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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Being Productive Part 5 - Stop Trying to Re-invent the Wheel

Time Is Your Most Valuable Asset
Hey there guys!

First, I just wanted to say thank you for all of the positive feedback I've been getting on this series.

Secondly, I'd like to point out (actually, my business partner, Jun Lee pointed this out to me) that the author of most of the content on this blog is me, Robert Schulz.

Now on to the topic for the day - Stop trying to re-invent the wheel.

I've been guilty of this myself more times than I can count. I'm sure you, like myself, have an overwhelming desire to be in total control over every aspect of your life and business. The reality of the situation is that successful people do not maintain control over every aspect of their lives or business - in fact, they hire others to take care of repetitive tasks, tasks that require special expertise, tasks that are just too time consuming, etc.

Successful people tend to make use of other people and leverage their abilities. This usually results in higher quality work, greater efficiency and more free time.

And what is wealth? Robert Kiyosaki and countless other authors and experts on success and wealth building define wealth as a measurement of time, not money. In other words, the more time you have the wealthier you are. Now that may not exactly apply to people who are homeless, but if you are working, and you were able to earn the exact same amount of money with less time working, you are wealthy since you can spend that extra time doing the things you love.

Back to the point now.

If you want to be successful you have to understand that you cannot know everything. That you do not need to know everything. You simply need to know how to find the people who do have the knowledge and skills you require and then put them to work for you. Then you will be able to find success, wealth and really become a business person.

What does this mean? Back to the title - Stop Trying to Re-invent the Wheel.

If someone knows how to do what you want done, then get them to do it for you so you can use your time for other purposes. Outsource everything you can.

Sure, outsourcing costs money, but with the explosion and spread of the internet, cheap, efficient and professional help is only a mouse-click away.

A great place to begin searching for people who can do specialized or repetitive tasks is Fiverr.com (or one of the various copy-cat websites out there).  You can also place an ad on Craigslist for a virtual assistant - someone who can do some of the tasks for you and can also set out finding you other more specialized outsource workers to help you cover all aspects of your business.

Imagine the amount of time you could free if you were able to outsource everything? 

Then you are wealthy! Then you are living the beach front life-style. It's not as hard as you think. I just takes that first step. Get comfortable with the concept by outsourcing small tasks. Give up your control a little at a time.

If you want to know more about outsourcing then check out this amazing course by Matt Lloyd - The OPT Formula (for those of you who do not know, OPT means "Other People's Time")

That's all for this post. I hope you got the point about letting go of some of the control and finding experts who can do the work faster and cheaper than you. Then you can begin to generate more income and have more time to do the things you want.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Being Productive Part 4 - No Excuses, Just Do It

Screw it, Just Do It!
Now that we've cleared out the mental clutter distracting us, and we've gotten those pesky emails, Facebook status updates, text messages and phone calls under control and we've got our sites set firmly on our goals we need to do something.

All we've done so far is work on the environment and gotten our rational mind in the right place to go for our goals. Action is the key. Pablo Picasso said, "Action is the foundational key to all success". No truer words have ever been spoken.

So, just like the Nike catch phrase, "Just Do It!" let's go over this final and most important step in being productive.

Really, what we have to do is speak to our emotional mind here. Our fear is what holds us back most often. And you can probably see this occurring every time you are faced with a decision. You begin over-thinking the problem. You worry about possible outcomes. You make EXCUSES!

Stop making excuses and learn to recognize this behaviour.

You can recognize this easily. Listen to the words you use when someone asks you to do something or what your plan is with regards to something. Do you say, "I'd love to but...", or "That's fantastic and I'll try to..." These phrases are dripping with indecision. You have to be clear and stop coming up with excuses not to do something.

Take for example being presented the opportunity to get your name recognized by a group of international leaders. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will boost you into prominence as a leader instead of just a follower. And it's really easy, you just have to introduce yourself and tell a quick story, say thank you and that's it. Instead you say, "Sorry, but I haven't received (insert product or document name here) yet, so I really can't say anything."

What?

