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OWNING GROW YOUR BUSINESS BY

YOUR DATA How to Use the Most Powerful Business Concept in the Information Age

From a Home-Based Business Owner to a Multi-Billion Dollar Corporation,

Brian Galvan


For the Reader Over the years I’ve worked with many people from different industries, but they usually had something in common. Quite often, they were companies who had been taken advantage of, ripped off, or just plain misinformed on what worked. I’d be the one they called to come in and clean up whatever mess was made. So why does it happen? Problems like these are created when people bypass quality and take the cheaper route over the best solution. This will ALWAYS cost more in the long run. Poor information can only yield poor results.

How much do you value the power of great information? Personally, I don’t mind paying for information proven to give results. As I said, being saved from misinformation is huge because losing time is losing money. It takes more time and money to fix things than to do them right in the first place! For this exact reason, I’ve always thought it important to inform my clients on best practices with the hope they might better protect themselves from future frauds or campaigns that would waste their efforts. (Teach a man how to fish, right?) I’ve easily created or assisted in thousands of website build outs, advised hundreds in SEO and SEM services, and worked on numerous successful media campaigns. Along the way, I’ve created my own best practices that tie in forms of marketing, technology and psychology, all to give my clients serious results. Many times I was given the challenge of producing results on an extremely limited budget. This forced me to be creative with time and money. From those challenges, I have proven you don’t need tons of money at your disposal. Big budget or small, this concept will work 100% of the time when you do it right. Absorb the message in this book, and it will stay with you for a lifetime.


Owning Your Data ISBN:978-0-9893889-1-7 Copyright © 2013 by Brian Galvan All rights reserved. The author freely grants permission to quote up to 300 words of this book as long as the name of the author and the source accompanies the quotation. Beyond that, no part of this publication may be produced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or and manner whatsoever without the written permission of the author. This Publication is designed to provide competent and reliable information regarding the subject matter covered. However, it is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering legal, financial, technically or other professional advice. Laws and practices often vary from state to state and if other expert assistance is required, the services of a professional should be sought. The author and publisher specifically disclaim any liability that is incurred from the use or application of the contents of this book. If you purchased this book without a cover, be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reports as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case, neither author nor the publisher has received and payment for this “stripped book”. Brian Galvan & TideShiftMedia.com


Contents Introduction1 Rise of the  Information Age 

7

The Problem Today

15

Owning Your Data:  Take Control!

23

Benefits of  Owning Your Data

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Data Equals Gold

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Social Media Marketing

47

Give them Value

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Real Business Case Study

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Ready to Start?  Tools You’ll Need

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Step-by-Step The How-to

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Collect, Dissect, and Improve 

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Resources96 Acknowledgements97


Introduction

Let’s start off with a little personal history. I’ve been fascinated by the world of information technology ever since 1996 when I purchased my first computer. Since then, as a web developer, designer and overall information technology expert, it’s always been my goal to remain educated on cutting edge trends and practices. Over the last few years I’ve become more of a “marketeer.” My technical geek side has allowed me to uniquely merge technology with old, new and experimental marketing concepts. With this blend, I’ve helped businesses deploy technology based solutions to stimulate growth and prosperity. Now I want to reach out to other small business owners and share my expertise. I take great pride in knowing I can help someone on their quest for the “American Dream.” After all, small business is the backbone of America. Being a small business owner, I know first hand the hard work and dedication it takes in becoming a successful entrepreneur. I want to help those who are willing to put their time and energy into making things happen. Although, I have a soft spot for small business, the concept I’m sharing with you will work whether you are self employed or run a company of over five hundred. Size and industry are not factors. Anyone can reap amazing results. Yes, I’ve seen tremendous growth for those companies who 1


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1 embraced this way of business. I’ve also seen industries flipped 1 upside down because they refused to change. They didn’t keep up with current trends and technologies. Businesses that made the strategic shift into the digital world continued to grow. Predictably, those stuck in the past, were left with a nightmare scenario. Their sales went on a downward spiral, and ultimately their company went out of business.

This book is intended for the business owner or marketing professional who finds themselves in the digital world that is quickly changing the way business is done. Like so many others, you realize the Internet and other new technologies look promising, but you don’t know where to start. This book will teach you how.

Fact:

“I am a master of I was the and squeezing moststill am out of a buck of by squee master finding free or low thesolutions mostforout of a cost businesses!” and finding free

low-cost alternat to ones that cost good chunk of m You need to understand that it’s the most that you will lear important thing your business is NOT doing! this book!

Owning Your Data is not just a conceptual book, but also a how-to manual. My mission is to make you understand the IMPORTANCE of owning your data.

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By simply applying this concept, you will learn new ways to expand while adding equitable value. Your objective as the reader is to realize collecting and indexing “data” is vitally important to the success of your business. This book will give you a starting point and all the tools you need to get growing. Owning Your Data is also associated with my website where I’ve listed tools, services and links for your convenience. To make it even easier, you can view the How-To videos also accessible on my website. You can speed up the learning process with these step-by-step tutorials. There are many free videos, so check them out, and be on the lookout for more as I am constantly updating. I’m just trying to make life easy and you successful. Feel free to use whatever works best for you. I’m not here to debate which tools or services are better than others. The best solution is the one that helps you make the most money in the easiest way possible. By Owning Your Data, I know you will find success and prosper.

