The Newsletter Pro January 2019

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Are You Prepared for the Coming Economic Slowdown? Real Success How I Personally Turn Lemons Into Lemonade You’ve Been Looking at It All Wrong — Discover ‘The Motivation Trap’ Update Your Web Presence in the New Year With Weebly




Lo Stopher Is Back for Round Two

THE VERY SURVIVAL OF YOUR BUSINESS Could Depend on Your Ability to Execute These Strategies!

Think Your Company Has a Good Culture? Take a Peek at Adobe


Congrats, you made it one more year! In business, simply surviving a year can be a big accomplishment. I don’t know if you’ve started planning for 2019 yet, but I’m deep in the middle of a project right now to ensure 2019 is The Newsletter Pro’s best year ever. To help with that, I’ll be spending much of next week working on a new book that will be out in about 60 days. More details on that to come soon! Inside this newsletter, you’re going to see an article I wrote about the coming recession. I’m not trying to fearmonger here, but mark my words, it is coming. The economy goes in cycles, and many of the estimates I’m hearing signal that the end of 2019 or early 2020 is the start of the next recession. Of course, a recession is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be, especially if you’re not prepared. I hate to put a damper on the new year with this talk of a down economy, but I also don’t want you to kick off next year unprepared. With that

said, I strongly urge you to implement these three strategies, all of which will be beneficial whenever the economy turns. The best-case scenario is the economy keeps going through 2020 and you’re more stable and growing. The first strategy you MUST implement is relationship marketing. I’ve been preaching this all year long because it is that important. Relationship marketing is a complicated — but necessary — beast. Think about it like this: If the economy shifts and I’m suddenly spending more time considering how much money I’m spending, why would I continue to do business with you over going to the lowest-priced person in town? What is going to stop me from using that coupon I just got in the mail? Of course, you could say service, but doesn’t everyone say they have the best service? You may have a unique selling proposition, but most of our competitors can mimic those. So, how do we go out and create a relationship marketing campaign? All relationships start with communication. Trust is built over time with a lot

of communication. Don’t take my word for it; the first result in a quick Google search says this:

“Communicate, communicate, communicate. Frequent, honest communication builds trust.”

So if you’re communicating with clients twice per year plus each time you want money, how much trust do you think you’re building? Nearly zero. If you stop your communication, how long before all the trust you’ve built is gone? My research shows that if you go six months without communicating with your customers and prospects, your trust is equal to that of a brand-new vendor in your category. That means that the right offer at the right time will cause a customer to leave and try your competitor. At a minimum, you’ll lose that revenue for that transaction, and you run the risk of losing the customer forever. The challenge is how do you communicate with a customer or prospect on a regular basis so they will pay attention and consume what you’re telling them? We also need to solve the problem of not boring them and communicating at scale. Continued on page 2 ...




... COVER CONTINUED Often, one product can help on multiple fronts. For example, a newsletter like the one you’re reading accomplishes all of the above as long as you use the right formula for creating your content. I know that statement is self-serving, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Now, a newsletter is a great first start, but you need more than that to build a solid relationship. Birthday cards are awesome, or you can send anniversary cards or gifts (your anniversary with them, not their marriage anniversary). Useful emails that add value and don’t simply clutter the inbox are appreciated. Unexpected gifts are always welcomed. Events are also a great way to get face time with your customers and prospects, particularly if those events provide useful, educational information — and don’t bore your customers. Selling your customers additional products and services is a huge relationship builder that’s seldom talked about. There is a reason phone and cable companies bundle three services together for the best price; it lowers churn, and the more positive interactions you have with a company, the deeper and better the relationship is. So what else can you sell to your existing customers that would help them and, in turn, endear them to you more?

services that actually add value and help the end user, or you simply need to speed up churn. “Selling your customers ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS and SERVICES is a huge RELATIONSHIP BUILDER Another overlooked but powerful recession-proof strategy to help with growth is celebrity. I’m not talking about a Kim Kardashian-type of celebrity, though that would help. I’m talking about local or niche-based celebrity. Most people simply don’t employ this strategy, either because they feel that saying they want to be a celebrity would be weird and vain or they feel the strategy sounds too hard. It can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. that’s seldom talked about.”

