Productivity and time management are topics I never thought I’d be known for during my lifetime. Yet, not long after coming online I realized that I was accomplishing more than ever. I’ve even hosted online Productivity Challenges, and this year will mark the 14th consecutive year where I’ve focused for thirty days on the topic of productivity. Challenge yourself to improve in this area, and I promise this will make a difference for your life, both personally and professionally.
What does it mean to be productive and to be able to manage your time well? In my thinking, it means that you take advantage of the hours in the day when you are the most focused and alert and optimistic. For me, those hours come very early in the morning. I’m not likely to schedule anything during the early morning hours that will take me away from my thinking, writing, introspection, meditation practice, and other parts of my morning routine and visualization exercises I prefer to do while I’m alone in my home office.
Tomorrow I’ll share the first day of the Productivity Challenge 2023 online course and training, and I encourage you to set aside a half hour or so each day to read and follow through on what I’m discussing and recommending. My goal and intention is to help you make a difference in your life and business, and this can be a new beginning for you. For today, think about what you want in your life experience and why you haven’t created and manifested it in exactly the way you’re dreaming of already. Your life is about to change!
Day One: Productivity is a Choice
In Day One of the Productivity Challenge 2023, I want to get you thinking in a way you may not be familiar with in your personal life or for business. The concept is around taking full responsibility and the precept is that everything we think and believe is a choice, and that once you make the choice to live a life based on self-direction, you can achieve any goal you set your mind to. Yes, changing your outlook on life will change your life, and faster than you might imagine. I did this in my life beginning in 2005, and throughout this Challenge I’ll tell you more about some of the results I continue to have.
I’ve been mentored since 2005 by Raymond Aaron, and he has a goal setting program I use regularly. Without this program, I never would have had the courage to resign from the school district at the end of the school year in 2006, and give away my real estate clients to others who could better serve them. I’m now living the life I always wanted and now know I deserve and you can do the same thing.
Raymond has us set goals each month in several areas, including doing something new, increasing our income, and acknowledging others. We set a target for what we will achieve and choose to either do the minimum required to say we met the goal, hit the target we have selected, or go above and beyond and do something outrageous in terms of our goal setting and achieving for that month.
When you have a job, the boss or supervisor typically sets the goals for the workers. I have to admit that during twenty years as a classroom teacher, there were only a handful of years where I did more than the minimum required by the administration. During the years where I went above and beyond and set an outrageous goal for myself as a teacher, everyone benefited. Why didn’t I do that every year and strive to reach my full potential? The answer to that question is the basis of a book I published called “Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Own Potential”.
These days, I choose to take responsibility for my actions and every day I am productive in several areas of my life. The result is that I have more free time and disposable income than almost anyone I know. It’s all about the mindset we have and the outlook on life we embrace.
NOTE: My most popular article on this topic of productivity, in terms of views, personal interactions, and sales is called “Double Your Productivity”, and you may benefit from reading it as well.
Day Two: Creating Your Five Year Plan
If you’d asked me to make a plan for the next five years back when I was teaching full-time and working part-time in real estate, I might have told you that I didn’t yet have a solid plan for the following month. I was more reactive to what came at me, instead of someone who planned out my life in advance. Now I understand that creating a five-year plan makes sense and that by doing this I’m almost always completely in charge of my destiny.
How do you go about creating a plan such as I am recommending to you here? It starts with you sitting alone and thinking about what you want in your life. Then, begin to make some notes about it. If you have a spouse or partner or adult child who is a significant part of your life, bring them into this conversation as early as possible.
When I shared this concept several years ago with my stepdaughter and her husband, they discovered they were not on the same page about so many things. I had them read Pat Flynn’s “Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money” where he goes into great detail with a five-year plan that could make excellent sense to you. Pat and his wife continue to use these strategies in their personal life, as well as with their family.
Day Three: What Do You Want to Create?
Most people don’t get what they want in their life for one simple reason: They don’t know what they want! Looking back on my life over the years leading up to when I resigned from my classroom teaching job and gave away my best real estate clients in favor of coming online to start my business, I realized that I had no idea what lifestyle I wanted to create for myself.
The teachers played the lottery every week as a group, and there was no way I was going to let them win without me. Every Wednesday I put in my two dollars and for just a minute or two I dreamed of what it would be like to win. I would quit my job at the end of the school year, stop selling real estate and driving so many hours to do appraisals, and I would buy a new car.
It turns out lottery winners have similar dreams, yet the overwhelming majority of them are right back where they started after a few years, and their relationships with family members and friends are strained. It turns out a million dollars doesn’t come close to buying the happiness and security we crave.
When I found out people just like me were starting businesses on the internet that could be run exclusively from a home computer, I wanted to know more. In April of 2005 I attended a real estate conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and stumbled into a breakout room where Raymond Aaron was speaking. A little more than an hour later, I was carrying a box of notebooks, cassette tapes, and other assorted items out to my car. I was ready to live what Raymond had described as “the mentored life” and nothing would ever be the same in my life.
Oliver Wendell Holmes told us that “A mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” That’s what happened to me on that day, and it wasn’t long before I knew exactly what I wanted in my life, and I began connecting with the exact people and resources that would bring my dreams to life.
With Raymond’s help, I began planning what I needed to do in order to resign from teaching at the end of June, 2006, just over a year away. I asked people I knew to connect me with anyone they knew who had changed their life completely, such as leaving a job or a career and starting to do something entirely different in order to have a life that was more satisfying. Sure enough, two of my friends each knew people who had successfully changed their lives and we were introduced.
One couple invited me to go hiking with them on Sunday mornings. They took me to their house and showed me the inside of the pantry and the refrigerator. Their transformation was one that included a complete makeover with their eating as well. Then they took me to the Agape International Spiritual Center, a trans-denominational community of spiritual practitioners from around the world, located in Los Angeles. We went to the bookstore after the service and they picked out several books for me to buy. I had never experienced anything like this, except for a visit to a Rosicrucian service my mother had taken me to as a child.
I didn’t know it at the time, but within a few short months my life had been changed at the cellular level. I would never again feel like the life I wanted and deserved had passed me by. Instead, I realized that I could have and achieve anything I wanted. On July 1st I began my new life as an online entrepreneur, and now I am dedicating my life to helping others to do the same or something similar.
Day Four: Money and Its Meaning to You
Money is simply a tool used to exchange goods and services. I wrote about the history of money in my book on “Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children” as a way to share my thoughts, beliefs and experiences around this topic with others.
As I began thinking about and subsequently researching my ideas for this book, I began to think about the history of money. I knew that bartering was an early method of paying for what you wanted and needed, and that gold and silver represented early forms of currency, but I knew it would be important to share more details about how money came to be before I could continue with a discussion of how to teach the child or children in your life about valuing and respecting money. We must understand what something is and its origins if we expect others to form their own values and beliefs. I believe this is the very best way when seeking positive outcomes as kids grow into financially responsible adults.
Where Did Money Come From?
Bartering was the original method of exchanging something you had an excess of, such as cattle or grain, for something that you needed, perhaps salt or tools. It’s an excellent idea, if you stop to think about it. Two people come face to face and agree to trade items back and forth in a way where each side benefits. If it feels like a fair exchange, it’s a done deal. I have bartered in my business many times. like my first year working as an online entrepreneur when I bartered for the technical skills of someone who was seeking help with marketing.
This arrangement lasted for two years, at which time I began to pay for her services. Most recently I bartered for editing from someone who needed help with writing and marketing. As a child you may have bartered by trading baseball cards or other collectibles. This is the most basic form of exchange that has gone on since the beginning of time.
Money is an emotionally charged subject for most people I encounter. My challenge when helping people start and grow an online business seems to come down to how they think about money. Early on, I mentored a woman who wasn’t taking her business as seriously as I had hoped she would. When we sat down in person for a heart to heart discussion, she revealed that she had a trust fund and a staff of people managing the money and other assets. She told me that she was having fun with her online business, and that it wouldn’t matter if she never earned any income from it.
That’s when I realized that I would be a better mentor to people more like myself; ones who needed to earn income from a business in order to meet their financial obligations. These days that describes everyone I work with closely, but there is another issue that comes up regularly. That is the issue of money blocks and not feeling worthy of earning more than enough money than you need.
I’ll say more on this topic through this Productivity Challenge, but for now suffice it to say that I want you to believe that you deserve to be paid well for the knowledge, expertise, and experience you bring to your business. Helping someone in an area of their life where you are knowledgeable and they are struggling is a worthy goal. Think back to the time when someone made a difference in your life by helping you with a situation you knew little about a d didn’t know where to turn. We’ve all been in those situations, and serving in this way is life-changing for both parties.
Day Five: What’s For Sale?
When you think of your business, what comes to mind? When I got started in 2006, each day began with me thinking of ideas for new blog posts, or following through on the topics I had come up with previously and had not yet written about. I took my inspiration from my daily life, writing about my years as a classroom teacher and also in real estate. Also, I wrote about what I was learning from mentors, authors, and marketers I was connecting with in the online space.
Blogging, sharing those blog posts on the article directories that were popular at that time, reading, building my email list, attending and finally hosting my own teleseminars, and finally, affiliate marketing to recommend what I was purchasing, benefiting from, and truly loved took up four or five hours each day.
But it wasn’t until a mentor pointed out to me that sharing something for sale, at that time through my affiliate link was the only income producing activity on my list of what I wanted to accomplish each day.
We must ask ourselves each day, What’s for sale? As you become more proficient as an online entrepreneur and marketer, this will become more natural for you, but you need to practice and stretch that muscle every day in order to increase your income steadily over time.
Two years ago I worked with a woman who came to me for help with starting her online business. She had great potential; she was kind and funny and highly educated, and even knew the niche she wanted to be a part of online. But there was one area that made her uncomfortable and that was asking other people to spend money, whether it was for one of her products – gorgeous, helpful printables – or for an affiliate product and course.
We traced her beliefs back to something her grandmother had taught her decades earlier… “A lady does not talk about money in public.”
My work with her became more about shifting her mindset and reframing her beliefs than about creating products and choosing affiliate offerings to share with others. She did move past some of her money blocks and other limiting beliefs, but it was a slow process that kept her from being active in the online community that had embraced her early on. It saddens me to see this, and it happens very regularly. Please, get used to asking people to spend money and know that your role as a trusted advisor is a valuable one to everyone whose lives you will touch.
What’s for sale in your business right now? Start with your favorite product, course, book, or program that you have benefited from and have become an affiliate for, and then as you create your own products and courses you’ll be excited to share them with others.
Day Six: Creating a Simple Product
Today we’ll discuss how to create your first product, and why it doesn’t need to be a huge, complicated process at all. Be thinking about what you would like to teach and share with others who are interested in your niche topic, and how and why your first product will change your life as an online entrepreneur forever.
My first product was not created until I had been online for almost a full year. Why? Because I could not think of what my product would be about. I was no new to the online world, and I allowed the entire process, as well as the people I was meeting with virtually and connecting with back them to intimidate me.
Instead, it would have been far more productive, and definitely more lucrative for me to put something together to sell, no matter how short and simple that would have been.
Finally, I decided to share with others how I had been writing blog posts on topics of interest to me on my many blogs – can you believe I had a dozen blogs those first couple of years? The niche topics ranged from healthy walking and reinventing your life to wine and cheese pairing ideas and law of attraction.
I would then wait for a day or two before sharing each of these short – about two hundred fifty words – posts to the article directories that were popular at that time. At the end of each blog post, as well as the articles, I had an “author bio box” where I told about myself and gave a link to an affiliate product.
My product was a three session live course, where I shared what I had been doing on a live teleseminar – I wasn’t ready to host my own webinars at that time – and included a Study Guide that was about twelve pages in total. Each weekly session was recorded, so when the three weeks were finished I then had a product to sell that was complete.
I sold this product for $99 and soon had a few affiliates who were willing to promote it for me. Over the next year or so I had earned more than ten thousand dollars with this product, and had already outlined the next products I would create and courses I would teach. For the courses, my model was to first teach them live, and then continue to sell them as “Home Study” and this is the model that continues to work well for me all these years later!
What do you know that could be taught as a course or created as a product? I’ll bet you have ideas that could be put together and monetized quickly. Brainstorm on paper or out loud with a Mastermind partner and see what you come up with that would allow you to share your knowledge, experience, and expertise with others.
Day Seven: Connecting with Other Like-Minded Individuals to Grow Your Business
As an introvert, I was excited at the opportunity to start an online business and work from home. The thought of making my own schedule and not having to interact directly with others throughout each day sounded like a dream come true. My bubble burst when I quickly realized that I would need to connect and make friends with others working online.
No man is an island is the saying that comes to mind. This is from a poem by John Donne, where he’s exploring the connectedness of people. Who knew that I would make more friends and be connected with more people than I ever could have imagined, all from the solitude of my home office? Not me.
Now, I cannot imagine my life in any other way. Some of the people are ones I have met in person, typically at live events – those hosted by others as well as hosting my own marketing conferences and small group retreats.
Other people are ones I only know from the various social media platforms I frequent. Many of them are online sporadically, yet some have a profitable business that makes sense for them and the lifestyle they wish to embrace.
