As you learn to start devoting time and resources to your social media marketing, business networking, lead generation and production/delivery, you’ll find that some methods are more effective than others. Ask yourself better questions, and start with the eighty-twenty rule.

What is the 80/20 rule?

Specifically, the 80/20 rule states that in any endeavor, 80% of your results stem from 20% of your efforts. And, as you work on being loyal to your brand and business image, you’ll find that it is 20% of your efforts that have the biggest effect on your reputation as well.

The same goes for your advertising initiatives. 20% of them, or just 1 in 5, will tend to be successful, whereas the other 4 in 5 (the 80%) just won’t generate the same kinds of results. Web traffic and social media indicators fall into the same category.

How do you know if what you are doing is working?

Now, while you may be getting along just fine by operating the way you are, imagine the kind of gains that could be made by focusing on just those 20% of efforts that are generating the majority of our gains. Be loyal to this 20% of efforts above all, and your advertising, revenue and business relationships will improve dramatically as a result.

How can you determine which 20% of your efforts are the most productive?

For sales tactics, it’s a matter of numbers. Rank all of your tactics together with a listing of how much money they’ve brought in and identify the tactics which account for the top 80% of that money. For more subjective measurements like improvements to your reputation, or determining which ads are the most effective, you can conduct polls of your customer base, informal polls of a sampling of your demographic as a whole, or just attempt to infer causal connections between those efforts and the subjective results that you’ve noticed. Use social media. For example, Facebook has the “like” button (social plugins) that you can use directly on your website. PollDaddy is great for creating (free) polls.

It also includes running and reviewing tools like google analytics and clicky, for example. You must checks stats from incoming traffic to conversion. Do you know what your best converting page is?. URL shorteners like will help too, and can make it easy to change pages, if you use them as permanent URLs.

Your email management systems must be tested, from simple subject head tests to more elaborate landing page (A/B) tests. Short or long emails? Are you spending your time collecting emails? How long is the sales cycle from first touch point to a sale?

The best way of tracking to your results, is to look at your effort (time) spent versus return. If you are spending 3 hours a day on a project that has a low yield – then change, outsource, or dismiss (fire the client) if it doesn’t serve you. You’ll sleep better at night.

Ultimately, the goal of a smart business owner is to pare out those tactics or strategies which are wasteful and unproductive. Then you can maximize efficiency and industry and your relationship with your business will prosper as a result.

And sometimes, it just increasing your prices. Have you looked at that recently?

What else can you do?


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.