That is an excuse. The opportunity was there and you passed it by. It was staring you in the face. It was reaching out to grab your hand, but for some reason fear took over and the excuse came rushing out.

The next time an opportunity like this comes along stop and think before you answer. Ask yourself, "Will this hurt me in anyway that I cannot recover?" The chances are that any negative impact is not fatal. You will recover and life will go on. The toughest part is making the decision to just do it.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone, take a chance and you'll discover it's not so difficult and it's often quite painless. Do this often enough and you'll quickly establish yourself as a person who says what you mean and does what you say.

So, what are you going to do if you are given the chance to meet your idol? Are you going to make an excuse or are you going to take advantage of it? What are you going to do the next time you are given the opportunity to introduce yourself to an influential group of people who can elevate you to levels of greatness you've never known before? Are you going to tell them who you are or are you going to be a wallflower?

The choice is yours and it always has been your choice. Choose wisely and you will achieve your goals.

For more information on changing your habits and taking action, check out Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Being Productive Part 3 - Eliminate Mental Clutter

Too Much On Your Mind?
Ok, you are back for more. I really appreciate that.

Now that we've gone through setting goals and taking care of email (and other forms of communication that can waste time), it's time to work on reducing mental clutter so you can focus better on achieving your goals.

What is mental clutter? Simply, it's all those things you worry about that you cannot actually change.

Hopefully a little light just went off for you. This is something that everyone knows but finds it impossible to do. Now, I don't advocate that you simply accept that bad things happen beyond your control, but I do encourage you to know the difference between changes you can affect and changes you cannot affect.

Most often, this mental clutter prevents us from doing anything useful and pulls us off-course, making the achievement of our goals seem impossible. Then self-doubt sets in and you enter a downward spiral.

Get that crap out of your mind. When ever you get thrown a curve ball or things don't go your way, instead of thinking, "I'm done..." start thinking, " How can I turn this to my advantage?" or, "What lesson can I learn from this?"

This small change in the way you react to the events in your life beyond your control is important because: 

1) It reduces your distress, which has a direct and negative impact on your physical and mental health;

2) It puts you in problem solving and learning modes, which are extremely important if you want to live life on your terms.

Regardless of whether you are religious or not, I'll close with something that may help you remember to put things in perspective - the Serenity Prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I hope this article has helped you in some way. For a great tool that can help you reduce your mental clutter and better organize your day so you accomplish the most in the least amount of time visit http://simpleology.com and start your free account - get your day under control.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Being Productive Part 2: The KISS Principle

Complexity is Easy, Simplicity is Genius
Now that you've set a goal and have clearly defined it, you need to get there in the shortest time possible.

One big reason why many people never achieve their goals is lack of focus. Well maybe not lack of focus but just not being able to properly focus on what IS important. This is where the KISS principle comes into play - KISS stands for: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Now, let me explain myself before you jump on me for saying you lack focus.

Most people can easily set a goal. And most people work toward that goal. But along the way other things pop up that distract you.

Maybe you think you need to constantly check email in case someone responds to your ad - heaven forbid that potential customer (more likely tire-kicker) goes somewhere else or contacts someone else.

Get over it! You are not that important to a stranger and that stranger should not be so important that you respond to each email as it comes in. Is this being productive? Is it getting you closer to your goal?

The answer is, no. These are distractions and interruptions to your routine. They  pull you off course and take time away from you completing tasks that actually move you forward.

Yes, there may be some minor negative impact, but the reality is the world will not end and you will recover.

So, I encourage each of you to begin applying the KISS principle to your lives and your business. The first step (I have begun doing this myself) is to eliminate unnecessary email.

Here are my tips for reducing your email load and improving your efficiency (and ultimately getting you closer to your goals):

1. Unsubscribe from any and all newsletters that do not actually help you get closer to your goals.

2. Set filters to separate remaining emails into those from people you want to communicate with and those who you don't really need to communicate with. You can figure out how to do this without my help.

3. Use your email vacation auto-response to let people know that you have received the email and that you will respond to it at specific times. So, set two times a day that you will respond to emails (12 noon and 6pm for example). Check and respond to email only at those times. If you cannot finish this within one hour then you are receiving way too much email and need to fine tune your filters or unsubscribe from more newsletters.

