Monthly Archives: November 2016

Being Thankful for Entrepreneurship

Being ThankfulBeing Thankful for Entrepreneurship

As we enter into the holiday season I thought it important to pause and reflect on what I am grateful and thankful for in my life as an entrepreneur. Whether you are a business owner, an entrepreneur, or an employee, see if you resonate with what I am expressing here. And if you do not agree with this summation of business from my perspective, please do not hesitate to contact me so that we may open the conversation about being thankful for discussion.

My online business is now a decade old. Depending on your experience and point of view this might be a relatively short time in comparison to your years as an entrepreneur or small business owner. If you are just starting out, then a decade seems like a fair amount of time. What will never change for me are my daily thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude for being able to choose this lifestyle and make it work.

I am thankful to be living in a country where small business is recognized for the contribution it makes to society as a whole. Without waxing political, just be aware that most countries have a much more stringent set of requirements and barrier to entry for those wishing to start their own business. And we are in one of fewer than thirty countries in the world where online business can supplement a brick and mortar business or stand alone as a business model.

In addition, I am thankful for Internet connections that many take for granted. In the United States we are able to obtain some of the fastest data transfer rates on the planet, enabling our businesses to run faster and with fewer interruptions day in and day out. The speed at which I am able to run a business from my home is faster than that available to many governments around the world.

I am also thankful to the people I have met as a result of becoming an entrepreneur. More than ninety percent of the people I interact with regularly are ones I would not have come to know if I were still a classroom teacher and working pert-time in real estate. They are members of service organizations, networking groups, and charities that exist to serve those less fortunate, both locally and abroad. These people have opened my eyes to a perspective of hope and joy I had only previously imagined, and for that I am truly grateful.

For a period of over thirty years, from when I was a teenager until the age of fifty I was primarily an employee. I did have a real estate business for many years, but that was a service business where I followed the rules and regulations of the industry. I had very little say over the day to day operations and simply did my best work in exchange for additional assignments. It wasn’t until I started my online business in 2006 that I understood what a gift this truly is for people like me who want and need to work from home.

I am thankful for the motivation, inspiration, and work ethic that has become my “new normal”. And these days I find that I have more respect for what I experienced during my years as an employee than I did during those thirty plus years. We are all at liberty to recreate any scenario that worked for us in the past. I used to leave very early each morning to beat the traffic while I was teaching school, and I regularly parked in front of the post office to read and think before driving two more block to the school. Once I arrived in that parking lot I was no longer my own person. Now I read from the comfort of home, or from wherever I happen to be each morning. These daily hours of study and reflection have become a ritual for me and yet another way that being thankful has affected my life.

In short, owning and running a business of any kind is a valuable gift. No matter what type of products or services you are engaged in, you are giving back to the world in a number of ways. What are you being thankful and grateful for in regards to your working life right now?

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Planning Your Sales Offer Funnel

Offer FunnelPlanning Your Offer Funnel

If you want to be successful in your business and marketing, it’s important to learn about offer funnels so that you can automate the process by which you create awareness, gather leads, and follow up with prospects so that you can seamlessly increase sales. The offer funnel is what you pull people through as they go through the buying cycle.

It works like this: You give away a lot of content given away freely such as blog posts, social media updates and so forth, which will lead people to sign up for a free or low-cost product which requires the customer to opt-in providing their email address.

Once the potential customer signs up, then your email messages will lead them through the funnel until they get to your highest cost products and programs such as continuity programs and high-level one-on-one services.


Parts of the Offer Funnel

Let’s take a closer look at the offer funnel. But first, you need to understand your audience’s buying-cycle, which your offer funnel should closely match. The general buying cycle goes right along with the offer funnel. The customer first needs to realize they have a problem, start searching for information about the problem, and then they’ll identify some solutions and then choose between them.


At the top of the offer funnel is awareness. Your leads will come in via the free content you put out online. You’ll work on branding efforts through blogging, social media, advertisements, organic search, and SEO to attract potential leads to your website. These things will bring your audience to you. All you have to do is describe their problems, educate them about them, and yourself, and the solutions you can provide to them while maintaining a consistent brand using different types of content.


