Monthly Archives: March 2017

Productivity Challenge 2017

Productivity Challenge 2017The Productivity Challenge 2017 Has Begun!

Welcome to your Productivity Challenge 2017! For the seventh year in a row I am offering this training at no cost in order to serve you as an online entrepreneur. Are you ready?

Before we officially begin I want to make sure you have access to my two previous productivity challenges to give you some idea of what to expect. You may access my 2016 Productivity Challenge, as well as the Productivity Challenge for 2015 here.

Day 1: Think about what you want to achieve by becoming more productive. Are you building a business as an online entrepreneur? Are you writing a book? Write down your goals so that you will have more clarity and focus during the next thirty days. I will share my goals for this Productivity Challenge 2017 – the first one is to finish writing my next book, Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle to Exceed Your Own Potential. As of today I have my notes and outline and have written six thousand words. The second goal is to create and deliver the most helpful and complete thirty day productivity challenge I have ever done since starting this back in 2011.

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Build Your Email List with Coopetition

Build Your Email ListYou most likely know that the people you want on your list are already on someone else’s list. Instead of thinking about them as the competition I would encourage you to think of them as colleagues. Also, no one can directly compete with us as entrepreneurs because we are all unique in our thinking and approach to life and business. I prefer to use the word “coopetition” where we all cooperatively compete with one another. It’s an abundance mindset where people understand that there will always be enough for everyone.

Reaching out to your colleagues to build your email list can be an excellent way for both of you to grow your businesses. They benefit by having someone to recommend to their community and you benefit from the exposure you have to the other person’s list. Imagine suddenly having thousands of people visit your blog, opt in to your list, and connect with you on social media. Are you ready for that?

You must have a strategy in order to build your email list in this way. Start by making a list of everyone you can think of who is currently serving your target audience. These will be the people whose list you are already on, have written books on your topic, and who are in the public eye in some way. Do not be afraid to add the names of people who have been extremely successful for many years, as we cannot tell the story of what someone is thinking until we approach them individually.

Once you have a list of at least a dozen names you are ready to proceed. Locate the contact information for each person. It may be an address or phone number on their website or at the bottom of their emails, or it may be on social media. The law requires us to have our contact details visible on our blog, website, and at the bottom of our emails in order to be in compliance so this information should not be difficult for you to find. I would caution against contacting someone at their home address or with a personal email address or phone number because this will get you off on the wrong foot with them immediately.

Once you have their contact information, start with a short message where you introduce yourself and include a link to your blog or website so they will be able to take a look. Explain that you are looking for a way to share your information with their community and would like to explore how that could happen. If you have an affiliate program be sure to include the details of how they can become your affiliate. I have several free products a new affiliate is able to recommend so they aren’t asking their list to buy anything right away.

Another way to do this is to ask each person if you may interview them. My podcasts have been an excellent vehicle for reaching out to people who are not familiar with me and this will work for you as well.

You will find that people really do want to help each other and connecting with the right colleagues to build your email list is an example of how this works to benefit everyone involved. And be sure to take a look at my Really Simple List Building training course to get started right away with these and other list building strategies.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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Free Information Products for Online Entrepreneurs

Free Information ProductsThe Strategy of Free Information Products

Have you ever thought about giving away an information product at no cost? There are several ways to do this and this strategy has been quite effective for me over the years. I will describe each of the three ways to use free information products to build your list, connect with new prospects, and grow your online business in a way that makes sense for your niche and for your specific topic within that niche.

The very first time I created what would become a free information product was years ago when someone who had been online for many years wanted to recommend me to others. His community was huge in comparison to mine and we wanted a way for his to share what I was doing with his vast audience. The answer was for me to create a new optin page (also known as a squeeze page) through my affiliate link. That way when someone came over to check me out and opted in to my list, they were doing so through his affiliate link. This strategy also allowed me to experiment with different headlines and copy and to reach out to a demographic I hadn’t even thought of going after before this time.