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OwningYourData.com Website

facebook.com/owningyourdata Facebook

linkedin.com/in/briangalvan Linkedin

info@owningyourdata.com Email

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Chapter 1

Rise of the Information Age The Internet constantly changes the way we do business. Today it’s forcing us to develop new and innovative ways to market individuals as well as companies. While many consider the Internet a blessing, some industries deem it a curse. These businesses just don’t see what the Internet has to offer!

How Times Have Changed For over 30 years, the restaurant equipment supply industry followed a business model powered by human sales representatives. In that model, representatives of the company would visit establishments and solicit until someone made a purchase. This method provided a healthy profit while supporting such expenses as sales staff and the maintenance of a fully stocked warehouse. As the Internet progressed and became more accessible, customers 7

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began to search online for the best prices. In order to compete with Internet providers, companies holding on to the “salesmen” mentality dropped prices just to stay in the game, but their substantial overhead would keep them in the red, unless some changes were made. Smart companies realized this future and quickly made moves to reduce overhead by eliminating “unnecessary” human staff or sales reps. They adapted and positioned themselves to collect sales from the Internet. With little to no overhead costs, their sales results soared. Internet savvy companies passed savings down to consumers by reducing prices and easily beat out competitors still locked into old style methods.

?

What value does a 30,000 square foot warehouse now hold?

g

Information age thinkers understand a database can be the modern day equivalent to a goldmine. If the smallest business with a limited budget has access to digital information on customers (primarily email addresses), they can jump into competition with the biggest brands in their industry. 8


What’s More Valuable?

@ @ @

OR Bricks & mortor building

Database of clients

Of course, this situation is not unique to the world of restaurant equipment. Today, all industries are affected by the Internet, from printing to real estate. In 2009, while I was dealing directly with print company owners, I read a report by Sageworks listing the printing industry in the top 10 of private companies most prone to bankruptcy. Remarkably, instead of asking how they could change their methods and adapt to current times, they were filled with negative feedback and complaints. In general, a negative attitude is counter productive, but the cold shoulder toward technological shift led to the ultimate failure of their businesses. 9

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My all-time favorite quote

“ NOT TO BE ” IT’S

LIKE IT USED

Of course it’s not like it was! The world is changing, are you? 10


Companies who operate with outdated business models and refuse to change, are doomed to failure. Just because it worked before, doesn’t mean it will work forever. Being directly involved in the “dying” print industry I would hear similar gripes like “There’s no money left in this industry!” “Print is Dead!” and “Magazine Publishing is Dead!” This just isn’t true. There are requirements for success in business, but you need to adapt to the times. Today, focused and specific print dominates publishing. When content is niche oriented,demographically targeted, and works with online portals to serve subscribers, it will survive and thrive (e.g. Wall Street Journal, .Net Magazine). Focused content alone, however, does not equal success in the printing business. If coupled with a poor attitude toward technology, a business would still fail. Those who embraced technology clearly found success.

Author’s

Note:

I have subscriptions today, although they aren’t your typical magazine.The content is very specific and targets certain readers, like myself. These subscriptions cost me $12 to $25 dollars PER magazine, which I happily pay since they have exactly what I’m looking for. 11

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As a specific example, look at the president and the owners of 4over. com and consider their backgrounds. Their knowledge base was in web development and technology, not printing. They never had any intention of getting into the print industry and actually assumed the company from debts owed to them! Since its inception in 2001, 4over Inc. has experienced triple digit growth annually. In only a few short years, 4over has grown into a market leader in the trade print industry nationwide. In addition to 4over’s superior print quality and fast delivery, the firm offers a large array of print products from business cards to posters, linen stock to magnets, and much more. 4over’s services have attracted a substantial number of customers, including print brokers, graphic designers, quick printers, photographers, and other industry professionals. 4over’s immense growth saw them expand from a single building in 2001 to eight operational facilities in California, Ohio, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey. Not bad for some former web developers like me :) Remember, this industry is supposed to be one highly prone to bankruptcy, but 4over.com grew! Their commitment to adopting technological advances allows for their huge success in the “dying print industry.” 12


Now here is the big question for every small business owner:

What can I do, today, to tap into the great advantage offered by new technology trends? Before continuing, sit back and ask yourself that question a few more times. The answer to this question is critical to every small business owner. The savvy ones embed it and ask it continually when it comes to marketing and collecting business data. How will you get the most out of your marketing initiatives in this digital age?

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The Problem Today As a business owner or marketing director, you are constantly looking for ways to improve sales and expand. Companies that have successful marketing will eventually show sustained growth. Duh. Currently, we find ourselves in a constant struggle determining where to allocate our dollars for advertising. Tested and traditional ways of marketing have been through print, event advertising, radio, TV, and word of mouth. The Internet has had a negative impact on the value of these traditional methods. While the cost of these advertising options has risen, their return on investment (ROI) has fallen. Now that the Internet is our primary source for news and communication, every industry is scrambling to find the best digital marketing tactics. 15

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Chapter 2


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Which digital marketing efforts will give us the most bang for our buck?

?

SEO

? ?

e n i l On Ads

Email ? Marketing

?

Social Media ?

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What Does This Mean For You?

