Get Organized: Your Success Depends on It!

eliminate clutterMy very first mentor was Raymond Aaron, a man for whom I have the highest respect and am still in touch with to this day. The year was 2005 and he instructed all of his mentees to “clean up our messes!” Whether these were piles of papers all over the floor or desk or relationships gone awry, Raymond advocated spending time on a weekly basis to eliminate the messes that conflicted with your ability to achieve your personal and business goals.

Recently I was reading a post by Cynthia Charleen entitled Clutter or Organizing – Which is Your Challenge? and it brought back memories of the work I had done with Raymond all those years ago. Here is an excerpt from that post:

“Is your problem clutter or organizing? Clutter is having too much. Whether it is physical items or the untouchables such as too much to do, they are both clutter. Organizing refers to having these items where they fit best. Stuff needs a place to call home and needs to be there to be organized.

Do you have more things than you need to live a normal life with reasonable comfort? I work with clients on a regular basis whose main issue comes from having too much stuff. Consider clearing out the excess and sharing with people who don’t have enough.”

Clutter is no longer a problem for me. I live in two cities and travel extensively as well, so I’ve become accustomed to tossing anything I won’t use again and do not need. If something does still have value I donate it t one of the charities I work with. Organization can still be a challenge as I change the way I file and continue moving towards a totally “paper free” business.

Cynthia states that “you will discover productivity and focus increase when you work and live in an organized space that is free from excess and clutter.” I agree completely with this statement and will take it one step further…

Eliminate clutter in your home and office environment, get organized to the point that others call you a “neat freak” and enjoy renewed creativity and higher level thoughts that will catapult you to success. This is all related to your “inner game” and how you approach every situation in your life. Yes, that’s how important this topic is and I’d love to hear about your own experiences in the comments below.

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Writing Online: Write What You Know

moon-pieWhen I first came online and started a dozen blogs I made the mistake of thinking that I could write on a variety of topics, most of which I knew very little about from personal experience. Writing online is no different from any other type of writing in that you will do best when writing about what you already know well.

Writing coach Suzanne Lieurance discusses this topic in her recent article, entitled Write What You Know. In it she says:

“If I Can Do This, You Can Do This!

Ever since I left the classroom after being a full-time teacher for many years, I’ve been making a living writing about all sorts of things. The best part is, most of these things are based on my own life experiences.

For example, when I was a child growing up in the South, every day I saw my grandmother pack my grandfather’s lunch for work, and that lunch always included a Moon Pie. Years later, I thought about those Moon Pies and sold an article about the history of the Moon Pie to an educational publisher.”

This reminded me not only of my days of eating Moon Pies but also the idea that we all know so many things based on our life experiences that make excellent and enjoyable reading for others. This is what I recommend if you are struggling with writing online to start your business…

Spend thirty minutes each day writing about anything you know about. This can be current events, stories from your childhood, or something related to a job, vacation, or other experience you have had. This is non-fiction writing, so keep it factual and interesting. Over time, make a point in your writing that is related to what you will be writing about for your online business. I have said for many years that I can turn any topic or situation into a marketing lesson, and this holds true to this day.

Imagine how easily people will get to know, like, and trust you if you continue to share stories with them about subjects and situations you know well. I still enjoy telling stories from my days as a classroom teacher and while I was in real estate. Remind to tell you about the time I was alone on the yard with over a hundred elementary school students when a little girl had a grand mal seizure. Or the time I hosted an open house in an empty home and two escaped convicts ran through the back yard. You just can’t make this stuff up…

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Content Curation Marketing to Grow Your Online Business

Content Curation MarketingContent Curation Marketing

I first heard about content curation from my good friend and colleague Marlon Sanders back in 2010. He was sharing his results from a course he was promoting on this topic, and frankly, I didn’t get it. It was my mistake not to spend some time discussing this with him to learn what he knew that I did not. Eventually I understood the concept and now content curation marketing is a regular part of my online business strategies.

Recently I was reading an excellent post from Steven Rosenbaum is the CEO of, a real-time video curation engine for publishers, brands, and websites. He’s also the author of Curation Nation. His post, 5 Tips for Great Content Curation, really got me thinking about this important topic. In in he shares his five best practices for content curation marketing:

“If you’re a curator looking for some boundaries in what feels like the Wild West, here are five best practices to consider.

