Smile, Measure, Improve, Live, Enjoy

Discover

Guest post: Ce am invatat din Email School de Stefan Beldie

Articol de Alex Dragan

Email marketingul este o cale foarte buna de promovare a produsului sau a serviciului tau, deoarece este mai ieftina decat Facebook-ul sau alte retele sociale si nu ofera atat de multa galagie precum Facebook, atunci cand vrei sa te promovezi.

Promovarea prin email marketing este mult mai intima, omul este singur cu mailul, nu are cum sa fie distras de postari, mesaje sau evenimente. Este slab exploatat in Romania si de aceea poate fi o nisa extrem de profitabila.

Totodata, este mult mai usor decat vanzarea propriu-zisa in fata clientului, deoarece ai timp sa-ti asezi gandurile pe foaie fara teama de a-ti uita ideile si nu trebuie sa fii un scriitor extrem de bun.

Trebuie sa cunosti bine produsul/serviciul, sa-ti cunosti clientii si sa transmiti mesaje corecte care sa-i faca sa cumpere.Se recomanda construirea unei liste de abonati sanatoasa, nu cumparata. Abonatii trebuie sa-si doreasca sa fie acolo, sa fie interesati de tine si de produsul tau.

Formularul de abonare trebuie sa fie cat mai simplu sa contina doar emailul, cel mult numele, si sa fie pus intr-o zona vizibila utilizatorului. Mai ai nevoie de un autoresponder in care sa scrii o serie de emailuri pe care sa le programezi sa se trimita fiecarui nou abonat. Astfel muncesti o data, castigi de mai multe ori.

Trebuie sa ai un fel de infotainment, adica sa aduci informatii noi invelite in amuzament, sa distrezi cititorul, nu sa-i predai lectii plictisitoare ca la scoala. Poti vorbi despre problema pe care o are un utilizator, dar nu oferi solutia gratis, lasa un link de unde poate vedea solutia si costul aferent rezolvarii acesteia.

Inspiratia pentru emailuri vine din viata in sine, din experientele pe care le traiesti.Trebuie sa fii prezent, ancorat in realitate sa poti sa gasesti o similitudine intre experiente si produsul/serviciul tau. Te poti inspira din documentare, folderul de spam pentru a vedea ce le-a copt mintea oamenilor pentru promovare, sau chiar problemele clientilor.

Subject line-ul este important, dar nu foarte important, el are rol de a starni atentia, de a face cititorul sa deschida mailul. Se recomanda ca mesajul sa fie pur text, iar imaginile sa fie folosite atunci cand se promoveaza produse.

Intervalele orare potrivite pentru trimiterea mailurilor sunt intre 8-10 dimineata si 15-16.

PS-urile devin importante atunci cand scrii un mail care nu are nicio importanta cu produsul promovat si vrei sa oferi un call to action care sa vanda. Vanzarea este mult mai importanta decat rata de deschidere.

Aceasta este pe scurt Email School, sper sa va fie de folos!

De ce sa iti testezi ideile de business inainte?

Steve Blank și Eric Ries spun adesea că 60% dintre startup-urile din State eșuează în primii 2-3 ani. Eu estimez că aproximativ 90% din startup-urile româneşti eşuează în primii 2 ani de existenţă. Și să ți pierzi toți banii investiți, 1-2 ani din viață, încrederea, energia și uneori relațiile nu este de loc plăcut. Așa că e normal să te întrebi, cum poţi porni prima ta afacere cu un risc cât mai scăzut de eşec? Sau altfel spus cum poți micșora la minimum costurile validării ideii tale de afacere în termeni de bani, timp și energie?

Un răspuns pe care antreprenori și investitori din toată lumea au început să îl dea și aplice este acela de a-ți testa ideea, nu în gol, ci ”în mijlocul acțiunii”. Piața îți va fi mereu adevărata măsură, iar asta nu poate fi validată decât mergând și stând de vorbă cu cei pe care vrei să îi ai clienți. Tot ce ai nevoie să știi despre afacerea ta pentru a fi de succes se află deja în mintea clienților tăi. Simplu, nu?

Marele meu regret este că nu știam de Lean Startup cu 20 ani în urmă, când am început primul meu business, pentru că m-ar fi scutit de timp pierdut, bani şi energie pentru multe din afacerile mele eşuate. Dar acum știu și mă bucur să văd că generațiile noi de antreprenori învață și aplică această metodă, pentru a lansa o afacere cu costuri și riscuri minime.

