How to reinvent yourself in 2014

Wow it’s been a while since I posted something new on the blog : )

Good news though: our company has just spent the month of January 2014 going through several major changes, and I wanted to share the details with you.

I hope that what we do at YMB Properties can inspire you in the way you organize your business. The purpose of this blog post is to give you a sneak-peek into what works for us, right now.

So without further ado here is what’s new.

New YMB Properties Website

We always start with Balsamiq wireframes for all our sites and softwares

The new YMB Properties website has a clearer focus on our graphic products, and even (soon) an option to buy a bundle of all our products.

The idea behind this redesign is to put the company at the forefront of our marketing, instead of me (Bertrand) taking all the glory from our collective works.

In fact I have always been wary of running a company that only depends on me.

That’s the kind of issues a lot of self-employed businesses are faced with: they build a personality cult around their founder to the extent where the founder becomes the company.

The problem with this approach is that it’s very hard to build a durable company that relies totally on you. I am a big believer in systems (check out the Emyth by Michael Gerber) and for our systems and processes to be efficient I had to slowly remove myself from the equation.

New sales pages

We moved away from long form sales copies to modern landing pages

One of the most time consuming activities we have been working on last month was redesigning all our sales pages. You can see the results by going to Instant FB Presence for example and clicking on the top menu links to navigate through our graphic products.

The objectives of this redesign were twofold:

1) Make it easier for users to discover and access all our products

The new design has several notable features which I will articulate below:

– a global navigation bar at the top to switch between all our products, practical for existing and potential customers

– a convenient Sign in button for returning users

– a clear and concise pricing page: no more “hidden” upsells like in the heyday of the Warriorforum

– a simple sales copy with no psychological trickery: just the features, benefits and a demo video

2) Make it easier for us to update our sales pages

In fact if you have been using HTML sales pages before, there are notably difficult to edit. By moving all our sales page to OptimizePress V2 (OP2) we have cut entirely our HTML development costs, since our in-house designer has been trained in using OP2.

All in all this redesign probably took us 3 good weeks, but was worth it. Starting anew is a great way to start the year.

Talking about starting anew, one of the major projects we worked on in January was to get rid of all the clutter: we deleted dozens of old domains (some were still active), closed lots of threads on the WarriorForum, discontinued some old products, etc. You might call it some kind of major “spring cleaning”.  I personally severed several partnerships etc.

We really decided we should focus on graphic softwares for 2014, and graphic softwares will be all we do. All the rest was distraction and has been promptly eliminated.

New Helpdesk

We are now running all our support from Zendesk

 

Customer support is a big deal for us: in any given month we get over 1,000 support request (everything from people asking generic advice to technical assistance) and have 8 agents on the desk. Consequently we have always been looking for the best platform to help our customers.

We first started with Hesk two years ago when I launched the company. Hesk was a good solution at the beginning, since it was free : )

We then moved to Uservoice which did a decent job at the beginning. As the organization grew I felt that Uservoice was lacking in some of the social media integration feature and mobile applications for agents.

So in January 2014 we moved all our support to Zendesk which is arguably the best support platform I have ever used. One of the advantage of Zendesk is the way it offers multiple channels for customers to get in touch. Here are 7 ways to contact the YMB Properties support via our Zendesk account.

Knowledge baseSearch for answer

HelpdeskSubmit a ticket

Email: support@ymbproperties.com

Facebook: send us a message on our fan page

Twitter: Mention @bertranddo via Twitter

Live chat: contact us on live chat during business hours (blue button on the right of any of our sites)

All in all we are very happy with Zendesk, and our customers seem to be too.

New book!

I started working on a book which details my experiences making money online while living everywhere from Hong Kong to San Francisco

Sometimes I do feel a bit guilty not sharing back enough of what I am learning through my journey in business.

In fact the only reason I got where I am today in a position where I can live anywhere and run a company with 13 employees (at the last count) is thanks to other people who inspired me via books, seminars, blog posts and the likes.

