Productivity Challenge 2015

Productivity Challenge 2015

Productivity Challenge 2015 Begins!

I thought I would begin my fifth annual Productivity Challenge (2015 promises to be the best ever!) by sharing a post from the Invoca Blog. Invoca is a software company in Santa Barbara. They develop inbound call technology that generates phone numbers for telemarketing, then routes and tracks the calls and sales that result. In a recent blog post they outlined 11 Easy Tips Guaranteed to Prevent Productivity Burnout and I have to say this list is an excellent article.

Tip #2 discusses the concept of ‘talking out loud’ and they state: “Getting your story right takes practice, and it’s not going to come out right the first time. The best way to hone your message and your story is to verbalize it and talk it through with people.” This continues to work well for me in all situations.

Tip #11 is to be proud of what you have accomplished and they write: “Don’t forget to be proud of your work. If you aren’t excited about your work, no one else will be, and it will suck the motivation right out of you for future projects. Take pride in what you did well, and know that you always have another chance to improve. Perfectionism is your enemy! It’s amazing how much your productivity will change with the right mindset.”

With this we begin year number five of my annual Productivity Challenge. 2015 can be your best year ever if you set and achieve the goals you have designed for yourself. If you would like to participate in this 30 day challenge please leave a comment below, along with a goal you will be working on. The community is where you are encouraged, ask questions, and take action on what you want to do while sharing it with others who are reading this blog.

Jason Fladlien’s ‘Double Your Productivity‘ training is available at a special discount right now by clicking on the words above.

Day 2 – Take an honest look at your online business to determine what you have in place and what you still need to set up. These are some things you will need in order to get started:

  • Hosted WordPress site – If you need hosting, I recommend Blue Host; if you need domains, I recommend GoDaddy (my discount link).
  • Separate optin page(s) – You want to attract people from a variety of demographics.
  • Free Giveaway – Put together a short report or audio that will be irresistible to people searching for information on your niche topic.
  • Something to sell – In the beginning this will most likely be an affiliate product, then after you learn more you will want to begin creating your own line of products and even a coaching/consulting/mentoring program as a part of your inventory. Take it at your own speed and know that everything is possible when you continue to take action on a daily basis.

Day 3Content Marketing is the fastest way to making a name for yourself online and for getting your message out to the world. With your blog being your ‘Home of the Internet’, blogging regularly becomes the method that will allow you to find your voice and get people interested in you and what you are doing. This has led to authorship for me, which has helped me to grow my business exponentially over the years. You may also create content with videos, audios, and by speaking and presenting in person. I continue to engage in all of these strategies to grow my business. What are you doing to create content regularly? (On Day 18 I go into greater detail as to how you may create fresh, relevant content on your blog to grow your business quickly and effectively, while also increasing your credibility over time.)

Leave a new comment here to tell us more about your blog and your niche topic.

Day 4Mindset is the most important part of entrepreneurship, yet few people are taking the time to get their heads around this. I like to have quiet time each morning and evening to reflect upon my goals. Some people call this prayer or meditation, but I find it is all quite similar as we ask for guidance in our daily lives. Understanding your purpose in life and expanding that to include your business goals and aspirations is crucial to your success, in my honest and humble opinion.

Remember Tip #11 from the post I curated on Day 1 from Invoca – ‘Perfectionism is your enemy!’

I also read inspirational, motivational business books and listen to books on tape. The book I am reading right now is called The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.

What are you doing to improve your mindset? What are you reading?

Day 5 – Let’s Get Social! The world has changed since I came online back in 2006. Now we have access to the world every moment of the day through social media, and it’s an excellent idea for you to be connected everywhere for maximum results. Here are the sites that I find most helpful in growing my business:

Twitter – I’m ConnieGreen on Twitter
Facebook – I’m ConnieRagenGreen on Facebook
LinkedIn – I’m ConnieRagenGreen on LinkedIn
YouTube – I’m ConnieRagenGreen on my YouTube Channel
Instagram – I’m ConnieRagenGreen on Instagram
Pinterest – I’m Connie R Green on Pinterest

It is now easier than ever to stay connected with your prospects, customers, and clients on a daily basis through social media, without having to actually be there in person every day. At his very moment someone is watching my videos on YouTube, reading my latest post or tweet or photo, or perusing my profile over on LinkedIn. When people tell me I am everywhere, this is typically what they are referring to. You can increase and enhance your visibility exponentially through the appropriate use of social media channels.

