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Conquer Your Fear of Failure in Business

Personal question: Is it possible that you already know everything you need to know to be successful online – but something other than knowledge is holding you back?

Conquer Your Fear of Failure in Business

If it’s as simple as the mechanics of online marketing – setting up websites and so forth – you can always hire someone to do that part for you.

But if it’s a lack of confidence, or fear of failing that’s holding you back – then it’s up to you to squash that particular bug, or at least quarantine it to the furthest corner of your house.

And if the thought of failing is enough to keep you from starting your online empire, then welcome to the club. Fear of failure is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. Fear of failing is so oppressive and destructive, it can cause you to willingly set aside your dreams – forever.

So why do we fear failure so much? It goes back to life experiences that inadvertently taught us it’s better not to risk, than to risk and lose. When you fail at something, it’s natural to worry what other people will think about you and if they will lose interest in you. You worry about how smart and capable you are, and whether you can effectively pursue future endeavors. In fact, when you fear failure you’re actually worried about an entire host of possible outcomes, most of which will never come to pass no matter how many times you fail.

But the mind isn’t rational, and simply talking yourself out of being afraid doesn’t work any better than trying to manifest an iron will.

The secret to overcoming fear of failure? There are several, but I’ll give you one here that you can use right away.

Experiments in the 1970’s showed that there are two distinct groups of children when it comes to learning new skills. There are the “ego oriented” children whose main concern is to not lose face in front of their friends. Some of these children fear failure so much they invent ways to get out of the activity, do the activity in such a way that they cannot fail, or make it impossible to succeed so that failing doesn’t hold a stigma.

The second group of children is what they term “mastery oriented.” These kids don’t care as much about losing face as they do about acquiring a new skill. In fact, they realize that initially failing is simply a part of the process of learning and take it in stride. These kids are happier and succeed much faster than those who fear failing.

Thus, if you can change your focus to acquiring a new skill and deciding that no matter what happens along the way, you’re going to enjoy the process – you are on the way to overcoming your fear of failure.

Gradually Overcoming Your Fear of Failure

You might start small with something that doesn’t hold a great deal of significance, such as learning a new game. Let’s say you’re going to take up billiards for the first time in your life. Your focus would be on learning how to hold and shoot the cue, the angles to use, the rules of the game and so forth. When you miss a shot or scratch, it’s no big deal because you know that’s part of the process and you’re just learning.

You might be astonished at the difference it makes. You’ll be happier, you’ll have less stress, and you’ll learn your new skill much faster.

From here you might stretch yourself further by doing things that scare you. For example, if you’re a shy person you might ask 15 strangers a simple question (“Do you have the time?”) in the space of 30 minutes. Note how you feel after the exercise. Odds are you’ll not only have conquered a fear of talking to strangers, you’ll also get a boost of confidence, which leads us to our next point…

Are You Lacking in Confidence?

You’ve got a great idea for a new business, but frankly you just don’t have the guts to go for it. Or maybe you do decide to go ahead with your idea, but then someone says it’ll never work and you chuck the whole thing. Why? Low self confidence. This goes hand in hand with the fear of failure.

So why doesn’t someone have enough confidence in themselves? Usually it’s because they judge themselves unworthy, or they see major disconnects between what they think they’re capable of and what they’re actually doing.

Growing Unshakable Self-Confidence, Step by Step

The good news is, self confidence can be raised with every new challenge met, no matter how small. Remember the exercise to talk to 15 strangers? I can almost guarantee your self-confidence to talk with strangers will be significantly raised after you do this.

In fact, if you will make it a habit to do one thing every single day that is out of your current comfort zone, you will find that your confidence improves immensely within just a few short weeks.

Make yourself a list of all things you’d like to do that you’re not doing. Maybe you’ve wanted to join a group, take up a new hobby, try a different sport or go to a fancy nightclub. Maybe you want to get better at talking with the opposite sex, or at making friends, or get better at making online contacts. Maybe you’ve wished you could get 5 minutes with the big guns in your niche, or regularly post to forums and blogs.

Whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t, put it on the list. Even small stuff like taking a walk around your neighborhood and ringing doorbells of neighbors you haven’t yet met can go on the list, as well as chatting up that stud or beautiful woman who works in the supermarket. Write down everything you can think of that you’ve been holding back on. Add in skydiving if you’re inspired to do that kind of thing, and keep adding to this list daily as you think of new things.

Now that you’ve got your list, pick one thing and do it right now. That’s right – do it now, or at least before you go to bed tonight.

Notice a difference in how you feel about yourself? You should.

When we don’t do the things we wish we would do – for whatever reason – we lose self-esteem. But when we finally do those things, not only do we become more self-confident, we also find we’re happier, more fulfilled and more ready to take on even bigger challenges.

