Assign a 'primary' menu

Archive Monthly Archives: February 2016

Down with the 1% – Let’s Start an “Occupy Facebook” Movement!

Do you remember the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Hundreds of people camped out in Zuccotti Park in New York City’s Wall Street financial district protesting against social and economic inequality worldwide.

I would like to start an Occupy Facebook movement!

Since going public (and having to make money), Facebook is rigged against business who are just starting out.

The only way a lot of people will see posts on your page is for you to take out an ad (that takes money).

When people give Facebook classes and share their big results, look at the ad spend. It usually totals in the thousand at least.

The more fans you have, the more effective your ads are… so this is truly a case of the rich get richer and the poor don’t get anything.

Facebook can/and will ban you for posting too many promotional posts. I know people who have had their ad account completely shut down.

And all of this is too bad… because Facebook has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people just starting out online. You can (still) get reach with Facebook that you couldn’t afford with traditional media.

It just seems like the playing field is getting more and more tilted to people who can pay.

As I said, I want to start a revolution. So, I created a little something for you (and for just $7 it is very affordable!).

I wrote up 21 ways to get some real traction with your Facebook posts without spending a fortune on ads. You can grab your copy here.

I want to see you using these tips and doing well. Let’s “Occupy Facebook” together.

Stuck in the E-mail Abyss?

When it comes to e-mail, are you totally flummoxed? Do most of the people on your list either share your last name or work at your last job?

Or… if the list is humming along nicely, are you wondering why nobody ever buys when you send out an e-mail?

Yep, have been in your shoes. I had an e-mail list that was stuck at the same small number for 5 years. While I’m incredibly that the core list has stuck around through several permutations of my business (thank you!) – I knew that my list needed to get bigger to get the traction I needed to succeed.

Luckily, I have an amazing coach, who is also an elite Time Traders member, who helped me put together a plan. In the past year, using Michele’s plan, my list has grown from hundreds to thousands (welcome – I’m glad you are here!).

Here’s what I was doing wrong:

I didn’t have a plan to regularly grow my list. I was doing “things” but it wasn’t tied into a strategy.
I was targeting the wrong people.

And the biggie,
I didn’t have the right sequences set up to keep my customers happy.

And, even though I help people with email marketing. I needed to set aside time to really look at what I was doing and make the appropriate changes.

It turns out, Michele is doing a webinar on the email sequences you need in your business on March 3 at 1pm Central. If any of this sounds like you, I suggest you register. Here’s the link.

Tasks flying everywhere… Make a Taco!

Shares

Are you a service provider who is involved in multiple teams?  Does each team have it’s own project management app?  Me too.  And, it used to drive me crazy because I was spending all day in multiple Asana workspaces, Trello, TeamworkPM, Basecamp, etc.

For a while, I tried transferring my tasks to my own personal to do list.  The issue I had with that was that I would do the task, check it off on MY list, and then forget to check it off on the team list.   My clients would be confused because I left the task open, when it was obviously done.

Then I tried using TaskClone which lets you create tasks in Evernote by creating text boxes and have them magically appear in your task manager.  The issue again was that checking off the task in Evernote – did not check the task off in Asana, Trello, etc.

Finally, I’ve found something that works well for me and I want to share it with you. Taco.app  is a free app that lets you import all of your tasks from all of your different task managers in to one place.  Before you panic at the potential task tsunami, know that you can set filters to show only tasks assigned to you, only tasks due today, etc.

Taco.app also allows you to add a widget with your current calendar so you can see your schedule AND your tasks in one place.

For people who are easily distracted (like me), there is a feature where you can collapse the BIG task list and drag the task you are working on to the center of the screen.

Taco is free.  It has been very useful to me – try it out here.

Seth Godin’s Coffee Obsession

I just finished listening to an amazing podcast where Tim Ferriss interviews Seth Godin. (Click here to listen to Tim Ferriss’ podcast).  The podcast is 2 hours long!  I listened to it in bits while ferrying by daughter to and from school.

