If They Can Do It, You Can Too!

Most people don’t understand how I got started in online marketing. As a missionary in Mexico, people seem to think that the two don’t go together. In reality…

  • I never planned on becoming an internet marketer. 
  • I did not study marketing in college 
  • I never planned to do anything else but be a missionary wife.

But in 2002, while I was on bed rest with our second child (we have 7 kids now)…

I stumbled across an ebook called, “How to Start a Yahoo Store.”  The book was about how anyone could start an ecommerce business online without actually having to invest thousands of dollars in products. The e-book cost $50 and, at that time, that was a huge amount of money for us, especially for a book. But then I thought to myself…

“If I could just make an extra $200 a month that would be amazing.

I would be able to go to Starbucks whenever I wanted.

I would be able to buy a dress every now and then.

I’d be able to give to our church when needs came up.

Plus, I’d have a little something to do right now to pass the time while I’m stuck in bed!” 

So, I bought this seemingly expensive e-book, “How to Start a Yahoo Store” by Andy Jenkins. While reading, I kept focusing on one thing in particular, and it kept showing up again and again. By the end of the book, my major takeaway was…

“Wow! This guy really doesn’t know how to spell.” 

The entire book, from front to back, was filled with spelling errors. Of course, I managed to overlook the misspellings, focusing on the author’s explanation of how to get started with an online store. 

One of the things he said to do was to create an excel file with all of the information about your products, making it easier to upload the products to your website in bulk. At the time, I didn’t even know what an excel file was! I went to Bible College in a pre-digital world! Only one young man in our entire school even had a laptop back then! 

He went on to say that you get the products you sell from people or companies called “dropshippers.” These dropshippers buy products in bulk and then store them in their warehouse, but they don’t directly sell them to consumers. Instead, they allow their resellers to put the products on their websites, making money on the large orders and the small margin of markup. This is how, it turns out, you can sell other people’s products without investing in any inventory, which means no monetary investment up front.

As I was learning all of these things from this e-book, I was definitely a little intimidated. The e-book was very long, detailing everything you needed to know about how to run a successful online business. It also included the author’s story about how he successfully built his own business.

Of course, as I read about his 8 successes, all I could think was, “Man, if this guy, who doesn’t even know how to spell, can launch a successful e-commerce store, well then I definitely can. It’s not rocket science.” 

I was so inspired by him that my husband and I launched our first e-commerce site in 2002. Almost immediately, we started generating about $3,000 a month in sales, which was a huge amount to me at the time. Needless to say, I very quickly reached my initial goal of earning an extra $200 per month. 

At a conference a few years later, I was able to finally meet the author of that e-book, Andy Jenkins. Who, despite the spelling errors in that e-book, is brilliant. I told him the story about how he inspired me. He shared with me that the reason the document had a lot of spelling errors was because he had uploaded the wrong file, not the one he had edited, on the day he launched that course. 

What a great example of that saying,

 “You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.”

In 2002, I was living in a third world country, living in Mexico with dial up Internet. But I kept saying to myself, “If Andy can do it, I can definitely do it, too.” That’s the message I have for you today: “If he can do it, you can, too.” 

My question for you is: What’s stopping you today from growing your business or from starting a business?

Nobody Can Take Your Place

Do you often wonder where somebody would take your place in something that is important to you? Let me share to you a life-changing event I encountered that would make you say…

“Nobody Can Take My Place.”

Take a look at this video we had on our trip to Costa Rica: 

After landing in Costa Rica, my husband and I were going through customs when we saw a sign that said, “Nadie Puede Tomar Tu Lugar.” In Spanish, that means, “Nobody Can Take Your Place.”

While the sign really was there just to remind you that “nobody can take your place” because they don’t oversell seats on the airplane, it had a different underlying meaning for me. 

When I read that simple sign, I heard, “Nobody Can Take YOUR Place.”

Nobody Can Take Your Place blog post graphics
  • Nobody can take your place as a mother. 

 No one will ever love your own children like you love them. A motherly love is genuine and truly unique in every Mom out there.  

  • Nobody can take your place as a dad. 

No one would ever care like your father does! He will protect you no matter what the circumstances are. He will prioritize everything for his Children! 

  • Nobody can take your place as a son or a daughter 

No one can ever appreciate and see a day to day effort your parents gave you! No one could ever feel the love they give as much as every child does with their parents! Nobody could understand how much you aim to have success in order to give back to your dear parents and understand the shortcomings, because for every child, their mom and dad are perfect for them!

  • Nobody can take your place as a business leader. 

No one could ever appreciate the value of being a business leader, as you do! You put effort into your business and make everything work out as they should be! 

You have a message that people need to hear. You have something special that you can contribute something that has the potential to change people’s lives.

Just before we left for our trip to Costa Rica, I was having a conversation with a woman, Adriana, at the church, where my husband pastors. The mom of five adorable children, Adriana had been in our church for only six months. While we were speaking, she told me that  there’s been a huge change in her life since we’d first met. 

At first, I didn’t actually realize just how much of a change she had meant. But, as she went on, it became clear that she was talking about a major life shift.

Adriana told me that before she started coming to church…

She would stay inside all day long.

She slept from morning to night, unable to get up.

She struggled to take care of her kids.

She was extremely depressed. 

She told me that everything started changing when she began coming to church. Our church, it turns out, has made her so happy. 

Now she is always smiling.

She’s so grateful that her kids got their mom back.

But then she shared with me that she felt guilty about not being able to give to the church. While she wanted to give back, she didn’t have any money. 

She also told me how she had just bought bed frames for her kids, but, because she still didn’t have any mattresses, she was just putting the same cardboard she used when her kids slept on the floor on top of the new frames. (I had seen this for myself when I visited her home earlier.) She kept reiterating that she was fine, that at least now the kids would be off the floor! 