The actual free information product for these is a short report on a specific topic, such as affiliate marketing or teaching online courses. These days I have several of these single page opt in websites up and they continue to generate leads and business for me.

The second free information product is one in which I create a post on my blog and turn it into a free online course over a period of time. I have done this for going on my seventh year with my annual productivity challenges. Allow me to describe in more detail what I am doing:

  • I start a new blog post and explain that this will be a thirty day challenge
  • Each day I add to that existing post and include new tips for the challenge
  • On about the third day I forward the post to a domain I have purchased for this purpose
  • At the end of the challenge I turn the entire post into a downloadable PDF
  • This becomes yet another free information product to add to my inventory

This one continues to be a popular way for others to get to know me without having to purchase anything up front.

The final way I create free information products is through another opt in page. This time the free giveaway is a short report on a specific topic, such as content creation and marketing and it leads those who opt in to a limited version of an online course I have taught on this topic. No one has ever complained that they paid for something I am also giving away because the paid version is complete and also includes some excellent bonuses.

By now you can see that the free information products strategy is a solid one that is worth pursuing in your own business. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as to how you will be using this technique to build your online business.

Are you ready to build your online business with information products? It takes time, effort, and hard work to learn what you need to know and to put all of the pieces in place. But once you do, you are unlimited as to what is possible in your business. My Really Simple Info Products training course teaches you everything you need in a step by step manner so that you will not leave out any of the pieces. Begin by creating simple information products on topics you are familiar with, and then expand to more sophisticated products and courses. Over time you will build your own silent sales army and enjoy massive passive income for years to come.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I’ve been an online entrepreneur since 2006. If you are ready to get started on your journey to multiple streams of online income, visit my site at Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and download your complimentary training to get started today.

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Selling From the Stage Most Effectively

Selling From the StageTips for Selling From the Stage

Making money as an entrepreneur means that someone must buy from you (your own products and services) or through you (affiliate marketing) in order for you to make a sale. I thought it would be valuable for me to take you through this process with examples of how to do this effectively when you make a presentation and selling from the stage to those you are speaking to in the audience.

I’ve been a professional speaker since 2008. That was the first year I was asked to speak at a marketing conference and became immersed in the world of selling from the stage. Since that time I have spoken at dozens of live events, conferences, and workshops in various cities around the world, as well as my own events I hope twice each year. And my skills continue to improve as I make a study of myself and others to see which are the most effective strategies.

When you speak at someone’s live event you begin selling the moment you arrive. This means that all eyes are on you to learn more about who you are as a human being. This is the time to be humble, vulnerable, and caring to others. If you start bragging about your accomplishments and not truly listening to others your time with the group may be off to a start that cannot be reversed.  First impressions mean everything!

If you’re an author, bring at least a few copies of your book(s) to give away to attendees. I’ve carted a suitcase filled with my books to events in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Finland, as well as on cruise ships to the Caribbean and to events throughout the United States. I’ve never sold my books or only given them to those who purchase from me at the event because that is not my business model or the way I wish to communicate with others. Instead, I make them available for those who would like them as a gift from me and then autograph them, if I am asked.

If the event I will be presenting at is not my own, I make sure to promote it to my list for several weeks in advance. There are several reasons to do this. First, it is respectful to the promoter. They will also be providing you with an affiliate link to their event, meaning that you will earn a commission for each person you invite. In my case, once someone makes a sale of any of my products they are cookied in for all future sales. Many of my speakers over the years go on to earn thousands of  dollars in the future because of the people who attended my events through their affiliate link. This is the type of “big picture” thinking that brings great results over time. And do not rely solely on social media to get the word out, as this will typically be your least effective type of marketing.

Once you’re on stage, introduce yourself in relation to the topic you will be speaking about to the group. This is the moment where congruent messages must be communicated from beginning to end. What I mean by this is that many of us are credible in several areas and may speak on a variety of topics. But on that day, for ninety minutes or so you are only representing your knowledge, experience, and expertise in one specific area. This “message to market” must be consistent throughout your time at the event, while you are on stage, and for the remainder of the time you are there. Keep in mind that something you might see as pertinent to your talk may be perceived as braggadocios to others.

