3 Entrepreneurs Evolving Online

March 26, 2014

airplaneI’ve been thinking a lot lately of my online journey. I won’t go into my story in this post but I will say that where I started is a lot different from where I am today. And I’m glad.

Am I the only one who has changed what I do online? Nope. Here are 3 people I can think of right off the bat.

Nicole Dean
When I started online, Nicole was the affiliate manager for Jimmy D. Brown. From where I sat, she was a whiz at getting things done and an outsourcing master. She was also in the WAHM or mom niche. She didn’t stay put in those arenas though, she eventually moved on from being Jimmy’s right-hand gal and away from the mom niche and ramped up her EasyPLR store among other things.

Now she and Melissa Ingold have this amazingly successful content for coaches business called CoachGlue. Nicole does a very good job at spotting needs and providing solutions. I like that.

 

Alan Petersen
I’ve know Alan for quite a while and we’ve partnered on a few products in the past. He’s a solutions guy, and much more techy than me. He has never been afraid to try out new tools and software and was successful as an affiliate marketer for his niche sites and in the IM market. BUT… he’s only got a toe in IM now because he’s following his passion as a fiction writer. I’ve had the pleasure of reading his first book and I’m eagerly awaiting the next 2 in the series.

How wonderful is that? Internet marketing had lost some of it’s appeal and he decided it was time to go after what he wanted offline – writing novels. And because of his online marketing background, he’s able to market the heck out of his books. What we do before always has a say in how successful we are now. It all comes together, doesn’t it?

 

Lisa Stoops
Lisa has had a PLR store for quite some time now. The earliest memories I have of her are watching how much she got done while she was 8 and 9 months pregnant with her last child. Wow, she was laser focused and knocked out content right and left. Then while she was doing that, she learned all the ins and outs of social media and teaching others. one day her husband decides to market his soy candles and they opened an online store. Next time I turn around they’ve got a physical store and they’re also renting out space to other artisans. They’ve created a full artisan market.

But I think Lisa has really found her calling with her newest venture – the Secrets To Her Success podcast series. It amazes me how far she’s come from where she’s started.

Is there a point to me sharing these stories?

Right livelihood. I think it has to do with saying okay to yourself if you want to change what you’re doing. I’m not talking about chasing shiny objects and running off in a different direction every time something promising comes out.

I am talking about finding something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning, something you’re really jazzed about.  Sometimes we try to force things to work even if it’s not really a good fit, and other times what used to fulfill us work-wise no longer sustains us.

No apologies. Redefine your passions. Go in the direction of helping others and making them happy while creating an income from that. Alan entertains a lot of people with his writing. Lisa inspires people with her interviews. Nicole helps people get ahead.

How about you? How have you evolved? Where are you heading now?

Breaking Through Your Barriers and Getting Your Product to Market

May 28, 2013

product launchI had an email a few weeks ago from a student who mentioned that she had a project in the works but she was stuck in that “ready aim, ready aim” place. I’ve really been thinking about her comment. I think we can all relate to it in some aspect of our lives at some point in time. It really holds us back! We don’t grow, learn, become profitable, find our right livelihood, or we miss out in relationships, etc.

In regards to Internet marketing and getting your product to market or your online services up and running, I want to address some possible ways to break through the barriers. We put up our own barriers of self-doubt and we can take them down.

Follow a blueprint.
If you have a step-by-step guide for doing what you want to do, then do the steps one at a time. Don’t hesitate, don’t overthink it, just put your head down and watch your feet as they go forward – first the right, then the left. Pushing the button to make it “live” is just another step that you hit on the way to the next.

Do it in smaller increments.
If you’re really out of your element, feel you’ve still got so much to learn and the thought of making a big huge splash scares the dickens out of you, you can always do a series of smaller splashes. Think of it like jumping feet first into the shallow end of the pool – your splash is not as great as if you did a double triple off the high dive, but it’s not as scary and you can get out faster and do lots more jumps. Keep moving progressively towards the deep end.

Put a gun to your head.
It might be that you’re fortunate enough to be in a comfortable economic place. You have a day job or your partner makes good money or you live at home. Whatever. You need more incentive to jump the self-confidence barrier. So pretend you just lost your job and you are going to have to support yourself with your online business. Or imagine that you’re getting a divorce and your partner’s income will be gone. Imagine something that scares the crap out of you and makes you take action.

Give it away for free.
My very first project online was an ebook. Giving it away for free to build my list REALLY took the pressure off! How can anyone complain about the ebook when they were getting it for free, right? People appreciated the info and this helped build my confidence. It didn’t hurt that everything in my ebook was helpful info from leading experts in the field.

