Small Business Marketing Tools: Goal Planning

By Andrew Lock | Posted May 11, 2010

Andrew Lock

HabitForge

How are your goals coming along?  Need some help and a little nudge from time to time?  Well, that’s where HabitForge.com comes in.  It’s a free, online resource that helps you plan and track your goals.

Based on the principle that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, the HabitForge system will send friendly reminders to your email to monitor your progress. 

HabitForge.com screen shot; free marketing tool
HabitForge.com
(Click for larger image)
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There are three easy steps to using the system: First, enter your goal.  What would you like to improve over the next 21 days and beyond?  You can also include details about your motivation for the goal, which will be included in the friendly reminders that the system sends out.

Second, when you receive the daily email asking about your progress, reply to it so that the system can track what you’re doing.  And third, at the end of the 21 days you’ll see your results and you can start the 21-day cycle again, if you wish. 

It’s very easy to use and it might well stop you falling off the wagon. 

TinEye

If you’re familiar with CopyScape.com, you’ll know that it’s a useful website to check whether someone else has stolen your written word.  It checks for duplicate content on the Web based on whatever you input.

Now there’s a similar service for images.  It’s called TinEye.com.  It’s free and it works like this: either upload an image or paste a URL where the image can be found.  If you use the latter method, TinEye will detect all the images from that website that you’ve selected, and then it’ll ask you to select the specific image that you’d like it to search for.  If it finds a duplicate, it’ll tell you the website where it found it. 

Now, the service isn’t 100 percent accurate yet because the database is still relatively small.  But if you’re concerned about image theft, it’s certainly a good place to start -- especially as it’s completely free.

Fiverr

One of my favorite discoveries recently has been a resource called Fiverr.com -- spelled with two Rs.  It’s a really simple and fun concept where people buy and sell services for $5.  Kind of like the dollar store for services, only it’s $5, not $1 and it’s for services, not products.  So I guess it’s not really like the dollar store at all -- bad analogy.

Anyway, the concept is great.  And as a user of the service, you can have all kinds of amazing things done for you for $5. 

So, how have I used the service?  Well, let me see… in the last week, for example, I’ve had a cartoon created, a song charted into sheet music that I can play on the piano and two Tweets of my choice to someone’s Twitter account with 14,000 followers.  Plus, a college kid in San Jose now has my logo on his backpack until June, I’ve had a link to my website put on a high-traffic website permanently and, just for fun, I had someone tell me how to extract my DNA. 

There was one other thing -- a one-act, solo play of my choice performed for me.  All of this cost me $5 each.  See how addictive it is?

Now in all seriousness, there's a ton of value to be had from this resource.  It’s just incredible what people are willing to do for $5.  And of course, don’t discount this as a lead-generation tool for your business. 

I noticed that my friend Jordan Macauley is offering the contact information for any celebrity for $5, which is just a brilliant use of this service, because not only is it profitable on the front end, but it’s also a great lead-gen tool for his wider celebrity contact business.


You'll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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