Monthly Archives: May 2013

Google Hangouts For Business

google hangouts for businessAre You Using Google Hangouts For Business?

Google Hangouts are relatively new to the Internet world and an excellent way to market and grow your business. They are completely free, and all you need to get started is an account on Google Plus, a webcam, and a YouTube account. Sign up at and at

A Hangout is simply a video chat where multiple participants (including one admin – the person that runs the hangout) are interacting with one another. Other participants will appear in small screen thumbnails, underneath any participant who is currently speaking. You can have an informal chat with a closed group of people or a more open and public hangout. It’s entirely up to you. I’ve done both public and private Hangouts and each has great value.

Imagine hosting a Hangout with two or three of your employees to explain exactly what your business does to prospective customers. Each person could explain what part they play in the process and how you would benefit by giving them a try. I’m thinking of a restaurant or a retail store here, but almost any type of business would work well. Once your Hangout is over it is then added to your YouTube channel for your prospects to view and comment on at a later point in time.

Using Google Hangouts as a part of your marketing strategy will show your prospects and customers how much you know and care about the business you are in. There are so many reasons that Hangouts are superior to any type of written communication. These include the opportunity to meet with many people at once in a face-to-face setting, the sense of immediacy, showcasing the competence and skill of you and your team, and increasing your credibility in the marketplace. This is the next best thing to meeting with people in person, where they can see your face and hear the tone of your voice while you are speaking about your business.

Your business may be one in which you have lots of customer service issues on a regular basis. Hosting a Google Hangout once a month to address the most common questions that come up could be extremely valuable to your reputation and set you apart from the competition. You could also do this to share your requirements for job applicants and to roll out a new product or service to get feedback on a wider scale. How about letting people know about a seasonal or weekend sale by announcing it first on a Hangout?

Another possibility is to hold online classes for your clients on how to do something that is part of your business. In this regard you could turn Hangouts and your YouTube channel into a college extension program just for your business.

There are so many creative and innovative ways to use Google Hangouts for business. I recommend embracing this new technology and seeing just how far it will take you as you add it to your marketing strategies.

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Podcast: Don Wilson on Facebook Marketing

don wilson 189x300 Podcast: Don Wilson on Facebook MarketingDon Wilson, Facebook marketing expert, product creator, and all around brilliant guy is my guest for this week’s podcast. Don and I first met in 2012 at Dennis Becker’s Earn 1K a Day seminar in Las Vegas. He was very quiet and reserved, at least during the sessions, and he and I did not spend time talking that weekend. It was only after the event was over, and throughout the following year that I realized just how talented Don is when it comes to marketing on Facebook.

You may be new to the idea of marketing your products, courses, and other information on Facebook, and I understand that completely. But Don explains it in a way that you will see has huge benefits for your business. He truly has some unique insights into how people think and why they make the choices they do.

I asked Don about how and when he got started online, what his thinking and strategies are for his marketing techniques, and how someone new to this can get started right away. He shares some of the niches that are working well for him, along with his thoughts on how you can get started right away. You can also learn from Don directly with his Facebook Architect course. I know you will enjoy this podcast interview.


Subscribe to this Podcast Series


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Dennis Becker: Earn 1K A Day Forum

dennis hangout 300x167 Dennis Becker: Earn 1K A Day ForumDennis Becker, Earn 1K A Day forum founder and creator, has become someone whom I consider to be a close friend and confidant. We met online just three short years ago, and then briefly in person soon after when we were both attending an event in Austin, Texas. As I began to see how knowledgeable Dennis was when it came to getting started online, I signed up for his products and finally became a member of his Earn 1K A Day forum.

I also became a good affiliate for him during that first year, and that’s how we first made a connection. It wasn’t until I began to spend more time in the forum that I appreciated what he had put together.

Dennis has gathered some of the biggest names working online today, including Jason Fladlien, Wil Mattos, Jenn Dize, Justin Popvic, James Schramko, and others, along with people brand new to the world of online marketing and everything in between. It’s become a safe haven for both novice and seasoned entrepreneurs to do what I call ‘think out loud’. We can share our thoughts, ideas, concerns, and dreams along with our product ideas, copywriting questions, and basic questions about how to make money on the Internet.