Where can we find YOU on social media? Let us know so we can friend/follow/connect with you.

Day 6 – How and why have you come to be in the niche you have chosen? If you’re still deciding on a niche, how may I help you with this? I started out by helping others to write, edit, and market eBooks online, because my experience as a classroom teacher made that an obvious choice. Within a couple of years I was confident enough to move into the online marketing niche.

Visualize a three circle Venn Diagram, where the upper left hand circle is for your passions, the right hand circle represents your life experiences and education, and the bottom circle stands for the marketplace. Where these three circles come together is your ‘sweet spot’, which means that what you love and what you have knowledge about meets the market to sell your products, ideas, information, and training. This will serve as a guide to help you get started off in the niche that will serve your needs as an online entrepreneur.

Let’s have a discussion on this topic in the comments area.

Day 7 – What’s for sale? This may seem like a rhetorical question, but your answer is telling when it comes to online entrepreneurship. If you are in business you must have inventory to sell. I have almost forty of my own products, courses, books, and trainings, as well as my ongoing Mentoring. What do you have for sale. Without including any links, give me an idea of what potential clients are able to purchase from you directly or through your affiliate links right now.

Day 8 – Affiliate Marketing is the business model of recommending what you use, benefit from, and love to others. Which affiliate platforms do you prefer, and are you an affiliate for my Really Simple Podcasting course?

Affiliate marketing continues to account for almost half of my income each month. What do you need to know about this excellent business model?

Day 9 – Your Mission Statement defines the reason you are in business. Mine is that I help new online entrepreneurs to choose a niche and a business model based on their interests and experiences where they will be able to serve others who are looking for solutions to their problems in this area. Think about the people you wish to serve and how you will help them to achieve their goals, based on your own interests and experiences. Share your Mission Statement with us in the comments below.

Day 10 – Becoming a local celebrity is something that I’ve taught for years now. I did this inadvertently when I first came online, and now I do it intentionally to build my credibility and increase visibility. This is what I recommend:

  • Reach out to the local newspaper and magazines in your city and offer to write a regular column on your topic.
  • Contact the local radio station(s) to see if you could be a guest on one of their shows.
  • Connect with local business owners by attending meetings of the Chamber of Commerce, service organizations, and non-profits.
  • Volunteer with at least one non-profit whose Mission Statement resonates with you.

This is how I got started in Santa Clarita, California nine years ago, and now I’m doing the same thing in Santa Barbara. This has led to massive exposure in both cities, and opportunities to be a part of groups and projects that continue to help me build my business. You can do the same thing if you’re willing to take the time and make the effort on a consistent basis.

Day 11 – Leverage your voice when it comes to building your list and increasing your credibility and visibility. When we simply write email messages and social media posts to our prospects we remain flat and one dimensional. By allowing others to hear our voice, with all of its inflections and mood, this fleshes us out and we are preceived in a much different way. I use Instant Teleseminar for this purpose and have done more than ten thousand hours of recordings over the past nine years. You may hear my most recent recording at Ask Connie Anything. I also host two podcasts that are available on iTunes.

Let us know where we may hear your voice, whether it is on your podcast, a teleseminar, a webinar, or somewhere else.

Day 12 – Attending live events is the fastest way to make a name for yourself and your business. I host two of my own live events each year, as well as three or four smaller ones in Santa Barbara that I refer to as ‘retreats’. I also speak at and/or attend anywhere from five to ten other events each year to connect with people and keep current with my industry.

In the very beginning I was reluctant to spend the time and money to go to live events and workshops because I thought it was cost prohibitive; soon I found out that it was well worth the cost of the event, the airfare, the hotel, and the other expenses because my return was so great.

Are you attending live events to grow your business? Give us some details about the events you attend and what you look for before you decide to commit to attending someone’s event.

Day 13 – Working with a Mentor changes everything and shows you are serious about growing your business. I continue to work with Mentors and know that I will always have much to learn and improve upon as an entrepreneur. I also run a successful Mentor program of my own.

Are you working with a Mentor currently? What does that look like in your business?

Be sure to leave a comment and let us know where we may find your blog or website. And I promise to answer all of your questions personally. Please introduce yourself!

Day 14 – Writing a book on your topic has become a necessity as the Internet and online entrepreneurship gets more and more competitive. I continue to teach people how to do this as a part of my Write. Publish. Prosper. course and bestselling book, and you can do this successfully when you know how. Creating a focused and organized outline is the key to success with this, and I now have eleven books to my credit.