Choose the correct marketing methods and you will see a dramatic improvement in your business. Choose the wrong marketing initiative and you’ll burn money and more importantly, time. Learning how to make the most of your money is not the only problem. As I’ve said before, negative attitudes get in the way. If you’re determined to be apathetic towards emerging technology your business will suffer the consequences. Successful business owners work with a positive and welcoming attitude when applying technology to their companies. A negative approach towards technology equates to eventual failure. The difference is clear between business owners who refuse to change procedure and protocol because “this is the way we’ve done business for years” and those who embrace change. The ones who are negative refuse to explore the ways technology could be beneficial and they pay in poor business results. Rigidity and 17

The Problem Today

With the emergence of so many new online marketing platforms, venues and tools, it’s become challenging for the small business owner to know what works best. While choosing options, we must account for each avenue’s respective commitments to time, money, labor and sophistication. While some may be more effective than others, the final verdict typically boils down to cost.


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resistance to change is a business module the wise business person avoids. Business owners who have the negative and unbending approach have typical catch phrases. If you catch yourself using these, stop and reevaluate your outlook and attitude!

Business-Killing Phrases to Avoid: • “This is the way it’s always been done.” • “You can’t do that in my industry.” • “I’ve done that before…it doesn’t work!”

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“Well, if it was me, I would’ve...”

If this is your current state of mind, change it today. Your competition is already waking-up and beginning to apply procedures that incorporate technology. Waiting too long will result in a very expensive problem you’ll need to remedy.

The Internet, technology platforms, and social media platforms are rapidly evolving while marketing professionals scramble to keep up. Don’t be afraid of trying new technology initiatives that may help infrastructure or marketing. You may come across a certain tool or method that is incredibly useful and gives you a new way to increase the success of your business. As business owners and marketing professionals, we need to have a basic understanding of the past, present, and future to grasp one of today’s most powerful marketing concepts that can give you success.

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The Problem Today

From my perspective, the business person resistant to change has become too complacent with a lazy mentality. Often, they are arrogant and look at other’s ideas as inferior.


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The concept is INTERESTING and well-formed, BUT in order to earn better than a C, THE IDEA MUST BE FEASIBLE.

Yale Management Professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing some new type of mail delivery method.

Fred Smith, did not accept the negative feedback from his professor. He took his idea and founded one of the largest shipping and packaging companies in the world. Like Smith, you can take your dream and make it reality. Don’t let negativity from others, or even your own self-doubt cloud your vision. Go after your great idea!

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A:

What if Fred Smith trashed his great idea because his professor deemed it “non-

There would be no

Years ago, the industrial revolution brought humanity a new way of accomplishing things in business. Those that adapted to new technology and business methods saw growth. Have you heard of Mercedes Benz or Goodyear? These companies were born in the industrial revolution, continued to change and adapt with the passing decades, and are still household names today. We are now in the information age and in order to be successful, we must follow in the footsteps of those companies, and adapt. You can try fighting it, but doing so means your fate will be the same as many in the past when their arrogance or refusal to change clouded their minds. This can be good news for you. By reading this, you are taking the necessary steps at having an information age advantage. With that said, I’d like to introduce the concept of Owning Your Data. 21

The Problem Today

Q:


Owning your data is the most important thing you can do for your business today.


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Chapter 3

Owning Your Data: Take Control! What is Owning Your Data?

With the tremendous rise in Internet services utilized in daily life, the marketing opportunity this information presents is invaluable and will prove to be even more so in the near future. By default, we promote our companies by making business cards, brochures and more recently, developing websites. Instead, we should first focus on creating strict policies for indexing customer data. 23

Own Your Data: Take Control

Owning your data means actively collecting potential AND current customers contact data. Names, phone numbers, and addresses have been standard targets, but now your primary goal should shift towards collecting email addresses.


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Business Essentials Business cards Flyers Website Trade association Magazine/Print Ads Owning Your Data

Do you view owning your data as a must?

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Many businesses fail to capitalize on this simple yet extremely powerful concept.

?

Why wouldn’t you document everyone who has ever given you money in exchange for your product or service?

These are people who found you and could potentially use your product or service again.

Once you Own Your Data, you can then use it to create marketing initiatives to not only generate more business, but also build your brand. Large corporations have already realized this and as a consumer, you’ve seen it. Now as small business owners, you need to utilize it. People are willing to give their email address and accept potential deals, coupons and specials directly from companies they use. 25

Own Your Data: Take Control

This concept is enormously important. Take this book and slap yourself in the head with it, until it’s successfully imprinted. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one person in-home operation or a multimillion dollar backed marketing campaign. Anyone who puts this into action will find success!


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I’ve signed up for a bunch myself, including the “Colonel Club” at KFC. Discounts on fried chicken never tasted so good. Email marketing (NOT SPAMMING) is one of the most effective ROI marketing initiatives you can ever deploy.* KFC not only markets to hundreds of thousands of people at once…they do it for relatively little money to a crowd that is welcoming the message. Yum! Data is powerful in this information age. You need to own it! It’s amazing how companies are giving away FREE services and yet their valuations and stock prices are in the billions (i.e. Facebook, Google). Why? The user data they have compiled is worth more than gold in this information age when you know how to use it! Start indexing your customer data today, even if you are not going to market yet. Eventually you will, and having this information will put you leaps and bounds ahead in the game. If you still think data is unimportant, you didn’t smack yourself enough times with this book. Remember, don’t let poor attitude or 26


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Own Your Data: Take Control

industry arrogance cloud your judgement. Today, every person who exchanges money for products and services needs to own their data and utilize it for maximum benefit.

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Chapter 4

Benefits of Owning Your Data A person might already realize collecting data can help in lowering costs when marketing to customers. Obviously…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You will experience so many more benefits once you put the Owning Your Data concept to work.

