18

05,2017

The ‘Awkward’ Phase

We’ve all gone through this phase at one point or another… and most of the time it’s lonely, uncomfortable and not so flattering.

What phase are we talking about?

The ‘Awkward’ Phase.

You know, that period during the growth process (for ANYTHING – work, relationships, learning how to play the guitar…) that has you questioning what to do next?

Do you stick out that uncomfortable phase, or throw in the towel?

Do you let it grow or cut it off?

When you’re learning to play the guitar, your fingers might bleed a bit before they get callused over enough to handle the amount of playing you want to do.

Are you willing to bleed a little to reach your goals? Can you handle the awkward stumble of learning or building something new?

A few weeks ago, I had a big dilemma on my hands. Should I cut my hair or let it grow out?

Wait…what?

Why am I talking to you about cutting my hair or not?

Simple.

I was in that notorious ‘awkward’ phase.

It had grown in for a few months and was pretty long and scraggly, but I wasn’t quite ready to cut it. I wanted to grow it out and see how it felt, but I was on the fence…

While I wanted to see the full result of what it would look like a few months down the road, I (and by “I” I really mean my wife) also couldn’t stand to look at me.

So, what did I do?

It’s still growing!

If I want to call myself a true entrepreneur, in every sense of the word, I have to go for it. In the past, I have paid for leads instead my electricity bills. I’ve turned down short term deals and chose to go for long term leverage. It’s all about long-term winning for me, and hopefully it’s the same for you.

The awkward phase doesn’t really bother me too much; I understand its part of the game. And it’s easy for outsiders to look in and say “abort, abort!” or friends to joke with you and say “dude, I think it’s time for a haircut!” However, at the end of the day, you cannot hold it against others if they don’t have the same vision as you.

My amazing wife may not enjoy the awkward phase much… Okay, she hates it… but she still supports ME! She’s been there time and time again when my many business ventures have gone through this phase and she understands I play the long game.

With all of that said, it’s important that one stays realistic while in this awkward phase. In my opinion, numbers and results never lie.

I’ve been in countless network marketing and affiliate marketing businesses, owned multiple internet marketing businesses, ran and still do run agency model businesses.

What does this have to do with anything?

These experiences have taught me to the truth; the biggest indicator to look for during this awkward phase is the numerical trends.

Is your business growing in revenue? Is your business stagnant? Or is your business declining?

Many people in business today, especially with the online world, are not completely honest with themselves. They separate their dreams from the facts.

Growing my hair through the awkward phase guarantees me a result; longer hair. I know the facts. I look in the mirror every morning. I see the pictures from two weeks ago. I KNOW my hair is growing.

After all of the long nights, lonely days, deep and hard conversations, barely breaking even (if that), you’ve gotta know in your heart…is it worth pushing through to tomorrow?

If the answer is no, leave!

If the answer is yes, get real with the situation of your business, take a minute to get grounded with a plan of action and get comfortable with the awkward phase because this is all a part of the story behind your future glory.

Now, while I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been questioning my commitment to the long-term game of my hair and I have decided…

It’s time to keep trekking on. I’m in it to win it. I’m growing it out!

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12

11,2016

15 Ways to Increase Productivity by 1000%

Do you work alone or do you have a team?

When you have a team, that team is the key to all of your productivity. However, it doesn’t just start and stop with “hiring a good team.” Keeping employees motivated and engaged is the job of their team leader. This may be you or it may be someone else that you’ve hired to help. In this article we share 15 ways to not just keep employees productive, but increase your productivity by a 1000%.

If you work alone, we’ve got your back as well – next week we’ll release the solopreneur version of this article so, stay tuned!

Okay, back to the team…

Employees can be hard to motivate. There are 16 personality types out there (and far more sub-versions of each), and chances are your employees are comprised of many different versions these.

If you want to increase productivity – you have to motivate these employees. Simple as that. With these 16 personality types, there are many ways to motivate people. The tricky thing with staff is that since not everyone is the same, not everyone is motivated the same way. So, you need to employ a number of techniques to ensure that your motivational message is getting across. Below are the top 15 ways to get your staff motivated today.

 

1 – Incentivize

Incentives can do wonders for getting your staff motivated. Be it extra vacation, or movie tickets, or dinner reservations at the hottest spot in town; there are many things that you can do to incentivize your staff to hit their marker. This can work for sales and marketing roles, as well as customer service. The clearer you make their marker, the better. That way they know exactly what they need to do to reach that incentive.

However, some people do not respond well to being given something. Some are more language-based when it comes to receiving compliments. So, for those people you don’t have to change the whole game but it will mean a lot to them if you throw in  card, or express thanks with your own words, when awarding them their  incentive.

 

2 – Instill Trust In Your Staff

Letting your employees know that you trust them is something that not only motivates them to do their job, but it creates an atmosphere of mutual respect. If you have ever worked for someone who was domineering and never complimented any employee, you know what it’s like to feel undervalued. It may actually be part of the reason you became an entrepreneur in the first place.

A lack of trust can demotivate an employee completely, causing a decrease of productivity, business losses and more. From errors to snapping at a customer or another employee, a frustrated and under-appreciated employee is bad for not just you but your entire team. And can start a negative domino effect fairly quickly. So, trust them and appreciate them. Not sure how to do that? Verbally is a great start. Don’t make things complicated. Simply let your employees know they are trusted by telling them exactly that and asking for their opinion on projects. A little will go a long way.

 

3 – Have Smaller Goals for Your Staff

Most companies set big monthly goals, especially for their marketing teams. While one large goal per month can motivate some, others are scared away. Smaller weekly or monthly goals work better because they immediately boost morale and confidence in a team. As a result, productivity and numbers grow after a few weeks or months of the employee hitting their smaller goals. They catch the bug. Hitting targets is contagious! As they gain confidence, and you gain sales, so it’s a huge win-win for everyone. Smaller sales goals are also great for when business is slow – so don’t be afraid to have your staff hit the town with business cards and a good conversation piece.

 

4 – Give Them a Purpose For Working

Sure, a paycheck is a purpose, but a paycheck can be found anywhere. When people are given a purpose or a why, they can  better realize and contribute to your vision of the company. This not only boosts productivity but that helps build mutual respect – and that is huge in the business world. Even if it is someone who cleans your salon every week, mutual respect is a big deal. Let’s be real here: People talk – and the more clarity you offer around WHY your business does what it does, the more that talk is about that why. A ‘why’ brings in more business, motivates employees and provides purpose, drive and energy for growth. Do you share your ‘why’ with your employees enough?

 

5 – Radiate Positivity At Work

Being positive all of the time is impossible. But it’s important to acknowledge and understand the effect it has on your employees; even the ones you interact with virtually. Sharing a ‘best foot forward’ personality and being positive in the workplace works wonders for your staff morale. They not only see that you are energized by the business, but that you realize that minor issues are just that: minor. You move on from the little things and continue with the bigger mission. When you bring a ‘solutions based’ way of thinking to the table, negative vibes go out the window. You’re job as a leader is to be pragmatic and motivational. Positivity will fuel that.

 

6 – Be Transparent – With Everyone

This can be hard, especially if you are an introvert, but being transparent with your staff is one of the best things that you can do to help keep everyone and everything on track. Give an “open door” policy, so they feel comfortable coming to you with a work issue. This not only helps resolve or avoid issues, but it helps your staff recognize you as a human – and not just as the boss. How does this boost productivity? When people feel more like a community with a leader and less like minions with a boss, work becomes the reason you ARE a team, and not a burden you share as a group.

 

7 – Motivate Individuals, Rather Than the Entire Team

Going back to the 16 personality types, as a leader you’ll need to understand that everyone responds to motivational techniques differently. Some respond to actions, while others respond to words. Some absorb what you are telling them, and others take a little more prodding for the words and actions to take hold. One way to avoid jumping through hoops to figure out what motivational technique your staff responds best to, is to have the entire group take a Meyer-Briggs personality test. Including yourself! This is a great tool to get everyone tp better understand each other, and create a work environment that will be a more productive, more positive place for everyone.

 

8 – Learn What Makes Each Employee Go Red in the Face

Everyone is different, and sometimes people do not tell you upfront whether something is wrong. So, you may have to take the lead and be the first to talk. Ask questions. Be inquisitive. Ask what they do and don’t like working on, share the big picture company goals, respond to their questions and ask your own questions. Discern their goals and then invest in their professional growth. Be a leader. During one-on-one check-ins listen to their ideas, because they know the best about what they do. Respect them and they will respect you, and give their all to you company’s purpose.

 

9 – Practice Reward-Based Feedback

This is something that works well for those with or without commission-based sales. Some of us are simply not good at selling anything, so missing out on commission-based rewards can be demotivating. One way to rectify that issue is to have a reward for the friendliest staff member, or the staff member who has worked overtime without any negative comment. You will be surprised how much motivation and productivity this boosts. Do not underestimate the power of a smile and some positive motivation.

 

10 – Prioritize Their Work-Life Balance

Fun is important. Especially at work. Are you encouraging your employees to have fun with their work? The simple fact is, the more we look at work like play, the better, more productive we are at it! Encourage a little silliness in the office to instill this practice; Be sure to be it special dress days, or themed dinners for the staff. All work and no play will drive anyone mad and to complete burn out. Be silly, encourage play. It’s all about the mindset after all.

 

11 – Have an Open-Door Idea Policy

It’s amazing how much rapport a “please” and “thank you” can establish amongst a team. When people feel respected and acknowledged, progress and motivation come more naturally. An open-door policy when it comes to suggestions and ideas also works – and you can learn some cool new ideas from your staff. When employees feel that their voice matters, they feel confident about their positions in the company and that they have more at stake than just a paycheck.

When people feel important, their work reflects that. They are energized and feel full of purpose.

 

12 – Let Them Lead

Motivating employees is not just an exchange; It’s about showing them they make a difference and are valued – and a lot of leaders, bosses, and company owners completely miss this point. Every time you have a meeting, be it large or small, let a different team member lead the conversation and the topics discussed. Not only can they share their opinions and be heard this way, but they are motivated to make their words and ideas happen afterwards. It’s also nice to see if they have a shared view as the others staff, and it makes them feel appreciated.

 

13 – Produce The Bigger Picture

It’s important that employees understand the big picture purpose to their work, and can see that what they are doing in the moment will eventually contribute to an end goal. Sometimes is can be hard to do this, especially in an industry where it doesn’t seem like there is an end goal, but there is always a why. Whether it was to create better marketing plans, provide training on how to sell something online or just give AMAZING hair cuts; bring this point up with your team constantly and remind them that what they do impacts this. T Give them tasks and projects to work on and make sure they understand how this fits into the big picture. Talented employees will go above and beyond what you expect of them – and that will show itself off to the customers, too.

 

14 – Have Recognition Rituals

Whether it’s a monthly meeting or a dinner or a special event, make your employee recognitions known and a ritual. It makes it even more special to the person receiving the recognition when it’s done publicly – and it is a good motivator for getting your staff onboard for future projects. Those not being recognized will also feel the energy created by the recognition. Gratitude is contagious.

 

15 – Assume That People Want a Good Job

Sounds odd, huh? It shouldn’t. People innately want to do well. They want to do a good job and feel accomplished, and feel like they are a part of something. Give the them the opportunity to fulfill on this and enlist a little faith that their main objective matches yours. 

 

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19

10,2016

5 Most Effective Ways To Repurpose Webinar Content

Over the last year or so, you have most likely heard about and probably even watched a webinar presentation online, or two or eight.

Webinars have become one of the most effective ways to educate an audience on your area of expertise. And establish your position of “knower of a few things” in that particular area. They’re a great way to distribute content in a one-to-many fashion and simultaneously build your list of prospective customers.

Whether they last 30 minutes or 90 minutes, chances are, if you’re doing them well, they are packed with valuable content, powerful testimonials and great offers for those who are ready to take action.

But…

Webinars are NOT an overnight production. They can take days or even weeks to organize and develop into the masterful presentations they become.

So…

How do you make the best use of your webinar content after spending countless hours in creating it? How do you make that webinar work for you, create more business and nurture your leads and customers… over and over again?

You repurpose it!

As a boutique digital marketing agency with high-end clients, we understand the value of a high-performing webinar AND the secret value of reusing the content to reach and connect with new audiences, build a larger list and convert more sales. Just using all that content for a webinar is almost a shame.

Over the last few years, we have locked arms with a number of our clients on their webinar campaigns and had tremendous success in repurposing their content. Some ways work better than others but it all depends on the specific content you are teaching and who your audience is.

There are many reasons why we believe, with numbers to back it up, that using your content from a well-planned webinar is a smart, strategic move…

First, it allows you to work smarter, not harder. So many people feel the need to create so much new content in a short amount of time rather than diving deeper in the content they have created in the first place. And not only that, but to a potential customer just learning about your area of expertise, small chunks of content pulled from a very large, long webinar, can be FAR more easily digested and retained.

Secondly, it allows you to stretch your resources by leveraging multiple types of content formats. In laymen terms, there are a lot of different types of learners out there – visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic. By repurposing your content onto and into different formats, you are able to reach a larger audience in their preferred style.

But what does this look like? Exactly how do you suggest I play chop-shop with my webinar?

Glad you asked!

Below are the 5 most popular and most effective ways to take the quality content from your webinar, chop it up and double, triple or even 10x your audience.  

1. Truncate webinar recordings into short videos

Let’s be honest, in today’s fast-paced world, most people don’t have 60-minutes at once to sit down and consume a webinar. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need that dish of awesome business that you’re serving.

One of the best ways to share your products, services & solutions with those who aren’t able to watch your presentation, is to chop it up into short videos! By doing so, there are a number of ways you can utilize the content; uploading them onto youtube, creating video tutorials, using them as free resources on your website and more!

With more than 10 hours of media being consumed per day in the U.S. alone, and a growing amount of that time devoted to videos on devices (not just TV) , you simply cannot go wrong by turning your hard work video content. Think shorter, more accessible videos that spread like seeds across the social networks.  

2. Turn it into an email campaign

With over 1 billion business-related email accounts out there, and over 50% of emails being opened on mobile devices in 2016, go ahead and leverage the power of email marketing! Put the content of your webinar before your leads’ eyes again!

There are two ways you can turn your webinar content into an email campaign…

First, let’s continue with the idea of videos. Once you have chopped up your webinar into smaller clips, extracting the 3-5 key elements of your presentation, you can build a 4-6 day email campaign around it.

How? Simple.

Let’s say you discuss four major take-aways and solutions during your webinar. Your next step is to cut out the sections where you discuss these in the  webinar and break them up into four videos. Make sure they are no longer than five minutes each. Now you’re delivering a deep dive of value and information on your given topic. Once complete  these videos will produce about 15-20 minutes worth of video footage to use for your email campaign.

After the videos are prepped, create an email campaign, which can run from 4 – 14 days and encourage people to view the videos. From there the possibilities are infinite between tracking and follow-up.

This is a great way to reuse masterful webinar content, engage with the audience and deliver value to those who may not necessarily have shown up for the full viewing.

3. Turn leftover Q+A into a blog

Most webinar platforms today offer the ability to engage with your audience LIVE during the webinar through a chat box or question & answer section. If you haven’t used it yet, be sure to play with this feature on your webinar platform. Direct questions and feedback become  huge resources post-presentation, as I will show you in a minute.

Imagine having the ability to directly engage with your viewers, ask them questions, create suspense and make an online experience not only interactive but more fun? THAT is what you create for your webinar attendees when you utilize the chat/Q&A feature of your webinar.

But it gets even better.

Save the questions that get asked in the Q+A box during your presentation. I don’t care how; get a report emailed to you, download the chat weekly from your evergreen webinar, write those babies down, but store them somewhere safe! These are gold.

After you have settled in from all the excitement and successful results you created from your live webinar stream, take out the list of questions. As you read them over, watch for common themes, questions asked repeatedly, and perhaps more information you could have delivered that would have helped make the answers more obvious. Some of these might be “where do I click to buy?” Those are the questions I am talking about. I’m talking about “but how did you do that with your X product?” And other conceptual based questions that inquire about your product and/or service. These people have done a beautiful thing; they’ve set you up to tell them more about what you and your business can do for them!

Almost needless to say, over the next few weeks it would be extremely advantageous to compose a few different blog articles based around the questions you received.

Chances are if one person asked a question – at least one or two others had the same question. So for what reason would you not use that to your advantage?  

Give some insight into the questions that were asked on the presentation. The sooner the better as the content is still pretty fresh in your viewer’s mind and may still be on the fence for purchasing your product or service. If you were REALLY motivated, you’d then take those blog posts and actually create some retargeting campaigns to the audience that viewed but did not buy.

The biggest benefit to repurposing your webinar content into a blog article (or more), is to keep the lead (viewer that did not buy) engaged. Your job is to take this content and  give them even more value in new ways. Always be thinking: how can I reach my potential customers today? This is the very reason we repurpose the webinar in the first place.

 BONUS:  You have, or at least should have gathered, all of your webinar attendees’ email addresses and added them to your list. Now send out an email with a link to the newly posted blog article on your site!

 

4. Create an ebook

Ebooks are a great way to deliver content to your audience, and reformatting those key elements from your webinar is one of the easiest and most effective!

For a small fee you can have someone transcribe your webinar and either edit it yourself or have a copywriter do so. Easy as that!

This is a great resource both for attendees of the live presentation as well as a new audience that you can market the ebook to. Either way, its an easy way for you to churn out more quality content that your audience can consume on THEIR time in a format they may like better than the original video.

BONUS: Send this out as a free gift to those that attended your webinar!

 

5. Create an infographic from your webinar’s core concepts

Infographics are one of the most effective and concise ways to deliver insight and value to an audience. They’re sexy, simple to understand, fun to consume, effective,informative, can be printed, and often get shared organically on social media.

The best way to create an infographic from a webinar is to take the key 3-5 concepts that you shared, as any good webinar should have, and break each one down into a few bullet points or sentences that get the overall message across. Obviously, a 1 page infographic isn’t going to reveal every point made on an hour-long webinar, but the purpose of an infographic is to get the main points across in an effective and well-illustrated manner. Actually, to illustrate this VERY point, we’ve gone one step farther and made you an infographic from this blog. Grab your own copy here.

==>> Grab your own copy here.