What questions do you have for me in the area of authorship for entrepreneurs?

Day 15 – Creating information products does not have to be a difficult process. Simply interview people on a topic of interest to your niche and sell the recordings; write a short eBook or report that teaches one aspect of your topic; or host a webinar where you teach people who to do something of benefit to them. These are three ways to create your own information product quickly and easily. Later on, as you progress as an online entrepreneur and become more sophisticated, use these first products as bonuses for your newer ones.

You have now made it to the halfway mark of the 2015 Productivity Challenge – congratulations!

Continue reading

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Choosing Your Online Business Model: Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Choosing Your Online Business Model : Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Podcast

The focus and intent of this podcast training call was ‘Choosing Your Online Business Model’ for online entrepreneurs. We discuss the various models that are working during 2015 so that you can get a better idea of which direction you want to proceed with for your business. It’s so important to know what’s working right now when it comes to effectively building your online business.

During this call I discuss my thoughts and experiences on coaching, mentoring, and consulting as a business model, and the difference between these titles. I consider myself to be a mentor to individuals wishing to join the ranks of online entrepreneurs, and a consultant to small and medium sized companies and corporations. Build an excellent reputation as someone who can help others to achieve their goals and your dance card will soon be filled.

Then we move on to discussing affiliate marketing, a model that continues to bring in almost half of my income each year. My goal for new entrepreneurs is to get you away from the ‘trading time for money’ model and moving closer towards the ‘earn money while you sleep’ model. Affiliate marketing enables you to have almost endless inventory of your choosing, from among the plethora of products and services that are available to us online. I have become extremely picky over the years and only recommend what I use and benefit from in my own business.

We also discuss income guarantees for coaching and mentoring; the validity of mini-sites; creating an effective, irresistible, and profitable free giveaway by using a ‘call to action’ at the end of your short report; using press releases to get the word out about what you have to offer; and the comparison of online business to starting a more traditional, bricks and mortar business. Most people are not cut out to be entrepreneurs, so determining that for yourself is the first step to being successful with the entrepreneurship model.

Are you already on my list and receiving my daily updates? If not, add your first name and primary email address to the form on the right-hand side of this site. If you are new to my podcasts, you will be interested to know that this specific training call, as well as all of the calls in my podcast series is intended to teach you and other new online entrepreneurs how to take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my exact methods, techniques, Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. People on six continents have now discovered that starting an Internet business is the very fastest way to achieve both time and financial freedom, as well as to great success in all areas of your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

You will see that each podcast 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 (opt in on the right) to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come! Also, check out my Podcast Show Notes site to see how you can subscribe at no cost to both of my podcasts, and please leave me a review on one or both of them.

You may 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 completely updated for 2015 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

Enjoy this New Rules for Online Marketing in 2015 training. Please be sure to leave your comments below so that I may get to know you better and to serve you as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur. Your success is my reward!

Subscribe To My Online Marketing Tips Podcast Today!


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Blogging for Beginners: Why This is a Crucial Strategy for Online Entrepreneurs

blogging for beginnersBlogging for Beginners: Why a Hosted Blog is Crucial to Your Success

Recently I spent time with the students in my Platinum Mastermind Mentor group and the question came up as to why it is so important to set up and maintain a blog. I went on to share my thoughts on this and even taught these strategies to those working with me in a twelve week program on how to become a successful online entrepreneur.

It has never been more crucial to your credibility, visibility, and overall success to be blogging on a regular basis. I have two main blogs and strive to update them regularly with topics that are relevant to what I am working to achieve online. For years I have described your blog as being your ‘home on the Internet’. It is the singularly most important website you will ever create, and there are several reasons why this is so true.

When we first get started as an entrepreneur we must have a place to find our voice and express our thoughts and ideas about what we are learning. A blog allows you to do this in a way that is uncensored, an important distinction that is not often brought up in a discussion of blogging. Also, the blog is a site that you own and control, unlike the various social media platforms. Allow me to expand upon this thought.

What I am suggesting is that you set up a hosted WordPress site. You will need to purchase a domain name (I recommend getting your own name for this) and hosting (this is what distinguishes your site from one on a free blogging platform). I use GoDaddy for all of my domains and recommend BlueHost for hosting if you are just getting started). [Click above for discounted links for both]

Social media is quite popular and yet another way to get your name and message out to the world, but think about this as a long term business building strategy. Facebook messages and updates get lost in the shuffle within a day or two, as do those you post on Twitter and LinkedIn. On the other hand, your blog posts remain organized by category and appear in reverse chronological order forever. My main blog has been active since 2007 and contains almost two thousand posts, all of which can be located within a few minutes.

