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Archive | April, 2019

Top Online Business Questions & Answers

I get a lot of questions about how to build a business online. Here’a some of the top questions and answers to help you get your own online business started and profitable.

TopOnline Business Questions & Answers

Q. I keep hearing that I’ve got to get people to know me, like me and trust me before they’ll buy from me, but how do I do that?

A. You’ve got two choices, and I recommend you do both. First, position yourself as an expert in your field. If you’re not an expert, surround yourself with experts by interviewing them, letting them guest post to your blog and working with them. Second, be generous. Give away great content that instills confidence in your abilities and expertise that builds your reputation. Offer free tele-classes or podcasts, guest post on popular blogs with info-packed posts, and author a book or report.

The better your free content is, the more people will trust you and your content. As an added bonus they’ll also be more likely to share your content with others, thereby helping you to build your reputation and your following.

Q. Is there a way to reach a wider audience while simultaneously delivering more value to my current customers?

A. You might consider lining up some partnerships or joint ventures in your niche. First, make a list of the areas your customers are interested in. You’re not looking for direct competition here, but rather complimentary sub-niches. For example, if you teach how to do Forex with a certain method, your customers will likely be interested in how to trade on Forex with other methods, and even how to invest in other areas besides the Forex market.

Once you make your list of areas, choose an expert in each that you’d like to partner with. Go online to get their contact information and then approach them with a win-win-win reason of why they should partner with you. They should benefit, you should benefit and of course your customers need to benefit as well.

Do something together that you can offer to both your customers and your partner’s customers, whether it’s a free webinar with an offer at the end, or creating a series of videos together, or even creating a new membership with a free introductory period. This will add value to your customers and theirs, as well as expanding your reach to a wider audience.

Q. I’m just a newbie in my niche – how do I approach the “big dogs” and get their attention so they’ll partner with me?

A. Two words – help them. Comment on their posts, share their stuff through social media, ask if you can re-post their work to your blog, etc. Find a way to be of service to them so that you can get on their radar and start building a relationship for the long haul.

Note that the bigger the person you’re targeting (IE: The larger their following and the greater their influence in your market) the longer it’s going to take to attract their attention as someone they might want to work with. It’s recommended that you begin by targeting more accessible people and work your way up to the giants of your industry.

Also, consider writing a book, devoting one chapter to each “big dog” you are targeting. In this manner you can make friends with these players, and some of them will actually end up promoting your book to their audience.

Q. I keep hearing that I need to “have a story” to share with prospects. What does this mean?

A. In a marketing context, ‘your story’ is what led to you doing what you do today. For example, someone who teaches basketball techniques may have been a lousy basketball player themselves until they learned and mastered certain fundamentals and techniques that caused them to become an all star player. In a nutshell, that’s their story. Of course they’re going to want to embellish with details, such as how rotten they felt when they got laughed at for missing the easiest of shots.

The purpose of having your own story and sharing it with your readers is to make a connection. Someone having trouble making the junior varsity basketball team wants to know you went through some of the same trials and tribulations they are experiencing. This bonds them to you and causes them to be far more receptive to your message. Remember, “birds of a feather flock together.” Once they realize you’ve been through the same struggles they’re currently going through, and that you not only persevered but overcame, they’ll want to know exactly how you did it.

Q. But isn’t that manipulating them?

A. Not at all. You are showing that you have indeed walked in their shoes, experienced their problems and found a solution that works.

I heard a story once that illustrates this beautifully. Imagine you’re in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language. For days you’ve been struggling to understand and be understood. Then all of a sudden someone says hello to you in your language, and asks how you are. How would you react? No doubt you’d rush up to that person and start talking, feeling that you finally are making a connection with someone. Imagine the relief you would feel, finally being able to communicate, to understand and most of all to be understood.

Telling your story does the same thing – it creates a bonding connection that let’s the prospect know that you understand what they’re going through because you’ve experienced the same problems they have.

Q. If I want to create a product or success system based upon my own personal experiences, how do I go about that?

A. If you’ve become really successful at something, you have a ready-made product you can sell to others who want to master that same skill. Here’s how to get it into product form: Recall where you were at the beginning of your success. What was the first thing you did? The second? Write down everything that you did and put it into step-by-step form.