You’ll notice that most of the examples I’ve given haven’t been IM related. That’s because raising your confidence in any one area can help you in all other areas as well. When you have success learning tennis, you can use that boost in confidence to tackle website building or product creation. And when you overcome your fear of talking to strangers, it gets easier to network on Facebook with people you don’t know.

One last thing – it’s far better to take multiple baby steps than try to overcome the world in a day. Making slow, steady progress anchors your triumphs and makes it that much easier to achieve a little bit more tomorrow.

9-Step Video Formula that Sells Like Crazy

It’s important to realize that with the exception of creating a video purely for entertainment purposes (cute kitten videos fall into this category) or simply to inform, in nearly every video you make, you are selling something.

9-Step Video Formula that Sells Like Crazy

Often times you’re selling a click. You want them to click a link in or below the video that takes them to where you want them to go, whether it’s a squeeze page, a sales page, a blog or whatever.

Sometimes you’re selling them on picking up the phone. Sometimes you’re actually selling your product on that very page where the video appears. The point is, you’re selling something, and this is the common point for all videos and the basis of the video script I’m about to share with you.

NOTE: Even if you are making a purely informational video, I suggest you use at least a portion of this script because YOU ARE STILL SELLING. Now then, I can hear your thoughts:

“I’m not selling, I’m making a video to convey info only.”

But if you think about why you are creating a video ‘for info only,’ odds are one reason is because you want to appear as the trusted authority you are. Thus you are selling your viewers on YOU.

You’re also selling them on the material you are presenting. After all, what good does it do to teach something or demonstrate something if no one uses the information you’re presenting, or even believes that it’s true?

Thus when you are making videos, you are almost always selling something.

With that said, here’s the 9 steps to make a video that SELLS LIKE CRAZY…

Your first step is easy – decide what you want your viewer to DO. Do you want them to click an affiliate link? Go to a squeeze page? Make a phone call? Buy a product? Everything else is built on this, so if you’re not clear on what you want them to do, get clear.

The second step to creating your video is to know WHO you are creating the video FOR. Let’s say your video is promoting an affiliate product, and you want them to click a link that takes them to the sales page. (Not really recommended – You should try to capture their email address first and then show them the sales page on the exit regardless of whether they give you their email address.)

But in our example you want them to click your affiliate link. Ask yourself: WHO ARE THEY? Are they a 40 year old woman who needs to lose weight? A 65 year old man concerned about his health? A 22 year old college grad looking for a job? Figure out who it is that you’re targeting and get detailed. You might even create an avatar of this person, with age, gender, income, location, fears, desires, etc. The better you know your prospect, the better you can tailor your video to them.

Here’s where I see people go wrong: “I’m targeting all parents of all children.” That’s not targeting, that’s trying to throw a net over 3/4’s of the entire planet and it doesn’t work very well. Instead, choose to target specifically, such as young middle class parents of preschool children. Your video will be better for it, and parents of older children will actually respond BETTER than if you tried to target every parent on the planet.

This has been proven to work. Narrow down your niche and TARGET. Write down who your viewer is and then every step of the way, imagine you are targeting this video for that exact person because you are.

Third step: Research your visitor. Let’s say you’re targeting new parents – go to forums and find out what they’re saying, what they’re asking and how they’re asking it. Copy and paste some of their best quotes. Now go to Amazon and read the reviews of products similar to the one you’re promoting and again copy the best quotes. If you clean these up and use them in your actual video script, you will sound as though you know and understand their biggest concerns, worries, fears, dreams and desires.

And everyone wants to feel as though they’re understood. In fact, it’s crucial that you come across as someone who is very much like them, because people TRUST those who have a lot in common with them. Don’t believe me? If someone is a Republican, who are they going to trust – a Republican or a Democrat? The more you can sound just like they think, the more influence you will have on them.

Fourth step: Make the promise complete with a hook. You want them to watch your video but they’re not going to do it out of charity. You’ve got to make them a big promise in the beginning that will entice them into watching.

Let’s say you’re promoting a weight loss product – you might grab their attention by revealing the 4 So-Called ‘Healthy’ Foods That Are Secretly Making Them Fat, or the 1 Weird Exercise Trick That Burns 3 Times As Many Calories.

If you’re doing a product review, it’s not enough to say, “Here I Give My Honest Review of ABC Product.” Everyone does that, which is exactly why you SHOULDN’T do it. Instead, reveal “The diabolical technique on page 42 of the product that should be illegal.”

Which video would you watch – another boring review, or a video that actually reveals something you don’t know?

Mind you, if you use this technique in lieu of a typical review, you’re not going to reveal all of the contents of the product. But you can let a detail or two slip out, especially if you’re telling them WHAT to do and not HOW to do it.

