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20 Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Most Used Hack or Resource

As an entrepreneur, you have that gadget, habit, app or a book that makes your work easier, motivates you to do more and that’s what we refer to as a CEO Hack. It helps you achieve maximum productivity and stick to your goals regardless of the hurdles we face as entrepreneurs. For instance, it could be a pro tip on managing employees to make the workplace a conducive environment for everyone. Maybe it’s an app that you have which helps you plan and execute tasks on time. It could also be a book that you read and it brings ideas your way on how to scale your business. The list goes on. You can check our CEO Hacks and different entrepreneurs’ CEO Hacks below where we have insightful responses.

#1- FAQ dropdown

Photo Credit: Tim Brown

As an SEO agency, the best hack for us has been the ability to add a FAQ drop down to our clients pages on various Google Listings. It is an incredibly easy process that works almost immediately. Not only does it satisfy questions users might have but it also increases the likelihood of them clicking on your listing. While this hack may not apply to people outside the SEO world, if you are a small business owner this hack will be GREAT for winning traffic to your website. Give ‘FAQ Schema Markup’ a quick search in YouTube and you’ll see how easy it really is.

Thanks to Tim Brown, Hook Agency!


#2-B12 shot once per week

Photo Credit: Sarah Evans

As a Co-founder & CEO of both Edgy Labs and INK, its critical that we are focused and executing our strategic plans each and everyday. Showing up prepared and in the right mindset is very important. For me this typically means getting the day started with a morning workout and eating a healthy breakfast with the family. This year, I added a hack to this routine. I’ve added a B12 shot once per week (usually on Fridays). The advantages include, faster recovery, improved mood, increased energy and support for vital nutrients that I might not be getting in my diet. This has been one of the best new resources added in 2019 and will for sure continue into 2020. Highly recommend to those looking for an extra advantage.

Thanks to Sarah Evans, Sevans Strategy!


#3- Astronomy related forums

Photo Credit: Peter Thompson

The biggest resource this year, when it comes to upgrading my own knowledge of astronomy, and building on customers’ expectations were astronomy related forums. They are a veritable goldmine of information about expectations, wants and realistic offerings on the market. They’ve helped me shape my own opinions around certain brands and products, that I am sure to have benefited my own customers. In my opinion, a wider community is always a benefit, and fortunately these days there are more and more groups on the internet determined to share and discuss niche topics like astronomy.

Thanks to Peter Thomspon, Astrology for Beginners!


#4- Upwork

Photo Credit: Kate Raidt

Earlier this year when I launched my sales coaching business, I had filmed countless hours of video footage for my Online Training Course, a webinar and also for my YouTube channel. A good friend of mine agreed to edit all of these projects for a fair price. I sent all of the raw footage and notes to my friend – but he never followed through. I was left high and dry without an editor. My husband told me about UpWork. Very quickly I was able to find two excellent editors who not only completed my project in lighting speed, but for a fraction of the price my friend was going to charge me. Most recently I hired a Facebook ads expert from UpWork. I have found this to be an excellent resource to hire help for projects I can’t do myself. And in my editing case, a life-saver.

Thanks to Kate Raidt, Kate Raidt Sales Coaching!


#5- Adhering to SEO-friendly techniques

Photo Credit: Liz Brown

Having online platforms has allowed entrepreneurs like me to make businesses out of things that they’re passionate about and I love it. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. With the number of competitors growing day by day, being seen and standing out is getting harder by the minute. Fortunately, I’ve combatted that by adhering to SEO-friendly techniques such as following SEO standards when creating my content and building relationships with journalists and fellow entrepreneurs by giving expert advice on things related to my business. These ways not only allow me to get media placements and be seen, but it’s also a great way for me to build relationships and share my knowledge and expertise with readers might need it.

Thanks to Liz Brown, Sleeping Lucid!


#6- Reddit

The best resource for me has definitely been Reddit – perhaps the best and most hands-on market research tool. As an entrepreneur, you get closeted into a business mindset and can slowly lose sight of user needs. Reddit allows you to connect with your potential end-users who conveniently congregate in subreddits where you can talk to them and get their feedback! Secondly, Reddit allows anonymity which means users are generally more candid as well, unlike on other social media platforms. Lastly, it allows you to also become a part of the crowd. As you participate in discussions, you realise what their real needs are, how they think, what their concerns are and so on. You begin to think like them- you become an insider! This can’t really be achieved with surveys etc.

Thanks to Gaurav Sharma, BankersByDay!


