Archive for ‘Business Building’
Information marketing is a wonderful business model. It can be quite lucrative as a standalone business. You can also incorporate it into an existing business model for more profits and credibility. However, sometimes taking that leap from idea to e-book can be quite a challenge. Here are a few ideas to get your idea turned into an e-book reality.
- Get someone else to write it. No, we’re not talking about hiring a ghostwriter, though that’s certainly an option. Some of the best e-books are actually collections of articles written by industry experts.For example, if you have a website devoted to dog training and want to write an e-book about training your dog unusual tricks, you could ask ten animal trainers to each contribute their favorite trick to the book. Each dog trainer would get exposure for their business in the book and you’d get a complete, and quite valuable, e-book to sell. You didn’t have to write a single word!
- Break it down. Sometimes the hurdle between book idea and actual product is a feeling of being overwhelmed. There’s an easy way around that challenge. Break your main topic into ten to twenty supporting topics. It may be easier to pose them as questions.For example, an e-book on sales techniques might have the following supporting points or chapters:
- What are the benefits of better selling?
- How do listening skills play a role in increased sales?
- How important is relationship building?
- Should I network for more sales?
- Each of these supporting chapters can then be divided even more into ten or more supporting points. Thus, for a ten chapter book you end up with 100 smaller, almost article size, topics to address. It makes writing a book much more manageable.
- Turn to audio. Some people just don’t have the time or the inclination to write a book, but still want the results. No problem. You can create an audio file instead. There are actually two ways to approach this. You can interview people on your topic, have the interviews transcribed, edited and polished. Then compile them into an e-book format.
Or you can simply speak your book and then have someone transcribe it and edit and polish it into an e-book. For some, it’s easier to flesh out their ideas if they’re talking. If this is you, consider recording your book instead of putting fingers to keyboard. Additionally, there is software like Dragon Naturally Speaking that will transcribe your audio for you. This saves you the cost of a transcriptionist, though you may still want to hire someone to edit and polish your book.
Finally, though we did mention it in the beginning, if you do have an idea for an e-book but don’t have the time or inclination to turn it into a reality, then consider hiring a ghostwriter. Look for one who is experienced with writing books. Discuss your needs and work together to turn your idea into e-book profits.
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Business/Life Balance – so important!
It seems many of us live a life of extremes. If we’re relaxing, then we’re doing absolutely nothing. And if we’re working, we’re at it so intently that we’re completely stressed out. Wouldn’t it be nice if every day was a healthy balance of work and play? If you could work without regret and play the same way? Good news – you can. It takes time, patience and a commitment. However, finding a healthy business/life balance is completely possible.
- Track the data. This may sound a bit retentive; however it’s tough to know where you can make changes if you don’t have accurate information. Simply track how many hours each day you’re working and how many hours each day you’re spending on fun, friends, family and yourself.
Note: if you’re cleaning the kitchen or picking kids up from school, that’s a third category. Somewhere between work and pleasure. Track that information too.
- Assess your happiness and that of the people around you. Realistically, take a good look inside. How are you feeling about your business and personal life? Are you happy? Satisfied? Fulfilled? Now, take a look at your friends and family. Do they feel they’re getting enough of your attention and time? Do they make comments about the fact that you’re always working? Do they seem to resent the time you spend on your business? If so, chances are there’s an imbalance here.
- Now that you have both the data and your emotions and family’s emotions recorded, it’s much easier to see where you can make changes. You can see where you’re spending more of your time and you can see how it’s affecting you and your friends and family. Now comes the tough part – making changes and sticking to them.
Look at the possibilities and your resources. If you’re working from 9-9 seven days a week, is it because you have to? Or are your time-management measures not holding up? Can you outsource? Can you create more focused work times? Can you schedule time for yourself? Can you schedule time for your friends and family? Scheduling it sounds a bit strange; however, when you set aside time to spend on your personal life, it forces you to manage your time a bit better.