Your offer at the end of your presentation is where you are selling from the stage. What you offer the audience must make perfect sense for those in attendance. It’s an extension of your presentation. Including a live component becomes crucial, until you have reached the status very few attain of being THE expert and authority in your field instead of being AN authority or expert. Also, limit your bonuses and remember that less is more. Adding more and more as you share your offer is a red flag to your audience that you lack confidence in your knowledge and overall in your life. Instead, offer one or two bonuses that make sense to complete your package. Keep it simple and in alignment with what you wish to project about yourself and your knowledge.

If public speaking and selling from the stage are a part of your business model, make sure to get in front of a live audience once a month to practice your skills. Be open to ideas and feedback on what you could change to be even more effective. Once I made the decision and commitment to add this to my business I learned how to close as many sales as possible at each event where I was fortunate enough to be asked to present on my topic.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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How Are You Finding Your Prospects?

Finding Your ProspectsAre You Finding Your Prospects?

Finding your prospects is crucial to your online business success. Everyone who wants and needs to hear your message is already on another person’s list, so the goal is to find those people and to get in front of them. First of all, let’s define what exactly a prospect is and why they are important:

A prospect is a person who is interested in you and what you have to offer, whether that interest is in you, your products, services, or methods, or any combination of those things. They may have a need, desire, or interest in what you do in the area they are involved in.

There are many methods and strategies for finding your prospects and I will share the ones that continue to work for me.

  • Content Creation – By far, creating and syndicating content is the very best way to achieve success. Finding your prospects by allowing them to find what you have written, recorded as audio, or published as video ensures a much better fit than any other method. As long as your message to market is a clear one you will be able to reach the exact people who will be an excellent fit for your products and services.
  • Live Events, Workshops, and Conferences – In my opinion, this is the next best way to connect with prospects. I attend several live events each year, as well as hosting two of my own. I’ve done this for more than eight years now and this is how I have been able to build my business and sustain it throughout this past decade. Even though I am an introvert I’m willing to do what it takes to meet more prospects face to face. You can start by networking in this way locally and then expand your reach to include a wider audience of people.
  • Your Website/Blog and Email Marketing – More than ninety percent of my business is online and finding my prospects in this way is crucial to my success. I blog on two sites regularly and have an optin form on each for people to join my list. I then email daily about what I am doing and how my prospects can achieve their goals. This strategy keeps me connected to my prospects and enables me to have an ongoing conversation with them over time.
  • Influencers – I define “influencers” as the people who have come before us in our field and have paved the way for you and I to become successful entrepreneurs. Once you and your message receive the seal of approval from an influencer in your niche, potential prospects and clients will feel more confident to go ahead and follow you, share your content, subscribe to your list and potentially purchase from you.
  • Social Media – You may be surprised to know that social media is the least effective method for finding your prospects and growing your business. There are so many reasons for this, but perhaps the most important one is that you will spend too much of your valuable time on these sites when you could be using those hours to create products, write content that will lead to a book, learn more about your area of specialization, and to teach the topics you know well. If you make a study out of it you will see that most of the people you are interacting with on social media have already decided if they are interested in you and what you have to offer. And they will be the first ones to notice that you are too available on a regular basis to be pursuing your business in a serious manner. My motto continues to be “Get in, get out, and get back to work!”.

Finding your prospects is an ongoing and regular activity that allows you to serve those who want and need you and what you offer. Make a serious effort to connect with these people and your online business will grow exponentially.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I’ve been an online entrepreneur since 2006. If you are ready to get started on your journey to multiple streams of online income, visit my site at Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and download your complimentary training to get started today.

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Fast Information Products to Build Your Online Business

Fast Information ProductsCreate “Fast Information Products” Now

It took me a full year of thinking and planning to create my first information product. Most of this time was spent in thinking about what I couldn’t do because of a variety of reasons. These included not feeling like I had anything worthwhile to offer, believing that many others knew much more about my topic than I did, and telling myself that no one would be interested in purchasing information from me. The planning and creation of my first product only took about three days.

