Monthly Archives: July 2016

Entrepreneurship Opportunities: Does This Appeal to You?

Entrepreneurship OpportunitiesEntrepreneurship Opportunities

It has long been said that life as an entrepreneur is not the right path for everyone. In fact, the statistics tell us that only about ten percent of the population has a natural proclivity towards this lifestyle. Yes, entrepreneurship opportunities abound and many people are drawn in to the promise of making their own hours, being their own boss, living anywhere they like, and having the possibility to earn more income than ever before. Yet the numbers are on the decline for those seeking the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

In a news article published by CNBC they found that entrepreneurship actually declined this year after four years of upward growth.

Researchers pointed to a drop in “nascent activity,” meaning that fewer people overall entered into entrepreneurship in 2015. The report underscores the idea that a Main Street post-recession recovery is still a work in progress, with sentiment and overall levels of entrepreneurship potentially wavering.

The number of Americans who see opportunities to launch new businesses also fell from a high of 51 percent in 2014 to 47 percent in 2015, meaning the group is motivated but seeing fewer opportunities to start businesses. Sixty-nine percent of those who did launch businesses were motivated by the pursuit of opportunity and independence.

And you should know that more than two hundred thousand people responded to this annual global survey, so the data is solid and reliable.

Within my own business I have found that when people are in jobs that are stimulating and offer opportunities for advancement, they tend to shy away from riskier entrepreneurial opportunities. The security of a steady paycheck and health benefits trumps the pursuit of financial freedom and independence. Age is also a factor, with entrepreneurship peaking between the ages of about thirty-five and forty-four.

Something to note is that most of the people I work with directly have begun their online businesses while still being employed on a full or part-time basis, whereas these studies are taking into consideration people who are no longer in the work force.

Where do you stand on this issue of taking advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities in your life design? Does the thought of working for yourself hold great appeal, or do you prefer to work in a more structured environment on a daily basis?

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Secrets to Mastering Online Business

Mastering online business is not as difficult as it may seem to you when you are just starting out. IMastering Online Business can remember spending time in a small group setting with motivational speaker and trainer Brian Tracy when I was in my first year of entrepreneurship. He told us that everything in business is a learnable skill. That concept surprised me and gave me a feeling of peace and confidence that helped propel me toward success very quickly. By understanding that I did not have to have a business degree or MBA, or even years of business experience in order to build the business I was interested in growing, I knew that if I would simply be willing to spend the time and make the effort I could be successful.

Recently I was reading an email message from Kindling founder Geoff Shaw and it brought me back to that time in my life where I was concerned about having enough talent and education to make mastering online business a reality. In it he says:

“There is nothing in this business of publishing that can’t be mastered by anyone.

All of the skills needed to be successful are easy to learn.

Some might take a little longer to master than others, but EVERYTHING is doable, so when someone tells me they can’t do something, I know it’s just because they haven’t done it, or haven’t done it for long enough.”

The key here is to be willing to take the time to hone your skills and practice what you are learning.

Geoff adds:

“Feed yourself with knowledge, do stuff, and learn from what happens – that will be your best recipe for anything in life.

Just because you can’t do something now, doesn’t mean you can’t do that thing later.

As knowledge grows so does confidence to do more.

Success drives more success.”

This is such excellent advice for anyone who is working to achieve goals in a business. It’s a boost of confidence that will get you through the hard times and propel you to success more quickly than if you took the slow road filled with doubt and apprehension.

And Geoff’s final words will ring true if you have ever postponed or procrastinated activities and tasks at which you were not adept:

“Continue to do what you’re doing well but make sure you spend time on the hard stuff.
The stuff you don’t like doing because you feel you’re not good at it.

That’s the stuff you need to give some love… so you get good at it and it gives back to you what you need – what you deserve.”

When I came online I realized almost immediately that I needed to become a writer, but that was the “hard stuff” for me. Instead of backing away from this part of the business, I took it as a challenge and started writing every single day. At first it was simple two hundred fifty word articles and blog posts. Soon it became short reports and finally I wrote my first book. To date I have written fourteen books filled with more than a million words. Now I honestly feel like I deserve to call myself a writer.

And if writing is something you would like to add to your business model, be sure to check out Geoff Shaw’s Kindling training course. It’s excellent for mastering online business as a writer, marketer, and entrepreneur.

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Online Marketing Tricks to Build Your Business

Online Marketing TricksOnline Marketing Tricks

When it comes to online marketing, tricks are always a temptation. But if you’re thinking that by tricks I am referring to something questionable, I am not. Think of these more as tips than as something that we shouldn’t be using to help our businesses grow.