- Become a better organizer. One of the best ways to find and maintain a healthy business and life balance is to become a skilled expert in the field of time management. Create lists, prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important, high impact activity first.
- Learn to let go. It takes practice but it is possible to focus on what you’re doing right now and to let go of the fear, guilt and stress related to what you think you should be doing. Once you can accomplish that, you’re better able to produce and to enjoy the moment. When you’re with your family, be with them. Don’t think about what you should be doing for your business and vice versa.
You control your life.
You’ve created a fantastic business and you deserve the best of both worlds. You can have it. It takes a plan, commitment and an honest look at reality. If you’re living an unbalanced life, make changes. Live the life you want. It’s all in your control.
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Developing self-motivation is something you may not have thought about before you started to work from home. Most work and life structures have been set up to provide motivation from an outside source.
For example, if you work at a job outside the home, instant motivation would be provided by the fact that you are working in a monitored environment where there is not much other to do than work. And so you work.
When you go to school, instant motivation is provided by a teacher who checks to make sure you have done your assignments.
But when you work from home, you don’t have an instant motivation source on tap. In fact, if you have your own business, it may be time to learn a whole new set of skills you haven’t used previously.
The good news is that self-motivation can be learned. It’s not something that will come naturally to all of us, but with a little work and time you can develop it. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Be strict with yourself. Set a work schedule which means when you sit down to work you are working. Be firm with yourself and don’t get distracted by any other activities. If it helps, set a timer to ring once your work time is finished. It’s also important to try and work at the same time each day so that you can form a work pattern where both your body and mind are prepared to work.
- Finish one thing before moving on. Ideas and creativity are the fun part of running a business but the other more mundane tasks need to get done as well. If you start a new project, see it through and don’t stray from it. Avoid the lure to move on to another more exciting project. This can lead to you taking on too many things at one time and not completing anything to its full potential.
- Know what you want. It’s difficult to develop self-motivation and direction if you’re unsure about what you’re working towards. The first step for any business should be to write out a clear business plan and goal plan on paper. This is your new business map and will serve to keep you on course and moving in the right direction.
- Reward yourself. It’s easy to let our smaller achievements go unnoticed. But keep in mind that starting a running a business is a big achievement on its own. Take a little time to reward yourself for a job well done. If you finish a big project, treat yourself a meal out or that new book you’ve been looking forward to.
Small rewards can lead to increased motivation by giving us something to look forward to and strive towards.
If you’re lacking a little direction or self-motivation, don’t beat yourself up. Take comfort in the fact that it may not be something you’ve had the chance to develop previously. And use the tips above to start instilling a pattern of motivation in your mind.
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Offline Marketing is Important too!
There’s no doubt that offline businesses can benefit from online marketing. However, did you know that online businesses can benefit from offline marketing too? The trick to maximizing both is to integrate them into one cohesive marketing strategy. Here’s how:
What are your goals for each? What do you want to accomplish? There are a number of goals you might consider. They include but are not limited to:
- Driving traffic
- Increasing awareness
- Strengthening brand
- Building your opt-in list
- Boosting credibility and authority
- Attracting partnerships and affiliates
- And of course selling products or services – increasing sales
What tactic(s) will help you reach your goals? Offline you have a number of tactics at your disposal. They include but are not limited to:
- Radio advertisements
- Television ads
- Print ads
- Media spots – radio or television interviews
- Press releases
- Publicity – events
- Direct mail
- Yellow pages ads
And of course online you have a wealth of tactics to choose from as well, including:
- Email marketing
- Article marketing
- Social networking
- PPC advertisements
- Banner and text ads
Integrating your online and offline marketing is where the real challenge and opportunity begins. Before you implement any tactic, explore how you might integrate the two for maximum effect. Create a comprehensive strategy to accomplish it. For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website, you could offer a free report. You might market this report by:
- Radio or printed ad
- PPC (pay per click) ad
- Social media exposure
Launch the campaign. Here’s where you’re really going to need to pay attention and where integration can be effective. There are three keys to successful marketing integration. They are to launch your campaigns:
Simultaneously – Launch your radio and print ad at the same time you launch your PPC ads. This way you’re capitalizing on momentum. You’re also in control of how long the promotion lasts and you’re being consistent.