It’s important to remember that repurposing content doesn’t mean that you simply copy and paste the same message into a different format. You will want to make an effort to personalize each version so it fits the platform you’re publishing it on. Remember, your leads, customers and colleagues will respect you for the quality of what you distribute, not how much. Now get repurposing!

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13

10,2016

The #1 Action Step to Increase Leads, Customers & Profit All in One

You only have to do ONE thing to truly increase your leads AND continuously turn those leads INTO customers.

This one thing can mean the difference between a lead Xing out of your order form OR signing up for a lifetime subscription of your product. Or perhaps it’ll be the difference between a lead hitting the ‘download now’ button or clicking off your website entirely. Or maybe it’s going to be the difference between a new lead opening your email or marking it as spam. It affects ALL of these scenarios, ALL the time. 

And that one thing is…

‘Sharing.’ 

And by this, I don’t mean the ‘Share’ button on Facebook.

Of course, your market research, sales funnel, content marketing and security tested, and having a Google-ranked website are all important elements of an online business.

But are you sharing?

Let me explain, as it’s highly important you don’t mistake or interpret this version of ‘sharing’ for giving any of your business away for free OR pushing sales pitches all the time.

If you want to increase the business you’re doing, you need to share what you know. This can be accomplished in infinite ways. Here are a few:

  1. Writing for your own blog

  2. Guest blogging for other’s blogs

  3. Vlogging (video blogging)

  4. Creating a free group on Facebook where people can learn more about what you know and reach out to you for help

  5. Posting on social media about the latest trends you’re keeping up with and concepts/products you’ve recently learned about

  6. Sending out a newsletter to your list about a new product/concept you think would be valuable to them

  7. Offer 3 people the opportunity to try your latest product for free for a limited time in exchange for feedback

By no means do I suggest you offer yourself or your products up for free… but the fact is: you sharing actively about what you specialize in, whether it’s making socks or building online sales funnels, is often the difference between your success and failure.

This is about more than positioning yourself as a guru or the expert of your field. It’s more visceral, more emotional and much more raw than that. The importance of ‘sharing’ in business boils down to this: if you don’t care enough about what you are selling to share it, why should other people care enough to buy it from you? It’s that simple.

This is your livelihood. Do you care? Do you share? I’m not just making a bad joke here, I’m making a very expensive point, for those of you still choosing not to.

This (your business) is the reason you get up in the morning. No more of that BS about waiting for the weekend. As a business owner (and a person that exists on this planet of awesomeness) you have to LOVE what you do and what you’re creating enough to shout it from the rooftops.

Did I go too far with that one? Maybe you’re not proud of what you do. Maybe you’re stuck. You need a different blog post altogether then.

My point is that when your “work” or business becomes your true passion, it should feel easy to share.

Not there yet? Dreading your Mondays? Google Gary Vaynerchuk and watch every single one of his videos and then come back here. 

Moving on, here’s a quick example to make the effect this ‘sharing’ thing can have a bit more clear:

I have a friend named Joe Hughes. He is, to say the least, an incredible horse trainer. As are his kids. Joe and his family are helping to save the wild horses, Brumbies, of Australia. In order to do this, they are training them and then rehoming each horse. Great idea, right?

Here’s the catch: Joe and his family live in the middle of nowhere. Literally. They have thousands of acres in New South Wales, Australia. We’re talking the kind of place you need four-wheel drive all year long.

So what does Joe do? He shares.

Every step of Joe’s horse training method, 4BP, is available online via the videos he shares daily on his Facebook page. You can watch and learn how Joe trains these horses, start to finish. He’s created and shared videos covering all kinds of scenarios that come about during the training process; fearful horses, stubborn horses, mare, stallions… and the list goes on and on.

Joe is now reaching over 100k people per week organically and that’s JUST on Facebook. So, what has sharing these videos done for Joe and his family? It’s created free, organic traffic that has peeked the interest of thousands online. Rehoming these horses just got not only easier but more lucrative; their value has increased with the growing interest from the masses. People from around the world now know who Joe and his family are. 

Due to the effect of this sharing, Joe and his family are now positioned to begin selling merchandise (which they have begun to do already), as well as advertise for people to come and learn the training method first hand. People are sharing about his training with other people and a network of supporters has formed. But most importantly? Joe and his family can continue on their mission to work with these horses and make the world a better place. Their efforts are now being received globally. Just through sharing, an entirely new world of possibility and opportunity has opened up. 

So what is the lesson here? Share.

If you do nothing else for your business today, share. I don’t care which social media, website or email service you use – just SHARE. Get your message out, your why, and all the parts of what you do that light you up.  

You are your biggest asset, and after you, it’s those you reach. 

The more you share – the more that reach will grow – and the more you’ll find yourself learning along the way as well. Your goals and targets may begin to shift and morph as new connections present themselves. The more connections you make, the bigger your network grows, the more leads, customers, friends, colleagues and possible partners you’ll meet along the way.

You’ll never know what kind of opportunity you’re missing out on until you share. 😉 

 

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29

09,2016

21 Secrets To Launching A Successful Online Course

Over the last several years, we’ve launched countless online courses both for clients and ourselves. From personal development courses, to Facebook trainings, to health and wellness programs – we’ve done it all!

Some crushed it and some…well, got crushed.

Combined, these launches have resulted in millions of dollars invested and over $10,000,000 in revenue.

The other day in the office, as we were preparing for our newest product launch, we were talking about the lessons we’ve learned over the years of what it takes to enjoy a successful launch. We realized that there are tons of elements and actions that nobody tells you about when it comes to launching a successful online program.

So, we decided to change that.

From sweat equity to marketing tactics, we wanted to share our Top 21 Secrets nobody will tell you about launching an online course.

Whether  you are someone who is in the middle of a launch, launched or simply planning to launch an online course someday, this is a must read.

My message point blank: you caNOT launch an online course without these 21 secrets. You would be committing marketing suicide. Read up and launch away:

 

1. Sell your course as a proof of concept before launching.

Save yourself time, money and a whole lot of energy and do this immediately.

When launching an online course your goal should be to sell it to cold market leads that have turned warm through your funnel. However, before you go out there and attempt to sell cold (or rather to people who honestly don’t know you from a fly on the wall), sell it to people one on one!

If you can’t create desire for this product from people offline, and with someone who already knows and trusts you, you’re digging a hole.

In fact, many of our clients sell their course before they have even created it!

Now, you’re probably thinking….what?! How do you do that?

No, no…you do not have to be a magician and create it hours after you sell it.

The proper way to do this is to first host a webinar, sell your product for a future launch date (usually 30-45 days out) and if people buy it, create it! This way you know there is a market for what you are selling, and even people who have invested in your course before you’ve created it.

 

2. A big Facebook advertising budget does not guarantee your course will be profitable.

Just as money can’t buy you real friends, it also can’t buy you success online.

There are some marketers out there that will tell you the bigger your ad budget, the bigger the success – which is simply not true.

A big Facebook ad budget is great once you have your campaign dialed in and producing results, because now all you have to do is pour some more money in the pot and scale.

But this simply is not the truth fresh out of the gates.

Testing always comes first, and during a testing phase your advertising budget should be small. You go slow and steady and collect as much information as possible while you’re learning what works best with your target market.

SYour best bet is to spend a little money ($10-20) every day until you are producing good results (conversions that make you a profit) and are happy with your targeting. T and conversions…then, and only then, should you think about scaling and ramping up that advertising budget!

 

3. You’ll want to procrastinate on the big things.

This is not your boring high school paper…. you won’t want to procrastinate on your launch. After all, this is your business!

When you get to the techy stuff (integrations galore can appear out of nowhere), some of it can take long hours and you don’t want to leave it to the last minute.

This is the kind of thing you want plenty of time to test for – and not to procrastinate on. Leave yourself room for errors, troubleshooting and getting things working properly.

Email campaigns, merchant accounts, integrations, webinar platforms, split tests, web pagess and every other finely tuned integrated piece of your launch must be functioning at 100% come the day you turn traffic on.  Without these you are compromising your result before you even get your first CPC.  

Repeated testing prior to the launch makes a huge difference.

Go through each step of the process, multiple times, to ensure that you have a well-oiled machine for your leads!

 

4. Affiliates won’t sell your course, they will generate leads for you.

While JV’s and affiliates can be great partnerships, they aren’t often going to sell for you. This is your business and you are responsible for the bottom line. What you set up and put in place is what will make the difference – not the people pitching it. 

Remember: Affiliates are lead generators. Not salesmen (or sales-women!)

Most of these partnerships will require you to do most of the work; have the product created, already sold (with data to prove it), have email campaigns deploying, established webinars, etc. Many affiliate partnerships will only involve an affiliate emailing their list with an email you wrote. This is not uncommon and is still wildly useful!

Sure, it can be a great way to grow your reach and fill your lead pipeline, but the dirty work all must be done by you first. Do not forget this. Do your homework and partner with people that will generate leads within your market. 

 

5. Payment plans can boost sales.

As you have probably seen across the market, the required investment for participating in an online course can range anywhere from $47 to $25,000 depending on the type of course and the value it delivers.

If your course is offered at anything over $697, it will generally benefit you to offer some sort of payment plan, even if this means the customer is spending an extra 10% over time.

Most people simply don’t have an extra $1000+ sitting around in the bank, as scary as that sounds. So, by you allowing them to pay in multiple installments, you highly increase the odds of them saying “yes!”

 

6. Your course name matters.

Okay here’s the thing: Some people overthink this and you get titles like:

How to Profit by Selling Somewhere between 5-20 Pandas on the Internet for Fun on Tuesdays but not Fridays and only when your first name is Jeffrey Smith

OR the opposite happens and they totally under think the name and get this:

How to Sell Pandas

The name matters!

You want it to stand out enough that people remember it but be clear and conscice enough to convey what it’s teach quickly.

You can get gimmicky later on and come up with shortened names like: Amazon or Lululemon. But initially – your product name needs to be clear and catchy.

Using those principles (let me repeat: clear and catchy), the best name for this course would have been:

How to Sell 7 Pandas on the Internet (except on Fridays)

This last option does 3 things:

– Conveys quickly what the course is teaching

– Gives a definitive target or goal for the customer that’s interested

– Has a little bit of added humor

Have some fun and be precise!

 

7. You will constantly be answering questions

If you are going to put yourself out there and share your message through a course your are selling, be prepared to answer questions.

How much does this cost?

What will I receive from it?

What have others done with what they’ve learned?

Do you have testimonials.?

And on and on…

While most of these questions will be for the customer to rationalize in their head why they should or shouldn’t invest, we know this to be a bunch of noise.

People don’t buy based on logic, they buy on emotion. If they are asking analytical and logical questions, they are in their head and are more concerned with failing than succeeding.

Either way, you are the product creator and the educator, so be prepared to sell, sell, sell!

 

8. People buy why you created the course just as much as what the course is about

Every module, activity and video in your course should relate back to both your mission and the problem you are solving for your audience.

As Simon Sinek, a world renowned thought leader and author of Start With Why says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

When people are reading your sales letter and investing in your course, they want to buy into your mission and your purpose just as much as they want the results from your course.

Be sure that all of your content and messaging is congruent with why you do what you do and let it shine through on a whole other level in your course!

 

9. Plan to spend long hours writing email campaigns

One of the most underrated aspect of an online product launch is the emails that are required.

Each time we launch a product, one thing we make sure to do is set aside many hours devoted to writing emails…

– Welcome emails (download a free gift and brief introduction)

– Indoctrination emails (getting to know you)

– Engagement emails (encouraging them to take specific action)

– Webinar sequence emails (before and after)

– Cart abandonment emails (people who leave your site with unpurchased products in their cart)

– Follow up emails

– And the list goes on…

Whatever your product or service and however you want to slice the pie, there are still going to be a number of email sequences that have to be drafted, edited and added to your autoresponder, and this takes some time!

Can you outsource this task?

Yes, however, if it is your first campaign, it is imperative that your voice shine through these emails. So, if you are going to outsource, be sure that you have gone through to outline the emails and that the copywriter knows your style and your message.

 

10. Plan to spend some quality time crafting your sales page

Your sales page is extremely important, so plan ahead to invest some quality time into it.

It is the last thing people see before they buy and you want it to cover a lot of ground.

A good sales letter will talk about:

– Your mission and why this is important to you

– A tiny bit about you in order to achieve credibility and authority in the niche

– Who the ideal audience is for the course

– The layout of the course

– Handling common objections that may arise for people and…

– Testimonials!

While all of these are important, testimonials are crucial. People want to know if others have achieved success with what they are about to purchase. Its reassurance that the course is worth what they are going to pay. 

 

11. Most people won’t finish any of the online courses they buy

No matter how good your course is and no matter how good you are, most people won’t finish the online courses they invest in.

Why? Simple…

Most people don’t take responsibility and really ever finish anything they put their hands on.

However, here is a golden opportunity for you!

 

Knowing this fact, allows you to upsell your customers with accountability and coaching sessions. Some will and many won’t go for this. But the ones that know themselves and are truly committed to what they are seeking (the type of customers you want) will invest the extra money and have you alongside for the ride.

If you choose to go this route, it is extremely important that while you invest time and energy into your clients’ projects, you cannot afford to emotionally attach yourself to the outcome. Many times, even the clients that hire you for your accountability and coaching support will not follow through and finish the course.

It’s just the way of the business.

 

12. People don’t buy your expensive marketing, branding and design, they buy you and your course!

While the branding, design and marketing of your course is certainly important, if you have not done your market research prior to launching….you’re doomed.

Too many entrepreneurs think that they have the next big thing that everyone on planet earth will not only want but will buy….until they launch.

When you get to the bottom of what makes a launch successful, it is NOT the marketing, branding or design, although they do help; it is the value you portray and the results they will receive from going through your course. Period.

Don’t waste thousands of dollars on a high-end customized website when you could spend the time that is required honing and crafting your message for your audience.

 

13. You’ll want to throw in the towel at some point before you launch

Somewhere along the way, you will get tired, burned out, frustrated, annoyed, stuck and will want to throw in the towel.

Don’t.

Woman being angry and holding computerYou’ve come too far!

Your mission and purpose for launching your course must outweigh any of the obstacles that can and will land on your path.

Remember, you are not the only one who has ever launched an online course, nor are you the only one who has experienced challenges while doing so.

If you really are ready to throw in the towel, take a break – maybe even put it on the side and listen to your heart. If you can’t stop thinking about it for the coming days and weeks, pick back up where you left off and proceed with a fresh mind.

Once you’ve launched, no matter the results, you will realize it was all worth it!

 

14. You will question your value as a human being if your launch is a bust

Simply. Not. True.

While it is quite natural, as human beings, for us to question our worth and value if a launch does not go as planned but understand, that is all just a story in our head.

Your mind will do this because you probably have seen some experts out there run a launch for an online course and crush it, bringing in millions of dollars.

There is a great saying that squashes those stories in your head…”Don’t compare your chapter 1 to their chapter 21.”

Just like a batter in baseball, if you strikeout on your first launch, take a seat on the bench, regroup, strategize and re-launch!

Never. Give. Up!

 

15. Week 1 of your course can prevent a majority of refunds

While not everyone will go through your entire course, almost everyone will at least move through the first week or two…so make sure it rocks their socks!

your first week is really lousy, unengaging and uninformative, you may be doing some refunds.

On the other hand, if it is fun, engaging and really helps them move closer towards accomplishing their goals, you’re good to go.

Most people offer a 30 or 60 day money back guarantee to ensure their customers enjoy their experience through the course. However, we suggest offering a money back guarantee with a little asterisk that says they must go through the entire course AND complete all related work in order to receive a refund.

Think about it…if you are launching a course you truly believe will allow your customers to achieve x,y,z when they put the true work into it (like you did in creating the course), you have to stand by that.

Believe us, there are a lot of tire-kickers out there who really have no intentions of building much of anything in their lives but will invest in tons of courses, events, coaches, etc. to feel like they are progressing. These are the ones who will ask for a refund. So, if you require them to go through the course and complete all of the work that comes with it, not only does it make it harder for them to ask for a refund, it will hopefully lead them towards their dreams.

 

16. Round 2 – Instead of creating a whole new course, simply relaunch

Just because your first launch doesn’t go as planned, doesn’t mean your course needs to be scrapped. Often times, the launch simply needs to be re-strategized and marketed differently.

Entrepreneurs are creatives at heart, but don’t let all of your hard work and effort go to waste simply because you didn’t succeed your first time around.

If you followed step #1 above, then all you need is a relaunch, not a new course.

 

17. It’s the same amount of work to launch a low-priced course as it is a higher-priced course

As we spoke about earlier, online courses can range in prices. Finding the right price for you can be a little tricky.

Sometimes you feel that launching at a lower price point will lead to more sales and a higher one will scare people away.

Whatever price point you go with, be prepared to work. $47 courses and $7,999 courses are often the same amount of work.

The good thing is, you can tweak your price once you have started the launch. Sometimes you’ll want to move it up and sometimes down, depending on the response.

My tip – start off on the lower end for what you feel is the going rate in the marketplace. It’s better to underpromise and overdeliver, causing you to increase prices a little bit over time rather than shooting for a high ticket course and overpromise, underdeliver.

 

18. Everything takes longer than you think it will

The good old saying of Murphy’s Law, “What can go wrong, will go wrong” is ever so true with an online course launch.

Not only will things take longer than you expect, they often won’t work properly like you expect them to…

Email campaigns won’t trigger, ads will get disapproved, your show-up rate to your webinars won’t be what you expect and the conversions won’t produce the results you were hoping for.

Which is ALL okay!

That is the fun part about launching a course online.

Stick it out and deal with one thing at a time. Trust me, it will all work itself out over time…so, give it time.

 

19. Customer service matters – before, during AND after the sale.

Do NOT underestimate this. Your customer service/follow-up is one of the most important elements of your funnel.

How do you engage with the best possible customer service?

You nurture new leads.

New leads with questions who are willing to reach out and check your FAQ page, send in an email question, use your chat feature or pick up and call your customer service team (or you) on the phone, are INFINITELY more likely to become customers… and repeat customers!

The more you take care of these people, the more likely they are to purchase not once, but many, many times.

Not to mention, they’ll be more likely to reach back out with more questions, give you more ideas for improvements to your products, provide you with testimonials, engage on membership platforms AND recommend you to their friends.