No matter how you think of it, connecting with others from your online community will serve you in untold ways as your business grows and evolves into something that works for your dreams and goals.
Day Eight: Recommending What You Love
I think of affiliate marketing as being the perfect opportunity to share and recommend what you buy, benefit from and love with people who could benefit. I began doing this soon after coming online to start my business in 2006. I was just too excited to keep everything to myself, and my friends and relatives became the recipients of the excitement that was spilling out of me every day.
I will tell you that at that time, I did not know anyone personally who was an online entrepreneur, marketer, or author. Neither did my friends and family members, so it was new territory for all of us. When I first started my blog, and then began to syndicate my posts as articles on the article directories we were using at that time – this was before Medium was even a glint in anyone’s eye! – people in my life were excited to know more about what I was doing.
Instead of inviting them to join my list, I told them that I would share what I was doing through personal emails. I encouraged them to click on the links I would include each time, and to never make a purchase of anything I was sharing until they emailed me back or we spoke on the phone or in person so I could tell them more about whatever it was.
Every day I emailed one or two people. These were friends, family members, and people I was just getting to know through the non-profits and service organizations I was now involved with in my new life. As I learned more about email marketing and affiliate marketing, they began to make purchases through my affiliate links. It was a win-win and everyone was excited, especially me!
This strategy led me to what I now refer to as “email every day” and I have even created a new online course where I share the details of this profitable marketing strategy.
Day Nine: Adjusting Your Money Mindset
What Is a Positive Money Mindset? How to Start Changing Yours Today…
Do you know your money mindset can determine whether you have a profitable, sustainable business… or not?
It’s true: While you obviously need to do basic market research, produce stellar work & deliver a high-quality customer experience for your business to do well, you also need to work on your own internal thoughts and beliefs about money.
Let’s back up for a moment here. If you have been in the entrepreneurial world for a minute (this is a slang term I love – The Urban Dictionary defines “for a minute” as a time span implying a very long time), you have probably heard the term money mindset. But do you actually know what a money mindset is and how it affects you and your business–and lifetime earning potential?
If not, no worries. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of what a money mindset is and how to cultivate a positive one to create a better financial future for you and your business.
What is a Money Mindset?
Money mindset – put simply – refers to your beliefs and attitudes about the almighty dollar.
It’s the internal, mental framework that shapes how we think about money, including how we earn it, spend it, and save it. It influences all of our financial decisions and behaviors, from how you price your services to how much you spend on business-related items each month.
In short, it can directly impact whether you make money in your business… or not. This was my primary area of focus when I started my online business, as it became glaringly obvious that my money mindset leading up to that time and spanning decades, was not a healthy one. It’s why I struggled for so many years and always felt like I was just a few months away from not being able to pay my bills and cover even my basis financial obligations.
However, I am grateful to have gone through this experience, for if I hadn’t I more than likely would not have pursued having an online business and changing my life so drastically.
If you have a healthy money mindset (sometimes called an abundance mindset), you innately believe that you deserve and are able to earn good money. You are open to new opportunities and willing to take risks. You understand that making more money requires hard work and dedication, but you also aren’t afraid to ask to be paid what you’re worth. You generally view money in a positive or neutral light, and you see it for what it is: a tool to help you achieve your big dreams and goals. You’re not afraid to spend where you need to (especially if it will directly or indirectly lead to more money), but you also know when to snap your wallet shut instead.
On the flip side, if you have a not-so-great money mindset (sometimes called a scarcity mindset), money is usually a major source of stress, anxiety, or fear. You might struggle with managing your finances, from sticking to a budget to keeping up with your business bookkeeping.
It also usually means that you struggle to charge prices that align with the value you provide. You think of money as something that’s hard to make and even harder to hang on to.
Our money mindset isn’t something we come up with on our own, though. We develop our ideas about money early in life, thanks to family, friends, society and our unique experiences.
For example, if you grew up in a home where your mom was in constant financial panic like mine was, always juggling bills and living one paycheck away from eviction, well, it’d be no surprise if you don’t have the healthiest money mindset.
If you have a more positive money mindset, on the other hand, maybe you grew up surrounded by wealth, or saw your self-employed parent transform their dreams into a (very lucrative) reality right before your eyes.
The good news? Our money mindset is not fixed. You can change it over time… with intention, awareness and, of course, action.
So, where do you start?
There are many ways to work at changing your money mindset so it’s more positive. Here are a few options for getting started:
1. Learn about finances. Knowledge is power, especially in this case. Learning more about basic financial principles can also help you see money in a more positive light. By simply soaking up new knowledge and practicing healthy financial habits (like budgeting, saving and investing), you can develop newfound confidence in your financial decisions.
2. Cultivate self-awareness about your beliefs, attitudes and self-talk around money. You can do this several ways, including carrying around a journal and writing down any money related thoughts for a day.
3. Surround yourself with positive money influences. You know how they say you are the combination of the five people you spend the most time with? One way to naturally start believing more positive things about cash is to surround yourself with people who already have it and tend to it well. This might include befriending other entrepreneurs or colleagues crushing it in your field, financial advisors or mentors or even your favorite rich relative.
When you do one (or all) of the above, you’ll not only learn loads about yourself, society and money management–you’ll also be well on your way to cultivating a positive money mindset and putting any money stress, sweat or struggle in your rearview mirror.
Day Ten: Your First Dollar of Online Earnings
I’m going to return to affiliate marketing here, but in a different way than I share on Day Eight. Instead, I want you to think about how you can make money as an online entrepreneur. Perhaps you’ve already earned your first dollar of online income: If so, how did you achieve this goal?
You may already have a book in some format – eBook, audio book, paperback, or hardcover – that sells online. Or, you may offer a service such as coaching or consulting, technology help, or even have a product or course set up to sell and be delivered online. If this is the case, you’re on your way, but if not, here are some ideas for how to get started.
Over almost two decades, I have worked with people from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. What most of them have in common is the belief that you must have a job, or a winning lottery ticket, or perhaps a trust fund, in order to have an unlimited supply of money at your disposal.
The truth is that it makes sense for all of us to have an additional way to bring money into our lives. I did this almost by accident when I became a classroom teacher at the age of 30. I had already been working in real estate as a listing broker and residential appraiser, and had fully intended to give that work up when I was hired at my first teaching job. Then, the bottom fell out and left a gaping hole in my bank account.
Towards the end of my first year of teaching, we went out on strike. We had been leading up to this for several months, but I never could have imagined the day would come when we were to report to the union representative at our school instead of going inside to our classroom. This strike lasted for over two weeks and during that time I learned that I had voluntarily given up my job and was no longer entitled to medical benefits or anything else I had come to depend upon, including a paycheck.
It was during this time, while I was holding a picket sign in one hand and a doughnut in the other that I made the decision to continue with real estate, while simultaneously working as a teacher. For twenty years, I always had a way to earn additional income, and it did not matter that I did not have the seniority during those early years to be offered teaching work while I was on vacation from my classroom. The teachers who did take these jobs were usually desperate to earn some extra money before school started again.
Even before I left teaching and real estate to come online in 2006, I realized that I was entering the world of “multiple streams of income” in a way I had not experienced with real estate and teaching. This could all be done online, and set up to automatically – or automagically as one of my mentors refers to it – to bring in money to your bank account while you are sleeping!
You may not be aware that I created a 10 Day Affiliate Marketing Challenge that is available to you at no cost. I’m going to share an excerpt from it here, with something I consider to be a highly misunderstood and widely undervalued way to make money while you sleep. It’s based on the concept of setting up a review blog, where you share everything you buy and benefit from in great detail, along with your affiliate link to where your reader can purchase it as well…
Write a High-Converting Review Post
Now that you have gathered your information and picked a product to review, you want to put together a blog post that will be effective in converting your visitor into a buyer. Many affiliate marketers get a rude awakening when they do nothing more than copy and paste the bulletpoints of a sales page into their product review and find that it doesn’t convert well for them.
The first thing you want to do when writing your review is to tap in to the emotions of the buyer right up front. What is their pain point that is driving them to consider investing in this product? If you can empathize with them and show that you understand their needs, you will be setting your review off on the right foot.
The next thing you want to do is go over the main product details. People want to know upfront without wasting any time what is included in the product, who the product is best for, what it can do for them, and any other details that you feel will give them a well-rounded idea of what the product is.
While some affiliate marketers steer clear of any negative commentary, if you want to be viewed as an honest and ethical niche affiliate that people return to for advice over and over again, you will want to come clean about anything lacking in the product.
If it is a digital product that is missing vital information, you can even create a bonus that fills in the gaps and makes the purchase complete for the customer. Consumers want more than just the basic details they can find on the sales page.
If you have any personal experience with the product, such as having seen or used it yourself, you want to include that in your review. They also want to hear any advice or tips you have concerning their use of the product.
For example, if you are reviewing a course that has video modules, you might be able to explain to them that the videos are lengthy and at what point in each video they may want to stop for a break for the day and resume the following day.
Or, you may have a tip about using a keyword tool and getting the detailed results that they are looking for. When it comes to tangible products, there are often many tips located in the comments section or questions and answer section.
You can sometimes find these on the manufacturer’s website or in the user manual. Most consumers don’t bother to look here, but if you give them the advice in your review, it will be very appreciated.
Yes, starting a website and blog – both on the same domain – to share reviews of what you are buying, using, benefiting from, and wish to recommend to others make sense… dollars and sense!
Day Eleven: The Only Three Things You Need to Get Started
There are only three things you need in order to get started with a profitable online business: 1) a list; 2) an offer; and 3) traffic.
You may be saying, but wait, you need to choose a niche and create a product and be on social media… Yes, but that comes a little later, after you have started your business. You may already be working with someone who is helping you to get your business up and running profitably, but sometimes you’re too close to it to see it clearly.
1) Your list: By this, I mean a permission based list of people who have given you their first name and email address in return for something you will give them. This can be written, audio, or video, but a written document delivered as a PDF is preferable. Yes, you can use PLR for this!
I want to clarify something that people bring up to me regularly… In regards to building a list, I am recommending you add people to an “open” list, meaning that they do not need to buy anything first. Yes, we all have “buyer’s lists” where everyone on those lists purchased a product or course or service from us first. But think about it: Wouldn’t you always have many more people on your list if the barrier of entry was low? That’s what you want, and a percentage of those people will buy from you or through your affiliate links over time.
2) An Offer: What’s for sale is the question to ask each day, no matter what type of online or physical (brick and mortar) business you have. I didn’t have my own product or course until I’d been online almost a full year, so affiliate products made sense for me.
3) Beep Beep! Traffic: This must be “targeted” traffic, which means that these people will have at least a passing interest in your offer so they will be encouraged to join your list and purchase your offer. Here’s a simple training on how to drive targeted traffic, from people I know extremely well.
For today, tell me where I may join your list. When I’m online, I prefer to send people to https://ConnieRagenGreen.com – but when we’re in person, I know that the spelling can be confusing in that domain. Does my last name have an “e” on the end? Which of the three spellings am I using for my middle name? The solution is to either send people to Twitter – I tell them I’m ConnieGreen, no “e” at the end – or, I send them to a site where I’ve created a complimentary training that is delivered automatically over a two year period at “Action Habits Challenge” and continues to help me grow my list because everything included there is evergreen.
Day Twelve: Email Every Day… Before You Have a List!
This is the premise of my “Email Every Day” ongoing training course. We all started with no list at all, yet somehow we already had an email account and messages in our inbox. How did this happen? Because people we already knew had shared their email addresses with us and begun to connect with us in this way.
So, how can you go from emailing back and forth with friends, family, and colleagues to building an online business that requires you to email people you may never meet in person? And, you must email them regularly and share your thoughts, ideas, and recommendations… and even ask them to buy things!
The answer is that you practice with the people you already know. I started out by recommending movies and books and local places to visit. People who knew me personally got used to me sharing things with them, and including a link to where they could find out more information. Soon, I began sharing affiliate links and links to me blog posts so they could take a look.
As I slowly began to build my permission based list for my business, I was already in the habit of emailing others in this way. Give it a try! Send me an email and recommend something to me, through your link! I promise to reply and to give you some feedback on what you’ve shared with me. Have fun with this strategy of emailing every day, even if you don’t yet have a list!
Day Thirteen: Syndicating Your Content
First, let define what I’m referring here with “syndicating your content.” Syndication is broadly defined in several ways:
- An act or instance of forming a syndicate or bringing something under the control of a syndicate, such as real estate syndication;
- The act of selling something (such as a newspaper column or television series) for publication or broadcast to multiple newspapers, periodicals, websites, stations, etc.
- The syndication of news articles and video footage, or television show, or… the state of being syndicated to multiple newspapers, periodicals, websites, stations, etc.
I think of what I do every day, and what I’ve been teaching in my ongoing, live training course Syndication Optimization as being most like the third of these definitions.
First, I create, curate, or use private label rights (PLR) content to share on my websites/blogs. Then, I wait at least 24 hours before sharing this content on social media and to my list. Finally, I syndicate the content to sites such as Medium and LinkedIn Pulse.