Once I got over my fears and lack of confidence about product creation and entrepreneurship in general, that’s when I really took off as a product creator and online marketer. It turned out that all I truly needed was a boost to my self confidence and then I realized that people were hungry for my information, knowledge, and experiences around many topics.

You can create what I refer to as “fast information products” by choosing your topic and jumping right in to decide what you will teach and share with others. This begins with your outline, where you make a list of what you will include in your info product as well as what you will exclude. This part of the product creation process is crucial to your success, as it is when we write a book or embark on any other journey for our life or business.

Once your outline is complete, begin preparing a written report for your product that can easily be turned into a PDF (portable document format) from within your word processing program. People prefer to have everything written out in this way so they can either print it out or refer to it later for reference.

Then add either an audio or video component to make sure the specifics of what you are teaching are explained and demonstrated in a clear and concise way. This will also add perceived value to what you are sharing in your information product. I would advise against creating an information product comprised of only audio or video training, as the written document is preferred by most people these days.

The final step is to write a short sales letter where you introduce yourself and your topic to your target audience. Include some bullet points listing exactly what you are teaching on your topic and  also tell readers what is included in the product. Don’t forget to tell them what they are receiving so they will know if the material is written, audio, video, or a combination of two or three of these modalities.

I deliver all of my products using a membership site plugin called Wishlist Member. I was in a Mastermind with the creators of this WordPress plugin for several years and use Wishlist on more than forty of my sites.

You will find that creating fast information products is an excellent way to grow your inventory and build a lucrative online business. An example of one of these “fast information products” is one I created with Adrienne Dupree called Top WP Plugins for Business. It sells for only ten dollars and shares our top twenty WordPress plugins we use for our own businesses. Think of this as a low cost investment to learn the step by step process of how to set up and deliver fast information products to your target audience.

And download this training on “10 Ways to Create Fast Information Products” by Jimmy D. Brown to get started even more quickly.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I’ve been an online entrepreneur since 2006. If you are ready to get started on your journey to multiple streams of online income, visit my site at Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and download your complimentary training to get started today.

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Leverage the Internet to Build Your Business

Leverage the InternetIs It Time to Leverage the Internet?

The calendar may say 2017, but are you doing business as if it were still 1999? What I mean by this is that it may be time to add an online component to what you are doing in your bricks and mortar business. Allow me to explain further exactly what I mean and to bring you fully into the new millennium by learning how to leverage the internet.

Marketing for small businesses is something I’ve done since the summer of 2007. I was new to online marketing at the time and offered to help a family member with his handyman business. He was still paying for a small print advertisement in the local newspaper, as well as for ads in a couple of local magazines. This was a costly proposition and he was just starting out. He confided in me that it sometimes took two full weeks before he was in profit each month. We agreed that I would help him out for the first month at no charge to see what would happen. I wanted to leverage the internet for his business.

First, I set up a simple site for him using the WordPress platform. The domain I used was the name of his business so that prospective clients could find him more easily. This worked extremely well. I also wrote short articles on this new site about his business, using the words anyone might type into Google if they were looking for a handyman in his location to do specific tasks for them. Within two months he pulled his ads and begin getting as many assignments as he needed from what I had set up for him.

Now I do not mean to say that print advertising is not valuable and worthwhile. If anything, it is quite the opposite. Your ads let people know you are legitimately in business and reach those for whom the internet is not a medium they trust to inform them and to find reliable and trustworthy services. Choose the publications you know and trust and continue to advertise there. But adding the online component is crucial for long term success in any business.

The second part of this marketing strategy to leverage the internet is to begin building a database of customers, clients, and prospects. This will become a valuable asset to your business over time. The idea here is to stay in touch with the people you serve so that you can open up the lines of communication more easily. Email them regularly and let them know what is happening in your industry. And use this as an opportunity to offer a discount coupon or other seasonal special.

