Monthly Archives: March 2014

Positioning Yourself As An Expert

positioning yourself as an expertPositioning yourself as an expert and a trusted advisor in your niche market is a worthwhile goal. I started doing this when I came online in 2006, and here are some ways you can do the same thing.

Sharing relevant and timely content with your community is an excellent way to begin. This way you have introduced yourself to them as a resource, rather than a vendor. This content can be free sites and materials that are readily available online, even though it may take some digging to find it. It can also be PLR (private label rights) content from sources that provide high quality on a consistent basis.

Once you begin positioning yourself as an expert, advisor, and counselor of your clients in your area of expertise, you will know the specific the outcome your products and services, as well as affiliate offers produce for their lives. Let people know who these products are for…and who they’re not for. Maintaining an authentic voice becomes a magnet in your market. You’ll attract the right customers and clients while repelling those who shouldn’t do business with you anyway.

In my online business I focus on new entrepreneurs who are serious about building a solid, long-term income online.  If someone comes to me who is only looking for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme they see very quickly that I am not the right fit for them. I prefer people who value the relationships we are building to grow our businesses surely and steadily.

The pieces of the puzzle are simple enough; choose a niche that makes sense for you, your background, your experiences, and your interests. Set up a site where you can let people know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them to achieve their goals. Offer them a report or audio recording to get to know you a little better. Stay connected and build the relationship with them through email messages, social media, and regular teleseminars and webinars.

You won’t earn any money until someone actually purchases something, so you also need to know how to find and tap into bulls-eye buyers.  Having a ton of freebie seekers on your list won’t do you any good.  Sure, maybe you get people to open your emails and click on your links, but if you’re not attracting buyers with money to spend to your list, then you’re out of luck.

How do you accomplish this?

What about staying on track and getting things done? As an entrepreneur working online today, it’s not a lack of opportunity that holds you back.  Instead, there are so many opportunities that you can’t figure out where to focus your attention because of all the available options. This causes BSO syndrome (Bright Shiny Object).  You bounce from idea to idea and traffic source to traffic source and product to product.

The solution is creating a clear entrepreneurial vision.

When you’re focused on where you’re going, it becomes much easier to just say NO to everything that takes you off that path.

Next month – April – I begin my fourth annual Productivity Challenge. I’m not going to link to previous ones here; instead I want you to think about what you would like to achieve during the next thirty days. Where will you be then? What will you have had to do in order to get there? What questions do you have about the upcoming Productivity Challenge? What could I do to make this the most transformational month you’ve ever had in your business?

 

 

 

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PowerPoint For Business: Keeping It Simple

powerpoint-for-businessBefore I ever used PowerPoint for business, I taught it to fifth and sixth graders as a part of the curriculum while I was working as a classroom teacher. The kids discovered all kinds of things about it by experimenting, and then shared their findings with everyone else. Now PowerPoint is an integral part of my online business and adds to my income on a regular basis. You can do this as well.

So if you’ve created your first PowerPoint presentation – congratulations for taking the next step in marketing your business to your clients. You will find your options open up with multimedia presentations by showcasing your product or service. With PowerPoint you can add sound bites, videos, photographs, charts, graphs, and much more. It truly is a dynamic platform.

Why do you want to add these bells and whistles? First, using PowerPoint makes your presentation more interesting and more interactive with your audience. Whether you’re presenting to a room full of live people or presenting virtually in a webinar room, showing examples of your work, statistics, graphs, or simply sharing your desktop will keep your audience paying attention.

Second, there are many different ways of learning, including auditory and visual. By simply speaking you will capture the attention of those auditory learners but by adding the visual PowerPoint slides, you will also capture your visual learners.

Lastly, think about the topic of your presentation. If you are presenting a tutorial or how-to presentation, using slides to showcase the steps of how to do something is much more concise and helpful than verbally trying to describe each step.