4. Be sure to mention in your auto-response that if the email requires an urgent response then the sender should call you directly on your cell phone (leave your number).

By doing this you'd be surprised just how much more time you have and how much more you can accomplish.

That's it for now but the principle can be applied to almost any form of communication, including text messages and phone calls, and if done with a certain tact, personal conversations.

The purpose is to keep you on track to achieving your goal.

If you really want to learn about being more productive and freeing up your time then pick up a copy of The 4-Hour Workweek.

More next time.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Being Productive Part 1: The Art of Goal Setting

Set Goals Now
This is part 1 in a multi-part series on being more productive, and ultimately more successful.

I want to talk about goal setting because it's so important to being successful and living life on your terms.

Now most people understand that having goals are important and most people have a goal. It usually goes something like this - to have enough money so that I can retire early and live comfortably on an exotic beach for the rest of my life.

That's a great goal...but how many people actually ever achieve it? I don't know for sure but my guess is between zero and none. You know why? Because it's not specific enough, it's short-sighted and ignores several economic and biological realities (inflation and increased life-expectancy).

A better goal is this: to have $100,000 per year in passive income by the time I am 45 so that I can spend time surfing in Hawaii and having fun doing it.

Why is this better? It's more specific - it has a specific income, method of earning that income, a deadline to achieve the income and an activity to do as a result of having that income.

Everything is definite and defined. Now you can actually being to take actions that lead to your goal. 

The ultimate goal is surfing in Hawaii. Why? Because it's fun and exciting. 

When do you want to be able to do this? By the age of 45.

How much will it cost to do this? $100,000 per year.

How will you get that money? This is key to achieving your goal - by passive income.

You could just as easily work a job and earn $100,000 per year but how much time will that take away fro enjoying the surfing in Hawaii if you have to do that year after year?

Passive income allows you to earn money without any extra effort. This means you have more time to enjoy surfing in Hawaii.

And once you have more time without worrying about cash flow, the possibilities are endless and almost any dream can be made reality.

You just need to be specific.

If you want to know more, I recommend you pick up Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom and/or The 4-Hour Workweek.



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What Is $100,000 per Year And How Do I Get There?

$100k Salary - Impossible?
Hey everyone!

I thought I'd share some interesting thoughts with you today. You see, I've been reading quite a bit lately and asking myself some serious questions about what I really want out of life for myself and my family.

Now, I've 'known' that the pursuit of money is not an ideal goal. But, I've never really 'understood' the why.

I came to the realization that money is a means to an end and the ultimate goal is true freedom. You don't need to be rich to be free (but it can help).

Anyway, the first thing I decided was what I felt I would need to achieve some freedom from having to bust my ass daily to earn a buck. How much would I need to earn yearly to really begin to experience freedom?

I set a goal for myself of $100k per year by December 24, 2013 (you gotta think big or you'll never get anywhere).

Now that seems like a pretty big number but it's not impossible to achieve - many people are earning either individually or as a family $100k per year or more (hell, my sister is a nurse and she makes about $80k per year, but she works her ass off for that). So, I began breaking it down into more manageable numbers.

Assuming I work 8 hours a day (with paid vacation so there's no loss of income), what would I need to generate each working day, on average to attain a $100k per year income?

Well, the math is pretty easy here.

$100k/year is the same as $8333.33/month. Assuming there are, on average 21 working days in a month (not including weekends and holidays are paid, no overtime) then I'd have to earn $396.83/day.

That would mean I'd have to have an hourly rate of $49.60. I don't know about you but there aren't that many jobs that pay like that. If you are a lawyer or a doctor or some kind of professional or tradesperson, you can do that but for the rest of us...not likely.

Now that example is really basic and not perfect by any means, but let's round off some numbers. You'd basically have to earn $50/hour and work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the whole year to earn $100k (holidays and vacations are paid so think of those as days you are working anyway for this example).

But there are 7 days in a week.