If you’re old enough to remember columnists Ann Landers and Abigail “Dear Abby” Van Buren, they were early examples of syndication. Their articles originally appeared in their home town newspaper, and then a week or so later they were syndicated to newspapers all over North America.
The idea of creating content once and publishing it on our blogs without doing anything more is an outdated concept and practice. It is highly unlikely you will build a large enough readership to earn the credibility and visibility you desire, and the profitability you crave and deserve.
Long ago, you could count on readers leaving comments on content you shared with them, but that took more time and effort than you need with syndication. I highly recommend that you start blogging, hitting “publish” at least three times a month, marketing the content on social media and to your list, and then publishing it on Medium, the largest and most valuable site of its kind in the world.
You can even build a list on Medium, and it is also a community where you my interact with others as you build and grow your business exponentially over time. Connect with me to get signed up, follow me, leave a comment, share a paragraph, and see what happens!
Day Fourteen: Leveraging Social Media
Successful social media marketing comes down to establishing parasocial relationships with your followers. Parasocial is a fancy term for a relationship that a person imagines they have with another person whom they do not actually know, such as with a celebrity or a fictitious character.
Your goal is to get your audience to engage with your social media marketing personality in a manner that is meaningful to them but doesn’t take up much of your time or tax you emotionally. In essence, you’re making people think you care about them (and maybe you really do) but you are not actually engaging with them on a personal one-to-one basis.
Your followers will know – at least subconsciously – that you and they are not besties, but it won’t matter. They will still get enjoyment out of the relationship and a bond will be built between them and your brand.
Here’s how that might work in your business:
Get your followers talking about themselves in a way that relates to your business. For example, if you’re an office productivity expert, ask them, “What do you see as the biggest waste of time in your office that no one seems to care about?”
A question like this includes not just your own customers but also anyone who works in an office and would like to vent about their own personal time-wasting pet peeve. This allows your audience to engage in a way that is meaningful to them, regardless of whether or not they’ve read your book or blog posts, taken your course or hired you as a consultant.
Any response you give, no matter how minimal, will make the poster feel good. You’ve probably noticed it yourself when you post on social media and the creator replies with even just an emoji, there is a part of you that is saying, “Yeah, they recognized me! They noticed I exist!” It feels good.
Of course, you can always hire someone – virtual assistants do all kinds of things, including this – to respond to posts. And for those posts that you especially like, you can type out a full response to spark another conversation. When you do, others will notice and be more inclined to engage as well.
Response is important – or even crucial – but it’s also a balancing act. If you try to give a thoughtful response to everyone, you’ll never have time for anything else. Plus, you’ll be seen as too accessible which will lower your perceived value.
“If everyone is special, then no one is special.” You’ve got to make your followers work to get your attention. Let them compete to have the best answers or the answers that spark you to reply.
The highest form of competition for your attention? Sales. You might want to give a shout out to those who buy from you or ask them to post when they do buy. This shows others that people are buying your product and that you give your customers more of your personal attention, thereby creating even more sales and hopefully a snowball effect.
Your goal in social media is to cultivate parasocial relationships on a mass level. This means it’s about the prospects and customers and NOT about you or your product. Your focus is on the audience you are building.
Post content that engages your current audience while bringing in a new audience. Foster a sense of community. Remember to ask relevant questions that potential prospects can answer and not just your current customers.
Doing all of this is easier than it sounds – it just takes practice. And the results of a well-executed parasocial relationship with your audience can be shocking. I’ve seen social marketers increase their engagement by several hundred percent within days of using this technique.
Day Fifteen: Misconceptions Around Small Business Finance
As an online entrepreneur, you are running a small business. While small businesses continue to be the backbone of the economies in countries all over the world, there are misconceptions about finance for small business. Here are some important ones for you to be aware of as you build and grow your small business online…
Running a successful business requires a clear understanding of its finances. Grasping these finances takes a lot of planning and organization, but it’s essential that you do so.
Unfortunately, this is a major challenge for many small businesses. To help you master these skills more quickly, here are 8 common misconceptions people have about small business finance.
Starting a Small Business Does Not Require Prohibitive Upfront Costs
The biggest misconception about starting a business is that it takes a great deal of investment upfront. However, overhead costs have never been as low as they are today. As a result, many businesses launch with little more than an internet connection.
What it requires is good planning and a keen understanding of your market. For example, if you know your audience well, you can create free content and offers they’ll like that can be found in a simple search on the web. Using search engine optimization rather than traditional advertising cuts the costs of spreading awareness.
High Profitability Is NOT the Same as Good Cash Flow
There are several essential financial documents every business needs to manage. These are a Profit and Loss Statement, a Balance Sheet, and a Cash Flow Statement. Each of these is important in assessing the health and performance of your business.
Unfortunately, many business owners confuse profitability with cash flow.
Cash flow is a key performance indicator that tells you how much money is coming into and going out of your business at a given time. In addition, it shows how much cash you have on hand for investments and paying bills.
It’s not a measure of profits. For example, a company can have high yields but no money to spend. Alternatively, you could have excellent cash flow with declining or no profits.
Any Debt Is Bad Debt – Not So!
Many small business owners mistakenly believe you only need to borrow money when times are tough. But actually, taking out loans helps a business in various ways as long as you can manage them effectively.
Debt is useful for small businesses. It provides the cash you can use today for benefits tomorrow. For example, you can use a loan to invest in the growth of your business. Take advantage of opportunities you couldn’t otherwise due to limited cash flow.
It can also benefit your business by lending it credibility. Just as a credit card helps you build your personal credit, taking out a business loan and meeting repayment obligations enables you to expand your business credit.
Banks Are Not Necessarily the Best Source of Small Business Financing
When a business needs a loan, the first option that comes to mind is usually a bank. This is the most established and trusted source of funding. But it’s often difficult for small businesses to get the financing they need from banks as they tend to be more conservative in lending.
There are many other sources of funding you can choose for your business, including:
- Crowdfunding – where startups raise money by seeking small contributions from a large pool of individuals or organizations through online platforms.
- Venture Capital – an alternative to traditional bank loans that pool investors and support startups in their early stages.
- Angel Investors – wealthy individuals who support startup companies they see as having high growth potential. Angel investors often provide mentoring and other help as well.
- Government Programs – like the Small Business Administration in the United States offer loans with favorable conditions.
- Personal Savings – especially if your startup costs are relatively minimal, you can save and fund yourself. You can also seek support from friends and family.
Taxes Are NOT Just Once a Year!
Many small businesses forget about taxes until the official tax season. However, you must constantly plan your finances all year round to pay taxes most effectively. Otherwise, you may be scrambling to get your taxes done in time and miss out on saving opportunities.
Tax planning is a year-round task for two reasons. First, you need to manage cash flow so you have the money to pay your taxes without taking away from other expenses and investments. If not, your cash flow will suffer after you pay your taxes.
The second reason is that you can reduce your tax burden significantly by taking advantage of deductions, exemptions, and tax credits.
It’s NOT Okay to Mix Business and Personal Finances at First
In the early stages, many people mix their business and personal finances. You might do this because your business finances aren’t complicated, and it’s easier to use your personal credit card or bank account. But from day one, your business and personal finances should be separate.
You must do your business’s accounting separately to comply with tax law and other regulations. In addition, if you run into trouble, you might be held personally liable for business debts or legal problems your business incurs. It’s also crucial because you need to see your business’s financial situation and performance.
It’s Never Too Early to Worry about Business Finances
Many small businesses believe that managing their finances is something to do once they start making a profit. The truth is that you need to start taking care of your finances as soon as you set up your business.
One primary reason is that your finances are closely connected to your business goals. Think strategically about how you invest and earn money in the early planning stages. It would help to consider finance and taxes when creating your business structure.
Managing your finances early allows you to make informed decisions, build your credit, and take advantage of opportunities in the market.
Small Business Finances Are Not Overly Complicated
When you’re new to small business finance, it may seem complicated. However, learning about finance and establishing good financial practices early will make managing your money much easier in the long run. Because I had worked in real estate and had my own small business for this before I came online as an entrepreneur, I thought I already knew everything I needed to know about small business finance. This was not true, so I am hoping this information will be helpful to you as well.
Day Sixteen: Get On Board with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Every five years or so, I watch as something makes it way to the mainstream. While it is seldom something new, it is new to the majority of people now hearing about it and this elicits a fear of the unknown that can paralyze us if we don’t get on board and learn as much as we possibly can, and from people we know and trust. This happened in 2022 with AI, and my hope is that you can see the value of this in a way that makes sense to you…
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a competitive tool that many of your colleagues will be utilizing in their online business. This technology has created a deep divide among those who are all in on it versus those who abhor it and won’t touch it. Here, I’ll share my thoughts on using AI in your online marketing and business.
Both of these extremes are wrong, and you should strive to fall somewhere in the middle – being open to the use of AI tools, yet cautious about how (and when) you leverage them.
This is the problem with the most vocal people sounding off about AI in the use of online marketing. Some see it as something to fear or something that lacks benefits, while others want to use it as a full replacement of any effort they might have to put into their business.
This all boils down to a lack of knowledge about how AI works, how it fails, what it can do for you, and how it can damage your business. Once you’re educated about it, it can be something you welcome into your business without fear and without risk.
The Danger of Relying on AI to Curate Facts for You
Right now there are many different AI tools emerging on the Internet. Some are being produced by global mega corporations and others by individual marketers wanting to rake in some quick cash by promising push-button profits.
Regardless of what tool you use, you have to be careful about allowing it to take over your business for you. AI guidelines admit that the tools can get their facts wrong. They also state that the AI tool, when faced with a concept it doesn’t know, can hallucinate (make up) answers.
Niche leaders cannot put their business at risk by leveraging a tool that could mislead their audience. Because it won’t be the tool your readers blame if you publish factually incorrect information – it will be you.
AI has made many blatant errors. In fact, Google lost $100 billion in market shares when their new BARD AI tool made a big gaffe during a live event where they were trying to showcase how great it was.
In another instance, Bing’s AI tool was arguing with a user about the author of an article, and even argued that the person using it was also named Bing because it couldn’t fathom anyone having any other name.
AI has gotten scientific facts wrong. If you’re in any niche and happen to be blogging or selling a product with any sort of advice on health, finances, etc., you could be doling out harmful information that will create backlash for you.
Many of these tools are years behind in the information it’s been fed. They’re working with information from 2021, when it’s already 2023. Others have unlimited access to the Internet to curate their answers, and that sometimes causes them to deliver crazy answers that aren’t from the best (most reliable) sources.
When left unchecked, AI tools have responded in offensive ways, not only being mean and argumentative, but also being discriminatory – which, if you failed to catch before publishing, could decimate your business. Using AI in your online marketing requires taking responsibility.
Competitors Are Hoping You Use AI the Wrong Way
AI has many positive uses. You can input data and information and have it give you some insight about it or help you create better wording. But when you are in a rush to explode the volume of content you’re creating, you might be tempted to rely on AI to do the work for you.
This is exactly what your competitors are hoping you’ll do. Because when you leave everything up to a sterile robot, in no way can you compete with their human, innovative approach.
NOTE: The ONLY training I am recommending on this topic of AI (Artificial Intelligence) for marketers, content creators, and others online is from people I know and trust. Denise Wakeman and Andy O’Bryan have created the AI Success Club and I am excited to be learning everything there is to know on this topic, as well as how to utilize it for for business from these two thought leaders.
Day Seventeen: Creating Multiple Streams of Income
In today’s unpredictable and increasingly fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to create a multiple streams of income lifestyle. With a single source of income, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, leaving yourself vulnerable to financial instability through job loss or reduced income.
There’s also the risk of a shrinking client list due to changing customer preferences, market conditions, or rapidly advancing tech. Juggling multiple streams of income can seem overwhelming at first. Many people convince themselves that they don’t have the time, knowledge, resources, or courage to make it happen.
A single source of income appears to be the easiest, safest route. For example, let’s say you have a business that provides 1:1 coaching. By keeping it to a single stream, you can focus exclusively on what you were trained to do: finding, helping, and keeping clients. Or, if you have a full-time job, you can show up and get a regular paycheck, benefits, and scheduled holidays. Sounds good, right?
Relying on one job is actually a higher-risk proposition: Your finances are tied to a single source of income that can be reduced or eliminated through layoffs, economic downturns, or personal issues. The direction of your life is, in a way, controlled by the company or clients who hire you, how much they’re willing to pay, and how long they want to keep you around. Does that sound safe to you?
With multiple streams of income, you can diversify your financial portfolio, which provides a cushion against economic uncertainty. This translates into numerous emotional and physical benefits for your business and your life.
In my experience… I returned to college in 1986 to earn a teaching credential. During the five years leading up to this, I had been working in real estate as a listing broker and residential appraiser. As I was completing my credential work and readying myself to take my first job as a classroom teacher, I just assumed I would leave real estate behind because I had a new career that I was excited to begin. But at the end of my first year, the teacher’s union called for a strike and I ended up walking a picket line for two weeks.
In those difficult moments, when my future was uncertain I promised myself that I would always have an additional way to earn income. I’ve kept that promise over all of these years and recommend you do something similar. I have now written extensively on this topic of creating and growing multiple streams of income that you may wish to read. These streams can also include offline work, as diversifying in as many way as possible will make a huge difference in your life for many reasons.
