Monthly Archives: October 2016

Co-Working Space: Wave of the Future for Entrepreneurs

Co-Working SpaceCo-Working Space: The Wave of the Future for Entrepreneurs

I live in two cities – both in Santa Clarita, California and also in Santa Barbara – and have home offices in each. This has been my way of running my online business for many years now, but this past week I added something completely new to the mix; I joined a co-working space in Santa Barbara. Little did I know I’d be in for a huge surprise.

This concept of sharing a work space is not a new one, but I had never been even remotely interested in having an office of any kind away from home. It just didn’t seem necessary to go to a remote location in order to get my work accomplished. But I was intrigued by the networking possibilities, and loved the European design of the co-working space Santa Barbara had just opened.

I chose a day to experiment with how it might work for me and showed up around nine in the morning. With my laptop bag slung over one shoulder and my sack lunch in my hand, I was ready to begin. The staff showed me a few things, like where to plug in and why you must put your name on your lunch if you expect it to be there later and I got to work.

At first I was keenly aware of the nature sounds playing in the background. Water making its way down a creek, going from a trickle to a stream to a waterfall, along with the unrelenting chirping of birds turned my hopes for a quiet day at work into a cacophony of torturous sound. I started writing anyway, and within fifteen minutes I forgot all about this background noise.

Also, I had decided to be open to anyone and anything around me that day. When people stopped by my desk and struck up conversation, I stopped what I was doing on my computer and engaged them fully. When I went into the kitchen area to have my lunch, again I interacted with the people there. Unlike my home offices, where I demand complete silence in order to accomplish my goals, here I was actually having conversations with other entrepreneurs throughout the day.

One of the projects I had planned to work on that day was to outline and summarize a book on preparing and presenting TED Talks. I had brought along my headphones so that I could listen to some of the speeches I was using as an example without disturbing anyone. This was perfect in that fewer people stopped to speak to me, and I ended up leaving the headphones on for a couple of hours after I had finished listening to the speeches.

Then I went on to finish outlining and summarizing the book, putting together a training on how to create online courses, and writing the sales copy to offer that course to my community. And it was joyous work that flowed effortlessly through me and out onto the internet. What a joy!

During my eight hours at the co-working space that day I accomplished more than I would have in three days at home. Not only was I massively productive, I also enjoyed my time there and believe that more creative ideas flowed to me because of my surroundings. And as for that annoying background noise I mentioned earlier? I now own a CD of similar sounds from nature I can play while working in my home offices. It turns out these sounds help with focus, clarity, and productivity.

Would you ever consider working at least on a part-time basis at a co-working space in your community?

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Self Publishing a Book and Building Your List

Self Publish a BookSelf-Publishing a Book and Building a List: Why This Is So Important

You have a great deal of knowledge to share, and one of the very best ways to share that is with a book. I’ve now written and published more than a dozen bestselling books and am writing here from my experiences. Self publishing a book gives you:

  • Instant expert status
  • Opportunities to speak and present to others
  • Access to an audience you might not otherwise reach
  • The opportunity to fill your sales funnel with interested, engaged readers

Here’s how:

Start by publishing on Kindle. If you’ve been blogging or creating other content for more than a few weeks, you likely already have everything you need to “write” your book. Simply gather your content, organize it in logical book format, do some light editing to make it flow well, and you’re done! Right now, take some time to see what content you have already created that could be repurposed and used to create your first, or next book.

But before you hit the “publish” button, create an offer just for Kindle readers. This can be a landing page with an opt-in offer of a related checklist, an additional resource guide, or even an audio version of your book. You’ll want to be sure it’s closely related, so downloading it is a true “no brainer” for all your book buyers, and follow up with a relevant autoresponder series.

I highly recommend using Aweber for this, as this service is inexpensive and fairly self explanatory to set up. Their customer service is very good and I am also more than happy to answer questions for you about doing this part successfully.

Pro tip: Add a link to your landing page in the front of your book, so that those who are browsing on Amazon will see it, even if they don’t buy.

Once your landing page is finished and your book is published, you can offer it for free through Kindle’s KDP Select program. Promote it heavily on social media and to your mailing list. The more downloads you generate, the higher your book will climb in the rankings (if temporarily), driving more traffic to your book—and your landing page.

Follow up with a second (and third, and fourth) book to keep the momentum and your list building going strong for years to come.

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Live Streaming Video: Why Use It In Your Business?

Live Streaming VideoLive Streaming Video: Why Does This Make Sense for Your Business?

