REACH OR MISS – The Customer Focused Entrepreneur: My podcast interview with Hayut Yogev, Gaia VSM CEO

Listen to the show HERE:

The Customer Focused Entrepreneur – Episode 59. Anne-Maria Yritys/Hayut Yogev

I was recently contacted through social media by Hayut Yogev, Host of the REACH OR MISS podcast, who invited me to be her guest at her popular podcast show that focuses on the differences in approaching customers leading entrepreneurs either to glorious failures or grand successes.

The REACH OR MISS podcast vision is to help entrepreneurs and startup founders increase their chances for business success by learning from the most successful entrepreneurs and opinion leaders about their customer focus experiences.

Taking into consideration the expertise of Hayut Yogev, and with reference to her previous guests on the show, I was honored to be invited to The REACH OR MISS podcast. In the show, we discuss customer-focused entrepreneurship, including my best advice on how to approach customers, what my biggest failures and successes with customers have been thanks to my personal way of approaching customers.

We also discuss the importance of various digital and social media channels for reaching customers, and why attracting customers rather than chasing them is the best strategy for the customer focused entrepreneur.

Listen to the show HERE:

The Customer Focused Entrepreneur – Episode 59. Anne-Maria Yritys/Hayut Yogev

“Ep. 59 – Anne-Maria Yritys: “At some point, you have to understand you can´t force customers if they don´t want to, and you can´t help people if they don´t want to”.


Be careful who you send your resume to!


Anne-Maria Yritys 2017. All rights reserved.

I recently received an e-mail from a New York-based executive search firm with a note that they received my details by an outside talent source firm, stating that they are looking to fill C-level positions for one of their client´s recent acquisitions, and if I possibly would be interested in learning more. 

Since the e-mail was sent to one of my many e-mail addresses, and not my primary e-mail, it took me a week before I even noticed it. Instead of sending them my resume and based upon my earlier experiences, I sent a response by e-mail asking them if they could give me details about the talent sourcing firm that had referred me, who their client is, and where these roles would geographically be located. Within only a few hours they got back to me, per e-mail, stating that they cannot give any details about their client until a non disclosure agreement has been signed.
As a response, I sent them the links to my website, my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles with a brief note that they can find my resume there. I have grown aware of recruiting firms and headhunters collecting people´s CV´s and resumes, many of whom lack the effort of doing their job well, i.e. fail in ever getting back to their customer/s. Be really careful/selective about who you send your CV/resume/other personal data to, since many recruitment firms seem only to be interested in gathering people´s personal data rather than actually having a purpose of really filling out a position. Which is why I am, these days, extremely selective about sending out my CV/resume to anyone, if at all!
I know loads of professionals in the headhunting/recruitment industry and have inside information. With the professional networks that I have online, I could even start my own headhunting/recruiting firm but quite honestly, I have seen too much in order to be willing to do so.
In Finland, most jobs get filled either through sourcing internal candidates or by other means, rather than through online/offline announcements. Most of the work announcements online and offline have mainly a purpose of serving the recruitment firm as an advertisement. In Finland, the vast majority of all roles are filled in other ways than sourcing candidates through job announcements. In Finland there is also a legislation that says that recruitment firms cannot keep applicants data for no more than six months in their data bank, but who checks this?
Moreover, referring to the New York-based executive search firm that approached me, I have gathered many experiences in dealing with professionals from around the world, including New York. Many of those that I have dealt with from New York seem to use an elbow tactic, so if you ever deal with them in business, make sure that THEY first deliver their part of the possible deal, before doing anything for them.
Further on, in 2015, I was contacted by a NY based recruitment industry startup on LinkedIn. They basically had an expectation of me to a) make PR for them for free b) find a way of transferring my LinkedIn data (the professional details of 30.000 individuals) to their database, sending me a non disclosure contract trying to offer me WARRANTS as a payment. I was smart enough to consult an international lawyer at that stage. Shortly after having installed their software on my computer, it broke down. I still have no idea why, but I suspect it happened due to their software. I never found out, just brought my broken laptop to recycling and bought a new one. I also blocked these people from my personal online networks. Whether they installed a virus/malware through their software on my computer is still unclear to me.
Be really careful about what you do online, and who you trust. It is not paranoia to use common sense in business. I have personally learned some very valuable lessons through my online business activities.
Anne-Maria Yritys 2017. All rights reserved.