Marketing Cost Before the advent of email, companies had to communicate via hard copy media such as print advertising and client card mailers, etc. The costs for a single advertising campaign were high and usually out of reach for many small business. Today, it’s a different story. Now small budgets can actually afford great marketing tools! Emailing is one of the most cost efficient ways to reach your audience. It’s not only considerably less expensive, but actually yields a much higher ROI compared to many other strategies. 29

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People will even sign up on their own for a mailing list because they WANT the emails. This means they are already likely to purchase your product or service.

Author’s

TIP:

Try before you buy! Consider using free trials of bulk email providers to send messages to clients and test it out for yourself.

Frequency When you actively work towards Owning Your Data, you will no longer be tied to outside services to communicate with your clients. You won’t depend on traditional print schedules for advertisements published in a magazine, newsletter or mailer. You can move away from paying premiums to marketing services like Groupon who already own their data, and make large profits. When you own your data, you can market as often as you like! Daily, Weekly, Monthly, whatever suits your business. You own your data and you dictate marketing timelines.

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Brand Awareness The more you expose your brand, the better. By repeatedly featuring your business to clients, you will imprint your brand into their minds, and at the same time, create customer loyalty. This concept is the magic behind some of the worlds most powerful brands. (Case in point: Apple.) Sometimes, business owners think because they are small, they can’t deploy marketing concepts like multi-million dollar companies unleash on us everyday. Don’t take away from the effectiveness of what brand awareness can mean regardless of your business size. Even when you are a one person home based business Owning Your Data will have tremendous impact on your sales.

You can expose your brand in a variety of ways including radio, TV print, word of mouth, email, flyers, banners, and more, so be creative and do what fits within your budget! 31

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Portability When you practice Owning Your Data, your information is always at your disposal! As you index your data and develop client profiles, you can continue to use the information to increase sales and brand awareness as new platforms and social media tools evolve. With the way technology changes today, there always seems to be some new tool, service or product to use for marketing our businesses. Owning your data gives you the advantage of taking your audience onto new platforms as they emerge and gain popularity.

Portable data will allow you to market and grow your business in news ways without having to start over every time a new social media platform takes center stage.

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It Works! Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself and you’ll see. Listen to me when I say it works for ANYONE! Size and industry are NOT factors in your success. The quality of your data is what matters. Sometimes “attitude” gets in our way and doesn’t let us see beyond the horizon. Don’t let this be YOU! Start today by embracing this concept and empowering yourself to keep up with the demands of the information age. Overtime your database will become highly valuable. This can translate into higher selling prices for your business. Used and placed correctly, you can have affiliates paying you just to reach your audience!

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=

1 kilo il

$$$ $ @ @ @

Information age alchemy.

$$ $ $

$


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Data Equals Gold What does one customer mean to you? Do your clients help you increase sales? Do they recommended your product or service to friends and family? Do those friends or family members further recommend your business to others? Add up those sales, then factor in any repeat business from the same group of people. All the business from this scenario would be credited to that one original customer.

DO THE MATH

Take a minute and calculate what one customer equals in dollars for your business over the course of a year.

Plain and simple, one customer equals money! 35

Data Equals Gold

Chapter 5


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What if you could increase client worth by deploying an effective marketing concept directly to each one of them? What if that concept requires sending one email to them that they can easily forward to their friends and family? And what if that forwarded email encouraged a new contact to give you their data?

Author’s

Note:

As simple as it sounds most companies, small business owners and entrepreneurs never realize the value of one existing client. Instead they focus their daily efforts on trying to get new customers.

Knowing how much people spend per month or per year with your company is coveted information. In other words, your data is worth money. If you don’t have the data to begin with, then you don’t have the opportunity to increase your sales through an inexpensive, but highly effective campaign. Furthermore, if you don’t own any data, you have no option to give it a price tag!

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I’ve been reiterating that data in the information age is worth a lot of money. Take a look at several shining examples of companies who successfully own their data. Remember that each of them without exception, were once scrappy start-ups and not always multi-billion dollar businesses!

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Groupon launched in 2007, but grew so rapidly that by December 2010, Google had offered to buy them for $6 Billion dollars! Groupon declined. Many debate whether or not that was a smart business decision, but no one can argue that Groupon’s power and success came from “owning their data.”

How does Groupon work?

Potential consumers willingly submit their information to them. Groupon broadcasts interest-specific local business deals directly to the people signed up. They offer a free web service, yet manage to sit around a stockpile of consumer data that has allowed their company to achieve valuation in the billions. The data they collect is what you want and pay for as an owner to solicit new business.

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Groupon’s Meteoric Rise


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In May 2012, Facebook became a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations). Their stock was valued at approximately 16 billion dollars.

Why is Facebook worth so much? Facebook is a free social media website, yet somehow generates billions of dollars! The reason is they command the eyes of consumers while sitting on a mountain of data that would be any marketing company’s dream. Essentially Facebook learns specific details about you from gender, relationship, friends, likes, etc., all of which can be indexed and then used to market or create services. You will become globally valuable if your company can collect data even close to this proportion.

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Facebook


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Linkedin is a social media website that revolves around connecting business professionals. On the website you can store your work history, create a business page, join trade groups, research company information and increase business or employment opportunities. Similar to Groupon or Facebook, Linkedin promotes a generally free service. Unlike the other two sites however, they also offer a useful paid premium service. Enrolled in the free service, you can only access contact information of those in your network, but for relatively cheap price, you can drill into company contacts to locate key individuals. Linkedin sits on over 200 million business profiles globally; incredibly, valuable data! This data is priceless from a sales approach. You can cut research time and go directly to decision makers to showcase your offer. It’s easy to see how this information is worth the money.