Your blog posts are also indexed by Google, allowing people to find them, and therefore, you just as quickly when doing a search for your name or for one of the topics you have been writing about in the past. Many people find me this way, usually through a post that was written years ago on a topic of interest to them today.

I also share information on the books I have written and about my podcast right here on my blog. Recently I began teaching something I call Book, Blog, Podcast: The Trifecta of Entrepreneurial Success to emphasize the important of this strategy.

In summary, your blog will set you apart by allowing you a platform in which to express your views and share your knowledge, expertise, and experience on your topic. This makes it a winning strategy through which you can build a lucrative business as an online entrepreneur.

Are you blogging for your online business? Please tell us more about your experiences by leaving a comment.

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Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs

productivity tips for entrepreneursProductivity Tips for Entrepreneurs

Life as an entrepreneur or small business owner can be hectic. With days filled serving clients, creating relevant content, putting together products and services to sell, meetings to attend, social media interactions, and the like, you may be tempted to take time away from your work on a regular basis simply to get away from it all. My first year working as an online entrepreneur drove me to escape through television, movies, and other activities so that I could have some time to breathe and not have to think about business.

Soon I realized that this was the incorrect approach to what I wanted to achieve. Here I was, trying to build an online empire and all I could think of was how to get away from it. Instead, I shifted my thinking so that the last thing in the world I wanted to do was to escape the world I was creating. In my mind I compared it to Kobe Bryant wanting to go on vacation so he wouldn’t have to think about basketball or Bill Gates dreaming of visiting a deserted island where there would be no Internet. Ludicrous, right? After I thought about it in this way I began to look for opportunities to stay involved with my business every day by being consciously present, performing the tasks and activities that I enjoyed.

Within a week I noticed a significant increase in my productivity. I had begun delegating and outsourcing the tedious parts of my business, while focusing intently on the tasks and activities that I both enjoyed and was good at doing. At the end of week I realized that the only things I needed to be doing to build my business were writing, creating products and courses, teaching and presenting online and at live events, and working directly with my clients. This was about twenty percent of my business and I began doing these things one hundred percent of the time.

My income skyrocketed during the next thirty days and I have never looked back. I had discovered the keys to productivity and everything changed. I then applied this to my personal life and it improved as well. You can increase your productivity, your satisfaction with your personal life, and anything else you seek to improve. This is exactly what I am recommending as you begin this journey:

  • Make a list of everything that needs to be done in your business, no matter how trivial and no matter who is doing it at the present time.
  • Sort through these tasks and activities, choosing the ones that only you can do.
  • Delegate or outsource everything else. There are people who can accomplish these tasks faster and better than you can.
  • Apply the 80/20 Rule – spend at least eighty percent of your time each day working on the twenty percent of your business that you are an expert in.

You may also want to share these ideas and concepts with the other people in your business and personal life. When productivity expands and continues to grow relationships are able to flourish. Explain that if they spend time on a task they are not good at or do not enjoy they are depriving someone who can do it more efficiently and effectively the opportunity to do so. That just makes sense.

Instead of looking for distractions in your life, explore the activities that are related to your life and business you can expand upon. For everything you do, ask yourself if this is moving you closer to your goals or further away. The answer may surprise you, or at least will make you think.

Productivity can change everything in your life, from your interpersonal relationships to your bottom line. Take action now and let me know what results you experience. Leave a comment here and I will respond personally to answer your question or to provide more information.


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Leonard Nimoy: Live Long And Prosper

Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy: Live Long And Prosper

Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning. You may think of him as Mr. Spock from the Star Trek series, but I knew him in a very different way. Long ago, circa 1985, I was living in an apartment building in the Sherman Oaks section of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Nimoy had purchased the building just a few months earlier so that his parents would come out from the east coast to live in California. They had lived in Boston for many years and he wanted them closer to him and to his children, Adam and Julie. His children were my age and accompanied their father to visit their grandparents regularly. He had completely remodeled two of the apartments to create a much larger unit for his parents, Max and Dora. They were already quite elderly and spoke mostly Yiddish and Russian, so I seldom saw or heard them during the year I lived there.

