100+ Tips and Lessons To Increase Traffic or Generate Revenue!

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Search Engine Optimization (SEO), The Fast and Easy Way to Learn

By Rafiq Elmansy

________________________________

SEO, how to. increase, traffic, generate, revenue, website


I picked this book up just to “dabble in”. I knew somewhat about Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) and although I found the subject a bit overwhelming, I thought- what the hey, let’s grab this and see where we can go.

On a side note, I have a new project that I’m working on involving web development- you can read about that here. And, while most people would pick a book like this up for their own businesses, I picked this up for OTHER people’s businesses. You see, part of my project is developing web packages for other people/businesses/entrepreneurs.

So, I bought this book in a wholly unselfish way…

Yeah, riiiiiiiiight you say.

drownTurns out that I wrongly believed I had good handle on things (shocker). In all seriousness though- when I said I was going to “dabble”, it quickly became more than that. I was immersed in it. After all, who hasn’t read article after online article about SEO? I know I have; and, at the end of the day once it’s read, you forget about it within a nanosecond of clicking the mouse.

rinseHowever, even before diving into this book, I was done with the read-click-forget-rinse-repeat scenario… I just didn’t know it yet. If what I just said is resonating with you, here is where you really need to listen to me- if you GENUINELY want to know how to get more traffic and more clicks on your web site or blog; you need to invest in this book. While there are people in this world who can readily implement a page full of text- nothing but words that you need a doctorate to understand… Well, I think that’s great if you can comprehend it, but I’m not that type of person. And, if you aren’t either, stay with me.english


wait

To be honest, I’m too impatient to even sit through a 1-minute YouTube video let alone have a Google page up ready to look up every other word!

 

 

Truly, you’d do yourself an immense favor investing in this. Trust me. Or don’t- BUT, I’m hoping you will after you read this post. I’ll make it as brief, and to-the-point as I can. Your time is precious!

manualThis is more than a book, it’s a MANUAL, and all you need is this and your computer. It’s designed for individuals who are visual learners and it comes complete with large, colorful, large-size screen shots and step-by-step explanations that are easy to understand (PRO TIP: I took those steps and placed them into an Excel spreadsheet and now use it as a checklist for the sites I develop. You can do the same for your own site/blog!).

Some of it in the very beginning is for complete newbies like building a web site (in other words, if you’ve already developed your website and it has good, useful content with strategic keywords and tags, it is OK to go ahead and move onto further chapters). As for me, and possibly for you, you’re already beyond this point and are now looking to just get it ranked higher in Google for an confusedincrease in traffic or to generate a monthly revenue stream. This book will help with that.

Like, ever found Google Analytics confusing? Who hasn’t?

Just the word, ‘analytics’ gives me the willies!

 

But, that’s what we all need to learn. And, as far as I’m concerned this guide sides more in the advanced area (don’t be scared!)—like,

  • Diving deeply into meta tags and implementing them into your site through HTML/CSS (you *have* to come to a place of knowing basic code. If you don’t learn, you are short-changing yourself),
  • Simple-to-understand information about On-page/Off-page SEO,
  • the importance of anchor text, and other codes/files/formulas for optimization
  • internal links, backlinks, link-exchange,
  • fully optimizing image names and Alt Attributes,
  • where to scan code errors within your site that may be harming your Google rank (this is done by another site that you can use for FREE),
  • and so much more! There is over 100 SEO tasks you can do- do them ALL, I say!

Even though I’d say this information is for those that are beyond the basics, it really does make ‘advanced’ very easy to do. Each chapter is designed in two-page lessons so it’s great for just laying the book in your lap, or on your desk. It lays open and you just follow along…

IT’S AT THIS POINT THERE COMES A WARNING – WARNING – WARNING

warning

Do yourself a service and DON’T buy the “e-Book” even though it’s available. I’m sure most professionals out there think that a book coming in electronic form is a hot commodity nowadays, but from this gal right here, don’t do it. You need to physically handle this book! Trust me!

checkWhy? You lay it open, you follow along step-by-step, ensuring you’ve done EVERYTHING (and 99% of the steps and implements are free, by the way) and then watch your site or blog take off! I mean, what else will there be left to do??? Cover-to-cover, this is it! And kiss the ‘read-click-forget’ system goodbye!

In fact, the slogan on the back cover says it best, “Read Less- Learn More”.

 


I would agree!

Check out these pages I snipped so you can get a better idea of how this works and why this would be an excellent investment for your biz!

tips2

tips

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An Online Business That Makes You Money… Now What? — SELL IT, You Say?

imagesCASX4NZ7“The question has often been asked of me, “What do the owners of extraordinary businesses know that the rest don’t.”

Contrary to popular belief my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.

The problem with most failing businesses I’ve encountered is not that their owners don’t know enough about finance, marketing, management, and operations – they don’t, but those things are easy enough to learn – but that they spend their time and energy defending what they think they know. The greatest businesspeople I’ve met are determined to get it right no matter what the cost.imagesCAW7Q6UD

And by getting it right, I’m not just talking about the business.

I mean that there is something uplifting, some vision, some higher end in sight that “getting it right” would serve.

An ethical certainty, a moral principle, a universal truth.

imagesCATHZ0PQWhich is not to say that those I’m inclined to think of as extraordinary would necessarily communicate it that way. Many can’t. Even if they had the inclination they simply don’t have the words for it. But it’s still there all the same. You can see it in their eyes, feel it radiating from their bodies, hear it in the timbre of their voices.

imagesCA96MEHQOn the other hand, notwithstanding the search for “something higher,” the best of the best I have known are extraordinarily grounded people; they are compulsive about detail, pragmatic, down-to-earth, in touch with the seamy reality of ordinary life. They know that a business doesn’t miss the mark by failing to achieve greatness in some lofty, principled way, but in the stuff that goes on in every nook and cranny of the business – on the telephone, between the customer and a salesperson, on the shipping dock, at the cash register.

And so the great ones I have known seem to possess an intuitive understanding that the only way to reach something higher is to focus their attention on the multitude of seemingly insignificant, unimportant and boring things that make up every business. (And that make up every life, for that matter!)

imagesCA62OAY3Those mundane and tedious little things that, when done exactly right, with the right kind of attention and intention, form in their aggregate a distinctive essence an evanescent quality that distinguishes every great business you’ve ever done business with from its more mediocre counterparts whose owners are satisfied to simply get through the day.

Yes, the simple truth about the greatest businesspeople I have known is that they have a genuine fascination for the truly astonishing impact little things done exactly right can have on the world.

It is to that fascination that this book is dedicated.

This book is a guide for those who see the development of an extraordinary business as a never-ending inquiry, an ongoing investigation, an active engagement with a world of forces, within us and without, that continually amaze and confound the true seekers amount us with awesome variety, unending surprises and untold complexity.

While it may seem obvious, this fascination with the development of an extraordinary business is not the same as a fascination with success.

imagesCAEC44F2Certainly not the success we normally think of. Some end point which, having reached it, enables one to say, “I did it!” Because my experience has taught me only too well that end points in the development of an extraordinary business are instantly replaced by beginning points.

imagesCAH6PV2CSo, this book is not about ending, but about beginnings, about the never-ending game, the delightful and exhilarating process, the continuous evolution of our senses of our consciousness – of our humanness – which only comes from being present in the moment, from being attentive to what’s going on.

I believe that our business can provide us with a mirror to see ourselves as we are, to see what we truly know and what we don’t know, to see ourselves honestly, directly, and immediately.

I believe that our business can become an exciting metaphor for

“The Way.”

A wise person once said, “Know thyself.” To that honorable dictum I can only add for the businessperson on the path of discovery, good traveling and good luck.

imagesCAAEUR30I might also add a few instructive words from another wise man, Anthony Greenbank, who said in The Book of Survival,

To live through an impossible situation, you don’t need the reflexes of a Grand Prix driver, the muscles of a Hercules, the mind of an Einstein. You simply need to know what to do.”

4000478-515030-decorative-elements-border-and-page-rules

This excerpt comes from The E-Myth RevisitedMichael Gerber’s, The E-Myth Revisited.

1And, I cannot stress enough how much this book spoke to me. I picked it up, not *super* enthused about it… I had put it on “hold” at the library and when I finally got it, I’ll admit that it didn’t look too promising.

This is where the old adage, “never judge a book by it’s cover” totally comes into play.

From the moment I read the first paragraph, I KNEW that this is the book I have been waiting for. I can only say that it *perfectly* put into words all the thoughts and feelings I had swirling around in my brain for MONTHS.

Today’s post is just a Part 1; Part 2 will go into more detail about what I learned. Not to worry, this won’t hash out into a five-part series like last time, but I will say that it’s going to be very interesting. I love learning new things about business!