Complimentary – Make sure the campaigns complement each other. Continuing with the same example, your radio and television advertisements are going to be driving traffic to your website for your free report, just like your PPC advertisement. You want to make sure your offline and online marketing tactics support the same goals and each other.
Consistently – Consistency is important. Your marketing tactics are designed to promote your business, increase awareness and exposure and strengthen your brand. If they have a different voice, personality and approach, the inconsistencies will be noticed. Your prospect who hears your advertisement on the radio is expecting to find the same tone, personality and voice at your website and supporting marketing materials.
How will you track success? Often, offline marketing tactics are more difficult to track and test. However, if you have the same goals, then testing may be easier. For example, if your call to action in your radio and television advertisements sends people to a website, then you can track your traffic to that particular URL and analyze increases in traffic. Tracking success is an essential element of any marketing tactic or strategy, regardless of whether it’s online or off.
When creating your marketing strategy, take a look at where your prospects are and create tactics that reflect that. Most often, you’ll find that a little offline marketing works quite well to build your business, particularly when it’s integrated with your online tactics.
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Being a self-employed service provider is perhaps one of the most gratifying ways to earn a living. You make money helping people better their lives. If you have excellent planning, research and financial skills, one possible and potentially lucrative service-based business is to provide customized business plans. Here’s how:
- Write your own business plan. How are you going to market your business online and off? What is your business vision? Who is your audience? Are you going to specialize in a particular industry or offer broad-based services? Are you going to provide 100% of the work or will you outsource some of it to experts? What are your skills, strengths and weaknesses?
- Decide how you’re going to charge for your services. Will you charge a flat fee based on the predicted work required to create a custom plan for your client, or will you charge by the hour? Much of your work will be one-on-one with your clients going over their budget, their business model, their target audience and their goals.
From that point, you will need to work on your own to conduct market research and prepare the financial statements and projections. This can be a lot of work and depending on the client and their business industry and model, the hours you put into a project may vary. Additionally, if you specialize in an industry you may be able to retain some information, for example market research, from project to project, making your turn around time much faster and more efficient.
- Determine your target market. Are you going to cater to small business owners? Brick and mortar retailers or internet marketers? Are you going to help a business owner choose a business name and domain name? Are you going to help them register their business and obtain the proper licenses or are you going to stick to creating the business plan only? Are you going to prepare business plans for new businesses seeking funding?
According to the Small Business Association, a comprehensive business plan covers the following topics:
The Business, including a description of the business, marketing, competition, insurance and operating procedures.
Financial data including loan applications, balance sheets and projections, and a detailed budget, along with supporting documents which include licenses, resumes, lease agreements, and tax returns.
That means you’ll need to be proficient with financial analysis and documentation, adept at market research and completely organized and efficient. Because many business owners have a dream but do not know what is entailed in creating a comprehensive business plan, being a business plan service provider is a wonderful and potentially lucrative service to offer.
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Whether you work for yourself or have a boss, the stress from our work and business life can be overwhelming. Stress, chronic stress in particular, can also be severely detrimental to your health. Many illnesses and health problems are caused or worsened by stress. The good news is that exercise is a straightforward and great way to get rid of this stress. Here are three ways to relieve business stress with exercise and how to include exercise in your daily routine.
#1 Get outside and walk.
Walking accomplishes a number of things. It’s a great way to clear your head. You also receive heart health and lung health benefits from moving your body. And walking isn’t something you have to suit up for or join a gym for. It’s easy. Just lace up your shoes and get outside for 10, 20, 30 minutes or more. Exercise releases hormones, endorphins, into your body and brings about a sense of calm and focus.
#2 Get up and move your body at least once an hour.
