She Saw the Writing on the Wall, Sold her Part of a Multimillion Dollar Franchise at the Top, and Sailed Into Unknown Digital Consulting Waters Where She Now Thrives
Most Popular to Share on Google+ and LinkedIN:
Why You Deserve to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
"I used to be terrified of public speaking... but now I love it. It's opened so many doors for my business."
Setting Aside Ego to Profit…
“For over a decade I owned a number of different franchised weight loss centers. I sold them years ago. Then I wrote a book. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on traditional marketing through print, TV, and radio. But I was smart enough to know I didn't know how to promote a book.”
Not Tech Savvy but I Persevered…
"Even though I now run a social media agency, technology and the social platforms didn't come easy to me. I was a bit of a slow learner but persevered because I believed unlocking their power and reach would be critical to my business."
How to Overcome the Modern World’s White Noise
"Overcoming Distractions -- I get private invites to new social networks consistently. The world doesn't need another social network. We've got enough STUFF. Learn to better use the network where your clients spend time."
Why Listen to Melonie:
Melonie Dodaro is the author of the #1 international bestseller The LinkedIn Code.
She is also the founder of Top Dog Social Media, an agency that helps businesses, sales teams and professionals use LinkedIn and social selling to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue.
Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert she is highly sought after internationally as a LinkedIn and social selling speaker and trainer.
Some Shareables from Melonie in this episode…
"I'm still not a tech savvy person. A lot of people think social media is so techy. The initial set up is a little bit. Once you're past that it's about applying real-world social skills in a digital medium."
"Begin with the end in mind -- I made a really good living not working very much because I had put in my dues. Because I spent so much time building it, nurturing, creating it so it ran smoothly without me. Start with this plan and goal in your mind."
"I fell into my current business. Social intrigued me so I learned and started doing. Over and over I had business owners comment, liking what I was doing and asking for my advice. I realized how much I enjoyed this which was the catalyst for launching my agency."
"Active Law of Attraction -- I was opening up a new location. I told my staff of 10, who had a grand total of about 2 weeks training, ‘We are going to have the best grand opening ever.' My absolute belief infected them. By the end of the week we had 2.5X the previous record grand opening."
Time and reflection
"A year or two after I sold my business I looked back to reflect on what made them successful. The things I did to make them successful wouldn't work today because the world has changed that much. Foresight and looking at trends in your industry is critical."
"If I had a Time machine -- I know the guy who sold Business.com. I wish I'd taken the time to learn more about where things were going. I missed being ahead of that curve but fortunately I was well-established ahead of the social media explosion. Pick one favorite publication to help you stay ahead in your industry."
"After selling my franchised locations, I started using Facebook to keep in touch with my family. I knew there was a business application somewhere so I became a full-time student for a couple years to figure out the ins and outs."
How to Capitalize On Trends…
"Trends -- LinkedIn, I believe, will have the most longevity of all the social networks. Its momentum continues to gain while others stagnate. This trend is key to watch so you know where to invest your time."
"Trends -- the reason I sold my franchised businesses is because corporate got complacent. They rested on their laurels and weren’t forward thinking. A new competitor came in but the company said ‘Oh, they can't touch us.' I could see the writing on the wall so I sold which turned out to be close to the top."
"Trends and Innovation -- snapshot the largest 100 companies in 1900. Zoom forward to 2000 and only 16 remain. Lesson - if you're unwilling to learn the trends, adapt, and let go of 'sacred cows', history and human nature prove your business will struggle or go extinct."
My Biggest Mistake and What I Learned…
"My biggest mistake -- investing too much in the wrong things and not enough in the right things. Time and energy are finite. The money you control is too. Instead of wasting so much time and money traveling to seminars with multiple teachers, I'd have done better, faster by investing in the best 1-on-1 mentor."
Favorite Part of the Entrepreneur’s Journey…
"Favorite part of the entrepreneur journey -- building a business from scratch. Even my franchise locations were new so I did the buildout and promotion of them. Words can't describe the fulfillment you get from growing something from nothing to a success.
"Inspiration -- 80 hour weeks probably don't inspire you. But 10-hour or less weeks probably do. I learned valuable insights and steps for how to do this in my own businesses from the book E-Myth revisited."
"Franchises -- I love the whole franchise model even though I was probably the anti-franchisee. I did things my way. Corporate often sent their people to my locations to learn what was working. Thankfully, they gave us flexibility. Follow a proven path but keep innovating."