Am citit recent un articol de Ash Maurya, unul dintre preferații mei, și acesta puncta atât ideea de a iubi problema pe care o ai de rezolvat, cât și de a înțelege cu adevărat această problemă înainte de a veni cu o soluție. Clienților chiar nu le pasă de soluția ta, decât dacă le rezolvă pe bune durerile. Degeaba vrei să vinzi tu mere, dacă oamenii vor fructul pasiunii acum, nu-i așa? Din nou, simplu. Mantra pe care orice antreprenor bun o are pornește tocmai de aici: What are the pains of my clients?

Dacă poți înțelege asta, ideea e pe jumătate validată. Urmează apoi construirea soluției.

Până atunci însă, dacă vrei să te ghidez în acest proces de validare a ideii de business pentru a porni cu riscuri minime înainte, te aștept în programul online pe care îl lansez. Te poți înscrie aici: https://automatketing.com/valideaza-ti-ideea/

The Power of Storytelling brings David Sedaris

This June is full of exciting events. The Power of Storytelling has a great surprise in store, An evening with David Sedaris.

Here’s the reason for David Sedaris coming to Romania:

“One of his essay collection is the reason for his Romanian visit. Me Talk Pretty One Day is David Sedaris’ second book translated and published in Romanian in the Narator series by Editura Publica. In it, Sedaris touches on a bunch of hilarious events in his and his quirky family’s lives, but inevitably plunges into the universal, profound and sometimes dark themes of who we are, who we become in time and how we react in situations outside our comfort zones.”

Seems like my kind of event, with a lot of humour, stories, and lessons to be learnt. All the details here.

The Liberated Voice 2016

Finding your own voice and authenticity is always a quest and a challenge. I believe that everybody should work in that direction, though.

My friend Paul Dumitru is organizing an event that I highly recommend, which deals with precisely that – liberating your voice, finding your voice.

Or as the organizers say:

“What if your voice could reflect your personal power? And what if, through your voice, you would gain the energy, strength and confidence to express who you are?

We invite you to join a two days workshop (June 4-5, 2016) – a dynamic self-discovering experience. You will learn how to use your voice as a tool for your personal growth, self trust and freedom. Let’s just allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable.”

Couldn’t agree more!

What is the Liberated Voice?

“The Liberated Voice is an original method developed by Kefas Berlin in decades of work with hundreds of different voices, from the so called ”tone deaf” and frightened ”non-singers”, to the occasional and professional singers that may have lost their pleasure and freedom. Its aim is to help you discover your true voice and through it to better know yourself.

Through a unique combination of Breathing exercises, Movement and Voice sessions, in an atmosphere of trust and playfulness, this workshop will help you to release and eliminate the physical and mental tensions and blockages that affect your voice and therefore your persona. It’s about overcoming the internal structures that don’t allow you to use your voice at its full range, keeping you away from the strength and genuine joy that come along with it.”

Here all the details you need to know to join. Go ahead! :)

Esther Perel and The Shadows of Intimacy

The first weekend of June will be a good one as Otilia Mantelers and Gaspar Gyorgy invited Esther Perel in Bucharest, to present The Shadows of Intimacy. Who is Esther Perel? Well, you’ve probably seen her TED Talks, if not pause and watch this:

Esther is a one of a kind psychotherapist and relationship therapist, and the 4th of June is a great occasion to meet her and work hands-on while discovering your own erotic intelligence. During the conference she will share with the audience ideas about how to maintain sexual desire and the success of the relationship in a busy and technology-filled world.

As the organizers say: “We love the The Shadows of Intimacy metaphor and we used it to name Esther Perel’s conference in Romania. It refers to the fact that sexuality is the common ground of a couple, where both partners meet with all the love and passion they have for each other. In the same time, they also bring together the emotional legacy of the family life they had as children with their own parents, a legacy that influences their sex life and intimacy. We can metaphorically conclude that there are 6 people in the bedroom: the 2 partners and their respective parents.”

All the details for subcribing can be found here. I highly recommend it!

On authentic presentations

Every time I receive feedback after a presentation, I feel aggressed.

