Monthly Archives: June 2016

Life As An Entrepreneur: Road Trip 2016

Entrepreneur Road TripThe Entrepreneur Road Trip

Recently I spent three weeks driving across the United States and back to visit my clients and see the country. The result was quite satisfying, productive, and joyous and I thought I’d share the highlights of this trip with you.

My goal was to connect with as many people as possible along the way, and to work closely with them while I was in their home. Originally I had planned to fly to various cities and rent a car, but my decision to drive my own vehicle from California and back worked out much better. I covered just under six thousand miles in twenty-one days, visiting a dozen people and seventeen different states in the process.

Just as when you work on your online business from home, keeping a routine and being disciplined with your time is crucial to success. I’m used to writing and doing most of my other work in the morning, so whether I was staying in a hotel or with one of my clients this was simple and easy to accomplish. It’s been many years since I waited for inspiration to motivate my writing, so before I went to bed each evening I wrote down what I would be working on the following morning. I’d have to say I completed even more work than usual during this three week trip because I did not have many outside distractions to get in my way.

Even though I travel with my own Internet connection via a “hot spot” device, almost every hotel I stayed in had a decent connection, as did every one of the homes I stayed in with my clients. I had a laptop, iPad mini, and an iPhone with me throughout this trip.

What all of this has taught me is that we are even more capable of achieving our goals than we previously thought. If I was able to do more work than I had been doing at home while on this road trip, just imagine what I’ll be able to do from home going forward.

What is your business model? Are you working strictly from your home, or are you able to work from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection? As you can see from my entrepreneur road trip, anything is possible.

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Natural Born Salesperson

Natural Born SalespersonThe Natural Born Salesperson

So how are your selling skills? Have you ever heard the term “You’re a natural born sales person?” Someone born with a natural style of selling that isn’t annoying or pushy? But is being a likable salesperson something you are born with or is it something you can learn?

Personally, I believe it’s a mixture of both.

I started selling when I was in the fourth grade. My Mother walked me to school, while most of the other kids were driven. This allowed me to make a quick stop at the local convenience store to pick up some salty and sweet “supplies” for the school day. When someone wanted to buy one of the treats from me, my selling career was launched and I never looked back. Buying low and selling high, or buying at regular price and selling for a bit more became

It’s true that some people can naturally sell ice to a polar bear. But for most of us selling brings to mind the days of going to buy a used car and being pressed into buying a certain one by an annoying, pushy salesman.

Does selling make you feel dirty?

Does the idea of putting a smile on your face, pretending strangers are your best friends and sweet-talking them into spending money on your products or services make you want to hide?

So how can you sell your products or services or books then, without feeling like you have to become some else to do it? What does it take to develop your salesmanship skills so that people will like you?

Salesmanship is both an art and a science. It’s a human activity that involves human interaction. Although a natural affinity to selling is helpful, it can be learned.

Here are some surprising statistics:

  • 75% of buyers want marketers to curb the sales-speak in their content. (Source: DemandGen Report)
  • Only 2% of sales occur at a first meeting. (Source: Marketing Donut)  
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)
  • 63% of people requesting information today won’t buy for at least three months. (Source: Marketing Donut)
  • Companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than non-nurtured leads. (Source: Forrester Research)

These statistics show that selling takes more than being pushy and aggressive. It takes time to build a relationship with your potential client and repeated exposure in a good way.

Let’s first decide what a natural born sales person actually is. You’ve no doubt said to someone they were a natural born salesman, often using it as a dig. It implies you either have it or you don’t, like being born left-handed or short or double-jointed.

In this instance, it means that selling is a talent the person doesn’t have to work at. But in reality, a good salesperson works very hard at being natural. They are constantly developing their ability to read people, their storytelling and conversational habits and how they interact with others.

A natural born salesperson isn’t pushy. They are confident and have a lot of enthusiasm but they aren’t aggressive when getting people to listen to them.

A skilled, natural born salesperson has traits that include:

  • Conscientiousness: Top salespeople carry a strong sense of duty, making them reliable and committed to the products they sell.
  • Humility: A humble salesperson gets the support of his team and other company members.
  • Confidence: Good salespeople don’t worry about what others think of them. They are confident and not easily embarrassed.
  • Curiosity: Willing to absorb information and having inquisitiveness improves the salesperson’s knowledge of the product and company they represent.

A salesperson that is likeable and naturally likes people is less likely to be pushy and aggressive to the people they are trying to convince to buy their product. They are confident with a natural curiosity that prevents them from being brash. Become a natural born salesperson and watch your business grow.

What do you think about this? I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and opinions on the topic of being a natural born salesperson.

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Book Signing Tips: Before Your Book is Published

Book Signing TipsBook Signing Tips

So you’ve written a book? Excellent! Now is when the real work begins. I’ve put together this post to give you some effective and doable book signing tips. And it all begins before your book is published.