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Linkedin


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Some of you may be thinking, “I’m just a small business and these examples of billion dollar companies don’t relate to me.” Well, you’re wrong! Remember, Facebook started in a dorm and Groupon was a small blog startup when they rolled out. Any business, even a kid with a lemonade stand, will gain from “Owning Your Data”. Accept the fact that you need to document and index your data. It is invaluable to the growth of your business!

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Social media as a means.


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Chapter 6

Social Media Marketing I won’t dive too deeply into this arena because the bottom line is social media marketing does not allow you to own your data. That being said, there is still something that needs to be addressed regarding social media as a marketing tactic.

Don’t rely solely on mediums such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube, etc. These are extra outlets that can potentially help build your audience, brand awareness, and customer communication, but ask yourself a bigger question…How does it help me in the long run? If you can’t own the data, control it, move it when you want or 47

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While I agree that it can be a great way to communicate and broadcast your message, you need to remember someone else is owning YOUR data, not you.


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where you want...then what good is it to you in the long run?

Facebook for Marketing I hear from many business owners that they use Facebook for marketing. I actually do support using it, as long as you realize you must make efforts to collect your Facebook audience information for yourself. Let’s say your business has 3,643,827 “likes.” That’s great, for Facebook, but how do YOU specifically benefit from this? You won’t unless you can control data from all the “likes.” I’m already expecting some of you to dismiss this point by saying this: “I use Facebook and have great success with it! I want to and will continue to use Facebook.”

If this sounds familiar, read on. In no way am I saying, “don’t use Facebook!” It is an excellent media platform and it is appropriate to go for those likes, only make sure you turn the fan base into your own controllable data. I’ll buy your business if you have data—not likes. 48


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Here Today Gone Tomorrow Owning Your Data ensures that you remain relevant to your clients even if various external platforms fall out of existence. For example, while Facebook reigns supreme today, it wasn’t always the case. Not long ago MySpace was king of kings in the social media world. There was Myspace and nothing else, yet today we barely remember its existence. MySpace virtually disappeared overnight as Facebook rose in rank. If or when this happens to Facebook you will need portability so you can take your data and move to the new trending social media platform without missing a beat.

Make it your business goal to bring Facebook fans, or any audience, to your website so you can collect their data. If they stay on Facebook then you will always be tied to an external platform, terms of service and methods of marketing as they dictate for their service. The more you use another service, the more value you give them, and not your own business. 49

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This is only possible if you own your data. If not, you will be forced to start over, which will give someone else a head start and huge opportunity to beat you in your industry.


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? Ask Yourself

1.

How can I use social media to collect my audience’s data?

2.

How can I use social media to make my audience visit my website?

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Social Media Marketing

If you can answer those two questions, then you can successfully utilize social media marketing.

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Va

Valu e Skin it.

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Chapter 7

Give them Value Today we are bombarded with so many media outlets that it takes extra effort just to make an impression. The way to make that impression is to give your audience value.

What Do I Mean by Value? By default you’re thinking, “He means specials or coupons,” but that’s not the only thing that holds worth. After a while, people will be sick of getting coupons shoved down their throats. The best value in the Internet Age is information. Give your audience information and they will listen and respond. Other than specials, buy one get one free, etc., you can and should provide an interesting fact or related news that will help 53

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your customer. Ultimately consumers will choose the business or professional they consider helpful and trustworthy over the company that only seems out to get their money.

? Ask Yourself

1. 2. 3. 4.

Will the information I send help my audience? Will it make their lives better? Will it inform them to make smarter decisions? Will it make them laugh or cry? Would I take the information I send and deem it as valuable?

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Don’t just shovel coupons and specials down their throats. If you do this, your customers will eventually tune you out. Empower your audience and bring them valuable information. They will feel closer to your brand and eventually equate your product and service as the best.

Why Should You Give Them Value? Personally, I enjoy when a company sends me things relative to their business. My accountant sends me IRS news, tax information, reminders and articles that can help me (and my wallet). I appreciate that, and classify him as an expert in his field. I won’t go penny-pinching for a cheaper accountant either, knowing mine provides me with useful information and doesn’t just try to solicit my business all the time.

Exposure will create a strong brand!

After repeated exposure to a brand, the brain begins to automatically associate the product or service with the company. As they go about their daily routine with consistent exposure, their brains will become hardwired to connect the thought of a product to your brand. This brand loyalty effect is long lasting and actually happens to you all the time!

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When you think of sneakers, Nike and Adidas may come to mind. They get you while you’re listening to the radio, reading, watching TV, surfing the Internet, eating, sleeping…Okay, well not sleeping, but you get the point. These corporations spend millions of dollars so you will associate their brand to the product. When you think of search engines, the name Google comes to mind as they represent the king of value. They actually created huge brand awareness without spending massive amounts of money!

“Just Google it” Now that’s brand awareness!

This all ties in with bringing your audience value. Google offered a free search service that people found extremely useful, and it quickly dominated the search engine industry. Their free service was (and is) so valuable, they didn’t even have to advertise because people want and respect value.