What if you could earn money every day of the week? What would the numbers look like?

Well, at the monthly level it's the same - $8333.33 but at the daily level there is a dramatic change.

Assuming there are on average 30 days in a month then I'd have to earn $277.78/day ($8333.33/30 days). That's roughly about 2/3 of what I'd need to earn working full-time for $50/hour.

So if I worked 8 hours a day, 7 days a week (which is crazy by the way), I'd have to earn $34.72/hour. Still a bit of a stretch for many people to achieve that.

Looking at these numbers can cause a person to become a bit demotivated, but then I had an "Ah-ha" moment.

There are 24 hours in a day!

If I were able to earn $277.78 a day assuming money was coming in every hour, for the entire 24 hours that would be $11.58/hour.

Now that's an hourly rate that is closer to what many people can imagine earning but still a stretch for some.

However, the prospect of actually working 24-hours a day, 7-days a week is not appealing. So, how an I make this work?

The answer, I discovered is in generating passive or residual income. This is money that you earn without having to do anything extra to get it. It may seem impossible for most and most people instantly think, "Money without work!? Must be a scam!" Well, it's not.

How do you think some of the wealthiest people in the world are able to live the life they want and do the things they want without having to actually go to an office or job and work? It's through passive income. The wealthy leverage the power of money to earn money. The wealthy leverage other people's time to generate income for themselves.

And if you are working a job...YOU are one of those people being leveraged to generate passive income for someone else. That other person is getting all the reward and you are getting peanuts.

That was a major revelation to me.

So I asked myself, "How can I generate passive income and begin to live the life I want?"

There are many ways it can be done, and I won't go through them all here but basically you can build a system in which you are the owner and creator and you hire other people to make it work. They trade their time to generate income for you and you pay them a salary (you are not the boss, you are the owner). Or you invest your money in such a way that you have a constant stream of money to support your living expenses and lifestyle. 

That's it. Two basic ways to generate passive income.

Now there are many vehicles that can be used that are based on one of the two models.

I have decided that I'm not really comfortable with investing right now - I simply don't know enough to do it properly. So, I began looking at the ownership side.

Franchise systems are really great. You pay a fee to get your franchise started and then you leverage the system, marketing, advertising and training of the established brand to generate money. Think of McDonald's. The downside is you have to hire staff, pay salary and benefits, maintain some kind of inventory and usually have to put up a very large initial or license fee.

Or network marketing, which is really just another form of franchising but on a smaller scale. The main advantage is that the fee to begin is much smaller (usually in the $100s or $1000 rather than the $100,000s or even millions associated with traditional franchises).

So, I searched for and found two opportunities that had low entry fees and high likelihood of success, provided I follow the system.

I joined a network marketing company with a product line that really works well and has an above average compensation plan. The company is called Total Life Changes and you can find out more on this informational website TLCOverview.com

The second is an internet marketing company call My Online Business Empire or MOBE. This company has set up a dedicated training and development system, designed to have you earning at least $1000 within 30-days of joining. You just have to follow the system. You can find out more about MOBE and My Top Tier Business (the training system) here.

Do I recommend these companies? Yes, I do.

Should you join these companies? That is up to you. Your first step is you need to become comfortable with the idea of this business model. It does work and people use it all the time (we sometimes call it 'word-of-mouth' sales or advertising or marketing). 

Then you need to do your own due diligence and check them out carefully.

If they aren't for you, that's ok. There are plenty of other companies out there, just check them carefully.

The main thing to remember is this, would you rather work your entire life to save (hopefully) for retirement and to make someone else rich or would you rather work to fund a lifestyle of freedom and enjoy mini-retirements now and still have money being generated while your friends are living on a fixed (and regularly shrinking income)?

I'll be posting a video based on some of this material later so be sure to check back for updates.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Which Quadrant Are You? - M.O.B.E. Review

Break the Shackles of Financial Slavery
Well, which quadrant describes you?

If you've read Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom then you know what I'm talking about.

If not then I highly recommend you pick it up and begin reading.