Accountability, private and public.
If you have trouble holding yourself accountable, get an accountability partner. You check in with them every week and if they’re doing their job right, they will push you to get done what you said you’d get done. Good accountability partners have a way of making you want to please them and show off what you’ve accomplished. Public accountability works wonders if you’re close to completing a project. Pick a date you’re going to go live, then announce it to your list or Facebook or Twitter or wherever your tribe is. Now you’re really committed to seeing it through.

Get feedback.
I’m not talking about asking your mom what she thinks of your product, but ask people who will give you honest feedback. If they think it’s amazing, then ride on that boost to your confidence and hit the “go live” button. If they think you should improve it in the areas of x and z, then do that and feel the good feeling that you’ve made your product even better.

Bribe yourself.
I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes I can effectively bribe myself into reaching my goal. If I get this finished and launched, I can take a weekend trip to _____. Experiment with your bribes until you hit on one that is effective and doable. It has to give you a big enough thrill to get you over your hill of resistance.

Partner with someone.
Partnering is an excellent way to allow you to use your expertise and another person’s expertise. It seems the outcome is always bigger than the sum of the parts and this is a confidence booster for sure. You’re confident in your part and you’re confident in their part. Partner with someone who has launched products or services before and has no problem getting them to market.

What if?
You have to get past the “what if people hate it? what if it sucks?”. If you don’t, think about what happens to you. You don’t get your product out there (the one that could really help people), and your dreams die. Doesn’t having your dreams die suck worse?

I hope these help. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, you’re not doing the world any favors by acting small.

Questions:  What do you have to add? What works for you? Please share.

 

 

photo by: Alberto..

Content – What Every Site Needs

April 16, 2013

contentContent – What every site wants, what every site needs.

We need content for our blogs. The more content we have, the more we look like an authority site… and the higher we can rank… and the more we can help fix people’s problems… and the more chances we have to monetize… and so on. Of course we’re talking Quality content.

My online work has always been to help you with your content needs. I want to see you succeed! And getting paid to help make your way easier – that’s icing on the cake.

* I started out offering quality PLR in various niches at AllstarPLR back in 2008. That’s still the backbone of my online presence today.

* Then I began PLR-Packages.com where I could offer you full packages – ebook, optin report, sales page, email series, full graphics – so you could set up shop quickly with a product of your own plus all the supporting cast.

* From there Pat Graham and I decided to go deeper into specific niches so you could have so much more PLR than a mere 5 or 10 pack could give you. We started with Internet Marketing, and added Wedding and Baby Boomer as fast as we could. Next came Baby. This site started as a membership site but after 9 months of headaches with the membership software, we changed it to ala carte. It’s evolving again as we’re doing a massive cleansweep.

* EDIT – I totally forgot to mention How To Rewrite PLR! Questions and more questions about how to rewrite PLR lead to this highly successful ebook. How could I forget this?

* After several emails from peeps who were interested in starting their own PLR business, I was happy to share all my thoughts and launched Become a PLR Writer, and then a specialized newsletter for these new business owners called Professional PLR Provider. Helping others do what I do certainly made me bring my A game and I learned along the way too!

* My next idea to help people with their content needs came about after I saw how long it took some, including new PLR writers, to write articles. It’s not that they were terrible writers, they lacked confidence or couldn’t come up with ideas. Easy Article Starters were born (they’re kind of like outlines and half-written articles) and have been helping people since then.

* The more I learn about marketing and the more the whole online world evolves, the more opportunities I find to assist other marketers. After hearing “I have a Facebook page for my small business, but what do I post?” several times, I saw a reason to create Fresh FB Content. These packs are 50 posts each in specific niches. I limit these to just 10 licenses each. At the time of this writing, there are House, Home Interior, Landscaping, Crafter, Foodie, Hair Care, and Gardening available. I will be adding more and I do listen to requests.

* Since I’ve become interested in photography and I started a separate physical business with that, I figured I could spread that craft into my business of helping with others’ online needs. So I’ve been slowly putting together some graphic packs with images you can use on your blog, on Facebook, in your emails, in your Squidoo lenses, etc.

I know this post looks like it’s all about ME ME ME, but my intention is to show that my successes come from creating what people want and need. Where are the holes in your area of expertise? What can you do for your online world that comes easy for you and is oh-so-helpful for others?

Jimmy Brown, the father of PLR (I’d say grandfather but he’s younger than I am), has found ways to plug some holes that I haven’t touched. He’s got this big Package o’ Help called Contentaire. Besides helping with the usual articles, ebooks and reports, this package gives assistance on some of the trickier things:
webinars
press releases
affiliate tools
sales letters
newsletters
power point presentations
emails
landing pages
podcasts

Providing what people need is very rewarding in more ways than one. Have you ever created a product based on questions or requests?

5 Big Membership Site Mistakes Online Marketers Make

May 15, 2012

Membership-To-GoHave you ever wanted to have a membership site?