This tells your viewer that you’ve actually looked at the product and you have inside information as to what’s inside. And it’s a great way to wet their whistle and get them wanting to know more.

So regardless of whether you’re selling a click or a product, lead with a big promise that contains a hook. What’s a hook? “22 Ways to Improve Your Golf Score” is a big promise, and “22 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Golf Score Using Chicken Eggs” is a promise with a hook. The hook in this case is the chicken eggs – who wouldn’t be curious to know how the eggs come into play with improving golf scores? Even I want to know that, and I don’t golf.

What if your video is actually selling a product? Then you still want a big promise with a hook to get them to watch. You can’t really tell people, “Hey, go watch my sales video!” because no one wants to be sold. But you can certainly say, “Hey, here’s my video on the 7 foods that make you lose weight faster than a snowman in Florida.” I’d watch that video, and I bet you would, too.

Fifth step: Lead with a story. You’ve made your big promise with a hook, and you’ve targeted it to the exact person you want to reach. Now before you reveal your great info, it’s time to tell your story. Maybe you’re promoting a program on how to raise amazing kids. Your story could be how terrified you were that you were going to thoroughly screw up your own kids. Use quotes you found from the forums and Amazon reviews to help you write this.

Your story might be: “I researched and struggled and tried to find the answers but everyone just told me, “Hey, do the best you can.” And it was hard because I couldn’t seem to get through to my son and he was driving me crazy. But then I made a discovery and that’s when everything changed, and now I get comments all the time on what a terrific, confident parent I’ve become. Now my son listens to me and our relationship is amazing, and I want to share what I’ve discovered with you because I know it’ll help you, too.”

Sixth step: Next you tell them the secrets you promised in the big promise. But also tell them that those secrets are just the tip of the iceberg, and all the best stuff is found in the course you’re promoting or selling, or the free report you’re giving away.

See how easy that is? If you’re thinking, “Hey this is a lot of work,” then let me clue you in – the entire process can be done in an hour or two if you know your market. And what you’ll end up with is an impressive video that CONVERTS. So hang in there – we’re not quite done yet.

Seventh step: Educate – this one I actually covered briefly in step 6 – fulfill your big promise. If you said you would show them 3 ways to increase their bowling score by 20 points, then do it. But here’s the thing – as much as possible, tell them WHAT to do and not HOW to do it. You’re walking a line here, revealing some info but not too much info. You want to get them interested and excited to know MORE but not satiated. You’re building a hunger in them that can’t be satisfied until they take the action and get whatever product you’re promoting.

An example: Your big promise is 3 ordinary spices that speed up weight loss. In this case, you tell them the spices, but you let them know they have to be combined in such a way and at a certain time of day to be truly effective.

Or maybe you’re promoting a physical product and your big promise is to add points to their bowling game. You tell them they can instantly do this by simply wearing a special wrist cuff, but of course they have to buy the cuff for it to work.

Eighth step: Proof. The best way to use proof is to weave it throughout your presentation when possible. “Emma Jones of New Jersey has been an avid bowler for 14 years and was certain this gizmo couldn’t possibly improve her score. But ever since the day she put on the Wonder Wrist Band, her average has improved by 19 points and she refuses to bowl without it.” “Bill Heisenburg reports he was a total skeptic, until he used just the technique on page 142 to get a date with 3 gorgeous women in one night.”

Ninth step: Call to action. This one’s easy – tell them or suggest to them what to do. I ‘don’t know how many times I see people forget to do this in their videos. It’s simple: “Click the link to discover how to ___” Whatever it is you want them to do, ask them to do it. It’s best not to get too pushy on this, by the way. Calls to action like, “If you want to know how a one legged golfer cut his golf score in half in two weeks, click here” tend to work well because you’re not actually telling, you’re enticing.

That’s it – the recipe to make an effective video that converts like gangbusters. Of course you’ve got to add your own special sauce, whether it’s your personality, your fun quirky nature, or whatever it is that makes your videos unique.

Use this script in good health, and it’ll make you plenty of money.

Get More Visitors from Your Signature File

You know it’s smart marketing to place a signature file in your emails, in forum posts (where allowed), and at the end of guest blog posts and so forth. But what is your sig file saying about you? That you’re boring? That you and your business look like every one of your competitor’s businesses? Or does it stand out and grab attention? If getting more clicks and visitors to your offer is what you want, you must have a compelling signature…

Get More Visitors from Your Signature File

Here’s an example of boring:

“For The World’s Best e-Course on Driving Traffic to Your Website, Go to: sameoldsameold.com/wake-me-when-its-over

Sure, you’ll get a trickle of traffic. Maybe.

Instead, let’s apply some imagination and make a signature file that creates burning curiosity.