1. Be Part of the Content Ecosystem

Be part of the content ecosystem, not just a re-packager of it. Often, people think of themselves as either creators or curators as if these two things are mutually exclusive. What a curator really should do is embrace content as both a maker and an organizer. The most successful curators include sites like The Huffington Post, that embrace the three-legged-stool philosophy of creating some content, inviting visitors to contribute some content, and gathering links and articles from the web. Created, contributed, and collected — the three ‘c’s is a strong content mix that has a measurable impact. Why? Because your visitors don’t want to hunt around the web for related material. Once they find a quality, curated collection, they’ll stay for related offerings.

2. Follow a Schedule

Audiences expect some regularity, and they’ll reward you for it. It doesn’t need to be a schedule that you can’t keep up with. If you want to curate three new links a day, and write one big post a week, that’s a schedule. Make sure to post at the same time each week. This is so readers know when to expect new material from you. Consistency and regularity will also bring you new users, and help you grow a loyal base of members who appreciate your work. A good example of someone who gets why a schedule makes a difference is Jason Hirschhorn via his MediaReDEF newsletter. He never misses a publish date.

3. Embrace Multiple Platforms

It used to be that your audience came to you. Not anymore. Today content consumers get their information on the platform of their choosing. That means you should consider posting short bursts on Tumblr, images on Pinterest, video on YouTube, and community conversations on Facebook. And don’t leave out established sites and publishers. If your audience hangs out on a blog, you may want to offer that publication some guest posts or even a regular column. Essentially, you have to bring your content contributions to wherever your readers may be.

4. Engage and Participate

Having a voice as a curator means more than creating and curating your own work. Make sure you’re giving back by reading others and commenting on their posts. A re-tweet is one of the easiest ways to help build relationships with fellow bloggers and curators. And your followers will appreciate that you’ve pointed them to good content. One word here, I never hit an RT without clicking through to read what I’m recommending. You can also lose followers if you don’t put in the effort to recommend material that you really think merits their attention.

5. Share. Don’t Steal.

Take the time to give attribution, links back, and credit. The sharing economy works because we’re each sharing our audiences, and providing the value of our endorsements. If you pick up someone’s work and put it on your blog, or mention a fact without crediting the source, you’re not building shared credibility. You’re just abusing someone else’s effort.”

The first and second of these “best practices” resonate with me the most; think of yourself as more of a publisher of content and then it doesn’t matter who wrote it originally, as long as you give proper and due credit when it was someone else’s idea. Also, sticking to a content curation marketing schedule will ensure your readership never goes more than a week or so without receiving additional content from you.

When I began teaching my Really Simple Content Marketing training course I made sure to spend enough time on content curation marketing so that my students would be able to get their content up and published with ease on a regular basis. Once you get into the flow of curation you’ll never want for content and people will think of you as an authority on your topic. Also, an added bonus is that they will tell you they see you “everywhere” on the Internet.

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Marketing Your Small Local Business

Marketing Your Small Local BusinessMarketing Your Small, Local Business

I’ve been marketing for small, local businesses since 2007, and this actually got me started as an online marketer. Marketing your small, local business online is an excellent way to get more targeted prospects into your physical location and purchasing from you on the internet.

Neil Patel shares some excellent information on marketing a brick and mortar business here. In his well written and thought out post Neil breaks down the process into Days 1 through 10, Days 10 through 25, and Days 25 through 30. As expected, he emphasizes the importance of creating high quality content, and this is Step 2 of his 3 Step Basics plan. He states:

“One of the fallacies many entrepreneurs believe is that simply having a website with some on-page SEO is enough.

But that’s not how Google works, and that’s not how people work either.

If you want to attract new customers and build a loyal fan base, you need to place a premium on creating and curating high quality content.

Content is huge.

But how does this apply to marketing a brick-and-mortar business? Here’s how…

Let’s say you own a coffee shop in Boulder, Colorado.

You take the first 2-3 days and pay to create your website—design it to look great and navigate easily. Then you set up your Facebook page.

Now, it’s time to start populating your website and your social media with killer content.

Continuing with the coffee shop example, the next step would be to start writing articles or filming videos based on your niche.

You could write an article about the best locations for growing coffee or about 3 unconventional brewing methods you can try today, or you could film a video showing people how to do cappuccino art.

The list of things you can do is endless.

By creating this content you will improve your chances of ranking on Google, and you will also start providing free value to customers, which will increase their trust and their desire to give you their business.”

I agree with him completely on this point and this is why I created my Really Simple Content Marketing training course recently. If you are interested in marketing your small, local business you will want to make creating high quality content a top priority. The content you add to your website or blog will serve you for years to come. Think of this as a marathon and not a sprint and you will set yourself up for great success.