What are your marketing goals? What are you trying to achieve right now, today, with your marketing? Think about your blog posts, your email messages, your webinars, social media and any other form of marketing that you are currently engaged in? Chances are your goals are one or more of the following:

  • Build your email list
  • Drive traffic to a page/website
  • Build/strengthen your brand
  • Increase awareness
  • Brand loyalty
  • Establish yourself/your company as a thought leader
  • Make additional sales
  • Increase engagement

Live streaming video is a relatively new tactic that is now available to marketers. Two very popular applications were launched earlier in the year and show great signs of success and growth. A third, owned by Facebook, was released in a sort of beta release or trial release and is expected to expand and there are more options expected to be released over the next year.

New marketing tactics can be extremely powerful if they’re used strategically and if they help you achieve your overall marketing goals. You don’t want to jump on the bandwagon without making sure that there’s something in it for you. So what do you have to gain from live streaming?

Stronger Personal Connection – Because your audience and prospects can engage with you while you’re talking, you’re able to essentially talk to a large group of people in a very personal way. We buy from people that we like and live streaming provides the opportunity to tap into that trigger and forge an emotional connection.

Wider/Different Audience – The people who find and follow you on a live streaming video network may be quite different from the prospects you’ve already connected with. You’re able to reach and connect with a whole new group of people thus enabling you to widen your audience.

Different Form of Content – Being able to reach your audience, to educate, and inform is a powerful tactic. Each time you’re able to leverage a different content format, you’re strengthening your position in the market place. You’re not only giving your audience a choice on how to receive your information, you’re connecting with them multiple times which strengthens your brand and awareness.

There are more benefits as well. In fact, researchers are finding that live streaming is more engaging than other forms of content and can lead to a longer view time than some on demand content. You can also leverage real time statistics and analytics to see how your content is performing.

Finally, while live streaming isn’t easier to create than any other form of content, you may find that it suits your needs and goals. You may also find that your audience responds quite positively to it. Do you have experience with live streaming videos you would like to share with us here?

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Live Streaming Videos to Boost Your Business

Live StreamingBoost Your Business with Live Streaming Videos

There are a multitude of different tools and tactics that you can use to market your business. For example, you might use video, blogging, and webinars to drive traffic, build your email list or sell products. Each of these tools leverages content as a foundation. Content is the core element of your marketing and content is also the foundation of live streaming.

What is Live Streaming?

Live streaming is a brand new tool that has quickly taken hold. Essentially it’s another type of social media and social networking. It’s a cross between YouTube and Facebook or Twitter. As a creator, you simply turn on your phone’s camera and start recording.

Whatever you’re doing in front of the camera is being shown live to anyone that choses to watch. As a member of a live stream network you can tune in to watch live stream “shows” on just about any topic imaginable.

It’s Still About Creating Great Content

It’s fair to say that some live streamers are simply going about their business of the day in front of the camera. This isn’t really a way to grow a business and people won’t watch that for long. To capitalize on live streaming it’s important to create the same type of plan that you would for any other marketing tactic.

That is you want to create a content plan. Your content needs to be consistently valuable. It needs to provide some sort of benefit for your audience and it needs to help you achieve a business goal.

For example, you might live stream a show every week to offer tips on how to perform specific strengthen building exercises. At the end of each show you might invite viewers to visit you on your blog, to sign up for your email list, or to hire you as a personal coach.

Think About Live Streaming Like Live Television

There will be interactions with your audience. As you live stream, viewers can post comments. You can read those comments in real time and respond, or not. You can answer questions that they post as well. This makes it a very interactive way to share content and connect with your prospects.

Also like live television, there are opportunities to make mistakes. You can say the wrong thing. You can forget what you were going to say. You might get flustered, angry, or the dog might start barking in the background. There are any number of possibilities. It’s live!

However, live doesn’t have to mean unscripted nor does it mean unscheduled. With the live streaming applications that are available today you have the ability to schedule your shows. This is highly recommended because it will give you an opportunity to promote your show and to grow your viewership.

What other questions may I answer for you on this topic?

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In the Wee Hours of the Morning: 3 AM is Calling You

Wee HoursIn the wee hours of the morning, you can finally focus on your goals. You may still be awake, your mind racing with the issues you dealt with during the day, or you may have been awoken by something unknown or at least not recognizable. Stirred from sleep, you make your way to a place in your home where you can think, write, and dream.

If this describes an experience you have had, you are not alone. Many people wake up in the middle of the night to solve some of life’s problems, big and small. I’m not sure when this first started happening for me, but am very grateful that the experiences have continued.

Personally, I am comforted by the solace of this moment. It’s usually 3 am when I awake, and after I have convinced myself it is worth it to acknowledge this awakening I get out of bed and make my way to my desk. It is here where some of my best ideas have been conceived. I write, take notes, and ponder my future. The ideas seem to flow and the silence is music to my ears and mind.

The weight of the world is lifted gently off my shoulders and I again know and believe deep in my heart that anything is possible. It is during this time that I became a published author, a successful entrepreneur, and a person who puts others first. I had to first wrap my mind around these ideas before they could become a reality in my physical world.