Especially since I never ask for it. But people keep coming to me, feeling the arduous need to tell me how my presentation could be better, insisting on the flaws and mistakes they observed, making accurate lists of what disturbed them.

In time, I realized that all these “critical saviours” only refer to the form, not the content. How I look down when I talk, how I use vulgar words, how I don’t have a structure or a Powerpoint presentation behind, etc.
Sometimes, complete strangers come to me, full of angst: “very interesting what you had to say, but I would like to give you some feedback on the way you talked”. I can reject those easily: “Thank you, I’m not interested in what you believe of my style, I would like to know whether you’re going to do something practical from today onwards, inspired by my talk. Or not.” Usually, they’re speechless and frustrated as I didn’t let them “constructively” criticize me, so they leave mumbling. Probably, a lot of compliments, I say to myself. I know, I’m a complete optimist :)

Other times, it’s close people that tend to do that, so I can’t reject them with ease, and they hurt me.

That’s why I want to clarify the topic of “my presentations” once and for all:

1. One of my main principles is authenticity. I prefer to watch a perfectly flawed talk, in matters of technique, but full of emotion and authentic, than one that is worked and worked, and perfectly delivered, but with no feeling to it. Content is a lot more important than form, to me. If what you’re saying is what you’re daily living, I don’t care how you say it. “Public speaking” trainers will now jump at me, saying that form is just as important, how you do it matters just as much as what you’re saying. In a world of trained liars, I prefer raw and sincere people, who live what they tell.

2. My models are presenters such as Gary Vaynerchuk or Zach Klein, passionate about their subjects, living and doing what they’re presenting anyway. You may like or dislike this type. If you don’t like it, it’s your right, but please don’t come to my talks then. And if you do come, please don’t give me feedback. I don’t want to perfect the form of my presentation. I want to perfect the way I live my life, that’s all.

3. Unasked for advice is a form of hidden emotional aggression. If you don’t understand or consider otherwise, please go to a good psychologist and thoroughly talk to him/her. One day you’ll thank me, even for just that.

4. No matter what you do or how you do it, there will always be a 5 to 10% of the people there who will be unsatisfied. Maybe they’re already unhappy at the time of the presentation, maybe they’re suffering a hidden depression for years, maybe they had an over-critical family environment and they internalized it, anyway, their problems. I don’t want everybody to like me, moreover, I’m not interested in those who don’t like me. It’s their right, but I’m not interested in their reasons, nor do I want to change for them to like me. If you don’t like me or what I say, please don’t waste even a second for me, I don’t deserve your precious time to correct, save or perfect me. Find the ones you do like and enjoy them.

5. If you come to my presentations and you don’t like it, please join me on the scene and do give a talk as you consider fit. You read earlier that I like imperfect and authentic speeches, so you have all the chances to receive a lot of applause from me. But I don’t need critics in my life, the ones that don’t do anything on their own, just analyze others.

6. In short:
– I’m not interested in feedback on form, just content.
– I’m not interested in presentation techniques, just in authentic and passionate people.
– I’m not interested why you like or don’t like me, I just want to know what you’re willing to do with your life from now on.
– I don’t need to be better in my talks, I want to be better in the way I live my life, every day.

Otherwise, all good and I’m still waiting for you (if you have the courage) at my presentations and workshops :)

On passion, vocation and mentoring

Here’s an interview I had with Bogdan Dumitrescu from Comedy.Show with ideas about passion, vocation, mentoring and coaching

1. What do you understand by vocation? What does it mean? Vocation is for me transforming a passion in a profession that provides you with a decent living while giving you purpose.

2. What does vocational mentoring mean? Vocational mentoring is a complex process of training and counseling for people that search for their vocation, as described above. Basically, through mentoring one develops a complex relationship in which the mentee has access to the mentor’s life and work experience, while, also, being helped to discover his/her own way in life, his/her own way of acknowledging that vocation.

3. What do you advise students? The best way in knowing oneself, in knowing what one likes and doesn’t like, what one is good at or not so good at, is action. Therefore, I advise students to experiment as much as they can, to work (even for a day or for free) in as many domains as possible, and to learn from all these experiences who they really are.

4. What can you recommend them after shortly graduating? If they managed to identify their passions and abilities during studies, ideally they should work, of course paid, as employees, freelancers, or even opening their own business. In order to do so, during their studies, and of course afterwards, it would be good to develop a personal brand, to be known as specialists in their passion or passions, especially on social media channels, which don’t cost so much (or don’t cost period).