#7-Guest posting

Photo Credit: Carsten Schaefer

My most used hack this year was guest posting as a way to get new links, mentions and PR opportunities for my company. Before I got started, there were quite a few naysayers that claimed that guest posting is “dead” and that I’m better off focusing my energy and money elsewhere. Turns out that they were wrong and that all I needed was a good way to pitch editors. Once I found my ideal approach, me and my team were able to score about 5 guest posts per month. We could scale it to even more, but this is the best that we can do with our current team size. The guest posts that we secure are always in our niche and we’ve noticed many positive effects, including increased domain authority and organic traffic and a nice bump in new signups.

Thanks to Carsten Schaefer, crowdy.ai!


#8-Viral Loop

I tried to come up with a system that keeps on growing on its own. I concluded that nothing could work better than the viral loop in this regard. Viral loop is a concept using customers to bring customers by offering them little reward or incentive. By doing so, you can achieve results like: regular customership and generating more leads organically. I have seen a 23% increase in my customer base by this method alone. The best thing is, I did not spend money to bring new customers. I only have to keep satisfied with my current customers, and they do the rest in return for incentives. Instead of keeping the fixed incentive, I keep increasing the incentive ratio after a certain threshold. It is a win-win situation for both the customers and the company.

Thanks to Roth Wilson, techunderworld!


#9- Unsplash

Photo Credit: Patti Podnar

I’m always in need of high-quality images to use for my blog posts. I usually turn to Unsplash, and I still think they’re a great resource. But since my featured image usually consists of text on a background, I’ve started looking for possible background images everywhere I go. From fall foliage to raindrops on paving stones, I take photos with a high-quality camera and then edit them and/or add text in PicMonkey. It’s a painless way to have a steady stream of custom images for my blog posts.

Thanks to Patti Podnar, Podnar Consulting, LLC!


#10-Ahrefs

Photo Credit: Dale Johnson

Ahrefs, a tool that allows you to explore the competitiveness and value of keywords in Google Search, has transformed the way I go about creating content for my online business. Every business with an online presence, from a restaurant to a global online retailer, should be aiming to rank on page one of Google for as many keywords as they can. Ahrefs’ one week trial is only 7 dollars, so you can even use it for one week to gather as much data as you can. With this tool, no longer do you have to guess about what keywords you should be using in your website copy or blog posts you should be writing.

Thanks to Dale Johnson, Nomad Paradise!


#11- Our phone system

Photo Credit: Matt Cooke

We’ve been able to purchase phone numbers that correlate to each of our branch locations. This is ideal because the service that we use allows us to forward calls to any number we like. So, if we’re out for a team-building lunch and no one is in the office, we can just forward the call to a mobile and still take the call if we wanted too. This also means that if everyone from a certain brand is on the road, they could use a hands-free setting and take the call if they chose to. Even if you’re on the move around the office and a call comes in, you don’t need to run back to your desk, you can just answer the phone where ever you are.

Thanks to Matt Cooke, Filter Services!


#12- LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Kathrin Lindner

My most used resource/ hack this year is definitely LinkedIn. A few years back, LinkedIn used to be a pure job seeking tool for recruiters & job applicants. Meanwhile, the platform has evolved to a social platform, similar to Facebook, but on a professional level. LinkedIn has become a power networking machine with endless business opportunities for freelancers, startups and corporate brands. With a focus on personal branding, video & content creation, businesses & individuals exchange ideas with their audiences. Overall, a great platform to look into in 2019!

Thanks to Kathrin Lindner, Lindsett Consulting!


#13- HARO

Photo Credit: Angela Ash

The greatest hack that we’ve learned to harness this year has been the power of HARO (Help a Reporter Out). We all know that outreach and link building can be time-consuming and may not always produce the best results. However, HARO is a faster, more efficient way to reach for a return link, and without the work or research required to write an entire guest post. With HARO, queries for quotes are posted, and replies typically range from a few sentences to a couple of short paragraphs. As long as you provide good, detailed information and aren’t overly self-promotional, you stand a great chance at receiving a quality link on a top-notch, high-traffic site.

Thanks to Angela Ash, Flow SEO!


#14- Rewarding social shares with discounts

Photo Credit: Anand Iyer

Weather you are a B2C or B2B company, social media is a platform that can amplify your message and help you get new business. Simply asking your website visitors to share your content, product information or offering won’t work. Offer users who share your content on social media discounts to spread the word.