My special, secret time is so meaningful to me. My mind is clear, I am focused on what I want to address, and everything comes together over the next hour or so. The wee hours of the morning give me the strength to take on the world.

I’d love to hear about your 3 am adventures. Perhaps I will combine the stories I receive in a book to share with the world.


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Earning Passive Income Online

Passive IncomePassive Income Online

It might just be the number one complaint of people working for others: trading you’re time for money.

Of course you may love your job or career. You enjoy solving problems and doing the work you were passionate at when you began. You genuinely like the work you do, but no matter how much you love your chosen field and those you work with, two things will continue to hold you back:

  • You—just like everyone on the planet—have limited hours available
  • If you aren’t working, you aren’t earning money

By definition, these two limitations put a cap on your earning potential. And while you may not want for anything—you may, in fact, be leading a wonderful, blessings-filled life—you still cannot make the impact you want to make, simply because you’re lacking in either time or money.

If you’re working all the time, then you have precious little time to…

  • Volunteer
  • Travel
  • Enjoy your kids and their growing up years
  • Pursue a hobby
  • Start a part-time business
  • Learn a new skill
  • Or anything else you’d like to spend your time on

And if you aren’t working, well, then you have less money for…

  • Family vacations
  • Charities
  • Church
  • Education (for you or the kids)
  • Exciting new hobbies
  • Or whatever else makes your heart sing!

It’s a true catch-22, isn’t it? You need to work more to earn the cash to build the life you desire, but the life you really want can’t be had if you’re working all the time.

The answer? Passive income.

Ask any successful entrepreneur, and they’ll tell you that the key to building a sustainable business that doesn’t burn you out lies in the ability to leverage your time by creating passive, recurring income.

Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work. In fact, building up that stream of passive income will take a lot of work indeed. But once you create the systems, you can leverage them over and over and over again to create a steady cash flow that no longer depends on you and your time.

Just imagine the freedom that would bring! And it’s not that difficult to do, with just a little planning…

Passive Income Tip: Brainstorm a Digital Training Program or Small Course

This is going to be the cornerstone of your plan. Once you have a digital product to sell, all that’s required is to drive traffic to your offer. You can…

  • Mail your list
  • Use paid advertising
  • Recruit affiliates
  • List it on directory sites such as ClickBank or JVZoo
  • Blog about it
  • Ask other people to blog about it
  • Share it in forums and groups

Truthfully, there are dozens of ways to get eyes on your sales page, so even if you don’t have a list, you can still begin building your passive income plan with a training program or course.

All you have to do is create it.

Now before you move on, thinking you can never do this, let’s not overcomplicate it. Here’s a simple 3-step way to brainstorm a small course or training product:

  1. What problem does your ideal client struggle with the most? Is she tech challenged and needs a step-by-step on how to create a landing page? Does she lack confidence, and suffer from mindset issues? Does she want/need to write a book but just can’t seem to get started?Whatever her trouble spot, a small training product or course will no-doubt help. Remember—you don’t have to solve all her problems, just this one, so keep it simple so you don’t get overwhelmed.
  2. What format does your ideal client prefer for training? Your product can be video, audio, written, or any combination. It’s completely up to you.

What resources do you have that you can repurpose? You very likely have blog posts, short reports, Kindle books and other material you can quickly pull together to create a complete training. (And if you need some additional material, or even a starting point, be sure to check out the PLR that I use personally in my business and highly recommend at Coach Glue and DIY (Do It Yourself) PLR. Then get busy creating a training program or course you can sell online for years to come.

What other questions do you have for me on the topic of earning passive income online?

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Body of Work – What Are You Creating?

connie-teslaIt wasn’t until I became an online entrepreneur in 2006 that I ever thought about creating a body of work. I’m defining that term to refer to “the collected output of a writer or artist, or at least a substantial part of it, over the course of their lifetime or a clearly defined period during their life.”

Once I published my first book during the summer of 2010 I became aware that all of my writing, including my blog posts, articles, short reports, eBooks, and then my completed manuscript for the book I published in paperback represented what it was that I was attempting to share with people on the topic of online marketing. Then I thought about my audio trainings, public speaking and presentations, and also my videos and saw that they were an important part of my body of work as well. In short, anything that you say or do related to your topic falls into this category, and I believe this makes you think about what you are creating and the legacy you will be leaving behind in a very unique way.

During 2016 I created online courses as a part of my “Really Simple” series, and this all began in January with my Internet Marketing Six Pack training course. For the first time since coming online more than a decade ago I cared about the impact I was having on people around the world in a way that I had never thought of before. This made me work even harder and more diligently to put together training programs that could help the people in my tribe to change their lives dramatically.

I’m not including social media as a part of the content we can create as a legacy for after we are gone. Why? Because the posts we make on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites is fleeting in the overall scheme of things. I would encourage you to spend time creating a body of work on sites that you own and control.