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the Earn 1K A Day forum. Very few sites make it this long and stay active, useful, and vibrant. It’s the people that make the difference, and Dennis attracts people who are in this for the long haul, not those looking to make a few fast bucks and then move on.

Even if you are not familiar with Dennis Becker, I’d like for you to take a leap of faith and join me in this amazing online group. In honor of the sixth anniversary celebration, Dennis is offering some amazing bonuses, including access to a thirteen week audio coaching program, almost a thousand products in what he calls the ‘Product Vault’, and more.

I’ve also put together a Bonus Package for the first twenty-five people who join through my affiliate link and still have some openings for that. This includes:

  • 5 of my most popular information training products
  • A six week ‘Summer Mentor Program’ to be held during July and August
  • 2 one-on-one sessions with me starting in June
  • An opportunity to guest post on my two main blogs (this is one of them)

By now you can see that I think the world of Dennis Becker and his Earn 1K A Day forum. That’s why I’d like for you to be a part of it as well and enjoy the benefits that I continue to receive from Dennis, the hundreds of other members, and the products, content, and materials that are shared with and available to us as members.

When you join the Earn 1K A Day forum through this link, leave a  comment here or email me directly to let me know you are ready to get serious about building your online business and I’ll add your name to my list.

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Email Marketing Tips – Getting People to Open Your Emails

Email Marketing TipsEmail Marketing Tips

Growing your list is only the beginning of building your online business; you need people who will continue to eagerly open your emails, are ready for your next tip or story, and are interested in your offers. These are a few email marketing tips that will change your business drastically.

Here’s what it means to…

1.      Focus on your subscriber.

Before writing a word, ask yourself:  “What would brighten her day?  Inspire her today?  Help her out?  Entertain her? Amuse her?”

Pick one of these options and it’s as simple as that.

2.     Use Irresistible Subject Lines

Two components, and two components only, will make your subscriber decide to open your email – even if they are the sort of person that “doesn’t have time” to read.

  • Number One:  Being able to see clearly who the email is from – and having a mental picture of how you “fit in”.

Putting your full name in the “From” designation is good, but if they’ve signed up in a fever to get some freebie they need (i.e. your freebie), they may not actually remember your name.  So make sure you give them another great big clue.

Seeing a “From” Line that reads “Ann Maddox” might or might not bring up a mental picture of who you are and what you do:  Seeing a “From” line that reads “Ann Maddox, the Free Template Lady” will certainly jog their memory.

  • Number Two:  Your Subject Lines

Number One is easy enough to set up; and once you’ve done so, you don’t need to do this again. It consists of not only making sure your name displays in the “From” field, but also a clue about what you do (or your business name, if that’s descriptive.)  Example:  “Joe Smith, Finance Tips for Seniors”.

Number Two, creating irresistible Subject Lines, is a little more work.  However, the good part is that you don’t have to create the wittiest or cleverest Subject Lines on the planet: Nor do you have to win a Pulitzer Prize for writing.

Your Subject Lines just have to inspire the reader to open them.

And here’s a secret that everyone should know but too many people ignore:  Every email after your first couple you send will be opened based not just on the actual promise in the Subject Line – but on whether or not you kept that promise.

In other words, if your first “Quote of the Day” was pedestrian, your subscriber is less likely to open the next one.

If “News you can’t live without!” turned out to be not that spectacular and something your subscriber has already heard from five previous correspondents, your subscriber is most likely to skip the next email.

And if your first free Template turned out to be dependent on purchasing a Toolkit, it’s virtually guaranteed your next Freebie offer won’t be opened.

Here are a few tips to make sure your Subject Lines do the trick:

  • Be clear in what the email is about (for example, “Here’s a review template for you” is much clearer than “Wanna freebie?”)
  • Make your Subject Line sound conversational rather than like a book chapter Title.  “What God told me about honesty today” is more likely to intrigue than: “God and You – What Honesty is Really All About!”
  • Learn about Spam filters – and the words in your Subject lines that trigger them.