Here is a woman who doesn’t even have mattresses for her kids to sleep on, and she feels bad about not having money to give to the church! 

Even though Adriana isn’t able to contribute to the church financially, she certainly does contribute. She does give!  She’s the one who is in the kitchen, cleaning and helping with a smile on her face, whenever she can…

This is what you need to know...

#1. Every single one of us has a place in this world.

#2. We have a unique role

#3. We have specific people we’re meant to reach out to, people that no one else can reach

So, my challenge for you today is to reach out to someone. Help just one person today because the world is waiting for you to step up. No one else can take your place! 

I want to help people with their venture to success! I have great news for everyone who wants to be successful in making their businesses great and have a lifestyle business that works for them! 

A business, no one could take their place in doing great things that would work for them! I will share with you the most amazing events and ways on building your lifestyle business! 

Witness How a Missionary Wife and Mother of 7 Successfully Built Three 6-Figure Businesses!

Where to START

Are you a sole owner / operator? Have your website, Facebook page, and blog. You love your work and want to reach more people… but don’t know where to start?

An ebook? A workshop? Free consultations? 

Are you unsure what direction your first step should be? Are you worried about the complete picture? What you are building? How to sell it? How to find time to work on it? Do you feel like you lack guidance? You know that you are capable and prepared – but you lack confidence on the next few steps to take?

Do you feel like building your business is just… so… slow? Do you struggle with finding the right steps and feel like you’ve wasted so much time trying to figure it out? 

You’ve got something called…

You just don’t know where to start!

Guess what! There is a 4-step CURE to STARTERITIS! 

Only thing is, it’s a 4-letter word. 

I’ts called….

What’s grit?

Well, first off it is not grits. It is not something you eat in the south. 

Grit is “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”

The cure for STARTERITIS is Grit!

#1 Set a Goal. 

If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time. What’s your goal? What is your why? Why do you do what you do? 

I’m a member of many groups and I see it all the time. If you are an entrepreneur, you have a deep desire to make a difference. You want your life to matter. You don’t just want to live. You want to leave a legacy. 

So figure out your why. Usually the “why” is not about the money. Money is a fleeting goal. It will never be enough. It will never satisfy you. Your goal could be to give back. To help others. 

One of my clients has a mission statement. Their goal is to end worldwide divorce.

I love that goal. That is a goal I can stand behind. That is a project that impacts lives. It is not about building a 7-figure business. But the lives that can be impacted through that business. 

What’s your goal? What’s your why?

#2 Resilient. 

A rubber band is resilient. You can pull on it and stretch it… and it will go right back to its original shape and be ready for more. 

Resiliency is about bouncing back

The test of character is what it takes to stop you.

If someone tells you that your idea is a bad idea and you’ll never make money from it… what do you do? Do you listen to them? Usually someone who has worked a 9-5 their whole life and can’t fathom making over $50/hr? Or do you carefully consider their objections to your biz plan… and then work through them? 

When someone asks you for a refund – do you sit there for hours thinking that your program is useless and no one will want to buy it? Or do you refund them… and go on to the next customer? 

When you are about 80% done with your program, do you start to look around at all of the competitors … do you stop recording your videos and shelve your project because you tell yourself – what do I have to offer that is ANY different than all those other people?   

Bounce back. 

#3 – Intense Focus

The problem most people get wrong is they try to do too much at the same time. 

Multi-tasking is a myth. 

If something takes you 3 weeks to get done and you work on 3 things at the same time…you won’t finish with your first project until Week 7! It will take you longer to get stuff done.  

Many, many times we work with clients that serve multiple audiences and therefore want to build multiple funnels at the same time. This does not work.

Success comes when you intensely focus on ONE project at a time. Pick one audience. One offer. One funnel. And go for it. 

#4 – Tenacity 

Never give up. Failure is part of success. The only way you can truly fail is if you quit. When we first came to Puebla, Mexico as missionaries, it was a whole year before we began to see results from our work. We rented a small building for services. Each week we’d go out and invite people. And every single Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, we’d sit in an empty auditorium waiting for someone to show up. For a year. 

But we had a goal. Our goal was to reach the city with the gospel. We had resiliency. We knew that no matter how many times doors were closed on our faces, we had a purpose. We had intense focus. We did not get distracted with doing anything else but the ONE thing we were there for. And we did not give up. 

We believed (and still do) that there is always a way to figure it out. 

After one year, we did not quit. We moved.

We rented a building in a different neighborhood. We gave out 10,000 flyers on the side of the street. We launched a new “grand opening”. And 32 people showed up.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬. 𝐈𝐟 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐭, 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐭. 𝐏𝐢𝐯𝐨𝐭.

Never give up.

Is it Moral to Make Money?

If you’ve been in church any amount of time, you’ve heard it quoted:

“Money is the root of all evil!”

But is that what the Bible says? Let’s take a look.

Let’s break that down. 

First it says, “the love of money”. So money is not the problem. Loving money is. Why does God care if you love money or not? 

Well 1 John 4:8B says: “God is love.”  So we first see here that God is love. Our love and what we love is of utmost importance to God because God is love. He loves us and wants our love in return. 

Matthew 22:36-40 states that the first and greatest commandment is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” 

When we love money more than God, we are not fulfilling the greatest commandment.  It is about priorities. God wants to be FIRST in our lives above anything else. Anything short of that is idolatry. Anytime we put something before God, we have an idol in our life that needs to be destroyed. 

Next, it states that the “love of money is the root of all evil”. One of my kids asked me if this was truly true the other day. How can murder be caused by the love of money they asked? (Leave it to kids to push you to really study out the Scriptures!)  

