The New Normal for Business: Having an Online Presence

Online-PresenceHaving An Online Presence

Once upon a time it was possible to start a business and become successful without the help of the Internet. Those days are long gone as we enter the age of online marketing, visibility and credibility as a way to build a prosperous business with a future. This is now the new ‘normal’ and those who understand the importance of having an online presence will be far more likely to prosper.

Crystal wrote to me to ask for help with her newly launched interior design business. She began offering her services to clients during the summer of 2013 and wants to know if she must spend money on a website and get involved with social media to grow her business as quickly as possible. The answer is yes, as an online presence is absolutely necessary if you are going to compete in your industry alongside people who ‘get it’ when it comes to online marketing and sales.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as you know what to do and how to do it, which I will explain in detail here. And, coupled with more traditional marketing and offline methods can almost guarantee that you will have the very best chance of success.

First, have someone set up a WordPress site for you, using a domain for your business. This may be your actual business name, your name, or a name that includes your industry and location, such as interiordesignsantaclarita.com or santaclaritainteriordesign.com. Both of these domains were available as of this writing, which just goes to show that you will be ahead of much of your competition if you follow what I am sharing here.

Next, start creating content on your topic in the form of written materials, audio recordings, and short (under five minutes is optimal) videos that you can share with your prospects and current clients and customers, as well as with family and friends. Many businesses, such as Crystal’s interior design company lend themselves well to this, while others take a little more creativity to build interest.

Add your content to your new website as blog posts, to article directories such as http://SubmitMoreArticles.com, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest), within your email newsletter, and in a short report you can make available on Amazon. Start an Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio and add your ‘show’ (it can be five minute segments if you wish) to iTunes as a podcast. Start a channel on YouTube using your company’s name and upload your videos there on a regular basis.

Be sure to add an optin box to the upper right-hand corner of your website, using a service such as Aweber (http://ConnieLoves.me/Aweber gets you started for just one dollar) to stay in regular contact with your prospects and clients.

Now it’s time to tell the world what you are doing through press releases, live appearances, and traditional print advertising. I use a service called WebWire (http://WebWire.com) to send press releases inexpensively – about twenty-five dollars each as of this writing – and they will be distributed far and wide to help you get the word out about what you do and how you can help others by doing it.

Have fun with live appearances by offering to speak at local meetings such as Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, and any trade shows that are appropriate to your business. Have a one page flyer and a business card ready to give out, and be sure to collect the names and email addresses of those who show interest in your business.

And do not forget about traditional advertising and marketing. The publications you reguarly is the first place to start.  It is my belief that the people who are serious about doing business locally will always begin with a local publication to connect with people who can do what they need done.

Educate all of the members of your business team about the importance of having a website and creating relevant content. Work on increasing your online presence and your business will thrive and prosper in 2014 and beyond.

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Starting An Internet Business – Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Connie Ragen GreenStarting an Internet business is the way to financial freedom and great success in your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

Is there a way to increase our SEO (search engine optimization) for each of our blog posts? Are you using private label rights content (PLR) in your online marketing? Does article marketing still work as a way to drive targeted traffic and build my list? In this episode of the Online Marketing Tips Podcast With Connie Ragen Green, my newest podcast series, I discuss these questions and more. We also discuss the most effective strategies for writing and marketing your content for Kindle.

During this call we also discuss Black Friday events on the Internet and which ones are the best ones for you to attend and pay attention to as you build your own online business. I also address the idea of writing down your plans and goals for the coming year. I’ve been goal setting since 2005 in this way and it has made a huge difference in my personal life and in my business.

All of my open calls are interactive so that your voice may be heard. During this call I am joined my many of my students and subscribers who share their questions, concerns, and accomplishments with their online business in regards to content creation, list building, social media marketing, and more. This time we discussed using article marketing effectively to promote yourself and your online business, creating an irresistible free giveaway, PLR (private label rights) and content creation, how to know when the time is right for you to set up an autoresponder sequence, tips on getting more Facebook fans, pricing a new information product, using royalty free music for your podcast and other websites, Jason Fladlien’s Measure My SEO plugin, and much more.

This podcast and these online marketing tips are intended to teach you how you can take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my very Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. Each session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come!