Words sure to bounce your emails straight to your intended recipient’s spam filter limbo are:

  • Free
  • Sale
  • Work at Home
  • Make Money
  • Click install
  • Income
  • Profit

And there are many more – but these will give you the drift:  Anything that even vaguely hints at sales or sex may be tossed into spam limbo – no matter how pure your intentions

  • Finally, be careful with punctuation.  Avoid exclamation marks and dollar signs like the plague.
  • Don’t use initial caps:  Write your subject line the way you would if you were sending a message to your sister or best friend.

3. Use a Conversational Tone

Not just in your Subject Lines, but in your emails, too.  Write as if you’re speaking only to the subscriber who is reading it.

4.  Make your Emails Shareable

Not just information – but your information in particular.

And if you want your reader to share your  email – tell them – and give them a link to send people to, so they can sign up for your list voluntarily.

5.     Track Your Emails

Your email campaigns will never achieve wild success until you use the tools your Autoresponder should provide to track the following data:

  • Click-through rates
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Delivery rates
  • Opens
  • Sales

Use this data to help you refine and hone each new email you write.  For example, your Delivery Rate should provide valuable clues as to which Subject Lines are not getting through Spam filters.

Make a note of possible trigger words in the Subject Lines of emails that weren’t delivered and either avoid using them; or use them in a split-test group, to confirm whether or not that certain word is the problem.

These are the keys to a successful email marketing campaign. I recommend Aweber as an email and autoresponder service if you are just getting started. Get started for only one dollar.



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Developing A Guest Blogging Strategy

Your Guest Blogging Strategy

blog7 300x200 Developing A Guest Blogging StrategyWhen it comes to guest blogging, it takes time to learn the ins and outs of it and develop a strategy that works for you. Learn from those that have gone before you and made some mistakes doing it. Below you will find some common mistakes and blunders that guest bloggers make or have made. Now that you’re being made aware of them, you should avoid them entirely.

  1. Go into the process blind – The worst thing you can do is go into this blind without doing any research!  You need to do your due diligence and spend some time researching blogs so that you can find ones that will be a good fit for you.Find out what the site owner expects of their guest bloggers. Find out their guidelines – can you include links to your site, do they have certain formatting rules you need to follow, basically find out everything you can BEFORE you submit your pitch to them.You should also find out about their traffic and you can do that via And don’t forget to go to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to see if the site is being talked about and to check out how many friends/followers they have.
  2. Shameless Self-Promotion – Guest blogging is NOT a platform to blatantly promote yourself, your products or your website!  This is a sure way to get a bad rep as a guest blogger and more than likely the site owner won’t even publish your content (or will delete it once they catch wind of the self-promotion).When writing your content focus on what you can add to the site that will help build them up. By taking the focus off of yourself and instead focusing on providing quality content that the audience will be interested in, it helps build your credibility and leave people wanting to know/learn more about you.
  3. Not solving the issue – People are looking for answers to their problems. Look for ways you can provide answers to a specific issue the readers may have. Even if you come up with something that is on the unusual side share it because it might peak their interest.
  4. Unresponsive to comments – Guest blogging isn’t just about writing a great piece to share. It’s about getting the audience to take action and interact with you (and others) in the comment section.  Most readers will want to know more about you and interacting with them in the comments can be a great way to give them more insight to who you are. Provide relevant comments and try to keep that interaction going – don’t just reply with a ‘thank you for your comment’, take it further and mention something they said in their comment, ask them a question if appropriate. Make the comment section as interactive as you possibly can.
  5. Not continuing the journey – Don’t guest blog once or twice and stop. Keep it going. When you’re guest blogging on one site, think about the next opportunity.  You can even set up a guest blogging tour.   Obviously the more you guest blog, the more you’ll get your name and business out and establish yourself as an expert and the go to person for your niche.
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Virtual Book Tour: 21 Ways to Launch a Successful Virtual Book Tour

Learn about Virtual Book Tours with D’vorah Lansky

dvorah 21ways Virtual Book Tour: 21 Ways to Launch a Successful Virtual Book TourRecently my good friend and colleague D’vorah Lansky and I got together for a Google Hangout to talk about her incredible new book, 21 Ways to Launch a Successful Virtual Book Tour. D’vorah has been a trendsetter with blogging and book tours for several years now, and explains how this works when you want to build your credibility and visibility online.