Now you’ve got the ___ number of steps to accomplishing ___. Name it something appropriate, get the domain for that name and start marketing it. You could do it as an ebook or audio/video course, or you could offer it as a series of webinars or even one-on-one coaching. Each step will represent one chapter in your book, or one webinar, or one coaching session.

HOT TIP: You can use this exact same process to partner with anyone who’s mastered a skill others want to learn. Interview them extensively to discover exactly how they reached their success and then create the product based on the interviews. Split the profits with the expert and rinse and repeat with more experts or the same expert and different topics.

Q. I have a friend and fellow marketer who’s continually writing posts for other people’s blogs. I think she’s foolish because she’s giving away her valuable info on other blogs instead of using it on her own to boost her standing in the search engines. She says it’s worth it because she’s getting new prospects through her guest posts. Who’s right?

A. You both are correct, to a degree. While it’s true that placing her best content on her own blog may help to get her site ranking in the search engines, SEO is always a gamble. On the other hand, guest posting on popular blogs practically guarantees exposure to new prospects as well as new alliances with the blog owners.

When your friend guest posts, she’s hopefully targeting blogs that already receive plenty of traffic interested in her particular niche. This will help her to gain exposure to new audiences and get her endorsed by leaders in her field (the blog owners).

Q. I’ve contacted blog owners about being a guest blogger for them, but because I’m new in the niche I don’t get much response. What can I do?

A. Begin by posting repeatedly in their comments section. Join in the conversation, add relevant comments, ask good questions and answer other people’s questions. Hyperlink your name to your website to get new visitors (this is automatic when you fill out the comment form – just be sure to fill out the website URL box as well as your name, and your name will become a hyperlink to your URL.)

Use a catchy, memorable photo on all of your posts. Register your email address along with your photo at: en.gravatar.com

By taking part in the community, the blog owner will likely notice you and will be far more receptive next time you offer to do a blog post. In addition, visitors to the blog will also begin to recognize you and visit your blog as well.

Q. I write a newsletter, but lately I get the feeling that no one is reading it. What am I doing wrong?

A. You may need to get back in touch with your market to find out what it is they want to know. Go to forums and watch social media to find out what they’re talking about and especially what they’re asking. Ideally you should he answering their questions and helping to solve their problems, because when you do that they will read every word of your newsletter.

Q. I HATE writing headlines and subject lines, and I don’t like using headline templates. Any ideas?

A. Interestingly enough, your best headline is often buried inside your copy or your email. You already know all the best selling points about your product, how best to present it, who your target market is, and how to craft the best call to action. So forget the headline, write your copy or email, and then go back and reread what you just wrote. Often times you’ll find your jewel of a headline right there inside your copy, just waiting for you to pluck it out and place it at the top.

Now, What Was It You Wanted to Sell Me?

Picture this. A stern looking executive stares out at you from the page in the magazine…

Now, What Was It You Wanted to Sell Me?

The body of the ad reads:
“I don’t know who you are.”
“I don’t know your company.”
“I don’t know your company’s product.”
“I don’t know what your company stands for.”
“I don’t know your company’s customers.”
“I don’t know your company’s record.”
“I don’t know your company’s reputation.”
“Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?”

That ad first ran in Businessweek Magazine in 1958. As far as I know, the ad still runs. The photo has been updated several times and the copy has been translated into German, Italian, French, Russian and Chinese. But the words never change because they are as true today as they were 55 years ago.

In fact, here’s a live version of both the 1958 ad and the same ad if it were to incorporate the Internet and social media:


The message is clear, universal and timeless: If your prospective customers don’t know you, then you’ve got some tough work ahead of you to get the sale.

And by the way if you happen to sell marketing services, I’ve just handed you the perfect sales tool on a platter.

Imagine you create a proposal for ABC Business down the street to handle all of their online marketing. You make a fantastic presentation showing how you’ll update their website, get it SEO friendly, use social media, advertising and press releases and so forth to bring business in the door. It’s your usual offer and it’s dynamite.

At the end of your brilliant presentation your potential client stammers a bit and then finally says to you, “I don’t get it. Why do I need to spend so much money on marketing and advertising? Wouldn’t I be better off spending the money on my sales force knocking on doors and making phone calls?”

To which you say, “Let me show you something.” And you show them this advertisement and wait and see what happens next. Don’t say a word, just smile gently and patiently wait while they read it once, twice, maybe even three times before they speak. Odds are their very next words will be, “Okay, I get it now.”