The biggest obstacle to being truly free is your mindset. Those who are in the E quadrant are enslaved by their job, debts, retirement, etc. They simply cannot break free because to do so would bring disaster in the form of defaults, foreclosures and more. So "E"s tend to seek security of job and benefits and then die without much to show for it or leave behind for their family.

S quadrants are the self-employed who must work all the time or the money stops. I am an "S". If I stop going out and training Korean businessmen how to improve their communication ability, then my income stops. If I take a vacation, then my income stops. Although I'm "my own boss" I'm really still at the whims of others and am not truly free.

I am currently in the process of moving from "S" to "B" and I will do it. In the "B" quadrant, I begin to leverage a system and money. I begin to leverage the power of systems that work day-in and day-out without needing a break although the individuals in the system may take time off the system continues to work and generate money for me. That's where I'm heading now.

In the future, I'll move into the "I" quadrant where I'll put the money I've earned to work for me to build more money for me. When I achieve that I will be truly free and truly wealthy because I will be able to do everything I ever wanted to do when I want to do without worrying about living expenses.

One of the vehicles I'm using to change quadrants is My Online Business Empire or simply, M.O.B.E

The beauty of M.O.B.E is that everything is ready for me to begin using, I just have to plugin and get people in the door. The system takes care of the rest.

I don't have to create products to give away or sell - they are already done for me. I don't have to follow up, Matt Lloyd's team does that for me. I don't have to upsell. Again, Matt's team does that for me. Why do they do that for me? Because Matt's team gets a commission on every sale they make for me! They have a vested interest in helping me make money.

They even train you on how to drive traffic to your business and scale it up so you can earn more money as time goes on.

Currently, I'm working through a new training system that Matt set up to help M.O.B.E. licensee's earn faster and earn more. So that within 3 weeks, you should be earning enough that you can begin scaling up your business. That system is My Top Tier Business (MTTB). This is incredible and the training is top-notch. I've even got my own coach to help me through the steps and make sure I stay on track.

MTTB is working for me. It can work for you too.

I don't know about you, but it's time to become truly free. Are you with me?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Success Tips From The Jedi Master

Do or do not. There is no try.
Have you ever seen the movie "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"? I'm sure you have. It's one of my all-time favorite movies because of the shocking revelation that Darth Vader is Luke's father. I was totally shocked as a pre-teen watching this unfold on the big screen.

Anyway there is a scene in that movie where the hero, Luke Skywalker, goes through grueling training with the Jedi Master, Yoda. Luke is a fairly big guy compared to Master Yoda. In fact, for part of the training Luke carries Master Yoda on his back in a what can best be described as a baby carrier while running, jumping over obstacles and doing all sorts of acrobatic training.

The scene I'm referring to is of Luke trying to use the "Force" to lift his X-Wing fighter out of the swamp it has sunk into. Master Yoda tells him to use the "Force" and Luke says that he will, "Try".

Master Yoda then passes on a small nugget of wisdom to Luke about what it takes to be successful at anything in life - "Do or do not, there is no try."

Luke tries and fails to lift the fighter out and onto solid land with only the power of his mind. He gives up in frustration and says to Master Yoda that it is just too big. Luke makes excuses for his failure on poor training and other more important matters and that he did try.

Later, as the time for Luke to depart for Cloud City to find and help his friends, Master Yoda uses the "Force" to lift the fighter out of the swamp and place it gently on solid ground. Luke can't believe what he has witnessed. It's here that Master Yoda drives home the lesson he tried to teach young Luke, "That is why you fail."

What's the lesson to be learned? 

Successful people are doers and successful people never give up when they fail but they are persistent and continue until they have achieved their goals.

If you are serious about being successful and building your own business so you no longer have to be dependent upon having a J.O.B. then check out this brand new program from Matt Lloyd.

It's a one time fee at the moment, but may be switched to a monthly membership so hurry, it's well worth the $49 and it is designed to ensure you succeed - failure is not an option.


My final piece of advice is to find one thing that you can focus on completely and master it to the point that no one else can do it better than you - then you will be successful.