So I made it a mission to release a free eBook that details the exact strategies and tools I used to get where I am at. I am a big believer in lifestyle design so this book will have lots of practical tips on how you can design a business that actually supports your life (rather than taking away from it).

Here is the (current) outline of this book:

INTRO

  • 13,000 Miles In The Sky

MINDSET

  • Love Money 
  • Don’t Buy My Stuff 
  • Worship Gurus 
  • Ignore Your Friends 

STRATEGY

  • Launch Bad Products 
  • Never “Plan” Anything 
  • Be Like Everyone Else 
  • Kiss Your Boss’ Ass 

PRODUCTIVITY

  • Ditch Business Books 
  • Forget Ideas 
  • Burn Your Business Plan 
  • Ban the Internet 
  • Stop Working Hard 
  • Never Outsource 

TRAVEL

  • Think New York 
  • Live In Bali 
  • Waste Money 
  • Be Smarter Than Your Phone 
  • Paypal Your Travels 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

  • Books
  • Talks
  • Web Apps 

CONCLUSION

  • Live Your Life

That’s a rough outline of the book, let me know what you think about it in the comments. The plan is to have it released in the next 12 weeks (I might try to release one chapter a week on the blog to keep it consistent).

New Year!

We had a fantastic month of January and I am incredibly excited about what’s coming next. We are of course planning to keep on updating and bettering our softwares, we are planning to push at least one major update per month.

For February we will complete the redesign of our platforms by tackling the members area (the sites where you access our softwares). The plan is to make those members area a lot more modern looking, and easier to navigate. We also plan to add mobile support, so that you can preview your designs from any mobile.

Secondly we will start posting more marketing resources for our customers, starting this week with an excellent article about Infographics by our own content writer, Rose Ann. Stay tuned for her email sometimes between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Finally we have already started development on a MAJOR project which is set to change the way people create graphics online (at least that’s what I like to believe : ) ..

But seriously this is BIG: if you are interested in taking part in the beta email us at support@ymbproperties.com and we’ll be happy to send you a beta invite in a couple weeks.

The conclusion

It’s is sometimes good (if not necessary) to get rid of all your old projects and partnerships which might prevent you focusing on what you have to do. In our case it meant getting rid of a lot of clutter but in the end we achieved a renewed focus which should take us farther in 2014. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and take your business to new heights.

Make it a great day,

P.S. Leave your comments in the box below and let me know what think about the redesign or anything else really : )

Free Gift: Here’s A Killer Headline (+ 3 Free Copywriting tips)!

Alright so these past few weeks I have started getting serious about this copywriting business and read all the classics from John Carlton and co (more about this in the video below).

One of the reasons why I decided to study copywriting was because I have been losing tons of money on Facebook and POF ads due to my poor understanding of human psychology, and with my business partner we had to do something about it!

(I am happy to report that we have found our first profitable campaign on POF, and that feels great!)

So in order to help you get closer to your goal, which must be freedom, spending quality time with the ones you love and generally enjoying this life thanks to the wonders of internet marketing I have created this little tutorial here that shows you how to use my killer gift and where you can find some copywriting inspiration.

At the end of the video I also reveal a very cool tool, it’ s actually my ‘secret weapon’ when it comes to writing headlines.

Click the “play” button below to watch the video now.

[membership_downloads_box title=”Your Downloads”]You may need to right-click the following links and select Save Link As to download the file to your computer

Your killer headline (PSD – Photoshop Source) [Click ‘download’ on the next page]

Your killer headline (PNG)

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How to Create a HD Ebook Cover in 10 Minutes [SCREENCAST]

This is a fresh update on a tip I gave a while ago on how to create a very cool 3d cover in minutes (literally). If you are like me and you like saving time you’ll love this!

It involves using myeCovermaker.com which is probably the best thing since sliced bread. But enough of the intro yadaa yada, watch me create a cool HD 3d cover in exactly 10 minutes 🙂

Note: this is ‘effortless marketing’ at his best: you can literally send your copy of Photoshop to the recycling bin 🙂

[membership_downloads_box title=”Your Resources”]MyeCoverMaker

IconFinder[/membership_downloads_box]