Thanks to Anand Iyer


#15- Batching

Photo Credit: Andrew Chen

At the beginning of the year, I was building my business more or less linearly – which means I was context switching a lot. This was not the most time-efficient way to get a lot done because it would take me a while to get into flow, whether it was recording podcast episodes, editing them, writing blog posts, working on the website, etc. About halfway into the year, I started batching my work – and am now doing this in the extreme. Now I devote specific days of the week to singular tasks, and the context switching costs have decreased dramatically, because I can focus intensely on one thing for an extended number of hours each day. My productivity has skyrocketed as a result. Before this hack, I was cranking out 1 piece of high-quality content per month on average, while juggling all the other things in my business. Now, I am cranking out 2-3 high-quality pieces of content every week!

Thanks to Andrew Chen, Hack Your Wealth!


#16- Internal links on posts

Photo Credit: Peter Mead

When we get guest post placements on other websites, for a small extra fee we ask them to internal link to the post from a minimum of 10 posts. A link from a solo guest blog is ok, however, as it is new it takes a while for the post to gather any power. However, with the internal links, this shows to Google that this page is important and it elevates the power of that page. We have halved our guest posts but used the remainder of the budget to pay for internal linking. It has almost tripled the effect for our site, with organic traffic and better keyword rankings.

Thanks to Peter Mead, Bitcoin.com.au!


#17- Sending relevant influencers free product

Photo Credit: Calloway Cook

The one tactic that’s been the most successful for my business this year is just sending relevant influencers free product. I don’t ask anything in return and I don’t do it with a motive. Often it starts a conversation that leads to something beneficial for the business. This may be a social share or it may even be a product review. Sometimes I just get feedback which is also useful, because website and product iterations should be based on feedback from the target audience.

Thanks to Calloway Cook, Illuminate Labs!


#18- Including expert commentaries

Photo Credit: Alexander Porter

Content creation is time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. As Head of Copy for a Sydney-based marketing agency, my most used hack is to move away from individually-produce content and move to round-up content. Not only does this reduce the workload on my individual content writers, but it taps into the wider audience of the experts quoted. In fact, you’re reading about the value of this hack RIGHT NOW.  By including expert commentary you develop valuable relationships with industry thought leaders. Not only does this create valuable backlinks, but it also opens up your website to new streams of referral traffic. On top of this, is a roundup (should) be full of insightful, actionable and knowledgeable content, it falls squarely in the realm of ‘shareable’. And with Google’s algorithm constantly updating – with the recent E-A-T update prioritising authority, expertise and trust – showing yourself to be a credible content creator is vital. What’s most remarkable about this hack is how simple it is, and how few people take advantage of it. If you’re looking to create more content, drive more shares, develop your own authority and build valuable relationships; start creating less and curating more.

Thanks to Alexander Porter, Search It Local!


#19-Hubspot Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Photo Credit: Charles Gunn

The hack/tool that we use most frequently is without a doubt Hubspot Customer Relationship Management (CRM). My Co-Founder and I talk to countless prospective clients each week, which means there’s a lot of information coming into our business. Prior to using this hack, we had a central Google Doc CRM that we used to record information on. As an example, I would write in our Doc that I met John Smith of ABC Co. ($450M Revenues) at a conference and he is looking for help managing his Procurement Spend. He’s based in San Francisco and wants to meet for coffee next time I am in town. While Google Docs was a great starting point, it was nowhere near sophisticated enough for the number of conversations we were having, and it certainly wasn’t easy to use. Now, with Hubspot, we scan business cards straight from our phone and the App aggregates information from the card as well as other sources like LinkedIn and the Company’s website. Ultimately, our makeshift CRM was slowing us down and preventing us from getting new business, but now, managing relationships and bringing in business is much easier!

Thanks to Charles Gunn, The NiVACK Group!


#20- Optimizely

Photo Credit: Jesse Silkoff

We do a lot of split testing or A/B testing on our website. We test every little thing we can think of to make sure that our website is fully optimized for conversion. We create hundreds of different landing pages with small tweaks to assess the effectiveness of those changes in increasing conversions. Optimizely is a tool we use everyday that makes it easy to split-test different versions of our landing pages and helps us analyze the difference that a simple tweak can make. We have made simple changes this year such as changing the text of a button that have led to 35% higher click through rates. Using Optimizely so frequently has allowed us to hack our way to 7% better conversion sitewide this year compared to last year.

Thanks to Jesse Silkoff, MyRoofingPal!


What has been your most used hack or resource this year? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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