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Life As An Entrepreneur: Road Trip 2016

Entrepreneur Road TripThe Entrepreneur Road Trip

Recently I spent three weeks driving across the United States and back to visit my clients and see the country. The result was quite satisfying, productive, and joyous and I thought I’d share the highlights of this trip with you.

My goal was to connect with as many people as possible along the way, and to work closely with them while I was in their home. Originally I had planned to fly to various cities and rent a car, but my decision to drive my own vehicle from California and back worked out much better. I covered just under six thousand miles in twenty-one days, visiting a dozen people and seventeen different states in the process.

Just as when you work on your online business from home, keeping a routine and being disciplined with your time is crucial to success. I’m used to writing and doing most of my other work in the morning, so whether I was staying in a hotel or with one of my clients this was simple and easy to accomplish. It’s been many years since I waited for inspiration to motivate my writing, so before I went to bed each evening I wrote down what I would be working on the following morning. I’d have to say I completed even more work than usual during this three week trip because I did not have many outside distractions to get in my way.

Even though I travel with my own Internet connection via a “hot spot” device, almost every hotel I stayed in had a decent connection, as did every one of the homes I stayed in with my clients. I had a laptop, iPad mini, and an iPhone with me throughout this trip.

What all of this has taught me is that we are even more capable of achieving our goals than we previously thought. If I was able to do more work than I had been doing at home while on this road trip, just imagine what I’ll be able to do from home going forward.

What is your business model? Are you working strictly from your home, or are you able to work from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection? As you can see from my entrepreneur road trip, anything is possible.

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Book Signing Tips: Before Your Book is Published

Book Signing TipsBook Signing Tips

So you’ve written a book? Excellent! Now is when the real work begins. I’ve put together this post to give you some effective and doable book signing tips. And it all begins before your book is published.

Your new job – as you may have already discovered – is as book promoter. You’ll be coordinating interviews, writing guest blogs, and doing a host of other activities designed to get the word out about your new book.

And the best way to create a buzz and get people excited about your book? A good old-fashioned book signing. Imagine a crowd of eager fans all waiting for you to appear, read a bit from your latest bestseller, and answer questions. It’s the scene that’s filled many would-be authors’ daydreams, and now that you have a book, it can become your reality.

All it takes is a little planning and organization.

Here’s the thing: When your reader steps up to your table to buy a copy of your book, you want to ensure she has the absolute best first impression you can give her. That means top-quality writing, editing, and printing.

Sure, you can do it all yourself. Amazon and others make it easy and cost-effective to write and print a book, but will it portray the image you want? Or will it scream “amateur”?

So before you even think about scheduling your first signing event, let’s make sure your book is ready for the big leagues.

Book Signing Tips: Writing and Editing Your Book

You very likely already have your book completed, and as you may have discovered, it can be nearly impossible to edit your own work. You’re simply too close to it to be objective.

Instead, it’s a good idea to put your book to the test by:

  • Sending it out to a select list of beta-readers for feedback
  • Hiring a professional editor to suggest changes to content flow
  • Hiring a professional proofreader to edit for grammar and punctuation

Here’s a tip: no one person will be good at all three jobs. Creating a book worthy of a rock-star book signing is truly a group effort, and well worth the time and cost as well. Remember, your book will very often be the first impression someone has of you. If it’s riddled with spelling errors (or even one or two, for that matter) they will automatically think less of your expertise.

Make sure your book-signing event creates the very best impression you can by starting off with a professionally written and edited book. Then find your “Beta” readers.

Choose five to ten friends and colleagues to read through your book and offer constructive feedback. You want to avoid those who think everything you do is wonderful (so mom can’t be a beta reader) and instead ask those who you trust to offer real, actionable advice.

Next, find and interview editors and proofreaders.

While you’re waiting for your beta readers to respond with their thoughts, it’s time to begin looking for your editor and proofreader. The best way to find these people is to contact friends and colleagues whose books you’ve read and enjoyed, and ask them for referrals.

Book Signing Tips: You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover

It’s true. Sometimes the only chance you get to make the sale is in the three seconds a visitor takes to glance at your book’s cover. Make sure it gives the right impression with:

  • Easy-to-read fonts
  • Eye-catching (not headache-inducing) colors
  • Complementary graphics that don’t distract from the title

Keep in mind that bold colors and large fonts are a popular choice for better readability at any size from thumbnails on Amazon to poster-size event decorations.