niche onstage helps a ton, and writing a book is a huge celebrity booster. There are numerous Instagram celebrities as well as other social media celebrities, so why can’t you be one of those? Many people want to associate themselves with celebrities, and it doesn’t suck from a referral standpoint to have people bragging about being your customer. I could write a whole newsletter on this single topic, but to get started, you need to have media that you publish on a regular basis. It could be YouTube videos, newsletters, books, Instagram posts, or better yet, all of the above. After that, you need to be seen on the above- mentioned TV channels. Slowly, but surely, you’ll start to build a following. I want to end back where we started: The slowdown is coming. Many people don’t realize that, according to economists, we’ve been out of the Great Recession since 2011. This good economy is now going on eight years. To give you an example of how good it has been, in 2011, the Dow was at nearly 11,607 on the last day of November 2018, and the day closed at 25,307, more than double where we were earlier this decade. The gravy train has to stop at some point. The question is will you and your business be ready for the slowdown, or will you ignore my advice and need to scramble to survive and thrive?

To make this strategy really work, you need to make sure you have complementary products and

Being “as seen on” ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, or heck, even the CW, adds celebrity. Speaking to your





Are You Prepared BUSINESS HOW-TO

for the Coming Economic Slowdown?

There are many people on both sides of the fence when it comes to the health of the economy. Some are talking about how amazing and strong the U.S. economy is, while others are warning of an impending doom. Have you given it any thought? I have many times over the years, and here is what I know: If you build a good business with systems, processes, and loyal customers on the back of a good product or service, the economy going bad is less of an issue for you. On the flip side, if you build a transactional business that has no relationship with your customers, few sources for leads, and a sloppy sales process, you should lie awake at night in fear because it is only a matter of time before you are struggling or out of business. You may be wondering why I’m talking to you about this at the start of a new year; isn’t January supposed to be exciting and filled with optimism? Personally, it is exciting and I am optimistic, but I see so many businesses who simply aren’t going to make it through the next downturn. I’m sounding the alarm bells now so you can get ready because it is coming. I’m not going to pretend I can predict when or how severe, but like the housing marketing of 2008, it can’t go up forever. Fortunately, right now is the time to fix problems that will be business killers when another recession hits. Right now is the time to build relationships

with your customers and fix your customer experience. Right now is the time to make sure you’ve got 3–5 or more lead sources so that when one or two of them go bad during the economic downturn, you’re not out of business. You can totally wait, but by the time the government tells us we’re in a recession, two quarters in a row will have sucked for growth. At that point, making the changes will be more difficult. Think of it like this: If you do fix some of the issues in your business — for example, your customer relationship, or lack thereof — what’s the worst that happens? The economy keeps going for five more years and you make a crap-ton more money? On the other hand, if you don’t fix those relationships and customers start bailing for the low-price leader, you’re screwed. I hope so, but I don’t want to be all doom and gloom in this article, so let me switch gears and give you an action plan for 2019 to make sure that you’re ready when the economy shifts. CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP AND EXPERIENCE I just got off the phone with CenturyLink about the fiber optics internet I’m having installed at my office in a few weeks. I sent an email to the customer It is not a matter of if , but when . The question is are you going to be ready?