The third and final component to small business marketing online is to offer something related to your business that can be delivered digitally. This can be a monthly audio recording that is available as a podcast on iTunes, a short book where you explain in great detail what you offer in your business, or even a physical product that could be available on Amazon and delivered by them. These components will serve to connect you with more prospects and to set you apart as someone who is at the top of their field or industry.

Setting up and maintaining a WordPress website costs about a hundred dollars each year. Setting up and maintaining a digital database is about two hundred dollars a year. Having these as a part of your business is priceless. Take a look at my Small Business Marketing training course so that you can leverage the power of the internet for your business and come into the new millennium.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I’ve been an online entrepreneur since 2006. If you are ready to get started on your journey to multiple streams of online income, visit my site at Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and download your complimentary training to get started today.

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How to Build an Online Business: It’s All About the Mindset

How to Build an Online BusinessMy Story of How to Build an Online Business

When I set out to learn how to build an online business during the winter and spring of 2006 I had no idea what I was in for with this new venture. I just knew that I needed to leave my former life behind and begin something new. I had worked for twenty years as a classroom teacher, teaching grades Kindergarten through high school at four different school. And as if that weren’t enough, I had simultaneously worked in my own business as a real estate broker and certified residential appraiser. At that point I was exhausted and ready for a change. What had started out as an enjoyable career as a teacher supplemented by my work in real estate became almost intolerable after I got older and went through a serious work injury and multiple bouts with cancer.

It was during the spring of 2005 that I began to think about doing something new and changing my life in a major way. But I had no idea where to turn or what was possible for me at this stage of my life. I was about to celebrate my fiftieth birthday and yearned for something new.

I began to read books on business and entrepreneurship in search of some answers. Everyone in my life at that time knew that I was on a quest for answers and solutions to my dilemma. I have to say that people were supportive overall, yet no one seemed to have the answers I was looking for and so wanted to find. Then one night at a friend’s birthday party I was introduced to a couple by mutual friends. They had left the corporate world behind about a year earlier and were enjoying a life I could only imagine. The wife, Alicia had chosen to learn about day trading in the stock market while Patrick, the husband had gone into real estate. I was fascinated by what they had been able to achieve in such a short time and we became fast friends.

Each Sunday they got up at the crack of dawn and went hiking in our local mountains and invited me to join build an Online Businessthem. It was during these early morning hikes that I first had a glimpse of another life that I could have if I was willing to take full responsibility and make things happen for myself. I was more than willing to humble myself during this process and time of change. We discussed everything, from relationships and religion to business and education and everything in between. I attended their new age church with them a few times and also went to seminars and workshops they recommended. By April of 2005 my thinking had shifted and I was taking in information in a much different way that I ever had in the past.

It was during this month that a friend invited me to a real estate expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was a weekend event but I told him that I only had time to attend on Saturday. We made the forty mile drive downtown together, barely talking while sitting in heavy traffic. When we finally arrived we agreed to go separate ways until lunch, allowing us to each explore the sessions that were of interest to us individually. At lunch we would share our experiences and regroup for the afternoon.

It was fun to be away from my usual Saturday activities of real estate and classroom preparation. I had seldom taken a day for myself over the years so I welcomed this opportunity to explore new opportunities. There were sessions on buying foreclosed properties and those in probate, as well as ones on investing in multi-family buildings. Then I heard someone speaking about something I couldn’t quite understand and I went into that session and took a seat in the back row.

The man speaking was Raymond Aaron, the person who would become my very first mentor. He was explaining how much you could achieve when you led a “mentored life” and it all made perfect sense to me. An hour later I had signed up for his program and had a huge box of manuals and cassette tapes to show for it.

When my friend and I met for lunch I had a spring in my step and a twinkle in my eye, or so he later told me. I knew that most anything was possible and that I was going to start finding the answers I so longed for very quickly.