Think of it this way: If your funnel were the framework of your car, customer service is the oil that makes it run. The blood of your funnel.

 

20. Regardless of how many times you test…$h*t happens

Does it seem like you’ve heard this a few times so far?

Because it is true!

It really doesn’t matter how many times you test the sequences and all the tech stuff associated with an online course launch, things will go wrong (aka – $h*t happens).

Always, always, always leave time for testing before rolling out the official launch. The last thing you want to happen is for the emails not to trigger or the webinar malfunction, landing you with a big fat bagel in your bank account!

Once you’ve launched and are rolling, be sure to set aside time bi-weekly for further testing. As the funnel is flowing, more leads go through it and you make some tweaks, there is a tendency for things to glitch out once in awhile.

At D4Y, we believe there is never too much testing!

 

21. You are fired up and ready to go…until your competition launches days before you

This WILL happen. Every time. Who cares?!

You have to remember that your course is different because of YOU. So remember to infuse YOU in it.

This exact thing recently happened to us. For a few hours we pondered if it was still worth launching…but of course we did!

We are unique and attract a different demographic than our competitor who has a much bigger reach and been in the game much longer.

Just because someone else plays guitar and sings the same kind of music as you should not hold you back from sharing your message with the world and pursuing your dream.

 

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26

09,2016

4 Ways To Identify Your Brand Identity

First things first, what is Brand Identity?

If we go with the technical definition according to the American Marketing Association, Brand Identity is defined as the representation of your company’s reputation through the conveyance of values, attributes, purpose, strengths and passions.

In laymen terms, your Brand Identity is what sets you apart from the rest of the noise out there.

Without it?

You’re just trying to scream louder than everyone without developing a voice that communicates with your target audience on a deeper level.

It’s not just about your product or service anymore. It’s about who you are, what you stand for, and why you do what you do.

Nowadays there is more noise and more competition than ever before.  We went from an average of seeing 4-6 advertisements per day 50 years ago to seeing an average of 400 per day, just within the last few years.

It’s safe to say that with so much competition for your audience’s attention now, that the new way to stand out is to RESONATE with them and make them feel understood by you on a deeper level. We are no longer in a transaction-based marketplace but rather a connection-based economy and in this new environment, Brand Identity is KING.

Let’s review…

We are no longer in a transaction-based marketplace but rather a connection-based economy. You have got to understand what this means! So, keep reading…

Customers are looking to engage and connect with the brands and businesses support, making it ever so crucial that businesses reciprocate with their audience.

In a transaction-based marketplace, people are willing to buy with you because it’s convenient, it’s simple and you have what they need.

Today, in our evolved connection-based economy, customers want to support the brands and businesses they are loyal to, even if it costs a little bit more or is slightly out of their way.

So, what is the best way to capitalize on this information and identify your brand identity?

Keep reading and you’ll soon understand the 4 major points that will help you craft your brand’s identity!

 

1. Identify Your Brand using Carl Jung’s 12 Archetypes

Chances are if you’ve ever seen a good movie, the entire story line was modeled after one of the 12 Archetypes. An archetype (which originated in Ancient Greece), is simply a universal stereotype used to tell stories that are relatable.

Here are the 12 archetypes as listed by Sparkol.com

1. The Innocent aka The Dreamer/Romantic – Think McDonalds

2. The Hero aka The Superhero/Warrior – Think Nike and Michael Jordan

3. The Regular Guy aka The Good Guy/Everyman – Think Carling

4. The Nurturer aka The Saint – Think Ford

5. The Creator aka The Artist – Think Apple

6. The Explorer aka the Seeker or Wanderer – Think The North Face or Indiana Jones

7. The Rebel aka Revolutionary or Outlaw – Think Harley Davidson

8. The Lover aka The Idealist – Think Victoria Secret

9. The Magician aka The Visionary – Think Disney

10. The Ruler aka The King/Leader – Think Rolex or American Express

11. The Jester aka The Fool/Comedian – Think Old Spice

12. The Sage aka The Wise Scholar – Think National Geographic

Now, I’m not going to go over every single archetype but here are some simple steps you can take towards defining which of these archetypes has the most affinity with your brand and your audience….

 

2. List Your Strengths

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may sound overly simplified but this is exactly what you need to convey to a message to your audience as quickly as possible.

Who are you?

Some questions to answer to help you define this are…

– Funny or Formal

– Big or Small

– Boring or Surprising

– Reserved or Outspoken

– Stylish or Classic

– Inexpensive or Premium

– Masculine or Feminine

– Young or Mature

Your audience should be able to identify exactly who you are with every marketing message that you send. Simplification is the way to go.

Next…

 

3. Define Your Customers Needs

Each of the Archetypes above ha an equivalent message that resonates with that specific audience.

For example, the Rebel Archetype most resonates with that audience’s need to FEEL as if they are not subjected to the same rules as everyone else.

A need to feel as if the rules don’t apply to them….you know, like those big, bad, long-haired tattooed Harley guys and gals?

The ones that rev their engines as the light turns green so the whole neighborhood knows that a Harley just drove by?

How about Victoria Secret?

It’s as simple as FEELING sexy or romantic!

From the sleek see-through lingerie to the sexy, exposing bras and underwear, Victoria Secret aims to leave their customers feeling sexy for themselves and their spouse.

What does your audience need? Stability, comfort, freedom?

Take the time to diligently go through the 12 archetypes and find which one closest represents how your customers desire to FEEL…then implement that style into your brand!

 

4. What Makes You Different?

This seems to be the part that everyone wants to overcomplicate. But I’ll tell you a secret:

To be different, you don’t need to have some fancy, unique, selling proposition or tagline.

It truly can be as simple as communicating with your customers the WHY behind how you do what you do.

For instance, Flex.com donates 10% of their profits to 10 charities based on different colors for their watches. Each color represents a separate charity.

The why is because one of the owners lost his mother to breast cancer. So, they built a watch brand around an opportunity to raise awareness for a variety of different cancers out there.

This is what makes them different. 

They are not just another watch company, they are 3 guys with a purpose who just happen to be selling watches to make a difference.

In fact, to prove this point even more, let’s go deeper –

That same watch company almost went out of business because they actually tried to become something they weren’t…they strayed from their why!

With gold and silver big face watches being the trend today, they shifted from their bread and butter to try and meet the entire market rather than reaching more of the right audience who loves their original concept.

Entrepreneur and host of CNBC’s The Profit, came to the rescue, advised them to get back to their roots and remember why they began the business in the first place, struck a consulting deal with them and they are now back on the rise!

Your brand’s story is what’s going to separate you from the rest, the most.

Figure that out and you’ll carve out a bigger piece of the marketplace by authentically communicating this story and exemplifying why your brand is different.

Follow these steps to better define your brand, start including the WHY behind your business in all of your marketing and watch the needle move higher!

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16

09,2016

3 Killer Marketing Mistakes You Cannot Afford

So 15, heck, maybe even 10 years ago, you were probably one of the many skeptics who didn’t quite see the value in having a website.

Pay lots of money to someone that hibernates all year in a dark basement behind their computer, developing a site for you in some hieroglyphic coding, so you (and your site visitors) can be frustrated when the needle didn’t move? No thanks.

Things sure do change fast.

Today your business probably doesn’t exist, or at least turn a profit, if you are not online in some form.

Okay, let’s assume you bit the bullet and have a website. Now that you’re online profits are soaring….right?

Wrong.

Just because you are online today – have a website, Facebook page, and maybe threw some spaghetti at Google AdWords and SEO to see what stuck, does NOT mean you are marketing your business effectively.

But we’re not telling you anything new, that’s how life is for most small businesses online. Actually, many of them don’t even know how to gauge the “effectiveness” of their online presence. And this is a very fundamental problem, that when corrected, changes everything.

But first let me throw one more metaphor at you:

You want to get healthy and fit so you pay for a bunch of books on exercise and buy a gym membership but you never read the books and never go to the gym.

Sounds pretty stupid, right?

Well, that’s exactly what some small business owners are doing by creating themselves a nifty little website and praying that people land on it. If only the internet gods had a 1-800 number we could all dial and just put our requests in: “Hi internet gods! I have a request for next month. I need about 400 middle aged women to find my website and buy my new yoga line that makes them feel young and beautiful. Thanks!”

Okay, I went a little far with that one but I kid you not – this type of insanity is running budding businesses, full of potential, straight into the ground.

So, what’s my point?

There are a lot of factors that go into achieving a successful marketing campaign. And they don’t need to remain a mystery. In fact, let’s get the first one super clear:

Market Research. Say that three times. Market research, market research, market research. You have no business selling anything online before you do your market research.

At D4Y, we NEVER touch a project before Focus Group 3D magnifying glasscompleting our market research. Meaning, we head out onto the world wide web and see what’s happening in our clients’ space, see what’s being sold effectively, when it’s selling, who it’s selling to, and how they’re selling it. This is all so we can better develop a campaign that will produce results!

However, during this market research, we come across a lot of websites and brands that, for lack of better words, could use some help…

Simply put, many businesses are not making the best use of their website and marketing efforts.

So what are they doing wrong, you may ask?

We consistently see businesses making the same three, killer mistakes. Mistakes that in 2016, you simply cannot afford to make… because by 2017 you will be out of business.

If you want to not only keep up with the times but also keep more money in your pocket, heck, even create more money to put in your pocket, keep reading…

Mistake #1: Not establishing who you are

One of the most common and detrimental mistakes we see from businesses today is a lack of establishing and communicating who they are. This would seem kind of obvious, right?

Well, you would be surprised how many companies don’t mention who they are, why they exist and what their mission is on their website.

In essence, they’ve lost before they even started.

These also tend to be the same companies that claim they are doing online marketing but nothing is working…go figure!

Why is stating who you are and what your mission is, so important?

That is the easiest way for your audience (another bone to pick that we’ll get to later) to resonate with you and quickly determine if their values align with your brand’s values.

When someone learns who you are, it immediately creates trust and rapport. Now that website visitor, is closer to becoming  a customer or client.

If you lack this content on your website, it becomes harder for visitors to resonate with you and your message, deterring them from ever doing business with you.

In a digital world where there is competition everywhere you look, it is vital that you stand out. Being clear about who you are is what makes you stand out! No one can be you.

If you are hoping that random traffic from the internet happens to stumble upon your website, enjoy the little logo design in the top left corner, navigate their way through the clutter of information that tells them nothing about who you really are, and instantly pull out their wallets to buy something from you, you’re dreaming.

The entrepreneur’s guide, Start With Why, written by the highly sought after thought leader, Simon Sinek, illustrates the importance for not only businesses, but everyone, to start with WHY.

Why do you wake up every morning?

Why are you in business?

Why do you do what you do?

In his book, Sinek states: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Think about it; the best selling brands in the world don’t merely exist to make money. Of course, they are in business for a profit, but their legacy is what drives them to be great.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s late CEO, lead the company with this vision for their why: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” Today, Apple sells the #2 smartphone on the market, is one of biggest producers of computers, remains the biggest online music hub and has recently broken into the TV scene. As you can see, Jobs’ mission and vision, and his why for Apple, has lead them to change the game in multiple industries.

Every product they produce is in alignment with this why; from design, to use to marketing.

Apple has a purpose and a mission that people want to be a part.

Isn’t it easy to see when a company leads with a driving mission, purpose and vision, they can come to not only dominate but influence change amongst multiple industries, and attract millions of loyal households worldwide?

Mistake #2: Jack-of-All Trades, Master of None

This one can be bad, really bad.

Way too many businesses want to be everything to everyone, rather than mastering their own craft and appealing to a specified audience.

When you know that you are damn good at one thing, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to try to win over everyone.

There are so many companies in the marketplace today that focus a mile wide and an inch deep, instead of an inch wide and a mile deep.

What I mean by this, is that real success comes from depth. You cannot win a championship without a bench. One hit wonders in the entertainment biz never get remembered. Top chefs never own a fleet of mediocre restaurants. The same goes for entrepreneurs.

You get the point. Find YOUR niche and dig deep in the trenches to strike gold! Create value, build your portfolio, establish customers for life and not customers for a paycheck.

Once you’ve established yourself as an expert or authority in a specific niche, it is critical that you define your audience.

If you are in the food industry, you can’t say that your target market is “everyone” simply because everyone has to eat. Is your focus on organic? Italian? Fast food? Etc.

If you’re creating an online marketing course, who are you speaking to? The beginners? Advanced marketers? Do you focus on Facebook marketing? Brand messaging?

The more defined and specific your avatar, the higher quality client you will attract.

Why is this?

If you know exactly the type of person you want to sell your products or services to, it makes it a heck of alot easier to not only find them, but for them to find you. If you’re offering them exactly what they want then you’re already speaking to them in ways that they will respond.

I come across a lot of business and life coaches on the internet regularly. It appears everyone out there today is a business and life guru, but I digress…

Most of these coaches seem to have no idea who their ideal client is, so instead of speaking to a specific niche, they speak to the masses, and attract no one. Are you a high-level business coach or a struggling single-parent life-coach? Are you a weight-loss coach or a bodybuilding competition coach? Do you coach people on building businesses or closing sales?

There are major differences amongst all of these!

People are extremely picky about where they spend their disposable income, so if you speak to everyone in your messaging, chances are you are going to speak too broadly for your ideal customer to hear you and miss the opportunity to work for them.

Ever heard of Bulletproof?

Most well known for their addition of butter to coffee and popularizing the term “biohacking”?

Founder Dave Asprey understood that there were successful systems in place for sports franchises to win championships, real estate professionals to sell eight-figures worth of homes in a year, why not develop a health formula for people to work, think and live more productively?

Bulletproof sticks to biohacking and biohacking only.

They don’t wander off into manufacturing technology products or even bringing soda into your home. They know what they are best at and they stick to that. Making their name, and the Bulletproof lifestyle trend, spread virally.

So, want a quick fix to mastering your trade while avoiding becoming the jack of all of them?

Find your favorite hat, wear it damn well and become the hero business for your defined audience.

Mistake #3: Not Tracking Customers

This one’s pretty straight forward. In laymen terms, if you are not tracking your customer statistics in 2016, you simply cannot expect to ever “crush it” in your business online.

For those who are keeping up with the times, technology enables you to track every action taken by your clients. From the second someone lands on your site to the time they, well, leave, you must be tracking what your client is doing.

What kind of power would you have with your business if you knew:

  • How long your average visitor was staying on your website?
  • Where they clicked on the most on your site?
  • The email address of every potential lead?
  • The percentage of people purchasing something when they visited your site?
  • How long leads were staying on your site without buying what they put in their cart?
  • Whether a lead ever returned to your site ever again?

Knowing all of this and more, can mean the difference between a successful business and a shop that has to close it’s virtual doors… for good.

So, why aren’t you doing it?!

I cannot tell you the number of websites that I visit who don’t really care what I want or ever really care to get to know me, let alone even ask me for my email address to stay in touch. It’s like ending a date without ever asking when you can see the person again. Basically, I’ve lost interest before I even click off that site.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is a science to it all. If you’re not implementing the systems that work, it’s most likely because you didn’t even know there were systems… nevermind how to implement them.

I want to convey to you the importance of doing all of this.

First off, obtaining their email address is the minimum you should be doing when someone lands on your page – for a multitude of reasons. 

The main reason you’ll want to catch their email is so you can deliver a free gift to them. People like, I mean love, free stuff.

If you are a weight-loss coach, and someone lands on your site and sees a free eBook showing them “5 things you can do today to lose weight”, you’re in! They will undoubtedly give you their email in exchange for that freebie.

Once you have their email, you can communicate with them a bit differently. You can send them a series talking a little bit about who you are and what you have accomplished (to build trust and rapport) but more importantly, share why you do what you do. Get them relating to you.

Second, tracking conversions and cart abandonment means knowing the numbers in your business in a whole new level.

Having the ability to contact someone after they abandon their cart can drive sales through the roof!

I was speaking to a business owner the other day and they said by merely beginning to track this number, they were able to increase sales by 34% in 1 month!

They had a lot of traffic to their site, a lot of people adding things to the shopping cart, but a large percentage of people not finalizing the purchase.

With a simple email and $10 off coupon for first-time customers if they completed the purchase within 24 hours, sales came pouring in over the next month.

These are just two examples of tracking your customers and what they can do to your business. Imagine if you only implemented these two things?

What if you implemented five more?

What would that do to your bottom line?

Let’s take a quick look at Amazing. I mean Amazon.

Amazon as we all (or at least should) know, is the largest online retailer on the planet and is expected to reach $100+ billion, with a “B”, in revenue for 2016. I think the proof is in the pudding but those numbers show that they’re definitely doing something right.

One of the greatest and revenue-generating tools on Amazon’s site is the “people who’ve purchased this item also liked…”.

Boom!

They learn your buying habits, present to you what they know you will like, you click a button and next thing you know it’s at your doorstep in two days thanks to Prime.

Can you imagine what this has done to their revenue?

They also track you, your buying habits and your searches quite closely, which you would realize if you ever saw an Amazon ad following you around the web with an item you recently looked at.

These are the little nuances of tracking which, over time can create a massive shift in your bottom line numbers.

The saying goes, “What is not tracked, is not done.” In this case meaning, if you’re not tracking your customers, you can’t capitalize or monetize all of the information at your disposal

It’s amazing what can happen to your business when you begin to make tiny shifts little by little. Whether it’s gathering your team and establishing your core mission, defining who your audience is or maybe even adding a tracking tool or two to your site, you can probably see the compound effect of doing so.

Finally, with technological resources at your disposal like never before, it’s crucial that you employ these techniques ASAP, unless of course you struggle mightily from mistake #1, in which case you should get a move on it yesterday!

If your business struggles from any of these common mistakes, maybe you can use some help. We’d be happy to offer you a FREE 15-minute strategy session and assist you with implementing these tactics properly into your business. At D4Y, our mission is to help you help yourself impact more people with your products and services!

Sign up for your FREE strategy session HERE.

 

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8

09,2016

5 Reasons You Deserve A Mentor

If you are reading this article, chances are you are an entrepreneur or aspiring one. With that being the case, you either have mentors or are impacting other lives by being one… or both.

In a working world where there is still a significance and necessity placed on formal education and years of experience, mentors are changing the game. Mentorship is becoming the key to success of budding (AND experienced) entrepreneurs.  