Unless you’ve grown up on an island without internet or television, you’ve probably seen a few tv shows about police catching the bad guys. When the detectives are talking what do they always say about how to catch the bad guy? …. They say: “Follow the money!”.  Why? Because most times, that is what it comes down to. Jealousy, greed, wanting something we have not yet earned. The love of money. 

Next, the Bible says that the love of money leads to abandoning our faith. “Which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith…”. 

The problem with loving money more than loving God is that it always leads to a decline in your Spiritual walk with God. 

What is faith? Faith is believing God. It is salvation. It is trusting God as your personal Savior. And when you get truly saved, you will end up doing a 180. What’s a 180? It’s when you were walking one way… living your life for yourself, living selfishly, living in sin, drinking, doing drugs, going to parties… and then God saves you… and you make a 180 degree turn and start walking the other direction. You start walking TOWARDS God. What does this look like? 

Well, I always tell the ladies in our church and our teen Sunday School class – you should want to be part of the 1% Club. The 1% Club is the club that consists of about 1% of Christians that do the 5 main things that keep you right with God. 

If you are a Christian and do those 5 things every single day – congrats! You are in the top 1% of Christians in the world. 🙂 

The problem with loving money is it stops you from doing those 5 main things. You get up in the morning and have to rush to work, to close a deal, to check your emails… so your Bible reading and prayer life suffers. 

You have a conference to attend or a sales meeting that can only happen on Sunday morning at 11am – right in the middle of church service… so you start to miss church – just this one time you tell yourself. 

In the Independent Baptist church we have a tradition to go out each Saturday morning and knock on doors and invite people to church. There is nothing in the Bible that says you have to go on Saturday morning to evangelize. But what is true, is that if something is not scheduled, it won’t get done.  When you are working 40-60+ hours per week to try to get ahead and grow in your career, it is very easy to justify not scheduling the time to purposefully go out and tell others the Good News – that Jesus died for them and that if they believe in HIM they can have eternal life – and a joyful life now! 

The love of money can even pull you out of church completely if you let it. I’ve seen many strong Christians that used to be faithful to church. They’d sit in the front. They’d sing with a smile on their face and joy in their heart. And then they got a job that pulled them out of church on Sunday’s. They always justify it and say… “I’ll be able to tithe more… It’s only for a little while”. That is how the devil works. So subtly. 

So can you be rich and love God? 

Yes!

There are many examples in the Bible where God blesses His people with financial rewards. 

Just look at King David! Some studies show that his net worth easily exceeded $200 billion dollars. But what did he do with all of that money? He gave. He gave materials for the construction and finishing of Jerusalems’s house of prayer. 

Then there is King Solomon. It is said that he received $40 billion in gold each year. Solomon also gave back to God. He was pivotal in the construction of the Temple. 

You can look at modern day stories as well. 

JC Penny who gave between 10-30%. His first store founded in 1902 was called the “Golden Rule Store”.

Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, was a Sunday School teacher and contributed to his church. 

Acts 20:35B says: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” 

When a young person is just getting started out in life and they don’t have anything to their name, this verse is hard to understand. They think, “No… I’d much rather have someone give me something! I’d much rather be on the receiving end!” 

When we first came to Mexico as missionaries we lived in Iguala, GRO. We did not have 2 pesos to rub together. 🙂 Literally. One time the guy that sells bottled water came by our apartment. He rides a bike and has about 10-15 jugs of water that he sells door to door. At the time, the water cost 10 pesos (about $1). We asked if he could “fiar en nosotros” … “trust us” for a week until we could pay him! We did not even have enough money for water at times! I’m not complaining – it was the most exciting time of our lives finally being married and serving in Mexico as missionaries! 

When someone gave us something – when they bought us pizza for dinner, or invited us out for tacos – we were thrilled! It was such a special treat! 

I am so thankful for those people that gave to us in our time of need. 

Now that we are in a different financial situation, there are other types of blessings.  We are blessed to be able to give. We can buy food to give away to those in need in our church each Sunday. We can take boxes of groceries to a pastor and see his little girls light up with joy when she sees the box of Choco Krispies. We can buy medicine for the families sick in our church.  We can sponsor students in our Christian school so that they have an opportunity for a better education and a completely changed life. We can give on a monthly basis towards missionaries in other countries and help support their work. 

It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. 

And that is what building a business is all about. 

It’s not about the money. The money does not matter. What matters is what can be done with the money. 

How many people can we help. How many lives can be changed. 

It’s all about balance. It’s about priorities. It is about putting God first and letting your business be something that serves you to allow you to serve God… not the other way around. 

How to Launch Your First Online Course!

Are you ready to create a course but don’t know where to start? Follow this simple process and you will get your course done in no time flat! 

Step 1: Define your Marketing Position 

Ever heard the story that if you have a day to cut down a tree you should spend 7 hours sharpening your ax and one hour cutting down the tree? That is exactly what this step is!

Before getting started creating 300+ power point slides and 20 fillable PDFs, make sure you identify WHO your course is for and what result (transformation) they are going to get or achieve after taking your course. Here are some questions you should be able to answer:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Who is not our audience?
  • What are their hopes, desires, dreams?
  • What are their fears, frustrations, & pain points?
  • What results do they want? What transformation will your course give them?
  • Who are your competitors? 
  • What have they tried and why hasn’t it worked?
  • How can you solve the problem better?

Answer these questions in detail and everything else you do will be easier.

Step 2: Map Out Your Modules 

The biggest mistake in course creation is trying to teach too much.  You are an expert in your area and you have a burning desire to help people so naturally you want to give them all of the information they need to be successful. Unfortunately this is a losing proposition. If you give away too much information and create a 25 hour course, most people will never finish watching all of the videos, and even less will take action.