If your website is about weight loss, you might use:

“Click here to see a picture of my wife’s abs”

“Click here to see a photo of my ex when he saw me in my new bikini”

Notice in these examples we say to “click here to see a photo.” This phrase works really well at attracting clicks.

If your website is about building muscle, you might use:

“Click here to see me try to bench press my girlfriend”

“Click here to see me try to bounce a brick off my abs”

“Click here to see my wife try to beat a loud-mouth male body-builder in a push-up contest”

Notice all of these use the word “try.” That’s because we’re building suspense – Did I manage to bench press my girlfriend, or not? The reader has to click to find out.

Maybe your website is on dog training:

“Click here to see my dog chasing the mailman”

“Click here to see my dog greeting guests with a cold beer and a bag of chips”

“Click here to see my dog herding chickens into the living room”

Notice all of the verbs in these examples end in ing, as the though action is happening now, not in the past.

Using these techniques you should get far more people clicking the link in your signature line. Your job is to fulfill your promise on the landing page, thereby building rapport and credibility. Once this is accomplished, you then entice them further into subscribing to your list to get your outstanding freebie.

12 Ways to Make Social Media Pay Off

By now you know that social media is great for building your lists and promoting your products. A recent study discovered that sales people who use social media for their jobs outperform their non-social media peers by 73%. But have you thought of using social media for these purposes?

12 Ways to Make Social Media Pay Off

Fundraising. Let’s say you’re using Kickstarter to raise funds for your new project. Problem is, no one knows you, no one trusts you, and no one is telling anyone else about you.

Solution? Get busy on social media prior to your launch. Establish a strong social presence and build your credibility. Once you’ve got a strong following who believe in what you’re doing, that’s the time to start your fundraising campaign.

Referrals. Sure, you’re already hoping your content gets shared on social media, but that’s not enough.

Be sure to always give great value and service to ensure your customers have plenty of positive things to say about you. Then run contests, offer prizes and discounts to encourage your customers to share their positive experiences with their networks.

Status. You can look like a big dog and boost your own credibility by sharing content from the big names in your industry. It doesn’t even matter if these influencers are aware of you – simply by associating your name with their name by quoting them will make you look like an influencer yourself and boost your own credibility.

Ice-breaking. Let’s say you want to make contact with an industry leader. Problem is, so do thousands of others. What can you do? Try following this leader on social media and look for points of common interest.

Maybe she has a dog – what kind is it? Is she passionate about that breed? If so, that’s something you might put in the subject line: “Phyllis, did you see a Yorkie won best of show at Westminster?” This is a much better icebreaker than, “Hey, I’m just one more guy who wants to JV with you.”

Kevin Bacon. It’s said that you can link any Hollywood actor to Kevin Bacon within 6 degrees. So what about the guy you’re trying to get a meeting with? If you can use social media to find common connections and get an introduction from someone he trusts, you’ll have one foot in the door.

Super Hero. You see a tweet from someone complaining about your competitor’s service. Or someone else is talking about a problem your business can solve. Why not don the cape and jump in to save their day? If you do it in the spirit of helping rather than selling, you’ll almost certainly gain a new customer.

Storytelling. Telling your brand’s story is a great way to captivate potential customers. But knowing how to tell the story can be challenging. So why not practice on social media? Give out pieces of the story, or many small stories, to build your brand image. Monitor the likes and shares to see which stories win the most social love, and work these into your marketing.

Help. Do you have a pressing problem? Reach out and ask your social network for help. One couple lost their wedding venue and $7,000 deposit six weeks before their wedding. Thanks to reaching out for help on social media, they received everything from jewelry to a wedding cake to a new event planner.

Anticipation. Build anticipation for your next content – whether it’s a blog post or a book – by posting about your progress in play-by-play fashion. This keeps you in touch with your community, gives insight into your work and provides an eager audience when your content is finished.

Accountability. If you have trouble completing your to-do list, consider posting what you’re going to accomplish in the morning, and then reporting back in the evening whether you accomplished it and how it all turned out. There’s nothing like knowing your entire social network is paying attention to whether or not you do what you say you will do to keep you on track.

Currency. Marc Jacobs opened a pop-up store for the New York fashion week where the only currency that could be used were posts to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. That’s right – they didn’t accept money, only social media posts, using the hashtag #MJDaisyChain. This is a great way to gather some social media momentum, new clients and terrific testimonials.

Pay it Forward. Find something really nice to say about someone on social media every day, or offer to help someone, or maybe even send out a call to help anyone who asks. Not only will you build positive brownie karma points – you’ll also attract attention from potential customers and best of all, you’ll feel great about yourself and your business.

These are just 12 examples of thinking beyond the social media box. If you keep an eye out for how others are using social media, you’re bound to find even more business building ideas.