Fortune Favors the Bold
"Fortune favors the bold -- I was at a conference for the franchise I owned. My 18-year-old son "broke into" the Pointer Sisters room. He told them I was a big fan and would love to dance on stage with them. They came on stage and shocked me by calling me up. I was dancing on stage with them. Wonderful surprise from my son. Lesson -- Be bold, get rewarded."
On Starting Out
"Starting out -- for my first business venture a franchise made sense because business and the unknown were scary. I didn't have any experience. The franchise I was in allowed flexibility. I'm grateful for this foundation plus me being able to flex my entrepreneurial wings in a less risky environment."
"One of my favorite quotes is ‘You become what you think about’ from Earl Nightingale. I've seen this so many times in my life. So think big and about what you want instead of about what you don't want. Most people make the mistake of thinking about what they don't want. You can be better and break this cycle."
The Power of Thoughts
"We don't realize the power of the thoughts we have to manifest into something material when we take appropriate action on those thoughts."
"To achieve success or build something it's not only about thinking it and then taking action. It's about an absolute ironclad, unshakable belief it shall happen."
"Counterintuitive -- LinkedIN tactic. If you want to use LinkedIn as a business building tool you must take a different approach. Your profile can't be your resume or professional bio. It must be client focused."
"Counterintuitive -- you have to create a profile that speaks to your ideal client because they don't care about you. Yeah, you have to position and package how you can uniquely help them solve the problem they have."
"Counterintuitive -- tell your story, why you do what you do, any media articles or interviews to boost your credibility but most of your profile should focus on your ideal client. Talk about who your ideal client is, what problem they have, and how your unique solution solves it. I've got a whole formula to help you do this."
On Startup Mistakes…
"Startup mistake -- ‘Build it and they will come' mentality. That definitely doesn't work today and I don't know that it ever worked. Have social proof and a promotion strategy to attract your ideal clients. You've already spent the time building a kick ass solution. Tell people and let them tell others to come to you."
"Don't go into business if... you have no money. When I launched my book some guy e-mailed me to say he'd love to get it but couldn't afford it. If you don't have $20 for professional development it's a tough road to hoe. I'd advise you to get a job to save some money for marketing your business."
On When Business Gets Fun…
"There's nothing more fun in business then when you're successful. It's motivating and great. When you're struggling it's just horrible. You go to bed at night and have trouble sleeping, racking your brain for how to pay the bills. What steps will you take today to move towards success?"
Passive Income Advice
"Passive income advice -- before you spend even 1 minute creating an online course sharing your expertise, build your platform and e-mail list."
"Passive income advice -- before you spend even 1 minute creating an online course sharing your expertise, build your platform and e-mail list. Creating a course takes so much time and energy you don't want to waste it. I learned this lesson the hard way."
LinkedIn - Mindset to Use LinkedIn for Profits
"My whole thought process when using LinkedIn is that it's a lead generation tool. This mindset guides all my actions on the site."
"Think of LinkedIn as a lead generating tool. I see people make so many mistakes then gripe to me about using LinkedIn for over 4 years while getting no results. Faulty mindset is the first mistake"
"Why LinkedIn? Very few businesses can have any success on Facebook without an ad budget. LinkedIn is a different story. Your best LinkedIn results come from a non-advertising strategy."
“LinkedIn isn't magic but you can get business. You must have a system that helps and educates your ideal prospects. Then the most important factor -- take the conversation off-line, either via phone or in person if they're local."
Rookie Mistake in Social Media…
"A big rookie mistake I see is attempting to sell inside a social media website. Build a relationship a little and then get on the phone with them as quick as possible. That's where you'll make the sale."
"Launching an online course is almost overwhelming. I wondered if the work was worth it. Then when I check my e-mail in the morning and see an order from 3:37 AM I know it was worth it."
To learn more about Melonie visit TopDogSocialMedia.com
News Media Melonie has been featured in:
- Yahoo Small Business
- AMEX Open Forum
- Social Media Examiner
- Social Media Today
- Simplicity Small Biz
- Tech Journal
- Blog Talk Radio
- Speakers Gold
- Modern Preneur
- SM Experts
- Business 2 Community
- Posse Social Media
- Worldwide Coaching Magazine
- The Sales Podcast
- Your Excellency Mag
- Prosperity Radio
- Personalize Media
- Go Dot Media
- SMB Plans
- Customer Engagement Magazine
- Australian Business Journal
- Creative Guerrilla Marketing
- Successful Women Online