Also, you can now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been updated for 2013 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

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How To Sell Your Ebook

How to sell your eBookHow To Sell Your Ebook for Long Term Profits

eBooks are a quick way to get content out there in front of your target audience. They help build your credibility and show your expertise. If you’re interested in writing and publishing an eBook but not sure where to start, this post will definitely help. It’s an excellent marketing tactic and not only does it build your credibility, it also simultaneously builds your brand and increases awareness for your business. So where do you start when you want to write and publish an eBook?

Self-Published or Traditionally Published?

In most instances, business owners choose to self-publish. When you self-publish, you control every aspect of your book, from getting the ISBN number and creating the book cover to creating and editing the material inside. Traditionally published books mean that you convince a publisher, like Random House for example, that your book will sell and has a unique topic and approach.

They sign a contract with you to publish your book. You get an advance, generally, and a percentage of sales. They control the editing process as well as the book’s outward appearance. Yes, to answer your question, many traditional publishers are now publishing eBooks. They also facilitate distribution to stores and in some cases they may help promote your book. Choose the self-publish option and you manage the distribution to stores and you keep a majority of the profits.

I have my own small publishing company, Hunter’s Moon Publishing, with Geoff Hoff. We refer to our company as a ’boutique’ publishing house that takes care of everything you need. Contact us if you are ready to move forward.

Distribution

If you go the self-publishing route, you may worry about the distribution of your book. How do you get your eBook into online book stores? It really isn’t anything to worry about. The solution is actually not nearly as daunting as you might imagine.

For example, you can create a seller account with Amazon’s Kindle and upload a book today. Your book will show up in Amazon’s Kindle store within a day or two and you can start selling. The same is true for Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online book stores. Each store has its own steps to follow to format and upload your book. In general, the process is easy and you can have a book uploaded and ready for sale within a day or two.

Smashwords

Smashwords is an eBook service that distributes your book to a variety of book stores, book distributors, and libraries including iBooks and Barnes & Noble. They also facilitate presales so you can build buzz for your book before it’s released.

Because they distribute to such a wide variety of book stores and libraries, their formatting requirements are a bit more difficult than uploading your book to one book store. However, they offer a free formatting guide and they can send you a list of book formatters who are familiar with the requirements and can manage the task for you for a reasonable fee.

Marketing, Promoting, and Making Sales

The most important aspect of writing, in terms of long-term profits, is how to sell your ebook once it is completed. Whether you publish your book traditionally or you self-publish, and whether you sell your book only on your site or you make it available in stores, the responsibility for marketing it and promoting it is yours and yours alone. Leverage your resources and use what you know about marketing to promote your book. The hard part has already been accomplished – writing it.

 

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Affiliate Marketing Tips – Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Affiliate Marketing Tips – Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Connie Ragen GreenAre you incorporating affiliate marketing into your online business as an additional income stream? Do you believe in the concept of ‘recommending what you love’? In this episode of the Online Marketing Tips Podcast With Connie Ragen Green, my newest podcast series for new online entrepreneurs, I discuss these questions and more with solid affiliate marketing tips you can use right away.

During this call I responded candidly to questions from my students who share their concerns and accomplishments with their online business in regards to attending live marketing events, seminars, and workshops. This time we discussed affiliate marketing as an additional income stream for your online business, the Three Affiliate Models that are working today, 10 steps to getting it all set up in the next ten days, how to know when it’s time to set up an autoresponder sequence, tips on marketing your online business, creating and pricing a new information product, using press releases for your marketing, and much more.

This podcast on affiliate marketing tips and these online marketing tips are intended to teach you how you can take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my very Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. Each session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come!

Also, you can now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been updated for 2013 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

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Creating Freebies For Profit – Where Do You Find Them?

Creating Freebies For Profit – Where Do You Find Them?

creating freebies for profitWhen it comes to creating freebies to giveaway there are many different options. So, let’s take a quick look at them now.

Create Your Own Freebies

One of the ways you can come up with a freebie is by creating it yourself. You don’t have to be a writing genius to whip out a short report. You only have to have some basic knowledge to create an audio or video. It really is easy now-a-days to create your own content and if you can, you should. Take into consideration your target market and figure out the type of freebie that will work best with them. But don’t forget to keep your skills and personality in mind too when choosing which freebies you’ll create.

For example, if you’re great at speaking in front of people but not such a patient writer then creating audio and video freebies makes the most sense for you.

PLR

Another way you can create freebies to giveaway is PLR or private label rights which means you buy the rights to the content. Here is a list of some of the forms of PLR content you can purchase and use:

  • Ebooks
  • Reports
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Software
  • Graphics

This is just a small list, there are other options out there too when it comes to PLR. And a great thing about purchasing PLR is that you can repurpose it and use it in other ways too. For example you could combine several reports to create an eBook bonus for your sales page. A little rebranding and some personalization and PLR makes great freebies.