Author’s

Note:

Through emails, blogs, and newsletters, you are engaging your customer with your organization. This warm value marketing approach helps your brand by developing a sense of loyalty towards your products and services over time. When you include helpful information and not just money saving deals, people will notice. 56


Your company will stand out as one that cares about their customers, not just their products and services. You are giving them value, and in turn bringing yourself value in terms of more business and ultimately, more money. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “well that doesn’t really apply to my business”, because you are 100% wrong! Cliché as it sounds, you’re not thinking outside the box, so allow yourself to get creative! Allow yourself to ponder new ideas!

Not Sure Where To Start? The following pages include a few examples of the way various businesses can thrive using the Owning Your Data approach while providing value through marketing.

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Golf Courses:

Passion-Driven Recreational Activity You run a golf course. Your customers are mainly people who are passionate about their recreational activity. They would readily welcome some type of email loyalty, incentive program or event reminders. If you were to document every person who walked through the door, you could inform them of news, tournaments, golfing specials etc. While my golfing adventures might be few and far between, I’d absolutely welcome and read this type of email. Hearing information on weather forecasts, course descriptions, or various techniques would pique my interest. If you got even more creative and gave me suggestions on how to keep my lawn as green as a golf course you’d easily have my undying loyalty. Not to mention you’d probably find me teeing off more.

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Auto Repair:

Skills-based Services An auto repair center can easily capitalize by Owning Your Data! There is no better way to stay in contact and get repeat clients than to email them. Vehicles need constant upkeep, oil changes and more which makes providing valuable information easy! An auto-mechanics business can offer information on anything from preventive maintenance, warranty information, to ideas on how to enhance engine performance. Send out quality emails periodically to stay in the forefront of people’s minds. People will appreciate simple topics like ideal cleaning for vehicle interiors as well as more complex maintenance practices. Think about what people would like to know and learn, and give it to them. Most auto service centers are busy trying to shove the cheap oil change coupons in our faces and most of us tune those out, I know I do. Start doing something new!

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Accountants:

Professional Services Many professional services are poor at offering value to their clients. Accountants are among the worst at deploying marketing concepts. People in this business do a horrible job promoting themselves. If you are an accountant this is actually good news for you. So listen up! Accounting professionals can increase business by consistent value marketing. They can raise client awareness and give them timely information when there is any new service or accounting law changes. They can educate clients on anything that positively or negatively affects their wallets! For instance, come tax season, accountants should definitely send information on ways to pay less on our tax returns. Even money saving tips are related to this industry. Here is how it works: If you have recently given someone an interesting and important tip that they either took in or thought about, they have you in mind. Therefore, when they meet someone who needs an accountant, or they need an accountant, guess who they remember?

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Marketing Employee: Essential Business Services

When you are in a marketing position or run a marketing agency, you are primarily responsible for the marketing and growth of companies. Use Owning Your Data concepts and offer value to your contacts by helping them gain powerful results with a limited budget. (Then ask for more money, because your clients are going to love you.) Take proactive steps to document the company’s current database of clients while making sure to include all new contacts. This information will assist you in future campaigns and make others view your agency as an asset, therefore raising your value in the industry. Depending on the company, you can create a newsletter, product highlight or informational piece that benefits your audience. The goal again is to bring your audience value. If you just email blast people about products or services, they’ll feel like you only care about pushing products in their faces. Remember, it only takes a few moves of the mouse to click “unsubscribe”!

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I can keep going on and on with sample scenarios, but by now I think you get what I mean by “give them value.” This only works if you do it right. If you start sending useless garbage, (unnecessary or uninteresting information), you will be tuned out or lose subscriptions.

Author’s

Note:

Email marketing is NOT spamming. Spamming is when you send your message to unsolicited people. It doesn’t work...and it’s illegal. To learn more visit this link: www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spamact-compliance-guide-business

Use the power to inform as a way to promote your product or service while at the same time increasing your brand impression within your industry.

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Real Business Case Study Let’s look at the case of Elizabeth Farrell, a Florida music teacher and entrepreneur. Like many, she held a steady and traditional 9-5 job, but dreamed of something different. In a move that shocked most of her friends and family, Elizabeth left her successful public/ charter school teaching career to start her own private lesson business.

The Fight For Survival Her previous job in the local school helped secure some former students while word of mouth and a Craigslist ad provided a few more. This only generated an average of 2 leads a month, and wasn’t nearly enough to fill her schedule. Less than six months went by before she realized she was on a track towards failure. She doubted her new music lesson business would last much longer than a year. 65

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With only a 25-30% filled schedule, she decided to take contractual teaching work with two other companies just to pay the bills. This was discouraging for several reasons. First, she accepted less money than she wanted in order to keep her business afloat. Second, she lost time she could have invested into her own business and third (probably the most frustrating), she was once again working for others.

Owning Your Data Saves the Day Elizabeth didn’t just get lucky. She embraced Owning Your Data. Once that concept was securely in place, she was able to launch initiatives specifically tailored to her business to drive-in more and more clients. The first step was to index all customer data. Elizabeth documented names and email addresses, not only from potential students, but all current and former students as well. (Basically anyone that had ever taken a lesson or inquired about one.) Under my direction, Elizabeth sent her first email campaign to every contact on her list and the response was amazing. Like many other business owners, Elizabeth directed all marketing efforts toward getting new business. If she didn’t include former and current students from her email campaign, results wouldn’t have been so impressive. 66


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Besides knowing where to direct marketing, you need to consider the value you can provide your customers. Why should people choose you over someone else? For example, when Elizabeth released her first campaign she was less than 30% booked, so she decided to offer special summer rates for new students. Promotions and discounts are most likely the first thing that will come to mind when you think about how you can entice new clients, but as I mentioned in the previous chapter, money saving deals aren’t the only things people find valuable. In addition to Elizabeth’s special rates, she included an interesting educational article highlighting the benefits of music instruction.