But my relationship with Leonard went much deeper. One Sunday afternoon he came out to the pool area and asked me if I could explain to him how I used the laundry area. Not understanding what he meant, we walked over to the area where the washers and dryers were and I told him how they worked. He laughed, and told me that he understood that part, but wanted to know the details of how the tenants were using this area, and what could be done to improve it. I knew that his parents did not use the laundry room, so I inquired as to why he was doing this.

He then explained to me in great detail the responsibility he felt came along with owning an apartment building. He wanted each of us to feel welcomed and comfortable, no matter how long we chose to live there. I told him that sounded very logical, like something Spock would say, and we both had a good laugh about that.

During the next several months he and I discussed many things, including his marriage, which was coming to an end. He and Sandra, who passed away in 2011, had been married for more than thirty years, had raised two children, and were now friends and roommates. He longed for more, but that relationship was not to be revived. He asked me what I thought about this and I told him that he deserved to be happy and to find someone new to love. I also told him that it had been my experience that you must wait one full year between relationships if they are to be given any chance at success.

A year or so later they divorced, amicably, and a year later he met Susan. They married a year or so after that and were still together at the time of his death, just hours ago as of this writing (February 27, 2015). This is the first time I have ever shared this story with another living soul, out of respect to him and his family.

I’m not yet sure what lessons are to be learned from Leonard Nimoy’s life, but I am sure I will be giving it lots of thought in the days and weeks to come. For now, I leave you with his last public words, posted on Twitter just a few days ago – ‘A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP’. Live long and prosper, Leonard, and thank you for touching my life.

Note: Leonard did a guest appearance (voiceover) on The Big Bang Theory show and here is the link to the video of the scene from that episode. I believe you will enjoy it, even if you have seen it before. The cast paid tribute to him at the end of this week’s show.

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Online Marketing Tips Podcast: New Rules for Online Marketing 2015

New Rules for Online Marketing for 2015 : Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips PodcastMy annual ‘New Rules for Online Marketing’ call for 2015 is now available. You may listen here on this page through the live stream, subscribe over at iTunes to get all of my podcast trainings, or go directly to my page to download your Study Guide.

The focus of this podcast training call was ‘New Rules for Online Marketing’ for online entrepreneurs, so I referenced my recent post on New Marketing Strategies for 2015. In this article I share my insights for building a lucrative and successful online business in the coming year and beyond using a three-pronged approach of having a book, a blog, and a podcast to increase your credibility, visibility, and your bottom line. It’s so important to know what’s working right now when it comes to effectively building your online business. I waited a little longer to do this year’s annual call, primarily because I wanted to wait until the release of my eleventh book, Write.Publish.Prosper. – How to Write Prolifically, Publish Globally, and Prosper Eternally.

During this call I discuss my thoughts and experiences with hosting of your sites, choosing people to help you with technology, managing your domains, autoresponder services, and payment processors.

Then we move on to your online marketing funnel, which begins with your free giveaway to persuade your prospects to join your list, moves on to a five or seven day e-course, and then an evergreen product. This all leads into a ‘product line’ that establishes you as an authority in your niche. The idea is to get away from the ‘trading time for money’ model and moving towards the ‘earn money while you sleep’ model.

I also address the idea of promoting your blog posts, podcasts, and other relevant content, and using a plugin called Pretty Link to shorten and track your affiliate links.

If you are new to my podcasts, you will be interested to know that this training, as well as all of the calls in my podcast series is intended to teach you and other new online entrepreneurs how to take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my exact Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. People on six continents have now discovered that starting an Internet business is the fastest way to achieve both time and financial freedom, as well as to great success in all areas of your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

You will see that each podcast 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 (opt in on the right) to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come! Also, check out my Podcast Show Notes site to see how you can subscribe at no cost to both of my podcasts, and please leave me a review on one or both of them.

You may 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 completely updated for 2015 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

Enjoy this New Rules for Online Marketing in 2015 training. Please be sure to leave your comments below so that I may get to know you better and to serve you as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur. Your success is my reward!

Subscribe To My Online Marketing Tips Podcast Today!


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Free FTP Clients: My Challenges with FileZilla

Free FTP ClientsFree FTP Clients

Several weeks ago I opened up FileZilla, the program I use to upload files from my computer to my hosting account, and it wouldn’t let me in. At first I was annoyed and tried to figure out what was wrong. Then I called my hosting company (Liquid Web) and they said it was an issue with FileZilla. The last update had changed the settings and it would not connect for me.

