constant Contact to build up our media database and help distribute our news releases via email. Simple but how many do the simple things to help our businesses.

Remember that 78 year old selling Singing Bears on the Internet I've spoken about before. When her website was relaunched we put out a news release. That got some coverage. Same with the Seminars we do. They have even been on the local radio stations. Clients have called and said they heard about my seminar on the radio! Now that's some nice news coverage.

So like the monks of old traveling down that road of life. Keep mindful of any thing that can be used....

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Referral Confidence Curve

BNI has this curve based on time in the group. It basically shows that the longer you are in a group the higher your confidence with members hence higher the number of referrals. I have been in my chapter Shore Money here at the Jersey Shore for over 9 years and I can say this is most definitely true. However most people go out of their way to sabotage their own creditability.

BNI also makes reference to treating your fellow chapter members as the Most Important Client. Yet today I have had everyone cancel meetings with me for today and tomorrow. Yes, the first thing I checked was my breath and BO! Some did not even bother to call they just sent an email. I guess my time is not worth as much as theirs. The time I set aside for these meetings is time that I can be doing billable work. So instead I did paperwork today and got on the phone to set up some more appointments for tomorrow.

The best part is that two of these that cancelled have been after me to get them into my clients. Now I ask you, can I honestly refer them in good faith to my clients? I mean honestly! Each time they cancel or reschedule a meeting don't they know they are losing creditability with me! Or don't they care?

Keep your appointments!
Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Can the Three Section Staff help your business?

The Three-Sectional Staff, Triple Staff, Three-part Staff, Sansetsukon in Japanese, or originally Sanjiegun, is a Chinese flail weapon that consists of three wooden or metal staffs connected by metal rings or rope. Also known in Japanese as sansetsukon, the weapon is also known as a "coiling dragon staff." A more complicated version of the two section staff, the staves can be spun to gather momentum resulting in a powerful strike, or their articulation can be used to strike over or around a shield or other defensive block.

Google Alerts can be wielded like a Three Section Staff. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include: monitoring your own publicity campaign or keeping current on a competitor or industry.

So like the Three Section Staff you can get around the shield of your competitor and find out what they are up to. That would be call Market Intelligence. Are you using Google Alerts?

Richard M.J. Jarosz on LinkedIn
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eskrima in Business?

Eskrima refer to a class of Filipino martial arts that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, blades and improvised weapons. The teaching of the basic skills in Eskrima are traditionally simplified. With limited time to teach intricate moves, only techniques that were proven effective in battle and could easily be taught en masse were used. This allowed villagers, generally not professional soldiers, a measure of protection against other villages, as well as foreign invaders. This philosophy of simplicity is still used today and is the underlying base of eskrima.

Thank you Wikipedia but what does this have to do with business????? E-mail that's what!!! It's the one technique proven to be effective and is available to the masses not only to Internet Professionals.

The actually technique I am referring to is the use of signature files or tag lines at the end of each and every email you sent out. Yet like most of the tools (weapons) available to small business owners today, very few use it. Just today I checked my email inbox and out of 73 new messages only 21 had a signature that make sense. That's less than one third!

The great thing about setting up a signature file on your email is that once it's setup your done! It attaches itself to each out going email. If you tell it too. Some email systems allow you can also set up multiple signatures if you want to but that is complicating the issue...

Most can be as long or as short as you like. My includes a number of our websites as well as a link to my LinkedIn profile if the reader want more information about me or my business. I only use one! The one listed below:

Richard M.J. Jarosz

Lone Keep Internet, Inc. 732.988.4044
P.O. Box 333
Bradley Beach, NJ 07720
"Profitability thru visibility!"
Divisions include:
Towne Crier Promotions

Jersey Shore Community Information Bulletin

Jersey Shore Guide

Jersey Shore Coupons

Monday, February 28, 2011

Links the misunderstanding

A client today told me that a vendor would not place a link on their site to my client's because they were told that would hurt their ranking! The vendor said that they were at the top of Google and did not want to jeopardize that.