You can solve this by giving away just enough information to keep it high level, and use weekly live coaching calls to fill in the gaps. (Which can also be recorded, transcribed, and uploaded as bonus content to your members area!) 

A good structure I have found, is this: 

  • A course has 6 modules of about one hour each. 
  • Each module has 6 lessons of about 10 minutes each.

That means that a course will have about 6 hours total of content and it will be laid out in an easy to consume format! 

What I have found that is also very helpful, is to write out a bullet point for each lesson in a “sales language” format so that I can use those bullet points on the sales page. 

Step 3: Write Your Sales Page 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the next step is not to record your course, but to write your sales page. This will help you to further narrow down what you are going to be teaching and make sure that the course you have in mind is actually an appealing offer. 

After writing your sales page you can add it to your site, let people know that it is currently closed but they can join the wait list, and start capturing leads. This is a great way to also gauge interest for a course before you go to all the work of building it!

Step 4: Record Your First Module or Pre-Training Material 

You don’t make money in draft mode! Get your first module done or pre-training material ready and then get ready to sell! If you are doing this for the first time and will be doing live coaching calls as you move through your course, you are going to be able to customize your training for your students. Each week let them know what you are going to be teaching the next week and ask them what their biggest questions are related to that topic. Guess what! You now have your lessons mapped out for you! Take their questions and incorporate them into your lessons and your content will create itself. 

Step 5: Time to Sell

Don’t let that course sit on your virtual shelf too long. Once you have done steps 1-4, get busy selling! 

What questions do you have about course creation? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Recent Facebook Changes That Affect Your Business Page

On April 21, 2015, Facebook announced that they were making three changes to their algorithm. The changes were based on a survey that asked Facebook users what they would like to improve about their personal page feed.

As you might already know, on Facebook only personal page likes count on a business page. (That’s why you always see, “Like us from your personal page” in most business posts.) So, while Facebook might have been targeting an improved experience for personal pages, our business pages are going to take a hit, too.

Here are the changes that Facebook has announced and how I think they’ll affect our business pages:

facebook-thinking

#1 Users will see less “commented on” posts in their Facebook feed.

Previously, the Facebook feed would show us the posts that our friends were commenting on. At the top of the message, it would say, “Jane Doe commented on Earth Friendly Farms post” and show us the entire thread of comments.

Facebook is going to move these posts down the page. If you want to see what your friends are up to, you’ll need to spend more time scrolling to the bottom of your newsfeed.

How does this apply to your business page? This change will keep your friends’ friends (or page likers) from seeing who’s engaging with your business. It will make it more difficult to get new likes from the friends of the people who like your page, as well.

 

#2 Facebook is relaxing the “multiple posts” rule so that users see more content.

Facebook is labeling this as an effort to improve “the experience for people who don’t have a lot of content available to see.” If you are only connected with a handful of friends, you’ll now be able to view more of their posts.

How does this apply to your business page? Anyone that likes your page but only has a small group of friends should now be seeing more of your business content.

Be aware, however, that if you publish several times a day on your business page you might end up overwhelming the newsfeeds of people with a low friend count. They could unfollow (or unlike) your page.

When too many people select “I don’t want to see this content” from the dropdown box you’ll be penalized by the Facebook algorithm.

 

#3 Individual user behavior will dictate what Facebook users see in their newsfeed.

The survey was very clear about one fact: Facebook users did not want to miss important updates from their friends. Now, they will be deciding on what you see based on which users you engage with the most.

How will this affect your business? If your business followers have their algorithm set to Top Stories (instead of Most Recent), there’s very little you can do to have your business content come up first in their feed.

In essence, they have to like you and share your content to see what your business posts, but if they don’t see what you post (due to the Facebook algorithm), they can’t like you. And this catch-22 isn’t going to improve anytime soon.

How can you really control the Facebook updates on your business page?

Of course, every time Facebook makes changes to their algorithm there’s going to be an adjustment period. We all have to learn how to play the game all over again. Here are a few tips I’ve had personal success with:

  • Stop posting photos and links on your business page
    Facebook is providing more page views to text only posts. Feel free to hashtag your entries to help people find you.
  • Get people to engage with your business page
    Like always, engagement is key. Strive to have users share your content, but liking and commenting are still better than nothing.
  • Share content from your business page to your personal page
    Facebook does not seem to have altered this very simple trick; go onto your business page and share the content onto your personal page.
  • Tag people in your posts to encourage engagement
    One of the best tips may be to let others know when you’re posting their articles. Social authority goes a long way; by sharing your post, they look good to their audience.

Still struggling to figure out Facebook? Our team of experts can help.

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list and schedule a free consultation!

How LinkedIn Posts Can Change Your Business

Is LinkedIn part of your social media marketing strategy? It should be.

“But LinkedIn is for posting resumes and looking for jobs,” you may say. Once upon a time that was the case, but that time has passed. The executives at LinkedIn are broadening their horizons, and that’s good news for you.

blogging for business

For a few months now, LinkedIn has been rolling out a new feature on its site to all of its users: the ability to post content. It started with people who qualified as “Influencers” but has recently been expanding, and will continue to expand, to include all users.

So what?

How does that affect you?

It means you have another opportunity to showcase your expertise in your industry by posting educational information that can point traffic to your website. (You may remember from my previous post that traffic is more important than links. If somebody visits your website based on a post you wrote on LinkedIn, you’ve got a potential lead!)

If you’re a consultant, you can flex your business savvy. If you’re an author, you can showcase your talent. If you’re a business owner, you can share your knowledge of the industry. In each case, you have the opportunity to present yourself as an expert and potentially reach new connections on a new platform.

How does that affect your social media marketing?

