Monthly Archives: June 2015

Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business

Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing to grow your business just makes sense. I’ve been on the most influential social sites for seven or eight years now and continue to use them for my business in a variety of ways. Let’s have a discussion of the sites I feel are the most important during 2015 and how they will help you to accelerate your success.

The ‘Big Three’ of social media continue to be LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, YouTube is crucial to your business success, and this year I have added Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram to my list of ‘must have’ sites for your online presence. Let’s take a look at how each one of these sites can help you.

Facebook can be time consuming and trivial if you are there to connect with friends and family. Instead, I recommend creating a Facebook ‘page’ using the name of your business or the name of your city and industry. For example, if you visit https://www.facebook.com/SantaClaritaDentist you will see a page for a dentist in the Santa Clarita area. This is an excellent way to connect with existing and new clients and customers on a regular basis.

LinkedIn was more of a corporate site in years past, but now the social aspect of it has taken precedence. Set up your profile and then allow it to search through your email contacts to see who else you know that is already there. Then start reaching out to people in a systematic way to build your connections. I’ve done this over the past two years and now have a network of more than twenty million people around the world! The next step is to set up a profile for your business. They have a step by step way to do this quickly.

Twitter is much more than just the one hundred forty characters you can ‘tweet’ out at any time. Use it to send messages about your business throughout the day. There are sites you can use to do this for you so that you hit several time zones across the country or around the world. You can now also add photos to your tweets, so use this feature to show what you are doing in your business. For example, the dentist could tweet about the importance of brushing and flossing, and start a discussion about how often people should come in for a routine checkup and cleaning. Once you get the conversation started people will take notice.

Pinterest is also all about pictures, photos, and images. Set up a business profile there and add some photos of yourself, your business, and what you do to serve your clients and customers. This site uses something called ‘boards’ that are intended to share details on a specific topic. Using the dentist as an example, one board could talk about cosmetic dentistry and show some examples of people who have had work done. Another could be about the office itself and show photos of the dentist and all of the support staff. Search for the keywords of your business to see who else is using this site to get the word out about their business and connect with them.

Google Plus requires you to sign up through a free Gmail account. Then you can update regularly with the happenings of your business. Use it to announce anything that customers and clients would be interested in knowing about. Again, updates with images are always more interesting. Also, connect with others there using your email contacts.

YouTube is also an excellent way to get the word out about your business. See what the dentist has done at http://YouTube.com/SantaClaritaDentist. The idea here is to tell the story of your business through short (under five minutes is best) videos. You can easily create these with your smart phone and then upload them to YouTube on your phone as well.

You can see that social media is here to stay, so have some fun with it and let the world know who you are and what your business has to offer. Make sure visitors have a way to follow up, such as including your phone number, blog, or website address. The best part of this, in my opinion, is that social media is free. There are paid advertising options available, but they are optional and too complicated to discuss here.

Here are the links to my social media pages – let’s connect!
Connie Ragen Green on…

LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram

How are you using social media marketing to grow your business? Share with us by leaving a comment.

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Podcast: Author Shawn Hansen on Writing Children’s Books

shawn hansenShawn Hansen is a published author, as well as a graphic artist (she has designed several of my book covers) and someone who now teaches others how to be successful writing and marketing books online. When I realized that I had not yet interviewed her for my podcast series I made it a priority to do so immediately. Shawn is definitely someone you’ll want to know as you build your online business.

Recently we were both presenters at the annual Earn 1K a Day seminar in Las Vegas, hosted by Dennis Becker. This year I became more excited about the possibility of finally writing the children’s

Shawn is a former college professor, and decided to leave that profession in order to write full time. She is currently collaborating with her father on a book she is writing and he will illustrate. She taught English, so we shifted the conversation to the topic of using proper grammar in your writing, as well as the role of an editor in your writing process.

We then delve into the world of writing children’s books, and briefly discuss her course on how to do this. Shawn strongly believes, as do I, that the world has changed to the point where the parents of young children are now more comfortable allowing their kids to read on a variety of devices, in addition to paperback and hard cover books. This opens up new opportunities for those of us publishing on Kindle and makes it possible to give children a great reading experience that is also meaningful.

Shawn lays out the situation with traditional publishing, which in the case of children’s books is typically done with in-house writers and illustrators by large publishing companies. She also talks about the Kindle Kid’s books creator software, which she teaches in her course for proper formatting and alignment of illustrations.

We also discuss the children’s book I am writing currently, and how it came to be. I asked Shawn how the outlining and writing process may differ from what I do for all of my non-fiction books and she explained her perspective on this is a way that you will want to hear. She shares that she has written at least a thousand words a day since 2006, and I have done this for the past five years as well. We end our interview with a frank discussion of controversial topics and how they should be approached by authors as a way to expose children to a variety of stories and situations that will enhance and enrich their lives.