So, this is the quick gist:

It’s all about this:

Creating a system that will make your business replicable.

imagesMB12XCOWWhat that means is, enabling your business to be repeatable by someone else. In other words, taking yourself out of your business and allowing others to do it. It’s creating a residual income where you are not the one performing the work.

Sound’s interesting, doesn’t it?

In essence it’s learning to create a franchise that you sell for a profit.imagesS8UF0JL8 Stay tuned…


The Ultimate Marketing Strategy Checklist Your Small Business Needs To Make Money

This is the last post from my marketing series. I’ve summarized all the points I made across the board. Enjoy!

Guerrilla Marketing, 4th editionTake heart that every change can represent money in your life if you learn about it and do something about it.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing

 

1appGiven the right circumstances, fire has a voracious appetite. It will eat up just about anything you put in front of it – if it’s hot enough. However, the point isn’t about the temperature, it’s the way it devours. At times, its power can be nearly unstoppable.

 

2firHave you ever felt that way? Not necessarily unstoppable, but a feeling of never giving up? You press on – you never give up, there’s always this hunger. Sometimes that feeling is strong, sometimes that feeling grows dull, but it’s an ever-present reality in your life – your online business life. It’s comparable to a fire that consistently burns – sometimes it rages, sometimes it’s mere embers, but it’s always “alit”.

 

3cashPersonally, I’ve always had that burn. It’s like a particular drive. To get where? That elusive place called, success? What is success? It seems to me that the definition for that term is different for everybody. For you that’s reading this, the chances I would imagine are creating for yourself an online business that provides you with a constant inflow of residual income, am I right?

 

4sqGoing back to square one, that’s what this blog is all about. It’s about creating an online business that does exactly that. What this blog isn’t about is dreaming up what exact business you are looking to grow. For example: computer programing, accounting, software/app creating, makeup tips, music videos, acting/modeling, the list goes on and on and on. You are the one that knows yourself best, you know what it is that makes you happy, what your passion is, what your “product” is.

 

5goalMy goal is to move you onwards and upwards once you are in that place of knowing what it is you are going to do. In my mind, the directives are somewhat generic across the board. Have a website? Check. Twitter account? Check, check. Facebook? Done.

 

So, if you are an FPI business owner, this blog caters to the next step. What do you do after you have all your social media in place.

 

6searNow that we’ve got that established, I first have to mention this; even today, for the most part, after all my years of Internet experience, I still see a constant search, a constant hunger for *instant cash*. People (myself included, I won’t lie) have this dream that they will stumble onto a platform that will turn their laptop into a virtual ATM. How do I know? The two biggest keywords on Internet search engines is…. Guess what?

 

MAKE

 

MONEY

 

1dreamFor most of us, we have a dream. Our ultimate goal and desire is to wake up to a cash machine sitting at our dining room table, or wherever our laptop might be sitting. There are those who believe that it can happen, and there are those who don’t believe it can happen. For those who do believe and actually know how it can be done, will charge you for this knowledge. For those who don’t believe that it can happen just aren’t open minded enough (or at the very least, haven’t found the right avenue).

 

Can it happen? Will it happen? My answer is why couldn’t it happen?

 

Why not?

 

1keyThis is what I think: it can happen. Here’s what you probably don’t want to hear: but it does take work. And how hard and how fast is up to you. But, here’s the KEY: if you have the right tools, it can be faster rather than slower.

 

So, what kind of work, you ask?

 

1sellI don’t know. Keystrokes? Phone calls? You have a product, right? The goal is to sell that product. You will NOT get money any other way. People have to buy something from you in order for you to get paid. Do you know of any business in this world that does not operate in this way? Whether it’s:

 

  • your time (viewing ads, assisting others, reading articles, etc.),
  • your information (what you know, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve done, etc.), or
  • your product (clothing, makeup, tools, accessories, specialty/novelty product, etc.)

 

2loveYou won’t make money any other way. Period. Craft your online business based on what you love to do. Sell a product you love. And whatever you do, don’t stop. It’s not hard to stoke the fires of perseverance and motivation, a term I’ve lovingly coined, “moti-verance” (if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me mention it). You stay at it, you search out and devour all the information you can and you study the people that have gone on before you in your field.

 

2checkJust don’t do all of that on the Internet alone. Go to your local library. Please, please, please trust me on this one. And then when you’re done with that, print this out and check off each one – one by one and see if this doesn’t completely jump-start your online career.

 

From Part 1:

The sole purpose of this blog is to equip you with the knowledge and give you the tools you will need to grow your business. This post is about one of the many facets out there working to propel your ideas and products out into the social world. It’s called, marketing.” – Joy @ Glowbees

 

  • Pin down 5 professionals heroes in your field through magazines, books and blogs.

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

 

  • Stimulating the juices that water the super-fruit of your creative imagination.

Your top three methods:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Coloring a picture in a quiet place – don’t knock this one! It works!

 

  • Utilize these two points above to create something addictive about your online business that has the potential to go viral.

What is it?____________________________________________________

 

∇      Carve time out of your week to spend at least two hours at your local library reading quietly off in a corner somewhere.

 

∇      You have a notepad you’ve purchased that you now carry with you everywhere.

 

∇      Promoted three of your professional heroes via an email message using a sample message I’ve shared.

 

 

From Part 2:

1st

 

Success in the new era of business is driven by your ability to stand out and be truly remarkable. That requires an ability to tap into creativity, break the mold, introduce disruptive change, and dislodge the status quo.” – Josh Linkner, Disciplined Dreaming

 

  • Establishing what it means to be an FPI businessperson. Making sure you are fully integrated on each of the following:

 

o   Your own interactive web site                                                                                   ∇

o   Your business blog                                                                                                          ∇

o   A business page on Facebook                                                                                       ∇

o   Profile completed on LinkedIn                                                                                    ∇

o   Profile on Pinterest                                                                                                         ∇

o   Profile on Google+                                                                                                          ∇

o   A Twitter account                                                                                                            ∇

o   Accounts on the following news sites:

  • Tumblr                                                                                                                       ∇
  • Reddit                                                                                                                        ∇
  • StumbleUpon                                                                                                           ∇
  • Disqus                                                                                                                        ∇
  • Digg                                                                                                                            ∇

 

∇      Created a digital-free zone somewhere in your office.

 

∇      Knowing the combined top 3 creative methods your professional heroes share. Be brief, but not enough to lose specificity!

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

∇      A controversial and opposing viewpoint to your business’ mission statement. As an example, I sell women’s clothing. My angle is modesty, which can in itself be a controversial subject.

 

o   ___________________________________________________

 

Two ways you will use this to your advantage:

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

1talk

 

People won’t talk about you if you don’t give them something to say. Anything that catches attention is a topic. Anything that catches attention and then gets talked about is a fantastic topic.” Andy Sernovitz’s book, Word of Mouth Marketing

 

∇    Completed a brief email interview with one of your professional heroes and then wrote a blog article about it bring exposure to them and to your business.

 

∇    Outsourced through an online hiring platform to promote your blog or business (this is an excellent time-freeing objective – it brings exposure to your business while you sleep, or play, or go out to eat).

 

∇    Created a colorful chart/diagram concerning your business containing everything that you know that others would find useful. The link to your web site is listed at the bottom for exposure. You have shared this on all your social platforms (for online viewing: an example can be found HERE).

 

∇    You have a give-away item that your clients eagerly anticipate receiving. Your logo and web site information is on this product (remember the Microsoft MVP program!).

 

∇    You are currently co-partnered with a charity that is dear to your heart.

 

From a word of mouth perspective, charities are especially powerful because they come with their own built-in network of talkers. When you connect with any nonprofit, from a national organization to a single, small youth group, everyone in that group has a reason to talk about you. They are organized, involved, and have ready-to-go communication channels.” Andy Sernovitz’s book, Word of Mouth Marketing

∇    Three words: YOUTUBE VIDEO CONTEST.

 

 

From Part 3:

 

untitled

Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)

[This] …is not about broadcasting your message and getting the largest reach and frequency – it’s about tapping into the conversation, listening, engaging, and empowering. The loudest, biggest spenders don’t win anymore. The smartest, most flexible listeners do.” Dave Kerpen, Likeable Social Media

 

 

∇    Three methods from Part 3 you are currently incorporating one a week to get more “Likes” on your Facebook business page:

 

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

 

♣    TWITTER – Check when completed

 

∇    Your business hosted a live chat (and continues to on a regular basis)

∇    Holds a monthly (or less) contest

∇    Incorporates a semi-annual (or more often) giveaway

∇    Post brain games, riddles and funny jokes at least 3 times (or more) a week

 

 

∇    Established a private, closed group on LinkedIn with professionals in your field for the sole purpose of gaining knowledge, learning methods of promotion (for them), asking questions, creating a dialogue and gaining recommendations (this group is not to gain clients – I repeat, not to gain clients! It is to NETWORK).