The ability to post on LinkedIn affects a few aspects of your social media marketing. First of all, it changes the utility of LinkedIn from a primarily networking and recruiting platform to a marketing platform. It will remain a place online to learn more about applicants, but in order to make the most of it, you’ll need to visit the site more often and write unique posts with marketing in mind.

Secondly, it makes all of your employees marketers. If they have a profile that shows they work for your company, then their posts can be marketing tools to point traffic to your company website. Employees have long been a reflection of the companies they work for, now even more so.

Thirdly, it means there is another site that needs unique content for marketing. If you’re keeping tally at home, here are all the social media sites that need to have content created for them:

  • Company blog
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Podcast
  • LinkedIn

Before you throw your hands up in the air in frustration, keep this in mind. Each of these sites has a unique audience with different leads who could turn into customers. That should help to keep you motivated and nudge you to write your first LinkedIn post.

How does posting on LinkedIn benefit your business? 

write blog postWe’ve already talked about how LinkedIn has a new audience for you to wow with industry insights and about how it can point traffic to your business website. Those are fantastic benefits in and of themselves. But there’s more, too.

In the past, when someone viewed your profile on LinkedIn, they would see your background experience first. Now, your posts appear at the top of the profile. That means your industry insights are seen before your resume is. It’s more relatable and valuable in the long run. Just because somebody holds a certain title does not mean they are good at what they do. By providing first-hand industry knowledge, your posts give you the opportunity to show people how your business and expertise can help them.

For example, if you’re a consultant who specializes in employee relations, a resume that shows your years in human resources at a hospital will be less helpful for your business than a post about successfully dealing with conflict in the workplace.

Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn automatically shows you the publishing metrics for your posts. In other words, the site tells you how many people looked at your post. Knowing what people want to read is incredibly helpful as you plan what to write in the future.

7 Tips for posting on LinkedIn 

tips

  1. Use an image at the beginning of the post. An image captures attention at a glance and makes the reader want to know more… or least read to title to see if they want to know more.
  2. Beware of duplicate content. If you’re already thinking to yourself, “I’ll just post stuff I’ve written on my blog to my LinkedIn profile” you’ll need to come up with a new plan. Duplicate content like that actually hurts your website when it comes to search engine rankings. Unique content is your best bet.
  3. LinkedIn has explicitly stated that no sales oriented content will be allowed. Just like search engines want to provide the best results, LinkedIn wants to provide the best reader experience. That, and they want to make the most of paid advertising opportunities.
  4. Include calls to action. You can’t post sales content, but you can tell readers to check out your company website where they’ll learn all about your products and services. The call to action can also be to encourage readers to read a specific blog post on your company site. Remember: the goal is qualified traffic that will become leads.
  5. Business hours are the best time to publish. Unlike other social media sites that tend to focus more on entertainment, LinkedIn’s focus is business. As a result, your posts are more likely to be read if they’re posted during business hours.
  6. Keep your audience in mind while you write. LinkedIn has a different audience than Twitter or YouTube. Focus on industry insights rather than pop culture gossip.
  7. Keep your profile up to date. Even though your posts are at the top of the profile, inquiring minds will want to know more about the author of the post. Make sure your information is current.

Don’t think of LinkedIn as another item on your to-do list; think of it as another opportunity to find leads. If you need some help, let us know.

How To Use One Idea On Multiple Sites Without Duplicate Content: Social Media Mash-Ups

Effective marketing requires more and more content as different platforms become available. It can exhaust your creativity and monopolize your time. As a small business owner, you can’t afford the overhead required to hire a full time team of marketers to cover all the bases. What can you do?

“Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.”

social media mashup-ups

You’ve heard the old saying, but what does that look like for you and your content creation? You know that duplicate content hurts your website in the eyes of the search engines, so you’ve been struggling to create unique content for all of your social media platforms. As a result, you find yourself stretched thin and having to choose between taking care of your current customers and finding new leads via social media.

Sound familiar?

You need to develop some social media marketing mash-ups!

What’s a Mash-up?

Mash-ups are when a musician blends two or more different songs together to create something new. Perhaps you’ve heard a DJ do a mash-up at a wedding or seen it on a movie like Pitch Perfect. The musicians are using what’s already been created to make something else.

Let me explain. We’ll begin with something fairly simple: a blog post.

Starting With a Blog Post

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You’ve written a great blog post and put it on the company website. Is that all you can do with it? The answer is no. You can share that post on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Google+ to reach a wider audience. Did you include an image with the post? (Pro tip: that’s definitely a best practice for blogging.) Pin it to a relevant board on your Pinterest account.

Let’s take it a step further. Can you think of a way to use that same content in a video? If you had to give a presentation with that content, what would it look like? Could you do the same presentation in front of a camera and post it to your YouTube channel? The MOZ Blog has perfected this idea with their Whiteboard Friday posts.

 Recapping. You wrote one high quality blog post, shared it on five social media sites and used it as the basis for a new video. You’re starting to get the hang of mash-ups.

Starting With a Podcast

podcastLet’s try another one. This time we’ll start with a podcast. Maybe you prefer talking to writing, so podcasts are less time-consuming for you. Great. Let’s work with that. After you record the podcast and upload it, what else can you do with it to get it to a broader audience?

You can link to it on Facebook and Twitter with a catchy introduction that fits with your audience there. You could have the content of the podcast transcribed and edited so you can post it on your LinkedIn profile. If the content lends itself to illustration, it could be transformed into an Infographic and posted on Instagram or Pinterest. What if, while you recorded the podcast, somebody on your team shot a video of you talking? Now you’ve got a YouTube video, too.

Recapping. You started with the content for a podcast, linked to it on two social media sites, created an Infographic for a third site, posted the transcript on LinkedIn and uploaded a video to YouTube.