service manager because it was taking three weeks to get a response to multiple emails we’d sent about the install process and activation time frame. When I spoke to the manager, she told me her team is overworked and that their typical response time to emails is currently two weeks. What?! I asked her if she was joking, and she said she was not. Two days in most cases is too long, let alone weeks. You’re not the government or a semi-monopoly like a utility company, and neither am I, and our customers won’t tolerate a two-week response time. What is the experience like in your company? I’m sure it isn’t that bad, but is it great? Could it be improved? How would you improve it? What about customer relationship? Do your customers think they’re just a number? Do you actually communicate with them at least once a month with something that isn’t a sales pitch, a customer service email, or a bill? If not, you’re losing the relationship. In a down economy, you will be treated as a commodity and discarded if you’re not the lowest price in town. How about lost customers or churn? Do you know the true number of lost customers you have each month? What about lost revenue, where a customer decreases their average spend with you? Do you know how much that is each month? You have to know these numbers. How is the employee morale at your office? Does it need to be fixed? Do people enjoy coming to work, or do they merely tolerate it? If your employees only kind of like coming to work now, and the economy takes a downturn and they’re miserable, can you imagine how bad that customer service is going to be? What’s the sales process like? Are you leaving money on the table? How do you close more deals from the leads you already have? How can you generate more referrals? These are all areas you need to focus on today to be ready for tomorrow. Ignore my advice at your own peril.








This is just a quick little note to say ...

Darien Smartt (a fantastic writer on the Green Team) is da bomb!

I have lost sleep some nights worrying that I won’t be “good enough” to give her enough information to write about. I have stepped out of important meetings — the latest one a No-BS Inner Circle meeting in Chicago — just to talk to her ... and I felt happy that I did! At times, I have forgotten that she was going to call. We winged the interview, and she still made “stone soup” out of our conversation. I like that she is always in a good mood! I like that her interviews always challenge me! I like that she always seems prepared! I like that she is a geek! I like that she is a cat person! I like the quality of every article she has written for my newsletter! Heck, I even like the quality of the other custom articles she writes for your general newsletter use! And, most of all, I like her positive, supportive telephone voice and always-bubbly attitude when representing The Newsletter Pro!

and HowYou Can Do the Same to Get Ahead in Business and Life! HOW I PERSONALLY TURN LEMONS INTO LEMONADE

Last month, I held our first Scale-Up Business Bootcamp, and it was a huge success!

When I say “huge success,” I don’t mean for me — although it was a success for me as well. I mean it was a huge success for the attendees, and that is the most important outcome. I mention this because I see entrepreneurs lose sight of how important that is from time to time. Personally, I’d


‘The Motivation Trap’ Uncovers Key Strategies for Sustained Success “How do I keep my team motivated?” You’ve just asked this question for the umpteenth time or overheard a manager on your team ask it. But according to John Hittler, the question you need to be asking is “Why is it my job to keep my team motivated?” Having spent the last 15 years coaching CEOs and Fortune 500 leaders, Hittler has heard the question of motivation come up over and over again. In that time, Hittler has discovered that motivation is not the barrier — or solution — to success that it’s often made out to be. In his new book, “The Motivation Trap,” Hittler puts forth an idea almost as controversial as his last name: Motivation is mostly a waste of time . By the end of the book, you’ll understand why. It starts by describing the way motivation is often used. Leaders see motivation as something that can be won with a carrot-and-stick approach, but it’s actually just a short-term stimulus. When leaders use motivation to spur their team on, they’re driving productivity with a tool that’s incredibly unreliable. Think MOTIVATION ISNOTTHEANSWER

Whatever you’re paying her is not enough!

(But you don’t need to tell her THAT until her next review comes around.)

I really enjoy being a client of The Newsletter Pro, and Darien Smartt is one of the main reasons that I do!

– Travis West Building Air Quality




rather break even or lose money in a situation like this than shortchange the people who flew or drove in to be here. Would you be willing to lose money on an event, customer, product, or service to make it right for the customer? I’m a big believer that actions speak way louder than words, but many entrepreneurs’ actions contradict their words. You hear companies all the time say, “We’re the best! We’ve been in business for 57 years!” (Personally, I could care less. That even turns me off if you’re really small.) Next thing you know, a customer service situation happens, and all of a sudden, they aren’t the best. They don’t care — the apathy that has set in over 57 years rears its ugly head, and the customer is left holding the bag. Have you ever experienced that with another company?