I’ve had the pleasure/pain of running 5 membership sites over the years and I can talk about these mistakes from my advantage point of having learned personally from some of them. :)

Having a membership means that wonderful 14 letter phrase savvy marketers like to hear… residual income. But only if you do it right. Every month people start membership sites only to shut them down a few months later. Often the failed site hurts their reputation because they didn’t deliver what they promised to members.

Don’t be one of those guys. Here are 5 big membership site mistakes:

Customer Base Issues

If you pick the wrong topic, you’re doomed from the beginning.  A membership site needs a wide customer base. Your topic should be specialized but not so narrow that you can’t consistently attract new members.

Your membership site topic has to be large enough that you can produce fresh content month after month. Pick a topic that a lot of people are interested in. It should also be evergreen content.

One of my membership sites was very narrowly targeted, which was perfectly suited for my narrow niche, but was not good for getting new members because the topic was so specialized. I had plenty of content to run this for a year, but I didn’t have a wide base of potential customers to draw from that was interested in this.

Content Issues

Point blank, members of your site are looking for fresh content every month. You need to give this to them or they’ll unsubscribe. Do up an editorial schedule so you know exactly what you’ll deliver each month. This will help you stay on track. Base your schedule on the benefits that you promised in your sales letter and you’ll have happy, satisfied customers that will stick around.

Tip - Every time you put out fresh content, drop hints about what amazing (benefit-driven) content will be coming out the following month.

Conversion Issues

Think of your sales letter as your 24/7 sales person. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to your membership site if your sales letter isn’t doing its job. If you don’t trust your own copywriting ability, hire a professional writer with mad skills. The investment should be worth it because you’ll see higher conversions and therefore more members.

Saying from experience – don’t overlook this!

Circulation Issues

You should always have new members coming into your membership site, but the only way you can do this is to market your site continually.

You should be conducting pay per click campaigns, distributing article marketing articles, submitting guest posts to higher traffic blogs, doing webinars, and utilizing social media to drive more traffic to your site. Work this into your weekly plans so that you can keep the flow of new members consistent.

Tip - One thing that really helps is to have the majority of your content ready to go so you can concentrate more of your time on marketing.

Commitment Issues

It takes much more effort to get a new member than it does to keep one that you’ve already got. By posting consistent content, offering polls, running contests, etc., you’ll be able to hold onto your members.

A wise marketer, Cindi Dawber, once told me that the word membership is an “action verb”, not a “noun”.

There is also your commitment to putting out the content in a timely manner, month after month. This is where I highly encourage you to make your membership sites a fixed term (ftm). It can be for a year or 10 intense weeks, or anything in between.

One of mine is a year long, another is 6 months. This made them NOT overwhelming for me to take on.

I’m sharing these mistakes so that when you create a membership site your sales can really soar. I hope I haven’t scared you off though! Memberships have really made a HUGE difference to my income.

I do know a way to minimize these issues – Jimmy D. Brown’s new Membership To Go package.

It’s a complete, one-year membership site that you can purchase and use as your own. He’s never offered this before and it includes everything you need to get started, including all the membership content, the expertly written sales letter, a pre-sell report, articles, and other marketing  materials. And yes, you can customize the content however you want to.

Set it up at your site, sell as many memberships as you want, keep 100% of every sale!

Get all the details at: Membership To Go

I think you’ll find that using this complete package for your own membership will eliminate costly mistakes and get you set up for profitability. And since Jimmy D. Brown wrote all the content himself, that means it’s amazingly detailed and thorough… just what your members will love and stick around to learn from month after month. :)

It gets even better…

For a limited time BONUS he’s offering to throw in his Memberhaire product for free! So it’s like getting 2 great products for the price of one. Membernaire goes along perfectly because it’s all about setting up a successful membership site model and it’s for YOU, the owner. You can learn more about it through the link above.

P.S. I was interrupted while writing this post no less than 25 times by my 20 year old and my 17 (18 in 2 days) year old so if you find small errors or typos, my apologies. If I wasn’t so passionate about this topic, I would have just given up and not fought the battle to stay focused here.

 

Internet Marketing Advice, Whether You Think You Need It Or Not

May 7, 2012

internet marketing adviceIt’s not hard for me to put internet marketing aside for a bit when I’ve got other pressing concerns. Like helping my son  get ready to graduate from high school – advising him on his senior project, making sure he’s jumped through all the required hoops, sending announcements, finding something suitable to wear to the ceremony, planning a celebratory party, etc.

Last night I was reading some parent tips about getting ready for college and I realized how I appreciated this good advice, even though I already have a daughter in college. A bit of the advice was new to me but most of it was a refresher. It got me to thinking and will help me get organized, focused, and headed down the right path.

In the spirit of giving helpful advice, I decided to talk here about what I know about marketing on the internet. I’m also incorporating some of the most common questions I get in my inbox. Maybe you’ll find some of these tips helpful. Maybe you could add your own to the comments.