See what I mean for yourself:

Check out an actual Elizabeth Farrell Music Newsletter. http://www.owningyourdata.com/music-newsletter 67

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Remember, previous clients came to you for a reason. If your service was good, they might return while current customers may choose to forward your emails or recommend you to others. Through simple emails, you constantly remind people of your presence, which will improve the likelihood of gaining business. I know this sounds basic, but many don’t do this!


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The goal was to use owning your data and provide her audience with some form of value other than a coupon. This came in the way of articles and facts about music that informed and empowered her audience.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

After just 4 months Elizabeth more than doubled her business using low to no cost solutions. Below are her results.

Investment: Owning Your Data allowed Elizabeth to spend very little money and get a huge return on investment.

• Website: $800 • Craigslist Ad: $50 • SEO: $100/month • Bulk Email Software: $10/month Percentage Business Increase Chart Per Month: The following chart shows the growth percentage of Elizabeth Farrell Music per month before and after using Owning Your Data methods. 68


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Business Growth Chart

75%

Real Business Case Study

Percentage of Schedule Filled

100%

50%

25%

1/12

2/12

3/12

4/12

5/12

6/12

7/12

8/12

9/12

10/12

11/12

12/12

31%

35%

36%

28%

30%

52%

44%

48%

72%

68%

84%

91%

1/13 91%

2/13 92%

Email Campaign Open Rates: Since the first email in May 2012, Elizabeth’s open rates have remained consistent between 25% - 30% (These numbers fall right in line with industry average). She has gotten leads from emails 100% of the time. 69


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More Opportunity These days, Elizabeth has a booked schedule and can’t physically take on any new students.  At first, she had only a waiting list, but came up with a better idea: She expanded!  Since she couldn’t take on any more students herself, in the summer of 2013 Elizabeth Farrell Music added another studio location, hired more teachers and offered a greater variety of instrument instruction.  Now she can accommodate all the leads generated from her marketing tactics. And that’s not all... This business success has opened the door to even more opportunity.  She has already begun molding her website www.ElizabethFarrellMusic.com to start engaging users and students digitally.  She’s grooming her site to facilitate everything from free and paid instructional videos,  to digital products like smartphone apps and ebooks.   All this was possible because she was open to new ideas and followed my direction in establishing Owning Your Data. What could you do if you experienced this kind of growth surge? The opportunities are endless. I gave you an example so you can see how well Owning Your Data works. Elizabeth Farrell Music is just a one person operation, but this concept works for any business. 70


For More Success Stories Visit www.owningyourdata.com/case-studies

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Chapter 9

Ready to Start? Tools You’ll Need If you think back to the case study, you’ll recall it actually doesn’t take much in terms of investment to experience serious growth. In fact, I’m a master at finding free and low cost alternatives to get the job done, so I like to go with free options whenever possible. The following are basic tools and services that you’ll need to get off to a successful start.

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By now, you realize every single business that wants to increase profitability and make a name should be using Owning Your Data.


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Bulk Email Provider When you begin to implement Owning Your Data concepts, you can’t get around utilizing a bulk email provider. Your regular email account won’t work. Most email systems such as Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail, have a cap on how many emails you send per day. Bulk email providers remove such a cap, and the good news is there are many of them out there, so you can take your pick. Using a bulk email provider, you’ll be able to make your email newsletters look eye pleasing and professional.

Visit www.OwningYourData.com/email-providers and see the entire list of good providers.

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I provide easy to follow “how-to” videos on my website to help you get started in the shortest time possible.


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Spreadsheet Collecting and building your database is essential and with a simple spreadsheet, it’s easy! The goal is to record your client data. You can add and edit contact information quickly and have the advantage of being able to upload your lists into helpful programs or services. Spreadsheet software is readily available with the most common being Excel in Microsoft Office, but if you want to work with this program, you’ll need to purchase Microsoft Office software.

Ready to Start? Tools You’ll Need

Instead, go with something that in my opinion is not only better, but free! Go with a cloud based spreadsheet like the one provided by Google Drive. I personally use Google Drive to do all my spreadsheets, since it gives me portability and freedom to update anywhere I have internet access.

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Website Having a website is no longer optional in the information age; it’s a mandatory business asset. And if you’re going to get the most out of Owning Your Data, it should be a priority. Today, people start their search for a relevant business or service provider online. For instance, when I’m interested in trying a new restaurant, I always search online to see what’s around. I will choose a restaurant with a website over one without 100% of the time. (On top of that, the place with the best site will usually be my ultimate choice!)

Author’s

TIP:

At first a simple site will work, just to have something out there, but it’s not adequate in the long run. And remember, it’s not about looks alone. When you can afford to hire a professional do it. They will build you a site based on a number of things that will help you drive in business.

For more information visit www.owningyourdata.com/web-design 79

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Even a one page site with contact information and a brief description is better than nothing. Launching a website can be fast and easy, but I realize many people don’t know how to get started.


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Customer Resource Managers give you enhanced organization.

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Customer Resource Manager While not 100% necessary, a good customer resource manager (CRM) will give your company an edge as it documents and stores customer information for future use. CRMs allow you to collect more data and give you the option to enhance its quality. By now you know the more information you have on each client, the better so a CRM can be a great tool. They make it easy to retain customer data, but also help you to build relationships with them. You can record all types of information including birthdays anniversaries or make notes of personal exchanges you had with the customer. This information is the salesperson’s gold mine!