Enjoy!
Rob

Marketing Your Business With Social Media

Use SMM To Boost Sales
Incorporating social media marketing strategies can quickly increase the success of your business. Social media provides you with the tools to not only communicate with a wide audience quickly, but also to interact with that audience. Use the tips in this article to develop the best social media marketing campaign for your business.

Get to know your customers and cultivate relationships that will generate into sales. When you communicate with your customers and ask them to come into your business and meet you, you get to know them on a personal level as well as a social media level. It can be a valuable way to receive input on how your business is doing and how to keep your customers happy.

Do not neglect LinkedIn. LinkedIn is less popular than Facebook or Twitter, but you can find extremely influential users on this site. Add a LinkedIn 'share' button on your articles, and chances are that someone who shares your content on LinkedIn will cause dozens of people to share it on other websites.

To create social media content that really markets you covertly, come up with lists. Compose a list of the top fifty weird but true facts about your product, widget or niche. Top number lists seem a little boring to some, but they do tend to get quietly passed around the internet, providing a wonderful opportunity for your brand to get exposure.

When considering a company blog, don't forget to invite in a guest blogger from time to time. A guest blogger can add new interest to your site and really pick up the conversation. They can help you re-engage an audience if your blog has slowed or stalled, and they might bring in a new customer or two as well.

To help get your customers interested in your products, you should run promotions through social media marketing. Running promotions through this sort of marketing will keep your customers constantly informed of your products and also, keep your business on their minds. Social media promotions are a great way to spread the word about your business.

Take the initiative to follow your customers and reach out to them away from social media. If your customers have a blog and are posting about your company, engage with them and interact on their blog. Link to their content on your social media pages and this will encourage more people to follow you from the bloggers fan base.

Applying social media marketing strategies will boost the success of your business. Take advantage of the many social media tools available to spread awareness of your business, and interact with your customers. Incorporate the tips in this article into your overall marketing strategy, and realize the rewards of social media marketing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Something To Consider When Using Video Marketing

Give Your Video Marketing A Boost
From online multi-nationals to mom and pop corner stores, there are no limits to what video marketing can do for any business. Being able to look directly at your customers or clients and present yourself as an honest and valuable business is priceless! 

Ask your customers to create their own videos. You could, for instance, organize a contest asking customers to film themselves while they use your products (it's been done). Reward the best videos with an interesting prize and use the submitted videos as promotional material for your social media marketing campaign and for your website.

Video tutorials are an awesome way to create new content and assist your customers. People will often search for sites with how-to information about products or services. When they find great content, they will quite often share it with others after consuming it themselves. This is a great way to increase your online presence.

If you are using social media to market your business, occasionally try responding to comments and questions with videos. A webcam is all you need and this kind of video marketing adds a personal touch to your responses. When people SEE the person instead of just reading text, it gives them a connection and that their comments are taken seriously.

Take a look at the analytic tool on YouTube, which gives you access to detailed information on who viewed your videos and which keywords they typed. This is an excellent way to get an idea of whether or not you are reaching your target audience.

Be natural! People know fake when they see it and they will turn off your video as soon as they realize you are being fake. If you can't read a script without sounding like a dork, then don't - just remember the main points you want to make and speak from the heart - the video will turn out great.

Be sure to include your website URL in your video when ever possible. If viewers find your video interesting, they will probably want to know where they can go for more information. Put your website name in as a caption, annotation or just say the name of your website a few times during the video.

Keep your content interesting and lively. Boring videos are often not watched completely and are very unlikely to be shared. Make your message clear and engaging to your audience - try telling a story rather than pitching. Also, try to imagine you are watching your own video as a consumer and ask yourself if you'd honestly watch the video all the way through or recommend it to your friends. If your answer is not 100% positive then you've gone wrong.

How you sound on your video is as important as how you look. Remember, this is your company, your product, your service and you are the expert, so be confident. And try not to sound like a robot. If you can't pull it off, ask someone else to be in the video.

Video marketing does not have to be complicated - keep the KISS principle in mind (Keep It Simple, Stupid). One of the most popular formats is simply a regular video, without any bells and whistles included. If you can add flashy animation, voice-overs and other special effects then do it with caution because - those videos have also proved popular, as well as picture slide shows with a voice over and music.

