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 : )

10 thoughts on “How to reinvent yourself in 2014”

  1. I love this post and how much detail you went into about the changes you are making and why. I can’t wait for the new book too. Many people talk about the internet lifestyle but not many really build businesses, so for me it is very helpful to hear your perspective. Thanks for sharing
    J

  2. Yes, it is so good to see that you have upgraded all your graphics design for sales page. Actually, I have purchased your PLR product, however, I had spend a lot of time to put all the graphics by myself, instead of using your original graphics. It is so great to see you have got new design. I have seen that. Good job!
    Especially, you should have put PLR videos for PLR buyers. You have done that, so great! Thanks for all the good job!

  3. Glad to see the refocus. Hopefully it will make the products we currently have more useful and the future products better as well. Will the sales page updates be available for those who have purchased the WL products?

    Keep up the great work, and give us more tools to offer our clients.

  4. Bertranddo,
    First, I LOVE this responsive theme. It looks great on my iPhone & navigates perfectly. I’m really looking forward to reading about what you’ve learned while building YMB Properties (The E-Myth is 1 of my favorite books).
    I do love all the product access purchases I have made so far and your support team is very responsive (just like this theme

  5. I am looking forward to your book very much. in whole or preferably by the chapter. It is refreshing and straight forward reading your commentary on your business and philosophy of work and life. I don’t feel the usual “smoke and mirrors” approach. I have only used Instant FB Presence so far and am looking forward to working with all of your software.
    Keep up the good work!

  6. Great words. I find it hard at times to cut projects I have currently invested money int. Your articles is reminding me that despite the investment I made, it can cost more money to work on that tasks versus looking at the bigger picture and working on activities that I should really focus on for my business.

  7. Great post Bertrand, I like to learn about the direction you are taking the company and your strategy behind it. I especially like to learn about the tools you are using to grow and run your business. I am looking forward to your book; I think the one chapter at at time via the blog idea is a great way to keep you focused on execution.

    Thank you!
    Bill

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