5. What does passion mean? Passion is for me that activity that gets you into flow, as defined by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Ergo, an activity that charges you while doing it, that makes you forget time and makes you not want to stop, no matter how difficult it is. It’s about that kind of activity which you can’t not do.

6. How can you make money from a passion? In order to value and monetize a passion, it’s necessary to become a known specialist in that passion. For that, you must develop your abilities and expertize in the field, while also making yourself known by developing a personal brand and the notoriety it requires. Once known as an expert in a certain field, no matter how niched, it is a lot easier to identify and attract ways to monetize your competences.

7. How important it is to trust yourself and why? Self-esteem that is not based on real experience is just arrogance. I recommend building that trust and self-esteem through personal life experience and through results gained from hard work in various fields and organizations.

8. What is excitement, in your opinion? Excitement is that affective force that gives us the necessary energy to start new, unknown projects and activities.

9. What about talent? Talent is, for me, that native ability to learn and do something with ease, whether in the social, practical or artistic fields. But talent without work doesn’t show itself. And work without talent lets you have a decent or even more than decent lifestyle. Those that have talent and, also, work the 10.000 hours in developing that talent, as Malcom Gladwell shows, reach the world top of their field.

10. What else do you want to say to our students? To experiment a lot and in as various directions as possible, so as to discover their passions, talents and personal motivation in life. And to learn from those experiences, so as not to make the same mistakes over and over, hoping they will reach different results.

11. And for our professors? To do what a mentor does, meaning to help students discover their own way in life, not to try and chisel them “after their resemblance”.

12. What would you change in the current educational system? I would focus on experiential learning, on a mentoring relationship between the teacher and the student, and I would eliminate any evaluation and punishment system.

To be a taxi driver

One of my crazy dreams was to be a taxi driver.

Not for the money, but to interact with a greater variety of humans, more so than the ones I meet at the usual events I’m attending.

To see what it’s like to be a taxi driver.

And until Uber came to Bucharest, I thought it would be the kind of unaccomplished dream.

And now, reading about a dean at an American university having the same curiosities as me, who worked part-time for Uber, it seems like my dream is not that strange anymore…

About the inner attitude of a good coach

(some of my opinions after the second Iscoditor meeting)

1. The coach’s attitude is one of trust, patience and neutrality. You trust your client for finding his own best solutions, through repeated tries. You have patience for him to find those solutions and make decisions, even if you think you have better ones. You have an attitude of benevolent neutrality so as not to put pressure on your client, but you are the silent witness who keeps helping him on the road of searching and finding.

2. The coach is responsible for the process and focus, and the client on content and action.

3. The client is indeed the expert in his issue. He has access to all the necessary resources to find the proper solution and to make it happen.

4. The actions and results of the client are useful no matter the results. If what he has proposed for himself turns out as he wanted, we learn from what went well. If not, we acknowledge the blockages and limits on the road and we further act accordingly. Or sometimes we start thinking whether we should change objectives.

5. We can’t know if the objective and solutions are good or not, achievable or not, but the only way in finding out is to test them, and change the test based on results, continuing with this until we obtain the wanted results.

Think. Act. Change.

The two human qualities of a successful startup founder

After more than 1000 startup pitches seen in the last 5 years, I’m starting to believe that the only two real factors that indicate further success are as follows (and they are a part of the founders/management, not market or product related):

1. The capacity and desire to learn everything, from everyone, in all that you do.
2. Authentic respect for other people, no matter their role – clients, employees, service providers, partners, investors.

I do believe that when the founders live in an authentic and concrete manner, with these two character traits, for sure, they will find a valid business model, provided it’s sooner or later.

As for the rest of the factors and criteria, they’re inoperable without the two.

I’m not seraching for authenticity per se in everything, but I want to verify if that respect is real or just mimicked with other interests in mind. And the best way to find that out is to bluntly tell them my opinion regarding their person and their business.

If they manage to surpass their emotions and seek to understand what is useful and realist in what I’m saying, not becoming agressive or mean, then they pass the first test.

If by the next meeting they have already applied what they understood and what we discussed, then they pass the second test.

In my experience, that rarely happens.

 

 

Let`s get in touch!