At the very beginning of the interview,  Tim asks Seth about his coffee-making.  This is interesting because not only does Seth not drink coffee, he has very high standards about the coffee he offers to his guests.

He grinds his own coffee beans.  He says that the roasting and the high quality beans are the most important part of the process.

There’s a saying, “how you do anything is how you do everything.”.  Being thoughtful enough to go out of your way to provide a high-quality experience to your guests (even if you are not partaking yourself) is a way to make sure that you succeed in business and in life.  How do you go the extra mile for your customers?

The other lesson from Seth Godin’s coffee bean obsession is simply that you need to start with the best ingredients.  Seth’s coffee is good because he starts with the best beans.  Any true foodie will tell you that the quality of the ingredients is a big factor in determining the quality of the dish.

Before you spend a lot of time and effort on creating a marketing machine for your business, ask yourself – is my product good?  Is it truly meeting the needs of my customers?  Not sure?  Then, before you go too much further, spend some time doing some market research. We have a market research hack to help you with that here.

Taking time at the beginning of your business to make sure you are building from a quality product, will pay long term dividends for your business.

Step Away From the Computer: Online Marketing Is NOT for You

Online Marketing is NOT for everyone.

Whew. I just said it. If you have known me for a while, you are probably really surprised to hear me say that! But, it’s true. I think a lot of people are using online marketing as a distraction from getting on with the real business of getting customers.

Yes, the fantasy is alluring isn’t it? You put up a squeeze page, people subscribe to your list and you have customers. All without leaving the house!

And, wouldn’t it be amazing if that were true. Sometimes the model does work. I would recommend having a basic website and a way for people to get into your e-mail list. A presence on social media is also very useful.

But…

And, this is a big BUT…

You are spending too much time on online marketing and too little time getting out of the house and meeting people. I have a client with a big online business. She doesn’t have clients in her hometown. Still, most of her sales come from face to face speaking engagements and phone calls. People will buy inexpensive (under $500) products online, but selling anything more expensive that that takes a conversation.

And, if you are marketing to people who aren’t online, then you need to be spending time with your clients!

The other day in our Time Traders Club town hall meeting, we were masterminding with one of the members. She is an award-winning trainer who is well known in her local area. She could easily get five figure corporate consulting gigs. Instead of doing that, she is creating a $97 product. Most employees, won’t spend money on work training on their own time. Most companies are suspicious of $97 webinars. Most companies are *really* suspicious of anything that looks “homegrown”.

She would be much better off spending her making lunch dates and have conversations with people who could refer or hire her about what the big problems are that can be solved.

But, how do you know this if you are just starting out? Most of the coaches you’ll find online want you to teach you online marketing? How do you get out from behind the screen?

You need to find some allies who are vested in your success, but who don’t have an agenda. Where do you find them? Time Traders Club. It’s free to join.

Check it out today.

Work from Home Job Scams – And the Truth About Starting a Solo Business from Scratch

“Make $2,000 a month working from home!”.  For most of us, that sort of advertising, when you see it in infomercials, or hear commercials on the radio,  raises alarm bells.   Of course, there is a catch.

I was listening to a story on NPR about how the Federal Trade Commission is clamping down on work from home scams.  They aired an actual recording of one of the conversations.  The salesman builds rapport, subtly finds out the person’s budget (how much money do you have – how can we help you conserve that wealth), finds out their “why” and then sells them a kit to start an online business.  When the business doesn’t pan out because the person knows nothing about starting a business – they offer another kit.  It is easy to get caught in a never ending cycle of “hope and dreams”, buying the advanced classes, the personal coaching, the masterminds until your bank account is empty.

It is easy to look at the “work from home and make thousands” crowd and think – “how can they be so stupid?’ – they deserve to be ripped off.  But, then, if you are reading this e-mail, my guess is that you’ve bought “hope”.  You’ve signed up for classes you didn’t complete or engaged coaches you didn’t really follow through on.  It is easy to do.   So, very tempting.