My solution was to simply use another computer I own, and sure enough, it let me in right away. I didn’t give this another thought until yesterday. That’s when I tried to log in to FileZilla once again, and realized that this other computer had automatically upgraded to the latest version. I was locked out of my hosting account and needed to upload the files for my Affiliate Contest Secrets product. I had spent a week rewriting it almost completely to reflect the changes for 2015, and now my clients would not be able to access the new information. What could I do?

I thought about my options. I could ask someone from my tech team to do it for me. I pay several people to do this for my business, yet I’ve always enjoyed the independence of having the ability to upload something on my own. I thought about a couple of my Platinum Mastermind members who are tech savvy, but decided not to bother them so early on a Sunday morning. Then I Googled for information and did find an excellent post from Jack Wallen, but it was over two years old and I wasn’t sure the information it included was up to date enough for what I needed. Instead, I went to the largest real time forum and help desk I know…Facebook!

I stated my problem clearly and concisely, and within minutes I was receiving responses from a variety of people. You can see a screen shot of the conversation in my image here, or go directly to the Facebook thread to read it all.

Within eighteen minutes I had received the help I needed, including detailed steps from Melissa Ingold and a thirty-one second video from Gene Pimental. I logged in, uploaded my product files, and left for church. My morning was a success!

The lessons learned here include:

  • Never, never, never give up!
  • Think about your options and prioritize them
  • Ask for help from trusted friends and colleagues
  • If you need additional help, ask again
  • Implement what you learn immediately
  • Acknowledge those who have offered help

It takes a village to maneuver through our daily lives; tap into your village and create the life and business that will serve you best. I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

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Networking Success Tips: 12 Tips for Success

Networking Success TipsNetworking Success Tips: 12 Tips for Success

Are you networking on a regular basis to build your online business? Networking is part of the long game. This means that you may not see immediate results. However, what usually happens if you work hard is that when the work you do today starts paying off tomorrow it will snowball. But first you have to do the work today.

  1. Make a list of who you know – You may be surprised at how many people of those you already know that can probably introduce you to other important people. Starting with who you know, then branching out to new groups is a great way to get started with purposeful networking. The people you know now likely also know about networking groups that you can join.
  2. Separate your list into categories – You’ll need to separate the people you know into groups. Some people are family, some friends, and some are professional contacts. Some will be in all the groups. You want to also rank the people that you know in terms of how much help you think they can provide you in terms of business connections outside of your friends list.
  3. Nurture each network – As you choose the networks in which you’ll be involved, be sure not to spread yourself so thinly that you can’t properly nurture them. Networking can be a lot of work. You’ll need to stay in contact with new people that you meet and build up the relationship. This can take some time to do because it may require several conversations, emails, and other types of sharing before the relationship is strong.
  4. Update your network on what you are involved in – One good way of following up with your network is to share what you’re involved with. If you have online groups, it’s simple to share with everyone in the group what you’re doing. Just be sure not to cross over into sales. It’s good to be excited about what you are doing. Your network will be happy to know what you are doing, too.
  5. Keep track of everything – Once you have several networks and individual relationships which you are building, it’s important to keep track of what you have done, and what you plan to do. A good use for Google Calendar is to keep an ongoing diary of what you’ve done, and a schedule of what you plan to do. If you don’t schedule follow-ups and planned contacts with people you’re trying to build relationships with, time will get away from you and you won’t follow through. You can also use a contact management system built for networking that enables you to keep all your contacts organized in a way that is beneficial to you. If you keep track of all the conversations you have with each contact as well as schedule future contacts, you’ll be more successful.
  6. Be a ready resource to others – Sometimes the best thing you can do for your network and for individual contacts even if you cannot personally help them with something, is to be a useful resource to them. If someone in the network needs an assistant, know who you can recommend. If someone in the group needs information about a particular topic that you’re familiar with, send them your sources. If they need a reviewer for a product, volunteer. If they need a guest article, offer one. If you are good at keeping track of what members of the network do, you’ll be able to connect members to other members who have what they want.
  7. Answer your phone and email promptly – Nothing can be more irritating than to call someone and not ever be able to get connected with them. Try to answer your phone and your email as quickly and as promptly as possible. If you only answer messages at certain times of day, be sure to say so in your messages and inside your emails. The new way of working less is great, but the truth is the early bird gets the worm. Every single time.
  8. Dress for success – When you go to a networking event, it is important to dress appropriately. It’s been discussed before in this report but it is super important to dress in a way that is expected so that you don’t put people off. It is okay to stand out in a good way so that you’re remembered, but you don’t want to look like you wore dirty laundry or that you’re showing off too much.
  9. Practice your elevator speech – You don’t want to sound practiced or like a recording when you tell people what it is that you do. But, you do want to practice several different manifestations of elevator speeches based on potential scenarios. You want it to be very natural, but practicing will help because most people are a little nervous and caught off guard at networking events when asked questions. Practice with the type of questions you may have received in the past. When the event is over, make some notes about the types of questions people asked you and work on perfecting your answers for the future.
  10. Give out business cards – Don’t stand there like you’re handing out bulletins, giving them out to as many people as possible. Instead seek to give your business cards out strategically, giving them to the right people. Always give a business card to people who ask for one, or people who give you their card. Other than that, only give your card to people that you genuinely want to get to know more about and connect with more or who can offer something important to you in the future. I resisted giving out cards for years, but now I use a company called MOO for some excellent styles and designs.
  11. Try to meet three new people at each event – Before going to any particular event, if you know who is going make a list of particular people you’d like to meet. By identifying three new people that you want to be introduced to, you can perhaps arrange the introductions in advance. Plus, you can take the time to learn about them so that you can impress them with your knowledge of their business. If you can’t do that, try to meet them when you are there. It is very tempting to stand around the same people at each event, but it’s important to branch out and meet new people. But, try to meet specific people in a strategic way.
  12. Follow up – Whenever you meet someone new, it’s important to follow up. You want to drop them an email, call them to invite them out for coffee or tea if they’re local and connect outside of the event. Even if you have never met someone in person, if you meet them online through a group and you know you’re going through their area, ask to meet for lunch, dinner, or coffee. Then follow up again.