1. There’s always a debate about whether you should pick a niche that you’re passionate about or just follow the money. Honestly, you need a niche you’re crazy about, but that others are just as crazy about and are willing to spend money in. It’s been my experience that if you love it, it’s So. Much. Easier. Not only do you like to talk and blog about it, but you already know it inside and out.

If you just go for a niche that’s a potential income earner, it won’t be long til you absolutely hate it. It gets to the point where you’d rather go to the dentist for a root canal than write one more blog post about it. Of course you can outsource, but you still need to edit what is written for you and you’ll still be involved in the topic.

2. Build your list! I can’t stress this enough!

“My income is directly proportional to the size of my list.  This doesn’t mean two lists the same size earn the same amount.  It means that YOU, if you consistently grow your list and stay in contact with them can see your income grow with the list.” ~Terry Dean

3. If looking at another marketer’s success in your field disheartens you, don’t look at what they’re doing. Have confidence in what you’re doing or are about to do and go for it.

4. It’s really not that hard to create a product. Do some interviews and bundle it up. Viola! A product. Or look at the top questions in your niche and answer them. Add images and turn it into a pdf. See? You’ve created something people want.

5. Good ideas are not enough. You have to take action. Taking action is scary for a lot of people, you are not alone. Do it anyway.

6. Follow-through is so important! It doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, but it does have to be complete. If you’re a starter and you have trouble with this, find someone to partner with that loves to finish.

7. People ask me what they should blog about when everything has already been said. Be yourself! You’re unique and you have your own way of looking at something. I know I appreciate reading posts where there’s personality shining through. I do like knowing what they think about a method or an idea or whatever.

8. Challenge yourself. Be public and transparent about it. Talk about it all the way through and show the results as a case study. Don’t you love reading about case study results? So do I.

9. Don’t start a new, big, involved project right when your kids are going to be home for a school break (says Peggy to herself too). Take time for your family!

10. Yes, you’re going to do some chasing after shiny objects when you first start online. How else are you going to see what’s available so you can narrow it down to a business model that really resonates with you? Give yourself permissions to do lots of exploring at first, but try to do it without spending too much.

11. When you find a path that you’d really like to take, put on blinders so you don’t get tempted by other shiny objects. Be fair to yourself, give your new business model 200% effort and see it through to something you can be proud of and is giving you an income. Continue to educate yourself in this field and figure out ways to ramp it up with software and tools that help you go faster and bigger.

12. How to decide your USP (unique selling proposition)? You have a unique way of looking at things, so capitalize on that. When you know what you want to deliver, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about how they might want that product, or what they might want to go along with it that helps them solve their problem. Do not get hung up on this; because it really will evolve over time. You see, there’s no way to know for sure until you jump in and test the temperature of the water. Plus you’ll need to adapt with the direction the market is going and as you find who your customers really are.

13. Don’t sweat it! Yes, it’s scary to start a blog or write your first ebook because you think you’re going to suddenly be on display, warts and all, in front of the whole world. The reality is that the only people who will know at first is you, your mother, and a few close friends. This gives you time to iron out any little technical issues. But don’t iron out your personality.

14. It’s not enough to create the product. You’ve got to market the heck out of it! And then after sales have peaked and ebbed, you’re still luckily not finished with it because you can repurpose it or turn it into something that’s even bigger and better. I love that what you create is real estate you can leverage into More and Better so it can continue to help people!

15. Surround yourself with other ethical successful marketers like Lynn Terry, Pat Flynn and Ana Hoffman who you can learn from, help out, and network with. This has been key to my success, for sure!

16. In my opinion, if you blog like a real person talking to other real people, then you don’t have to worry about Google Pandas, Penguins, or whatever comes next. Google is trying to give people the best search experience and even though they sometimes get it wrong, they’re getting a lot of it right. Your aim should be to give searchers and readers the best experience they can get at your site.

17. If you can swing it, go to an internet marketing conference (I highly recommend NAMS) where you can learn what works and what not to waste your time on. You meet people who are just beginning and others who are 7 figure earners. You get to help some, get your name in front of others, and you will have joint venture opportunities. I can’t say enough good things about doing this!

18. Bottom line, you’ve got to have content! I can help with that with my PLR articles, PLR full product packages, or Easy Article Starters.

19. With failure comes wisdom. How many times did you fail when you were learning how to tie your shoes? My son refused to learn how to tie his shoes for the longest time because he didn’t think he could do it as good as his mom and dad could. When he finally took the plunge he discovered he was right, but with practice he was able to get those shoes tied perfectly. It turned out NOT to be as hard as he had imagined.

  • It’s your turn. What pearls of wisdom and advice do you want to share?

 

Creative Commons License photo credit: Photos by Mavis

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