By definition, a mentor is: a person or friend who leads a less experienced person by developing trust and exhibiting positive behaviors. In my experience, a mentor is someone more experienced than I who is willing to take me under their wing to coach and guide me and assist me in developing and realizing my true potential.

A few months ago, I co-wrote (actually, with one of my mentors) an article titled 7 Lessons From 7 Millionaire Mentors which covered some of the most substantial lessons I have learned from my experience with mentors.

With most recent college grads struggling to find jobs, let alone one they enjoy, many are abandoning the corporate route and instead, turning to entrepreneurship. While no program, course or institution can truly teach entrepreneurship other than entrepreneurship itself, a large percentage of these college grads are finding that the best way to learn, and in fact, shorten their learning curve, is to link arms with a mentor.

To illustrate the profound impact mentors can have in and on our lives, I thought I would head back to the drawing board…

The following are the 5 ways that having a mentor can and will shave years off of your learning, expand your network, keep you grounded in your journey and propel you towards living the life you dream of. While all of these will certainly leave you longing for a mentor, especially if you don’t have one yet, but be sure to read all the way through as we appropriately saved the best for last!

 

1. Personal and professional networking

They say, “In life, it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Absolutely true. Who knows you and who likes you also won’t hurt!

When you venture out into the real world of business and entrepreneurship, you realize how much smaller it is than you ever would have imagined. In my case, my last mentor used to coach my current mentor, who used to be business partners with one of my best friends’ mentor!

A great mentor typically has a large circle of influence and is very well connected. It is not the fact that they are so connected which makes them a good mentor, but rather their success in their field and understanding the value of building both personal and professional relationships.

If you develop a true relationship with your mentor, which you unequivocally will want to, the chances are that they will open up doors for you in ways you could only imagine.

One of my closest mentors, who has gone onto become one of my dear friends, is a personal development and business speaker and coach. He travels the United States weekly, speaking to crowds that range from 30 to 1000+, occasionally with world renown experts, authors, speakers and leaders.

Last year, we hosted an event in New Jersey with 850 attendees with one of the all-time best-selling authors, and most connected man in business, as our keynote speaker. I had the opportunity to share a bit of my story along with some of my greatest insights I gained while working with my mentor.

Prior to the event, I had the privilege of spending some quality time with my mentor and the speaker, during which we really connected. He gave me his personal number and told me to stay in touch and if there was anything he could do to help move my career forward, he wanted to help.

This goes to show you that while the concept of 6 degrees of separation does exist, a valuable mentor will often be able to cut that in half!

 

2. They will tell you the truth, even if it hurts

Mentors are, in many ways, teachers. One of the greatest thing they will ever teach you about is yourself!

Now, you must be thinking… “how could my mentor know more about me that I do about myself?!”

Well, it’s not that they know more than you about yourself, but they are most likely going to tell it like they see it. They are vested in your success on multiple levels so they want to see you grow and develop into the person you deserve to be.

At times, this may not be the most comfortable process, but comfort is the enemy of change. In order to change your results, you’ve got to be willing to change what you’re doing and often times that requires changing your mindset…which can really rattle your skin.

While working for one of my mentors, I was around 18 or 19, I ran into some conflict. I had got into a habit of showing up slightly late for work, about 5-10 minutes or so pretty much everyday. He never called me out on it so I got more comfortable with strolling in late. One day we had an important meeting lined up for 9am and I was supposed to be in at 8 to run through some notes for the meeting. I overslept and was running 20 minutes behind schedule so I gave him a call to let him know I would be late…again.

What happened next taught me a lesson I carry with me to date. I told him I would be in around 8:20 and he said to turn around and go home, take the day off, I was no longer needed at the meeting.

My heart sunk.

I had just let down my mentor who had consistently gone out of his way to pull strings for me and line me up for success. I felt awful.

The next morning I showed up an hour early to greet him and rightfully apologize. When he walked in, I asked him if he had a few minutes to speak with me. I apologized for slacking off, strolling in late consistently and not bringing my best game to the table, he deserved better. I vowed I would never be late again while working for him and would proceed to always show up early for life thereafter.

The moral here is that he called me out and while it hurt, he was 100% right in doing so. If he wouldn’t shake me up, who would? Since that day, I have consistently showed up early for meetings (and practically everything else) and with a will-to-win attitude!

 

3. They will challenge you

Mentors are there to help challenge you to grow. If they are not challenging you, they most likely are the wrong mentor or you simply work a job. Most of the time, you seek out a specific mentor because they are an expert in your desired field and you know that they can assist you by shortening your learning curve and open some doors for you.

While mentors are there to teach and guide you, a great mentor will push you to pursue your biggest goals. Sometimes this means putting you on the spot and giving you a task you may not have experience with but they have faith you will complete it. The reason they do this is so you grow by necessity. Many times in business and life, we accept jobs or tasks that we are familiar with, remaining in our comfort zone. When we are thrown in the fire, we have no other way out but to learn! Knowing this, your mentor will want to challenge you and see how you handle the unfamiliar…as you will see a lot of it as an entrepreneur.

Other times, they may seek you out for insight, reversing the roles. This can be exciting and scary all at the same time. You don’t have to be perfect, they are only asking for your advice! A good mentor understands that they don’t know everything, so they choose to surround themselves with people that fill the gaps for them. If they took you under their wing, chances are they like and trust you so they might occasionally ask you for input on a project.

A mentor of mine in the network marketing industry once wanted to challenge me to take on a leadership role within my team more quickly so she called me up one Sunday and asked if I could explain the compensation model on Monday’s team call.

I panicked. Me? What if I messed up in front of the team and gave the the wrong information?

She reassured me that I had been around long enough and showed the plan to enough people that I could do it. So I did. And it went really well! In hindsight, I was glad she challenged me to step to the plate as that not only developed a stronger belief in our team and who they were following, but a bigger belief in myself!

 

4. You’ll develop a lifelong friendship

A mentor is not only there to guide you in business but in life. Many of my mentors have become close friends and advisors to me.

An effective mentor understands that their role is to be dependable and also authentically engaged throughout the process. You are there to learn and grow while they are there to teach (and learn).

Part of this process is done through building a bond with someone you can trust and consult.

They say “If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business,” so making your relationships a priority, especially with those who want to see you succeed, such as your mentors, is vital.

One of the greatest joys in business is partnering with like-minded individuals who have become close friends, on big ventures that feel like a dream. Doing so with someone who has guided you and coached you along the way is even more rewarding, knowing you have really elevated your game.

I’ve had about a dozen personal mentors in my life, excluding my parents, five of whom I am still close with, two of whom I speak with multiple times a week. These are people whom I reach out to for business advice, life insight and often just to catch up.

 

5. Streamline your learning curve

Out of all of my mentorship experiences, this has to be one of the most impactful. There is a saying that goes something like: “You learn the most from your mistakes.,” and While there is merit to that, I believe you can also actually learn more from other people’s mistakes.

Sure, we certainly learn from our mistakes but what if we didn’t have to make that mistake in order to learn the lesson? And drive the ball of success?

A few years ago, I was living in Boston and working in Real Estate. I had the good fortune to be working for a Broker who had 20+ years of experience and knew every nook and cranny of the city in and around Boston. He taught me a lot about sales, service and dealing with clients but the greatest lesson he passed on was qualifying clients.

He had learned the hard way that the first step in working with a client is qualifying them! There were tons of stories of him and other agents he had worked with over time that didn’t really understand this until years had gone by.

Before taking the clients out to go see any unit, he would check their credit, discuss budget and also have them fill out other paperwork – he wanted to ensure that they were serious about moving forward (and were financially able to) if they liked a place they saw.

This allowed me to understand the value of my time, one of our most valuable assets, and not waste it with people who were simply “searching” and tire kickers.

I probably would have learned this lesson over time in my career, but the fact that this was one of his major keys to success that he shared with me from the get go, allowed me to streamline my success in the business and be much more productive with the clients I chose to work with.

My hope for you is that you take what you’ve read here today and seek out a mentor that can aid in streamlining your learning curve and jumpstarting you to success!

In the end, mentors are really just a lending hand on your journey, but can play a vital role in your development and success. I strongly believe every entrepreneur deserves and requires a mentor. If nothing less, it makes the entrepreneurial journey a little less lonely!

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2

09,2016

5 Steps to Your Million Dollar Day

We work in a world where you can buy anything. Anytime. Anywhere. So receiving things and providing things has literally become a game, played most diversely and extensively by the digital marketing world.

Think about it. If you want to buy ice trays for your freezer, you might go to Amazon. If you want to buy a lamp, you might go to Overstock. If you want to buy, well, anything, you most definitely go to Google. 

All the things that we could possibly want are available to us at any time. At least in most first world countries.

What does this have to do with setting yourself up for a million dollar day?

Everything.

Only two things are going to make you stand apart from the noise of such an instant gratification driven culture.

And those two things are: YOU and the WAY you do what you do.

In the movie Across the Universe there is a moment and a quote that has been coming to mind a lot lately:

“Surely it’s not what you do but it’s the way that you do it.”

As an entrepreneur in this world, your success does not equal your client list, your bank account or the size of your house. These are all subject to change. Constantly. Your success is and always will be most driven and measured by the YOU that you show up as. Success is in the way you conduct business. Is it your best? Are you proud of it?

closeup of a young man wearing a plaid shirt shows a chalkboard with the text be the best version of you written in it

The way you conduct your business will determine the people you positively impact. And the quality of work you exhibit. Day in and day out. 

You might be disagreeing with me right now, but hear me out:

My barefoot trimmer is a perfect example. My friend and I have our horses’ feet trimmed every six weeks, as they need proper care even though they do not wear traditional horseshoes.

Many trimmers out there would come, trim, collect their payment and leave.

Not our guy.

He drives his truck carefully onto the property so as not to blow a ton of dust up. He takes his time and greets our horses, assuring them of their safety and his good intentions. Then he asks how the horses have been moving, taking in everything we have to say and asking more questions if he needs to. Then he assesses the way their feet fall to the ground, looks for nicks and chips and hoof health and tells us how he thinks their feet look. And throughout all of this he stays hydrated and takes care of his body while he’s working.

He has respect for us, respect for the horses, and respect for himself enough to take great care in the way he does his job. And in doing so, he sets these horses up for success. And it’s all because of the way he does his work; with care and patience and honor.

And guess what? He’s got a long wait-list of clients, has started to turn away work and is cherry picking the people and horses he really enjoys working with. He has positioned himself where he could easily charge more, too, if he wanted. 

Is this sinking in? The way he does his work is what breeds him more success. And the way he does his work is with care.

So, let me ask you, are you setting your clients and customers up for success? 

More importantly… are you setting YOU up for success? This will directly impact the way you do things and whether or not the best version of you is even available that day. 

Therein brings us back to the five steps to your million dollar day. Because if you set yourself up for success and take care of you, the way you do everything will be impacted. And by default your quality will be your best, you will set yourself apart from others in your industry and you will attract the kind of work you truly want. … And a million will be just the beginning. 

This isn’t to say it’ll be easy. But it most certainly can be simple.

Focus on these five steps and you’re setting a foundation of respect, care and personal authority that will go a very long way.

These are intended to be the very first steps of your day because the mind is in it’s most malleable state in the first few minutes of the day. Think of the following like 5 hacks into living your most successful life possible! 

 

1 – Got to bed early and wake up early.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted to have said: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. 

He is also quoted as saying: “The early morning has gold in its mouth.”

You’ve been hearing this since you were a kid.

Woman stretching in bed after wake up, back view

Get your sleep. Your body will thank you. And it’s true. Take enough care to sleep 7-9 hours through the night (again, depending on what YOUR body needs). This not only revitalizes you physically but also mentally. You’re more alert, quicker to problem solve and much more capable of making rock solid business decisions with a well-rested brain.

I’ve discovered through working from home that I prefer to wake up early and get my top priorities done early on in the day. I’m faster and happier when I do so. 

Grinding happens, too. And there are the inevitable late nights that sneak in. But that’s okay! Take naps. Find out just how much sleep your body and brain need to work optimally and consistently get it. 

 

2 – Make your bed.

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” – US Navy Admiral, William H. McCraven

While this may seem like a menial task…you’d be dumbfounded by the number of struggling entrepreneurs I come across that do not make their bed!

Why make your bed when you’re just going to get back in it later that night?

Making your bed, as simple as it may be, still requires discipline. You wake up to your alarm clock, your mind starts racing about your exciting day ahead, you slip out of bed and off you go. And then there’s some of us that actually stay in bed and just pull out the laptop. 

Dude. GET UP!

Actually getting up and making your bed sets the tone for your entire day. It’s the easiest way to start off with a ‘win’. How do you expect to pull off multi-million dollar deals if you can’t even find time to make your bed?! 

And finally… if all else fails and your day goes awry, at least you have a nice, neat and cozy bed to go to sleep in, preparing yourself for the next day’s adventures.

 

3 – Finish your day on paper first.

You’ve slept well, made the bed and now you’re at your desk. Or wherever you prefer to work. This next step is critical: map the day.

The great Jim Rohn said, “Don’t start your day until you have finished it on paper first.”

Meaning, you should know, in detail, what your day looks like from start to finish; what you will accomplish and what your priorities are.

Cute little girl wearing business dress and writing blank appointment schedule. Office background.Putting it all down on paper (or whiteboard or chalkboard or whatever works for you) and scheduling the day accordingly gets your brain to identify its priorities, and keeps those specific neuro-pathways firing and reminding you all day long. You’re now aware of what you need to do and therefore much more likely to do it.

Not to mention, if you get derailed by an emergency meeting or project, you’re not surprised or thrown off your game. You can on the fly ask for help, re-work your priorities and effectively communicate about those priorities with colleagues and clients.

Success begins with a plan. This does NOT mean that that plan is the only path to success, or that you will even end up following that particular path at all… but it most definitely starts with it.

 

4 – Fill your cup.

There’s an image floating around Instagram right now that says: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” – Unknown

This could not be more true for me. And I bet you can relate.

If I don’t do something every day that nurtures me, my day falls apart. Truthfully, for me, it may not happen first thing in the morning, but so long as I can see it in the schedule (AND have blocked it off so no one can try to book me during that time), I’m good. I’ve learned this about myself.

Ideally, many will want to do it first thing in the morning; read a book, journal, workout or make a super delicious smoothie. It could be as simple as making a cup of ice cold, lemon water. SOMETHING. Anything to nurture yourself.

My point is this: find the activities that work for you. And if you can, do them early in your day. Your vibe, the vibe of your business and the success of the rest of your day depend on it. When you are full and feeling good, you’re brain and body are ‘ready.’ 

 

5 – Reach out to your network.

I love this quote:

“If your business comes from relationships, relationships should be your business.” – Doug Ales

Do not forget to nurture your network, talk to your colleagues and always be meeting people.

This doesn’t mean you have to go to your local grocery store and introduce yourself to everyone there. This really means: asking for help when you’re stumped, sharing a success with a colleague that will appreciate your win, sending out a free resource to your mailing list, saying thanks to a teammate that followed through on that project for you, giving kudos to those you see really kicking butt in your niche, making introductions between people you think could contribute to each other or sending work to a friend when your workload is full.  

Communicate. Connect. And contribute!

Be generous with your connections. Feed them, build them, talk to them and share with them.

“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” – Keith Ferrazzi

Find ways to be in touch and do it often. And do it early in the day. It will add fuel to your fire you didn’t even know was missing.

 

And there you have it.

Five steps… not particularly easy, but most definitely simple ways to set yourself up for that million dollar day. 

I wonder what time you’ll get to bed tonight? Who you will talk to and what kind of nurturing activity you’ll do? Please comment below if you’re feeling inspired!

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25

08,2016

The Only Real ‘Shortcut’ to Success You’ll Ever Need

The one shortcut to success you need to know…

“There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.” – Helen Keller

All of my mentors, some more financially successful than others and some more spiritually advanced than others, all have one, major common thread: they all took the long and winding road to where they are today.

No matter what anyone may tell you, there simply are NO shortcuts in life.

Not in relationships. Not in business. Not in health… Not in life!

Along the journey, I have seen many friends and colleagues chase money, get distracted by shiny object syndrome, compare themselves to others, and not listen to their intuition. Every time, never fail, they end up feeling lost, frustrated and unfulfilled.

From my experience, I believe we’re all on a journey – that begins long  before life and end long  after death. I believe there are way too many “coincidences” and “synchronicities” for birth to be the light switch “on” and death be “off.” We are here to learn, grow, explore and connect.

If we’re always so caught up in the destination and searching for shortcuts, are we devoting time to appreciate and enjoy the journey?

I saw an image the other day on Instagram that read “Faking it: How to seem like a better person without actually improving yourself.” Now, why in the world would anyone truly want that?

I understand that in the instant gratification society we live in today any methods to “fake it” and get something faster are super appealing. I also understand that “seeming like a better person” may sound great. But on a soulful level, is that really why we’re here? To deceive others and manipulate them to do things for us and buy things from us?

Growing up I had the fortune of being raised in a family with great morals, ethics, and values; honesty was our greatest ideal: was something we could never truly achieve but always stride towards.

Spellcheck just corrected “stride,” wanting me to use “strive”…I consciously used the word stride because it brings more meaning to the point of this article.

While strive means: to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something; and struggle or fight vigorously, stride means a long decisive step; and a step or stage in progress toward an aim.

The difference in these two words is a single letter but when used, subconsciously it can change everything for you.

How?

Simple: Most people “try” and “attempt” to reach their goals, while few actually “decide” and “commit” to achieve something. This could be as little as waking up early tomorrow morning to attend a 6am yoga class or as big as terraforming the next discovered habitable planet. Did you set your alarm but miss class? That’s you striving. Did you get to bed early, set your alarm and make it to class? That’s you striding.

When most people try, they face a challenge, give up and say “oh well, at least I tried.” While there is merit to trying your best and realizing you are not doing something properly, it is a whole other mindset to step into the game determined and committed to achieving a specific outcome.

The saying goes, “When the why is strong enough, the how becomes simple.” I am  I NOT implying that the how becomes as easy What I AM saying is that when your vision is so clear and strong, you proceed with an attitude of “I will not be denied! And I will conquer!”

Enter in the concept of shortcuts. Every successful entrepreneur, athlete, artist and any professional, got to where they are because they committed the necessary time, effort and devotion to mastering their craft. They did NOT take shortcuts.