*These are my top recommendations for quality PLR:

Outsource

Another way you can create freebies is by outsourcing it. You can hire a Virtual Assistant that provides writing services, a ghostwriter, etc. You can also ask fellow business owners who they use to create content.

Partnerships

Earlier we talked about partnerships and the benefits of them, but these are also a great way to get some great freebies. Of course, it’s important that you take the time to review the freebie before you agree to partner or use it. After all, it’s your reputation on the line!

Your Next Steps

Now it’s time for you to make a plan of how you want to use freebies in your business. There are a few questions you need to think about:

  • What do you want to accomplish with freebies?
  • Do you want to boost profits directly with affiliate links and product promotions?
  • Do you want to build your email list for long term potential profits?
  • Do you want to drive traffic to your website or build awareness?

Write this information down. It will help you reach your goals and to know the types of freebie products you need to create and what you’re going to do with them.

There are many benefits you can reap from giving away different things like information, products and services. As mentioned earlier in the report, freebies are your ‘foot in the door’ with potential customers and your freebie provides a lot of value, you’re going to make people depend on you for even more information. And they’re also a great way to motivate people to make a purchase. And freebies are also a great way for you to build your brand and establish yourself as an expert.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your freebie strategy today!

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Getting Started Online – Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Connie Ragen GreenHave you created your own digital information products? Are you using private label rights content (PLR) in your online marketing? Which forum is the best one to join? In this episode of the Online Marketing Tips Podcast With Connie Ragen Green, my newest podcast series, I discuss these questions and more. The events included in this podcast call were NAMS (Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems) where I have been on the faculty since 2011; Dennis Becker’s Earn 1K a Day seminar and forum where I have spoken the past two years; and my own upcoming event, the Weekend Marketer Live workshop in Las Vegas October 11-13.

My calls are interactive so that you may be heard. During this call I am joined my many of my students who share their questions, concerns, and accomplishments with their online business in regards to attending live marketing events, seminars, and workshops. This time we discussed using article marketing to promote your online business, how to create an irresistible free giveaway, PLR and content creation, how to know when it’s time to set up an autoresponder sequence, tips on getting more Facebook fans, pricing a new information product, using press releases for your marketing, and much more.

This podcast and these online marketing tips are intended to teach you how you can take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my very Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. Each session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come!

Also, you can now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been updated for 2013 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

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My Three Day Juice Fast

three day juice fastI’ve committed myself to doing a three day juice fast. I had watched a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead about a week ago and it inspired me to get moving with my health and fitness regime in a bigger way. This film is a documentary and the narrator, Joe, goes on a sixty day juice fast to lose about a hundred pounds. Even though I need to lose even more than that I thought I’d better begin with something more doable for me, so a three day juice fast will suffice to get me going on this long road ahead.

On Sunday morning I ate a banana and headed out to get my fruits and veggies. I went to my local Farmer’s Market to pick up everything I would need to make my juice. In Santa Clarita they only have a small one, I’m sad to say, as opposed to Santa Barbara where they have a Farmer’s Market seven days a week with lots of choices and a thriving three day fastbusiness with lots of clientele. Anyway, fifteen minutes and twenty dollars later I saw that I would have to stop by the grocery store in order to get everything I had on my list. I arrived home with five large bags containing only the fruits and vegetables I would be juicing to drink over the next three days. I was now prepared to reduce about thirty dollars and twenty pounds of produce into a gallon or so of delicious and healthy juice.

Actually locating my juicer was not as easy as I had imagined it would be. It didn’t seem that long, but after enlisting the help of two family members we came to the realization that it had been almost two years since I had made juice. Where did that time go? Putting the juicer all together was a comedy of errors as I was determined to make two pieces fit together, only to finally figure out that one piece belonged to my ice cream maker. That piece had been near the front of my storage cabinet because it has not been two years since I made ice cream.