Are you beginning to see how this kind of thinking can help you to maximize one great idea by using it on multiple platforms?

One more example before we move on to some pro tips.

Starting With a Webinar

webinar

This time we’re going to start with the content you’ve created for a webinar. You’ve created the content for the webinar as a free resource for those who filled out an opt-in form on your website. (Good thinking!)

In preparation for the webinar, you put the content into a PowerPoint presentation. You’ve also decided to use your Google+ account and hold the webinar as a Google hangout to keep the cost down and make it as easy as possible for your attendees. By recording the hangout, you are automatically producing a video you can post on YouTube later.

As a bonus, you can use any good questions your attendees ask as the basis for future content creation. After the webinar, you decide to upload the PowerPoint presentation to SlideShare in hopes of directing more traffic to your site.

Recapping. You prepared for one webinar, added to your email list with opt-ins, added connections on Google+, made a video for YouTube, uploaded to SlideShare and came away with ideas for more content. All in all a successful endeavor, wouldn’t you say?

I think you’ve got the hang of mash-ups now. Here are some things to keep in mind as you go.

Pro Tips for Social Media Mash-ups 

  • Don’t just post links on Facebook and Twitter. If you really want to peak interest, use a great quote from the content before you link to it.
  • Duplicate content hurts your website in the search engine rankings. Refrain from posting the same content on your blog that you post on LinkedIn.
  • Keep your audience in mind. You may need to tweak some of your content in order to meet your audience of different platforms. The goal is to reach different audiences, but people who read posts on LinkedIn may be different than people who follow you on Pinterest. Mash-up accordingly.
  • If you don’t have a target audience presence on a certain social media site, focus on other sites instead. Let your buyer persona work for you.
  • Don’t try to do it all yourself. Graphic designers, photographers, video editors and writers on your team can adapt your content for various platforms.

I saved the best pro tip for last…

You can always hire a virtual team of professionals to create and manage the content for you. We’d be glad to help. Schedule a free consultation today.

9 Social Media Management Checklists

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Managing everything that has to be done for social media marketing can be overwhelming. It’s important that you have a way to ensure that you cover all the bases. Each social media marketing platform needs its own individual plan, but this overview checklist can help you identify what you need to create an effective social media marketing plan on any network.

Develop Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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  • Know Your Audience  — Depending on the particular product you’re promoting your audience might be slightly different. For instance, if you are promoting a membership program you may only be marketing it to those who have purchased your book. Understand exactly who the audience is before you begin.
  • Study Your industry & know the Influencers — Understanding everything you can about your industry is imperative in making any social media marketing strategy work. Identify key influencers
  • Identify Your Competition — Don’t let competition frighten you. In fact, if you think you have no competition it should make you question whether or not you have a viable product or service. Keeping tabs on your competition can only make you better.
  • Define Social Media Networks / Platforms — Based on the knowledge you have about your audience, your industry and competition you should be able to identify particular social media networks and platforms to implement your marketing program.

Identify Your Resources & Budget

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  • Staff — Do you have people in your organization now who can step up and assist with your social media marketing plan implementation?
  • Contractors — Do you  know of contractors who can assist in these endeavors? If you don’t know any, ask colleagues. Make a list of experts who can help you.
  • Software — What type of software might you need to help you with organizing, planning & implementation of your marketing plan?
  • Dollars — How much money can you devote to your marketing plan?
  • Time — Many people discount the cost of time when making a social media marketing plan. It’s important that you count any time you must invest so that you can decide how to find the time to execute the strategy.

Determine How You Will Manage Social Media Marketing

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  • Social Media Management Software  — There are many different types of software available such as HootSuite.com which can make managing social media a breeze.
  • Virtual & Staff Contractors — Choose the contractors and / or staff who will be responsible for organizing, planning & implementation of your over all social media marketing plan.
  • Online Project Management Systems — Choose a project management system to use to help with implementation. If you already have one, add in social media marketing as a project along with the people who will be responsible for  different tasks.

Develop Campaign Goals & Objectives

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  • Offer & Messaging  — Set up your offers and messaging for each social media platform that you choose to work with.
  • USP — Focus on your unique selling point to help you differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Calls to Action — Don’t skip the calls to action. Every time you submit a message through social media it needs to have a call to action based on the goal of the message.
  • Your Point — Never forget why you’re doing this. The point of the whole thing will depend for each campaign, keep referring back to the point to help you develop your messaging.

Optimize All Content & Marketing Materials

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  • Prepare Marketing Collateral  — Press releases, blog posts, articles, images and more all need to be prepared with each platform, and message that you have in mind. You won’t always want to share the same image on Pinterest that you do on Facebook without some modifications.
  • Optimize Content — Content includes everything mentioned above. Ensure that your titles, the words you use, the benefits you describe, and the pictures you pick relate to your goals, your products, your services and your brand.

Optimize & Improve Online Real Estate

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  • WebPages  — Is your webpage responsive? If not, it’s time to ensure that it is. Responsive design is imperative with social media marketing because most people use their Smartphones to access social media.
  • Blogs — Can your audience read your blog from any device? Just like it’s important to design your website so that everything on there is responsive and works well, the same goes for your blog.
  • Newsletters — If you send out a newsletter is it focused, targeted, relevant, and responsive? Does it focus on providing the customer the education they need to make good choices?
  • Overall Branding — Be consistent across all social media platforms with your brand but also change something up for each social network based on that network’s personality.

Complete & Customize Your Social Media Profiles

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On each platform it’s important that you personalize your profile, optimize images and make the social media unique to that particular platform, but still representative of your brand.

