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Tired of Hearing About E.D. – then do something

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of all the talk of economic downturn (E.D.) and I think, as a group, small business owners are too.

Therefore we hereby declare March 9-13, 2009 – Make a Referral Week.

Make a Referral WeekMake a Referral Week is an entrepreneurial approach to stimulating the small business economy one referred business at a time. The goal for the week is to generate 1000 referred leads to 1000 deserving small businesses in an effort to highlight the fact that this simple action can blossom into millions of dollars in new business. Small business is the lifeblood and job-creating engine of the economy and merits the positive attention so often saved for corporate bailout stories.

The week long virtual event will also feature daily education programs focused on teaching small business owners and other marketers how to tap the power of referral marketing. The featured session includes a live web conference with Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and author Masters of Networking, Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals and the Go-Giver, Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now. (Here’s the full list of education planned for the week)

No money is exchanging hands, no sponsors are being hit up, it’s just something that we thought needed to be done. If you want to get involved in this small business happening visit the Make a Referral Pledge page and submit your intention now to make at least one referral during the March 9-13 event. (Take this step and you are automatically eligible to receive audio recordings of the entire expert series)

Once you pledge you will also find tools that make it easy to refer friends, post to your Facebook profile and blog about the week. If you would like to actively promote visit the sponsor page for additional tools.

During the week of March 9-13 we will activate the Referral-o-meter to track the march to 1000 referrals as small business owners visit and describe who they referred a lead to and why.

This is every small business person’s chance to be a part of the solution!

Snackfest Continues – 2009 Marketing Advice

This is part two of a two course helping of snack sized small business marketing advice for 2009. Find the 1st course here.

With 2009 just around the corner I thought it would be fun to collect the thoughts of some of the leading marketing folks around the web, but do so in what I am calling snack size fashion – so welcome to Snackfest 2009.

In keeping with the current trend in social media for small bites of info, think twitter sized responses – Plain and simple I asked some thought leaders this question:

2009 will be the year for small businesses to . . .

Want to play along? Here’s how, post your comment answer to the same question, comment on the snack answer of each expert and tweet your thoughts using #snack09.Follow the Twitter Stream on this here

Here’s how some thought leaders responded to my question.
Guy Kawasaki, author of Reality Check said . . .Stop believing that Wall Street and investment bankers are any smarter than they are.Twitter ID

Ann Handley, chief content officer for Marketing Profs said . . .Swell in ranks. Corporate downsizing spawns a host of new businesses. Many decide to cut their own path, as traditional paths close up.Twitter ID

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft said . . . market to prospects and customers without increasing marketing expenses or staff size.Twitter ID

Bob Burg, author of the Go-Giver said . . .focus on adding even more value to existing and future relationships and being truly authentic.Twitter ID

Laura Lake, Guide of About.com/Marketing said . . . make a major shift into social marketing and online relationship building. It’s no longer an option, it’s vital.Twitter ID

Scott Allen, author of The Virtual Handshake said . . . get funded. Cap gain tax cuts & revitalization of SBA = available equity & credit $$$. It’s time to make a big move that needs big capital.Twitter ID

Chris Baggott, CEO of Compendium Blogware said . . . take advantage of their inherent advantage in local SEO. Targeted business blogging empowers small business to control their own destiny and win the online battle.Twitter ID

Anita Campbell, editor of Small Business Trends said . . . Get serious about making money! When times get tough, tough business owners get going. 2009’s economy means no fooling around.Twitter ID

Rich Sloan, co-author of StartUpNation said . . . Home-Based businesses will be launched at unprecedented rates. Attrition will decrease as people use tools like email marketing.Twitter ID

Jim Gilmore, co-author of The Experience Economy said . . . act boldly and take sales from retrenching big businesses.

Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing said . . . Stand up and say “Happy customers are our greatest advertisers. We’re going to find a million ways to make people happy.Twitter ID

Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE said . . . get back to the true managerial basics of running their businesses. Businesses that were marginal in previous years will really struggle and well run businesses will survive and hopefully thrive.

Lee Odden, publisher of TopRank blog said . . . stop wasting time on tactics du jour, and start looking their online marketing holistically to find the right mix of measurable marketing efforts that generate sales and build value over time.Twitter ID

Bo Burlingham, editor-at-large, Inc. Magazine said . . . take advantage of the opportunities for growth in a recession.Twitter ID

So, what do you have to say?

Talking Referrals with Bob Burg

Bob BurgBob Burg, author of Endless Referrals and The Go-Giver (with John David Mann) stopped by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast to talk about referrals and simple power of giving as a business practice.

Joe, the protagonist of the Go-Giver, learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

It’s an important lesson no matter how many times one hears it.

AT&TThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by att.com/onwardsmallbiz. Resources for the small business owner.