 

∇    Established an open group of people you know in real life on Facebook for the purpose of support, encouragement, and ideas. These people are positive, upbeat and share similar business goals.

 

∇    You are incorporating at least two methods from Part 3 that enable you to be more likeable, transparent and personable within your business. These two methods are:

 

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

∇    You are continually in the process of writing small, brief, yet concise reports on trending heroes in your field at least once every two weeks using the methods listed in Part 3. You are learning:

 

o   How your goals and paths are similar

o   What you wish to emulate in their business life

o   What value you can bring to their table

 

 

From Part 4:

 

1mar

 

My goal with this whole series is to put marketing tools in your arsenal from every possible angle by acquiring the latest and greatest, yet critical information which will in turn, procure a wealth of tips & tricks every small business owner should have that leads to relationships, fans, sales, profits and success! – Joy @ Glowbees

 

Part 4 was about utilizing all the tools that I’ve written about in your off-line business life (no social media). You should have in place the following:

 

∇    An ultra-sleek, curiosity-inspiring bumper decal on the back of your car that includes your web address or logo.

 

∇    Brochures and 3×5 cards that you distribute everywhere you go that have a pretty person on them, are in color, give the people who see them complete simplicity in being more involved with your business (via TXT is a plus) (don’t forget that there are approx. 30 ideas for places to place them at in the post).

 

∇    You are set up on an online platform that allows you to receive texts through a “shortcode”. You are incorporating this into every possible marketing strategy that you use in order to make it easier for your viewing audience to:

o   receive something from you, i.e., newsletters, products, giveaways

o   ‘Like’ you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter/Pinterest, or

o   view your site, blog, & profiles.

 

∇    You are working on an ad project that you will place in a regional edition of an upscale magazine. The ad will be for your business or an eBook (see below) that you have written by doing the following:

o   creating the design and layout of the ad

o   considering the possibility of partnering with another business to cut costs (called fusion marketing)

o   ordering reprints of the ad for mere cents that you will:

o  place in mailers,

o  create a poster for,

o  have framed,

o  all with the words: “As seen in…”

∇    You have or are creating an eBook full of free information that you will give to anyone who wishes to download it complete with your web address listed in the footer of every page. Ways to get content are listed in the post.

 

∇    You currently have in place a reminder system for follow-up with clients after every sale (30 days, 90 days and one year).

 

∇    Every week you mail out at least 2 personal notes using the highest quality materials to potential clients or those on your mailing list that have not purchased from you yet. This note is to introduce yourself and give them an opportunity to receive something from you for free (through contest, promotion, giveaways deal, or eBook).

 

____________________________

 

I really had a great time blogging about all of the methods that have worked for me in my business. I truly hope that as you incorporate them in your own marketing strategies that they will kick-start your online business career selling whatever you are passionate about. And one day, your laptop will be your virtual ATM. Who’s to say that one day you won’t see this:

 

3payrecd

 

2groI’ve created something I wish I would have had five years ago. I believe that this is a pretty good break-down list of everything you should be working towards for your business, so print this out and keep it handy by your desk. For me, I use Excel in the form of this list. In one column I have all my ideas. Then, in approx. 1 to 2 weeks, I check back in and place in the column next to it what happened to that idea. I post updates, if you will in the next cell over. That way, I can see laterally what is working, what’s on hold, what’s not working, what I’m waiting on, etc. etc. And every 1 to 2 weeks I have a new column and I just keep following it over. At the bottom of my most current column I place new ideas, so it’s basically always growing, but never to the point that I can’t see what I’ve already done. It’s a nice system for me and it works.

 

Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. And, if you have any questions or responses to these strategies and methods, I’d love to hear them!

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Joy

The Mouth That Paints A Thousand Words – Marketing Series, Part 2 of 4

1Before we begin Part 2, I thought it would be prudent to clarify some things. I need to know, are you an FPI? Are you a business owner socially plugged-in fully across the board? FPI’s have the following:

          • A completed website
          • A business blog

You are fully plugged-in on:

          • Facebook – you have a business page and even created your own business group
          • LinkedIn – same here

You have a following (no matter how small) here:

  • Pinterest – you’re an admin of your own community “group”
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google+
  • Disqus
  • Digg

2I’m making the dangerous assumption that all of my readers have these things in place. As much as I like to live dangerously (it’s my middle name), making assumptions usually don’t work out to the good.

If you aren’t FPI’d, get there! All of these sites are free to join, take minutes to complete and they are crucial in this day and age of social media. Did you know that 93% of marketers use social media for business? [fastcompany.com – 10 surprising social media statistics]

NINETY-THREE PERCENT!

Remember the part about truth that I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series? Mmmm, yeah. I just read something pretty cool that backs up most of what I was trying to get at throughout that post. It looks like this:

BeFunky_Snapshot_20140304_3.jpg

I’m totally serious when I say that I just read this tonight in an amazing book I’ll talk about –see below about “stealing like an artist” (not the dreaming book) — and considering how I posted Part 1 yesterday, I think it’s all pretty neat!

4As a quick recap to my last post we went over the importance of superior wisdom and distinctively-awesome creativity and how you need both. Wisdom from other been-there done-that professionals in your field, and the cultivation, planting and growing of some “creativity super-fruit”.

The reason I wanted to lay the groundwork for these two qualities first is because you won’t go anywhere without them. Why?

Because——>>>>>> how will you ever market your business without above-average wisdom or without being distinctively creative?

Success in the new era of business is driven by your ability to stand out and be truly remarkable. That requires an ability to tap into creativity, break the mold, introduce disruptive change, and dislodge the status quo.”
– Josh Linkner, Disciplined Dreaming

You have to do this.

You CAN do this.

5So to continue our recap of Part 1, find your inner nerd! Step 1: go to your library (you won’t regret it, other professionals heroes say the same), step 2: keep a notebook on you at all times, and step 3: do something boring that frees your mind. For example, keep your notepad handy while you do dishes, stare into space, make mind movies, or like I said before, drive your car in silence (don’t crash while jotting down notes!).

4000478-515030-decorative-elements-border-and-page-rules

Now back to pic above about the library and the notebook- That pic above contains a page from a neat little book that I came across by  Austin Kleon called, “Steal Like An Artist”.

Steal Like an ArtistAnd, when I say “little” I mean little, like… 6” x 6” x 1.5”! But don’t let the size fool you, I found it to be pretty comprehensive and creatively constructed. The tagline is: “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative”.

From Part 1, I wrote tips for creativity. I’ll quickly list them here-

    • Curiosity – ask ridiculous business growth questions about your field
    • Brainstorming – Business exposure, humorous pitches, your “hook”
    • Make something awesome – make a business logo using markers as an example?
    • Free time – Busyness murders creativity

I was a little stunned (and delighted) to see that the ideas I wrote about nicely complimented part of the “10 things” Mr. Kleon included in his book (remember that little thing called, truth?) as he also talks about those things.

However the one thing that I didn’t have that he introduces in the book is about writing not what you know, but what you like. I’ll share a pic that I saw months and months ago, but has stayed with me because it resonated so deeply. Edited to add that I couldn’t find the pic [INSERT BIG UNHAPPY FACE HERE].

6It was about creating your perfect life scenario within your mind before falling asleep. Seriously though, who hasn’t done this? It’s writing the story of your business life in a way that others want to read or you want to read.

Whenever you’re at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, “What would make a better story?”

“The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.” – Austin Kleon

How do you do this?

Snapshot_20140305_2

Number one: getting off your laptop for a bit.

Number two: create a “digital free” zone in your office (tip from the book).

7Make the space you need to actually utilize pencils, markers, paper, and other office supplies to CREATE. If a commercial was going to be run on TV featuring your business, how would it look? What about a print ad in one of those over-sized magazines like the Detroit Hour? I would like to see one of my readers physically draw something out and send it to me!

I’ll give you an example from my own personal life: I often have trouble nurturing creativity when it comes to my commercial photography portfolios. I’ve traveled down the Internet road of “inspiration” (looking at other examples of commercial stock) and I always come away empty.

I have to ask myself,

‘What is the story that I would like to read about my life as a photographer?’

What can I do to get that ball rolling?

Remember this pic? 8

I become so overwhelmed and discouraged because it’s simply too much. So, I created a scrapbook. I put in that scrapbook idea’s for images I want to see. Or, when I write, I put those ideas down for what I would actually use for my own articles. Keeping these idea’s in a folder on my hard drive just-doesn’t-work. I’m “physically” writing the story that I want to see in my portfolios.