At some point during the awareness phase of buying your audience will potentially take some of your offers that will get them on your list. These people are considered leads. At this point, you can offer checklists, eBooks, short reports, and helpful solutions that solve one problem for the audience member. This may occur with opt-in offers and sales pages. You will start sending information to your leads to get them to become prospects. The types of content you might use to get people on your list are webinars, checklists, and anything that your audience will use and trade their email address for.


A prospect is someone who has already proven to want what you have to offer because they signed up for your opt-in above. Now, depending on what opt-in they signed up for because you may have many entry points, you’ll send them email follow-ups and higher tier offerings including upsells, down sells, and cross-sells. You’ll send content to them that nurtures the prospect so that they become a paying customer. Content that can nurture prospects and encourage sales includes small reports, case studies, how-to articles, videos, and webinars. This is where segmentation comes in. You’ll need to send the right content to them at the right time.


Eventually, a percentage of your prospects will move all the way through your offer funnel buying your continuity plan, higher priced products and services and more. The content you provide to your audience needs to be designed to encourage them to buy more of what you offer due to the solutions you provide. This content will make your customers feel loyal, part of the group, and special.


As you can see, an offer funnel is a very powerful way to weed out unqualified leads, get the attention of your ideal audience, and gently encourage your prospects to become customers. It doesn’t need to be pushy, or even sales like. You can simply use content, and solutions, to help your audience achieve their goals.

I’m Connie Ragen Green, an Online Marketing Strategist, bestselling author of more than a dozen books, international speaker, and Mentor. I would love to connect with you to see how we might work together in the future.

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Taking Risks for Entrepreneurs

Taking RisksTaking Risks in Life and in Business

When I worked actively in real estate over a twenty year span during the eighties and nineties I developed a reputation for being a risk taker. Always one to have a positive outlook on life, it was not unusual for me to purchase the ugliest and most run down house in the neighborhood, or the smallest, non-conforming property in a questionable neighborhood. I believed that I could overcome the shortcomings of the property or the location by making up for them in other ways.

These strategies proved quite lucrative to me over the years. It also made me a popular speaker within my group of real estate friends who wanted to do something similar but considered themselves to be much more risk-averse. They were reluctant to take on projects that were not “sure things” for fear of losing some, if not all of their initial investment. That gave me access to even more of these deals, as my friends were more than happy to pass on the information to me and then watch to see what happened. Even back then, I had the confidence to move forward with opportunities others, much more experienced than myself would pass up.

This is not to say that I didn’t lose some money at times, but overall I was always on top and loving every minute of the process.

When I decided to resign from the classroom in 2005 and come online as an entrepreneur, the risks were similar. I would be leaving behind my guaranteed salary as a teacher and venturing into the unknown on the Internet. Yet somehow I was not fearful, as this situation seemed to me to be very similar to what I had done in real estate for more than two decades.

As you read this you are more than likely making judgments and coming to your own conclusions regarding your ability and willingness to take risks in life and business. That is perfectly natural and something you must experience internally before you take action. And there are many things to consider before doing so as well.

Often I will say that when I made the conscious decision to leave my job and also give away my real estate clients I was more confident because I no longer had children living at home. I also knew that I was someone who had always been willing to do whatever it took to make sure a situation would work out favorable for me. These two factors made my decision much easier, and I would make it in exactly the same way in the future.

You must decide for yourself how much risk you can afford to take in your life and business. If you’re considering the life of an entrepreneur, be willing to ask yourself some hard questions and answer them honestly regarding taking risks.

  • Who are you financially responsible for at this time?
  • Do you have a history of sticking with something over time?
  • Have you done any research into the area you would like to be a part of?
  • Are your immediate family members supportive of you?
  • What steps must you take right away to get this into motion?

There is an excellent article from Julie Zeilinger on “7 Reasons Why Risk-Taking Leads to Success” I would also recommending reading. Being willing and able to include taking risks in your life experience is a choice only you can make. Doing so from a place of personal reflection will make it all worthwhile and with a much better outcome.

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Connecting With Influencers to Grow Your Business

Connecting with InfluencersAre You Connecting With Influencers For Your Business?

I’m not sure when I was first introduced to the concept of “influencers” but it was quite intriguing to me at the time. The concept included the ideas that certain people, whether they are in your local community, somewhere else in the world you spend time in frequently, or in your online community have the connections and the ability to help others in achieving their business or personal goals.