Pro. Every single month, we make mistakes. Every month, I lose money because someone messed up, and we have to fix the mistake for the customer in some way, shape, or form. It happens; no one is perfect.

that the mistake never would have happened in the first place.

I’ve found that if things go badly and it is everyone else’s fault, that leaves me powerless to fix anything and ultimately makes me the victim. Once I find out where I’ve fallen short, I can then look at who else fell short. Did an employee mess up? Did a system break? Did the customer make a mistake and we compounded it? At the end of the day, every problem in your company is a leadership problem, which means the assessment needs to start with you. The truth of the matter is this is also true for your personal life. Got into a fight with your spouse? There is blame to go around. Having issues with your kids? Guess what? You need to first look in the mirror at how you parent. Circling back around to business and customers, there are times when the customer is wrong. I’ve had people over the years turn the smallest of issues into reasons to be upset. I recently Continued on page 6 ...

The good news is that most customers forgive mistakes if they are honest mistakes.

hard. “You get started with motivation. You get results with additional, more effective tools,” says Hittler. He points out that having purpose, courage, habits, inspiration, systems, and processes is much more effective for encouraging a team to bring their best every day. Hittler delves into definitions of each tool, unpacking them and using real-world examples to bring each to life. Of the takeaways of “The Motivation Trap,” one of the many that sticks with you is the idea that traditional motivation is forceful and relies on external forces to work. Hittler calls on leaders to empower team members instead of coercing them into productivity. As a leader, it’s not your responsibility to keep your team motivated. It’s your responsibility to lay a foundation that allows each one to find their own motivation, purpose, and inspiration within your company. For CEOs, managers, parents, and anyone who wants to help their team perform at their best, there’s a lot to be learned from “The Motivation Trap.” Check it out to discover key strategies for sustained success. The funny part about making mistakes is that if you follow the mistake up with good customer service, you can actually turn the customer from being negative and upset into a raving fan. That, however, is an article for another time. Of course, we want to minimize mistakes as much as possible. Let me share with you how I do that both personally and professionally. It all starts with you doing an honest assessment of what went wrong and how you were at fault. I feel that one of the secrets to my success in business has been my ability to be introspective. When everything goes sideways, after I’ve fixed the problem, one of my rituals is to sit down and spend some time figuring out what I could have done better or differently so

Be honest — does your company do that sometimes?

Since we’re being honest here, I’ll give you some inside baseball about The Newsletter

about it: How many times have you woken up feeling fully motivated and ready to take on the day, but by 10 a.m., the caffeine has worn off and you still have a day’s worth of work ahead of you?

Have You Heard the Good News?

Motivation is just a spark. It’s not the long- burning fuel that keeps teams working

Philippians 3:13–14 — ”One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 — ”Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” John 16:33 — ”I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Ephesians 4:32 — “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”




MARKETING HOW-TO CONTINUED ... had a customer who got upset because they felt we should call one of our departments by a different name. What? To be clear, in my situation above, this wasn’t just a suggestion for a different name. The name of the department was on the list of reasons we should refund them money. Sometimes people are just shady, and it is okay to ignore those people, but if everyone is shady and it is always someone’s else fault, then frankly, you’re wrong. Every entrepreneur knows the customer isn’t always right, but we entrepreneurs aren’t always right either.

ultimately make you more money by having fewer mistakes, lower customer churn, and happier customers overall.


P.S. Our next Scale-Up Business Bootcamp is on Feb. 8 and 9 at my office in Boise, Idaho. Tickets are discounted right now, and there are some awesome

fast-action bonuses. Go to scaleup to get all the details and register before the price goes up and the bonuses go away. You have my personal guarantee that it will make you money in 2019.

When in doubt, I always err on the side of the customer.