  • Facebook — Tag people & pages. Update daily. Ask for shares, comments & likes. The more engagement you have, the more of your audience will see your updates. Do the same for others in your industry. Try using promoted posts to get more targeted likes.
  • Google + — Add new people to your circles on a regular basis but not all at once. Weekly is best. Host a hangout on a topic in your industry. Attend hangouts on relevant topics. Share & post new content daily.
  • LinkedIn — Connect with new people and related companies each week. Try to set a weekly goal. Ask for recommendations of any one you’ve worked with on a regular basis. Don’t use the auto feature and send a mass request, make it more personal and build your profile and network slowly. Update your status daily.
  • Pinterest — Post examples of your work each week, follow other people’s pin boards, try to add at least one new board a week in a relevant category with at least five pins inside.
  • Twitter — Tweet daily. Retweet daily. Use appropriate #hashtags. Strategically follow new people each day. Don’t follow everyone in one day, adding a few people over a longer period of time is best.
  • Your Blog — Shoot for 20 blog posts a month, share with all your social networks with a unique blub for each network. Ensure that your titles contain relevant keywords in the titles and content of the blog posts.
  • YouTube  — Each week subscribe to at least one new channel related to your industry. Look for relevant videos to share on other social networks weekly. Record short tip videos each week to share with your audience. (Tip: Record your Google Hangouts).

Build Your Social Media Networks

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  • Connect  — You probably already have people that you can connect with on each social media platform you join. Shoot for about 25 connects/followers/likes etc… to start with and then build on that each week.
  • Engage  — Understand social media etiquette for each network you choose to post on.  Be professional, make it about them, and seek to be a resource. The more you make it about them, and building relationships, the better social media will work for your business marketing.
  • Share — Don’t just share your own work, share other people’s work that is relevant to your industry and audience. Always remember the audience, ask yourself “Is this relevant to my audience?” If yes, share, if not don’t.
  • Recommend — It might seem counterintuitive to recommend other businesses, products, and services to your audience but the truth is, sometimes someone else will be better for the job. If you recommend good people, they will return the favor.
  • Build Expertise & Credibility — Share original content, relevant studies, books, webinars, and more with your audience when related. By adding in your own content and comments about the things you share you will build up your expertise. By sharing only relevant and screened information you build your credibility.

Monitor Your Metrics

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  • Engagement Level  — Before starting with metrics you should know your objective and have a way to measure that objective. Using a tool like HootSuite.com can help you measure engagement on a whole new level.
  • Customer Satisfaction — Are your customer’s satisfied once they convert? If you’re not sure, try asking them using social media.
  • Calls to Action Effectiveness — Are your calls to action working and producing the results you expect? If you’re getting results but not what you expected try testing other ideas to see what works best.
  • Feedback  — Always ask for feedback from movers and shakers and experts as well as your contacts, friends, followers, and likes. Let them lead the way and you won’t be disappointed in the results.
  • Other  — Any objective that you have should be reflected in a metric that you can monitor. Objectives are always exact and measurable.

 

Using this checklist to help set up your social media marketing plan can help you remember what’s important and avoid missing relevant ideas.

Stop Wasting Your Money Mindlessly with These 3 Facebook Marketing Tips!

My son is a reader.

I don’t mean an occasional reader. I mean a reader.

Here he is reading at the table during lunch:

Japheth-Reading-and-Eating

He reads in the car… he also carries his books with him everywhere just in case he has an extra 5 minutes!

I absolutely love that he is a reader but….

…have you ever tried to keep up with purchasing books for a kid that can read a whole novel in less than 3 days.  Yeah.  I need a second job just to pay for his Kindle purchases! 🙂

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Every now and then I look on my shelf for books I think he might be interested in and a few days ago I came across a book my mom gave me when I was about his age.

Maybe you have heard of it.  It is called “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.  🙂

SRN - How to Win Friends and Influence People

When I presented the book to my son I told him a story.

I told him how when my mom gave me the book when I was about 11 or 12 that the title put me off.  I thought my mom was trying to tell me that I was a “loser” because only a “loser” would need to read a book about how to make friends! 🙂 I told him that it took me 2 years to read the book and when I finally did I was ready to kick myself.

I realized that the author was an amazing storyteller and had great advice for anyone in any walk of life.  I told him that as soon as I read it I realized I had made a mistake and wished I had read it earlier.

(He is currently reading the book and is already on chapter three and has told me he really likes it!)

So what has this got to do with anything?  Well over the last few weeks I have been taking a class by Amy Porterfield called “Facebook Marketing Profits” and all I can say is, “wow”.

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When Amy and I met briefly at Infusioncon last year I was a little too proud.  I thought … “well I already know all that stuff about Lead Magnets and Marketing Funnels.  What is she going to teach me?” I figured I was only going to learn about 20% of new information from the course so I did not want to “waste” my time or money.

(After-all, as an Infusionsoft Certified Partner I help clients set-up Marketing Funnels all day long!)

I made the same mistake most business owners make.  I got so focused on working IN my business… I forgot how important it is to always be learning and working ON my business!

I also forgot the golden rule of growth!  It is not about how much a course “costs”, but how much you can leverage the information in the course to grow your business.

Waste-time-money

Lesson learned. 🙂

Although I can’t share with you all of the insider tips I am learning as a VIP member with Amy, I do want to share with you three things that I have learned from Amy Porterfields’s class Facebook Marketing Profits.

First, don’t do FB Ads for Likes.

There are two types of Facebook accounts.  A personal profile and a fan page for businesses.

blog-image

The personal profile is primarily used by individuals to connect with families and friends.  Most of the time what you post on your personal profile is shown to only people you have accepted as friends.

The Fan page is meant for businesses.  Fan pages are different in that anyone can “like” the fan page to stay up to date with the posts on that page.  In the past, having a lot of people “like” your fan page meant that you could reach more people with your news and promotions.  For example, a page that had 1,000 likes might reach 400-500 of their fans with each of their posts.  Recently Facebook changed the algorithm they use to display updates to fans.  Now if you have 1,000 fans, your post might only reach 50-80 people if that.