Make Extra Money Online Selling Websites

I’ve got a friend who clears $2,000 to $4,000 working maybe 6-8 hours a month, flipping websites. Mind you, he’s not building the sites. He’s locating sites and then finding buyers for them, so he’s acting almost like an agent. Here’s how he is doing it in a nutshell…

Make Extra Money Online Selling Websites

Choose a niche to research.

In that niche, locate 5-10 good keywords that get 5,000 or more searches per month.

Run a search for each of those keywords and find all the sites that appear on page 1 or 2 of the results.

Eliminate the big sites immediately. You’re looking for sites that aren’t well known and don’t have a huge following.

Make a list of the potential sites and check out their traffic using a site like www.semrush.com or www.compete.com

You’re looking for sites with a $1,000 or more a month traffic price on SEMrush.com and at least 3,000 visitors a month.

Once you’re narrowed your list to the websites that fit these parameters, send the owners an email. You should find the contact details on the websites, or you can do a whois.net check.

In the email, let them know you like their site and you’re interested in buying it. Some will answer, some won’t. By all means send a second email if they don’t answer, but don’t send a third. You don’t need them all, just a couple a week to work with.

Ask for verified Google Analytics proof and income proof, and negotiate a selling price. Generally 8-12 times the monthly income is a good selling price, but of course you want to negotiate the best deal you can get. Let them know you won’t actually be taking possession, you’ve got a stable of clients who purchase websites and you’re acting on their behalf. If you want to make it formal to protect yourself, get an exclusive option to buy the site for the next “X” number of days. 90 is generally good. You might need to pay to secure this option – offer a small amount like $100.

Find a buyer. Use any of the website selling sites to find your buyer, such as Flippa, Ebay, etc. Obviously you’re going to sell the site for more than you’re paying – the difference is your profit.

Use Paypal or Escrow.com to do the transaction. Escrow.com has a broker’s function, so that’s the best option but you can definitely use Paypal to get started.

Be patient. Some deals will happen so easy and fast you’ll be astounded, some deals will never happen, and others take time. Learn as you go. And have fun.

This could turn into a full time income when you get good at it. No doubt there are details you’ll have to figure out along the way, just as my friend did. But it’s a truly simple business formula that most anyone can use to make some extra cash.

The Big Secret to Online Business Success

Have you ever noticed how many IM products are sold under the premise of revealing THE BIG SECRET? Newsflash – and please try not to hate me for telling you this, but…

The Big Secret to Online Business Success

There aren’t any real secrets.

There’s simply stuff you know and stuff you don’t know yet.

And that’s about it.

If there is a secret, it’s as plain as day and hidden right underneath your nose.

In fact, you’ve seen it a hundred times or more.

Maybe even a thousand times.

It’s the “secret” to BIG BIG BIG money.

But like I said, it’s not a secret.

Can you guess what it is?

Build a tribe.

That’s it.

Build a following, a tribe of people who like you and trust you.

Contact them in social media, on your blog and through your list.

Be their advocate. Their champion. And also their guy or gal next door.

Find out what they want. Be one of them. Like them and love them. And sometimes send them dynamite offers that make you big bucks.

Next, create your own products. Your own brand. Your own everything.

Build your empire.

Have a fleet of products and a name people know and love.

But start it all by deciding exactly who your tribe is, and then focus focus focus on finding and growing your tribe.

Don’t get distracted.
Don’t get distracted.
Don’t get distracted.

Focus on building your tribe and being their “go-to” person with all the great info and insight, the guy next door who is just like them.

This is the “secret” to becoming a smashing success online.

I hope you’re not disappointed. Really, you should be ecstatic.

Because anyone – ANYONE – can do this.

Are You “All In” with Your Online Business?

There’s an expression in the game of poker called, “Going all in.” And it means you’re betting everything you’ve got on your hand. This is the showdown – if you win then you’ve got a nice pile of money. If you lose, you’re out.

All In

In cards you might win, you might lose and generally it doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things. But in your life, ‘going all in’ can be the absolute difference between extreme success and dismal failure.

Mind you, it’s more of a mindset than a money risk, although it can certainly be both. If you’re working a job while you build your IM business, I don’t recommend you quit your job until your Internet Marketing income equals the income you get from your job, give or take.

But your mindset can’t be anything BUT ‘going all in.’ You’ve got to live and breathe your success before you achieve it. You’ve got to know you can do it, or at least have an extremely large suspicion that it’s possible.

You’ve got to commit to your new venture like you’d commit to raising a child. Sorry, but half-hearted simply won’t cut it…

Think of two guys – Sam and Max. Sam dabbles in IM for 10 years, working on his business when he feels like it. Max lives, breathes and eats IM for 10 years. Who’s retiring in 10 years? There’s no question, it’s going to be Max.