Sure, LeBron James skipped college, jumping right to the NBA but that is because he was NBA ready! He proved this by averaging 21 points, 6 assists and 5.5 rebounds a game during his rookie year. This is a person that trains day in and day out, round the clock, all year long, to devote his life to the game of basketball. This mentality and level of commitment (and talent, of course) have won him 3 NBA titles, 4 MVP awards, 3 NBA Finals MVP awards, 2 Olympic golds, and NBA Rookie of the year. All of this was accomplished by taking the road less traveled. Even the most talented of individuals knows the value AND necessity of their efforts and level of commitment.

Let’s try another example. Have a look at a real estate developer. Any development project will face a number of challenges and can often exceed the projected timeline by 25-50%. If the developer wanted to make things happen quicker, he could certainly take shortcuts; skip waiting for the foundation to fully dry and settle, buy cheaper hardware, use fewer screws and wood, and cut corners just about every way you can imagine. However, what happens down the road? Three, six or 12 months later? The housing development begins to crumble and all of that work goes down the drain. And his reputation? Tarnished forever.

What the HECK does this have to do with digital marketing?

Imagine your business as that development. Is your merchant account set up properly? Are you polling your potential customers? Do you meet regularly with your team? Are you doing a full systems check once a month (at least)? Is your upsell page congruent with your tripwire page? Did you do your market research? Is your company mission clear?

Or are you taking short cuts?

Do you know where those shortcuts are leading you?

They are the fastest avenue to a headache, heartache and money loss that you have ever seen. Those are the only shortcuts they truly provide.

So many business owners make these mistake.

It is unfathomable for us to imagine our home builder taking shortcuts on our dream property, but for some reason, it’s become an entire industry to provide shortcuts to marketing campaigns. What this results in are a lot of online marketers who are lacking a core mission within their company and a sustainable online business.

This begs the question: what is YOUR goal?

Is it just about getting to the top or is it about growth and adventure along the way?

My message here is rather simple: life is not about the destination but the journey. ← That can be read in 2 seconds and undervalued for an entire lifetime. My goal is that you gain awareness of the choices you make and the actions you take. And of course, how it all relates back to your business.  

Next time you are faced with a fork in the road, one way leading to quick success and the other to long-term sustainable growth… which will you choose?

So, are you pouring your foundation or skimping on supplies? Are you training every day or assuming talent is enough? Are you investing in your future, your story and your journey? Or did you just download another shortcut manual?  Whatever you choose, choose wisely. There are no shortcuts.

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17

08,2016

6 Steps To Creating The Perfect Value Ladder

Now that we understand that the value ladder is on the rise, how it works and why it’s important for your business… it’s time to dive into our proven 6-step formula to crafting your PERFECT value ladder!

If you are going to build a list of raving fans, you need loyal customers. If you want a list of loyal customers, you need a strong following. And to have a strong following, you need to give that following and your business your ALL. What does your all look like? Consistent blogging, value-packed tripwires, problem-solving core offers, intimate coaching sessions, packed masterminds and an environment where your customers come first… THIS is you giving your all. 

Fortunately for you, we are giving away our proven 6-step formula so you can streamline how you provide your all and create the perfect value ladder. We have been using this strategy in-house for a few years now with dozens of our clients, generating millions in revenue and impacting countless lives with remarkable products and services.

With that said, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Step 1: Research your market

While there may be a multitude of ways to go about creating a value ladder, at D4Y we believe there is ONLY one way to begin it: market research! This is non-negotiable. If you want to create a successful online business or any business for that matter, it is imperative that you understand what is currently going on in your industry. This step alone could be broken down into three actions:


Action 1: You must know your competition! In today’s fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world, it’s extremely important to understand who the other players are that are vying for your dream customer’s attention.

Action 2: Once you have figured out who those players are, you will want to understand their strategies and tactics. This is what we call “reverse engineering.” Filtering through their content, advertisements, email campaigns and offers to gain more clarity on where your message, brand, and offers fit into the marketplace. 

Action 3: The third action to take, is to understand where and how to best connect with your customer. What websites are they visiting? What books are they reading? How much income are they achieving? What are some of their goals? Challenges? Where do they live? Do they own or rent their home? You get the point… but essentially, the internet (especially Facebook) allows for us to narrow down our client to any degree we like!

Unfortunately, we have seen many business owners and entrepreneurs who have decided to forego this step and their market research. There is a saying that goes something like: “you can pay the price with your time or your money, but you must pay the price.” These individuals end up wasting so much of both their time and money in what doesn’t work because they neglected to invest some time to see what is working. 

If you haven’t received the point already, let me make it clear for you… do the work, because there are NO shortcuts!

Step 2: Establish your core offer

Once you have, and NOT until you have completed your market research, it’s time to define what your core offer is. Your core offer is the main product or service you are selling. This is the time to get super clear on what products or services you are offering. 

For a life or health coach this service may be one-on-one coaching; for a real estate broker this might be buying/selling a home, and for an online personal trainer, this could be a 12-week digital training program with workout and nutritional guides.

Many times, businesses (and individual entrepreneurs) attempt to be all things to everyone. Often times this leads to selling nothing to anyone. Why? Because you become a master at nothing and provider of everything. The key here is to clearly define your target customer and proceed, making sure your offer delivers great value to your specific audience and solve a specific problem or fill a specific need.

A confused consumer buys nothing. So, before moving forward, be sure your core offer is clear and valuable to the chosen audience.

Step 3: Splinter down to create a tripwire

Now that your core offer is established, and you can deliver some of your highest value to the masses, it’s time to create a tripwire. A tripwire? Yep! A tripwire is a small, irresistible offer that converts a prospect into a customer. Tripwires typically are priced between $3 and $20. There are many possibilities for how to structure your tripwire offer but essentially, you want to splinter off a small piece of your core offer and design it to be a stand-alone product. Splintering off allows you to easily lead to your core offer because you are establishing yourself as having relevant, useable value to offer someone.

The goal of a tripwire is to loosen the wallet of a prospect and entice them into joining your following even closer with a low barrier to entry. This sounds shady, but it’s just psychology. Once someone has invested a little bit with you, they’re more likely to invest more. This small investment (tripwire) can be in the form of a book, (usually a Free + Shipping offer where the book is free but the customer pays for the shipping), or access to a small piece of content from their core offer (a chapter of the book or a module from your course), or a “first time” discount offer ($15 first-time massage) to get your client “in the door.”

No matter what way you slice it, this is a pivotal point in your value ladder because it’s like your potential customer has just agreed to go on a date with you; the relationship between you and them has now changed forever. 

One last piece of advice… make this tripwire offer HIGHLY valuable! It is really the first taste that your customers have of what they receive when they invest their hard-earned money with you. 

Do it right; tell some great stories, don’t skimp on dessert… that date (I mean tripwire!) is your one and only chance at a first impression. 

Step 4: Splinter down, again, to create a lead magnet

So, you’ve done your homework with your market research, established your core offer, splintered down to your tripwire and now it’s time to reel in the prospects with your lead magnet! A lead magnet is a FREE offer to use as bait to draw the prospect in and experience your value ladder. In digital marketing, the goal is to give away something free to your potential audience in exchange for their email address. It’s a bit like getting that phone number from the person you really would love to go out on a date with. They give you their digits and boom. You’ve instantly established mutual interest in one and other. This lead magnet sets the stage for everything else. And you never know, they might just want your core offer.

A few examples of lead magnets could be a free report, an ebook, an infographic, a free 15-minute consultation or anything else that may suit your niche. See, the point here is NOT to sell them immediately, but to intrigue them to come closer and see what you are all about. Let the reader learn that YOU are the expert; let them hear (or rather, read in most cases) first hand what it is that you know and establish that you know what you’re doing and simultaneously develop some rapport.

Once they have consumed your free content, you can begin to communicate with them in a different way. This next level of communication is the beginning the engagement part of the relationship where you can lead them from the lead magnet, into purchasing a tripwire offer or upsell them to a higher value product or service rather quickly.

In other words, you had that awkward conversation where you get their phone number (lead magnet opt-in page). Then you started texting back and forth (the email series and communication that follows from that lead magnet download page). From here the next step is to just ask them out on a date (show them the tripwire offer). How much more likely are they to say yes now that you’ve been chatting it up? TONS. This is exactly what the lead magnet sets the stage for; a smooth and natural transition into a someone purchasing the tripwire.

Pro tip: Don’t let the importance of the sale ever come before the value you are offering. A lead magnet is used to captivate a reader’s (or watcher’s or listener’) attention, give them some free content. But just because it’s free, does not mean you skimp on the good stuff. In addition to capturing their attention, it should also begin to alleviate the pain or offer solutions to whatever problem they are experiencing. And this has to be valuable to help! So, make it count.

Whatever format you decide is best to package your lead magnet in, be sure it delivers immediate value or you will quickly turn that prospect away from ever growing into a follower!

Did I make my point? I definitely found a few different ways to say it but to sum it up: lead magnets are always free AND valuable!

Step 5: Add a profit maximizer

The core offer is where many business owners stop and it’s also where they leave a ton of money on the table. A true professional will focus on the backend=, while the amateurs focus on the front. What’s the difference? The front end of your business is what people can readily see: your lead magnet, trip-wire and core offer. The backend is what happens after someone has gotten this far; you didn’t really think you would just sell them something one time and the process would be over, did you? No! This person, who has bought your core offer, is now vested in you and your business. They don’t even know it, but they’re interested in more. So why wouldn’t you offer more? That’s the backend part of the funnel, at least in this metaphor. 😉 

You can certainly make a comfortable living if you create the front end properly, but the real winnings come when you deliver the highest value product or service on the back end, increasing your LTV: lifetime value of a customer.

A profit maximizer usually is designed as a mastermind, intimate group workshop, more personalized time or even a bundled offer of your core products. As you can see, it often involves more of YOUR personal time (or more of your products), meaning people are willing to pay a premium for it!

Living in an instant gratification world, it is easy to be enticed by the quick cash from selling tripwires and core offers. However, that will only take you so far… and are you really in business for a few bucks or to positively impact the lives of everyone who comes in contact with your brand?

Your profit maximizer goes that next level. It offers you the chance to sell to your core offer purchasers again… and again. You begin to develop loyal followers here, capable of organically referring you more business, spreading the word about what you’re doing and more. 

Step 6: Build value – did I mention that?

As you may have noticed, the value ladder can be both intimidating and inspiring. At D4Y, we like to think of it as empowering. There are so many business owners out there who have NO IDEA how to sell online, where to begin or even the importance of the value ladder.

The value ladder gives you, the business owner, a chance to scale your products and services, reach a greater audience and impact more people, all the while allowing for less time IN your business and more time ON it.

On the other hand, it creates a safe place for the customer to find your content, connect with you and create a form of trust, and gradually invest more and more depending on how committed they are to achieving the outcome they seek.

The biggest key in a value ladder, no matter what yours looks like, is that each step of the ladder builds 10 times more value for the next step. This is how it is relatively easy and automated to turn a “cold prospect” into a high value, a raving customer in 30 days or less! Isn’t that exciting? 

But let me repeat once more: ADD VALUE. Of course, the sale is exciting! But the whole thing falls apart without this element; value.

You can’t skimp on value. Period. It’s most likely the main reason you are in business in the first place; to provide a service or product that can aid or improve SOMETHING. Getting people to understand the capacity your business has in changing their life (whether it’s with dog food, business knowledge or something else entirely), all starts with your ability to communicate value.

I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you! Comment below and tell us about your experience building a value ladder. Did this get you excited to map it out? Do you want to re-create your current one entirely? We want to know!

Grab the infographic that outlines all six of these steps, just click here.

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11

08,2016

Rise of The Value Ladder

Out on the World Wide Web, there have been some MAJOR breakthroughs over the last few years in favor of business owners.

The biggest innovation all business owners need to be aware of (outside of the massive changes that social networking has ignited) is the birth of the automated sales funnel…aka ‘the value ladder.’

Why should EVERY business owner know about this?

Let me ask you… Do you wish your business was creating more money while simultaneously requiring less of your time?

Do you want to automate your sales process?

Do you wish you were sharing your message and offers with more people around the world? And growing the number of people that were aware of your business… daily? If not hourly?

Do you wish you were doing more to scale your impact to the world?

Do you wish you could use the information you knew about your customers to target the right people with the right message, at the right time… in the right place… with total ease?

Okay, I think I’ve made my point. A value ladder does ALL of this. Or rather, it can, as long as you set it up to do so!

So how do you do that?

There is a sea of tools available to you. However, if you don’t consider yourself “tech-friendly” creating a value ladder can become a huge headache.

Which brings me to the one and only con.

While some basic value ladders may only require one or two software applications to run, others can get quite complex. In layman’s terms: some of this stuff can become pretty “techy.” So, if you already struggle online, I strongly consider hiring a digital marketer/developer that understands what they’re doing. They can help show you the way, or implement the value ladder for you.

Are you getting this? I can’t make this up: the pros to a value ladder are endless, if not a NECESSITY for online business owners, (as well as many brick and mortar businesses out there!) The only con is that you may have to hire a professional to help you capitalize and profit on the shifts taking place across the web.

Another version of what I’ve just told you is: vegetables can improve your health, but you have to either buy them or grow them in your backyard. Pick one and the sky’s your limit; the value ladder can change your business as you know it, give you more freedom and increase your profit… but you have to do your homework or get some help…

Ready to eat some spinach and grow some biceps? Keep reading…

See, most businesses who operate online host a flat website; visitors land on their page, and when they aren’t directed to take any sort of action they leave without giving their email, obtaining any real value and even worse – they’ve not spent a dime! This is a business owner’s nightmare. This is like someone stumbling into your store to buy some coffee but leaving because there’s no one to take their money. Without even leaving you their email or phone number to find out how much your coffee might cost. They’ve lost interest. Meanwhile, you’re in the back stocking bags of coffee to sell and wondering why no one is buying it. 

Bored technicianNow, we all know what a standard boring website looks like: too much blank space in the wrong places, some ugly distracting color scheme, way too much text (that we never read), maybe some tabs on top sending us everywhere and nowhere all at once and occasionally… hidden somewhere on the home page… a magical box for us to type our precious email address into so they can send us their wildly uneventful monthly newsletters that we won’t ever read. That may have been a run-on sentence but I made my point, right?

Let’s agree to NEVER be the owners of those websites again, okay? Thanks.

With all this talk about internet marketing, automated income, sales funnels, value ladders, webinars, lead magnets, tripwires, upsells, down-sells… it’s enough to make your head spin! At D4Y Brand Builder we understand how confusing it can be just deciding where to start. 

That said, let’s get to the good stuff; your value ladder.

A value ladder, simply put, is a process that takes your leads, and eventual customers, through a step by step process. They most likely start as contacts you acquire from cold traffic and your value ladder moves them through that process to become customers that are regularly buying high-ticket items and are raving fans. The key is to deliver a higher quality of value every step the client takes along the value ladder.

It’s important you understand the way it looks in real life, so let me describe a recent situation I experienced where a personal trainer took me from Facebook friend all the way to raving client in a matter of weeks:

About a year ago I noticed I had packed on an extra 15-20 pounds since college, and I was pretty committed to losing them. A day or two later, I saw a friend of a friend of mine post a blog article on her Facebook about losing 20 pounds in 30 days.. I thought: Give me that NOW, please!

The next week, I was on her blog again and noticed an ad of hers for a free video series about an at-home exercise routine she’d created. All I had to do was enter my email address and the video series would be mine. Seeing this tipped me over the edge. I wanted that information. It was possible to lose weight and exercise from home? I was in!

After entering my email I received a 5-day automated email sequence. On the last day, there was an offer for a FREE 15-minute consultation… sweet! I signed up and a few days later we talked about my health goals and what I was/wasn’t willing to do in order to achieve these goals.

Based on our discussion, she suggested that I do a 16-week challenge to shed some fat and build lean muscle mass. Since 80% of our health is based on nutrition, she first offered to customize my meal plans for 16 weeks.

Our conversation continued and we got to talk about what it REALLY takes to have more muscle, something I also wanted. While eating healthy would be great and continuing my yoga routine would help, I was serious about gaining muscle. She then offered me a personalized exercise plan for 16 weeks that would expedite the process. This 15-minute free consultation had turned me into a customer. I was sold! 

I was all excited about my new plan, but before we got off the phone I told her I was worried about staying committed throughout the process on my own. She said this was normal and understood where I was coming from, so she offered me one-on-one coaching calls each week throughout my 16-week transformation. 

Amazing… I was ready to go!

So let’s back up here, back to that moment I stumbled onto her site. I was, looking at some free information about losing weight and I ended up spending well over $1500 and hiring a coach who would customize my workouts, design my meal plan and hold my hand throughout the process.

Now THAT is the power of a well-structured value ladder!

I learned about her expertise with some free content; her blog. She then brought me closer to something we call a lead magnet, and in this case, it was her free 5-day workout video series. It can also be a video blog, free ebook, free report, case study, webinar, etc. The point is to educate your audience that YOU are an expert in your field and you can help them reach their goals.

Once a lead is captured, the goal is to move them into making a small purchase and loosen their wallet – this wallet-loosening item is called a tripwire. This is usually a low-cost offer anywhere from $5-20 in the form of a book (sometimes free plus shipping), an ebook, a sample or small course where they can get a taste of your core offer.

There is a saying: “it is a lot easier to keep a customer than to acquire a new one” and 5 times cheaper, too! The way to do this, again and again, is to treat your customers like gold; provide them with great products and service so they keep coming back for more!

After they have taken the first major step and been converted into to a customer, it’s time to up the ante.

This next offer should be reserved for customers that are excited about you and your content and have shown that they are willing to invest in your offerings. 

This is where your core offer comes into play. A core offer is usually between $497-997 and is about 10 times more valuable as the tripwire or any mid-range product they purchased. The core offer should be a course, one-on-one coaching, an event or something along those lines.

For some business owners, the core offer will be the end of the road… meaning the end of the customer’s lifetime value. For others, this is where the profit margin really starts to grow. 

Cue the profit maximizer!

Depending on your niche, the profit maximizer can be a mastermind program, higher level coaching offer, paid live workshop or even a bundled package of your products/services. This is called the profit maximizer because your profit margin on these deliverables is often very large! You already have the customer and over their course of going through your funnel, have more than covered your cost to acquire them.