Day Eighteen: Consider Becoming a Morning Person… Even If You’re a Night Owl!
There’s often a lot of debate in the productivity/entrepreneurship space as to whether it’s better to be a morning person or a night person. Invariably, most successful entrepreneurs often mention how their day starts at 4am or 5am… or some other unearthly hour. Yes, I am one of those annoying people, so I’m going to help you with tips on how to become a morning person and change your life in the process.
It’s almost as if waking up before the rooster crows is a prerequisite for success. In reality, there are people who work into the wee hours of the night who are just as successful. You just don’t hear much from them, probably because they’re still sleeping.
But all levity aside, your productivity and output are determined by the focused effort you put into the hours when you’re working (regardless if it’s day or night) and NOT some magical wake up hour. This can help lead you to a lifestyle by design, and that is what it did for me…
1. Pay up your sleep debt – It’s alarming to know just how many people are sleep deprived. Before becoming a morning person, you’ll want to spend 2-3 days sleeping as much as possible. Try going to bed earlier and wake up without an alarm clock.
This will ensure that your body gets all the sleep it has been deprived of. When it’s fully-rested, you’ll be able to start with a ‘clean slate.’
2. Gradually wake up 15 minutes earlier (every few days) – Since it’ll be a struggle for most late risers to wake up early, the best way to go about it will be to take the slow and steady approach.
Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual… and repeat the process every 3 days. For example, if you’re used to waking at 11am, aim to wake up at 10.45 am. Do this for 3 days so that your body gets used to waking up at this time.
After 3 days, wake up 15 minutes earlier (at 10.30am). Once again, do this for 3 days and repeat the process until you reach the specific time you wish to wake up at daily.
NOTE: You’ll need to go to bed 15 minutes earlier too. So, change your bed time correspondingly.
3. Have a consistent sleep schedule – This is one of the most important rules to having a good sleep pattern. Do not go to bed later than normal and wake up any time you want on weekends.
You’ll want to have the same sleep/wake times DAILY. No exception on weekends or public holidays.
Since you’re always battling your body’s chronotype, you’ll be making it harder for yourself to become an early riser if you’re not consistent. Structure and routine in your sleep schedule is essential for maintaining it.
4. Do NOT hit your snooze button – It’s normal to feel ‘sleep inertia’ when you wake up in the morning. Some people shake it off faster than others, but millions of people experience grogginess, feeling tired, confusion, etc. when they first wake.
Consuming caffeine or taking a cold shower can be useful for increasing your alertness after waking. Do what works for you, but don’t keep hitting the snooze button repeatedly. Instead, wake up and give your body time to adjust and become alert.
It takes energy to sleep… and it takes energy to wake up. If you repeatedly go through this process by hitting your snooze button, your sleep will not leave you feeling refreshed – and it’ll be more difficult to become an early riser. Be willing to push through sleep inertia.
5. No caffeine after 11am – Caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. If you consume a cup of coffee at 11am, by 4pm, half the caffeine will still be in your body. By 9pm, very little of it will be left in your system.
This will make it easier for you to sleep at night. Assuming you need 7 hours of sleep a night, if you wish to wake up at 5am, you’ll need to sleep at around 9.45pm (it takes about 15-20 minutes to fall asleep).
So, plan your caffeine intake so that it doesn’t impact your sleeping time adversely. Very often, people tend to focus on their waking time without realizing that the time they go to bed is just as important.
6. Plan your meal times – Ideally, you should have dinner about 2-3 hours before bedtime. You do not want to go to bed with a full stomach. The process of digestion requires energy.
If you’re digesting food while sleeping, your body’s resources will be utilized for that process instead of healing and repairing your body. It’s difficult to wake up feeling rested when your body is working half the night.
7. Exercise regularly – It’s best to exercise early in the day. This will not only help to boost your metabolism, but you’ll be less likely to procrastinate the activity.
There are a multitude of benefits that are accrued from exercise, including more blood flow to your brain, but in this scenario, exercise will tire your body out – which is exactly what you want.
When you reach the end of the day, your body will be depleted of energy and sleep will come much more readily. This is the reason why soldiers in the military can fall asleep in seconds. Their bodies are tired from physical exertion and long for rest.
“Turn resolutely to work, to recreation, or in any case to physical exercise till you are so tired you can’t help going to sleep, and when you wake up you won’t want to worry.” – B. C. Forbes
8. Avoid screens 2 hours before bedtime – A lot of the tips in this article are about helping you sleep easily at an earlier time. If you can fall asleep earlier, you’ll wake up earlier.
One of the best ways to wind down towards the end of the day will be to avoid using your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc. 1-2 hours before bed. These devices emit blue light which blocks melatonin in your body. This will make it more difficult for you to fall asleep, and stay asleep.
This was a tough one for me, as I am accustomed to checking my email on my phone one last time before I go to sleep. I also use the “Balance” meditation app as I fall asleep each night, so I had to find a solution…
9. Use a sunrise alarm clock – This invention is sheer genius and has been proven to work for thousands of people across the globe. A sunrise alarm clock will emit a natural orangish-yellow glow (that simulates sunlight) at a preset time to wake your body up gradually and gently.
It uses light strategically to prevent sleep inertia. Even if you’re waking up at 5am before the sun is up, these clocks can be set to create a sunrise simulation to ensure your waking process is not jarring.
There are many sunrise clock models available for sale online. I have a sunrise alarm clock that even has a bluetooth speaker sound machine and other cool features. Depending on your budget, you can get one that can be controlled with an app. Do your research and find one that suits your needs.
10. Practice good sleep hygiene – Besides the 9 tips mentioned above, there are a few other sleep hygiene pointers to abide by:
- Sleep in a cool room
- Make sure your bedroom is dark
- Avoid working in your bedroom (it’s reserved for sleep)
- Do not consume alcohol before bedtime
- Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable and support your body well
- Avoid napping during the day
Most late risers can get used to waking up early. It’s just a matter of being consistent and gradual in your approach. Ultimately, you must know why you’re doing it and be aware that you’ll always be fighting your ‘internal clock.’ Knowing how to become a morning person is the first step to changing your life and shifting your mindset to achieve the goals and results you want and deserve.
Day Nineteen: Get Started as a Consultant
Helping others with what you already know due to your experiences, interests, and willingness to do some research can mean huge profits and a boost in your level of self-confidence.
Have you considered becoming a consultant, offering high-value services to your clients that help them solve the problems they’re facing? This could be the most meaningful work you ever do.
Becoming a consultant is a great career choice for an expert in any industry or niche. But no one is born a great consultant. You might have native talents and natural strengths that make it easier for you to learn, but everyone needs to master key skills before they become successful consultants.
Ready to start this journey? Here are the 5 skills you need to learn and hone to get started.
As a consultant, your role is to help clients identify and solve complex issues. This is why they hire you. These can range from operational efficiencies or resource management challenges to strategic planning or problems related to long-term growth.
You need to help your clients tackle these issues and generate ideas for overcoming them. Your expertise will guide the way. Then, you’ll work with all the organization’s stakeholders to find the right solution to implement and track.
You can improve your problem-solving skills through study and practice. Studying includes learning:
• Specific problem-solving techniques
• Creative-thinking skills
• Critical-thinking skills
• Data and statistical analysis
Experience is an even better teacher. The more problems you solve, the better you’ll become. So, tackle problems in your work and personal life and learn how to generate and evaluate possible solutions. Always learn from opportunities to sharpen these skills.
One part of the problem-solving process in the consulting context is data analysis. You’ll look at various types of information to come up with potential solutions. Learn about statistics and data analysis in your field.
Becoming a Consultant Includes Developing Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills
As a consultant, you will be working with a wide variety of clients and stakeholders to achieve the desired goals of a project. Each has their own role, background, and conversational style. Communication with each person must be clear and easy for them to understand.
Interpersonal skills are needed to build rapport and trust. A consulting project simply can’t move forward if rapport and trust are not there. You’ll need to persuade stakeholders to build consensus and gain their buy-in.
One of the best ways to improve your communication and interpersonal skills is to practice active listening. This means paying close attention to the speaker and repeating back what they’ve said in your own words to confirm it’s understood. This method also helps to further clarify ideas.
Learning about communication styles and techniques for clear and concise communication is also helpful. You can also improve your writing, presentation and public speaking, relationship building, and cultural awareness.
Project Management Skills
My Project Manager for my online business is the highest paid person on my team. Consulting projects involve a wide range of tasks, timelines, and stakeholders. These need to be coordinated effectively to achieve the project’s aims. If you have good project management skills, you can plan and organize tasks and resources to get results. Some issues of project management are:
• Timeline. You need to move it forward and manage time for yourself, your team, and the client. The project needs to meet deadlines as it works toward the final goal. You’ll also need to be able to swing into action when it’s running behind to get it back on schedule.
• Budget. This is one of the biggest challenges consultants face. At the beginning, you will create a budget that includes not only funding but other resources as well.
Other aspects of project management include:
• Assessing risk management
• Regularly updating communications
• Tracking metrics
• Contingency planning
You can learn project management through:
• Educational courses
• Certification programs
• Online resources
There is a great deal of theory and methodology behind project management which will help you when you’re facing challenges. Just like problem-solving skills, experience is the best teacher for project management. Try to find opportunities where you can manage small-scale projects within your own business. Look for volunteer and on-the-job training you can use as learning tools.
Industry Expertise and Knowledge
Industry expertise and knowledge is the necessary foundation for a consultant to understand a client’s needs and provide an effective solution. If you don’t know the industry and all related issues well, you can’t provide guidance and recommendations that will be useful to the client.
The exact nature of the knowledge and experience needed depends on your niche and the type of services you’re providing. At the very least, you should have a broad understanding of the industry and know its latest trends, key players, and common challenges.
Some specific areas of knowledge you may need include:
• Marketing and sales
• Business strategy
• Company operations
• Supply chains
• Human resources management
• Financial analysis
As you work on building your consulting skills, you will identify the key areas of knowledge you need to bring to your clients. Then work on expanding these skills. This work as a consultant can be a home-based business, giving you the time and space to learn and grow.
There are several ways you can increase your knowledge. One is to take courses in key subject areas. Subscribe to and read industry publications and follow major influencers in your sector. Networking can also help, and you may consider finding a mentor.
Adaptability and Flexibility with Consulting
A consulting project offers a great deal of uncertainty. Things can change quickly at any point during the process. You’ll need to be able to quickly assess the situation and change gears without threatening the objectives of the project. This requires flexibility.
Building all the skills mentioned here will help you remain flexible. So will expanding your expertise and knowledge. When things don’t go as planned, you can rely on this knowledge of your industry to lead your team to a solution.
You can be more flexible by adopting a different mindset. Be open-minded and willing to change course if necessary. It’s almost a certainty that things won’t go exactly as planned.
Setting up Your Consulting Business
Before you start setting up your consulting business, there are a few things you need to do first. The first step is to make sure that offering consulting services is right for you. Here are some questions to help you answer:
Do you enjoy problem-solving and critical thinking? There’s a common misconception that a consultant just gives advice to businesses and their expertise is enough to solve the client’s problems. The truth is you’ll need to analyze complex situations and develop effective solutions.
Are you good at working by yourself? A consultant needs to be a self-starter who is organized and disciplined. You may have to lead your own team or exercise leadership over certain areas of the project.
Do you have strong communication and interpersonal skills? Is it something that comes naturally to you? Consulting projects demand constant communication with clients and stakeholders.
Are you willing to learn, implement, and improve? This is the most important question. You’ve already learned the 5 must-have skills you need. If you don’t have them now, you can learn them. A consultant should always be growing and learning new things.
Start with Your Strengths
Get started by assessing your current skill set. Consider the above 5 must-have skills and ask yourself where you’re at right now. How are you at communicating? Are you knowledgeable about your industry?
This helps you get started right by playing to your strengths. You can build on a strong foundation of what you already have. It also helps you identify the areas where you need to improve.
You can also use this assessment to decide on your niche. Identify topic areas or types of businesses you can best serve right now.
It’s tough to know exactly when you’re ready to start offering your consulting services. You need to feel confident and there are several ways you can build this confidence. The first is to look back over the results you’ve received so far. For example, you might have helped a friend overcome some issues with their business.
Another way to build confidence is to seek educational opportunities and learn more. Even better, join an accreditation program so you graduate with qualifications you can use.
Finally, you need to make sure the logistics of your consulting business are ready to go. You must have the following in place:
• Business plan
• Organizational tools
Now you’re well on your way to becoming a great consultant! I’ve written a book on this topic you may find helpful. It’s titled Local Business Marketing: Making the Phone Ring for Businesses Everywhere and this information will make a difference in your results and income.
Day Twenty: Create a 30 Day Blog Challenge
Here’s a 30-day blog challenge with generic topics that can work in any niche:
Day 1: Introduction – Share your story and explain why you started your blog.
Day 2: Your Niche – Describe your chosen niche and its relevance to your audience.
Day 3: Blogging Goals – Discuss the goals you have set for your blog and how you plan to achieve them.