Hopefully, this article has given you plenty of inspiration to get started on your video marketing campaign. This method of advertising is already in full swing all around the Internet, and you should be using it too! Whether you're a small outfit or a big company, video marketing can do wonders for your business.

If you want to see a "case study in progress" then check out our YouTube Channel and see the evolution of our own videos here at Success Mafia.

And finally, I have a special treat for you - a free YouTube eBook to help you out. Click here to get access now (you'll receive an email with a link for your download)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pinterest For Small Businesses

Like, Comment and Share
Successfully marketing a small business using Pinterest is a technique that many look at as the new thing in business. The problem is there is a silent majority who feel out of their depth when it comes to new sites. Pinterest and other social media sites seem to intimidate those who feel they aren't computer savvy, but it shouldn't. This article will go over the basics of using social media to promote a small business.

First, invest in quality. This will always be true no matter what age it is. If a business has a quality product, it will generate interest. If the product is not good, there is very little that marketing can do to help it in the long term. This is even more true in a world with the internet. Bad reviews and news of product faults spreads much faster than good news, and count for much more. The 99 clients that walked away satisfied are not likely to say so, but the 1 customer who isn't will complain, and shape the perception of a business for the entire online community. Invest in the product first to mitigate complaints.

Secondly, invest in the creation of good media to share. Social media is exactly what its name suggests - SOCIAL (you would be surprised how many people forget this). It is a way for people to share media files that interest them. Articles, videos, pictures, websites. Social media thrives because people enjoy sharing what catches their interest or compels them. Therefore, the best way to generate business using sites like Pinterest is to ensure that the business is generating compelling content.

Third, have a good website. Nowadays, a business' website is its storefront and is more important than the physical space the business is located in, especially for a start-up business. But having a good website isn't enough when it comes to social media as it requires always having something new to share. As stated above, businesses will have to invest in creating good copy about its product.

A small business may want to hire a photographer to create interesting images about its product or service, or how it has affected the lives of clients. The goal is to be creative, and generate content around but not necessarily about the product or service being marketed. Also keep in mind, that visual images are much more effective than writing - "A picture is worth a thousand words". A photo you take with your iPhone may be good, but a professional photographer is worth his/her weight in gold when it comes to properly framing, lighting and setting up a shot of your product - don't cheap out here if possible.

Businesses will also want to maintain a blog that they then share on Pinterest. For example, a business selling tax software should ensure that it puts out a story about the recent IRS scandal. A business should strive to be a source of information about about the field its in as well as a source of a service. This will drive traffic to the company, and it will ensure that the clients view it as an authority to be trusted.

Lastly, a business can't afford to treat its clients as clients on social media sites. That means that they can't only be treated as a group to sell too. Successful use of social media will mean "Liking" and commenting on other's Pinterest boards in order to generate traffic back to a business' own.

If you found this article useful then please do the social thing, Like, Comment and Share!

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Marketing for Social Networks - Part 1 (Video)


Brand new video I made to help my group and others in Total Life Changes, begin to use SNS for their marketing.

Enjoy!

If you want to know more about TLC or the products then email me or visit my TLC website.

Using Pinterest for Marketing

Get Pinning Today!
I'm going to be putting up a series of articles on the topic of Pinterest.

Pinterest is a relatively new social media site that looks like it will soon take its place next to Facebook and Twitter as a site that lasts - it's already driving more traffic than several other prominent SNS websites. Of course we'll have to wait a few years to see if this is true, but businesses can still ride the wave of interest in the site now to help promote their products and boost their sales. 

The following is a collection of resources that will help any business create and effectively use a Pinterest account.