8On a related side-note, this makes me think of a good photographer friend of mine who, a long time ago was sad at the fact that film is becoming obsolete. She said that there was just “something” about being able to touch and feel the photographs (of course, I was chiding her a bit because I was super-duper excited to enter the digital age of photography where there were no more developed pictures of closed eyelids, messed up hair, wrong expression, out-of-focus faces and so much more. No more time or money wasted! Woo-hoo!).

9But,

…now that it’s been some time and I’ve grown in my study of the creative process, I understand what she was saying. I realize now that she was… well… a real artist. She’s an amazing photographer and I’m often jealous because she’s just a hands-on type person. I realize that in order for us to foster that type of growth, we have to simply step back from the computer and get our hands dirty.

9aWhen we do this, things happen, seeds get planted. After that, they get watered. Then, what grows from that can turn into a beautiful plant that produces choice fruit. It simply can’t be done any other way. It’s unfortunately that it took so long for this to sink in with me so please learn from my failure!

So back to my photography “scrapbook”- once I had the story that has been produced by my own desires and my own creativity, I now interact with the hero-photographers in my field. With this, I go even deeper (superior wisdom from others part) by:

  • Learning from them (not necessarily about their work but learning about them),
  • Gaining an understanding of how they think,
  • Studying their creative methods by receiving access,
  • It becomes an invaluable development of a small inner circle of heroes who assist you not only by inspiration, but portfolio growth based on your own creativity.

Are you getting the picture here?  And, this doesn’t just have to be about photography; it can be about the business of fashion & clothing (which I love, so I’m using that as an example), it can be about construction, accounting, baking, sail boats, auto parts, whatever business you are running.

9bThis is about YOUR business.

This is about marketing that business.

This is what you need FIRST before you get on that road.

Once you know the story of your business and what you want to see, hear, read and live regarding it, and once you have an inner circle of other hero-professionals (how to get them was in Part 1), you are now equipped to head on out and begin the process of spreading your ideas/products to the ends of the earth.

With a full understanding of having wisdom and creativity, we need to put that to use with all of the marketing methods out there. Which are these:

  • email newsletters,
  • direct mailing of promotional cards,
  • advertising online or yellow pages,
  • referrals,
  • hired salespeople, and
  • word of mouth

Throughout the next few posts, I’ll touch on the top five methods listed above, but for now I’m going to start with the last one on the list. I suppose because it peeks my interest in this technological age.

9cI’ve been doing the “Internet thing” for so long, I feel like I’ve lost touch with actual people! And, to be honest I didn’t know a whole lot about word of mouth (WOM) marketing up until recently.

untitled3When you think of “word of mouth” don’t you think of people actually talking to one another? I know I do. But, that’s not necessarily what it means anymore. It used to, but now with technology, everyone talks through the digitally written word now soaring through cyberspace. Our words come from our keystrokes and powerful keystrokes at that.

Andy Sernovitz’s book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking was the reason I wrote Part 1 of this series. Basically, in order to even have something out there that others will be inclined to share is going to require wisdom and creativity. You have to learn what works and what doesn’t. For the former, you need to do that creatively. Then, you can move on to studying and implementing the WOM techniques.

WOM marketing is dead in its tracks if it’s not share-worthy or buzzworthy. People have got to want to talk about it for it to work. People talk about things they are crazy about (think rabid Apple fans), they tell their friends, their family, their co-workers. Well, maybe not entirely “crazy” over things; but maybe information that challenges them, information that’s controversial, debatable even.

9dBottom line: opinions. Everyone has one (you know the saying which I won’t repeat). And, one of my passions is modest, yet stylish clothing. I have many girls in my family and I will tell you that it’s extremely difficult nowadays to buy clothing that isn’t low-cut, tight-fitting or revealing. I don’t want them dressing like nuns either, but when all the shorts you can see for sale at the local mall are so short your butt cheeks hang out, there’s something wrong there. And frankly, I’m quite sick of seeing it. It only perpetuates this idea that girls are only valuable and accepted by their peer groups, society and the culture at large by revealing their bodies. This is what they’re worth?! This is how they see their own worth?

9eC’mon. The girls in my life must know (because I tell them frequently) their worth is not in how they dress, or undress their bodies. How they appear on the outside is not “who they are” on the inside. When you cultivate and nurture a girl’s heart and she knows that true beauty lies there and not on the outside, she will respect herself and will respect others. That’s the truth.

imagesLQGDALXSYou may not know it, but that paragraph I just wrote containing my opinion (declared as truth) would be considered “controversial” in certain circles. There’s ALWAYS an angle to everything under the sun that has an opposite viewpoint (or opinion). There will always be an opposing view, no matter what.

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This is an example of what you will use to your advantage.

People won’t talk about you if you don’t give them something to say. Anything that catches attention is a topic. Anything that catches attention and then gets talked about is a fantastic topic.” –Andy Sernovitz

9fThis is one of the lenses you will look through regarding WOM marketing. A little caution flag first- you can’t be a jerk about things… EVER. Cardinal rule number one when it comes to business is this: you must be likeable. You ARE a business person after all, right? People are your business. Businesses rely on people. Your reputation is such that people should want to do business with you. They must want to share to others what you’re all about. These people who will share and talk about you are the ones who will help propel that little statement we mentioned earlier, “spreading your ideas and products to the ends of the earth”.

9gCardinal rule #2 is making sure you are surrounded by enthusiastic, life-loving people. Network with others who are POSTIVE POSITIVE POSITIVE. Encouragers, motivators, you know the people. Think right now about five people you know personally in real life who are in your life that exude these traits. And, that’s not to say you want people that are so “sunny” they’re oblivious to the need of constructive criticism when it’s needed, either.

Let’s recap:

  • Don’t’ be jerk (offer superior customer service no matter what and no matter to who), and
  • Find your five supporting people in your real life RIGHT NOW. Start an online group with them and only them (since you talk to them in real life, you’ll be able to sustain your online life together easier, i.e., the virtual relationship won’t fizzle out).

Sit tight, I’ll explain more regarding the second rule below… But first,

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Gaining Wisdom

Step #1: Find three professionals heroes in your field. Get their email addresses.

Step #2: In your email you are:

  • First going to explain to them how much their expertise has helped you in the area of _____________  (be specific). Then,
  • you will state that you are going to promote their work through all of your social media platforms (which you will),
  • by a very short interview through email simply asking three questions that you will also blog about thus giving them more exposure:

(if you would like to have a basic outline email I will share it with you for free, just contact me privately through the contact page and I’ll help you out)

    •  You need to find out what they’ve learned specifically about word of mouth marketing and how it worked for them,
    • how it affects their business and/or online presence
    • What advice they would give on how to grow your business based on this marketing method.

untitledStep #3: Broadcast through your blog the interview and how you will implement into your business what has worked for them. This step has a two-fold benefit: promoting your heroes, and at the same time keeping track of your own marketing growth through your blog (it would be like a digital notebook, logging your progress). Be sure to email your heroes upon completion so they will know about it.

9hStep #4: Hire a freelancer through oDesk.com or eLance.com to promote your blog and bring more exposure. Post a simple job posting that you are hiring for a “forum poster”. This virtual assistant can help you in efficiency like this: by outsourcing the work of promotion, you then have the ability and time to hone your craft of WOM marketing for your business. The beauty of it is, your VA will work faster and often times better at promoting your work by receiving much needed traffic than you can! (For a free step-by-step walk-through on how to do this, just hit me up through my contact page, I ❤ my VA’s! I am now better equipped and educated on how to delegate tasks through outsourcing thanks to in Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) – If you missed my blog post on that, click HERE.)

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Being Distinctively Creative:

What you’ve learned from your heroes will now need to be put into practice.

789d75ca297492a3708f54aa10a32314Option #1: You can then make a diagram of the techniques you have learned. These are easy to read and if done well, are a big hit on Pinterest. By attaching a link to your website or blog through the picture of the diagram, viewers can find you. If it’s done well, is distinctive, eye-catching and easy to follow, it will get shared. Why is this important? Remember how we talked about the rate of exponential growth? It all starts with one pin, 2-3 other pinners pin it, then 2-3 of their friends re-pin it, on and on it goes.

For example, I created a chart (you can find it HERE) based on my inexperience and fear when it comes to horses. I knew I wasn’t alone when it came to this based on reading comment after comment on forums, Facebook and people I knew in real life. So, I charted out four of the simplest things I had done around horses that helped alleviate my fear around them give me confidence. I knew and believed that if it helped me, it could help others.

horseThrough that project, an idea was born to incorporate the steps I outlined into a method that can be transferred into a possible eBook or video directed at children somewhere down the road. I know so many girls and boys that love horses, but because of their size, are often afraid of them. By walking out the methods I charted, they can overcome that fear. I’m excited to get working on that project.