Day 4: Achievements – Write about a goal you have achieved and the steps you took to accomplish it.
Day 5: Expert Advice – Share valuable advice from an expert in your niche and explain how it can benefit your readers.
Day 6: Favorite Tools – List and review the tools or resources you find most helpful in your niche.
Day 7: Lessons Learned – Reflect on a mistake or setback you experienced and the lessons you learned from it.
Day 8: Success Story – Tell the story of someone who has achieved success in your niche and the lessons others can learn from their journey.
Day 9: Q&A Session – Answer questions from your readers or address common FAQs related to your niche.
Day 10: Book Review – Review a book related to your niche and share key takeaways for your readers.
Day 11: Industry Trends – Discuss the latest trends and developments in your niche and their potential impact.
Day 12: Behind the Scenes – Take your readers behind the scenes of your blog and share insights into your writing process or content creation workflow.
Day 13: Inspirational Story – Share an inspirational story that relates to your niche and motivates your readers.
Day 14: Case Study – Present a case study that showcases how someone applied strategies in your niche and achieved success.
Day 15: Product Review – Review a product or service related to your niche and provide an honest assessment of its features and benefits.
Day 16: Personal Reflection – Share a personal reflection on a challenging experience or decision you faced in your niche.
Day 17: Collaborative Post – Collaborate with another blogger or expert in your niche to create a joint post on a relevant topic.
Day 18: Resource Roundup – Compile a list of helpful resources, websites, or tools that can assist your readers in their endeavors.
Day 19: Inspirational Quotes – Share a collection of motivational quotes that resonate with your niche audience.
Day 20: How-To Guide – Create a step-by-step guide on a specific process or task relevant to your niche.
Day 21: Reader Spotlight – Highlight and showcase a loyal reader or follower who has achieved success using your advice or guidance.
Day 22: Reflections on Growth – Discuss your personal and professional growth since starting your blog and the lessons you’ve learned.
Day 23: Myth Buster – Address a common misconception or myth related to your niche and provide evidence-based insights to debunk it.
Day 24: Infographic or Visual Content – Create an infographic or visual content piece that presents valuable information in a visually appealing way.
Day 25: Interview – Conduct an interview with an industry expert or influential figure in your niche and share their insights with your readers.
Day 26: Resource Review – Review and recommend a valuable online resource, such as a course, podcast, or webinar, that can benefit your readers.
Day 27: Reader Engagement – Encourage reader interaction by posing a thought-provoking question or hosting a poll related to your niche.
Day 28: Reflection on Community – Discuss the importance of building a supportive community in your niche and share tips for fostering engagement and collaboration.
Day 29: Future Plans – Outline your future plans for your blog and how you intend to grow and evolve in the coming months.
Day 30: Recap and Gratitude – Summarize your blog challenge journey, express gratitude to your readers, and share
Day Twenty-One: Stay Open and Willing to Exploring New Opportunities
The inspiration for today’s focus in the 2023 Productivity Challenge comes from coaching and entrepreneurial expert Dan Miller. I will not assume you are already familiar with you, although he is quite well known and has been online a few years longer than I have…
When working with someone to help them find the business or career they will love, Dan asks the tough questions some may shy away from answering:
Have you been laid off or hit a career roadblock? Are you hesitant to get another job or tired of the same old routine? Are you feeling stuck and unsure of how to translate your passion and skills into something sustainable?
You may take pride in the fact that you’ve been at the same job for 18 years now. Is there more value in staying the same or are you missing new opportunities? Be careful about putting loyalty above growth. Be careful thinking you are strengthening the guarantee of your future by continuing to do what you’ve been doing in the past. Don’t confuse commitment with stagnation.
These are four tips that will help you to narrow down your choices, making your decision one that is based on who you are, where you are right now in your life, and where you wish to go in the near future:
- Stay open to new opportunities and avoid putting loyalty above growth.
- Changing careers can be a new beginning and present new opportunities that one may have not been aware of before.
- Determine your passion and skills and think of ways to combine them to create a unique offering that adds value to your clients.
- Find flexibility in a job or start something on your own.
What about you? Are you staying the same or missing out on new opportunities? To find out where you are right now on the path to business success, click on “Quiz” at the top of this page and find out. I trust Dan Miller to guide you and this could be the turning point in your entrepreneurial journey.
Day Twenty-Two: Starting Your Own Membership Site
It was my dream to start and build a profitable membership site when I first came online in 2006. But the technology was confusing and expensive, and people were not so excited to invest in a membership when they could buy an information product and feel like they had everything they needed.
Time have changed! I’m going to share some proven strategies of the trade for rapidly getting new paying members for your membership site, no matter what your niche. Remember that procuring new members for your membership site is the goal to focus on as you build your online empire.
Need more members? Check out these ideas…
Offer Charter Pricing
The idea behind this strategy is to lock in a low price for life to the first X number of people who purchase within a specific time period.
For example, you might offer the first 150 members who purchase their membership within two weeks after the launch date a low price of $9.99 per month… for life. Even when you raise the price, your charter members will never pay more.
This accomplishes the following:
- It generates sales, because people don’t want to miss out on the best deal. Why pay more when you can get a discount on the exact same offer?
- It makes charter members feel special (as they are!). That’s because you’re not just offering them a good deal, you’re also recognizing them as “charter members.” And when people feel special, they tend to be more loyal… which means you’ll retain a good number of your charter members.
Here’s the next strategy for getting more members…
Create a $1.00 Trial for New Members for Your Membership Site
You’ve got prospects who are really interested in your membership site offer, but they’re a little skeptical. They’ve been burned before on offers that seemed almost too good to be true. So, how do you get this type of buyer off the fence and clicking your “join now” button?
Answer: offer them a $1 trial.
Most people can afford a dollar really easily, so this is a virtually risk-free way for them to find out what’s actually inside your site. And since charging $1 gets you their payment information, you’re set up to do recurring billing (at the full monthly rate) just as soon as the trial period ends.
End result? You get a flood of new members coming in for a $1… getting impressed by what they see inside… and staying on as fully paying members once the trial is over. It’s a great way to quickly turn prospects into cash-paying customers!
Here’s another way…
The idea behind this strategy is to splinter off a month’s worth of content and sell it as a low-cost tripwire product. You then sell the membership site on the backend of this offer. Naturally, anyone who likes the product is going to be extremely interested in the membership, which makes this an easy sale.
Here’s what you need to do:
• As needed, create a new introduction and conclusion to the content to make it clear that it’s part of a membership site (and that readers can become members).
• Include the benefits of the membership site and a strong call to action at the end of the product.
• If there are any links to other membership resources mentioned in the content, send readers to the membership sales page instead.
• Review the rest of the content to be sure it makes sense as a standalone tripwire offer.
• Attach a low price to the offer, such as $10.
• Promote the membership inside a series of follow-up emails that you send to customers who purchase the splintered offer.
Here’s the next idea…
Use Time-Sensitive Incentives for New Members for Your Membership Site
Sometimes prospects are really interested in an offer, but they decide they’ll purchase it later. Maybe “later” is after they sleep on it, after they talk to a partner about it, or even just when they get home.
Except you know the problem: “later” never comes. People get busy. They forget about your offer. And the longer they’re away from your sales page, the less they’re going to feel like buying. All that enthusiasm you generated for your offer just fades away.
Here’s the solution: offer some sort of time-sensitive incentive. This encourages people to buy right now, rather than putting it off for later and forgetting about it. For example, you can offer:
• A discount that’s only available for a limited time or to a limited number of people.
• A bonus offer that’s only available for a limited time or to a limited number of people.
• A combination of a bonus and a discount that’s only available for a limited time or to a limited number of people.
• The first 100 people to join now will get 50% off their first six months of membership!
• Join now and you’ll get access to a private support group for FREE! Others pay $10 per month for this offer, but it’s yours free if you join by [expiration date].
• Use coupon code [insert coupon code] to take 25% off your monthly membership fee – but hurry, this offer ends [date] or whenever 200 people have taken advantage of the offer, whichever happens first!
Motivate Marketing Partners: Affiliates Will Help You Get New Members for Your Membership Site
Just because you’ve built an affiliate program or have joint venture partners doesn’t mean those partners are going to promote regularly. That’s why you need to give them a little nudge from time to time to motivate them to promote the offer just as hard as you promote it.
• Create a launch event. Here’s where you put together an incentive package and the emails and other marketing materials for a launch event that lasts about a week.
• Organize an affiliate contest. For this tactic, you offer your affiliates the chance to win cash prizes if they top your sales leaderboard during a specific time period.
• Give affiliates coupon codes to distribute. This works best if the coupon codes have an expiration date (which motivates your partners to distribute them sooner rather than later).
• Run special offers. For example, you might offer a 36-hour flash sale, and give your partners a heads-up at least a week or two in advance.
• Offer exclusive incentives. Here you give select marketing partners exclusive incentives to pass onto their customers. For example, you might create a unique landing page for the partner and offer a bonus package to their customers.
It’s also a good idea to motivate your partners through regular (weekly) emails which include announcements of sales, events and coupon codes, access to fresh marketing materials, training materials, and even case studies of other successful marketing partners.
NOTE: I have many membership sites, and they are all set up using Wishlist. Membership sites and software are NOT created equal, so please take a look and see if this simple plugin and setup could be right for you.
Day Twenty-Three: Embrace the “Marketing Rule of One” for Maximum Results in Your Business
Are You Familiar with the Marketing “Rule of One”? This could make all the difference as you move closer to achieving your goals of time and financial freedom and super productivity with an online business.
The marketing “rule of one” is really quite simple. because it actually makes your marketing much easier, rather than harder. And it’s mighty, because this one small change produces massive results. Finally, it’s effective because when applied correctly, the conversions are typically nothing short of phenomenal.
In fact, I’ve seen this rule turn a losing campaign into healthy profit and a profitable campaign into an empire.
The Rule of One states: Your marketing should focus on ONE big idea, ONE prospect, ONE main benefit, ONE core emotion and ONE call to action. One big idea presented in a clear and convincing manner is more powerful than a string of mediocre ideas. And it’s far more memorable, too.
If you offer reason after reason on why your prospect should buy, they will often end up confused and the sale will be lost. A multitude of points weakens each point in turn because it seems none of them are strong enough to stand on their own. You must always think of your cash flow in your business.
Your one idea must be something your prospect can immediately understand and believe. It’s got to be powerful to invoke action.
You might have a list of 7 benefits that your product provides. Choose just one for your headline, your introduction and as the driving force of your copy. You may touch on the other six later in the copy and even bring attention to them through testimonials. Here’s how to put the marketing rule of one into practice:
One Big Idea
As you might guess, finding your one big idea is harder than it sounds. Few marketers are going to know their one big idea from the start, no matter how well they know their market and their product. Here’s how to find the one big idea:
List all of your benefits. Not the features; just the benefits.
If you don’t know your benefits, write down your features and then ask yourself, “So what?” for each one. Keep digging.
“My product helps middle aged women lose weight.” So what?
“They feel better about themselves and look better, too.” So what?
“They have more energy, feel better, think better, have better sex and relationships, get more done, get more promotions, make more money.” So what?
“They have a much higher quality of life with fewer regrets and far better experiences.”
Now you’re on the right track. You only get one life and no one wants that life to suck.
New marketers want to speak to everyone. What they don’t realize is that they are speaking to no one because they are focused on no one person.
Place your ideal prospect across from you at your kitchen table. Use your imagination if your ideal prospect won’t come to your house. Now, have a conversation with them as though they are your friend.
Don’t know who your idea prospect is? Then it’s time to do research. Just who is it that you want to target? How old are they? What gender? What are their hobbies and interests? Where do they live and what kind of work do they do? Most of all, where do you find them online?
Create a buyer persona that is ONE person. Give them a name. Then write your material as though you are speaking just to this one person. And I’ll share a secret with you here… lean in: Your ideal prospect is exactly like you, especially when you’re just starting out! It makes sense if you think about it, because it’s natural to want to help others the way you wanted to be helped out earlier in your business.
One Main Benefit
Copy is best when it focuses on one main benefit, and I’ll be the first to admit that the “big idea” and the “big benefit” can sometimes blur together.
In our previous example, the feature is weight loss, the big benefit is feeling better and the big idea is a much better life.
Whatever your choice and however you decipher this, your biggest and strongest benefit of your product or service is the one to use for most of your copy. You can also use the other benefits later in the copy, but they will be in small supporting roles and your big benefit will be the headlining star of the show.
One Core Emotion
Think about a time when you were suffering from the exact same problem for which your product is a solution. What was the main emotion you felt? Fear? Embarrassment? Frustration? Anger?
This is the emotion to focus on in your copy, not just to get your prospect to feel that emotion, but also how they will feel when they are finally rid of it, too. It’s all part of the beginner’s mindset and simply part of the process.
One Call to Action
Everything – your landing page, webpage, advertisement, sales page and so forth should have just one call to action. This is one clear and easy action for the prospect to take.
For example, your squeeze page has one call to action to join your list. The follow-up page has one call to action to get your low-priced product. If there is an upsell, then that page has one call to action to buy the big product.