It’s time to make a decision – are you all in? Are you going to get your mindset in the right place to start doing what you’ve got to do everyday to make your IM business not just a hobby, but a real actual BUSINESS? It’s your call.

Before I go, let me leave you with this heart-pumping quote:

One day, John and George showed up… and told me we had a gig. I said, “No, I’ve got a steady job here… I can’t expect more.” And I was quite serious… But then I thought, “Sod it.” I bunked over the wall and was never seen again by Massey and Coggins. Pretty shrewd move really, as things turned out. – Sir Paul McCartney

33 Things I Would Have Paid Money to Know Before I Started in Online Marketing

If you’re just starting out in Internet Marketing, beware: There are lessons you’ll need to learn one way or the other. The easier way is find an old marketer like me and pick my brain. The hard way is the method I’ve used many times in my years as a marketer – making the mistake and THEN learning the lesson. But it’s been worth it. Here 33 things I wish I’d known when I started in online marketing.

33 Things I Would Have Paid Money to Know Before I Started in Online Marketing

1. Your most valuable asset is your customer list. Not your prospect list, your customer list – people who have spent at least a dollar with you. Do everything you can to grow this list, because once someone trusts you enough to hand you a dollar, they’ll hand you $50. And once they hand you $50, they’ll hand you $500, but only if you treat them right.

2. Your second most valuable asset is your affiliates and JV partners. I’m talking about the affiliates who promote your products time and again, the ones that stick by you because A) They believe in you B) They believe in your products C) You treat them like the royalty they are. Your affiliates can make you more money in one day than most people earn in a year. Find them, nurture them, be amazing to them and take care of them.

3. Your third most valuable asset is really your most valuable, but until you’ve been in this business for awhile I’m afraid you won’t believe it, so I placed it here at number 3. But think about this – if you don’t treat your customers right and your affiliates right, what happens? You get a bad reputation. And once you have that, you might has well hang it up and go get a job at Walmart. Your reputation is EVERYTHING online. Protect it the way you would protect your own child, because you only get one chance to do it right. This goes for your brand as well.

4. Other valuable assets in no particular order are: Your prospect list, your outsourcers and your products. Focus on moving people off of your prospect list and onto your buyers list, even if it’s only a $1 purchase. Treat your best outsourcers well – you don’t want to have to find and train new ones every 6 weeks. And products, well…

5. Your products speak for you. Make them awesome and be sure they deliver on every promise you make. And do create products – lots of them. The more the merrier, so long as each one is filling a real customer want. It’s much easier to break into the 6 figure realm when you’re creating your own products. My most prosperous years are the ones where I’m creating the most solutions and products.

6. Keep things simple. I see aspiring marketers trying to over-complicate things all the time. Find a want, create the product, sell it to those who want it. Simple. As Steve Jobs said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” When you reduce the clutter and noise, you can do less and get more from it.

7. Focus. Pick a niche and focus on that niche. Let nothing distract you, including all the other niches. Make a list of things to do. Do each one. This sounds so simple, yet people try to go in several different directions at once and of course wind up going absolutely nowhere. This is one I got right from the start – I chose the IM niche and never looked back, and I’ve never regretted it.

8. Use systems. With a finely tuned system you can do anything. When they build a car, do they reinvent the engine each time? No. When you start an IM business, you don’t have to reinvent the mechanics of how to run it, either. Get a system and you’ll be free to focus on making money while the system runs your business.

9. Do 15 minutes of concentrated, positive thinking every morning. Do affirmations in the mirror, read something inspiring, look over and read aloud your goals, etc. Whatever it is that lights your fire, do it first thing in the morning and it will fuel you for the rest of the day.

10. Send out ships. Thinking positive is the first step, but it’s not enough. You’ve got to climb those stairs, not just look up at them and hope you somehow get to the top. So each day, send out ships. Make contact with someone in your niche. Build alliances. Email a dozen prospective affiliates. Skype with your best prospects. Whatever it is that brings in the business and makes you money, do it daily.

11. Use deadlines. Work inevitably expands to fill the time allowed, so only allow enough time to get it done. Then cut that time in half. You’ll be astonished at how fast you can work and what you can achieve.

12. Screw perfection. Really. You’ve got to take that attitude or you’ll be working six months on a product trying to get it perfect. When you finally do launch it, the window has passed and the desires of the community have moved on.

13. Build a real business. A blog is not a business, nor is a list. Those are components of a business. Decide what business you’re in and then treat it as seriously as any brick and mortar business.

14. You are the CEO of your business. Act like it. Outsource as much as possible so you don’t get bogged down. You can’t captain a ship while you’re swabbing decks. Focus on the big picture and outsource the details.

15. When you receive payment for a product, that’s when your work begins. Remember, it’s easier to keep a customer than to get one, but if you don’t continually take care of your customers, you’ll lose them.