Be sure to check out her training on writing Kindle books for kids if you would like to get started in this field.

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How To Profit From Your Writing

How to Profit From Your WritingHow To Profit From Your Writing

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I actually wrote that I had even a remote chance of being a real writer. The next step was in learning how to profit from your writing, and here are just a few ideas on how you can accomplish this goal. Spoiler Alert: It’s easier than you ever imagined to earn money as a writer.

Here’s a unique opportunity that allows you to help people tell their story. Many people want to publish their own biography or a memoir, but don’t have the writing skills to put it together. In fact, many famous biographies were not written by their authors, but instead were ghostwritten. That’s where your services can come in. And in some cases, you might even get credit as a co-author.

Now you may want to do this for passive income as well. Instead of doing all the hard work of putting together a memoir or biography, teach people how to write their own, so they can do it themselves. You can create an information product about the process that you can sell repeatedly online. Or once you have achieved success on your own in this area, you can teach other aspiring memoir writers to break into the market.This is the ‘each one, teach one’ philosophy that I simply love.

Book proposals also offer you an excellent opportunity to profit from your writing. Writers who want their books to be published by a more traditional, (rather than self-publishing) publishing company will need a book proposal. This proposal sells the idea of why the book should be published and includes an overview of the book, its market, and competition.

A book proposal is a specialized type of writing that needs to be detailed and persuasive. Proposals can be used for both works of fiction and nonfiction, so there are a variety of types of clients you can work with over time.

Be sure to focus on results to make a name for yourself. While not all of your clients will get book deals because of the book proposals you prepare for them to send out to publishers, the success rate you do achieve will be critical in growing your opportunities in the future. Always follow up with your clients to find out how things went and then use those success stories as case studies to showcase your expertise.

Another form of writing for hire is copywriting, or web sales copy. Copywriting is the art of writing material that helps convert readers into customers. This can encompass everything from email messages to advertisements to online sales pages. Any marketing material often entails some level of copywriting. You can do things like slogan writing, brochures, ad copy, sales letters, product descriptions and more. Copywriters are in high demand and once you have a proven track record, you’ll have clients knocking on your door.

Make sure to track your results, in terms of sales and conversion, from the very beginning. Writing web sales copy is a results driven business and your prospective clients will want to know you can get them more leads and customers. Keep a record of specific conversion rates and help your clients improve those rates as part of a value-added service.

Published authors and online entrepreneurs Alice Seba and Ron Douglas, founders of the Writer Help Wanted Project, have an excellent program that takes you step by step through the process of learning how to profit from your writing. I would encourage you to get involved with this program, as I and so many others have done.

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God Only Knows Where I’d Be Without Him

As I make my way across the pond to spend the next few weeks with my family, I’d like to share a story with you that no one has ever heard. Not my family, my friends, my mentees, or even the man about whom I’m sharing
with you.

As I sat at the kitchen table in a small town in Finland, the same one I’ll be sitting at by tomorrow, a thought crossed my mind. The year was 2010 and I’d been online for about four years at that time. The thought was that I was not any more special than anyone else working online as an entrepreneur, and that perhaps I should give up and do something else. Even though my business was growing, something deep inside of me was ready to quit and walk away.

When I checked my email I saw that I had something from Dennis Becker. One of my clients had recommended his ‘Five Bucks a Day‘ book to me, and when I read his email and opened the book on my laptop I somehow found the inner strength to carry on. It was in his approach and style, and the honesty with which he was telling his story that got to me.

That was five years ago, and Dennis is now someone I consider to be a friend, a big brother, a mentor, and a confidant. He never knew that he saved my business by showing me what was possible all those years ago.

Now this is where the story gets even more interesting. 2015 has been a very challenging year for me, both personally and professionally. I shifted my business model, requiring me to go through quite a steep learning curve that was both time consuming and costly. My health once again became an issue and I had to slow down
my active lifestyle. And last month I lost three people in my life within a thirty day period to serious illness. Once again I questioned what I was doing and how/if I would continue as an online marketer. Yes, even the ever confident, funny, and witty self-proclaimed marketing genius Connie Ragen Green has moments of self doubt when life comes down so painfully I need a hard hat in order to hold my head up high and see the light.

Then I went to Las Vegas for the Earn 1K a Day seminar Dennis Becker has put on for seven years in a row. You may remember last year when I took over for him when he became ill just weeks before it was to take place.
This year I was a speaker and knew that my responsibilities would not be more than I could handle. It would be relaxing compared to last year and I could just blend into the background.

But wouldn’t you know it – Dennis invited me to his suite for an impromptu mastermind meeting the day before the seminar began. As I sat with him on his private balcony overlooking the pool from three stories above the lush grounds, he shared his vision with me for what he intends to achieve over the coming year.