I then posted that chart on Pinterest and on Facebook (which included information about my web site) and I got some positive responses! I then looked at other charts and diagrams done by others regarding business, graphic design, navigating certain web sites, charts on how to write, how to plan weddings, anything I could find. Some were really creative and fun to look at. Some had been pinned many times over, equaling lots of viewers (if you have a moment, be sure to check out my, “Small Business Board” by clicking HERE – lots of great tips!).

Don’t forget to ask! Be sure to place in the description of the pin, “Please re-pin. Thank you!”

Goal: More exposure for your company, more talkers, more shares.

imagesW9MTE9INOption #2:  Designing and giving away some sort of device that has your logo on it. You can give this to potential customers or your current customers. Think some type of keychain device, a handheld gaming device small enough to fit in your pocket, a tote bag, one of those mugs with a teabag holder designed right into the side of the mug, something a person can USE…

But, this option has the potential to go way beyond what it sounds like. I know you can “creatively” think of something (you may have something in mind right now) that you know your audience would want. Think about the following questions/suggestions:

  • What would you like to receive from a company that would be cool enough to show your friends and colleagues?
  • How can you work to develop this gift into something people would eagerly anticipate receiving (look up the Microsoft MVP program!)?
  • Ask your real life friends on Facebook and LinkedIn about it (this is where your inner five real life circle of friends come in that we talked about earlier). Make a simple poll asking what it is they would want to get as a giveaway.
  • Go a step further: put all of their names in a drawing and then after two weeks, mail the best idea to the winner.
  • Don’t let this fade, find out every few months what works, keep it fresh and let it grow naturally.

Still stumped? Google search it. Search under, “most popular gadget” or “coolest giveaway product”. Get inspired. The trick is to be in a constant mode of positivity. Don’t ever say to yourself, ‘I can’t do this’, or ‘this will never work’…

Or, maybe you have an idea, but don’t know how to get it developed. There’s a solution to that to. Check out two of these sites:

ThomasNet.com

Shapeways

MAKE IT WORK!

Goal: More exposure for your company, more talkers, more shares.

Option #3: Co-partnering with a charity. This is my favorite and near to my heart. I have two that I’m passionate about, actually.

From a word of mouth perspective, charities are especially powerful because they come with their own built-in network of talkers. When you connect with any nonprofit, from a national organization to a single, small youth group, everyone in that group has a reason to talk about you. They are organized, involved, and have ready-to-go communication channels.” –Andy Sernovitz

For me, it’s the only way I can help the orphan and the persecuted and I love it! I love being a part of it.

vom

ivoHolding an online charity auction through eBay where 100% of the proceeds go to them is on my agenda in the coming months. It’s something I enjoy even though it will cost me something. But, that’s okay! You have to think about the things you WILL give away, it’s the natural by-product of good business. Just give something. Again, don’t limit yourself- give information, give products, give your time. It will require a little integration on your part, but trust me in the process of give-and-take, reaping and sowing, it does come back to you. Sometimes in ways you don’t expect, but it always does.

Two-fold goal: Helping others, exposure for your company, more talkers, more shares.

untitledOption #4 (at this point, why not do them all): Hold a video contest. YouTube is so accessible and there are some people out there that will do just about anything to be discovered (disclaimer: DO NOT INCORPORATE, ENGAGE, OR PROMOTE ANYTHING DANGEROUS). Hold it locally. Tell your friends, post about it on some local message boards, create a flyer at the library, tell Facebook.

untitled2Think about something (utilize your creativity here) regarding your field that people could do that was super crazy and worth talking about held in the form of a contest. Have those people submit their videos to you, create a mash up of it all into one whole video and then launch that video with a winner at the end (winner gets recognition, or a gift, your choice).

Some ideas could be a contest for a company mascot, best impersonation contest, best practical joke, a short comedic play about brain surgery/accounting, re-enacting your most embarrassing moment, eating contest, the ideas are endless. Just get thinking!

This one will need something original, so don’t be a copycat.

4000478-515030-decorative-elements-border-and-page-rulesWell, that’s it for today everyone. I think there’s a lot here to keep you on track for now. Till next time… Stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon!

–Joy

How to Put Your Income On Auto-Pilot For Real & Experience High-End World Travel

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This article is a follow-up to my previous blog post titled, “The Blueprint To Traveling The World & Escaping The Rat Race Now“.

So, if you haven’t spoiled your eyeballs with the decadent pleasure of reading it, please do it so this post can make a whole lot more sense to you.

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(Not to sound bossy or anything. )

So, I’ll start with a question for you- have you ever read a book that was beyond your comprehension? That’s probably a dumb question, of course you have. Who hasn’t? Kind of reminds me of my futile attempts at understanding XML site maps and the implementation thereof (it’s just not happening in case you’re wondering). I might as well be reading the latest Physician’s Desk Reference for pleasure (no, thanks). imagesWH9IX4DZ

As much as I want to generate traffic to this blog, my neuron-synapsis’ will thank me later.

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To follow up from Part 1 of this post, am I saying that “The 4-Hour Workweek” is beyond ordinary comprehension? No. But, there are some terms that I’ve never heard before. Let me clarify that that’s not to say that I’m the end-all, be-all of the highest literary standard of understanding; what I mean is that if “Geographic Arbitrage” is common language, I must be living in a cave!

I have to admit that I looked up the dictionary term for this. Although, I was unsuccessful finding the exact phrasing, I was successful at finding a blog by a person who actually does this (geographic arbitraging that is, not looking up words in the dictionary. Well, maybe he does- but that’s beside the point).

To get a better understanding of it, I’m going to let him explain here-

As I write this article, I’m sitting outside a small coffee shop in the city of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. What a cool place. I’m just a few miles from the Bridge Over the River Kwai. My room for the night costs 200 baht ($7), and the excellent kaafe yen (iced coffee) I’m now enjoying comes in at a whopping $1.50. Take that, Starbucks. Dinner tonight, including beer, will come to $3. So that’s…$11.50 for today.  And Thailand is actually one of the more expensive countries in South East Asia. So, I’m earning money, while living in a less expensive foreign country. Welcome to the world of geographic arbitrage. Dictionary.com  defines “geographic arbitrage” as: “the practice of high-paid professionals moving to less-expensive areas.”

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to travel the world. I did a bit of travelling during and after college, but always seemed to…”

Read more at the link at the bottom of my post~

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images0Y4TG2JZObviously, this type of lifestyle is for those who have that classic touch of wanderlust. People that live on the edge, people that are comfortable taking certain risks, things like that.

Does that description sound a bit extreme?

Consider the truth- it IS a risk to leave everything you’ve ever known by uprooting and moving half-way across the globe. Can it be done? That’s not the question (of course it can be done). What the question really boils down to is this: do you have the guts?

When people want to be millionaires they have this vision of what life would be like- fancy cars, a big house, lots of employees, saucy cocktail parties, big, blue swimming pools, a boat (all paid off, too- no bills), prestige, influence, celebrity friends. I know that I have.

Have.

I have had visions of those, but those aren’t the visions of what being a millionaire is all about for me anymore.  To be totally honest, who wants a big house with more THINGS that collect dust, and only work to separate those you love by the vastness of it all. How about nosey neighbors, lawn care ordinances, and the umpteen billion perks of keeping up a home, and a big one to boot!

What about a fancy car? Yes, please!untitled2

But how will I fit all the lovely, beautiful gaggle of children I have and adore? Oh. You’re single and don’t have that problem? OK- well, you’ve got me there. Go for it.

In continuing the vision, lots of employees? Who wants to manage that?

What about saucy cocktail parties? Why? Most of the people that are there probably only want to be there because of your money. I’m sure many millionaires prefer a close dinner party with some of their closest and trusted friends.

imagesWCVQY5VNA big swimming pool? Hate those.

Ahhhh, you got me. Can’t hate a big swimming pool no matter how hard I try. Look, the point of all this is that people DO have certain visions when it comes to all of the luxuries that money can afford.

But think about this: really deep down, people truly just want to spend more time with the people they love, reduce their bills (and their workload at the same time), chase their hobbies, be able to afford to go out from time to time and travel, travel, travel and then travel some more. Whether that’s to a simple place like Cedar Pointe, or all the way to the Cayman Islands people want to have fun with the other special people in their lives. And, they don’t want to have to work like dogs to do it.