No matter what type of page you are creating, it will have only one call to action on it to make it direct, clear and actionable. And yes, that call to action can be repeated multiple times on the same page, but it will be the same call to action each time.
Time to Take Action On Your Own with the Marketing Rule of One
Choose a piece of your own sales copy and go through it, removing extraneous stuff and sharpening it to focus on just one big idea, prospect, benefit, emotion and call to action. You’ll be making your copy stronger, clearer and far more effective when you do this.
Use the Rule of One in all of your future marketing to remove confusion and make your messages clear, and you’ll likely see a significant increase in conversions as well as happier customers who become repeat buyers.
Day Twenty-Four: Start a WordPress Blog and Post Regularly
A blog is important for building your online presence. Through your blog, you create engaging content that provides value to your target market and SEO power to your website. In addition, you can use blogging to show your expertise, build your brand, and turn leads into buyers.
Know Your Audience
Your blog will perform best if you meet the needs of your audience. If you write posts that solve the problems and challenges they face, you’ll offer real value and rise above the competition.
The best way to understand your readers is to create a blog target audience. This group of people can benefit the most from reading your information. Once you identify this group, you can create content specifically for them that meets their needs.
Create a profile that includes demographics, core values, attitudes, and behaviors. Then, identify issues or challenges they face that you can solve through your content.
You can make an educated guess, but you’ll do better by conducting market research. One way to do this is to check out your competitors or other blogs in your niche and see who comments on posts.
You can continue learning about your readership and perfecting your ideal reader profile once you start publishing.
Take the Time to Outline
No matter how short your blog posts are, you should take some time to write an outline. Outlining allows you to organize your thoughts so your writing is more coherent and focused. It ensures you don’t leave out essential information and provides a roadmap that makes writing straightforward.
Start by identifying the main point of the piece. What do you want to teach your audience? Then, break this main idea down into its key parts.
For example, you might introduce a topic, define it, explain why it’s important, outline the benefits, and offer a few tips. If you’re describing a process, you might break it down into steps. For a post with 5 tips, your outline would list the 5 tips and the main points of each.
Research Your Topic
It’s crucial to conduct research for your blog posts, even if you know the topic well and can write the post without it. The reason is that just a small amount of additional research can create content that offers much more value to the reader. Plus, you may learn something new along the way.
You can do effective research for your blog post in just a few minutes. Search for keywords related to your topic on Google and glance at a few articles or posts. For example, if you’re writing a post with tips, you can add more to the ones you already know.
Get the Reader’s Attention
A good blog post gets the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go until the end. The internet is flooded with content. Writing in a way that grabs attention helps yours stand out.
The first step to gaining attention is to write an enticing title. The title should tell people what they can expect from the post in clear language. It should speak to the audience’s needs and tell them the benefits they’ll receive from reading the post. It should be specific, using numbers where appropriate.
The first sentence and paragraph also play a major role in keeping the reader engaged. There are several ways you can capture attention in the first paragraph:
- Ask a question
- Share a quote
- Tell a story
- Paint the reader a picture
Like the title, the first paragraph should be short and snappy, with a hook that leads the consumer to read more.
Write in a Conversational Tone
Writing in a conversational tone makes you more relatable to your readers. Don’t write formally or use jargon that your reader may not understand. The key to communicating through content is to be direct so you are understood.
A conversational tone also makes your text more fun to read. Use “you,” contractions, and simple language that readers of any educational level can understand. Write your blog posts like you’d write an email to a friend or colleague.
Keep it conversational, but make sure you still follow the rules of written English. For example, don’t use internet slang, and make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.
Make It Fun and Interesting
We do our best writing when we’re enthusiastic about the topic. It can feel like a grind when you’re churning out content that doesn’t inspire you. Remember this as you consider what to write about.
I was the reluctant blogger when I came online in 2006. I had no writing skills, nothing to say, and just wanted to get to the part where I’d make some money. That first month, I struggled with this, but I took it on faith from those around me that blogging would indeed pay off.
Blogging has been so good to me, that I now have three active blogs that I update several times each month. I earn income from my blogs in a variety of ways, and it began with affiliate marketing, where I was recommending what I was buying and benefiting from, and truly loved. Blogging also lead to:
- Helping me grow a responsive list
- Improving my writing – this is how I’ve been able to write and publish more than twenty-five books since 2010!
- Teaching me more about the topics I post on
- Giving me a platform to share my business with the world!
Private label rights (PLR) content was in its infancy when I began; now it’s mainstream and I use it regularly, from the people I’ve come to know and trust for their high quality content.
Day Twenty-Five: Seriously Profitable Email Marketing
Email marketing is truly a necessity for online entrepreneurs if you want to be competitive and succeed in the marketplace. However, you may be struggling with your strategy and in trying to identify what you’re doing wrong. Learning about email marketing for newbies is a worthwhile strategy and use of your time as you build and grow your business.
This is an aspect of your business that you always want to be improving over time. Simply by understanding some of the most common problems with the email marketing, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges you’ve been facing with the process of learning about email marketing for newbies so you will improve the engagement you’re getting from your subscribers.
Below, you’ll find six things you may not have been doing correctly – or tried at all – that can help you perform well with your email marketing efforts. Address them one at a time and track the changes that serve you best.
Segmenting and Personalizing Your List for Better Performance
First of all, I am going to recommend you get started with the same email and autoresponder service I’ve been using for well over a decade, AWeber. When you want your emails to perform better, there are two specific things you can do that tailor your messages to the individual receiving it. The first thing you can do is divide your list into groups based on certain information.
This might be demographic information or behavioral information that helps you send content specifically for their needs, rather than a catchall topic that might not be relevant to some people.
Your email autoresponder system will have a segmentation feature built into it so that you can target the emails to different audiences. Another thing you can do is personalize your emails with their name as well as information coming from you about your life that helps them build a bond with you.
Not only can you personalize the body of the email, but you can personalize the subject line, which often helps improve the open rate of your campaigns. These two strategies also increase brand loyalty because it shows that you understand their needs better.
Ensuring Deliverability So Your Emails Don’t End Up as Spam
One big problem many online entrepreneurs have with email marketing is that their messages never even get to the inbox of their recipients. They are immediately sent to spam filters.
You can write the most perfect copy for your message, but if a spam filter siphons it off, you won’t see the results you were hoping for. You have to use a reputable email autoresponder system so that Internet service providers will allow your messages through.
You want to build a high performing sender reputation score, which is assigned to your email domain and you can do this by getting better engagement and fewer complaints and keeping your list clean as you adhere to best practices so that your recipients are not labeling your messages as spam.
If you can avoid using spammy words, and ensure that you are sending out high quality content that people always want to open, this will serve you well in helping your emails bypass spam filters. Learning about email marketing for newbies means that you are making sure to employ best practices at all times.
Getting Better Engagement for Opens and Clicks in Your Emails
Whether or not someone opens your email begins with what you have used to craft your subject line. It needs to grab their attention and be compelling, and not rely on deceptive clickbait tactics.
In addition to being transparent with your subject lines, and personalizing them, too, you can use a call to action in your subject or pose a question. You can build a swipe file of effective words that perform well with your list in getting them to open your emails.
Once they are in the email itself, you want the body of your message to perform well in getting clicks to the links you are sending. You might use a teaser as the body of your email, with a link that makes them want to click through and find out more – or you can simply use a strong call to action that makes them not want to miss out.
Optimizing Your Emails for All Audiences
Everyone who is opening your emails is not going to be on a personal computer viewing them. You have to account for those who are opening your emails on-the-go, using mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even laptops.
Whenever someone is opening your emails on a mobile device, and you have failed to optimize it, they will usually simply delete it and possibly unsubscribe. Not only does it impact the look of your emails, but it often makes it difficult for them to click on any links.
You have to use a responsive design that can adjust for any screen size and device that it’s being viewed on. The more complicated you make your emails, using bullet points, multiple links and multimedia, the more opportunity there is to run into a problem.
The best thing you can do is check to see how your emails look on a variety of different devices as well as browsers. You also want to make sure that the font you are using is big enough for people to read on a small screen.
Timing Your Emails for Maximum Impact
Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. If you are not timing your email campaigns properly, you run the risk of not having your messages get opened, but instead deleted and ignored.
When it comes to timing, there are two different things you need to consider. The first is literally what time of day you are sending your emails. If most of your subscribers are in America, you still have three time zones to make a decision on.
Remember, you can segment your list to send your emails out at the right time if you know this demographic information. But you’ll be able to see what time of day performs best with your subscribers based on the performance you get out of them.
The second issue with time is frequency. Some subscriber lists do well with daily, or even multiple times per day communication. Others do better with less frequency, such as once or twice per week.
Even the day of the week may have an impact on whether or not your emails perform better, since Mondays are the days when most people are busy and just returning to work and Fridays or when they are getting ready to have a relaxing weekend.
Analytics Analysis That Can Improve Your Email Marketing Results
One thing you will find as a big relief as an email marketer is that you have analytic data at your fingertips to tell you what is going wrong, as well as what you’re doing right. Your email autoresponder system should have analytics built in that will show you information that you can use to make improvements.
For example, you can start by trying to get more people to open your emails and improve your open rate. You’ll be looking at how subject lines perform, whether personalization or emojis help or hurt you, etc.
You’ll also be able to see what your clickthrough rate or conversion rate is. This may be caused by a weak call to action or the fact that you are not sending the right offers to you are subscribers.
You also want to pay attention to your bounce rate. If these are high, you have to clean up your list so that your sender reputation will remain in good standing. Some new marketers are hesitant to delete subscribers who signed up, but are not getting their emails – but this will only hurt you in the long run.
I believe that email marketing for newbies is a topic that is not discussed nearly enough. Starting and building a home-based business is typically done alone, so you will want to make sure your primary method of communication with your new audience is clear in your mind.
Email marketing is an aspect of your business that can help you build strong connections with your prospective buyers. Remember that you won’t always be new as an email marketer, so embrace the email marketing for newbies strategies I’m sharing here to improve quickly and get better results to move to the next level in your online business. Unless you take time to identify weaknesses in your strategy, and repair them, you may be spinning your wheels and wasting precious hours in your day for much longer than you need to as an online entrepreneur.
Day Twenty-Six: Generating Free, Targeted Traffic 24/7/365
Method #1 – Give Away a Valuable Tool
This method is something that flies under the radar for most marketers. They don’t think of doing this, and even when they see it being done by someone else, they don’t fully understand how it works or the power of what they’re seeing.
Let’s say you’ve got a valuable software tool that your crowd would love to have. Yes, you can sell it and make some good money. But if you GIVE IT AWAY, you can become rich.
Think of a small stream versus a mighty river. If you redirect the stream then you can fill a pond. But if you redirect the river, you can fill multiple large lakes.
And that’s how this works. Instead of selling your tool (the small stream) and getting a few hundred or a thousand new customers, you’re going to give your tool away to thousands and thousands (millions?) of people. This is going to create a mighty river of traffic that you can then continue to sell to over and over again by capturing their email addresses.
I know a man who built a software tool that online marketers love. He does offer some paid upgrades, but for most users the tool is completely free to use for as long as they like, including updates.
And when he looks at his traffic stats, where is most of his traffic coming from? It’s not from people searching for his name or even searching for his URL. Instead, the bulk of his traffic comes from people wanting this free tool.
They land on his page offering the tool, they sign up to get it, and it’s theirs. If they want deluxe features later, then they can upgrade to a paid level.
Do you see what happens here? This marketer is building a huge list of people in his space. These people love him because they get this tool for free. The marketers who need the deluxe version pay to get it, which covers all of their expenses including upgrades to the software.
This marketer says that this one technique alone, of giving away his best software, has made him millions. He’s made this money selling other products, software and services to the folks who signed up for his free tool.
Now I want you to think about your niche and what kind of tool you can give away for free. No matter what your field is, there’s something that you can offer that people will climb over each other to get for free.
You can hire someone on Upwork https://upwork.com or Toptal https://toptal.com to create the software for you.
Or you can go to Code Canyon https://codecanyon.net and find something that works in your market. It will cost you maybe $50 and then you can rebrand it and make it your own. Choose a clever, memorable name. Then hire someone to keep it up to date and bug free.
The downside of offering a software type of tool is that you need to keep it updated. But the upside is it is much (MUCH!) easier and faster than SEO. Yes, search engine optimization is absolute dynamite at driving traffic once you have a lot of great content, links and so forth. But it takes a great deal of time to create the content and then update the content. And with software, you might only need a new update every few months or so, depending on what the software does.
You might think this won’t work in your niche, but I think it will work in nearly every niche.
Let’s pick three niches at random: Rose gardening, dog training and your home town. Here are three ideas just off the top of my head:
- Rose gardening software idea #1: Input your location, the size space you have and the amount of work you’re willing to do. It gives you a list of all the roses that will grow in your specific climate according to how hardy they are or how delicate, depending on the effort you want to put in.
- Rose gardening software idea #2: Input the name of the rose you have the specific problems you’re having with that rose, such as leaves yellowing, black spots, tiny red insects, not blooming but great foliage, etc. The program then tells you what your problem might be and how to treat it.