16. Stand for something. No successful business has ever been all things to all people.

17. Pre-sell your products. This way you know for a fact if there’s a market for it, PLUS you have a huge incentive to get that product out the door FAST. And if there’s no interest in the product, you’ve just saved yourself the work of creating what would have been a loser anyway.

18. Make connections. Every day make one new connection and then maintain that connection forever. Yes, forever. Or until you retire. You can never have too many connections, too many friends in the business, too many customers, too many affiliates and JV partners, etc.

19. Be an idea magnet. What’s an idea? Often it’s a combination of two old things into something new. Look for ideas everywhere and write them down. WRITE THEM DOWN. Writing them ensures you don’t forget them, it frees your mind to think of more ideas, and it trains your mind to be ever watchful for the next big idea.

20. You can’t email your list too often. There’s a belief that if you send out an email everyday to your list, you’ll burn the list. And this is true if all you’re sending is ads. But if you’re also sending tidbits of good information or even just something to brighten their day, they will welcome your messages. In fact, emailing every day ensures you stay in their memory. Email once a week and they’ll forget who you are.

21. Grow your confidence. This will happen naturally as you experience success in your business, but you need to be confident from Day 1 that you can do the business in the first place.

22. Use to-do lists. Write down goals big and small. Write down what needs to be done this month, this week and today. Prioritize your list. Then do it.

23. Get an accountability partner. Tell each other or email each other each morning with your to-do list. Then tell each other in the evening what you accomplished.

24. Join a mastermind group. If you can’t find one, start one.

25. Outsource the bulk of your content and product creation. Then focus 80% or more of your time on marketing and building your business. This boils down to ‘Working ON your business rather than IN your business.’

26. Ask for the sale. That’s right, ASK for the sale. I once went to a car dealer and the guy helping me was brand new. I found the car I wanted, but he couldn’t gather up the courage to ask for the sale. Finally another salesperson came over and asked if I was ready to buy. “Yes!” I said. The young sales person looked astonished, but when he had to split his commission with the sales person who asked for the sale, I could see the new guy had learned his lesson.

27. Always have an upsell. If you’re selling a $7 product, offer a $27 on the backend. If your product is $97, offer a $997 on the backend. If you don’t, you’re robbing your customers who want more and you’re robbing yourself.

28. Continuity rules. Always look for ways to introduce continuity into your business, from the $7 a month membership to the $5,000 a month coaching program.

29. Passive income is the result of hard work, not passively sitting on your butt. How many rich couch potatoes do you know?

30. Hire a business coach. You’ll get a fresh perspective you sorely need, as well as good advice and someone to push you to new levels. For every dollar you spend on quality business coaching, you can expect to make $10 or more in just the first year, as long as you ACT on the good advice.

31. Invest your profits, don’t spend them. Buy real estate, good stocks or anything of lasting value. Don’t squander your money on ridiculous cars and nights out – there could come a day when you’ll deeply regret it.

32. Think of your mother. Would you be embarrassed to show her your marketing methods? If not, you might want to rethink your strategy. Another thing: Would she tell you that despite how busy you are, you should still eat right, exercise and take a little time off each day? Then be smart and do it. Mom does know best.

33. Have fun. If you’re miserable, you’re not doing it right. Yes there are going to be challenges, but half the fun is overcoming those challenges and persevering. If you hate what you’re doing, you’ve already failed. Do something else. I learned this in my previous profession prior to the Internet, but it holds true no matter what your business.

There you have it – 33 things I wish I’d known when I started. Some of these would have been handy five years into my IM career as well. I hope it helps.

One word of advice – when you do learn a lesson, either the hard way or the easy way – make a note of it. It’s best not to repeat the same mistakes any more than you have to.

17 Simple Ways to Increase the Power and Effectiveness of Your Sales Funnel

A coaching student recently emailed with a problem you may have encountered yourself – your sales funnel just isn’t working nearly as well as you’d like it to. Fortunately, there are proven techniques you can use to increase any sales funnel’s pulling power, from the ads you place, to your squeeze page, your blog, your sales letters and on your backend.

Here’s 17 simple ways to increase the effectiveness of your online sales funnel…

17 Simple Ways to Increase the Power of Your Sales Funnel

1. Ask for action. Whether it’s a Facebook ad, solo ad or a banner, a squeeze page, a sales page, even a blog post – ask your reader to take the next steps and do what you want them to do. Keep it simple and make it easy to take that action, too.

2. Always offer free information, such as blog posts, articles, reports, podcasts, videos etc. to establish yourself as an authority who can be trusted, as well as someone they just plain like.

3. Describe your lead generating free report in a way that makes it every bit as enticing as a $100 paid product.

4. Show a picture of your report or product, and don’t skimp on this. Get a good graphics designer to create a cover that looks like it belongs on the best seller list.