Knowing the right people can push your business to the next level. But, the most important thing is to network for the right reasons, which is to build relationships and help others. The rewards you get from your efforts will be invaluable. At every event you attend, whether it is online or offline, it’s important to realize that your interaction with everyone is kind of like an extended job interview. People are always evaluating you to see if you keep your word, if you can walk the talk, and are someone who can help them with their business.

The Next Step

To wrap it up, we’ve now covered why it’s important to network in many different ways, both online and offline. You also know what to do to be super successful with the advanced networking techniques we’ve discussed. But, learning about them is not as important as doing them. You are now challenged to go find one in-person event that you can attend in the next 90 days, one online event that you can attend in the next 30 days, and one online mastermind group that you can join in the next week.

Only by doing can you perfect your networking skills and take your business to the next level.

You can read my previous post on networking here.

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Networking Tips: Building Relationships to Grow Your Business

Networking TipsNetworking Tips: Reasons for Getting Involved

Networking is a very good way to build your business. I started doing this when I came online in 2006, and now it is an integral part of my business strategy. My first networking was within my Rotary Club, even though I didn’t think of it as such at the time. When you network strategically, you will meet many different experts from various types of business and you will also be seen as an expert in your business. This is a win-win scenario because not only can you seek advice from the other business experts, but you can also give advice to those who ask you.

So, why should you get involved with networking? Here are six networking tips that make sense.

  1. To seek guidance

There are people in various networks and organizations who can offer you guidance in your business and/or career. Getting to know these movers and shakers can truly pay off, both now and in the future. In order to get the guidance you need, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are open to direction by seeking advice on small issues.

Don’t start right off asking for favors, or bother people for accounting advice who have CPAs and who normally charge for their services. But instead, do ask for more open-ended and indirect advice about the different choices you are making in your business. For example, blogging was just becoming more recognized as a marketing strategy back in 2006, so I asked for help in choosing a theme for my site and in writing my ‘About’ page.

For example, if you’re having a conversation with someone you admire, mention a couple of ideas that you have and how you’re unsure of which way to go. Mention solution A and solution B, both of which you’ve already studied and know either one will work out great. Ask them what they think.

If the advice is good, move with their advice and follow up with a thank you note and information about how well their advice worked for you. You’ll make them feel wonderful, and you will also get to mention your own business at the same time without ever asking for them to do anything that big for you.

  1. To find more opportunities

If your business isn’t growing, or you are not advancing in your career, then another reason to network is to find more opportunities for yourself. When you nurture a network over time, it’s only natural for people within that network to mention opportunities to you because you have already built up your like, know, and trust factor with them. It’s up to you to either follow those opportunities or not. But, the opportunities will present themselves as long as you’ve done the work to keep the network well lubricated throughout the months and years you have known them.