The hard part is that when you are in business, you DO need mentors, you need information, you need help getting things done in your business.  How do you know where to turn?  How do you make sure that you are spending your money wisely.  (Yes, it does take money to get started).

Here are a few tips for you (some of them based on hard lessons learned in my business):

 

    1. Figure out where the skills gaps are in your business.  Nobody knows everything, and it sometimes really hard to know what to ask at first.  Think about ONE area where if you made improvements, your bottom line would improve.  You want all investments to pay for themselves eventually.

    2. Decide whether you need more knowledge or direct help.  You can find just about all the information you need about anything on Google.  The reason people pay for the info is that paid info is (usually) put together in a way that makes it easier for you to apply the information.  Sometimes, all you need is to be pointed in the right direction.  Sometimes (especially when you already feel overwhelmed), you need someone to work with you, guide you, or just do the task for you.

    3. Find creative ways of getting other people to help you in your business.  A few years ago, Jasper and I hosted a podcast where we interviewed successful entrepreneurs. We asked them “looking back, what would you do differently?”.  The answer was *always*, get help, find a mentor, hire a coach.   That’s all well and good, but how do you find help when you don’t have money to pay them.  Get creative!   

Time Traders Club  is a great place to start finding the help that you need.  We have members who are experts in everything from Accounting to Video making (and a thousand things in between).  You can get the help you need – and spend more time doing what you love for other members.  Check it out!

Can you Really Get Enough Traffic to Your Site Without Buying Ads?

Shares

I got an interesting question today from Jennifer, she wanted to know if she could generate enough traffic to her website to fill her event without paying for traffic.

Well, the answer is yes, you can. Paid ads will get you there faster with less work. Especially if they are well targeted and you are really tapping into what your audience wants.

But, when you are just starting out, you have more time than money. The long way might be the best way.

Over the past month or so, we have doubled traffic to both our Time Traders Club and Solo Biz Hack sites by creating our own mini syndication network.

Once we set this up, we found that we were getting over 5 times as many views on every piece of content we created.

This isn’t an easy strategy (though a lot of the time is in the initial set up), and it takes time to work, but it does work. (So, obviously, you need to start this a month or two before your event).

Want a step by step guide on how we put it together? We made a solo-biz hack for you. You can grab it for just $7 (or subscribe and get a new hack each week for $7 a month).

As always, grab this quickly if you want it. I’m rotating the hacks that are available for individual purchase each month. So, why not grab this now while you are thinking about it.

The Trouble with Telesummits (or why I hate the number 5,000)

I was talking to a Time Traders Club member recently about telesummits. She is a really talented virtual assistant who wanted to participate in a telesummit not only to grow her list, but to learn the ropes so that she could help her clients with that type of event in the future.

Smart cookie!

And, she had people e-mailing her every day. The typical scenario, would go something like this.

Original E-mail: “We would LOVE to have you on our telesummit”
She would e-mail back: Yes, of course.

Response: Let’s have a phone conversation to discuss logistics.

So then on the phone. The person describes the event (sounds great!), the promotional requirement (do-able) and then asks the BIG question. So, how big is your list?

Her response: Ummm…. 1,150

Their response: I’m sorry, I love what you are doing, but my coach says I can only take people with at least 5,000 on their list.

The conversation ends and both parties feel bad. What a waste of time!

I could argue that smaller lists are more responsive (they are!) or that my smaller list out-performs big lists all the time as far as numbers of sign ups…

But instead, I’m going to tell you how to start getting those telesummit and speaking gigs even if your list is tiny.

One of my favorite clients is Michele Scism. Michele now has a list in the tens of thousands, but it wasn’t always that way. She started, like we all do, with zero. When I started working with her she had a few thousand. Yet, she built half million dollar a year business almost completely on speaking, right from the start.

She agreed to write a solo biz hack for us on exactly how she got those first speaking gigs, when her list was small, just like yours. You can grab the hack with all 5 hints here.