These goals range in diversity from being introduced to someone you’d like to meet with for coffee, someone you would like to have an a client, or even someone you would like to interview for your podcast. When I was first online I dreamed of meeting these influencers and even of becoming one myself in the future.

The first step with this strategy is to make a list of the people you would most like to connect with, and the reason why this would be of value to them and to you. I was somewhat reluctant to even start such a list at first, but after having a mentor who required us to make a list of people we wanted to collaborate or joint venture with I understood the value of this type of thought process and list.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, I began by adding the biggest names to my list, along with the reason why I wanted to connect with them. It didn’t matter if these people seemed far out of my circle of influence, or if the reason I wanted to connect with them was more out of curiosity than solid business, I still added their names. I was on a quest to begin connecting with influencers to build my business!

Within a few weeks I found myself at my first Rotary Club meeting in my community, and wouldn’t you know it that three of the names on my list were there in the flesh! One was the new Mayor, another was a man who had been named to the “Forty Under 40” group that summer, and the third was a woman who wrote a type of “society page” column for the local newspaper. I was dumbstruck at first but soon found my voice and introduced myself to each of them. In that moment I realized that connecting with people, whether I thought of them as influencers or not, was something I would benefit from implementing on a regular basis. Something inside of me shifted and I went from the feeling of “me” and “them” to “us” when it came to connecting with others for mutual benefit.

My recommendation to you is that you start your list right away. And remember to include the reason why you would like to connect with each person so that you may more easily prioritize your actions later on. Then go about the process of reaching out to each person in a personal and professional way. This has become much easier to do because of social media, but don’t be surprised if you still run into gatekeepers for certain people you want to connect with further. Be polite, professional, and persistent and see where that takes you. As you begin to connect, ask people for an introduction to someone else on your list. Your reputation will grow and your life will change as a result of connecting with influencers.

I’m Connie Ragen Green, an author, international speaker, and online marketing strategist for entrepreneurship. Connect with me at and let’s discover how we can work together.

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Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Content Marketing vs. Social Media MarketingContent Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Are you interested in knowing the difference between content marketing vs. social media marketing in order to provide these services for small businesses and entrepreneurs? In order to start and run a profitable content and social media management business, it’s important to understand how content marketing and social media marketing work together as well as how they are different. The best way to understand this is to look at the content marketing cycle.

Content Marketing Cycle

If you do a search on the net for “content marketing cycle” you’ll likely get several definitions about what it is. But essentially, it’s the entire cycle from start to finish involving content from its reason for existing to the results you get. Each part of this cycle gives you as the content and social media manager different options for earning a profit in your business while creating a profitable business for your clients, too.


A lot of research needs to happen for each business that you work with. You’ll need to understand their audience, who their customers are, what customers they want to attract, and how to create useful and relevant content for that audience. This will take knowledge of how keywords work, and how search engines work to help drive traffic.

Many content and social media managers start with creating audience personas for their customers based on the research. They use that information along with product knowledge to create a publication and marketing plan for their clients. This plan will include titles of articles, and plans for videos and more for the client, depending on what type of content the client wants to go with. A mixture is best.


Once they have the information garnered through research and a plan of action, the content and social media manager may create the content themselves or they may outsource it. Once you have a good plan and a content calendar created, it’s easy to outsource. You’ll provide the writer or other creative person, such as audio, video and graphic designers with the information and a deadline, and then you’ll get back the end product that you’ll then use for your client.

As a manager, consider outsourcing a lot of this, because you’ll be able to take on more clients if you outsource the creative parts of the work. Otherwise, you will need to ensure that you have enough time to create the amount of content each business owner needs you to create. Price yourself accordingly.


It used to be that content optimization was all about keywords. Today, it’s much more focused on ensuring that the content is created for a specific audience because you want to ensure that trust is built between the audience and the business. That means that you’ll want to ensure that titles have keywords but aren’t clickbait. In other words, every headline you create should not trick the audience into clicking. Understating the intent of the audience helps.