There are software based CRMs that you can install on your computers, but if you’ve noticed, I’m a huge proponent of cloud

Visit www.OwningYourData.com/crm-providers to see CRM options. 81

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In addition, you can also track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns through reports.


$


Chapter 10

Step-by-Step The How-to I hate reading how-to books where the documented training just leaves you more confused than when you started. For most of us, it’s hard to read and apply everything you learn all at once. For that reason, I’ve created a free online “how-to” video library. Seeing the Owning Your Data processes in action is a million times easier than reading plain instructions. As a business owner, you know how valuable your time can be and that every minute really does count. These videos will also save you time and all the headaches that come with trying to figure everything out on your own. I know you don’t need anything else on your plate.

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If you really want to save time, you should be delegating jobs to your employees! The tasks in these videos are well explained and easy to follow, so use them to your advantage. Give them the links and say “Make this happen!”

The I.T. industry is ripe with people trying to rip you off by promising grandeur and then providing you with low quality crap. These “frauds”, as I call them, know they can take you on a run for your money. They can tell in five minutes whether you know anything about their services/capabilities or not. Avoid this possibility and utilize the library to potentially save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Use the video tutorials to outsmart your competitors in marketing while saving money!

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How to Get Started: Video Tutorials Ideas and examples for collecting data Creating and using spreadsheets Bulk email accounts Using Google Drive

How to setup a FREE CRM SMS/Text for marketing

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Ideas and examples for collecting data

This video will give you ideas about how you can start collecting customer data.

www.owningyourdata.com/ways-to-collect-data 86


Creating and using spreadsheets

This video shows you how to create a spreadsheet. It discusses what software you need, and shows you cloud-based tools you can use. There are also free links to downloadable templates so you can start Owning Your Data immediately.

www.owningyourdata.com/how-to-create-a-spreadsheet 87

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Bulk email accounts

This video teaches you what tools and services are available to send mass emails. There are plenty of bulk email providers out there, find out what I use, and why.

www.owningyourdata.com/how-to-setup-a-bulk-email-account 88


Using Google Drive

One of my personal favorite FREE tools is Google Drive. I can create documents, spreadsheets, and more. View the video for more information.

www.owningyourdata.com/using-google-drive 89

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How to setup a FREE CRM

This video will show you how to setup a CRM (Customer Resource Manager). This professional CRM is perfect for helping you document and organize your customer data.

www.owningyourdata.com/setup-a-free-crm 90


SMS/Text for marketing

Learn how to collect phone numbers right from your website as well as valuable infromation about text/SMS marketing

www.owningyourdata.com/collecting-phone-numbers 91

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No

No

Yes


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Collect, Dissect, and Improve The winning formula for your business’ marketing will come from watching your results closely. After you’ve made the step toward collecting data and started your new marketing process, you’ll need to continuously analyze your results. The results will clearly show you which campaigns triggered the most sales and inquires, but they will also show you which ones didn’t work. Learn why they were or were not successful by examining and interpreting your results. Trash the failures and put more of the winning ideas and campaigns into action. Overtime you will get a better feel for what works best for your company, and how to maximize your marketing efforts and budget. This proactive approach will consistently put you ahead of your competitors and of course, help your business grow. 93

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The Concept Works! Having made it this far, you know Owning Your Data is extremely important for your business and you need to start taking action now! You have a clear understanding that data is worth dollars both directly and indirectly. By simply collecting client information, you will put yourself at an advantage over your competitors. Most importantly, you now have the resources to help you learn how to begin the Owning Your Data process. We are still in uncharted waters when it comes to digital marketing in the information age. Technology continues to evolve and there will be new tools and services for us to use in the online world. It’s important to stay informed so we can change with the times as necessary.  Don’t allow yourself to get left behind.   It’s up to you to be creative and see how you can use tools and services to promote your business and make more money.   With Owning Your Data in place, you will have total control of your customer information.  You will be ready for anything that might come along.  As long as you stay proactive, your data will ensure your business will survive and thrive. 94


Owning Your Data is one of the best things you could do for your business. There are no gimmicks; just use the information I’ve laid out for you in this book along with the online tutorials to help advance your business endeavors.

Good luck!

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Resources • Owning Your Data www.owningyourdata.com • For a list of bulk email providers go to http://www.owningyourdata.com/email-providers • Google Analytics www.google.com/analytics • Google Drive www.drive.google.com • ZOHO CRM www.zoho.com • SMS/Text Provider www.owningyourdata.com/collecting-phone-numbers • Tideshift Media www.tideshiftmedia.com

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This book is for the business owner or marketing professional who wants guaranteed success and growth. Inside, I will teach you about the incredible importance data holds in today’s business environment, and how you can harness it for your benefit. Over the last decade I’ve worked directly with business owners, executives and marketing professionals on a quest to prove what works for growing companies, and what does not. In the process, I’ve mastered a concept called Owning Your Data. It’s a way to increase sales, exposure and get the most bang for your buck. No matter what type of business I worked with, one fact remained the same. Whether it was a one person operation, or a multi-million dollar corporation, once Owning Your Data was put into place, it yielded positive results 100% of the time. Owning Your Data is the most powerful concept being used by today’s largest and most successful companies, and I want to share it with you on your journey to improve and grow your business.

$19.95 U.S.

www.owningyourdata.com


Owning Your Data