Here’s one hint to get you started. Think about podcasts. Podcast owners owners are always looking for guests, and they generally don’t ask about your list size. They are more interested in the story you have to tell. You can grow your list by appearing on podcasts and offering an interesting freebie.

Here’s what to type into google to find podcasts in your niche:

[Your-Topic] inurl:/podcast/
[Your-Topic] inurl:category/podcast/
[Your-Topic] inurl:/podcasts/
[Your-Topic] inurl:category/podcasts/
[Your-Topic] intitle:podcast
[Your-Topic] intitle:podcasts

You’ll end up with a nice list of podcasts to contact. Make a point of reaching out to a few a day and before long, your calendar will be full and your list will be growing.

Michele gave some other great hints in the solo biz hack. You can grab the hack with all 5 hints here.

Let’ me know how this goes for you and when you get your first bookings. I love listening to podcasts!

This New Tool is a Game Changer for Social Media Managers

If you share links to other people’s websites as part of your overall content plan, you need to check out Start a Fire. Start a Fire allows you to bring the traffic back to your site by creating a little pop up box with recommended content from your blog.

Click this link to see how it works 🙂

No affiliate commissions here – the service is brand new and is free to use. It hooks up with Buffer and Hootsuite to automatically create links that will add your badge and related content to the pages you recommend.

Are You Making These Three Facebook Marketing Mistakes

Let’s get serious for a minute.  Are you spending ALL your time on Facebook – but just not seeing any returns?  Facebook is a great way to reach your audience.  After all, according to Needham.com, 1.44 billion people are spending 20+ minutes a day liking, commenting, taking random “true personality” quizzes”.  Your audience is likely there too!

But wait a second…

Facebook is a little different than many of the other communication channels you use. And that means a whole lot of marketers make the following three mistakes once they start engaging their marketing on social media.

Check it out – are you making these mistakes too?

Mistake 1: Talking “At” Your Fans

Social media is, as the name suggests, an interactive social platform. So if you sit on your Page with a bullhorn and just blast out ads, your audience is going to be turned off in big way.

So what should you do instead?

Interact. Engage. Create dialogue (rather than monologues).

A good way to do this is to start posting content where you specifically ask your readers for feedback. For example:

  • “What’s your opinion on this idea? Let me know below…”

  • “How would you do this differently? Share your ideas below…”

  • “What is your favorite weight-loss trick? Leave a comment below…”

  • “Are you as mad about this as I am? Comment below…”

Next up…

Mistake 2: Not Capturing Emails

Here’s the problem with Facebook: they only show your content to a small part of your audience, unless you pay to boost your post. So if you’re relying on this platform to communicate with your entire audience, you’re going to be pretty disappointed.

The solution? Capture emails. Create a “sticky” post at the top of your Page that offers your audience something really desirable and valuable for free if they join your list.  Check with your e-mail service (i.e. Active Campaign, Infusionsoft), You might even be able to create a tab on your page just to capture emails. Then you can market to them via email.

Here’s another common mistake…

Mistake 3: Posting Non-Viral Content

Facebook is built in a way to make content easy to share with others. That’s the whole point of Facebook. But if you’re not creating share-worthy content, then you’re not going to get any traction.

If you want a good example of someone who has a rocking Facebook page and gets thousands of likes and shares with everything he posts, check out George Takei’s Page at: https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei

He posts a ton of funny stuff. The vast majority of it isn’t even his own. But every time he posts something funny, it goes viral – and he gets even more fans.

His audience is super-engaged because he’s sharing stuff he knows they’ll love. So when he shares an affiliate link to Amazon or a link to one of his sites, you can bet this engaged audience clicks and buys like crazy.

So the point is, create content worth sharing. This might be something novel, something funny, something really useful, or even something controversial. This engages your audience, which gets your content in front of even more people (which sends more traffic your way).

Want more tips on how to create shaerable Facebook posts?  Join Solo Biz Hacker. We are putting the finishing touches on an audio class that will show you how to create Facebook posts that are shared and get seen. The class will be released as next week’s solo biz hack. Grab it now.