In addition, you want all the content created to be well-made, using proper grammar, spelling, formatting and so forth. You want it to be easily digestible so that the consumer can stay focused and understand the information you’re trying to relay while establishing authority for your client, the business owner you’re working for, all the while ensuring that you create a call to action for every piece of content whether that’s read more, sign up now, buy now or something else entirely. Finally, today a highly optimized piece of content also includes important visual elements such as images that help explain your story.


Once the content is created, you’ll need to have a plan for publishing it. Most of the content that you create for your client should be published on your client’s online real-estate. The owned assets are most important, such as their blog and website. But, some content will also be published in other places such as Amazon Kindle, or YouTube,, LinkedIn and as guest blog posts on other people’s sites.

You will also want to establish a good mixture with the most important pieces always being published first on the client’s blog or website that they own. Outside of the blog you’ll need informational pages on the website, newsworthy pieces, sharable social media content, video content, infographics, eBooks, and more that all start with being promoted on your client’s website or blog.


In some ways, this part of the content marketing cycle should be all in bold because it is one, if not the most, important aspect of being a content and social media manager for another business. This is what is going to get you the most bangs for your buck. Every single piece of content that is ever created and published on behalf of your client must be promoted. The days of just publishing and sitting back to wait for traffic are over.

The way in which you promote content starts with creating content that is specifically made for your client’s audience, is optimized with appropriate keywords, images, and titles, but then is also made available for them to read by promoting across all online channels using social media marketing. If a blog post goes up on the blog, it should then be shared on every social network with a blurb and an image to go along with it to make the audience want to click through it to consume the content.


One job of a content and social media manager is to keep tabs on the metrics. You’ll use various products to do this, but it usually starts with Google Analytics and native analytics in your social networks. Each time you publish anything, check at least quarterly for the results. You’ll start seeing a pattern after time with content that is getting better results than the others. Promote the content that gets higher results more.

For example, if you discover that your audience engages more with video, start doing more videos. This is the perfect time to understand the 80/20 rule, which states that 20 percent of the work you do gets 80 percent of the results. When you identify that 20 percent that’s getting the results, you will want to do more of that and less of the other things to improve your statistics even more.

Reuse/ Repurpose / Repeat

All this content creation can become overwhelming at times. But the more you learn about content marketing and social media marketing, the more you will realize that you can reuse and repurpose content across all channels. For example, if you have a blog post that is getting a lot of attention why not repurpose it into a YouTube video and vice versa?

When you remember to reuse content in a new format, and repeat what is working, you’ll find that you will become invaluable to your clients because of the results you’re going to get with the work you do.

If you work this hard to create the right type of content, and market it for your clients, you’ll soon become very sought after because you’re going to be getting huge results for your clients. Not only will you feel good about what you’re doing, but your clients are going to come to depend on you for your skills. Understand the similarities and differences with content marketing vs. social media marketing can be a key to building a rewarding and lucrative home business. Learn more about my Really Simple Content Marketing training course.

Connie Ragen Green is an online marketing strategist. Connect with her at

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Live Streaming for Business: 5 Ways to Get Started

Live Straming for BusinessLive Streaming for Business: 5 Ways to Get Started

You may already know that live streaming is a new and potentially powerful form of content. It provides an engagement and interaction that until now was limited to face to face conversations. Now, instead of having to host a live event, you can stream live online. The possibilities of how to leverage this content form are endless. To help you get your creative wheels turning, let’s talk about five general ways to use live streaming for business regularly.

  1. Interviews

Interviews are a great way to help boost your own credibility and authority while providing value to your audience. Imagine a crafting blogger being able to live stream an interview with Martha Stewart or a self-help marketer interviewing Oprah. Instant credibility and notoriety, right?

You can also leverage the audience of a relevant business owner to help grow your following. For example, a personal trainer might interview a health food expert. The health food expert gets exposure to your audience and vice versa.

Interviewing customers is another option. You can do a sort of live case study to show how your product or service solves problems.

  1. Live Events

It’s entirely possible to host a live webinar via a live streaming application. You can create a webinar format for the show and use the time to solve a problem, provide information, and drive viewers to take a specific action. This is a fun way to launch new products or services. It’s also a great way to build your email list and make sales.

  1. Demonstrate Products

Live streaming is a prime opportunity to demonstrate how to use your products. Whether you sell one product or dozens, you can show people in real time how to use it and answer their questions as you go. Don’t forget to include a “buy” link and call to action.