My counter was strewn with vegetables and fruit of all kinds, including apples, lemon, ginger root, cucumbers, golden beets, spinach, kale, celery, carrots, and even two Asian pears. The plan I’m following calls for approximately eighty percent vegetables and twenty percent fruits, with the emphasis on leafy greens like kale and spinach. I assembled my juicer and got to work.

juice fast planBecause I have juiced sporadically over the years I was keenly aware of a few facts; juicing can be messy, so you must wear old, dark clothes while you work; it’s also loud, so animals and small children must be moved to a quieter area of the house until you are finished; and, don’t do too much tasting while you juice or you’ll make yourself sick. I once juiced apples, carrots, and beets and drank about a quart of it while I worked. I was sick for two days and didn’t make juice again for at least a month. My final tip is to use golden beets instead of red ones because the red beets can permanently stain many things.

It took me about an hour to make a gallon of juice and clean everything up. Next time (I’ll need more juice by tomorrow night) it won’t take as long because I will be better prepared. The juice is very tasty and I had an eight ounce glass to begin with.

So I’ve made it through almost a full day of my three day juice fast. My head hurts, I’m starving, and I have to stay near the bathroom. I’m going to stay positive and hope for tomorrow to be a little better. I can use your encouraging words to keep me on track and moving forward. Also, the next time someone offers you a glass of fresh juice know that it took lots of time and effort to do it and be sure to thank them profusely.

Three Day Juice Fast – Day 2

This has to be the worse day, because I can’t imagine feeling much worse than I do today. My head is pounding, I forgot an important appointment, and I can’t tell if I’m starving or nauseous. I still have some juice left over from yesterday and will be juicing again first thing in the morning. I’m so glad I chose a three day period where I didn’t have too many demands on my time or my thinking.

Three Day Juice Fast – Day 3

Today I feel much better and it seems like the three days have flown by. I’m so glad that I did this. In fact, I still have almost a quart of juice left over and I will be starting off my day tomorrow with that, and then eating light for the next few days. I forgot how good it feels to have all of the junk food out of my system. Today when I made juice I juiced the apples first and saw the applesauce that is left behind. I cried as I tasted it. I’m definitely on my way to better health, and my mindset around this has been changed.

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How To Profit With Freebies For Your Online Business

profit with freebiesI’ve been teaching how to profit with freebies almost since I first came online in 2006. Working online as an online entrepreneur is something that many people around the world are doing. There are many benefits to online marketing such as the fact you can work exactly when you want to, doing what you enjoy, and there isn’t a limit on how much income you can earn.

One of the things you will spend a good deal of time on is thinking of different ways you can increase your profits. One way to do this is by taking advantage of the different resources you have.

Just a few resources you have are:

  • The things you are good at and think of as strengths (the different skills and knowledge you possess).
  • Different technology and software for running an online business with more efficiency. Things like Aweber (or other autoresponder services), article management systems and software to help with invoicing are all things to help run your business more efficiently and easily.
    • Time management tools like your calendar and an organizer.
    • Relationships – family, friends, business partners, etc. These people are considered a resource because they can help you manage not just your life but your business too.
    • The Internet. This can be huge resource for you giving you access to both free and paid opportunities to help you grow your business. For example you can network and build relationships via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can pay to be a part of a mastermind group where you have access to a mentor and other like minded business people.
    • And last but certainly not least, don’t forget the content and products you have created. These are definitely excellent resources as well.

Each of these resources provides different opportunities for you to grow your business which in turn leads to increased profits. And if you look at the last couple listed, you can use those to create different giveaways and freebies for more income.

The idea of this report is to show you how to profit from freebies, both ones that you have already created and ones that you can find online.

What are Freebies?

More than likely you’re probably already familiar with what a freebie is but I’m still going to spend some time explaining this topic and how to leverage it to your maximum benefit.

In the online marketing world, freebies are simply those things that marketers give away. Often they’re even known as a ‘bribe’ in exchange for someone’s name and email address.  In the offline world, you’re probably more familiar as a consumer with the different freebie marketing tactics you see retail stores doing.

The idea behind freebie marketing is to either charge an extremely low price or give away an item that is fully salable to generate a continual market for another item, and that item is normally disposable.

For example, you’ll see freebie marketing in action when you buy a certain brush and get a pack of ponytail holders free. Or you buy a large bottle of body lotion and get a trial size hand lotion free. Or free mouth wash or a toothbrush when you purchase toothpaste. Or it can even be something like getting a free tube of lipstick if you give the makeup company your information (name, email, etc).

Now, let’s talk about freebie marketing in the online marketing world.  It’s the free eBook you receive after signing up for someone’s mailing list. Or it’s the free 7 day trial someone offers to their membership site.