D’vorah offers virtual book tour workshops and courses for authors, entrepreneurs, and virtual professionals. She has taught hundreds of people, across the globe, how to conduct successful virtual book tours. You can purchase her newest book on Amazon at this link, and learn more about what else she has to offer online entrepreneurs and authors by visiting her site.

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Santa Barbara Zoo Giraffes: A Lesson In ‘Giraffe Marketing’

Santa Barbara Zoo GiraffeThe Santa Barbara Zoo giraffes are amazing. This past weekend I went to see the two newborn giraffes at this zoo twice. As this adventure unfolded I came to think of what the zoo has done as the ‘marketing of the giraffes’ and will share this brilliant strategy with you.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is gorgeous. It is also very small. The children in the area get to visit with their class once a year, just as we did at the Los Angeles Zoo during the years that I worked as a classroom teacher. Most cities this size (about 100,000 people) do not have a zoo, so just the fact that they have one took great effort. This zoo, located on thirty acres adjacent to the beach, was first opened in 1963 on a private estate and known at that time as the Child’s Estate Zoo.

First, I’ll share a little history about the giraffes here in Santa Barbara. This zoo originally exhibited Baringo giraffes, but in order to maximize genetic diversity within this sub-species they now exhibit Masai giraffes. This is part of an agreement with many zoos on the West coast of the United States, as a way to perpetuate the species without having to transport the animals at great distances. However, the father of these newborns, Michael, was transported from his home in Toronto, Canada to Santa Barbara about a year and a half ago. I heard that they constructed a special vehicle so that he could stand up for the forty-eight hour drive.

Now the group includes Michael; Betty Lou and Audrey, the five year old females; Dane, Audrey’s son; and Sunshine, Betty Lou’s daughter. Dane was born on April 18, 2013, and Sunshine arrived on April 28, 2013. This makes Michael the most genetically viable male Masai giraffe in North America at this time.

Santa Barbara Zoo GiraffesThe Santa Barbara Zoo does an excellent job of getting the word out to the community about what is going on with the animals there. There isn’t a child in town who doesn’t know about the two newborn giraffes, and most adults in the greater Santa Barbara area are also aware of what is going on surrounding this. Talk of these two blessed events is in the newspaper, on the radio, and in the local magazines. The Zoo’s website is updated regularly with information on the new arrivals, with pictures, names, dates, and height and weight information. Their goal is to get the news out to the people in a way that will make them want to stop by and see for themselves what all the fuss is about.

When you arrive at the zoo there are lots of people and numerous signs to direct you to the giraffe’s exhibit area. For an additional fee (six dollars) you may feed Michael, the male giraffe, with the help of one of the staff. The gift shop has giraffe stuffed animals, figurines, hats, shirt, tails (very cute!), post cards, and more. I refer to this as the ‘marketing of the giraffes’ and it is an excellent strategy.

In addition, the staff is trained and updated regularly as to what is going on. I was there for a private event with Rotary on the first evening, and that’s when I observed a group of zoo employees being briefed on which information to share with visitors, how to anticipate their questions, safety concerns, and more. This makes the experience so much more enjoyable for everyone, especially for the animals, whose health and welfare must be of the utmost concern.

This reminds me of what we do as online entrepreneurs to build our businesses. We go to where the people are, on social media sites and searching on Google and Bing, and invite them to come back to our blogs, our websites, and our events. We may not have anything as exciting as a newborn giraffe, but we can be just as enthusiastic about what we do have to offer the world. If even one person benefits from one of your products, services, trainings, or coaching then you will have a great impact on their life. We can all take a lesson from the Santa Barbara Zoo giraffes marketing success for our own online businesses.

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Blogging 101 – Be A Guest Blogger

blog2 300x146 Blogging 101   Be A Guest BloggerBlogging 101: Responsibilities of a Guest Blogger

Blogging 101 is that you want to ultimately be known as a good guest blogger so that it opens the door for other guest blogging opportunities. You will find that reputations online are even more important than those in the physical world. To be a good guest blogger, here are 7 things you should do:

  1. Research – One of the biggest mistakes guest bloggers make is not taking the time to research potential guest blogs. This is an important step because you have to make sure your content matches the focus of that blog.