For printed books, the cover is even more important. Remember, your readers will be holding this book in their hands for days, maybe even weeks. You want it to look as good as possible, because that’s what will make YOU look good.

Not only that, but your book’s cover needs to be easily reproduced in large format for posters, banners and other print materials you’ll use to decorate your signing table.

Don’t be afraid to outsource the things you are not good at, such as cover creation and sales copy, so that you can instead concentrate on writing the best book you can.

Now it’s time to research cover designs.

Before you hire a designer, it’s a good idea to know what you’re really looking for in a cover. Start by finding several books whose covers you like. These can be in any niche, so don’t be afraid to look on the fiction, self-help, and even reference shelves. The key is that they be eye catching and well-branded.

You’ll want to give this list to your designer, so he or she can see what appeals to you. Be as specific as possible, and include things like “I love the font, but the background image makes it difficult to read” or “The colors really make it stand out on the shelf.”

I certainly hope these book signing tips are helpful to you. You can see that the process begins long before your book is in print and ready for you to sign at your local library, book store, or other event. And if you’d like recommendations for people whom I have used for editing, proofreading, cover design, and formatting, please leave a comment below and I will reach out to you personally.

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How to Host a Book Signing Event

book signing eventWhen you think of a book signing, do you picture a bespectacled author sitting at a table in the back of a bookstore, patiently waiting for customers to notice her?

That’s what a lot of us think of when we consider a signing event, and while that used to be the norm, today’s book signings look very different. Your event can be anything you want it to be, because you have complete control (unless your publisher is footing the bill, in which case, follow their lead). Here are some book signing event ideas.

Your event can be:

  • Casual or formal – you set the tone
  • Indoors or out – imagine a book about healthy living with a reading in the local park
  • Structured or not – free form readings and Q&A sessions can be more inviting than a strictly scheduled event

As you can see, your book signing can be whatever you choose to make of it. Bookstores are just one option, but there are many others, depending on where your market likes to hang out and the specific topic of your book.

For example, if you’ve written a book about your life as a pro golfer, book-signing events on a driving range or in the clubhouse are a natural fit. If your subject is how to build an online business and live the laptop lifestyle, consider a beachside signing instead.

Here’s something else to consider: where is your audience? Ideally, you’ll want to host your book signing where it’s convenient and comfortable for them. Some popular options include:

  • Book stores
  • Libraries
  • Boutique markets
  • Industry conferences
  • Festivals

You may find that you have better luck booking events in off-the-wall locations. The reason is that big bookstores often have deals with publishers in which they get paid to host events. If you’re not willing to pay – and the cost can be steep – you likely won’t get large booksellers to host you. There are two ways around this:

  1. Opt for smaller venues. Approach independent book stores instead, since they’re less likely to have prior agreements with big publishing houses.
  2. Speak directly to the store manager and make it clear that you want to do an impromptu event, not a formal signing. You won’t get the advanced press you might otherwise get, but you’ll make up for it in walk-in traffic.

Either way, the bookstore must be able to order copies of your book, so be sure you’re working with a publisher that allows that option. Some vanity presses will tell you that book stores can purchase stock, but the truth is the ordering process is so cumbersome and the return policy so bad that bookstore owners and managers will not order from them. In that case, you can offer to bring your own stock if the bookstore will allow it. Self-publishing makes the most sense, where you order directly from the fulfillment house in the number of copies you wish to receive.

Peruse All Of My Books Here

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Podcast: Connie Ragen Green on Managing Your Time

Doing What It TakesManaging Your Time for Online Entrepreneurs

This most recent podcast is a discussion of managing your time as an online entrepreneur. Here are some of the points I explain in great detail:

So, how do you effectively manage your time as an entrepreneur?

  1. Maintain a dynamic to-do list on a mini legal pad next to your work space.
  2. Decide which items are best delegated to others, which you should take action on, and which can be eliminated altogether.
  3. Discover when your “prime time” hours are and schedule your work accordingly.
  4. Always ask yourself: ‘Is what I am doing right now moving me closer to my goals or further away?’
  5. Protect your time, as it is your most valuable resource.

Think about each of these points, listen to the podcast, and then comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas and concepts in regards to how managing your time will enable you to be a more efficient and effective entrepreneur.

Are you ready to be surprised? Recently, I have introduced a new feature during these podcast training calls. I will always have the latest course or program, either one of my own or one offered by someone I highly recommend, at my Surprise! link. Check it out today and see what I am recommending this week. If it’s not my own program, product, course, or live event then it’s always from someone I know, trust, and highly recommend as a great value to you as an online entrepreneur.