If you take only one thing from this newsletter this month, I hope it is this tactic. I assure you that if you do, it will improve you as a person, as an entrepreneur, and a spouse, and it will


Kick Your E-commerce Up a Notch Despite the fact that it’s the first month of 2019, a lot of e-commerce websites are behind the times. There are a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners who don’t prioritize their web presence, or it’s little more than an afterthought to them. additional marketing and social media tools to website appearance and usability options. With

The people behind Weebly recognizes this. They know entrepreneurs have more important things to do than worry about their websites. To give entrepreneurs and small businesses a leg up in the web space, they put together a series of tools, including website building and integrated marketing. This, in a nutshell, is what Weebly ( is all about. As an e-commerce website builder, Weebly works for those who are just getting started or those who want to transition to a newer, more streamlined platform. Weebly also comes with a number of built-in marketing tools, including targeted social media ads and email marketing. More importantly, Weebly has tools that allow you to customize your website to fit your business’s needs. You can use Weebly’s basic tools, or you can use more specific website plugins and add-ons for more functionality and customization. This is where Weebly’s app center comes in. The app store ( has a huge variety of add-ons you can explore, ranging from

On the topic of usability, Weebly automatically optimizes your website for mobile use. This seemingly simple feature can be a lifesaver for business websites. Weebly ensures your website is up to Google’s standards to help you avoid being penalized by the web search giant, which can destroy your web search ranking. Beyond those basics, Weebly also has a mobile app so you can keep tabs on your website on the go. Monitor web traffic, check analytics, or make minor updates to your website all from the convenience of your phone. Ultimately, that’s what Weebly is — convenience. It takes away the tediousness that can come with setting up and maintaining a website and e-commerce portal. Reach your customers, keep in contact with those customers, and make your life easier all at the same time.

As a result, they set up a simple online shop or portal that people may or may not be able to buy from. It’s poorly laid out, making it hard to navigate, and ultimately it pushes potential customers to continue their search elsewhere for the goods or services you provide. When you have a bad website, you lose customers.




The Secret to Success? Puppy Dogs!

Lo Stopher on Crushing Your Goals

A few months ago, our own Lauren “Lo” Stopher stepped into the spotlight to discuss her role as marketing consultant and coordinator. Since then, Lo surpassed the goals that were set for her (four times over) in a single month. It was only fitting we invite her back to hear about how she did it. “The most powerful tools I have in my position are the connections I make with people,” Lo explains. “When I’m at events talking about what we do, I get to meet people from so many walks of life. I’ve met guest speakers who are experts in their industry and up-and-coming business owners whose hopes and visions for the future just radiate from them. With every person I meet, I have an opportunity to make a genuine connection and get to know who they are, their hopes in life, and how we can help them get there.” With her open personality and clear passion, it’s no wonder Lo is so successful at connecting with current and future clients at events all over the If you’re looking for more great content — like what you’re reading in this newsletter — to drive your business forward, take a look at these articles on our blog. How the Harmon Brothers Turn Poop Into Viral Marketing Gold marketing/ Mastering the Art of Story Selling: How to Build Your Story as Your Brand selling/ Celebrity Marketing for World Domination Success Starts With Family family/ KEEP UP With Our BEST POSTS

country. But if you ask Lo, she attributes a great deal of success to a mini goldendoodle named G.

be where I am today without her guidance and expertise. We have a real dream team, and I couldn’t do my job half as well if they didn’t have my back.” It takes a good team to find success, and we consider ourselves lucky to have Lo Stopher — and G, too — as part of The Newsletter Pro team!

“My dog is literally my heart,” Lo says. “G is a rescue, and I didn’t understand the craze about being a dog mom until she came along. I’ve connected with so many people over a shared love of our dogs. When I show clients information on my phone and they see G on my background, they start telling me all about their dogs. It’s awesome! People love animals, and that’s the kind of genuine connection I love making.” In addition to getting help from a real pair of puppy dog eyes, Lo also had plenty of praise for the rest of her team. “We have an awesome marketing team. They’re so innovative with new products they roll out and the packages we’re able to offer. And our whole sales team is solid. Amanda Dunson continues to be an amazing leader on our sales team. I wouldn’t




208.297.5700 391 N Ancestor Pl, Boise, ID 83704 Keep up with our latest office news, blogs, and promos at!