People have swallowed an unfortunate lie that they have to be a millionaire to do all these things.  Well, you don’t have to be. And for the first time in my life (and I’m 38 years old), my eyes have seen a new perspective on what it means to live an exciting way of life that doesn’t involve signing people up under me in a pyramid scheme, working 80 hours a week, or joining Amway. And, isn’t that why you’re here?

To escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich?

The only catch to this is that you have to be a little daring. You have to be willing to take some risk. You have to go out to the nearest gun shop, buy an oozi and mow down that domineering tyrant called, FEAR.untitled5

images8Q5DBQZJFirst on the list is getting an income and putting it on auto-pilot. This is under the section called, “Off-Loading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage”. This is the crucial key: learning to delegate personal assistants remotely (that techno speak for, “people who live inside your computer”) in order to be able to give orders or assignments for other people to do for you. That’s part of the automation process; automating job functions so you don’t have to.

Stay with me on this.

To quote Tim,

It’s time to learn how to be the boss. It isn’t time-consuming. It’s low-cost and it’s low-risk. Whether or not you “need” someone at this point is immaterial. It is an exercise. It is also the litmus test for entrepreneurship…”

Why?

Becoming a member of the new rich is not just about working smarter. It’s about building a system to replace yourself.”


So, what is it that you need to pursue in order to make an income? In the book, it’s titled, “Finding the Muse”. And, it goes like this:

Our goal is simple: to create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time. That’s it. I will call this vehicle a “muse” whenever possible to separate it from the ambiguous term, “business”, which can refer to a lemonade stand or a Fortune 10 oil conglomerate- our objective is more limited and thus requires a more precise label.

So first things first: cash flow and time. With these two currencies, all other things are possible. Without them, nothing is possible.”

The question now is what is your product? What is your business? Everyone I know has a talent. Do you make something?untitled3

Is it information? What have you learned in life (click HERE to read about making a profit by sharing what you know) that others would pay for and benefit from?

Maybe you are a good salesperson and have a knack for selling other people’s products.

imagesV95H24MOWhat if you don’t want to make something?

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Well, don’t worry. “The 4-Hour Workweek” has you covered in all these areas, even in the area of refusing to make something (you lazy dirtbag).

Learn and implement detailed information to cover every imaginable base like:

–How to develop a product (including sharing the names of manufacturers who can help) versus investing in an already manufactured product, including how to confirm sufficient market size

–He brainstorms with you on what benefit this product should be to your customer,

–What the cost should be

–The time-frame of manufacture (how long it takes to make), and

–What you need to do to develop a full online FAQ.

imagesN33YLINAFrom reselling an already established product to licensing or creating a product, it’s all in here. You’ll have so much fat to chew on your teeth may fall out! You won’t know what to do from information overload; from selecting your market to brainstorming your product to micro-testing it to rolling it out and automating it you may have to take a “summer vacation” like you did when you were in school! Only difference is, it may become a permanent summer vacation.dreamstimefree_112399

So, you get all this information. You have everything developed. Now what?

Are you ready for geographic arbitrage? But wait, you say, I’m not making millions right yet!

Listen, you don’t have to make millions.

Huh?

Continue to stay with me, OK?

Once you have a product that sells, it’s time to design a self-correcting business architecture that runs itself.”

untitled6Try this on for size:

While most entrepreneurs dive into their ventures with a zealous passion for their product or service, few start out with a clear idea of what kind of company they want to build. But McDonnell did. From the outset, he wanted Applegate Farms, his Bridgewater, N.J., organic and natural meat company, to be the kind of business that could grow and thrive on its own steam, not on the power of his own adrenaline and charisma. And so he made a radical decision: Even in the company’s infancy, he chose to limit his physical presence at headquarters to one day a week. He’s continued to do this for 17 years now, and it seems to be working. Applegate has been profitable from the beginning. Revenue has been going up 30% a year. Productivity, measured by weekly sales per employee, goes up every year. Labor cost per pound of goods sold goes down every year. McDonnell figures that Applegate’s 120 products, which can be found in such high-end grocery stores as Whole Foods, Wegmans, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe’s, now provide 1.5 million servings a week.

All because he avoids going into the office? Well, yes. “I’m a…”

Follow along to the bottom to get the link to read more. Trust me, you’ll want to!

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Here’s the golden nugget: If you have developed a product…gold

(which you can develop, or have someone else manufacture, or maybe it’s no product at all- it can be information, or affiliate partners, consulting services, marketing strategies that you’ve developed, whatever. The key is this: the possibilities are ENDLESS, remember that!)

…based on the guidelines Tim walks you through in ch. 9-10, it will plug into the detailed structural chart he has constructed hand-in-glove.

Where is he in the structured diagram chart?

I am not a tollbooth through which anything needs to pass. I am more like a police officer on the side of the road who can step in if need be, and I use detailed reports from outsourcers to endure the cogs are moving as intended. I check reports from fulfillment each Monday and monthly reports from the first of each month. The latter reports include orders received from the call center, which I can compare to the call center bills to gauge profit. Otherwise, I just check bank accounts online on the first and fifteenth of each month to look for odd deductions. If I find something, one email will fix it, and if not…

…it’s back to kendo, painting, hiking, or whatever I happen to be doing at the time.”

In the end, you’re going to be automating something. And once that happens, you will be ready for liberation; the liberation that involves freeing you from the 9-5 so you can live anywhere.

Once again, isn’t that why you’re here?

The new rich are defined by a more elusive power than simple cash- unrestricted mobility.”

…Tens of thousands of people, most of them less capable than you, leave their jobs every day. It’s neither uncommon nor fatal.”

doorJob changes are natural and the book teaches you how simple that transaction can be. If you simply cannot quit your job because of fear or other obligations, why not travel the path that leads around the world by working remotely?

Think it can’t be done?


 Just wait till you read the step-by-step plan including example scripts of how to do it (pg. 206). Man, I wish I had this information while I was still employed. This is the section from the first blog touting the statement, “How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs”. It’s unbelievable, but absolutely brilliant.

imagesOUUCJEN5If you really want to take the plunge, but can’t get past the what-if’s such as:

          • The permanency of quitting (burning that bridge),
          • Not being able to pay the bills,
          • Health insurance and retirement accounts, or
          • Ruining your resume

Don’t worry, the book tackles those subjects too (which are more like job-quitting myths) with remedies in the form of tools and tricks that include plenty of links and articles (all free). So, are you ready for a mobile lifestyle, yet?

The Birth of Mini-Retirements and the Death of Vacations

True freedom is much more than having enough income and time to do what you want. It is quite possible- actually the rule rather than the exception- to have financial and time freedom but still be caught in the throes of the rat race. Once cannot be free from the stresses of a speed- and size-obsessed culture until you are free from the materialistic addictions, time-famine mind-set, and comparative impulses that created it in the first place.”

roadThis is where the term, “millionaire” needs to hit the road! Get.that.stupid.word.out.of.your.head.

I don’t want to be a millionaire. I want the lifestyle that having millions of dollars gives- and, that’s a huge difference. What IS money? It just buys you things and takes you places. The key here is that you don’t need a boat load of it in order to live the lavish lifestyle of your dreams!

And, there’s so much information on the ins-and-outs of travel that it takes up about an 1/8 of the book. It includes next-to-nothing airfare rates, places to stay that are free (yes, you read that right FREE), transportation, high-end luxury monthly rental apartments (some for $300-something a MONTH) and more. You can do this on a modest (or large, whatever you prefer. Maybe you want to work 5 hours a week??), automated income.

Anyhow, I was blown away and constantly came to this reverberating thought, “can this really be true?”


Turns out, it is. People really do this. And, these people aren’t hard to find.

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Almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out these links from the sections I wrote about above:

Using Geographic Arbitrage to Live the Lifestyle of your Dreams

Remote Control CEO

Till next time,

–Joy

9 Tips to Becoming a Jedi Master of Persuasion – Scientifically Proven to Drastically Improve Sales and Influence

chairCome on in.

Shut the door behind you and walk carefully to my beautiful, soft and plush chaise lounge. Lie down on that gorgeous ox blood velvet.

Cross your legs if you want to.

Now that you’re relaxed, concentrate on the ticking of the metronome that beats in time to the rhythmic sound of my voice. You’re getting sleepy.

Soon, you will do everything that I tell you to do…

pendulum3… 2… 1… zzzzzzzzzz…

Is this what comes to your mind when you think of someone who might have the power of persuasion over you? The kind of nightmare where honesty and integrity somehow watch from the sidelines as a dark and sinister snake oil salesman takes your sweet little ol’ grandmammie for everything she’s got?

Why is that?

I know that is what I have always tended to think- like there must be some sort of voo-doo involved when it comes to influencing people. Does Tony Robbins come to mind? I’ve always wondered about that guy (just kidding, Tony).