One of my Finnish friends, direct response copywriter and online marketer Juho Tunkelo is a master of online marketing tips to build your business on the Internet. He wrote two excellent posts on this topic, 3 Old, Tiny Tricks Still Working Amazingly Well in Online Marketing and 3 More Tiny Tricks Working Amazingly Well In Online Marketing where I was reminded of strategies from years past that may be even more effective today than they were originally.

One of these is the use of a countdown timer to let people know when an offer expires or goes up in price. Juho says that even if this seems so “early 2000s” it still works because scarcity is a powerful trigger, when used properly. Another of these tricks is to do something referred to as “pattern interrupt” through the use of slow motion videos on Instagram. You can then superimpose your marketing message over the video with a call to action just beneath it.

The last of Juho’s “tricks” I will share with you here is one that he shared with me personally when we met for an impromptu mastermind near Helsinki a year or so ago. It has to do with remarketing to your LinkedIn contact base. You export all of your contacts into a CSV file and then you simply upload that file with your contacts to a Facebook custom audience for ads and/or retargeting. Juho explains just how to do this in great detail in the post I have referenced above. He says that if you have something to promote to that professional audience that already knows you and are half warm anyway… the conversion rates can be astounding.

I recommend that you read both of Juho Tunkelo’s posts and join his list to receive his copywriting information, tips, and ideas to put to use in your own online business.

Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share with others? If so, leave a comment below so we can all benefit from your expertise. Online marketing tricks can be fun, as well as profitable.

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Metaphors for Your Online Business

Metaphors for Your Online BusinessUsing Metaphors for Your Online Business Story

A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers to something as being the same as another thing for rhetorical effect. Examples include “those two friends are peas in a pod” and “the park was a lake after the big rain”. Using metaphors for your online business can be an effective way to incorporate storytelling into everything you share with your community.

My favorite type of metaphor is a parable, which is simply an extended metaphor that is narrated as an anecdote. An example of this is the illustrating and teaching done in works such as Aesop’s fables. In my own business I regularly use the metaphor “time is money” to teach the importance of time management.

Recently I was watching a broadcast over on YouTube where visibility expert Denise Wakeman interviewed Michael Kass and Tea Silvestre Godfrey on the topic of How to Use Metaphors to Tell Your Story. This conversation was brilliantly crafted to explain exactly how and why these are so crucial to our businesses.

I can remember attending an online marketing conference years ago when I was just getting started with my own Internet business. As I approached the large conference room there were groups of people gathered in circles, talking about a variety of topics related to themselves and their businesses. I didn’t know anyone there so I just stood by myself for a few minutes, listening to bits and pieces of conversations. One circle of people to my left was talking about a woman who used to be a school teacher and was now becoming successful as a marketer on the Internet. I leaned in a little bit closer to see if I could hear them mention her name. Imagine my surprise when one of them said “Connie Ragen Green”!

At that point I went over and introduced myself to the group. This was an important lesson for me. I learned on that day that my story would precede me and that it was completely up to me to share a story about myself that would portray me in the light in which I wished to shine. Ever since that time I’ve used metaphors and storytelling as a regular part of my marketing strategy.

Stories also make everything easier for people to remember. When you think about Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln, can’t you just picture him walking several miles to return someone’s change when he worked at the general store? And as Tea Silvestre Godfrey reminds us during the broadcast:

“If you’re attempting to teach anything, it’s more effective to teach with a story than with presentation of data.”

What’s your story? How are you sharing it with your audience? I recommend that you spend an hour watching Denise Wakeman’s broadcast I referenced above and learn how your stories will enhance everything you do and how to use metaphors for your online business story, while also taking advantage of how this will set you apart from others in your niche.

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How to Write Effective Web Sales Copy

Web Sales CopyWriting Web Sales Copy That Sells

I believe that learning to write effective web sales copy (copywriting on the Internet to sell products, services, courses, and more) was the best investment of time and money I could ever have done for my business during my first year online. Now that I have more than fifty different products for sale on the Internet, my web sales copy is like a sales team always at the ready to assist me in making sales 24/7/365. And the interesting part of this is that it didn’t have to take me a full year to learn how to do it. Now you can get started in as little as ten days.

I was given a review copy of a new training on copywriting by Dennis Becker, and I’d like to share my thoughts on this with you within this post. I also decided to do some additional research before publishing it here.

I was reading a post by Derek Gehl over at the Entrepreneur site called Make Your Sales Copy Sell: 7 Tricks to Writing Copy that Brings in Business where he says that:

Writing good sales copy doesn’t have to be hard–you just use a formula. Plug in all the elements, and you’ll create a whole that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.”