Keep in mind that people are chosen more often for jobs through referral and this is true whether you are a business owner, an independent contractor, or even an employee. Keeping your network ready for when you need a change is important. Take the time to offer up your skills to volunteer to show your skill level.

  1. To get support from peers

Having a strong network will not only pay off during bad times but also during good times such as celebrating winning an award, or even just your birthday or an anniversary of when you began your business. Inviting your peers to a party to celebrate your successes will endear you to your network, and help you talk more about what you do for people within your business.

Do remember that this is not a one-way street. When your peers need your help and support, you should Continue reading

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Content Creation: Formats for Your Content

Content CreationContent Creation Isn’t Just About Articles: Formats for Your Content

Content creation is the best ongoing strategy you can have for your online business. People in the online business world seem to spend a lot of time talking about article marketing. But limit yourself to only writing and distributing articles and you miss a lot of opportunities. Here are just some ideas for content format.

Digital: Content ideas for downloadable content. These can be items you give away freely, as an incentive to sign up for your list or even offer for sale.

  • Articles (about 400 words in length)
  • Blog Posts (use keyword rich permalinks)
  • Workbooks (people LOVE these!)
  • PDF Reports
  • eBooks (different than what you’d put on Kindle)
  • Checklists/Worksheets
  • Pre-recorded audios
  • Podcasts
  • Teleseminars/webinars
  • Streaming video
  • Screen capture video
  • Audio/video transcripts
  • Email broadcasts (time sensitive)
  • Pre-scheduled autoresponder emails
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Flowcharts
  • Patterns
  • Coloring Sheets
  • Fill-in-the-Blanks
  • Spreadsheets
  • Glossaries

Tangible (Physical): Content doesn’t all have to be downloadable. You can create physical content that you give away for free (based on a profit plan) or sell it.

  • Tips booklets
  • Laminated sheets
  • Bookmarks
  • Wallet cards
  • Books
  • Workbooks
  • CDs
  • DVDs

Creating Your Content or Having it Created for You

Creating your content empire doesn’t mean that you have to do all the hard work. There are plenty of ways to create content.

Of course, there are the most obvious:

  • Write it yourself
  • Say it yourself (for an audio recording)
  • Video yourself (screen capture or live person video)

But you can also:

  1. Use private label rights (PLR) content. There are many services that provide pre-written content that you can publish as-is, chop it up, edit or use it as you see fit. This saves you time conducting research and writing. It is also an inexpensive alternative to hiring a ghostwriter or other freelancer for all your writing needs. Try this site (my favorite one!) for all of your PLR needs.
  2. Use reprint articles with a byline and link to the author. This means finding articles at places like Ezine Articles where you can pick up articles that include an author’s byline plus a link back to their website. This is a great way to find content as the quality is sometimes hard to find and it leaks traffic to other websites. But if you find something you really think is worthwhile… go for it.
  3. Use reprint articles provided by affiliate programs. Here’s a better alternative to using simple reprint articles described above. Many affiliate programs will provide content and instead of linking directly to another website, you get to use your affiliate link so you get credit for sales generated by your publishing the articles.
  4. Grab some video code from Want to share a video but aren’t ready to make one for yourself? Just get the copy-and-paste code from YouTube.
  5. Hire a ghostwriter. You can hire someone who will create content for you anonymously so you can put your personal website or company name on it. They will create specifically what you request but this is one of the more expensive (yet worthwhile) ways to get your content created.
  6. Hire someone to create your videos. There are professionals who can create videos for you, whether they’re live person or screen capture. You can ask your online colleagues for some suggestions or find someone locally to help you.
  7. Interview someone or hire someone to interview your interviewee. Interviewing someone else takes all the pressure off you. Some people you interview may even create the questions for you so all you have to do is read them. If you really want a truly hands off experience, you can hire someone to ask the questions of the interviewee.
  8. Create a group project. Get together with others who create content for your target market. You can each contribute a chapter to an eBook, a recording for an audio series, etc. The added bonus is that you can all promote the content when it’s completed, increasing everyone’s exposure.
  9. User-generated content. One of the coolest ways to get content is by having your very own readers/users make it for you. Encourage them to leave comments, post on your forums, submit stories, photos, videos, etc.

What are your thoughts on effective content creation? Leave a comment below…

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