It turns out there’s really no “magic” about it; but, more like actual science. Studies upon studies have been performed proving that certain persuasive techniques are and can be valid, but should only to be used in ethical ways.

Ethical, you say?

Yes, ethical. Why? Because when these tools are used in dishonest ways or by artificially importing the principals of social influence into situations in which they don’t naturally exist- any short-term gains will almost invariably be following by long-term losses. Or, in other words- IT’S NOT WORTH IT. All dishonesty is uncovered eventually and the results can be disastrous for you, your reputation, your finances, or worse. So, just don’t do it, okay?good

Besides, why do something dumb and wrong, when you can just as easily do what’s right and help other people?  Not only that, some of the studies that I’m going to post about are not only scientifically rigorous, but also fun! I like fun. But, I had to bring up the ethics warning for a reason. That reason being: people can be influenced. And, there are some really nasty people out there. People who will take advantage of other people and that’s NOT what I am about, nor would I ever DREAM of promoting dishonest or disgusting behavior. This post is about utilizing persuasion tools that benefit both parties- tips and tricks that grow a business AND help other people.

I want this post to be fun. And, I think it’s going to be! Learning all that I did made me involuntarily do a few things; some of them being, but not limited to, my eyes popping out with near disbelief (in some cases), I said, “Hm” (a lot), and believe it or not, I even chortled a few times.


There are 50 scientifically proven ways to be more persuasive documented in Noah Goldstein’s, Steve Martin’s and Robert Cialdini’s awesomely crafted and compiled book that shows us detailed studies uncovering a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction (and beyond!).

I can’t reveal all fifty of them as much as I would like, however I can share with you my very own top ten. I was blown away by all of them and I wish I could talk about each one, but time does not allow it. For now, it will just be a few. And, I promise you’ll like them.

The first one, I don’t plan on personally using, but it’s so… out there, I couldn’t not post it and thought it deserved first prize. So, without further ado, here are my favorite top 10 tips to becoming a Jedi Master of persuasion:

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1.   To become more persuasive with any audience you may be standing in front of, first slip them 1,3,7-trimethylxanthin, a perfectly legal drug.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s not. It’s true. And… I’m going to save explaining this one in detail or last (just to keep you reading). Stay with me till the end and I’ll explain.

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2.   How a simple question can significantly increase support for you and your ideas.

a-surveyLet’s say you’re thinking about doing a charity run for our favorite nonprofit organization, but you don’t want to sign up unless you are fairly certain you’ll get a lot of donations. Asking family, friends, coworkers whether they think they’ll donate will not only give you an idea of their initial support for your undertaking, but will also increase the likelihood they will donate should you decide to join the run.

To rephrase it another way, let’s say you are a small business owner and you want to know how likely any particular people would be willing to purchase from your store. You might ask them through whatever medium, i.e., phone, email, in person FIRST how likely they would be to purchase something from our shop. If they say that, yes, they would be inclined to do so; it increases the likelihood that they will purchase something from you in the future.

For more information on this particular research click HERE.

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3.   Discovering THE ONE WORD that you can start using today to increase your persuasiveness by more than fifty percent.

machineBehavioral scientist Ellen Langer and her colleagues decided to put the persuasive power of this word to the test. In one study, Langer arranged for a stranger to approach someone waiting in line to use a photocopier and simply ask, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” Faced with this direct request to cut ahead in the line, 60 percent of the people were willing to agree to allow the stranger to go ahead of them. However when the stranger made the request with a reason (“May I use the Xerox machine, _____________ I’m in a rush?”), almost everyone (94%) complied. This kind of boost may not seem very surprising. After all, providing a solid reason for the request justifies the asking to jump ahead. Where the study gets more interesting is when the experiment goes on with the stranger using this word along with an excuse that is completely meaningless. Guess what? It generated nearly the same elevated levels of compliance!

What’s the word? Because.

The word gets its persuasive power from the continually reinforced association over the course of our lives between because and the good rationales that typically follow.

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4.   Life is like a box of… crayons?

crayonsResearchers Elizabeth Miller and Barbara Kahn noticed an aspect of crayons and countless other products, and sought to better understand how kinds of differences in product names influence consumer preferences. Ambiguous names, such as ‘millennium orange’ (versus green, blue, red or plain ol’ orange) prompt consumers to try to discover, in the absence of any meaningful information, what the makers of the product were trying to convey with that name. This also leads consumers to think about the positive aspects the company is trying to highlight with the name.

Names that fall into the unexpected descriptive category or the ambiguous category create a sense of mystery and intrigue that leads potential customers to consider the positive aspects of your goods and services.

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5.   Avoid driving your cross-cultural influence into the ditch.

globeIt’s weird to think of myself as a woman of international influence, but as an online business owner who works worldwide there are situations in other countries that I’m just plain ignorant about. There’s two terms that I learned through this book and they’re “individualistic” and “collectivistic”. In an experiment by Petia Petrova, students who were native to the United States were the former and students who were Asian international were the latter.

What this means is that when asking an American for a favor, you are likely to be more successful if you point out that it fits with what that person has done before. But when asking a favor of people from more collectivistic countries, the research suggests that you will be more successful if you point out that it fits with what that person’s peer group has done before.

When it comes to advertising, in the U.S., it is a better practice to appeal to a person’s “individuality” and what makes them stand out. Whereas, in collectivistic countries, advertising should appeal to the reader’s sense of responsibility to the group- i.e., “There’s a more exhilarating way to provide for your family.”).

Of course, this all depends on what type of business you run. For me, as a clothing proprietor, I’m not sure how clothing can benefit a whole family, however it has got me thinking about what I can enhance when I market my items and what I may need to change in my advertising strategies to better suit my international audiences. And, that my friends, is something I never thought about before!

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6.   The one small step that can help your influence take one giant leap.

footIn cases in which a business can’t secure even a small initial product purchase, this commitment- and-consistency-based strategy is called, “the foot-in-the-door”. For example, potential clients who are reluctant to use your service may be more include to do so if they’re first asked to take a small step, such as agreeing to an initial ten-minute appointment. Similarly, a marketing research department is more likely to get people to answer a large number of survey questions by first asking them if they’d be will to answer a brief survey.

As one astute sales expert advises, “The general idea is to pave the way for a full-line distribution by starting with a small order… Look at it this way- when a person has signed an order for your merchandise, even though the profit is so small it hardly compensates for the time and effort of making the call, he or she is no longer a prospect- he or she is a customer.”

This one gave me all sorts of ideas. The basis of this is reaching out to just land something small. Then you grow from that. I know that the mainstream thought process is to shoot big- not necessarily. You want to build relationships. Sometimes those take some time. But, the point, is to get out there, start with SOMETHING (no matter how small) and grow from there.

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7.   How offering a “free gift” with a client’s purchase can actually hurt your business.

sadWhen you offer up a gift and actually write out the numerical value of $0.00- it’s not really a message you want to send to prospective customers about the worth of your products. The gift is free; hence, it must not have any value. Of course, as a business owner the gift if not free to you, but it’s how it can be perceived by your audience. And, if it’s worth $0.00, you might be inadvertently driving business away.

So, no longer should your message read, “Receive a free security program.” Instead, it should become, “Receive a $250 security program at no cost to you.”

Personally, I can think of a better rephrasing, but I think you get the idea. Who knew that people actually view a free gift as something of no value?

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8.   Offering your customers too many options can make them frustrated.

angrySheen Iyengar and Mark Lepper examined whether the damaging effect of offering too much by setting up a display at an upscale supermarket in which passersby could sample a variety of jams that were all made by a single manufacturer. Throughout the course of the study, the researchers varied the number of flavors of the jams offered, so that either six or twenty-four flavors were featured at the display at any given time. The results demonstrated a clear and astonishing difference between the two conditions: Only 3 percent of those who approached the extensive-choice display actually purchased any jam. Contrast that with the 30 percent who bought jams when they approached the limited-choice display. When so many choices are made available, consumers often find the decision-making process frustrating, perhaps due to the burden of having to differentiate so many options from one another in a attempt to make the best decision.

A worthwhile exercise would be to review the extent of your product portfolio and ask yourself the following question: where we have customers who may not be clear about their requirements, might the number of choices we offer be causing them to seek other and potentially few alternatives elsewhere?

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9.   Give to others. Not just once, but twice. And never twice at the in the same moment.

giveThis tip is in reference to wait staff- which I’m not currently, but I used to be and boy, golly do I wish I had known this! I’m sure it can be used in principal with anything, but I’m flummoxed at the moment for how it can help me now. I thought it was interesting nonetheless. If you can think of how it relates to business, please feel free to share! I’d love to know because it would make me happy.