I agree, up to a point. When you are new to copywriting it’s easy to get confused by the glib comments of more experienced copywriters and marketers. Writing effective web sales copy takes practice, and that is exactly what you get from a new training just released by Dennis Becker. It’s called CopyBox and is a ten day copywriting challenge and short course on how to get started with copywriting to sell your products and services online. And it’s quite inexpensive as well. Dennis says:

Learning how to write good sales copy is one of the most valuable and profitable skills you can pick up in your business career. Because once you know how to craft irresistible, sizzling sales letters, then you’ll have the power to sell anything to anyone!

That’s why I’ve put together this 50+ page hands-on course, where you’ll get a step-by-step guide for crafting high-response sales letters. This includes:

*Ten daily modules where you learn exactly how to write sizzling copy!
*Ten daily assignments to go with each module. If you follow along, you only need to invest a few minutes a day to write a new piece of your copy – and in just 10 days you’ll be ready to roll with a high-response sales letter!

I love this type of “short course” where you can go through the materials quickly and easily over a ten day period. And I promise that if you do that you will most likely look forward to writing copy instead of dreading it like I once did. And Dennis provides dozens of examples and tips throughout this entire course to make it easier than ever for you to create your own sales letter.

One other part of Derek’s post that you will find helpful is this one on the topic of features and benefits:

Talk about benefits, not just features.
Your potential customers want to know how your product or service will make their lives easier, so focus on benefits, not features. Here’s an example:

      • Feature: The Grade A Gardening Shovel is ergonomically designed to remove weeds more efficiently than traditional shovels.
      • Benefit: Get your weeding done in half the time and reduce wrist soreness!

A benefit answers the question “What’s in it for me?” and gets visitors to imagine using your product to take care of the problem they’re trying to solve.”

So if you are ready to jump in to the world of copywriting for the Internet, grab Dennis Becker’s Copy Box and start your ten day challenge and course of study. You’ll be glad you did, as this is a necessary part of online marketing that you can’t afford to be without. And you might even decide you like it enough to write web sales copy for others. Yes, that’s something that is in high demand among those of us working exclusively online, and learning how to do this part of the business effectively could be your next career.

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Excellent Ideas on Networking for Entrepreneurs

Networking for EntrepreneursNetworking for Entrepreneurs

Even though my business is primarily on the Internet, I find myself coming face to face with people on a regular basis. Whether it’s at the two live marketing events I host each year, speaking at someone else’s event, or connecting with people at meetings, I find myself connecting with prospects, clients, and entrepreneurs regularly throughout the year. The concept of specifically networking for entrepreneurs is one that had eluded me.

It used to be that I would introduce myself and give a short explanation of what I did and then focus on listening to the other person in order to get to know them and fully understand what they were doing in their business. For years I did this same thing each time and finally I grew weary of the process of repeating the same thing over and over and not seeing the value of meeting so many new people. At some point I stopped attending most the Chamber of Commerce events, and only spent time with the charitable and non-profit organizations that mean so much to me.

At my last live event I invited Leslie Cardinal to present to my group on the topic of networking. She’s an expert in this area and I knew that I would pick up some excellent tips from her, right along with my event attendees. Recently she wrote a post on her blog about Three Easy Ways to Follow Up After Networking and here is some of what she shared:

First, if you gathered some business cards from the people you met, take a minute to look through them. Don’t try to follow up with everyone you met. That can feel overwhelming. Just pick two or three or four people who seem most important to you at this time.

Second, for the handful of people that you choose to follow up with, decide on the best method for your follow up.  You can call them or send them an email or a text message.  Another very powerful option is to send an actual written card in the mail.

Third, see if you can find the people you just met in social media sites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook. If it seems appropriate, send them an invitation to connect.  Add a sentence or two to your request to personalize it, rather than just sending a generic request.  This can be as simple as “I really enjoyed meeting you at the meeting this afternoon,” or “It was great to see you again at the networking meeting yesterday.”

Aren’t these excellent ideas for networking? The whole idea with networking for entrepreneurs is to help you connect with people whom you can serve with the skills you have to offer. What other tips, ideas, and thoughts do you have about networking?

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Save Time and Increase Productivity with Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard ShortcutsKeyboard Shortcuts to Save Time

I’m all about productivity and time management in my life and my business. Recently I was searching for some information on this topic and came upon an article on the Reader’s Digest site about making web browsing easier using keyboard shortcuts. Before I share some of their tips, let’s discuss what shortcuts are and how they work.

In computer language, a keyboard shortcut is a series of one or several keys that invoke a software or operating system operation (in other words, cause an event) when triggered by the user. The meaning of term “keyboard shortcut” can vary depending on which type of computer you are using (PC or MAC) and which operating system for that type of computer.