And THAT is your value ladder…the most simple, effective and profitable way to structure your business!

The best thing about a value ladder? It works for practically ANY business! Chiropractors, dentists, nutrition companies, technology companies, personal development leaders, etc.

If this is all still new to you, be sure and pick up our MODERN INTERNET MARKETING LINGO 1.0 infographic which will surely help you decipher some of this tech-lingo.

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3

08,2016

[Step 5] The Truth of Building A Successful Online Business

Okay, so you’ve made it through the first four steps that will lead you to building a successful online business! Those 4 pieces to the puzzle, alone, can make you plenty of money… enough for you to quit your job and devote yourself full-time to your online business.

However, the game really changes with this fifth and final step. If you’re “in it to win it” and want the big bucks that will pay you for many years to come, let’s move right into the goodies!

Step #5 of starting your online business…

Keep building your list and selling value them!

When someone gives you their email address because they want your value-packed freebie… they are now on your prospective client list. When someone purchases something, you want to put them onto a customer list.

Treat these lists with love and discernment, they are worth their weight in gold.

Over time, these lists can and will make you more money than anything else if you treat it appropriately. That’s why you want to build an email list of customers… because if you treat them right and help them get what they want… they’ll help you reach a six-figure income and beyond.

Do not, and I repeat, do not send junk to this list… treat them like gold.  Send them incredible, life-changing information… and do so often.

Occasionally you can then recommend other products of yours or even affiliate products. NEVER offer them something just to make money. If they have been loyal enough to you and stay on your list, the least you could do is screen what you send them.

A good rule of thumb is to never recommend a product or service that you yourself wouldn’t or haven’t used. This way they know you have their best interest in mind. This goes a long way.

You can start by selling an ebook… then maybe webinars, DVDs, courses, coaching, seminars, other programs, there really is no shortage of stuff. If you have a good product and you treat your list well by helping them achieve their goals, they’ll continue to buy from you.

Over time, if you do nothing else but create value-packed products to continually sell to your growing customer list… you have the makings of a six-figure annual income.

While you’re continuing to grow your customer list, you should also continue growing your prospect list… those people who you’re trying to attract with your free stuff. You’ll always want to promote your freebies… and build a list of as many prospective clients as possible. The goal of any business is to have more leads than time…fill that pipeline!

Then, once they buy, they get put onto your customer list… which is 100 times more valuable.  That’s because it’s SO much easier to sell to an existing customer.

Action item here?

Go and scale! Keep bringing in new leads with your free offers, turn them into raving clients, rinse and repeat!

So there you have it. These 5 truths will help you start a successful business online.

Find a group of people with a major problem.  Then create a product or service that offers a solution to that problem.  Next, create a lead magnet that draws them in. Give them the freebie in exchange for an email address. Once you have their email address, then the fun begins! Create a sales presentation that entices them to invest in your full product or service.

Finally, build a list of customers who you can continuously engage with and market to again and again, selling relevant, valuable products.

It really doesn’t have to be any more difficult than that.

Hopefully you see that the entire process of building your list and making money online can be broken down into simple parts, together forming a system that can be repeated over and over again.

My wish for you is to apply these 5 steps diligently into your online business, create an impact for people out there that are searching for answers and live the life you’ve always dreamed!

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20

07,2016

[Step 4] The Truth of Building A Successful Online Business

Welcome back! So far we’re moving right along. We’ve covered finding your target market, creating a product and creating a lead magnet to lead to that product so that we can build a list. We’ve even covered your sales presentation to get people to subscribe and buy. If you missed any of these, check out the previous blog posts in this series of how to build your most successful online business.

Next step? You need to get people to SEE your freebies.

Step #4 of starting your online business: Promoting your content and lead magnets anyway you can!

A squeeze page, sales page, or any page on your site, without traffic is like a restaurant in the desert… no one will see it.

With so many ways to generate traffic these days, actually driving consistent traffic is one place where most marketers drop the ball. They just can’t seem to find enough people to give their free lead magnet to!

This is important because the only way to make a lot of money online is by creating lots of traffic. How can people buy from you if they do not see you?

That traffic should be created with the purpose of getting people on your list. If you don’t focus on this, you better hope you are selling a high-ticket product or service and making your focus the delivery of that. If that’s not your goal, you will want to make driving and optimizing traffic a primary action within your business. 

Your list, when cultivated well, will often be a HUGE income generator and your most profitable long term asset. How can a list of people opting into a free lead magnet become your most profitable asset? You must think about the lifetime value of a customer on your list… not just the initial sale.

I’ll say that again because it is UBER important! You must think about the lifetime value of a customer on your list…not just the initial sale.

In all honesty, you may not make a ton of money on the first sale, but over time, if you continue to engage with your list and present them with value and irresistible offers, it will really add up. What does traffic have to do with this? Let me explain once more: 

The more traffic you run to your free content and lead magnets; the more people opt onto your list; the more opportunities you have to offer these people value; the more opportunities you have to offer these people irresistible offers; the more likely they are to buy from you… and then to keep buying.

A well nurtured, engaged list of 10,000 people can be like having your own ATM that gives you $5,000 to $10,000 and beyond, any time you want! 

Here is a key point: One of the most important parts to creating a successful online business is building a list of customers who want to keep hearing from you and buy from you. Too many marketers create a product, build a website and then sit back and wait. And wait, and wait. And wonder why they’re not making any money.

You must actively promote your lead magnet and free content (and offers) any way you can. There’s no use having a valuable freebie if no one’s going to see it. You need to work hard at promoting your free offer and building your list… do NOT expect people to find you haphazardly.

The only way for people to see your offer and join your list is to generate traffic. I know I am repeating myself but I want you to really get it!

How can you generate traffic? Gald you asked! You can use tools such as Google Adwords, Facebook and about a dozen more traffic sources to grow your list faster. 

Your entire goal is to build a list of responsive prospects who WANT to hear from you and become customers. The way to build a responsive is to offer up valuable information, products, and services… and then promote them as much as possible. There is no short cut to what I just said; you have to promote; you have to drive traffic.

With the right content and enough traffic, you can get your list to buy from you, again and again… which over time, will build the foundation of a six-figure online business.

Now that we’ve talked about putting eyeballs on your offer…
Go out there, create some ads and drive some traffic!

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14

07,2016

[Step 3] The Truth of Building A Successful Online Business

So, now that we have identified our target market (those specific people whose problem you can solve) and created a value-packed lead magnet to use to draw our prospective clients in (that thing that begins to solve their problem), it’s time to put these prospective clients in front of some profitable offers!

Step #3 of starting your online business: Create a site that PROVES you can solve their big problem!

Now, once you have your target market, created a product or service that will solve their big problem, and you have a killer lead magnet to give away… you need to create a persuasive sales page or webinar on your site that PROVES you can solve their problem.

You can do this with a well-crafted sales letter or webinar. This is really nothing more than a presentation that gives prospects more information, content, and reasons why they should buy your product. It’s what you use to persuade the reader to buy. 

After all, you have to PROVE to people that your product can and will help them. There is so much noise in the crowded marketplace today making it vital that you stand out from your competition.

Your sales page or webinar is what does this. Once they’ve received your lead magnet, you’ll want to drive them to your sales page or webinar at some point in the funnel.

You can have a written sales letter, video sales letter, or webinar to do your selling. No matter the method, you must be persuasive enough to get people to open up their wallets and part with their hard earned money.

Again, they have a problem… you have the solution. The strongest way to show them how their life will improve when they use your product is to paint a clear picture for them using testimonials and case studies.

Think of your sales letter or webinar as your 24/7 sales person… but instead of them going door to door, talking to one person at a time… your sales pitch is written down on your site. This allows you to scale your message and speak to a larger crowd.

You want to speak to your market’s pain points in which you are offering solutions. The deeper you dig with hitting their pain points, the more emotional they will be in purchasing your solution.

It all comes down to showing the prospect you have their best interest at heart… that you really want to help them get what they want.

One of the best ways to reach their heart is by showing testimonial videos from real clients who have had success with your products or services. This creates relatability for the prospective client which will often allow them to relax and feel comfortable that you are the right answer for them.

No matter who lands on your site… they’ll be thinking “how does this site content or information help ease my frustrations or solve my problems?” In other words, what’s the specific and measurable benefit you offer to someone that lands on your site?

Again, this is why you want to find the BIGGEST problems and focus your presentation on those… since they’re in the “search mode” for solutions to their problem.  People are already motivated to solve their issues if they’re online looking for solutions… so you have to show them that YOU are the one who can help them.

People don’t buy products… they buy solutions. People don’t buy fertilizer… they buy a green lawn. They don’t buy a drill… they buy a hole in the wall. They don’t buy a diet… they buy fitting into that old bathing suit.  So focus on catching their attention with the problem… and then using the sales letter or webinar to PROVE you have the solution.

Bottom line, here is where to go from here…

Craft a well-written sales letter, video or webinar and make sure the message matches exactly what your market wants. This is the part that will really loosen their wallets, so make sure you don’t take any shortcuts here!

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6

07,2016

[Step 2] The Truth of Building A Successful Online Business

What does fishing have to do with your online business? And how is it going to eliminate hard selling and help you create a list of people that are literally begging to purchase form you? Keep reading.

As I mentioned last week, creating an online business can feel more like falling down a rabbit hole. There is certainly no shortage of courses, programs and content out there, but what I have found is a shortage of proven systems…which lead me to creating this blog series. You can read Step 1 here if you missed it.

Now that we have covered the first true step in creating a successful online business, finding a problem that people want to solve urgently, it’s time to move onto step number two.

Step #2 to starting your online business: Find the perfect bait. Why? Because now that you’ve found the market you want to sell your product or service in, you have to attract your customers. Set your bait and go fishing!

What do you use when you go fishing? Worms! Works are the perfect bait, or as we say in the internet marketing world: lead magnet. These lead magnets attract the fish; your potential customers. The only way to attract lots of potential customers is to make sure that your bait is geared toward your target market. How do you do that? You have to use bait that they’re interested in.

Lead magnets (your bait) are typically offered at no cost. Your goal is to create a valuable, enticing freebie. Most often these are in the form of a report, ebook, download, webinar, etc. These lead magnets are pieces of content that offer a taste of the solution to a problem that these potential customers face. Fish have the obvious problem of wanting to eat so they can keep alive. That worm is therefore their perfect lead magnet. Unfortunately for that fish, the fun stops there. Most funnels go on to entice the potential customer further, but we’ll save that step for another day.

Back to that juicy lead magnet you’ve got dangling. The idea is that in return for the freebie you are giving your now highly interested (and hungry) potential customer, they provide their email address. Once you capture this information they become a prospective client in your funnel. Win-win; they get the worm/lead-magnet and you get their contact information.

When you give away a free tip, technique or solution that people can use instantly, they will want to hear from you more. This is because a lead magnet that speaks to your target market translates to you attracting potential customers that will WANT to join your list and buy from you. A lead magnet that speaks to your target market will be in alignment with a problem they need solved. Mix this solution with the value that you believe in providing as a business owner and this lead magnet will position you and your business so that you never have to “hard sell” anyone. 

Based on your market’s biggest problems you will want to create something valuable to give away for free… like a collection of helpful tips or a series of mistakes to avoid.

Give people an actionable item that is a taste of the solution to solving their problem. Give them something that is so helpful your prospects WANT to hear more.

Presto!

This is how you start building your list of hungry prospects who will buy from you, over and over again.

It all starts here… with choosing the right market and offering up something valuable for free, so they want to keep hearing from you.  

Once they want to hear from you and are on your emailing list, you can keep in touch with them and increase the chances of them buying repeatedly from you.

Again, selling is nothing more than helping people solve a problem they are motivated to solve.

So, if you offer great value for free upfront, and help enough people get what they want, they will start chasing after you. Now THAT is one financially strong position to be in!

When you’re offering solutions to problems that you know and understand, you will be seen as someone who cares and has people’s best interests at heart. And hopefully, this is true! You will be unlike other marketers who simply try to sell first. This is key.

A lot of entrepreneurs miss out on the opportunity to build responsive, engaged lists of potential customers because they never create a lead magnet that will help someone immediately. Many believe they should charge for their knowledge from the very start. This is a mistake. You certainly don’t need to share everything you know for free, but offering up valuable nuggets, (i.e. lead magnets), that begin to solve pain points that your potential clients and customers are facing, introduces you as a generous and potentially helpful expert in your market.

Go to Costco on any given Saturday and you’ll usually find workers giving demonstrations and offering free food in the aisles. These are lead magnets in a very basic form. These samples are demonstrating value before the you have to risk any money. And let’s be honest, it works! We all are full by the time we leave the store and have a few more things in our cart than we intended on getting.

Your lead magnet is like your own personal demonstration. You’re giving away something someone can use right away to get a result, while simultaneously learning more about you and your brand. You’re demonstrating your knowledge and proving that you can indeed help them. That’s when they want to join your list and hear from you more.

Once you build your list, not only can you keep in touch with your potential customers, but if you do it right… you can continue offering products to them on the back end.

You can make repeat sales with them by continuously offering them valuable information they can use to get what they want. Then, you can soft sell other products as well… either ones that you created or ones you may offer as an affiliate. The possibilities just keep growing. 

Rote Taste: Free DownloadAfter the lead magnet, you have the opportunity to lead a potential customer into upgrading and becoming a customer. You can offer them a full length program, course, product or maybe even a specific service; whatever it is that comes next in your sales funnel.

Your customer list soon becomes your biggest money making asset because you’re able to keep offering value to your list; giving them tips, techniques, and content they can use.

When you have people searching YOU out instead of you having to chase people down… life gets easier and so does generating automatic money from your online business.

Trust me… if you want to make more money, stop trying to make more money. It sounds counter-intuitive but re-focusing on your efforts to provide more people what they want through your lead magnets truly works. Share what you know with your market!

Someone once told me, “Focus on the numbers and you will lose sight of the vision, focus on the vision and the numbers will come.” I have built all of my businesses with this philosophy and I wouldn’t ever do it another way!

So, here is your next task… 

Offer life-changing, incredibly valuable information in your lead magnet and share with your already defined target market… this will get people WANTING to hear from you.

Take this pivotal step and watch more people join your list. This directly translates into money in your pocket when your funnel is up and running. More to come on that in Step 3! 

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1

07,2016

[Step 1] The Truth of Building A Successful Online Business

Over the next five weeks I am going to reveal the five secrets to building successful online businesses. These are secrets I’ve used myself and seen work for others. No B.S. I am no guru, but I do know what works. And this week’s secret is simple, easy to apply to ANY business and effective almost immediately… 

The problem with most “guru” business courses and programs out there is that they don’t tell you the truth about what it takes to start a REAL, successful online business.

That’s right… they flat out lie to you and try to tell you there’s a magic solution to making money online… a magic button that once you press, money starts flowing in.

What’s worse… they continue to string you along and have you believe that if you keep investing somewhere between  $29.95 and  $97 per month, each and every month… sooner or later you’ll know the secrets of really making it online.

But don’t you see what they’re doing?  They’re just stringing you along, with a ton of other people, mostly because they believe the more people they swindle into paying each month, the more money they’ll make each month.

These constant lies are what keep you from taking action towards the REAL steps that actually lead you to start a successful business online.

Well, I’m sick and tired of seeing all the lies floating around.  I’m here right now for the sole purpose of teaching you the real truth about making money online… giving you the steps I’ve used to create very successful online businesses.

See, over the course of my career, I have realized that people don’t want more content and more value, they simply want more results! And THAT is the secret. Get them in, get them out and get them on their way to creating results.

Realize that the possible standstill your online business has experienced up until this point is not necessarily your fault. These so called gurus and experts are peddling their hyped up programs filled with great content but they are missing one major key…structure. It is this simple fact that causes your results to stay the same, all the while separating you from your hard earned money.

THIS is the real reason you’ve had trouble making money online. All the clutter of information out there confuses most people. What business owners want is a blueprint, a system, a proven process that can take them from vision to fruition.

If you learn anything from this post, please learn this: If you keep buying into the $7 e-books that promise you the world, and you keep buying into the programs that sound too good to be true… you’ll end up frustrated, confused, and deeper in debt.

Business strategy plan over ladder leading to successI can’t stand the idea of you continuing to merry-go-round around your own success… which is why I’m here right now;  GIVING you the proven steps to building your business online.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be revealing these EXACT steps which I have personally learned and used to helped my businesses grow thousands of percent.

Success is the best revenge, so let’s get right to it.

Step #1 of starting your online business: You must sell products and services to people who are ACTIVELY looking to buy!

I’ve learned that the true secret to making money online is: finding and helping a large number of people solve an urgent problem.

If they have problems to solve or desires that are unfulfilled… these people are likely to buy anything that answers their prayers.

You can’t make money online unless someone buys something… be it a product or service.  Who is most likely to buy something from you, you ask? Well, someone who is urgently looking to solve a problem.

In the society we live in, consumers have become accustomed to “instant gratification,” and that cliche “quick fix”. We see it everywhere: Lose 20 pounds in 30 days….Fix your marriage with this ONE thing….Make $10,000 your first month….etc.

People want results, but more than ever, they want results NOW!

A spotlight illuminates bright, gold "SOLUTION" on a dark background of "PROBLEM"sThat is why you want to find a group of people who have a problem. The more desperate this market is for solutions, the better your chances are of selling to them… and at a premium!

A few weeks ago, I was at a mastermind where I met an acupuncturist from Texas. He told me that he found a formula that has allowed him to assist over 1200 female patients conceive, whereas before they found him, they had tried the proverbial “everything in the book.”

The fact that his results and testimonies were so strong meant that people were flocking to him. Getting pregnant wasn’t something women wanted a few years out, they wanted it immediately. So, what did that mean for him? These clients were willing to pay him a premium to solve their fertility problems immediately!

The key to creating a profitable online business (any business for that matter) is finding markets where people are currently spending money, then standing in front of them with a BETTER offer so they buy YOUR product or service.

If someone wants to lose weight, chances are they’re desperate and actively searching for a solution. If you have back pain and you’re sick and tired of living in discomfort, wouldn’t you highly consider buying a magic pill that can help you get rid of that back pain?

The idea is to STOP focusing on trying to make money. Focus on delivering a solution to a market in-need and develop a well-crafted message to gain their attention.