How to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Products by Mitt Ray

This guide offers 5 general tips for beginners to help them begin to use Pinterest. The tips are:
1. Promote Holiday Products
2. Group Products Around a Theme
3. Highlight Your Popular Products
4. Generate Leads
5. Build an Audience and Then Sell

Users should check out the entire blog post for more details on how to put these tips into action.
Social Media Examiner: http://tinyurl.com/c5ssjb8


56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest

"Want to find out who’s been pinning your stuff? Go to: http://pinterest.com/source/yoursitehere. For an example, check out Copyblogger’s source page. Look at your site’s page often to discover which posts and images are resonating with Pinterest users. Use that information to shape your content strategy."

This is probably one of the most comprehensive Pinterest marketing guides and it is offered completely for free. The author, Beth Hayden, is an expert in the field of using this particular site and also offers another of free or low cost tutorials that can be found below.

Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest By Beth Hayden

"Pinfluence is a complete guide to Pinterest marketing that will teach you how to effectively raise awareness for your brand, product, or service, drive traffic from Pinterest to your website, and connect with current and potential customers."

Stupid Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Make Money with Pinterest by Beth Hayden

"Pinterest can be an amazing marketing tool for bloggers and business owners. But how do you avoid having Pinterest turn into just another social media time waster? Download my free report to learn about the five biggest mistakes people make when they’re getting started with Pinterest – and how to avoid them."


Beth Hayden has offered a number of free resources that helps make effective use of Pinterest, and has tiered her advice to be accessible to both beginners and veterans. Her many published works will grow with a marketing campaign as they become more familiar with how Pinterest works and they are well worth checking out.

Pinterest is free to join so why not set up an account and get pinning. While you are at it, add me as one of your first pinners to follow. Set up a few boards. Happy Pinning!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Simple Tips To Make Your Video Marketing More Effective

Boost Your Video Marketing Results Easily
Video marketing is a business strategy of which many people have failed to take full advantage. By spending a bit of time to gain a thorough understanding of the subject, it is possible to get truly impressive results. The advice and tips that follow are a great place to begin your studies and get your plan off the ground.

Why not take a video while at a trade show? Many experts visit trade shows and would love to expand their own customer base, and getting their name on your website is a great way to do that. Make sure to write down their information so you can spell their name right and link back to their site when you post the video - they'll appreciate that.

When you are using video marketing it is important to keep your content interesting. If your video is dull then people will probably not watch the entire thing or recommend it to their friends. Make your message clear and engaging to your audience. Imagine you are watching your own video as a consumer.

Do your best to create a video that conveys a professional image. This means you should avoid using the effects available on programs such as Windows Movie Maker and other basic software. Keep your editing simple by simply cutting or dissolving to a black screen instead of using standardized editing effects.

If you plan to search YouTube for video content ideas, don't forget the ~ synonym search option. For example, "how to make ~bread" will come up with a myriad of videos on making all sorts of baked goods. This can help you create a list of items which have been missed in the past which need a good how-to video created.

The first thing you have to do with video marketing is to give it a try. The more you experiment, the better your outcomes will become. Try everything which comes to mind and then figure out what works and what doesn't. This is the best way to make video marketing successful.

Publish videos on a regular basis if you want to hold the interest of your users. If people are interested in you but you have not been showing them anything new, they may become bored with you quickly. While you do not want to overwhelm them with too many videos, you should try making them at least once or twice a month.

The biggest aspect of your video marketing should be your content. Without excellent and relevant content, your video marketing will fail. If viewers are not interested in your videos, you will not be able to make a sale. Make sure that you have interesting and relevant content to be successful with video marketing.

When you are using video marketing to promote your product or business it is important to have a good title. The title will help to drive traffic to your site from search engine results. Keep it relevant to what exactly you are promoting to ensure you drive the right kind of traffic to your site.

Whenever anyone asks a question in the comments on your videos, consider if you can answer them in another video. If you think you can come up with a humorous answer which provides them with the information they seek along with a fun video others would like to watch, all the better!

There is little room for debate regarding the massive potential video marketing can have for helping business endeavors grow. Education is key, though, if such strategies are to ultimately prove successful. Remember what you have read above as you work on launching your own video marketing plan, and be prepared for amazing results.

One last thing, you may want to check out our YouTube channel here, or my personal YouTube channel here and here's one more you may want to check out as well: GanoTLC.