Your new job – as you may have already discovered – is as book promoter. You’ll be coordinating interviews, writing guest blogs, and doing a host of other activities designed to get the word out about your new book.

And the best way to create a buzz and get people excited about your book? A good old-fashioned book signing. Imagine a crowd of eager fans all waiting for you to appear, read a bit from your latest bestseller, and answer questions. It’s the scene that’s filled many would-be authors’ daydreams, and now that you have a book, it can become your reality.

All it takes is a little planning and organization.

Here’s the thing: When your reader steps up to your table to buy a copy of your book, you want to ensure she has the absolute best first impression you can give her. That means top-quality writing, editing, and printing.

Sure, you can do it all yourself. Amazon and others make it easy and cost-effective to write and print a book, but will it portray the image you want? Or will it scream “amateur”?

So before you even think about scheduling your first signing event, let’s make sure your book is ready for the big leagues.

Book Signing Tips: Writing and Editing Your Book

You very likely already have your book completed, and as you may have discovered, it can be nearly impossible to edit your own work. You’re simply too close to it to be objective.

Instead, it’s a good idea to put your book to the test by:

  • Sending it out to a select list of beta-readers for feedback
  • Hiring a professional editor to suggest changes to content flow
  • Hiring a professional proofreader to edit for grammar and punctuation

Here’s a tip: no one person will be good at all three jobs. Creating a book worthy of a rock-star book signing is truly a group effort, and well worth the time and cost as well. Remember, your book will very often be the first impression someone has of you. If it’s riddled with spelling errors (or even one or two, for that matter) they will automatically think less of your expertise.

Make sure your book-signing event creates the very best impression you can by starting off with a professionally written and edited book. Then find your “Beta” readers.

Choose five to ten friends and colleagues to read through your book and offer constructive feedback. You want to avoid those who think everything you do is wonderful (so mom can’t be a beta reader) and instead ask those who you trust to offer real, actionable advice.

Next, find and interview editors and proofreaders.

While you’re waiting for your beta readers to respond with their thoughts, it’s time to begin looking for your editor and proofreader. The best way to find these people is to contact friends and colleagues whose books you’ve read and enjoyed, and ask them for referrals.

Book Signing Tips: You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover

It’s true. Sometimes the only chance you get to make the sale is in the three seconds a visitor takes to glance at your book’s cover. Make sure it gives the right impression with:

  • Easy-to-read fonts
  • Eye-catching (not headache-inducing) colors
  • Complementary graphics that don’t distract from the title

Keep in mind that bold colors and large fonts are a popular choice for better readability at any size from thumbnails on Amazon to poster-size event decorations.

For printed books, the cover is even more important. Remember, your readers will be holding this book in their hands for days, maybe even weeks. You want it to look as good as possible, because that’s what will make YOU look good.

Not only that, but your book’s cover needs to be easily reproduced in large format for posters, banners and other print materials you’ll use to decorate your signing table.

Don’t be afraid to outsource the things you are not good at, such as cover creation and sales copy, so that you can instead concentrate on writing the best book you can.

Now it’s time to research cover designs.

Before you hire a designer, it’s a good idea to know what you’re really looking for in a cover. Start by finding several books whose covers you like. These can be in any niche, so don’t be afraid to look on the fiction, self-help, and even reference shelves. The key is that they be eye catching and well-branded.

You’ll want to give this list to your designer, so he or she can see what appeals to you. Be as specific as possible, and include things like “I love the font, but the background image makes it difficult to read” or “The colors really make it stand out on the shelf.”

I certainly hope these book signing tips are helpful to you. You can see that the process begins long before your book is in print and ready for you to sign at your local library, book store, or other event. And if you’d like recommendations for people whom I have used for editing, proofreading, cover design, and formatting, please leave a comment below and I will reach out to you personally.

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How to Host a Book Signing Event

book signing eventWhen you think of a book signing, do you picture a bespectacled author sitting at a table in the back of a bookstore, patiently waiting for customers to notice her?

That’s what a lot of us think of when we consider a signing event, and while that used to be the norm, today’s book signings look very different. Your event can be anything you want it to be, because you have complete control (unless your publisher is footing the bill, in which case, follow their lead). Here are some book signing event ideas.

Your event can be:

  • Casual or formal – you set the tone
  • Indoors or out – imagine a book about healthy living with a reading in the local park
  • Structured or not – free form readings and Q&A sessions can be more inviting than a strictly scheduled event

As you can see, your book signing can be whatever you choose to make of it. Bookstores are just one option, but there are many others, depending on where your market likes to hang out and the specific topic of your book.

For example, if you’ve written a book about your life as a pro golfer, book-signing events on a driving range or in the clubhouse are a natural fit. If your subject is how to build an online business and live the laptop lifestyle, consider a beachside signing instead.