Sitting actually causes your body and metabolism to slow down, which makes it more difficult to focus. Get up and move your body for a few minutes every hour to help separate yourself from your work and to help you focus, and it will help you reduce muscle tension which can increase due to stress.
#3 Exercise can also help you diffuse anger.
Have a co-worker, client or vendor that’s driving you mad? This kind of stress can build up in your shoulders, neck and even your internal organs. Fatigue, ulcers and a lower immune system can all be caused by stress. Getting regular exercise can help reduce frustration and diffuse anger.
The key to getting regular exercise is to find fitness programs or routines that you enjoy and that fit into your schedule. Walking is often an easy one and as we stated in #1, you don’t need special gear or a gym membership to walk. That being said, walking may not be something that excites you. Or maybe you live in a wet or cold area and walking outside isn’t enjoyable. Here are some other options to consider:
- Team sports like volleyball, soccer, or softball
- Weight lifting
If you’re unsure of the type of exercise that’s right for you, spend some time figuring it out. The process can be fun and it’ll help reduce that business stress while you’re at it. When deciding what works best for you, consider if you like to exercise alone or with others, find support or camaraderie to help motivate you and praise yourself for the effort. Exercise is fantastic for reducing business stress, but it also has numerous other benefits including weight loss, longer life and a better immune system.
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Viral marketing is one of the best marketing tools to grow your business. If it’s done correctly, you can go from obscure to what’s on everyone’s lips in just a few days. If you’re new to the term, viral marketing is essentially capturing your market with a tool that’s passed from person to person. YouTube is a perfect example of this as people love to share videos, especially funny or shocking ones. However, other products can be viral as well.
You can capture your market online with these viral marketing tools and tactics:
- eBooks (I have one coming soon, so watch for it!!)
- Workshops, seminars or online course
- Video or audio
In order to make these marketing tools viral you’ll need to make sure they accomplish a few things. Viral means that they’re passed from person to person and the more quickly items are passed, the bigger the market you’re able to capture. So let’s think about what makes someone pass along a bit of information. They’d forward it to a friend if it is:
Humor is a great way to capture a viral market online. People love to laugh and if you can make them laugh and market your business at the same time, you’re golden. Video is the easiest tool to capture an online audience with humor. Try creating a funny advertisement and posting it on YouTube.
Thought provoking and/or controversial.
Controversy can really get people talking. However, you must walk a fine line when going viral with a controversial book, report, video or other product because it can backfire. *I think people want you to be REAL but some people will always find something to complain about…
Regardless of the fact that there’s an abundance of information available online today, people still hold quality content in high value. If you can create an informative product, people will share it with others.
But how do you use a viral product to promote your business?
When using something like a video or audio, you can market your product or service directly in the content. You can also make sure to incorporate your company name and URL into the content.
The same holds true for any print product like an eBook or a report. Simply make sure that you include a link or two back to your website. You can also place an “about the author” type page inside your book and a separate page to promote your products and services. The choice on how you promote yourself is yours; just make sure to let people know where to go for more information.
To capture your online market with viral marketing you’ll also want to make sure your viral content is placed where your audience hangs out. Use social networking, advertising and PPC, article marketing and so on to draw attention to your viral product. Get the word out and then let your viral content do its job.
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The most important factor for making money has nothing to do with techniques or know-how. Your money mindset has a bigger influence on your finances than just about anything else in the world. This is why someone with no business experience and with less than $10 in their pocket can build a multi-million dollar business.
How do you develop a positive money mindset?
1. Money Isn’t Real – It’s an Expression of Value
If you study the minds of the most successful people in the world, one common understanding of money always comes up: “Money isn’t real.”
Donald Trump (no comment on this whole ‘presidential race’), in Art of the Deal, says “I’ve got more money than I’ll ever need – It’s not about the money. It’s about the art. Eventually, we all kick the bucket and none of it matters anyway.”
Felix Dennis, the man who founded Maxim Magazine, PC Magazine and many other successful publications, and is worth over $400 million dollars, is also a strong proponent that money isn’t real.