Following this path is the most convenient, low hassle way to making money and building a large list of people who want to hear from you.

This is why products in the wealth creation, employment, weight loss, and dating markets will always sell; these are markets where people want to fix those areas of their lives immediately.

Those who are unemployed want to find a job. People who are overweight want to lose weight. Adults who are single want to date and people who are broke want money.

If there’s no problem or huge desire, there’s usually no sale. The more painful the problem, the bigger the opportunity for you to create a successful product or service.

People don’t buy products or services. They buy solutions.

Business man drawing target with chalkPeople don’t want a mortgage, they want a home. College students don’t want loans, they want a degree.

Don’t sell. Solve.

If you can provide the solution (mortgage, loans, etc.) that will streamline someone’s path to their desired outcome, and you create a win-win situation! 

So, here is your action step, or secret if you will:

Find large problems that people have… then create a product or service that solves it. Building a large list of loyal customers who will keep sending you money, over and over again, is easy when you do that.

 

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24

06,2016

4 Ways An Online Business Will Change Your Life

Other than the fact that it’s 2016 and we are living in the most digitally connected age in human history, there are 4 major ways why an online business will completely change your life…TODAY!

Entrepreneurs are a unique breed who are consistently looking for and creating change in the way we live our lives.

With every new platform comes an entirely new world of opportunity. The computer allowed for faster computing and automating processing. The internet created a place for sharing ideas and messages globally and within minutes. Applications have empowered creators to build their ideas into fruition (which there is now an app for). And Facebook opened up a new world of connecting people and targeted advertising campaigns.

If you are an entrepreneur, an employee or simply someone that is looking for a new adventure, here are 4 major ways your entire life is going to change and why you need to pour a glass of water, pull out your laptop, and begin building your online business.

 

1. Freedom to work from anywhere.

Let’s talk first about the coveted “millionaire internet entrepreneur” lifestyle.

While it is easy to get consumed by the flash, bling and bang of those handful of internet entrepreneur rockstars that CRUSH it, we often don’t see the story behind the glory. These experts, while paving the way for the masses of future online business owners, pour their heart out mastering their craft for years and years before reaching the top.

2016-06-04_1510The breakthroughs these pioneers experience, now allow for the common man, with some inspiration, valuable content and a laptop, to hop online and create a business from scratch in 48 hours or less.

The dream of living that plane, train and automobile lifestyle of traveling the world and living large may not be a day away but it certainly is an idea away. There isn’t much quite like the ability to turn an idea into an automated, money-making machine from the comfort of your backyard hammock.

The good thing about building an online business, is that while you may grow into a 7, 8 or even 9-figure business at some point, technology allows for you to run it from anywhere in the world. You never again have to sacrifice a precious moment with your family. 

Let’s be honest, the other reason you entered into the unchartered waters of entrepreneurship is because you wanted to fire your boss. I can say with certainty that is what did it for me.

Working long hours, being told what to do and even worse, how to do it, just to get slim pickings of an already thin pie, is not what most people’s “dream life” consists of.

Humans are social and creative beings, we are meant to explore, experience and exchange with others. The vast world of owning an online business allows for just that.

If this resonates with you at all, read further. Just be prepared to earn your stripes as you go along the entrepreneurial path and don’t you EVER forget the reason why you got started.

 

2. You gain access to a global market.

Never before in the history of mankind has it been easier to connect and do business with people all over the world through the click of a button, (or blink of an eye for all you Android users out there). I think this section is rather self-explanatory but I’ll go ahead and dive deeper for the newbies.

With the tools to leverage like Google, Facebook and ClickFunnels (if you are not familiar with at least the first two, an online business probably isn’t for you), starting a business, driving traffic to your site, capturing leads and converting sales has never been a more streamlined process (so long as you have a funnel). 

These types of platforms allow us to zero-in on who our perfect avatar is, how to speak their language and even more importantly, where to find them on the world wide web.

The days of billboards, radio ads and postcard promotions are long behind us. People aren’t looking at your billboards on the highway anymore, they aren’t even looking the damn road! Studies show that 3 out of 5 drivers in the United States text and drive (don’t quote me on that and please stop texting and driving!). Also, please stop spending money on old, mainstream methods of advertising too, thanks.

World map connected.Social network concept.globalization business.

Just few years ago, a handful of big-box retailers owned the shopping marketplace. Now, because of what online businesses allow for, those stores are dropping like flies while companies like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba are skyrocketing.

The shift in the consumer’s mind to shop online more effectively, conveniently and often cheaper, has created a huge opportunity for internet entrepreneurs to capitalize on.

Anyway, as you begin your online business venture, be sure to build local and within your own community at first, but always think global! 

 

3. Low overhead and high margins.

About 10 years ago, most small-business owners never saw the benefits of having their own website. Obviously they didn’t have the foresight for what the internet was doing to people’s buying habits, which is a whole other story we can explore over coffee if you ever make it out to Orange County, California.

Websites were expensive, inefficient and consumers hadn’t truly opened their hearts and minds to buying online yet.

If you ask those same small-business owners today if they think a website is useful, I bet 9 out of 10 will tell you they don’t know what they would do without a website.

I can at least say for myself that if I look up a business on Yelp or Google and they don’t have a website, I don’t trust them and probably am not giving them my business.

Starting an online business today can be so inexpensive, literally costing you only a few hundred dollars. With all of the tools I discussed earlier, you no longer have to invest big bucks to create an operational, automated, scalable sales funnel.

At D4Y Brand Builder, and in many of our client’s companies, we use ClickFunnels to create straight forward, functional sales funnels. But definitely don’t take my word for it that it’s simple. You can grab a free month and check it out yourself here

One of the greatest advantages to having an online business is that you can leverage your time by using these kinds of simple, inexpensive applications.

Creating a product or e-course that can be sold online, allows you to tap into the world of doing business 24/7. You can be sleeping in Boston when a customer in China comes to your website and purchases a digital training course for $2000. BAM!

Making money in your sleep is the ultimate state of leverage! 

 

4. Scalability

2016-06-04_1511While high margins can be hard to come by in brick and mortar stores, an online business can create that scalable, recurring revenue you’ve always desired.

It doesn’t cost you much at all to create a good product that people want. It won’t cost you much to market it either, as we covered before. However, the return on your investment in creating something that will outlive you is immeasurable!

Another reason to think BIG when building your online business is the opportunity for unlimited income, meaning you won’t ever trade time for money again…music to an entrepreneur’s ears. You unequivocally will have to put in tons of hours and effort to create a legacy brand and product, but that should come from inspiration not desperation.

Finally, the best way to scale is to have a brand or product that goes viral. Do your research, create a product people want and need already, be creative in your delivery and let the cyber world take your business to new heights.

As you can see, you can start your online business with very little and for very little. Now is the time to cash in on that big idea you’ve always dreamed of bringing to life. Just be sure to have fun and do good for the world along the way.

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16

06,2016

12 Ways Joining a Mastermind Group is Going to Change Your Life

‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’

Have you heard this before? Think of the five people you spend the most time with. Now thing about your life and what it looks like and what you spend your time focused on.

Pretty accurate statement, right?

Ever felt like you’d hit a wall in your business and you weren’t quite sure how to overcome it? What if joining a mastermind could make problem solving AND growing your business 100x easier? JUST because you get to expand on those people you’re surrounding yourself with? I am here to tell you: it can.

This is why I join masterminds. I get to surround myself with passionate business owners, with all kinds of experiences, ideas and knowledge under their belts. And this is why the people I have met in the masterminds I am a part of have quite literally changed my life and business… and continue to do so today.

If you aren’t familiar with a Mastermind Group, then it is time that you are!

While many of today’s wealthiest online entrepreneurs are quick to say people like Jim Rohn or Napoleon Hill were the originators of Mastermind Groups, the truth is these groups have been around for a very long time. The group typically has a facilitator who determines what the group’s ground rules will look like; how the meetings will be carried out, where, how and when. 

“Mastermind Groups coordinate knowledge and the efforts of two or more people, who harmoniously are working towards the same project or outcome.”

Another way that you can think about this – your success and wealth depends on the people you hang around with.

What are YOU passionate about? Are the people you spend your time with helping you achieve your passion?

Way back in 1726, Ben Franklin started a Mastermind Group that today is famous. Franklin worked in his print shop from early morning to late at night, but Franklin found the time to organize a group called ‘The Junto,’ which met on Friday evenings to talk about politics, philosophy, morals, and business. Every week there were two questions that Ben Franklin asked the members of the group.

Who is thriving and why?

How can they be emulated?

These are two very smart questions even today.

They can be elaborated on further to:

What’s working in the industry?

Why does it work?

And how can you emulate THAT into your business?

Mastermind Groups let you make connections that you likely wouldn’t make any other way. You get to be with ‘like minded’ people and so often members of the group become endearing, supportive friends.

When you join a Mastermind Group you also get the opportunity to help others and give back.  This often snowballs into different members of the group, who all have different degrees of skills and experience, helping out one and other. The the focus is on sharing – and because of this everyone benefits. Many of these groups are for business owners that want to improve their business and who are serious about growing their business. Are you serious about growing yours?

The rewards from gathering in a Mastermind and meeting people who otherwise might not know, hear from or contribute to you is HUGE. But for the purposes of this blog post, I have whittled these rewards down to 12…

Leader at the center of the group with a great idea.Why You Should Join a Mastermind Group

1. To challenge yourself

Being a member of a Mastermind Group challenges you to grow your business. It is very easy to get side tracked in the day to day activity in your day to day activity. A Mastermind Group helps you to stay on track, learn, and grow. The simple energy you feel from being a part of a group can motivate you to move mountains. 

2. Create deep and lasting relationships

Being an entrepreneur can be lonely at times. It can be difficult to talk about what’s important to you with just anyone because they are not always on the same ‘page’ as you. A Mastermind Group gives the opportunity to share your aspirations, challenges, and dreams with other ‘like minded’ individuals, which means you won’t be nearly as lonely and you will build deep and lasting relationships with. Those middle of the night “oh my gosh, am I really going to be able to do this?” moments suddenly don’t have to be spent in turmoil. Your mastermind buddies are only a phone call, text or Facebook message away. 

3. Brainstorming

The very purpose of a Mastermind Group to get to share and receive new ideas. If you aren’t clear about what direction you should be heading take advantage of the collective powers of your Mastermind Group to get you on track. Not only that, but brainstorming for others can sometimes help YOU a great deal as well. While contributing to a fellow member you may get see and stimulate solutions and ideas for your own business that you otherwise may never have. 

4. Accountability

As each meeting comes to an end there will be objectives and an action plan for each member, which means you are accountable to the group just as all the other members are. This can help you to build the discipline necessary to create a successful business, something so many of us idealists, idea-ists and ‘head in the cloud’ types can struggle with!

5. Focus

The day to day operations of your business can be distracting. Often times we loose sight of the bigger picture, the reason we’re in business in the first place. Being a member of the Mastermind Group will help to keep you focus on that bigger picture – because that’s the reason you come together at all, to contribute to that passion and purpose. If you find that you are drifting or losing clarity, being a part of a group like that will help remind you of why you are in business. 

6. Feedback

Having the ability to receive feedback on business issues from other successful individuals can feel like a light in a often very dark tunnel. Whether you face financial challenges, inventory concerns, or staffing road blocks, the members of a Mastermind Group can help you solve your concerns. Those issues that you felt like you had to solve all on your own before are not so – you are encouraged in a Mastermind to ask for feedback and give it. No one is alone.

7. Support

I can’t say this enough. It’s a theme throughout all of these points. Owning and operating a business is not without its difficulties and challenges – employees, finances, inventories, legalities, and the list goes on and on – it can sometimes be overwhelming. The good news is that it is likely one or more of your Mastermind colleagues have experienced the same things that are coming up for you. And knowing what each other is going through and providing the feedback you need to get through something? Priceless. 

8. Growing confidence

When you make good decisions and you get feedback about these decisions from your colleagues in your Mastermind Group your confidence grows. Greater confidence within your group inspires everyone to perform better, take more changes and grow! Everyone benefits. 

9. Increasing profits

Many businesses inadvertently leave profits on the table. Actually, most businesses! One of the main functions of the group is to help you make sure you are taking advantage of every opportunity that surrounds you. Your fellow members can help point out areas where you could be moving more product or pricing differently to increase your business success. They all have different approaches to things and putting heads together makes new avenues for profit identifiable.

10. Collaborate and find new business partners

Business Group Meeting Discussion Strategy Working Concept

Masterminds create opportunity to work together.

Bottom line, the game is all about collaborating. It’s another common theme throughout this entire post. There may be someone in your group that would be a great fit for a project you have going. Perhaps you are the right person to help out another member. Perhaps you can exchange business? One member who is really great at managing their team but awful at social media may be able to help another member who has the social media efforts dialed in but feel stuck and can’t seem to manage their team effectively. Collaboratively the group works together to attain more together. 

11. Expand your skills

Everyone in a Mastermind Group has unique skills, experiences and connections. Everyone is expert at something and as you interact with each other you pick up new skills and talents all the time. The synergy of the group will create an atmosphere that’s very healthy for brainstorming and supporting each other with honesty and respect – where you get to learn and grow constantly. 

12. Helping Others

You will get a great deal of satisfaction from helping other business owners just as they will get a great deal of satisfaction helping you. None of the members are in the same stage of their life and their interests all differ –  so the contributions you receive from each other can quite literally change and improve the course of one’s life. Truly. I have experienced this myself.

For a Mastermind Group to be successful it must be built on integrity, trust, sharing, and confidentiality. You’ll notice this organically be created in a well nourished and well managed mastermind. These will become people who lift you up and propel your business to new heights. Being part of the right Mastermind Group will take you farther than you ever imagined.

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9

06,2016

7 Lessons from 7 Millionaire Mentors

Over the last 10 or so years, I have been fortunate enough to work for, with and alongside a handful of highly successful entrepreneurs, real estate investors and developers, business coaches and internet entrepreneurs. I have networked a lot, learned a ton and grown even more. When you follow around and spend quality time with successful people and leaders, you begin to notice patterns, often emulating them to expedite your road to success. Having had the opportunity to fetch coffee, travel the USA, share stages and sit in on influential meetings, I have gained substantial experience and knowledge along my journey. The following are 7 powerful lessons that I felt would be both relatable and practically applied by all.

 

1. Say “Hello” and connect

One of the greatest skills I believe every human being should develop, let alone entrepreneurs, is the art of connecting and networking via a simple “hello”. In a world where we are more socially connected than ever before, I feel that there is a rapid increase in those who are actually disconnected. People are Facebook “friends” but don’t say hi to each other when they pass by in the hallways at work. People “follow” others on Instagram but have no photos together of the memories they’ve shared. People “tweet” at celebrities on Twitter but won’t call their best friend to wish them success on their new business venture. People are “connected” on LinkedIn but will never refer business to each other. What’s the point of being so technologically connected if we feel so alone when we go to sleep?

We never know who we are sitting next to at a coffee shop, standing next to in an elevator or walking next to in an airport, which could all change with a simple “hello”. What if that person next to you in the coffee shop happens to be your future Wife’s brother? What if that person in the elevator is your future business’s investor? And, what if that person next to you in the airport is simply someone to tell you a joke and cheer you up on that day?

At one point in our lives, everyone close to us (besides our Mother), was a stranger. We took a chance, began to communicate, established a connection and the rest is history. I believe that everyone has their own philosophy about their social media avatars and online presence – hookup/date, sell something, buy something, simply connect and share memories, etc. When we have no agendas or motives as to why we say “hello”, we often find the simple, hidden pleasures of life, such as a smile, a handshake or maybe even your best new friend. From my experience, if we create a connection out of thin air with someone (pun intended),simply because synchronistically the universe has us on the same metal bird moving through the sky at 500 mph, flying from Los Angeles to Boston on a redeye at 9:35pm on a Tuesday night sitting next to each other, we feel more soulfully connected. In a world where we feel “naked” without our cell phones and “bored” if we have to wait 5 minutes for the bus with nothing to do, taking the time to say “hello” and connect with someone new, just might change your life. It has for me, and continues to do so, over and over again.

“Everyone communicates, few connect.” – John Maxwell

 

2. Always remain a student

The greatest mentors I have ever had are still students to this day; even if they have mastered their craft, dominated their industries, traveled the world and accumulated millions in riches. Along my journey, one of the keys to success I have discovered, is the idea of always remaining a student. A few years back at a Network Marketing convention,, I had the opportunity to chat with one of my role model leaders in the industry. I read his book, studied his videos and went to every event I could when I was in his area. He told me that as long as I remained a student throughout my life, I would continue to grow and succeed, because “when you ripe, you rot.” That one statement changed the way I look at and feel about remaining a student my whole life. Essentially, when you stop growing, you start dying.

When I started my yoga practice about 8 years ago after breaking my tailbone, I realized how much insight and wisdom I could learn from the ancient philosophies behind yoga. There is a calm, peaceful vibe that fills the air when you walk into a warm studio, which is usually followed by an empowering mantra delivered by the teacher, who is always still a life student. I had never heard the relationship between student and teacher put so eloquently until one day an instructor started class with, “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”

A great way remain a student in our day-to-day lives is to see every situation and each encounter with someone as a learning experience. What if all they did was provide you with one tip, one story or one formula that changes your life? While it may not come so naturally to all of us, it is certainly a lesson that will assist you in progressing in your life.

“When you ripe, you rotten.” – Ray Kroc

 

3. Be the quiet one in the room

Growing up, I was always the class clown which would get me in a bit of trouble…learning lessons, right? Fast forward to today, I often surround myself with people who are smarter and more experienced than me (another lesson later in this post), so I do my best to be quiet and listen. We often witness people trying to impress others by consistently making jokes, talking just to talk and rarely attempting to learn from others to improve themselves (if this is you, read on).

After sitting in quite a few meetings with my real estate mentor, I noticed that he rarely ever spoke and if he did, it was short and powerful. I asked him his reasoning to which he responded, “I always like to listen much more than I speak, this way I can hear everyone’s perspective, learn from them and then respond thoughtfully to add value to the conversation…We have 2 eyes, 2 ears and 1 mouth – this is so we observe 4 times as much as we speak.” So simple, yet so profound. At the young age of 21, I had never heard such sage advice. When I thought about it, it made total sense – I was a recent college grad surrounded by multi-millionaire real estate investors and developers, why would I be the one talking when I could be doing all the learning?!