Put yourself in the audience for just a moment. If you are teaching a course about how to install and use WordPress, for example, would you rather listen to the directions or see the steps? When it comes to computers and technology, adding PowerPoint slides to your presentation is highly recommended so your audience members can compare their own computer screens to what you’re showing on the slides.

The beauty of PowerPoint is that it’s dynamic but very user-friendly. All the icons are rather self-explanatory and if you do hit something by mistake, there’s an Undo arrow at the very top left corner of the window. Another tip is to save your work frequently. A good habit is to click the Save button after you finish each slide, which decreases your chances of losing the work if your computer crashes or hitting a wrong button and losing everything!

Don’t forget to have a strong ‘Call to Action’ at the end of your PowerPoint. Business can be enhanced when you let people know what you have to offer while they are actively engaged in learning from you.

The very best training on using PowerPoint for Business is available from Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold as a part of their online training and tutorials.

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Authority Marketing

authority marketingAuthority marketing, according to direct marketing legend Dan Kennedy, is the act of “deliberately, systematically, methodically establishing yourself as a celebrity rapidly and dramatically, at least to your clientele and target market. Without this you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring what is fueling the entire economy around you, and neglecting development of a measurably valuable asset.”

When I wrote a column several months ago about becoming a local celebrity, this was the idea behind it.

In its purest form, authority marketing helps you as an entrepreneur or small business owner to leverage your knowledge to gain authority status in your industry. This authority status then allows you to dramatically amplify your message and also to convert this new audience into higher paying customers. In other words, it’s the process for positioning yourself as an authority, or even a celebrity, in your marketplace.

This can best be done by consistently providing useful information to your market. I refer to this as ‘being a resource before you’re a vendor’. The information you provide solves problems, offers solutions, and addresses urgent needs. Creating content in a variety of formats makes this a doable strategy for everyone wishing to grow a business, online or offline. You will have positioned yourself as an educator and an advocate for your niche market, instead of just another person selling widgets.

Strategies which are most effective at improving your expert positioning include highlighting your media appearances and your published books, and anything else which shows that you are uniquely more qualified and credible than your competitors. Increasing what is known as the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor is crucial to success. In your favor is the fact that most of your competitors have not been doing this, giving you the ultimate edge in the marketplace.

For instance, once you position yourself as an authority, you’ll no longer have to chase sales leads and prospects for your business. In fact, you’ll find that they will seek out your company and your offers. Once people find you they stop looking for anyone else. Traditional networking is no longer a necessity and doing business takes on a whole new meaning.

You will also increase your income with this strategy. Entrepreneurs and small business owners that are seen as authorities have a higher value position, and are therefore expected to charge higher rates. You will quickly find that people will happily pay more for services from someone who they perceive to be the top expert in a field.

Having clients that trust and respect you is yet another benefit of positioning yourself as an authority. Instead of questioning you every step of the way, they will be more likely to follow and take action on the advice you share with them. That’s an excellent feeling to experience.

Books, podcasts, radio appearances, local appearances, and blog posts become the best sources for information in your market, saving you countless dollars and endless hours for other types of marketing. I’ve written about all of these topics in recent issues of this publication. You will also gain influence in your marketplace and opportunities for speaking, joint venture partnerships with other authorities, and more will readily present themselves to you. These, in turn, increase authority further and open other doors.

Authority marketing is one of the most powerful strategies to differentiate yourself from all of your competitors. If you aren’t actively working on creating your business around becoming a local celebrity and being perceived as the ‘go-to’ authority in your field, you are missing a huge opportunity. What are your thoughts on this?

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Learning Modalities: Auditory Learners

auditory learners 300x199 Learning Modalities: Auditory LearnersAre you familiar with the concept of learning modalities? These are the sensory channels or pathways through which individuals give, receive, and store information. Perception, memory, and sensation comprise the concept of modality. The modalities or senses include visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic, smell, and taste. There are three primary learning modalities, including visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic.