What To Put Your Focus Upon on Social Media


Worry About Your Character, Not Your Reputation. Your Character is Who You Are, and Your Reputation is Who People Think You Are. (John Wooden)

The explosive and exponential growth of online media, and social networking platforms/sites in the past decade has most definitely had a significant influence upon businesses, entrepreneurial activities, individual´s lives as a whole, organizations, and therefore also upon environments and societies, because societies are made up of people, and the way people act and behave in their everyday lives impacts how societies develop, thus also having both direct and indirect effects upon how economies are shaped and transformed. Not everyone uses online media, but those who do, need to figure out a few relevant issues regarding their online presence, and their online activities. A few tips for business professionals, entrepreneurs, leaders, and, also for employees and individuals as private persons regarding their online activities:

  1. Define a/the purpose for your online presence.  

Everyone who uses online media and social networking sites has a meaning and purpose for their online presence. Defining that reason/those reasons are relevant in any aspect of a person´s life. While defining the reasons for your online media/social media networking, also make sure to define the amount of time you actually do spend on social media. By doing this you may, and will definitely discover a number of useful things regarding your online presence, including the actual time spent, your online behavior, but also, and most probably, finding out what you could possibly do differently in regard to your online activities.

  1. What are your online activities?

If you are merely a hobby user of a number of social media sites and platforms, you may want to compare the benefits and advantages of your online activity with the possible drawbacks and negative influences it has upon your life. Most businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations have, however, realized that having an online presence is essential for a number of business activities although, it is questionable and up to each business owner/entrepreneur/leader to define which online/social media sites actually are useful in their respective business activities.

  1. Why does your business/organization use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WordPress, Google+, YouTube or any other social media platform? 

Are the previously mentioned online media sites all part of your online marketing strategy, and do you have any additional options to these? Is it necessary for your business to be active in all of these, or could you leave some of these platforms out, and perhaps replace it with a more effective branding, communication, and marketing tool for your business activities?

Even though your online content is meant for a human audience, it must still meet the needs of the search engines. (Jay Torrence)

  1. What kind of content do you share online? 

The content your business/organization shares online should be in line with your business mission and vision. This may seem obvious to every business owner and entrepreneur, yet most small business owners fail to segment their marketing activities accordingly, poor segmentation practices is a major reason why especially small businesses fail in their branding and marketing endeavors. However, since branding is the very core of a business, representing its image and bringing forth its values, it is a matter of continuous effort and activities, including the fact that every single individual of an organization in fact are its branding agents. Therefore, branding is what makes you/your business/your products and/or services unique, and what differentiates your business from the mainstream. Marketing, on the other hand, are the activities your business takes to share your brand identity to your target segment, and to your targeted clients.

  1. How do you measure the benefits of your online/social media activities? 

It is no secret that brands can hugely benefit from the many options that today are available online. All businesses, even individuals, and states, have a unique brand identity. How well we manage to communicate and market our brand identity to the world/to our clients is directly associated with the capability of our brand to succeed in the marketplace. There are a number of tools to measure the activities, and the actual outcomes and results of online branding.

Thank you for reading, liking, and for sharing this post. Please comment with your thoughts about how brands can improve and strengthen their identities through online/social media activities. Feel free to comment with concrete examples, e.g. from your brand´s activities and its success, and/or with personal experiences about the significant aspects of online media presence in successful branding. 


Online Navigation and Creating an Online Strategy

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time”.

(George Bernard Shaw)

As an avid user of online services and of certain social media sites I have learned a few things about online navigation. 

I have written a few times about how to save precious time and energy, and how not to get stuck within the online world. Believe me, I am writing from experience, and learning from it, every single day. 

Let´s get straight to the point, just to save your time and energy: 

Create yourself/your brand/your firm a clear social media/online strategy. This includes at least a definition and response to the following questions: 

– Who am I representing? Am I representing myself? How am I representing myself? As an entrepreneur, or as an employee? Or am I representing a brand/company/startup? 

– What am I representing? Am I representing myself, and my services? Or am I representing someone else´s service/s and/or product/s?

– Which social media sites will I use, and why? It is very important to choose the correct media in order to save time and money. You won´t want to waste time, money, or energy on sites that are useless to you. One option is of course to create your own social media platform, and as I have noticed, new social media platforms are being created every day, in almost every single corner of the world.

– How much time/effort am I willing to spend for these social media sites? How much time can I afford to spend online?

– Do I need to do everything on my own, or will I hire someone (a social media company or an entrepreneur) to do it for me/for my company?

– What is my target market/customer segment? Why? 

– What is the best way to approach the target segment/the target customer? 

– What are my core competencies? How do I differentiate myself/my firm from others? 

– How do I measure the efficiency of my/my company´s online presence? Do I/the company need to invest time/money in some other kind of advertising, or is digital presence enough?

This is an insight into the online world, where new jobs, trends, sites, and markets are constantly emerging. It can be somewhat overwhelming, which is another reason for organizing yourself online, defining the amount of time you are willing to spend online, and the most important: being selective regarding your online presence. 

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results”.

(Winston Churchill)