So a big believer in the pudding as it were, off to Google we went. We searched on the vendor's main field of business and they were nowhere to be found. So we narrowed the search and included the county and then the city they were located in, still nothing. Finally we typed in the exact company name and they were third on the listing in Google. Not exactly the top in their field. I then explained possibly he should not take what the vendor tells him about the web as gospel.

Here's the real scoop. The links to your website are one of the most important factors for high search engine rankings. If you want to get high search engine rankings on Google, Yahoo and other major search engines, then your website must have many good inbound links. In addition to the sheer number of the links, the quality of the links is also important. Plain and simple!

We will talk about what makes a good inbound link at a later date.

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Using a Sai in Bussiness?

Another agricultural tool used as a weapon. Folklore has the Sai used to measure stalks, plant rice and even as a pitchfork to lift bales!? A strange farm tool and even a stranger weapon.

But how does this help me in businesses? Another strange tool is Twitter. A lot of people don't see the need or even how to use it. It a quirky little tool just like the Sai but in the right hands it can be deadly. True no one wants to know that you dad is on the patio (that bad commercial for some phone system or another). But if you have important things to share and build up a decent following it can be a very useful tool for your business.

Check out Lone Keep Internet on Twitter to see some examples of some useful Tweets. Also see if you competitors are using Twitter. If they are should you?

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kamas in Business?

First off, what the hell is a Kama? Before being improvised as a weapon, the Kama was widely used throughout Asia to cut crops, mostly rice. It is found in many shapes and forms in Asia and is particularly common in martial arts. We use them in Tae Kwon Do and I have trained with them.

Like one of my earlier posts about Nunchucks the Kama was a tool that the farmers had handy and used to help defend themselves. Business owners have a tool at their disposal that a lot have refused to use for a number of reasons. This tool is LinkedIn. My profile can we viewed at Richard M.J. Jarosz on LinkedIn. This is a lot like a resume online. Not only are my current but all my past positions as well.

The two best parts are the Recommendations and Connections sections. I can ask for recommendations from my previous managers and associates. I even have a recommendation from my first boss! The Connections sections not only tells you how many constants you have directly connected to you but you can also search others contacts. If you are looking for someone specific in your network (up to three levels away) you can find out how you are connected and use that info to contact that person! A great tool for target marketing!

But alas just like the farmer implement unless you use it properly it just remains a farm implement and nothing more... So is your LinkedIn a tool sitting on the shelf or a weapon of mass money making potential?

Use it well grasshopper.
Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting the Wrong Word Out!

Yes! Business owners do this all the time. When someone just happens to find them on the net it's the wrong information! I'm talking about business directories. You know those free listing that you did a couple of years ago and never updated. How many contain the wrong information? The wrong hours, telephone number or even the wrong address?? If you think this is not hurting you, guess again!

When was the last time you checked your free listings? Take the Jersey Shore Coupons Store Directory for example. Over a year ago it went to the new software and a lot of businesses jumped on it to take advantage of it's free business listings. Now for a number of them the information is incorrect. I know... I pointed it out to them and they have not corrected it! So the information is out there.. still wrong!

Some suggestions to help you in the future. When you do take advantage of these free directory listings copy down the URL into a text file, excel file, or whatever. Check them now and again. Update then with new info not only corrections. It will help your business in the long run.

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nunchucks in Business?

The popular belief is that nunchucks were originally a short Southeast Asian flail used to thresh rice or soybeans (that is, separate the grain from the husk). It is possible that it was developed in response to the moratorium on edged weaponry. In other words it was a tool that was developed to overcome a bad situation using the only resources available.

In today's business there are a lot of nunchucks out there for business owners to use. But just like the nunchucks used in martial arts you need training and practice to use them effectively.

Let's take one tool for example, Linked In. A business associate of mine, who is about to retire, has been trying for the last several months to place a recommendation on my profile. He has managed to send me nothing but emails each time. He says he can't be bothered by this new stuff. I'm just glad his life does not depend on it like those poor rice farmers of old!

A potential client heard me speak about this same exact subject yesterday at my BNI meeting in Belmar, NJ. After the meeting he asked me if I could spare some time to show him how to get started with Linked In. Ahhh! Grasshopper..... Someone got it!