The most successful people in the world don’t focus on how to make money. Instead, they focus on how they can create value in the world.
What problems can you solve? Who can you help? How can you create value? Money is just a reflection of how many people you’ve helped and how many problems you’ve solved.
2. Act As If You’re Already Successful
“You need to be a millionaire before you can have a million dollars” — T Harv Ecker, Author of The Millionaire Mind.
Before your bank account can reflect your financial success, you need to already embody the characteristics of someone who is successful.
On a regular basis, put yourself in the shoes of your future, successful self. How would this person look, feel and think? What advice would your future self give you?
Every day, try to take on this future version of you more and more. Breathe like that person would, think like that person would, hold your body like that person would and do business like that person would.
3. Failure Is Setback – Your Success Is a Matter of Time
People who don’t succeed tend to have the mindset of starting ventures to see “if” they’ll succeed. Successful people don’t wonder if they’ll succeed; they already know it’s just a matter of time.
The question is not “if” but “when.”
Successful people regard any failure as a setback or a lesson to be learned from. There is no such thing as an irrecoverable mistake.
Incorporate these three things into your mindset. If you can really embody the creation of value while firmly holding yourself as someone who’s already successful and knowing that your success is just a matter of time, then your success is almost assured.
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Part of my goals for 2016 (yes, I am actually doing goals this year, something I have basically never done) is to stop making excuses and ‘JUST DO IT‘ (©nike). One of my main goals this year is to spend more time and energy ON my business instead of IN my business. This has been SAID a GAZILLION times but … like a lot of overused phrases, it has a lot of truth to it. You can’t continue to grow as a business without taking the time to water and feed your business, using a plant analogy.
Positive Thinking in Your Business
This all goes back to thinking and (again forgive this overused phrase) being present in your biz. Positive thinking is pretty important when it comes to your business and your life. Not saying that the SECRET is real or anything, but the fact is that negative tends to bring more negative and positive tends to send you to Disneyland – er, bring positive stuff to you. Plus, life is short, so don’t spend it in the gloomies.
To get to the point, your mindset has a direct effect on your success. It also strongly influences your enjoyment. When you think like a winner, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. Each day can be a fantastic day when you think like a winner. Here’s how:
#1 Create a pattern of success
One of the best ways to think like a winner is to create a pattern of success. This is accomplished by setting goals and consistently achieving them. There are many ways to set goals. To achieve them and create a pattern of success there is a proven method. Create a realistic but motivating goal. Create a series of smaller goals to help you achieve your big goal. Plan how you’re going to achieve each smaller goal.
For example, if your larger goal is to have $100,000 in sales this year, then one of your smaller goals may be to launch a product each quarter. Plan how you’re going to launch your product successfully. Create measurements to determine your success. As you achieve each smaller goal, you’re creating a pattern of success. As you become accustomed to succeeding you’ll naturally begin to feel, act and think like a winner – because you are one.
#2 Positive affirmations
We all struggle with limiting beliefs and doubts. However, to think like a winner you need to think positively. Turn your fears, limiting beliefs and doubts into positive affirmations. For example, “I am no good with money” can become “I am in control of my financial future. I am capable of success.” Repeat the affirmation each time doubt creeps into your thoughts. Make a habit of repeating the positive affirmation regularly. Make it part of your inner dialogue. Soon you’ll begin to believe and act like it’s true.
#3 Surround yourself with supporters
Make sure your friends, family and associates are of like minds. It’s wholly unhelpful to give your attention to naysayers. Believe you can accomplish anything and surround yourself with people who feel the same. Positive and enthusiastic people are powerful. Their passion is contagious. When you surround yourself with these people you really can accomplish anything.
Finally, accept that some days are going to be more difficult than others. Instead of fighting these days or time periods, experience them with an open mind. Embrace them as learning moments and persevere. Winners aren’t people who never fail or struggle. Winners are people who persevere.
Set goals, maintain a positive mindset and create a strong support network. You are a winner. Always remember that.