There are three things you should always know before you pitch a blog owner: what their guest posting guidelines are, what they/their site stands for and what their audience is interested in.  This is even more important if you’re choosing a sub niche.

  1. Follow the rules – This is something we were taught as children but it’s worth mentioning. If you don’t follow the rules, the blog owner isn’t going to be happy, obviously. So do your due diligence and make yourself familiar with what is expected of you as a guest blogger and do it!
  2. Check the reputation of the blog – This is important because your reputation and credibility are on the line. Any site you guest blog on, you’re linked to. So if you post on a site that turns out to be sketchy, that’s going to be bad news for your credibility and reputation.Also, this means that if you didn’t do your research about a blog and it isn’t very influential in your niche, it’s probably not going to give you much of an ROI (return on investment).And last but certainly not least, if you guest blog on a site that isn’t relevant to your niche, you’re certainly not going to get any targeted traffic which is often one of the main reasons for guest blogging.
  3. Build a relationship – Don’t make the mistake of appearing as a guest blogger and then never being in touch with the site owner again. Participate actively on that blog by commenting frequently, but please make sure you leave comments that are relevant and add to the conversation.  This will help keep your name in front of them and their audience.
  4. Interact with the audience – It’s really important that you are actively participating with the audience. This means if someone takes the time to comment on your content, you need to make the time to comment back! And do it in a timely fashion.
  5. Write outstanding content – Give the audience something new.Whatever you do, do NOT make the mistake of taking old content and using that for a guest blogging appearance!  You want to write brand new, unique, top quality content to use instead.A good rule of thumb to follow – write the same quality of content you would for your own site.
  6. Recompense – This simply means to return the favor. In other words, help promote the blog owner’s content (not just your guest post but their own content too).   Share on your social media networks like Twitter or Facebook.

Get started as a guest blogger today with this step by step program.

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Podcast: Carol Marshall, Publicity Expert

DSCN2883 225x300 Podcast: Carol Marshall, Publicity ExpertCarol Marshall, PR expert and public relations guru to the stars, is someone I met while I was volunteering in the Press Room at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January. We first met when I was getting coffee at the Starbucks next door to Hotel Santa Barbara where the Press Room is located during the film festival. She saw my bright green t-shirt and badge and came over to thank me for volunteering. I was so moved by this gesture and we talked for a few minutes while our drinks were being prepared. It was then I found out that I would be volunteering with Carol, and it wasn’t until later in the day that I discovered that this humble woman was the person responsible for the great publicity and public relations of the festival.

Carol explained what the function of a Press Room is, how publicity plays a huge part in the marketing of people, events, and films, and why the media are so important. She’s been the Public Relations liaison (publicist) for the Santa Barbara Festival for the past twenty years. She explained the process of choosing the films and the actor’s that will be featured at the Festival.

She started in entertainment public relations in 1979, working with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and the Grammy Award’s during that initial period. She worked with PMK for twenty-four years before starting her own company in 2005.

I asked Carol to talk a little about some of her clients, and she mentioned actor Jimmy Smits as an example. The reason someone hires a publicist is to get their name in front of those who can best help them to achieve their personal and professional goals. Publicity brings awareness, which leads to future jobs and other opportunities. She has now worked with Jimmy for more than twenty-five years.

Carol agreed that what we do on the Internet is similar to show business, and that getting visibility is part of the process. Even though this is not her area of expertise, she acknowledge its importance in the world today. We discussed what she refers to as the ‘social media mentality’ and how it is similar to reality shows in that people want to be noticed every moment of the day.

Is there any such thing as ‘bad’ publicity? Carol says it depends on the circumstances, and you want to be known for things that present you in a positive light to others. It’s all what happens in the aftermath of what you’ve become known for in the first place. Carol’s role as a publicist is to guide her clients by using a strategy that will work well for them. Less can be more when it comes to being in the public eye. Don’t talk about yourself unless you have something to say, with quality over quantity being key.

Will I be hiring a publicist any time soon? Yes, and stay tuned for more details.

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