One study in a restaurant demonstrates that there are three major factors that help make a gift or favor more persuasive and as a result are more likely to be reciprocated. The first is significance. Giving diners two candies compared to one had the effect of increasing tips from 3.3% to over 14% because two seemed significant, however tips increased to 23% when diners were given candy in a particular way. How it worked was the waiter gave one piece of candy to each person at the table. They then turned away from the table, signaling that they were leaving. However, before exiting the area completely, they turned back toward the diners at the table, reached into a pocket, and placed a second piece of candy on the table for each diner. Through this gesture, it was almost as if they were saying, “…oh, for you nice people, here is an extra candy each.” From 3.3% to 23%!

What can you do to make your appreciation known that is more significant and more thoughtful?

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9.   All right. Here we are. Are you dying to know what that “perfectly legal drug” is? Have you guessed it?

gasIt’s caffeine. You were probably thinking you needed to go into stealth mode with some sort of noxious gas and secretly pump it into the conference room, weren’t you (guilty, here). The object being any presentations you make should be made to people who are most alert and never right after lunch. But even if you can’t choose the time of day to get before some people to market your new product or slam-dunk that deal, having coffee or caffeinated tea on hand should make your audience more receptive to your message (being aware though, that it takes around 40 minutes to take full effect). Of course, as research suggests, this strategy is likely to be effective only if your arguments are genuine, thoughtful, and well-reasoned. If they aren’t, caffeine is likely to have no effect or, worse still, there’s possibility that caffeinated audiences will be more resistant to your poorly reasoned arguments that a noncaffeinated audience.

So, there you have it. Those were my favorite. The great news is that there is SO MUCH MORE than what I’ve listed here- there’s FIFTY scientifically proven ways to be persuasive! Fifty! All backed by research and scientific studies done. You’ll be amazed at even how some types of marketing can actually backfire and influence people to do the opposite of what they’re trying to convey (for example, at the Petrified Forest National Park their posted signs actually increased theft of the petrified wood in the forest)!

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I can’t recommend this book,Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive enough. It has put more tools in my marketing arsenal than I ever dreamed possible. It has helped me reconstruct certain phrases that I thought were increasing traffic when in all reality, was probably driving it away. Truly, it’s been invaluable and I’ve been implementing these strategies from the get-go. There’s even a section is the very back that details actual case studies and feedback from people who have done these techniques in real life (mediation firms, anyone?). I was intrigued and motivated- I wished the book wouldn’t end. It’s an easy read and funny, to boot!

–Joy

The Blueprint To Traveling The World & Escaping The Rat Race Now

The Last PieceWe all love a good treasure hunt, don’t we? Cryptic clues scattered about leading you on, pressing you onward, guiding you to the prize.

Or, perhaps treasure hunts aren’t your thing (too old for those childhood games)?

How about a more refined, dignified game of wits and intellect… say, Sudoku or chess?dreamstimefree_82189

Well, I DO like puzzles and games and treasure hunts.

Know what I don’t like though? NOT being able to find the treasure, or solve the puzzle, or win the game really chaps my unmentionables! dreamstimefree_120493

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In Tim Ferriss’s, “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”he claims to have “hidden passwords” within the book to access “some of the best” he has to offer, but due to time constraints wasn’t able to elaborate on the following:

  • How to get $700,000 of advertising for $10,000 (includes real scripts)
  • How to learn any language in 3 months
  • Muse Math: Predicting the revenue of any product (includes case studies)
  • Licensing: from Tae Bo to Teddy Ruxpin
  • Real licensing agreement with real dollars (this alone is worth $5,000)
  • Racier new rich case studies and interviews
  • Online round-the-world (RTW) trip planner

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OK, so it’s like a game. Find the passwords, get the prize. dreamstimefree_74113

Oh my God!Only I didn’t find any passwords, or get any prize (at least in this way).

But just because I’m not bright enough to see through the game of hidden passwords doesn’t mean you’re not. I would never in a million years tell you that it was a waste of time to read this book on account of my brain dump, no!

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There’s so much more valuable information than what’s been listed above (and, if you can discover the hidden clues- kudos to you!).

Tim gives a step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaching,

  • How he went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week.
  • How you can outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want.
  • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs.
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist.
  • How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”.

But there’s a warning- Do not read this book unless you want to quit your job.

To live is to learn. I see no other option. This is why I’ve felt compelled to quit or be fired from jobs within the first six months or so. The learning curve flattens out and I get bored.”

I read this book through once and was intrigued by all of the information. I’m now reading it again and am quickly becoming overwhelmed. This is not your average “Get Rich Quick” book. In fact, Tim doesn’t really encourage “getting rich”; he promotes what he calls, “mini retirements” and a group of people coined, “The New Rich”.

A mini-retirement equals several sporadic months long sabbaticals throughout your life vs. working like a dog for 40-50 years and then diving into the “golden years” (and depending on who you are may or may not be so golden).

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Tim makes an interesting observation here regarding those golden years- “Most people will need to be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 0 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn’t work. The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That’s a bitter sweet ending.

If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that’s the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you’ll be so damn bored that you’ll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You’ll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn’t it?”

I think this is a valid argument. You really have only two (or three) scenarios: working till you die because you can’t afford to retire, or if you do, you need to eat dirt to stay alive. Or, you’ve worked your fingers straight into bony nubs and now that you’ve retired, you’re so bored out of your mind you quickly slide into head-long depression. So, what’s the alternative?

The goal isn’t to wait till the end of your life to retire. Mini-retirements throughout life instead of hoarding the dreamstimefree_112399recovery and enjoyment of the fool’s gold of retirement is the aim of the new rich. By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable. It’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating it, too.”

So, how does this work? Tim goes straight to the nitty gritty by helping you overcome your biggest deterrents right now when it comes to jumping off the grid. And, by jumping off the grid, I mean like, leaving the rat race and enjoying your mini-retirements now. Because after all, isn’t that why you’re here?

OK, so what’s first on the agenda?

Learning the word DEAL- which stands for Definition (defining your lifestyle design recipe, i.e., learning how the new rich operate), Elimination (by increasing your efficiency and time), Automation (your income goes on autopilot- NICE), and Liberation (“the mobile manifesto for the globally inclined”. If you’ve never heard of “geoarbitraging” you’re in for a treat!). However, DEAL is not the be-all end-all for this. You will also need to know the following:

  • Getting over and conquering fear
  • Learning that money alone is not the solution
  • Overcoming the power of pessimism
  • How less does not equal laziness
  • Defining your worst nightmare, and
  • How relative income is more important than absolute income (this one got me thinking)

Sounds great, right? To me I find it simply fascinating. I’ve been prompted in a variety of ways to really re-think what it is that makes me happy. And, there are so many. But, that’s not the question you need to figure out (even though it’s a good one). The 4-Hour Workweek digs down deeper and asks a different question:

What is it that excites you?

Living like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not just owning enviable things. Maybe you can’t pinpoint what exactly that is. No worries, as the book gives you a step-by-step program called, “Dreamlining”. It applies timelines to what most would consider dreams. It is much like goal-setting but differs in several fundamental respects. It’s a fun (but hard) exercise in thinking big and reversing repression (who knew we needed that?). There are six steps and even an example worksheet to get your brain juices flowing.

dreamstimefree_110876Since the opposite of happiness is boredom, drawing a roadmap of what it is you want to do in life is crucial to strategizing plans in the process of: 1) eliminating unnecessary work, 2) prioritizing what is important and then, 3) implementing the tools you need to be highly productive during the hours you choose to work (Tim shows you how to do this if you are already currently employed 9-5, we’ll get to this a little later).

You will learn what time management should be, how you will use productivity, and learn the difference between “effective” vs. “efficiency”.  Tim shows exactly how he used the words of an often-forgotten Italian economist to turn a 12-hour work day into two-hour days… in 48 hours. Would you believe that you can actually increase your per-hour results ten times or more with his counterintuitive techniques (as far as being SUPER productive, he even shows you how to read 200% faster in 10 minutes (pg. 85), talk about being efficient!).

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Now that you can learn to be effective, efficient and become the eliminator of unimportant things, what’s next? Well, I thought we’d get to the area of automation. What do we need to do to put our income on auto-pilot?

How many of us can truly grasp how cool that would be? But, not only can we learn how to do this, but learning it with the understanding that even if it’s not enough to live like a millionaire in the United States, you CAN live like one while traveling around the world. Say what?!

Don’t get scared. Just stay with me…

Till next time…

Oh, and P.S. I can’t wait to show you the Liberation step!

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P.P.S. If you really can’t hold water till my next post, check the reviews out in the meantime by going HERE.

–Joy