  1. Question and Answer

Consider hosting the occasional question and answer broadcast. Announce the broadcast and then start collecting questions. It’s a good idea to start the show with a few questions to get the ball rolling. You can then take questions from the audience. Keep a few additional questions aside just in case you experience a lull and want to keep providing information.

  1. Trainings

Remember that Periscope allows you to host private broadcasts, right? This is a great opportunity to host trainings and use live streaming for business. You can train staff members, you can hold meetings, or you can train new customers on how to use their product. The latter is particularly helpful if you sell or market technology.

These five ideas are really the beginning of what’s possible. Start brainstorming options today. Who could you interview? Who might you partner with to host a live stream together? What questions can you answer via live streaming and how can you provide entertaining and informative content with this technology?

Live streaming for business just makes sense, and I hope these five ways will help you to launch this medium into your business quickly.

Connie Ragen Green is an online marketing strategist. Connect with her at

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Connecting With Prospects to Grow Your Business

Connecting with ProspectsConnecting With Prospects

Do you know that your prospects are waiting for you to connect with them? That’s right, the people you want to serve by sharing your knowledge, experience, and expertise on your chosen topic are just as anxious to connect with you as you are with them.

How can you do this quickly and easily? By leveraging the power of the internet with your writing, speaking, and presentations. Everything you write or say turns into an electronic salesperson seeking out your ideal prospects. Allow me to explain in further detail.

Your blog is your home on the internet, and as such provides you with the perfect platform for sharing what you know about your topic. Post to your blog at least twice a week for best results, and then share your post with your list, your social media connections, and with anyone who finds you online through the specific words (sometimes referred to as your keywords) you are using in your posts.

I’m finding that my prospects tend to be on LinkedIn more than on Facebook or Twitter, so that’s where I spend the majority of my effort in connecting with prospects. And the same person who is on all three of these sites tends to be more focused on business while they are on LinkedIn, even though I’m not sure exactly why this is the case.

I have two primary blogs and continue to post to each of them on a regular basis because the results continue to be spectacular. Over the past decade I’ve written more than two thousand posts that serve me well as my business grows.

But don’t stop there. Remember that people prefer to learn in different ways and that not everyone likes to read. What I am saying is that many people prefer to listen to the information they are seeking. Hosting your own teleseminars is an excellent way to get started with this, and you may also want to go a step further and turn your calls into podcasts.

I have been doing this regularly since the end of 2007 and find that it continues to help me connect with prospects on a daily basis.

Also, the more you write and speak the more proficient you become at each of these skills. Practice is an important part of becoming a successful online entrepreneur.

The final method of connecting with prospects is to create short videos to post to your YouTube channel. Keep them under five minutes in length and be sure to say your name and website at the beginning and at the end of each video. My videos tend to be more about my lifestyle, but I also use them to give training on specific parts of my business.

Connecting with prospects on a regular basis will help you to grow your business exponentially over a short period of time. It will also hone your skills as an author, speaker, and presenter. Becoming more skilled as a professional will serve you well for years to come and help you to help others more completely.


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10 Steps to Greater Self Confidence

Greater Self Confidence10 Steps to Greater Self-Confidence

We all want more self-confidence. Self-confidence can mean the difference between enjoying life and being afraid. Not all of the factors that contribute to self-confidence are under your direct control. But enough of them are to make a huge difference. You can develop the habits and skills that make self-confidence automatic.

With greater sel-confidence, you’ll achieve more, too. Self-confidence is personal power.

Become more self-confident and enjoy all that life has to offer:

  1. Keep track of your successes. Do this all day long. Start each day with a fresh sheet of paper and list your successes. It might be a good performance at a meeting or completing a report on time. This system will change your focus and increase your self-esteem.
  • You have plenty of successes each day, but you only notice a few spectacular successes each year. It’s also easy to notice every little failure. Make a list of all your successes, big and small. Avoid thinking about your failures.
  1. Pay attention to your body language. Strong, confident people stand tall and sit up straight. Maintain good eye contact. Keep your body open. Smile. Pay attention to your surroundings. Imagine the most confident person or movie character you can think of. How do they stand, walk, and move?
  • Adopt the physiology of someone confident, and you’ll feel more confident. Try it! Pretend you’re a highly confident person and carry yourself as one.
  1. Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Having success outside your comfort zone is a fast way to increase your self-confidence. Take a speech class or jump out of an airplane. When you can deal with discomfort and experience success, your self-confidence will grow rapidly. You have countless opportunities to test this theory each day.
  2. Get rid of the negative voices in your head. Those self-defeating thoughts that never seem to stop can be a major drain on self-confidence. Catch yourself when you’re making negative comments to yourself. Change your self-talk to something more positive.
  3. Be over prepared. A lack of preparation can sap your self-confidence. Whether you’re unprepared for a speech, a test at school, or a vacation, preparation is the key to confidence.
  4. Make of list of all the great things about yourself. List them all: your smile, sense of humor, and ability to play the banjo are all fair game. List everything about yourself that’s even slightly positive. Notice how great you already are. Then notice how much more confident you feel after making the list.
  • You can probably rattle off all your faults. You’ll probably require more time and thought to make a list of your positive qualities.
  1. Be assertive. When you ask for what you want, you feel more confident. When you go after the things you want, you feel more confident. Taking control of your life results in greater self-confidence.
  2. Focus on others. By focusing on making a contribution to others, you don’t have time to worry about your own perceived flaws. One way to stop thinking negatively about yourself is to put your attention on something more important. The positive feelings and respect you’ll receive will also allow your self-confidence to grow.
  3. Dress for success. I can’t tell you how much this step has made a difference in my life. I live in California and was used to the relaxed way many of us dress on a regular basis. Once I began interacting with business owners and thought leaders in my community and at live events across the country and finally around the world, I had to step up the way I looked. Immediately, I was taken more seriously and my income increased. Looking back, I can’t believe how I used to dress. Look in the mirror and evaluate your appearance before you leave your house each day.
  4. Engage in positive thinking. I was guilty of negative self-talk during my first year as an online entrepreneur. Within five minutes of waking up in the morning I had convinced myself that what I intended to achieve that day was impossible. Once I came to the realization that this behavior was sabotaging my chances for success, I began engaging in positive thinking which led to greater self-confidence.

Be all that you can be. All you need is a little more self-confidence to kick-start your way to greater accomplishments and more peace of mind. Self-confidence ebbs and flows, depending on the situation, but a healthy level of self-confidence is a powerful trait to possess. If you’re feeling stuck, a little more self-confidence might be the cure.

Inner Game of Internet Marketing

I’ve written about the importance of self-confidence in the book I co-authored with the late Geoff Hoff. It’s entitled The Inner Game of Internet Marketing.

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Thank You Pages to Build Your Online Business

Thank You PagesStrategic Thank You Pages

Few products stand alone. There is always something more to learn, tools to help us be more efficient, and related concepts to explore. Your download, or thank you page is the perfect place to help your buyers discover additional resources, and to build your passive income portfolio.

If you are not creating strategic thank you pages for your opt in pages and product/course/service download pages you are most definitely leaving money on the table. I did this during my first few years online and now know better.

Consider adding:

  • Coupon codes for additional purchases – I do this for my Internet Marketing Six Pack course
  • Recommendations for related products (yours or affiliate products)
  • Bonus downloads with promotional links

If it helps, think of this as adding value to your buyers (because you are) rather than selling them additional products. You don’t have to be pushy to create a solid passive income strategy, but you do have to care about your buyers’ experience. When you keep that in mind, sales come naturally.

You may also want to use your thank you pages to ask readers and clients to take a survey. Keep it short and ask specific questions you actually want answered to help you grow your business. For instance, you may want to ask them what products and courses they would most like to see you develop. Five to ten questions is a good length for a survey.

Another excellent addition to your thank you pages is asking them to tell you a little more about themselves by answering the following questions:

  • What are you struggling with (and how may I help you to fix it)
  • What are your goals (as specific as possible) for this year?
  • What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to [your topic]?

And finally, ask for their feedback. Asking for specific feedback gives you a more complete picture about what, why and how your community interacts with your site, products and services. Getting the answers straight from your them is your secret weapon for spotting problems and opportunities in your business. Whatever you do, make sure to make the most of your thank you pages.

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