FB reach

In other words, it used to be a benefit to have a lot of fans because it was like free advertising.  The fan page was free, likes were free, and posting updates that got delivered to your fans was free.  This is no longer the case.

There are still benefits to having your clients and prospects like your page… but the benefit is not so huge as to be worthy of a great advertising investment.

So what do we do?  Instead of running Facebook ads for Likes… run the ads to OFFERS where you can capture the name and email address of your prospects so you can continue to market to them through email marketing!

What kinds of offers? There are many!  When you offer something for free in exchange for the person’s contact information, this offer is called a “Lead Magnet”.  You are “drawing” the lead to you!  The offer is your magnet that draws leads to you!

  • Ebookssuccess-kit
  • Whitepapers
  • Teleseminar
  • Webinar
  • Free Demo
  • Free Trial
  • Coupon for a percentage off
  • Coupon for free shipping
  • Free T-Shirt
  • Free Book (They pay shipping)
  • Free Kindle Book
  • Free Consulting
  • Free Quote
  • Site Analysis
  • Custom Report
  • Many, many more!

Once you have decided on your Lead Magnet, the next step is to create a Landing Page to send people to.  A landing page is different than a regular page on your site in that it usually only has ONE option.  Well two.  The visitor can submit their name and email or leave!

The landing page usually has a webform where you can capture their name and email.  This webform connects to your email autoresponder so that you can now send out follow-up emails to pre-sell them on your products or services!

Instant-Success-Optin

You can of course use Facebook ads to send people directly to your sales page with an offer to purchase as well!  This works depending on the price point and how well your audience is already connected to you.

For example, in Facebook Ads, you can also create Custom Audiences that target only people that you import from an excel file.  So for example, if you have a list of customers, you can upload that list to Facebook, create a custom audience, and send only those specific people directly to your sales page!

One final note here. After someone opts in by putting their name and email into your webform on your landing page, the page that they are re-directed to is called the “Thank-You” page.  This is the page where you not only have an opportunity to say “thank-you” for opting in to my list or thank-you for requesting this pdf or for registering for this webinar… but a place where you can show them what to expect next.

Here are some things you can put on your thank-you page!

  • Video of you introducing yourself and thanking them
  • Screenshots of email that they are about to receive
  • Ask them to like your Page on Facebook or Share a Tweet on Twitter to get a bonus product.

Second, don’t Boost posts.

I have fallen into this trap so many times.  When I post an important message on my page that I want to get more eyes on, the easiest thing to do is to hit “boost this post”.  It is easy to justify as it is only $5-7 to get thousands of eyes on an offer!  The problem with this is that the people you are advertising to is NOT targeted.  You are letting Facebook decide who to show the ad to.  It is always a much better strategy to setup a targeted Facebook marketing campaign so you can send out ads to exactly who you want to target!

FB boost

Instead of boosting posts that target random people that Facebook chooses, you can create ads to promote your posts to specific audiences.  But again, this goes back to the first point!  Unless the post is to an offer or you have another strategic reason, it might be better to refrain!

Third, I need to rewrite my new subscriber email sequences… yesterday!

It was on one of the webinars in the course that Amy just casually mentioned that she probably rewrites and tweaks her email sequences about 20 times a year.

When I heard that I paused the video, took a deep breath and listened to that again.  20 times.  Twenty.  Not ten or fifteen.  Twenty.  Success is not by accident.  It is by hard-work, determination, and testing and tweaking to try to get things right.

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Writing email sequences has always been one of my least favorite jobs as a marketer! More than once I have paid out good money to have a copywriter write my emails for me.  One time I paid $700 for a series of 7 emails to a copywriter that came very highly recommended.  It resulted in 0 sales. ZERO!  There are just some things that you cannot outsource easily.  Maybe if I had invested in a copywriter at the rate of $3,000 or so I would have gotten better results but I don’t think so.

What your audience wants is YOU.  They want to hear YOUR stories.  YOUR voice.  They signed on to your list because they felt a connection to you.  You just can’t give them that close relationship when you outsource your copywriting!

Copywriting does not come easy but it is a skill you can learn!

If you are struggling with copywriting here are some suggestions:

  • Create a separate gmail account and optin to many offers of your favorite marketers
  • Study their optin sequences, nurture sequences, and sales sequences
  • Pinpoint what resonates with you.  Find out which marketers you connect with most in regards to writing style and then identify what it is that you like about it!
  • Tell stories.  The best salespeople always tell stories.  If you have stories in your writing it is also more difficult for others to copy you!
  • Study your target market with intention.  Intentionally try to find out what keeps them up at night.  What are their fears or motivations?  The more specifically you can address the needs of your target market, the more successful you will be!

Finally, here is a bonus tip for you!

Tip: Don’t ever stop learning!

I should have taken the class a long time ago.

Just like how I put off reading the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People for two years… I should have taken Amy’s class 2 years ago.  A lot of what I have learned about lead magnets, marketing funnels, and setting up email sales sequences I have pieced together myself over the last few years.  I could have learned it all in less than 6 weeks if I had just taken this course 2 years ago.  (Facepalm) 🙂

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So that is my story.  What is yours?  What have you been putting off?

  • Just send us a quick email to nicole@startrankingnow.com and put “My Story for Nicole” in the subject line!  Tell me what you are working on and what your biggest roadblock is right now to truly being successful!
  • Next, jump on over to Facebook, connect with me, and share this with your friends!  If this has been helpful to you, help me help others!
  • And finally let me know you read this by leaving a comment!

Let’s make 2014 a super successful year!