- Dog training software idea #1: Input the breed, age, and diet and so forth of your dog, along with the behavioral problem you are experiencing, and the software tells you what the problem might be and what to do about it.
- Dog training software idea #2: Input the dogs information and the desired behavior you would like, and the software tells you how to best train your specific dog to do that specific behavior or trick.
- Your home town software idea #1: Enter the types of activities and events you like to attend and then the software lets you know what’s happening in your town during the next week or month that suits your interests.
- Your home town software idea #2: Enter a job that you want done (pulling weeds, painting, walking your dog) along with how much experience the person needs and other pertinent criteria, and then people can bid to do that job. Think of it like Upwork, only locally.
These six ideas are completely off the top of my head and I know with a little time you could come up with something even better. The point is that almost every single niche can use some type of software tool to simplify things for the user. And in return you can receive a never-ending supply of people who give you their email address in exchange for using your software.
Method #2 – Post on Medium
In case you haven’t heard of Medium yet, it’s a $5 a month site where anyone can post articles for others to read. Take a look at what I’m doing on Medium to get a better feel for how it works. And if enough people read your articles on Medium, you can get paid, too. But that’s not why we’re talking about it today.
Keep in mind that Google does NOT penalize for duplicate content. This means you can post the same article on Medium that you post on your own website.
However, you’re not going to post the entire article. Instead, post the first 3 to 7 paragraphs on Medium. At the end of these paragraphs, you’ll write, “To continue reading, click here.” And you will link this back to the full article on your own website.
A couple of key points to making this work: Just as anywhere else, your headlines are super important for getting people to click on your article in the first place.
And you’ve got to leave your readers with a cliffhanger, an open loop that they want desperately to close. For example, if you were writing about how to get massive traffic with Medium, then you could start out talking about the benefits of doing this and then letting them know that the secret to making it work is…
And this is where you would have your link to your site. If they want to know the secret (and they do!) then they’ll have to click the link.
When they get to your site, give them a popup or a content upgrade that collects their email address. In our above example, your content upgrade might be an additional 9 methods for driving free traffic to a brand new website.
Why post on Medium? Because even if you’re brand new and don’t currently have a following, you can pick up visitors from the Medium site, drive them back to your site, collect their email addresses and then notify them each time you publish new content.
Method #3 – Post on LinkedIn
This time instead of posting just the first few paragraphs, you’re going to post your entire article on LinkedIn.
Why not just post a few paragraphs like you did on Medium? Because on the social sites people like to stay on site, so it can be a little more difficult to get them to go to your site. You’ll need a bit more incentive, as we’ll cover in second.
Plus, the social media sites like LinkedIn want their traffic to stay on their sites. If you’re trying to get people off the site mid-article, then LinkedIn is going to be less likely to display your article in the search results.
Okay then, how do you get readers to leave LinkedIn and go to your site? First, of course, you’re going to write a great article that is extremely helpful. Second, you’re going to offer a content upgrade such as a cheat sheet. This cheat sheet could be covering what’s in the article in outline formula, or it could be something related to the article. For example, if you have an article about how to set up a sales funnel, then your cheat sheet could be the steps to setting up the funnel or it could be 7 ways to get free traffic to your funnel.
Now here’s the secret to getting twice as many people to click through to your site to get the cheat sheet: Make it visual.
For example, if your 7 ways to get free traffic is in the form of an infographic, then people will love that. Place a picture of the infographic in the article so people can see it’s visual, and make the picture clickable along with the link in the article.
Method #4 – Once Press Social Locker
This is a WordPress plugin that allows you to lock certain things on your site and people have to share your site to get access to the content upgrades.
When someone begins reading your article and they want to get the rest of it, they’ve got to share your content. Or maybe you’ve got an eBook that is only available to people who share your content.
Getting them to share your content does a couple of things:
First, it creates a psychological shift from lurker to ownership. They are now owning the fact that they like your content well enough to share it. Compared to a passive person who simply reads your article, sharing the content increases the odds they will remember you, that they will consume other content you create and that they will continue to return for more.
Second, sharing like this can create a viral effect. While the majority of people won’t generate a lot of traffic for you, a few of them will generate a ton of it.
In turn, these new visitors then have the option of sharing your content in order to get their own content upgrades, thereby creating a viral effect.
Hint: Use a cliffhanger at the point where they have to share your stuff in order to continue reading. Using the right cliffhanger can skyrocket the number of shares you get.
Method #5 – Repurpose Your Content Through Live Video
When someone is watching a video, they are more engaged than at any other time. Notice which of your content is getting the most traction and then discuss it on live video. You can go live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all at the same time.
When you’re live and you’re telling people how to do things and discussing different strategies, you can then send people to your site to get the PDF you mentioned or the book or even the product.
You can pitch people on your products and services to generate sales. This is an awesome strategy not for producing a ton of random traffic, but for producing highly targeted and super responsive traffic that will buy your recommendations.
People who come to your site via your live videos are super engaged with you and your content, and thus they are much more likely to convert than someone who just reads a tweet or post and clicks a link.
Day Twenty-Seven: The Entrepreneurial Mindset Vs An Employee Mindset
Signs You Are Meant to Be an Entrepreneur… An entrepreneur has the passion for running their own business or making their own income without relying on an employer. It’s about taking your passions and generating products that not only provide you a livable income but value to your community and industry.
Here are the five signs you are meant to be an entrepreneur:
You Are More Comfortable on Your Own
Most business, especially when you first start out, is lonely and requires you to do most of the work. Not only that, it takes a lot of work which means spending time with friends and loved ones may be more difficult. Most people will not be as passionate as you are either, which is okay.
You Value Freedom and Flexibility
Being an entrepreneur enables you to create your own schedule. However, this is only possible if you create the income streams conducive to that lifestyle. For example, if you want to be a career coach, you will likely need to be available after regular working hours, as many of your ideal clients will normally be working nine to five business hours.
You Are Confident and Creative
Being a business owner takes passion for your ideas, skills, and value to others. In addition, it takes confidence in knowing you have the skills and knowledge to achieve your goals and provide value to your target audience.
You Don’t Like Following Orders
No matter your role, being an employee requires following orders. It requires working when and where your boss tells you to. For many, this can mean working during the weekend or working overtime during the week and following any demands the boss asks in order to not be fired from the job. Following orders doesn’t always have to be a negative thing as this can be structured to many people’s lives. However, if you are the type to push away or come up with better ideas often, then it’s probably time for you to take the entrepreneurial leap and work for yourself instead.
You Enjoy Taking Risks
Most business ideas, even the best ones, are risky. Becoming an entrepreneur means you are willing to step into a world that relies only on yourself and no other person. If taking risks gives you energy and makes you want to do the work, you are a natural-born business owner.
These are the common signs that you are meant to be an entrepreneur and stop being an employee. If you recognize these signs, it is crucial to acknowledge that you won’t find the life you are looking for without finally taking the leap to entrepreneurship. These signs prove you thrive on the independence and creativity entrepreneurship can bring.
Pros and Cons of Being an Entrepreneur
Most things in life come with pros and cons. This is even more true when it comes to entrepreneurship. Over the years, the desire to transition from a normal job to live an entrepreneurial life has become more popular. But unfortunately, social media makes it easy to share a life that may not be completely true. This information showcases why it is vital to understand the pros and cons before you start or transition into a life that may not be you or what you expect it to be.
Common pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur:
Pro: You Gain Flexibility and Control
Being an entrepreneur means you get to control your day-to-day life and schedule. This means you can create the life you want with flexibility. However, you must be sure you pick the right business idea to get this lifestyle. For example, working with clients one-on-one, you can’t expect too much flexibility and control.
Con: It’s Risky and Requires Responsibility
All business is at risk. When you are an entrepreneur, every decision you make is up to you. In other words, it is your responsibility if it fails or succeeds.
Pro: It’s Highly Rewarding
While responsibility can come with stress, it can also lead to more rewards as you know the work you did and created is why you are successful in the first place. This can build confidence and create even more value for your target audience.
Con: It’s Highly Competitive
All business is competitive, and that is a good thing. However, competition can also create stress and make it hard to stand out. This is why it is essential to use that energy to find a way to better your products and services, so your target audience forgets your competition even exists. If you let competition overwhelm you, you won’t be successful.
Pro: You Get to Pursue Your Passions
Entrepreneurship is about turning your passions or things you love the most into a profitable business. The more passion you feel about your business, the more likely you will succeed. This is because you understand the idea and your target audience better than anyone else. This means you should be wary of pursuing a business idea you don’t care for because it’ll make it harder for you to understand your target audience’s needs or do the work required to get it done.
Con: It’s Inconsistent and Unpredictable
Every day of your business is going to be different. Some will be low energy, while others may be high or extremely high. Therefore, constant change and frequent ups and downs must be prepared for and managed by adopting the correct accounting procedures and marketing strategies.
Before you make the entrepreneurial leap, it is essential to review these pros and cons and take the time to brainstorm your own to make sure this is the life you truly want. Freedom and flexibility do not come without work, no matter how glamorous social media may make entrepreneurship look.
If you’re still an employee…
How to Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur
Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur may seem difficult and overwhelming, but it’s actually quite simple. It just takes a little bit of planning and understanding what is required to be a successful entrepreneur before you transition.
Don’t transition to entrepreneurship without the funds needed to be successful. However, this is why you need to follow specific steps first to ensure you have what it takes to succeed.
The following are five steps to follow to transition from employee to entrepreneur easily:
Step One: Outline Your Passion and Your “Why” for Wanting to Have Your Own Business
The first step to entrepreneurship is discovering what you actually enjoy and learning how to monetize it. If you can’t monetize it, you can’t expect to transition as entrepreneurship requires funding to be successful and get started.
Step Two: Set Business Goals and Create a Business Plan
Once you have determined which business is right for you, fill out your business plan right away. It doesn’t matter if you can’t get started yet. Creating a business plan helps to establish a viable business idea. In addition, it enables you to outline the necessary resources you need to get it started and running in the long term. This is the information you need to break free from your current job safely.
Step Three: Create a Financial and Legal Plan and Strategy
In other words, do you have enough funds to pay your bills? What about emergency savings? Do you need to supplement your income in any way if you leave your job? If so, how do you plan to do so? These are all critical questions to ensure you leave your job and transition to entrepreneurship safely and effectively. You can’t expect to run a business If you can’t pay your rent. There is nothing wrong with needing to stay at your current job or taking on a second job for a few years to save for this transition. Many successful entrepreneurs today had no other option.
Step Four: Build Your Business Skills, Knowledge, and Network
While you save or wait to leave your job, it is always a good idea to continue to grow your skills and knowledge about your industry. Gaining experience can help ensure the products, services, or value you provide to your customers are worth their time and investment. Networking with other small business owners is an excellent strategy to embrace and follow.
Step Five: Take Action Towards Your Business Goals
Finally, you must take action. Follow the financial plan and strategy you put in step three to break free from your job and transition into full-time entrepreneurship. Once you have the funding to support your business, bills, and a good emergency fund, you know you are ready to leap. My complimentary Action Habits Challenge will make a difference for you!
As you can see, following these five steps is all it takes to transition from employee to entrepreneur. Then, with a detailed plan, the funds to support you and your business, and knowing what it takes to make your idea work, you are ready to transition and step away from the employee lifestyle.
Day Twenty-Eight: Adding Videoconferencing to Your Business
Videoconferencing on Zoom and on YouTube
Getting started with videoconferencing on Zoom and streaming on YouTube serve different purposes and have distinct features. Here are some key differences between the two:
Functionality and Focus:
Zoom: Zoom is primarily designed for real-time videoconferencing and collaboration among participants. It offers features like screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, whiteboarding, and more. Zoom emphasizes interactive communication and engagement among participants.
YouTube: YouTube, on the other hand, is a video-sharing platform where you can stream live video and host recorded videos for later viewing. While it supports live streaming and chat interaction, its primary focus is on broadcasting content to a wider audience and allowing viewers to engage through comments.
Accessibility and Discoverability:
Zoom: Zoom meetings are usually conducted with a limited number of participants who receive an invitation or meeting link. Access to Zoom meetings is typically restricted to invited participants, making it a more private and controlled environment.
YouTube: YouTube live streams are accessible to anyone with the link or who discovers it on the platform. YouTube provides greater discoverability and the potential to reach a larger audience, including subscribers and viewers who find your content through search or recommendations.
Monetization and Revenue:
Zoom: Zoom does not provide direct monetization options for videoconferencing sessions. It is primarily a paid service, and businesses typically pay for Zoom licenses based on the number of participants and features they require.
YouTube: YouTube offers various monetization options for content creators. Once you meet the eligibility criteria, such as having a certain number of subscribers and watch hours, you can join the YouTube Partner Program. This allows you to earn revenue through ads, channel memberships, Super Chat, and other monetization features.
Video Storage and Archiving:
Zoom: Zoom provides limited storage for recorded meetings, depending on your subscription plan. The recorded meetings are typically stored on Zoom’s cloud servers and are accessible for a limited period. You may need to download and store them separately for long-term archiving.
YouTube: YouTube serves as a long-term storage solution for your livestreams and recorded videos. Once you finish streaming on YouTube, the video is automatically saved and can be accessed, shared, and rewatched indefinitely. YouTube offers a centralized platform for managing and organizing your video content.