We will focus here on the auditory learning modality and how it relates to your online business. Did you know that a large portion of the population, at least thirty percent, retains information better when they hear it than when they read it? Auditory learners must hear what they are learning to really understand it.  They enjoy listening, but cannot wait to have a chance to talk themselves. These students respond well to lecture and discussion. If you are creating information products or writing books, these are the people who will want to have an audio or mp3 version of what you have created.

This is one of the many reasons that it pays to offer audio as an option for your site visitors.  Here are some additional ones:

  • Audio can inject personality into your website in a way that text and graphics can’t.  There’s just something special and unique about hearing someone’s voice that makes site visitors feel welcome.
  • Audio is convenient. Those who want or need to multitask can listen to audio while doing something else. They do not have to be right in front of the computer screen to use it.  You can also make audio available for download to an iPhone, iPod or MP3 player, so your visitors can take it with them wherever they go.
  • Using audio will most definitely separate you from the competition.  Many sites and products do not utilize audio, and if yours does, those who enjoy it will be likely to come back to you instead of seeking out your competition.

Ways to Use Audio

There are plenty of different ways that you can incorporate audio into your online business.  Here are a few to consider:

  • Record a podcast. This is similar to blogging, only it is done in audio form.  Users can subscribe to your podcast so that it is automatically downloaded to their feed readers or iPods.
  • Host a streaming talk radio show. This is a great way to get targeted visitors to your website, and it allows you to interact with your audience by accepting calls or answering emails while you’re on the air.
  • Offer recordings of online conferences or presentations for download. This gives visitors an incentive to come to your site as well, and it may entice them to participate in future conferences.
  • Record a message for site visitors. Tell them a little about yourself, suggest areas of the site to visit first, or just welcome them. This adds a unique personal touch.

Making Audio Accessible

There are a number of file formats that you can use when saving audio, but it is important to use popular ones so that your users will be able to listen to them. The most popular format for most types of recorded audio is MP3. It offers great file compression while preserving the quality of the audio. Virtually every computer has an application that can play MP3 files. The Windows operating system comes with Windows Media Player, which will play these and several other types of audio files.

Another benefit of the MP3 is its versatility. It can be easily converted for burning on a CD with most CD burning programs. Users can also put them on their iPhones or just about any other type of portable music player.

Auditory Information Products

When you are creating your first, or next information product, be sure to include it as an auditory file, in addition to any written content or videos you may also be including.

 

 

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Podcast: Laurisa White Reyes Children’s Book Author

LaurisaReyesAndChildren 300x214 Podcast: Laurisa White Reyes Childrens Book AuthorLaurisa White Reyes is a children’s book author and editor-in-chief of Middle Shelf magazine. She is also a mother of five, ages six to twenty, and active in her community. We met when her teenaged son was looking for book donations for his Eagle Scout project, and we soon realized we had much in common around reading, writing, and publishing books. I asked her to be a guest on my podcast so that we could get to know her better and to learn more about writing and publishing fiction through traditional publishing houses.

She shared with me that she had wanted to be a writer for as long as she could remember. Laurisa wrote a poem at age five that launched her as a writer, at least in the eyes of her family. After college, she spent thirteen years writing for various magazines and newspapers, working as a book editor, and teaching creative writing. But what Laurisa really wanted to do was write novels. So about six years ago she turned her attention to fiction. She reads to her five children at night before bed. One night her oldest son, the one who just became an Eagle Scout, asked her to make up a story instead. That story eventually became a fantasy entitled The Rock of Ivanore. She spent a year writing it, two years submitting it to publishers, and three years getting it from contract to publication. She says that it’s been a long process, but well worth the wait. Laurisa also has a second book out, The Last Enchanter, and both of these titles are a part of a series she calls The Celestine Chronicles.

We discussed the writing process, especially for those of us with busy schedules. Finding the time to write regularly is her biggest challenge right now. We also talked about the process of going through an agent and a traditional publisher. It’s a very different world from what entrepreneurs are able to do with self-publishing.

I know you will enjoy this interview with children’s book author Laurisa White Reyes. Her books are available on Amazon, if you have an interest in this fascinating genre.

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