Now when I attend masterminds, networking events and seminars, I am there to learn, take notes and meet people who can share wisdom and experience with me. This one tip has completely changed the way I think about learning from others and shifted my focus to talking less but saying more.

“The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless.”

 

4. Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you

They say that you become an average of the 5 people you spend the most time around, so I guess you should choose wisely! Up until 4 years ago, I always spent a lot of time with people that I considered “good friends” and would put myself in situations that were “comfortable”. When I began taking my entrepreneurial career more seriously, I started to notice that these “good friends” were not as close as I had once believed them to be. As a Network Marketing rookie, I didn’t really have a clue on how to build a successful business other than with a lot of excitement and telling all of my friends that they “had to” join me because we were “going to the moon!” Almost every single one of these “good friends” laughed and joked at me, telling me I was a part of a big “pyramid scheme” and that I was wasting my time, money and effort. It became a little uncomfortable for me to be with them as I was really starting to invest my time in my future and stray from the norm, like most entrepreneurs experience at some point or another.

As more and more friends began to doubt me, laugh at me and post hateful comments on my social media, I started to spend more time with fewer friends that had the same beliefs and vision as I did. Like my parents always taught me, go for quality over quantity! We all have a few different groups of friends, and it is important that we prioritize who we spend our most valuable commodity, time, with. Maybe those people we once saw a few times a week, we now see once or twice a month because you feel they don’t have your vision (which they probably don’t!). I quickly realized that the more time I spent with like-minded individuals, the more I was inspired and creating results in my business. Then I attended my first Network Marketing convention, 6,000+ other people that were all inspired to be learning, growing and chasing their dreams as I was! This is when it all changed for me. I was proud to be the bull that was leaving the herd of cows.

Looking back on that first year as a business owner, it certainly was not easy, but it set the pace for my future as a confident, successful, entrepreneur with a vision. I truly believe that one of the main purposes of life here on this planet is to learn and grow to new heights – doing so around people who only want to bring you down (because they are already below you) is not a small task. It is extremely crucial that if you are going to succeed, in any field, that you surround yourself with people who can take you higher and empower you to become the best version of YOU possible!

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – James Watson

 

5.Be honest

My parents taught me this one. In my opinion, honesty is not the best policy, it is the ONLY policy. I cannot think back to a time in my life where not telling the truth was the right decision. Honestly, I used to lie a lot. Why? Well, that’s a long story but here it is in a nutshell; as a class clown and rebel, I often found myself in trouble. I hated being in trouble so to avoid it, I would lie. Sometimes so deeply that I would forget to cover up all my tracks and my lies would get exposed – the absolute worst feeling.

As I grew older and matured, I began to realize that when you are dishonest, the only person that you are lying to, is yourself. I would get in binds, run late for work, not complete all my tasks and sometimes sleep in late, but I was always honest with my bosses and mentors that it was simply water under the bridge. Sometimes I would have to stay late to finish work or make up for lost time, but this was fair as I was learning the ropes of being a responsible adult. Although it may seem easier at times to lie and get away with something, the universe ALWAYS brings back to you what you put out. Living with that pit of lying in your stomach is so much heavier than the freedom that telling the truth will bring you.

I believe that our world has developed into a society of lies and cover-ups because we lack vulnerability. We are expected to be so perfect, that with all this pressure it creates an environment where we feel we must lie and cheat to retain this “perfect” image. It is unfortunate that children grow up today being told that vulnerability is a major weakness, when in reality, it is actually our greatest strength. When you are honest and vulnerable with those around you, you become open and can create a line of communication where people can see and feel the real you. If we live a life of honesty beginning with ourselves, we will spread love and honesty back unto this world, thereby creating a happier, healthier and more abundant planet!

“Honesty is an expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.” – Warren Buffett

 

6. Read, Read, Read

When I was young, my Father always used to make me read before doing any extracurriculars – soccer, TV, games, guitar, etc. He immigrated to the United States in his late 20’s and English is his second language. One of his biggest regrets is that he didn’t read as much as he could when he first came to the US so reading English is a slow and uncomfortable process for him. He didn’t care what I read – Sports Illustrated, mysteries, science, novels, he just wanted me to read so I would become a fast reader for my future education. I naturally rebelled because I didn’t see the value in it when it was standing in my way of doing things that were more fun. Later on, I would realize how much the simple pleasure of reading would profoundly impact my life. Interestingly enough, all of my mentors have been huge readers – some read a book a month while others absorb 3 a week!

It wasn’t until I was 21 and starting my first true business endeavor as an entrepreneur, that I really believed in the value of reading. Up until that point, I had always read for other people – school and my Father. I remember it like it was yesterday when I went to my first convention for Network Marketing and heard Darren Hardy speak. By that point, I had read Think and Grow Rich and a few other personal development books, but never really studied the information – in one eye, out the other. When Darren said on stage that the average millionaire in America reads 2-3 books a month, where the average American reads 1 book a year, I knew that reading was exactly what I required! I knew that I didn’t want to be like the general population, which I suppose is why we all are enthralled by entrepreneurship, but I really began to see the value as I dove deeper into the world of personal development and business books.

Enjoying watching myself grow and think differently, I began to consume book after book, that was the exciting part – I finally believed and saw the value in reading! As I worked my way through different internships, jobs and other business opportunities, I noticed that all of my mentors had one major trait in common – they all read, a lot. About 3 years ago, I began to create consistency in my reading schedule, I would read 30 minutes a day and sometimes even more. I became really content with staying home on weekend nights, making myself some dinner and diving into a great book. Reading taught me to be alone and enjoy it! Nowadays, I read for about an hour a day and whenever I am on the go or in the car, I try to listen to audiobooks, immersing myself in as much content as possible. I’d say i’m pretty obsessed with reading now!

“The first thing that reading teaches, is how to be alone.” – Jonathan Franzen

 

7. Have fun

Way too many times in my life I have had friends and family members tell me about how much money they make but how dead they feel. Life is not meant to be an on-switch, go to school, get good grades, get a good job, make some money, pay the bills, retire, go on a few vacations and then hit the off-switch. Life is meant to explore, experience and be full of excitement. Our current education system sets us up to go into the workplace and be an employee, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with! I feel the real problem is that there is so much pressure on young adults to get a job that will pay them the most rather than lead to their greatest happiness.

In my experience, we all work the best, are most productive and are highly creative when we are having fun. Of course there are going to be times in our lives, especially as entrepreneurs, that not 100% of what we are doing is the most soul fulfilling work, but that’s all a part of being a business owner. We all have areas that make us “tick”, that light us up and in which we lose track of time, often forgetting to eat or sleep – this is the area we should be working in! My advice is that each of us continue to pursue jobs, opportunities and experiences until we find our true passion where we feel the most alive and then find a way to monetize it (yes, we all require money to live in this world).

Lastly, I believe that a large part of having so much fun while “working” is surrounding yourself with people that empower you and embrace you! There is no better feeling than walking in (or calling in if you work from home) to your team meeting on Monday morning and being excited to kick off another week filled with growth and fun, doing what you love. One of my mentors told me that many years ago he left a job paying him $250k as the Senior Vice President in which he felt he had no life, no soul and barely got to see his family. He began a business in a niche which was his passion, taking him a few years to get off the ground, now taking home in a few million a year in profit. The point is NOT that you should go out and seek to make more money than you are making now, as money offers options – not happiness, but to find a job or opportunity that will lead you to feeling soulfully fulfilled every single day of your life!

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

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2

06,2016

8 Steps to Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy that Converts

We all know how hot social media is. Facebook reports more than 1.55 billion active users monthly. What’s happening is that marketers are finding themselves struggling for visibility and to be able to grab the attention of users who they consider to be in their target audience.

Even though there are more than a billion active Facebook users, it does not mean selling your product online is not as simple as promoting and selling. You are going to need to have a solid strategy!

Facebook has reduced the number of organic views your posts receive in the newsfeeds of those users that ‘like’ you. They have done this in an effort to increase their advertising dollars. Yes, you can still have a solid following that lets you market and promote your products and content with no charge to you, but unless you have a good strategy that will not happen.

Let’s face it. There are an incredible number of Facebook groups, pages, and marketers that you have to try to come out on top of. It’s difficult to be seen among the millions. You need to plan your moves out long before you make them if you have any hope of achieving your goal. This step by step guide will help you to create a social media marketing strategy that converts.

Step #1: Goal Identification

Whatever you goals are make sure they are realistic. Sure we’d all like to have 1 million Instagram followers but for most of us that’s not very realistic. Start to plan your social media strategy campaign make realistic goals. More realistic goals might be to grow your brand or to increase your sales using Facebook to promote your products. Those are very realistic goals.

When you define goals that are realistic, it makes them obtainable, which in turn helps to keep you motivated, and it gives your social media strategy a good place to start from.

Sure, you may one day get a million Facebook likes, but begin slowly and build – walk before you run!

Once you identify what your goals are, you can move to Step #2.

Step #2: Create Measurable Objectives

You need to have in place ways to measure the performance of your strategy. After all, if continue doing what you are doing and it’s not working then that’s a waste of time, effort, and sometimes money. If you can’t measure whether or not your strategy meets your objectives then you don’t know if you made a wise decision.

After you set your goal you need to be able to determine what you need to measure to determine whether you are successful. These are what business owners refer to key performance indicators.

There are a number of statistics to measure, like visitors, shares, followers, revenue, likes, etc. What you have to do in order to understand if you are heading towards your goal is to set objectives along the way.

Begin with simple objectives, such as get 50 shares for one post, grow followers by 100, or get 100 new likes. There are a number of options, but they are all easy to determine. If you want to generate traffic then measure the visitors that you gain from the social media accounts that you use.

One of the most popular tools for measuring objectives is Google Analytics. There are others, but Google Analytics is free and easy to use.

Step #3: Conduct a Social Media Audit

A social media audit will let you work out how well it is working with your social media accounts and the best way that you could improve things in the future. The easiest way to do your audit is to create a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet is an easy way to keep track of data from your audit and then later you can use it to compare the next audit you run. Hootsuite also offers a free template that you can use.

To start your audit, list all of your social media accounts you are currently using. Determine which channels are successful and which have not seen that success. Once you have the groundwork for your audit in place, you can begin to evaluate the various social media accounts, how well they are performing based on your goals and what you could do to improve your results.

Keep in mind that Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook each have a common user type that is easiest to reach on that particular platform. Take notice of these particular demographics and then align your goals for each platform based on where you can get maximum effect and efficiency. These demographics can easily be found online.

You need to identify your target audience from these demographics and then you need to adjust your social media marketing plan.

Step #4: Select Your Channels

It is impossible to reach everyone with all the platforms, and it is important that you do not spread yourself too thin. If your target audience does not use Instagram then don’t use it, or if only a few potential customers can be found on Twitter don’t use it. Maximize your benefits in the social media channels where you are going to get the maximum benefits.

Time is money, so don’t spend it on something that you will not see results or where you will see minimal results.

Step #5: Learn by Watching Others

There is a lot to learn by watching how others are handling their social media marketing, good or bad.

Avoid the mistakes that others have made, and find influencers in your own niche who have figured it out and then learn from them. After all, if they can be successful, so can you. Also keep a close eye on your competition, as they are more than likely on social media too. You can learn from your competition as well. Keep them close so you know what they are up to.

Keep a list of your competition and what their campaigns look like, what moves they are making, how they were able to execute these moves, etc.

Step #6: Decide What Your Content Will Be and Create Your Editorial Calendar

You must have a well thought out content plan for your social media campaign(s). In fact, it is key to establishing your brand identity. There needs to be a consistency across all the social media channels you are going to use. For example if tweet out hilarious pictures of your dog on Twitter, but on Facebook you are professional in both tone and voice, your audience is going to be confused and uncertain about your brand.

You can stay on track by creating your content plan along with your editorial calendar. This will also help you maintain your brand identity. There are different times for you to post with people living in various time zones and acting differently throughout their day. It’s important for you to know these and take advantage of them.

For example, according to BuildingSocialProof.com:

– Facebook peak time – 1pm – 4pm
– Twitter peak time – 1pm – 3pm
– Google+ peak time – 9am – 11am
– Instagram peak time – 7am – 9am and 5pm – 6pm

Step #7: Test, Analyze, & Adjust

You are not going to create the perfect plan first time round – nobody does. That’s why you need to track your strategies, and then analyze what you find, and adjust accordingly. When you react to your social media marketing campaign, adjust, and test, you will have the ability to achieve significant improvements in performance with minimal work.

Step #8: Keep Your Audience Engaged by Automating Your Marketing

You want some help running your campaign(s) and while you can hire someone to do it, your best option is to implement the right automation tools. You can save a bundle of money, keep your audience engaged, and reduce the time it takes to do that. There are a number of tools available that will allow you to automate your marketing. Do your research and find the one that feels like it’s a good fit for you.

Those individuals that you reach with your social media marketing are all potential customers, so always treat them well, including on social media. Keep them engaged, and answer their questions promptly.

You are Ready!

By implementing these 8 steps, you are as ready as anyone to make your social media campaign successful.

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24

04,2015

How You Can Write 7 Blog Post a Week While Running Your Company

How You Can Write 7 Blog Post a Week While Running Your Company
Here’s some food for thought – You are never going to succeed at content marketing if you cannot find the time to regularly create content. In a nutshell, what this means is that you need to learn how you can streamline your content creation – create 7 blogs a week and still run your company.
Here’s the good news – It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. I’m going to share how I created a content creation process that works very well, while still running my company. I’m going to share how you can write 7 blog posts each and every week, and post them all through the week. Let’s get started.

Business List

Step 1 – Start by Generating a List of Possible Topics You Can Use
The very first thing you need to do is to take some time to find topics that you want to write on. If you aren’t quite sure what topics you want to write on, find successful blogs that are in your genre and see what type of content they are using and keep that in mind when you are thinking up your topics.
There are a few ways you can find blogs in your niche. You can search by keywords in Google or other search engines, you can open the highest social share posts; but one of the most popular tools is a site called “Quick Sprout Make Better Content.” You put in the URL of your competitor’s blog and the site will create a list of results for you with titles and sorted by highest shares.
You can then have a look at the blog posts and get to work. You now know what’s drawing the most interest. You can take what the competition has written read that was popular and doing well, and create your own content based on that. Read their blog post, take the information you’ve read and create your own version of that content. Sometimes one post has so much information that you can get more than one new blog post out of the material you have written.
Step 2 – It is Time to Create Your Outline
Once you know what you are going to write on, create an outline. The outline should contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It’s time for you to create your introduction as well as your conclusion. While not everyone uses this method, I recommend it because it gives you a frame to write within. Remember, you can edit and tweak these later. Let’s briefly look at the three parts.

  • Introduction – Your introduction is no more than a couple of paragraphs. It is designed to tell your readers what they will learn by reading your post. It needs to be captivating and persuasive so that your readers stick around to read the entire post.
  • Body – In this step you are just going to make a list of three or four main points that you are going to cover in the article.
  • Conclusion – This is a summary of what your reader has learned in the article with a closing that brings your article to an end.
    Time limit: Limit the time you spend creating your outline to no more than thirty minutes. If you find it’s taking you longer than that, then the topics you are choosing aren’t ones that you have adequate knowledge in.

writing a post

Step 3 – Write
You have your outline in place, now it’s time to begin to write your post.
You will find blogs and articles that tell you to spin the title and spin the content to quickly get new content within a few minutes, but I’m warning you that doing so can get you into a world of hurt with the search engines, especially Google. If they discover you have duplicate content they will likely penalize your site and that will affect your rankings in the search engines. In addition, your customers are looking for unique and interesting content. The only reason you are looking at the competition is to find out what’s popular and to save yourself some research time by reading what they’ve written.
When you are writing your article, keep a few things in mind:
Create a conversation – In your article use words that engage your reader. ‘You’ is an excellent word to draw your reader in. Remember you want to create a solid conversation that will have your reader hooked, wanting to read the entire article.
Use solid data – Writing opinions is good, it has a place in writing, but including facts is much better. As you make points throughout your article, refer to stats that back what you are saying. If you do this you are going to generate more traffic to your blog/site.
If you want sophistication in your writing, write simply – Forget the big words that readers that make you sound smart and sophisticated. All they do is frustrate many of your readers. If you want to be sophisticated the best thing you can do is writer using simple language. In fact, the experts say you should keep you your message at a 5th grader level. When you write simple it is much easier to convey your message.
No more than 1500 words – It’s easy to get carried away and find yourself with this wonderful article that’s maybe 2000+ words packed with all kinds of great information. While the search engines might love more content, the trouble is your readers have short attention spans, and experts have found that that your readers are more likely to read shorter content. You want to engage readers so you need to meet them where they are at.
When you write your draft and your thoughts are flowing, don’t worry about fixing errors, because when you try to correct things while you are writing it stops the flow of thoughts. Instead, after you are done, you will be re-reading your article and that’s when you edit, correct errors, and make changes.
If you are going to add any pictures now is the time to do so. Remember, pictures are copyrighted so you can’t just grab any picture from online. Use your own photos, buy photos online, or pay a subscription to one of the services that provide you with hundreds even thousands of images you can use.
Step 4 – It Is Time to Schedule
Schedule your posts where you are going to print them, whether that’s your blog, your website, or one of the article banks. Set up a schedule that you will use each week. There is tons of research online that has figured out when the best time to post is. Of course, it depends to where you are posting. Have a look at this research and make use of it to maximize your traffic flow to your post.
Conclusion
Streamlining your content creation process isn’t actually all that difficult. Start by deciding how many times a week you want to publish your content and stick to it. Writing 7 posts a week means you can have new content every day of the week.
You should always have a dozen or so extra posts kicking around. Write these when you have a few extra minutes. Perhaps, when the writing of one of your posts goes easy, use the left over time you have available to write another post. You want these backup posts because there are going to be times when things don’t work out and you don’t have time to write the necessary post.
Something that works well for me, is to put aside two evenings to write all off my articles for the week. It allows me to get into the mood for writing and keep my momentum going. One last thing – as a business owner you are busy!! Likely real busy! So one very simple option for you to have the 7 articles you need every week is simply to hire a qualified freelance writer.

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