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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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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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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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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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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