Do you think of what you are creating in your business as your own “body of work”? What other questions may I answer for you about this topic?

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How to Write an eBook: Now Is The Time!

How to Write an eBookHow To Write An eBook

The question I am most often asked is on the topic of how to write an eBook. There is not a definitive answer to this, but I will tell you that it is extremely worthwhile to write an eBook as a part of your online business. Reasons for this include:

  • Becoming a published author on your specific topic
  • Being seen as an authority in your niche or industry
  • To have something to give away at no cost to attract new prospects
  • To sell for profit, on your own site of through Amazon’s Kindle program

When you go back less than a decade the idea of publishing your own book was not something most people thought of as a possibility. But the truth is that eBooks have been around for almost twenty years now. My friend Jim Edwards was instrumental in taking this concept mainstream when he began writing, publishing, and marketing his own eBooks back in 1997. Knowing how to write an eBook is life changing!

You may download a Special Report I put together with some of Jim’s guest posts for me on this topic. Please let me know if you are putting this all to work for you as an online entrepreneur.

And as far as publishing your own eBook, whether it be on your own website or for the Amazon Kindle program, it’s not a particularly complicated process. And when you look back after writing and publishing your first eBook you will see that the writing is actually the easy part.

The most important part of this process is building your platform and marketing your eBook before, during, and after it is written. I have done this successfully with more than a dozen books, and you can take a look at them here.

The truth is that it has never been easier to do this, and knowing how to write an eBook and build upHow to Write an eBook a business around it is an excellent way to change your life and become an online entrepreneur. Even if I did not create any other information products, online training courses, live workshops and events, and my Online Marketing Incubator and Platinum Mastermind programs the income generated from my books would replace what I used to earn before coming online. I attribute this to what I have learned over the years and continue to learn from Jim Edwards 7 Day eBook program.

So before you think about having your book published by a traditional publisher or self-publishing it as an eBook, check out Jim’s completely updated training course. The main pdf is over five hundred pages of detailed, step-by-step training, and the course also includes additional webinar replays and more. This course will change your life and give you options as a published author and online entrepreneur.

Check Out Jim Edwards’ 7 Day Ebook Training Now

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Content Marketing Tips for Your Business

Content Marketing TipsEffective Content Marketing Tips

In the spring of 2006 I launched what was to become my online business. I was completely new to entrepreneurship and finding my way on a daily basis. Determined to forge ahead, I spent time each day creating content around the topics I wanted to become known for. Even without any formal content marketing tips, this strategy was effective. Within months, Google and the other search engines of the day (remember Alta Vista and Lycos?) were picking up my articles and blog posts and sending me targeted traffic, all at no cost to me.

Fast forward to 2016 and content marketing continues to be one of the most effective strategies when it comes to getting all the clients and customers you want to your online or offline business. In fact, over the past several months I have attended two events on this topic, the Content Delivery Summit in New York City in May and the Content and Commerce Summit in Orlando during September. Finally I understand more fully how employing this strategy can make a huge difference in the bottom line of businesses large and small.

No longer are short articles (less than three hundred words in length) and blog posts enough to drive your business online. These days you want to create content that is relevant, substantial, and irresistible. And think multi-media (written, audio, and video) for even better results. I’ll share some examples of how I do this on a regular basis for my own business.

It all begins with your original idea. Once I have something in my head I think of this as the starting place for my next series of content pieces that will be shared far and wide with my target audience. I then write a blog post to flesh out my idea more fully and then publish it online. This means that my very best writing will first appear on my site, one that I own and control. This is an important part of the process.

Next, I’m ready to begin the process of marketing this content I have created. I stop by a site called “Just Retweet” and offer up a short blurb that will be tweeted out by others to their followers. Then I go over to LinkedIn to share an update with my connections there. While at LinkedIn, I go to their “Pulse” page to share my entire blog post, along with links and images.

Facebook is next on my list, and I will post this to my personal page and my group pages before going to “Notes” to once again share the entire blog post. Keep in mind that I haven’t even reached out to my own permission based database of prospects and clients at this stage of the content marketing process.

And content is not just in written form. I have a YouTube Channel for my business, and post videos with some regularity there. Keep them well under five minutes for best results. And audio works well when you want to share something people can listen to from almost anywhere. Here is an audio link I shared recently, where I was asked to give the Invocation at my Rotary Club: It comes in at two minutes and thirty-one seconds and as of this writing more than five thousand people have listened to what I said.

Are these content marketing tips starting to make sense for your business?

Content marketing allows you to share more about who you are, what you stand for, and how you can help others through your knowledge, experience, and expertise. I can almost guarantee that your competition is not doing any of this, or at least not in a way that will make a difference. What other questions do you have on this topic of creating content to market yourself and your business?

Check Out My Content Training Program at Really Simple Content Marketing

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