He didn’t see the tears well up as I nodded and listened to his words. He didn’t see me casually brush away those tears as he became animated at what he wants to achieve. He didn’t know that I was melting inside because I was so embarrassed to be thinking once again that I could no longer carry on. In the words of Olaf, ‘Some people are worth melting for’ and Dennis is definitely one of them.

I left Las Vegas with a renewed inner strength and a resolve to do whatever it takes to be there for the people who look to me for the help and guidance to be successful online. God only knows where I’d be without having Dennis
in my life, and I want you to know him as well. But most of all, please know that there are  at least two people who care about you and your success more than just about anything  else in the world. We’ll be here for you as you begin or continue your journey, and that, my friend, is quite priceless.

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Positive Thinking for Entrepreneurs

Positive Thinking for EntrepreneursPositive Thinking for Entrepreneurs: Success and the Power of Positive Thinking

I love this quote from entrepreneur Henry Ford. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” This was his answer when people came to him to say that they were not able to help him design a car that could be built using an assembly line. Finally, his positive attitude won out and he succeeded in changing the way automobiles were mass produced and made available to people everywhere.

Everywhere you look you’ll see interviews from successful business owners describing what they did to become successful. The key is to look at how they do it. Almost all of them have a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. They use this power of positive thinking to help them succeed. Are you practicing this attitude in your own life as you work to become a successful online entrepreneur?

Your mental outlook is what your perception of success (or failure) looks like. It has a big impact on your success. The good news is that if you currently have a negative mindset, you can change it and your attitude to be more positive.

Here are seven ways positive thinking is connected to success:

  1. It’s proven to help with problem solving. People who think positively are better able to learn new information. This improves your perspective and enables you to tackle problems and obstacles as they happen.
  2. A positive mindset promotes and enhances your energy level. When you are in a good mood, you tend to laugh more, which boosts your endorphins and your energy level.
  3. Positive thinking helps to give you control by giving you confidence about yourself, your abilities, and situations. Successful people control their thought process, turning a negative pattern into a positive pattern as the need arises.
  4. A positive attitude attracts other positive people to you. Successful people often have a large circle of friends and acquaintances. The more people you know, the more doors of opportunity will be opened to you.
  5. Positive thinkers are more likely to set goals and follow through by taking action, which also happens to be one of the keys to success – setting goals and following through.
  6. Positive, forward thinking improves your decision-making ability by opening your mind to broad thinking and creative solutions while negative thoughts close your mind and narrow your thought process. Successful people are often open-minded, forward thinkers who make good decisions and are good problem solvers.
  7. A positive outlook builds resilience. Successful people often face many failures and mistakes before they succeed. Those with a positive attitude are more resilient and recover quicker when they do fail.

Success is much more than positive thinking. It requires positive action as well. While positive thinking builds the foundation of success, you have to follow up by taking positive actions.

Developing a Positive Mindset

In life, there is a time and place for both negative and positive thoughts. However, when negativity becomes a habit or begins to have adverse effects on you, it’s time to make an attitude change and cultivate a positive mindset.

Here are some tips to help you cultivate a positive attitude:

  1. No more complaining! Complaining is a very negative response to any situation that drains you of energy.
  2. Express gratitude every day, even for the small things in your life. Eventually you will become grateful for everything that crosses your path, even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time.
  3. Keep a list of the things you have accomplished in both your personal and business life.
  4. Let go of the people around you who are negative, critical, and abusive of you. They drain your energy. Instead, surround yourself with supportive, positive people. I did this when first coming online and it made a huge difference in my success.
  5. Help others. Volunteer occasionally. This is why I joined Rotary initially, and soon I began volunteering with even more non-profits and charitable organizations.
  6. Practice meditation daily. Even ten minutes of ‘quiet time’ meditation first thing in the morning will help you start your day on a positive thought and outlook.
  7. Let go of envy. Envy is a very negative emotion. It eats at you, pointing to the faults we see in ourselves.
  8. Be kind and smile at others.
  9. Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. When a negative thought enters your mind, push it out quickly. Substitute a happy thought.
  10. Have faith in yourself. Believe the Universe will help you.
  11. Read inspiring stories and watch inspirational movies or television shows.
  12. Repeat inspiring and motivating affirmations.
  13. Practice mastering your thoughts. Access your subconscious mind.
  14. Visualize what you want to happen. Release the thoughts you don’t want to happen.

Cultivating a positive outlook takes conscious thought. Be aware of your thoughts and the attitudes of those around you. Once you are aware of the negative thoughts in your environment, you’ll be able to counteract them more quickly. Whether you are making the effort to have a more positive mindset for your personal life or your business, you will find this to be the shortest path to the life of a successful online entrepreneur.

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