Does Your Business Have “Youtility?”

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youtilityJust before I sat down to write this book review, I had two books in my hand.

Should I tell you about a book that details the rise of some of the most talked-about, written-about young-gun-entrepreneurs and CEOs of hot brands? Or should I tell you about a book that will help you grow your business even when you think you’ve got nowhere to go?

As you’ll see, I opted for the latter.  I don’t know about you (maybe this is a personal problem) but whenever I read books that give me ideas about how to grow my business or help my clients grow their business, I feel inspired and energized.  So I’m hoping you feel the same way.

Let me tell you about the latest review copy that landed on my doorstep: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype.

How a Pool Guy Got Me Hot and Bothered for this Book

It’s not what you think – but it made you read on didn’t it?

Youtility did something I don’t recall any other book doing.  A “pool guy” wrote the introduction.  For all intents and purposes this was a pool guy like any other pool guy you know.  Except that when the economic crash of 2008 crashed his business, he hunkered down and repositioned his business. He made the decision to look at his business from his customers’ point of view and he decided to start blogging (something he wasn’t good at but did for the life of his business anyway).

Ultimately, his business grew beyond just being a small Virginia pool company.

His website is one of the most trafficked pool sites in the world and he calls himself the “Sales Lion.”  I can’t believe I’m spending so many words on two pages of an introduction, but I think it is some of the most powerful content in the book (sorry Jay) because it comes from someone who is a lot like me and a lot like you.

And this should make you read on –  even more than the pool-guy reference.

Youtility: Jay Baer Is On To Something

As you know, I read a ton of books and one of the cool things that happens is I get to sense trends through the eyes of the authors.  One trend you’ve really got to take on as part of your marketing strategy is transforming your marketing message from HYPE to HELP.

This can be challenging when you’ve been conditioned to push your product to sell it.  It can be challenging when you think about being a unbiased observer of your industry and speaking openly and honestly about comparing your business with someone you perceive as a competitor.  But Jay Baer will help you through this process.

Jay Baer (@JayBaer) is a digital marketing expert and the president and founder of Convince and Convert, a marketing services firm.  He’s loaded with practical marketing experience that comes from founding five companies and consulting for more than 700 others that include Sony, Columbia Sportswear, Nike, Petco and more.  He’s co-authored the book The Now Revolution and has been named one of America’s top social media experts by Fast Company.

Now that you know how smart he is, let’s get into the book.

Four Concepts You Must Get Into Your Head to Grow

There are a ton of mind-bending marketing concepts in this book.  Below are just four that will give you an idea of what’s inside this book:

  • Customers demand more information than ever:  In 2010, shoppers needed 5.3 sources of information before making a purchasing decision.  Less than a year later, that number had doubled to over 10 sources.  Are you keeping up?
  • Sales reps help people verify their choices – not decide:  B2B companies will contact a sales rep after nearly 60% of the purchasing decision is made.  In other words, all your sales people have to do is make the prospect feel good about their decision.
  • Blogging boosts traffic:  Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 600% more traffic.  Enough said about that.
  • Expertise = Trust:  Company experts are trusted by 66% of people; regular employees are trusted by 50% and CEOs are trusted by 38%.  (Wow.)

Inside this book, you’ll find plenty of corporate brand examples of Youtility. But I can tell you that for my money, the small business examples are about 1000 times better.

Youtility  is a marketing book you’re going to love because it will inspire you and motivate you to run your business better.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."