5. Spend a lot of time choosing just the right title. Whether it’s a blog post, a free report or a product, give it a name or title that creates curiosity or implies a big benefit. If you can do both, you get major bonus points.

6. Include your address on your squeeze page and your sales page. Make it super easy to find on your blog. A real address (preferably with a real phone number) tells people they can trust you.

7. Use your head shot photo everywhere you can. Unless you look like an ogre (and trust me, you don’t) it’s better to have your face seen throughout your sales funnel. This makes you a real person to the prospect, not just some faceless person trying to take their money. Spend time choosing just the right photo, and even use social media to help you pick the one that makes you look like the likeable, trustworthy person you are.

8. When offering discounts, use a dollar amount, not a percentage. For example, $10 off converts better than 10% off.

9. You know those dashed lines they put around coupons? Thanks to conditioning, those lines also work online for getting attention and making sales. Try using them on your order page.

10. Give the order page “coupon” a headline that affirms positive action – ”Yes, I want to lose 30 pounds in the next 60 days.”

11. Give the customer 2 or 3 choices – perhaps a starter option, a full option and a deluxe option. Price the deluxe at slightly more than the full and you will very likely increase sales dramatically.

12. Try placing a less-heavy dashed line around your banner ads as well to stimulate response.

13. Use a direct headline – one that promises a benefit or stresses the offer of free information while invoking curiosity. Test your headlines. Test test test. Then test some more. If this seems tedious, get your VA to do it.

14. If you don’t have a VA, consider getting one. S/he can be doing the little stuff while you focus on improving your funnel.

15. Giving away a free book or consultation? Or is your price crazy low? Put it in the headline.

16. Offer a bonus unlike any other. For example, everyone offers a free ebook, recording, video, etc. Instead, offer something tangible like a real book. Have it shipped via Amazon. Obviously this bonus will only be offered on higher priced products.

17. Offer a free sample. Yes, this is old school, but it works. Offer a free 30 minute consultation, or a free chapter, or the first 3 videos of your 15 video series. If you deliver what you promise and make them want more, you’ll get sales.

One last thing: If you’re already doing all of the above and your sales are still lower than you like, you’ll want to take a look at the big picture. Is your offer a good one? Is the product something people are willing and even eager to pay for?

All the marketing in the world won’t do much to help a lousy offer. If the problem turns out to be the offer, the question to ask is whether you’re charging too much or is it simply something people don’t want? And then take the appropriate action.

Above all else, don’t give up, because the only people who truly fail are the ones who throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble.

Why Would You Create an Udemy Course?

Just like any information product, creating an online course at Udemy allows you to do the work once and get paid over and over again, sometimes for years. “But ebooks and video products and so forth already do that – why an online course?”

Why Would You Create an Udemy Course?

Would you believe, because it looks cool? When you’re selling your course through your own website, you look just like everybody else pushing an info-product. But when you do it through a teaching platform like Udemy, you automatically get credibility and prestige points.

Plus Udemy will get you customers you never would have found in any other manner. True, they get a cut, but so would affiliates.

Another reason why you might want to create an Udemy style ecourse is this: By having an online course (or 2 or 20) you are automatically an expert in your niche. Imagine trying to sell a brick and mortar business a marketing package when they don’t know who you are. Now imagine selling that same package after you’ve shown them that you are a Udemy Instructor. See the difference?

Sure, you and I know that putting together a Udemy course isn’t rocket science, but to your prospect you are suddenly THE MAN or THE WOMAN who can ride in on that big shiny horse, save the day and fix their problems. Okay, maybe not, but their trust level in you and your expertise just increased by a couple of hundred points, easy.

Here’s yet another reason for creating a Udemy course: You can charge more than you can for a random ebook or video course. Which would you rather do – sell 10 THOUSAND copies of a $10 product, or 508 copies of a $197 product? It takes essentially the same work, yet on the higher priced product you need far fewer sales to reach that six figure number. In fact, just 1.39 sales per day for a year will yield you $100,000.

One last reason to consider creating a Udemy course: Your course makes for a terrific back end product. Let’s say you do sell a $10 product, or you guest blog, or you get interviewed, etc. Where do you send people? Yes, you can send them to a squeeze page to capture their email address, but where do you take them after that? Imagine if, on the ‘thank you for subscribing’ page, you invited them to take a peek at your Udemy course. You could also provide them with an expiring coupon. Even if just a few percent of them buy, you are now making significant money you otherwise would have left on the table.

This can be a self-liquidating method to build your list. Pay for advertising, make money on your Udemy course, and you can continually and almost effortlessly build your list – forever.

If you’re an expert on a topic and you haven’t thought about creating a Udemy course before, you might want to consider it.

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