Free is no longer considered just a marketing tactic, it’s become a full-fledged economy and people have pretty much come to expect it, so be prepared to offer it.

Take a minute to think about this:

  • Craigslist – you can post free classified ads on their site
  • Google – you can get a free email account through
  • Hulu, YouTube and big networks – they provide you with free video and programming options
  • Zappos – they give you free shipping
  • Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites – these platforms give you the opportunity to network for free
  • Match.com – free dating connections
  • The New York Times – free content (when you access their paper online)
  • Membership sites – some offer free memberships

And of course you can’t forget all the different content that websites provide – blog posts, articles, videos, audios, checklists, reports and eBooks. You can pretty much find information online for anything you want.

You’re probably wondering, but how do they profit from doing these things?

One way is by giving away these free resources and then teaching people how to best use them. There is a saying that ‘you don’t get rich by writing books; you get rich by teaching your book’s content’. This is similar in that you will provide your readers and prospects with everything they need, without going into the details of exactly how to best use what you are recommending.

I also profit with freebies by giving away something from another marketer that ‘cookies’ me in to their affiliate program. Examples of this include:

Think about how you can profit with freebies to build your online business and increase your income dramatically.

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Do You Have A ‘Reason Why’?

your reason whyThe following is a guest post from Cassandra D. Wright of Natural Green Oasis.

Starting and running an online business can be a very exciting endeavor. Just the thought can evoke images of thousands of dollars and lots of online fans.

But in reality, building an online business into a profitable one can be quite daunting. Having a “reason why” you’re building your business can make all the difference in how much success you achieve.

Your “reason why” can provide you with essentials you need to succeed. Three of them are:

  •  Resolve

Building a profitable online business is hard work and for most of us doesn’t happen quickly. It takes patience and a willingness to learn.

There may be times when you think you’ll never get things working the way you want them. Having a “reason why” will help fuel your determination to get it done.

  • Focus

Although you set goals for your online business, life can bring about distractions that can cause you to lose sight of them.

It is inevitable that the unexpected will happen. Some of these occurrences may be of vital importance and must be dealt with immediately. These emergencies are usually short term and you can get back on track rather quickly.

However, there are those distractions that aren’t very important but can cause you to lose sight of your goals. Before you know it, days or even weeks have gone by. As a result, you’ve lost that momentum you gained while you were on track.

A “reason why” can keep your destination in sight and – if you veer off course – lead you back to your chosen path and steer you in the right direction.

  • Commitment

Have you ever found yourself interested in something but as soon as the novelty wanes, your interest does too? Your “reason why” can prevent this from happening.

It will take you beyond the excitement and newness of building your business and give you the sustenance you need to persevere.

So, if you want what it takes to successfully build a profitable online business, know your “reason why.”

 

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Productivity Mastermind – Getting Started As An Online Entrepreneur

Productivity MastermindThe Productivity Mastermind is a series of five classes I’m teaching to help new online entrepreneurs with time management, accountability, and productivity. I decided to add Session 3 to my podcast series over at iTunes and to share some of the highlights of the topics we are covering in the course.

Getting started online is easier than it was when I began back in 2006, primarily because of the availability of information and social media. That also makes it more difficult as we must make huge efforts to rise above the din and find our voice to get our message out to the world. No matter when you got started on why you are seeking out a life as an online entrepreneur, productivity is the key to your success. These are just some of the recommendations I have made during the course:

  • Spend twenty minutes each day reading something that will enrich, educate, and enlighten you on your journey to successful entrepreneurship
  • Find others to connect with, either virtually or in person, who will listen to you and be honest and open about the steps you are taking to achieve your goals
  • Spend time each day in quiet contemplation of the life you are seeking
  • Maintain a dynamic ‘to-do’ list, evaluating what you need to do yourself and what can be outsourced
  • Set up a strategic planning session with your accountability partner
  • Decide exactly what you want out of life and write it down
  • Always ask yourself: “Is the action I’m taking right now moving me closer to my goals or further away?”
  • Believe in yourself and take massive action

Entrepreneurship is a gift that must be nurtured and encouraged each and every day. Run your life like a business and you are sure to surpass any goals you have set for yourself or imagined in your wildest dreams. Move forward quickly by taking action and implementing what you have learned. Manage your time, stay as productive as possible, and find someone to be accountable to make sure you are moving in the right direction for what you’d like to achieve. The Productivity Mastermind is here for you.

Take A Look At The 2013 Productivity Challenge

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