But what about you? Do your prospects know who you are and what your brand stands for? If not, consider starting a blog. Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there and to show people exactly who you are, what your product is, who your customers are, your record and reputation – all of it.

If you already have a brand but not a blog, then build your blog around your brand. If you don’t have either, then brand your blog. Either way, use social media to drive traffic back to your blog where your prospective customers can get to know you and your business, and you’ll never be faced by the stern guy in the chair again demanding to know who you are and what you’re trying to sell to them.

But it all starts at the beginning – letting your prospect know that you are indeed the one who can help them before you ever begin to ask for the sale.

Life is Short… Seize the Day!

Don’t be alarmed, but right now I want to shake you by the shoulders and slap you silly… Because I suspect you’re fast asleep at the wheel of life.

Life is Short... Seize the Day!

Well I have news for you, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before but maybe, just maybe this is the time when you finally sit up and take notice and start making some real changes in your life, because…

Life Is Too @#$Z&% Short!

Remember when you were a child and you believed life just goes on and on and on?

And now here it is, barely a few minutes later (or so it seems) and you discover that a major chunk of your life is now forever gone.

What the heck happened to it??? Did you blow it like someone blowing money on the horses? Or did you make the most of every moment?

There are millions of people who struggle just to make it through the day. They’re in jobs they hate, lives they don’t like doing things that hold no interest for them. And yet the clock ticks for them as it does for the rare person who is completely happy and content doing what they love to do.

Doberman Dan wrote something that fascinated me. I don’t know where he got these numbers, but they’re enough to shake awake anyone slumbering through life:

You’ve got 78 years on this earth, statistically speaking.

You spend 1/3 of that time sleeping so that leaves you with 49 and 11 months of “awake” years.

Subtract hours in school and that leaves you with 46 years and 4 months of your life remaining.

Subtract 91,000 hours on a job and you’ve got 35 years and 11 months remaining.

Subtract time driving, running errands, brushing your teeth, etc., and you’re now down to 32 years and two months.

Subtract eating, drinking, shopping, etc., and you’ve got 25 years and 10 months left.

Subtract chores and you’re down to 20 years and 1 month.

Subtract taking care of children and family, along with watching TV, playing video games and wasting time on the Internet and you’re now down to 9 years and 6 months of your life remaining.

78 years on this planet (if you’re lucky) and only 9 of them are yours.

See what I mean? Life is too @#$Z&% short.

Life is too short to let fear rule. Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people. Take a chance, push through fear, let go of guilt, break down your goals to achievable steps and get moving TODAY.

Life is too short to be unhealthy. Get moving and get active and stop eating crap food, especially if you want to make it to 78+ and enjoy the journey.

Life is too short to be full of regrets, just as it’s too short to dream about your ‘glory days.’ You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

Life is too short to be a slob. If you’re disorganized then you’re wasting time looking for things and wasting more time not doing the things you want to be doing.

Life is too short to be negative. Yes, occasionally negativity seeps in. But when negativity rears its ugly head you’ve got to beat it back with everything you’ve got, and never under any circumstance do you invite it in or ask it to make itself at home.

Life is too short to deal with or even think about rotten people. Are you worried about what that nasty person said about you? Why????? Life is too short to stress yourself with people who don’t even deserve to be an issue in your life.

Life is too short to keep up with the neighbors. Do you care how many new cars or televisions they have? I can’t think of anything more irrelevant than what the neighbor blew money on today.

Life is too short to be in a job you hate. If you’ve never had a job you hated, all the words in the world couldn’t explain this to you. But for the other 95% of people who know what I’m talking about, no explanation is necessary.

Life is too short to be poor. Yes, you might start out poor and that certainly isn’t your fault. But there comes a time when your finances are exactly what you make of them. There is nothing noble about being poor – it’s like having a ball and chain around your throat that stops you from living the life you want and instead wraps you in layers of stress and anxiety. If you don’t have the money you want, then get busy and make it. And yes, I do believe Internet Marketing is still hands down and bar none the best way a person can go from poverty to wealth in a relatively short amount of time (2 to 10 years.)

You and I and every single person we love is terminal – it’s just a matter of time. And every day we have a little bit less of that.

I’ll let the quote master Mark Twain have the last words…

“Life is short, Break the rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably.
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”
– Mark Twain

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