Community and Engagement:
Zoom: Zoom emphasizes real-time interaction and collaboration among participants. It offers features like breakout rooms, screen sharing, chat, and reactions to enhance engagement during meetings. It is suitable for smaller, interactive group discussions.
YouTube: YouTube provides a platform for building a community of subscribers and viewers. While live streaming, viewers can engage through comments and live chat, but the interaction is typically one-way from the creator to the audience. YouTube offers a broader reach and the ability to build a dedicated audience over time.
It’s worth noting that Zoom and YouTube can complement each other in certain scenarios. For example, you can use Zoom for interactive team meetings or webinars with a limited number of participants, and then repurpose and share the recorded sessions on YouTube for a wider audience to watch later. Getting started with videoconferencing is a wise step as you build and grow your business.
Additional Benefits to Getting Started with Videoconferencing for Your Business
Getting started with videoconferencing for your business can provide several additional benefits, including:
Improved Communication: Videoconferencing allows for face-to-face interaction, even when participants are located in different geographic locations. It enables real-time communication, which can lead to better understanding, collaboration, and building stronger relationships with clients, partners, and remote team members.
Cost Savings: Videoconferencing eliminates the need for travel expenses associated with in-person meetings. Businesses can save on transportation, accommodation, and meal costs, resulting in significant cost savings over time. It’s an especially valuable benefit for businesses with remote teams or clients spread across different locations.
Increased Productivity: With videoconferencing, you can conduct meetings or conferences without the time and logistical constraints of physical gatherings. Participants can join from their own locations, reducing time spent on commuting or waiting for meeting rooms. This efficiency can lead to increased productivity and the ability to fit more meetings into a day. Getting started with videoconferencing has excellent possibilities!
Expanded Reach and Accessibility: Videoconferencing enables you to connect with a broader audience, whether it’s potential customers, remote team members, or international clients. It breaks down geographical barriers and allows you to conduct meetings or training sessions with participants from different parts of the world, expanding your reach and accessibility.
Flexibility and Convenience: Videoconferencing offers flexibility in scheduling and attending meetings. Participants can join from their preferred location, eliminating the need for everyone to be in the same physical space. This convenience reduces scheduling conflicts and allows for better work-life balance, accommodating participants’ diverse time zones and personal commitments.
Enhanced Collaboration: Videoconferencing platforms often provide features like screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, file sharing, and collaborative document editing. These tools facilitate real-time collaboration, allowing participants to work together on projects, brainstorm ideas, and share information seamlessly, regardless of their physical locations.
Efficient Training and Onboarding: Getting started with videoconferencing will be particularly useful for training sessions and onboarding new team members. It enables you to conduct interactive training programs, deliver presentations, share training materials, and answer questions in real-time. This remote training approach can save time and resources while ensuring consistent and scalable training across your organization.
Competitive Advantage: By embracing videoconferencing, your business can stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate adaptability to modern communication trends. It showcases your commitment to leveraging technology to enhance customer service, collaboration, and operational efficiency, giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Overall, getting started with videoconferencing brings numerous benefits to businesses, fostering efficient communication, reducing costs, improving productivity, and enabling collaboration across borders. It’s an essential tool for modern businesses seeking to connect with clients, partners, and team members in a dynamic and globalized world.
Day Twenty-Nine: Creating a Group Mentoring Program… Inspired by a Book!
Are you considering creating a group mentoring program? You may be struggling for a way to make it unique. You want a program that stands out from what is currently being offered in your niche. Creating a book inspired mentoring program may be the answer to build and grow your business.
An early mentor suggested I try a book inspired coaching or mentoring program. With a book-inspired program, you can use a book and build an extraordinary program around it. Over the years, I have ‘taught” many programs based on the books I have written and published.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to write a book yourself. Plenty of life and business coaches and mentors choose someone else’s book and use it to inspire their program. In fact, many of these programs are essentially book clubs with highly dedicated participants.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of creating a book inspired coaching or mentoring program, you’re not alone. Many people are curious about offering this service to their clients. Let’s take a look at how you can benefit from doing creating a book inspired mentoring program…
Book Inspiring Mentoring Allows You to Help Many People at Once
If you’ve been helping clients one-on-one and want to grow your impact, then group coaching can be a great idea. The beauty of group coaching or mentoring is that you don’t have to spend hours helping each client individually.
Instead, you show up once or twice a week to support several clients at once. This means that you save time while still getting to be there for your community. I do this with my author training group I host virtually twice each year. My time is valued at a premium, so this allows a dozen people to work closely with me to write, publish, and market a book in a way that serves their goals, while also being affordable.
Coaching or Mentoring – What’s the Difference?
I’ve been going back and forth here with the terms coaching and mentoring. What’s the difference? I tend to think of coaching as related to sports, and also to the area of coaches teaching others to become coaches. Mentoring, in my thinking is more about taking a person, or several people simultaneously under your wing and helping them to achieve their goals and dreams.
I do this in my ongoing mentor program, where I work with up to twenty online entrepreneurs, marketers, and authors each year. Some people stay with me for several years, while others come in for a year and then go out on their own or with another mentor.
An important question to ask anyone you are thinking about working with in this way is… Who is your mentor? If your prospective or current coach or mentor does not have a mentor… beware! I have been mentored nonstop since coming online to start my business in 2006. These mentors have made the difference for me, and continue to help me to change my life dramatically from what is was previously.
Have Material Already Prepared
One of the difficult aspects of creating a group coaching material is needing to create fresh content each week. This can be in the form of lessons, videos, guides, or demonstrations.
With a book inspired coaching program, the bulk of the work is already done for you. Sure, you need to show up each week. But you can simply have each participant share a key insight or takeaway from the chapter they read. Or you can create your own discussion questions and guide if you’d prefer. It all comes down to what works best for you and your community.
Share Your Favorite Books
Perhaps the most exciting part of hosting a book inspired coaching program is that you get to share your favorite books with people who’ve never read them. Imagine getting to introduce your community to a book that changed your life.
Another advantage is that you may find yourself reading more than ever before. Now, you’ll be eager to find your next great read so you can share it with your participants.
Increase Your Income with a Book Inspired Mentoring Program
Since you’ll be helping several people at once, you can easily increase your income by creating a book inspired coaching program. If you normally charge clients $97 an hour to work with you then you need to book ten hours of your time to make $1K.
But, if you host a coaching program and charge each participant $97, then you need ten participants to make $1K. Here’s the cool part though—you only have to show up one hour a week to discuss the book. So, you’ve gone from selling ten hours of your time to selling just four hours. That means you now have an extra six hours in your schedule without having to do the same amount of work.
Grow Your List (or Group)
Of course, not everyone offers a book inspired coaching program for the money. Some coaches do it to simply grow their mailing list or Facebook group. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. If you’re new to coaching or simply want to try out book coaching, this can be a great way to dip your toe into the water.
Just be sure to only take on clients who are a good match for you. Sometimes, free programs can attract participants who aren’t serious about contributing to the discussion or worse, attendees who are disruptive.
Inspire Yourself Again
Every time I work with a new group of new authors in my twice a year program, I am inspired to write another book right along with them. If you’ve been feeling lackluster in your business and are worried you’re losing interest in it, you’re not alone. This can happen to business or life mentors and coaches, regardless of how advanced their services are.
But a book inspired mentoring program can be just the thing to inspire you again. That’s because you’ll be exchanging ideas with people from all walks of life. You’ll hear new perspectives and get a chance to have your own ideas challenged and shaped by others.
Now that you’ve seen how amazing book inspired coaching programs can be for you as the coach, let’s take a peek at the benefits your participants will discover…
Book Programs Inspire Real Growth
It’s easy to passively read a book and never act on the content within the pages. While this might make readers feel good, it also means they never get to truly experience the life (or business) change the author intended.
But with a book inspired coaching program, participants are challenged to take action and actually grow. These types of programs can be especially helpful when the book involves digging deep into a challenging topic such as money mindset.
Keep in mind that growth can be a difficult and painful process for many people, especially if they’re uncertain of their new journey. But with group coaching, your participants have a safe space to grow in.
Participants Learn Together
Of course, another one of the advantages for participants is they aren’t stuck trying to figure out things themselves. They have other attendees they can learn from and grow with, so they don’t feel alone.
Many participants share insights with each other as they read. This leads to more lively discussions and can create a unique energy that means attendees look forward to every new conversation.
Day Thirty: Boosting Your Marketing and Sales with the Right Routines and Habits
“Achieve success in any area of life by identifying the optimum strategies and
repeating them until they become habits.” ~ Charles J. Givens
The most successful business owners have specific routines and habits they follow daily. Do you?
Many of them have a morning routine to start each day. It lets them think about their goals, what they want to accomplish, and focus on the things that are most important.
Marketing and sales can be tough. Every entrepreneur must learn how to sell to be successful. Learning and implementing the habits and routines the top leaders do differently can mean the difference in your own business.
What are a routines and habits?
Routines are activities or procedures that are performed at regular intervals or specific times. A habit is a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition. So, by having a routine filled with good habits, you can boost your sales, up your marketing and be more successful.
You may have already implemented the habit of some type of time management process into your day to keep from wasting time. That’s great. But what other ways can habits help you be successful?
Habits help you be successful by forcing you to follow routines. They set you up to follow through on your goals. They give you the discipline to take action and complete tasks and to focus. They create a pattern of consistency.
But how do you get these good habits? And how do we know which habits matter the most? That’s where this guide is going to help. In it, you’ll see what good habits you should be cultivating and using in your business day to boost your marketing and sales. It will show you how to create consistency and other habits that lead to little wins and how habits contribute to the big picture.
Advantages of Good Habits
Everything we do or accomplish in life is the results of our habits. What shape you are in is the results of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are the result of your habits. Whether you are successful or not is a result of your habits.
What you do repeatedly affects your beliefs and your personality. If you want to be successful, healthier, slimmer, happier, etc., having good habits is at the core.
You can set goals to reach, but if you don’t have the right habits or set up the right routines, it’s unlikely you’ll reach those goals.
Accomplish Little Wins with Routines
Following routines for daily habits helps you accomplish even the smallest of wins. These little wins build up over time. But what makes up a routine and how do you create them?
Let’s start by looking at what makes for a good routine.
To achieve success, you need to be very consistent. Consistency is about having the persistence and patience to work towards you goal until you reach it.
Many things can get in the way of maintaining a standard consistency-level. Excuses and rationalizations are probably the biggest things that hold you back. You may have said one of these at one time or another:
- I have so many things to do, it’s impossible for me to focus on just one. – This is considered the “It’s Too Difficult” Excuse
- I’m just too busy. – The “I’m Overwhelmed” Excuse
- My priorities are constantly changing. – The “I’m Not In Control” Excuse
Often our excuses are our biggest challenges to overcome when it comes to being consistent to reach our goals. The excuses are often just a bad habit that comes from fear, laziness, or not wanting the goal bad enough.
If you have a goal your want to achieve in your marketing and sales, start by making a list of activities that are going to help you reach your goal. Then follow steps to become consistent in doing the work.
Implementing Your Habits and Routine
We all want to boost our sales and marketing. By setting up daily routines and implementing specific habits, we can make our chances of success greater. The best way to begin implementing is to start with your daily routine.
Set up a routine that includes working on your top priority tasks, has processes and tools in place to make things easier, and includes both work and rest time. Create a morning routine that includes the habit of eating a healthy breakfast, meditating, reading, and exercising in some form. Plan your day the night before and your week the Sunday before. Plan your tasks based on your goals and break your goals down into micro tasks.
What if your current habits and routines aren’t good ones? You’ll need to form new ones. How do you go about it?
Does your morning routine usually leave you running late, grumpy, and hungry? Change it by getting enough sleep, getting up as soon as your alarm goes off, meditating or reading and having a healthy breakfast. What is one thing you can change, or do differently that will impact your business?
When it comes to implementing new habits and routines, you can use a simple framework that makes it easier to keep those new habits so you can improve your daily routine.
That framework is the 3 R’s of changing a habit, as stated in Charles Duhig’s, The Power of Habit:
1. Reminder or the trigger that initiates the behavior
2. Routine or the action you take on the behavior itself.
3. Reward or the positive result you get from doing the new behavior
Other ideas for changing your habits include using the if-then planning concept. This concept uses triggers that let us know it’s time to act on our habit. Pick a regular area of your daily schedule you normally do then add in a new habit. For instance, instead of “I will stay off social media while I work,” you could opt to say “I will work for x amount of time before visiting social media. “
Whatever the habits and routines are you want to implement, tailor them to your specific business and lifestyle. For instance, if you work best at night, you want to set up your most challenging tasks for that time instead of first thing in the morning.
Once you begin implementing consistent routine habits into your daily schedule, you’ll be surprised by how much faster you’ll begin to boost your sales, up your marketing and be more successful in what you do.
I’m bestselling author, marketer, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green, and I look forward to sharing much more with you on this topic of productivity. Challenge is always important as we grow and change, so please connect with me here and follow me on Twitter so that we may take this journey together.