BUSINESS PROFILE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE NORM How Adobe Sets the Standard for Company Culture

Businesses across the country are jumping on the new wave of overhauling their company cultures. Entrepreneurs are starting to see just how much an exciting work environment can stimulate productivity and loyalty in their team members. Owners mimic the likes of Zappos or Google and attempt to create a work-life balance that takes the stress away and brings joy back to the workplace. At The Newsletter Pro, we run masterminds and bootcamps that center around this exact topic, and at every event, we field questions that allow others to mirror our successes and learn from our failures. But while we take great pride in our culture, and always will, there’s one company that is a model for successful business cultures everywhere. MY GARAGE IS BETTER THAN YOUR GARAGE When Adobe started in 1982, technology looked different than it does today. I’m sure many of you can look back and picture what your first computer looked like. Maybe it was a bulky PC that ran so hot you could cook an egg on it, or possibly it was one of the Macintosh LCs that could easily be confused for a weight scale. Just as you started with one of these old relics, so did Adobe with their business origin. The long list of Silicon Valley garage moguls includes Adobe’s creator, John Warnock, and when he envisioned a company that specializes in printing software, the last thought on his mind was what the employee snack bar would look like. Fast forward over 35 years later, and Adobe is considered one of the best places to work in the world. They feature an amenity list that includes a medical room, a mother’s room, a fitness center, wellness programs, sports courts, game rooms, dry cleaning, bicycle repair, an employee garden, and onsite haircuts, to name a few. It’s been ranked in the Best Workplaces for Women, Millennials, and those in the Bay Area. Adobe ranks No. 6 on People’s 2018 Companies That Care list. Their large number of culture awards

generates over 320,000 eager applicants every year. Above all else, 97 percent of their employees are proud to tell others they work at Adobe. All the accolades are impressive, but how do they do it? They start by avoiding culture pitfalls. COMMODIFICATION Somewhere along the way, the intent behind culture became muddied. Companies across the country stopped looking at their work environments as a way to increase employee enjoyment and started seeing perks as a means for retention. While a great culture can certainly increase overall satisfaction and mitigate employee departures, it’s not the Nerf gun wars that keep workers at their jobs. The knowledge that their employers value their best interests just as much as the work they do is what retains employees.

you have to attract the best, and that means shelling out some dough now and then. Adobe does that and then some. BRING THE REAL It’s one thing to offer paid vacations, and it’s another thing to have an in-house basketball court, but it’s something else entirely to take feedback and go above and beyond to put it into action. Maternity leave is a hot topic in the discourse on employee benefits today, and Adobe does not shy away from helping their workers raise their families. They boast 130 days of fully paid maternity leave, no questions asked. But they don’t stop there. Each employee who’s away for over 90 days can go through a welcome back program that allows for an alternative work arrangement to transition back to a daily schedule. Not done yet. Many companies — including Adobe — provide lactation rooms, but nursing mothers who travel for work are often left to fend for themselves when it comes to feeding their children while away from home. That’s why Adobe offers Milk Stork — a service that will ship breast milk back home — for free. SUCCESS IN CULTURE When it comes down to it, every business culture should be different and contribute to a diverse landscape of unique workplaces. Early human cultures weren’t built from someone acting on behalf of others; they were cultivated from the needs and qualities of the people who lived in them. If you’re building a company culture, are you creating an environment that you want to work in or one that your employees can’t wait to come back to day after day? If you want to jump on the culture revolution train, don’t implement the same systems everyone else does. Listen to your staff and create something truly unique, not for your teams but with your teams.

Culture is not something you can systematize. It’s something that is bred from intent. When Adobe created their work habitat, it probably didn’t stem from a cost-benefit analysis that factored in the price of a campus massage room to the revenue loss of an employee leaving. You can tell by the type of perks they offer that it’s not retention at the forefront of their decision-making but rather genuine care for their employees. From that desire to serve their employees comes retention, and of course, recruitment. If you want to be the best,




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