The Reader’s Digest shared a number of keyboard shortcuts that make everything you do much easier. Here’s one I wish I had known about long ago:

Type too small on a given web page? CTRL + Plus zooms you in, while CTRL + Minus zooms you out.

Actually, I needed this one recently and it was the amazing Kelly McCausey who helped me out. The text on my other main site, Huge Profits Tiny List somehow shrunk overnight. Knowing about this Control Plus or Minus saved the day.

You’ll also save time with this one:

Don’t be a slave to the scroll wheel: the next time you reach the bottom of the screen while reading a long article, hit the space bar to jump one screen-length down. Hit the space bar by accident? Just press shift + space to scroll back up to where you were.

I’ll admit that I played with this one on several sites before adding it here. This truly makes a difference when you are writing and researching simultaneously.

And if you are a multi-tab browser like I am, this keyboard shortcut will be a lifesaver:

CTRL + shift + t instantly reopens the last tab you closed (the more you press it, the older the tabs you’ll dredge up).  If you usually have more than one tab open while you browse, this trick can be a life-saver. Try it now, and never forget it. If you want to open a new tab altogether, just hit CTRL + t.

No more pulling your hair out to find the sites you wanted to read. If you’re a multi-tab browser like I am this will definitely save your time and make you more productive during your workday on the computer.

By now you can see that many keyboard shortcuts are available for both PCs and MAC. Be sure to read through all of the article I referenced above to see what else will save you time and increase your productivity.

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Podcast: Blogging for Your Business

Doing What It Takes Blogging for Your Business for Online Entrepreneurs

This most recent podcast is a discussion of the importance and relevance of blogging for your business as an online entrepreneur. Here are some of the points I explain in great detail:

The question is…are you blogging for your business on a regular basis?

  1. Your blog is your “home on the Internet”.
  2. A hosted WordPress site is your best option.
  3. Post twice a week during your first year and once a week thereafter.
  4. Use keyword phrases in your permalinks.
  5. Always ask yourself if what you are doing is moving you closer to or further away from your dreams and goals and then adjust your behavior, thoughts, and actions accordingly.

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 blogging for your business will enable you to be a more successful entrepreneur.

I also discuss how blogging for your business will help you to find your voice, how you can “blog your book”, and the four types of content for your blog – original writing, guest posts, curated content, and PLR (private label rights) content.

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.

My most recent book is now available. It’s entitled Doing What It Takes: The Online Entrepreneur’s Playbook and I’d love to hear your Doing What It Takesthoughts on it by way of 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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Podcast: Dan Morris & Rachel Martin of Blogging Concentrated

Blogging ConcentratedBlogging Concentrated’s Rachel Martin and Dan Morris

On this podcast interview I had the opportunity to speak with the Blogging Concentrated founders Rachel Martin and Dan Morris. I’ve known Dan for more than five years, and finally met Rachel a couple of years ago when we were all speaking at an event in Toronto. They impressed me immediately with their knowledge of content creation as a means to connect with your target market, while also creating massive credibility and visibility for yourself and your business.

They share how they got started, individually and as a team, what their events consist of, and their vision for the future of Blogging Concentrated. They host live events all over the world, and they are tailored to the needs of the people they are teaching and consulting with at each venue. This is what Dan Morris has to say about the conferences he and Rachel are hosting:

My goal is to help bloggers perfect the little things that make a big difference. If the platform and infrastructure are right, we can really make headway. Every little thing we do should build upon itself, and if it doesn’t we should scrutinize why we’re doing it.

You are no different than a Fortune 500 CEO and you belong at a conference with people who feel the same way. We pay bills, raise families, and buy homes with our revenue. Let’s help each other get smarter about it.”

And Rachel adds:

I am passionate about the impact that bloggers can make in life, the ripple effect, whether it is a deal blog to a lifestyle blog to a diy blog – each of these platforms has a ripple that not only affects the blogger but also their readers’ lives.”

During this interview we are all at different locations. Dan was in his home city of Nashville, Tennessee, Rachel was on the lake in northern Minnesota, and I was near the beach in Santa Barbara, California. This is to show you that you may run a successful online business from anywhere in the world, as long as you have Internet access.

Dan, Rachel, and I also discuss the possibility of their coming to Santa Barbara to work with some non-profit groups on their blogging, social media, and other parts of their marketing strategies and techniques.

I know you will enjoy learning more about Dan and Rachel and what they are doing over at their site, Blogging Concentrated.

Subscribe To All Interviews In My Podcast Series

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