Within a couple of months of working with Raymond and following his program I had discovered the online world of business. And when I wanted to learn how to build an online business everything I needed unfolded with grace and ease. I was introduced to new business models and ways of thinking that were exciting yet challenging. I began to blog regularly and this was my first foray into the world of writing and authorship. I embraced this challenge wholeheartedly and my writing slowly began to improve.

How to Build an Online Business NowSo this is the story of how to build an online business if you are currently in a world that seems far away from any type of entrepreneurship. Once I allowed myself to live a mentored life the people I needed magically appeared. They say that when the student is ready the teacher appears and this was my experience.

Now I don’t want you to think this was easy. There were so many days when I told myself that anyone in their right mind would have given up long before that day. But I was determined to learn more each day and to not give up. I discovered that the online marketing world is filled with something motivation speaker and entrepreneur Brian Tracy refers to as “learnable skills”. And once I knew and believed that I did not have to come into this with God given talents and abilities I was then willing to learn whatever I needed to in order to achieve success.

Beginning with blogging and affiliate marketing I soon expanded to local business marketing and information product creation. This was followed by adding the business models of mentoring and consulting as well as authorship and publishing. Niche and membership sites came next and soon I had many plates spinning joyfully in the air. Learning how to build an online business was even more exciting and rewarding than I had imagined!

If you are longing to learn how to build an online business for yourself, be willing to take the time to explore justBuild an Online Business with Books what is possible for you in your current situation. This is an amazing way to earn an excellent living and you can run your business as an online entrepreneur from anywhere in the world. I regularly work on my business from the beach in Santa Barbara or a coffee shop with wifi, and have also worked from a summer cottage at the lake in Finland, a hotel lobby in Bangkok, and an internet cafe in Amsterdam. None of this would be possible with any other job or career I can think of, and it’s so much fun. Know that you can achieve all of your entrepreneurial goals and take the steps to put the life you wish to live into motion.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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List Building Strategies for Retention and Profits

List Building StrategiesOnce people join your list you have an even bigger goal; keep them on your list. Lest you think this to be a monumental task, know that you can learn effective list building strategies to not only keep people on your list but to turn them into raving fans who hang on your every written word. It just takes time, and with consistent practice your list can become the asset you want it to be. Here are the steps I recommend to everyone I work with when it comes to list building for retention and profit.

  • Get into the habit of emailing your list every day. Even if this seems like something you do not want to do, give it a try for a full month before making your decision to go back to the schedule you used previously. Remember that we all want to hear from the people we trust to help us to achieve our goals. Mailing daily can help to get you to this coveted position in your prospect’s mind more readily. Of all the list building strategies I teach, this is the most important one.
  • Make sure to include at least one clickable link in each of your emails. This tells people right away that you are in business and serious about your niche topic. These links can lead to your blog posts, your products, affiliate products, resources, and other items of importance to them. As long as your links lead to something relevant you are good to go.
  • Ask people to reply to your email messages. This serves a couple of purposes. First, it helps to build a relationship between you and your prospect and to strengthen a relationship between you and your current clients. Next, it allows you to start and continue a conversation with them that can lead to other sales when you answer their questions and offer your advice and opinion. And finally, asking people to hit “reply” to your emails helps to ensure that your messages to them will seldom, if ever be marked as spam by their email provider.
  • Use your stories to find commonality with your list and to allow them a peek into your personal life. I share stories and my world travels, my life in two cities (the desert of Santa Clarita, California and the beach in Santa Barbara), my family living in Finland, my pets, and my work with non-profits and other charities. Storytelling is one of those list building strategies that will never go out of style.

By now you can see that keeping people on your list is something that is doable. List building strategies are an important part of your ongoing business and these four steps will get you there. Emailing every day, including clickable links within each email, asking people to reply to you, and telling personal stories are effective list building strategies for your business and will lead to list retention and profits. All of this and more is included in great detail in my Really Simple List Building training program.

I’m Connie Ragen Green and I work with new online entrepreneurs to help them get into profit as quickly as possible. Download your Online Entrepreneur Blueprint and get started right away.

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