Here’s something else to consider: where is your audience? Ideally, you’ll want to host your book signing where it’s convenient and comfortable for them. Some popular options include:

  • Book stores
  • Libraries
  • Boutique markets
  • Industry conferences
  • Festivals

You may find that you have better luck booking events in off-the-wall locations. The reason is that big bookstores often have deals with publishers in which they get paid to host events. If you’re not willing to pay – and the cost can be steep – you likely won’t get large booksellers to host you. There are two ways around this:

  1. Opt for smaller venues. Approach independent book stores instead, since they’re less likely to have prior agreements with big publishing houses.
  2. Speak directly to the store manager and make it clear that you want to do an impromptu event, not a formal signing. You won’t get the advanced press you might otherwise get, but you’ll make up for it in walk-in traffic.

Either way, the bookstore must be able to order copies of your book, so be sure you’re working with a publisher that allows that option. Some vanity presses will tell you that book stores can purchase stock, but the truth is the ordering process is so cumbersome and the return policy so bad that bookstore owners and managers will not order from them. In that case, you can offer to bring your own stock if the bookstore will allow it. Self-publishing makes the most sense, where you order directly from the fulfillment house in the number of copies you wish to receive.

Peruse All Of My Books Here

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Podcast: Lynn Terry…Internet Marketing Pioneer

Lynn Terry Internet marketing PioneerLynn Terry, internet marketing pioneer, is my most recent guest for the podcast interview series. She is one of the original online marketers, having come on to the internet nineteen years ago! She was quite young at the time and wanted a way to create a business she could run from home or from wherever she happened to be. With two small children at home this business model proved perfect for her goal. I have been inspired by Lynn since first hearing about her when I came online in 2006, and today I am proud to call her a colleague and a friend. When she agreed to be my guest for this podcast I knew it would be an epic conversation.

I believe that Lynn shared incredibly valuable advice and tips during this interview. She is sincere in wanting to help others, especially online entrepreneurs. She teaches how to be successful with a variety of models, including affiliate marketing, and was the first person to be dubbed a “super affiliate” by others in the industry. This truly resonated with me and I set out to learn as much as I could on the topic from Lynn early on in my own career.

If you want to get clear about what online marketing is all about, and to hear sage advice and wisdom from someone who has seen it all, you will love this interview. Get ready to take some notes, especially when we discuss what has changed over these past nineteen years and what to focus on if you are just getting started in business.

If you’ve been following me for any time at all you know that I love niche sites. Much of what I learned came from Lynn’s Niche Success Blueprint training. I highly recommend that you go through this training and implement everything she is teaching you there. Knowing how to

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Podcast: Connie Ragen Green on Managing Your Time

Doing What It TakesManaging Your Time for Online Entrepreneurs

This most recent podcast is a discussion of managing your time as an online entrepreneur. Here are some of the points I explain in great detail:

So, how do you effectively manage your time as an entrepreneur?

  1. Maintain a dynamic to-do list on a mini legal pad next to your work space.
  2. Decide which items are best delegated to others, which you should take action on, and which can be eliminated altogether.
  3. Discover when your “prime time” hours are and schedule your work accordingly.
  4. Always ask yourself: ‘Is what I am doing right now moving me closer to my goals or further away?’
  5. Protect your time, as it is your most valuable resource.

Think about each of these points, listen to the podcast, and then comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas and concepts in regards to how managing your time will enable you to be a more efficient and effective entrepreneur.

Are you ready to be surprised? Recently, I have introduced a new feature during these podcast training calls. I will always have the latest course or program, either one of my own or one offered by someone I highly recommend, at my Surprise! link. Check it out today and see what I am recommending this week. If it’s not my own program, product, course, or live event then it’s always from someone I know, trust, and highly recommend as a great value to you as an online entrepreneur.

I also have a bestselling book on this topic. It’s entitled Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs: How to Manage Your Time to Increase Your Bottom Line and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it by way Managing Your Timeof a review on Amazon.

Are you already a part my list community and receiving my daily email updates and training? If not, please give me your first name and primary email address in the form on the right-hand side of this site. If you are brand new to my podcasts, you will be interested to know that this specific training call, as well as all of the calls in my podcast series is intended to teach you and other new online entrepreneurs how to take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my exact methods, techniques, Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. People on six continents have now discovered that starting an Internet business is the very fastest way to achieve both time and financial freedom, as well as to great success in all areas of your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

You will see that each podcast session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list (opt in on the right) to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come! Also, check out my Podcast Show Notes site to see how you can subscribe at no cost to both of my podcasts, and please leave me a review on one or both of them if you are so inclined.

If you would like to get started earning income online right away then I recommend affiliate marketing as the stream of income that will allow you to “earn while you learn” You may now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. This training regularly sells for $27. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been completely updated for 2016 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

Please be sure to leave your comments below so that I may get to know you better and to serve you as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur. Getting started with an online business will change your life forever and my reward is your massive success!

Subscribe To My Online Marketing Tips Podcast Today!

 

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