Remember: The right tool for the right job!
Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Making Every Word Count

The dozen or so people gathering at the Neptune Public Library appear as diverse as the Pitt-Jolie family. Yet despite being of both genders and of every age they're confident, friendly and wearing plastic name badges. They gather twice a month for the Shore Speakers Toastmasters meeting.

Toastmasters has been teaching people how to improve their public speaking since 1924. 60 percent of its clubs are now in corporations. There are toastmaster clubs at Bank of America, Caterpillar, Intel, Microsoft and Wells Fargo. Aspiring rhetoricians join because they're looking to enhance their career prospects.

It's also a great way to work on one's networking. Not only at the club's meeting but also being better prepared when speaking with others at daily events like Chamber meetings, After-hour functions and even at a play or the lobby of the movies. Anywhere you may have to speak to people!

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.
Charter Member of the Shore Speakers Toastmasters Club

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weird Sites (Businesses)

Yes, weird websites (Businesses) are interesting. Being such, more people will point to them. There is even a Top 100 Weird Sites list on the web.

But is being weird so bad? For businesses maybe yes, maybe no. I recently met an owner of a business that had a weird business at least to me. A very nice guy he does Canine & Equine Massage Therapy. After talking to him I was actually able to point him to a client. This former employee owns a horse and she has already introduced him to the owner of the farm where she keeps it. You never know!

Mentioned this equine therapist at my BNI meeting yesterday and a member sent me the contact information, via email, of a reporter looking for people who had strange jobs. I believed this fits the bill. Massaging a horse... So I passed this info on to the business owner.

Just goes to show... You never know what will help "get the word out!"

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Local Newsletters

Do you contribute to your local online newsletters? Most are indexed in Google and if you are looking for content for your website... Well? Take the Jersey Shore Community Information Bulletin Archives for example. The JSCIB (for short) is a local newsletter about events at the Jersey Shore. Published online since 1996 with over 10,000 subscribers this email newsletter has all of its past issues indexed on line.

Local newsletters like this are always looking for additional content and as a busines or organization it would make sense to be mentioned in it. Enough said!

So do you know of any other Local email or online newsletters?

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Face to Face with Facebook

Did you or your clients get those nifty new devices for Christmas? You know, the smart phones and the like. They all have web access on them. That means FaceBook and Twitter!

Can you use them? Should you use them? Read several articles this past week addressing the use of Facebook by Colleges, Fraternities and yes even businesses to keep in touch. Not saying you must but it is a good idea to get connected to old college buddies. What Firms are they with now? Are they managers at Corporations you've been trying to get into?

Facebook and other social media are changing society in dramatic ways. However, many people are still afraid to use social networks for different reasons. Usually citing lack of time as the main reason they don't use Facebook. It can be a time waster but so can watching mindless TV. Common Sense is the key here. Limiting your time on Facebook (like limiting your kid's TV time... You do limit their time watching TV? Right?) can make it very productive.

Spending only a few minutes a day can open up a whole new world to you and your business...

How much time do you spend on Facebook daily?

Richard M.J. Jarosz

Monday, January 3, 2011

Why you should submit your website

You don't get very high search engine rankings just by submitting your website to search engines. That is very important to know.

1. You invite search engines to visit your website
When you submit your website to a search engine, you basically ask the search engine spiders to visit your website and to evaluate it. If the search engine spiders cannot find anything useful on your site, they won't list your website. It doesn't make any sense to submit your website to search engines if you haven't
optimized it before.

2. You get links from related websites
By submitting your website to Internet directories, you can get inbound links from related web pages. Usually, the category pages on Internet directories are considered related web pages if your website fits in the selected category. Inbound links can greatly increase the search engine rankings of a website if the links contain the right keywords and if the links come from related web pages. For that reason, links from Internet directories can have a very positive effect on the search engine rankings of your website.

Web page optimization and link building are more important than search engine submission. However, search engine submission still helps to inform search engines and Internet directories about your website. It's a start!

Richard M.J. Jarosz
Lone Keep Internet, Inc.