I also have a bestselling book on this topic. It’s entitled Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs: How to Manage Your Time to Increase Your Bottom Line and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it by way Managing Your Timeof a review on Amazon.

Are you already a part my list community and receiving my daily email updates and training? If not, please give me your first name and primary email address in the form on the right-hand side of this site. If you are brand 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 if you are so inclined.

If you would like to get started earning income online right away then I recommend affiliate marketing as the stream of income that will allow you to “earn while you learn” 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. This training regularly sells for $27. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been completely updated for 2016 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

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. Getting started with an online business will change your life forever and my reward is your massive success!

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Public Speaking for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Public Speaking for BusinessPublic Speaking for Business

I pride myself with being an observer of the human condition. By this I mean that I watch people regularly to see what works best and what does not work at all when they interact with others. Specifically, I observe what business owners and entrepreneurs say and do that wither helps or hinders their business efforts over time.

It came to my attention some years ago that the most successful business people seek out opportunities to speak publicly on any topic they are knowledgeable and experienced in. Being thought of as a public speaker raises you to another level in that others look up to speakers and tend to think of them as thought leaders, innovators, and those who are more intelligent than the average person. This can do wonders for your business if you are willing to refine your speaking and improve your delivery. Public speaking for business owners just makes sense.

My public speaking was awful when I began in 2006. It was the Santa Clarita Rotary Club that encouraged me to speak and helped me to overcome my fear. Within a year of speaking regularly in my city I was being asked to speak all over the country on various aspects of the topic entrepreneurship. Now I host my own live events twice a year and have spoken in several countries on three continents. But my business is predominantly on the internet. What I am suggesting here is that local business owners look for new opportunities to speak within the community and finally in a wider area for exposure and business growth.

Start with your own company. Provide yourself with situations that require you to create a short presentation on one of the topics you know well. Experiment with this to see if it goes over better with a PowerPoint or Keynote slide presentation, utilizing handouts, or just speaking from the heart. It will depend upon your topic, and remember there is no right or wrong way to speak to others. The key is to practice what you will say over and over and over again and to be open to constructive criticism and feedback so you can constantly evolve as a speaker.

Once you feel like your presentation is ready for a wider audience, contact local groups and organizations such as Rotary and ask to speak to the program chair. The best idea is to attend the meeting in person first and to have a one page information sheet about you and your topic to give to the person in charge of booking the upcoming speakers.

Keep your message clear and stay away from anything controversial, even if you know people in the room. It’s your job to present your information in a thought provoking way that leaves a lasting memory with people who hear you, so keep it positive and upbeat if at all possible.

Your topics do not have to be directly related to your business, but the idea is to make sure your audience knows who you are and what type of business you have within the first three minutes or so. One of the best presentations I have heard this year was from a woman who owns several physical therapy practices. Her topic was on the environmental impact of waste in the ocean on the sea creatures who live there. Within the first few minutes she explained who she was, what type of business she ran, and why she had become so interested in the sea. We were mesmerized by her slide presentation and the passion with which she shared her message. By the end of her talk the audience was ready to sign up for physical therapy sessions and anything else she had available.

By now you can see that public speaking for business owners and entrepreneurs alike is a great opportunity. Think about what you would like to speak about, overcome any fears you may have, and start speaking!

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The 3 Marketing Mistakes Most Online Entrepreneurs Make

Marketing MistakesMarketing mistakes can be costly. After working with online marketers for ten years now, I’ve seen them run into the same problem over and over again. Even though they have amazing things to offer their customers, they get stuck and stagnate.

I’d hate for that to happen to you, so let’s put a stop to that right now and talk about the 3 mistakes to avoid…

Mistake #1: Not Marketing Consistently

It never fails. Most new bloggers, affiliate marketers and product sellers get excited when they start out, so they tell everyone they can about their project. But then…

They don’t get the results they were hoping for and just give up.


They get some good results, but fail to keep it up.

The thing is, marketing is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. It just has to be Done for You Templatespart of your overall business plan. Each daily plan needs to include at least one marketing item, so you develop a habit and stay consistent with your growth.

Mistake #2: Being Wishy Washy

Oh yeah, I see you over there nodding your head. I get it…you’re a blogger or you’re a writer. You’re not a marketer and the last thing you want to act like is a used care salesman. I do NOT blame you.

But the thing is, marketing is not the same as a high-pressure sale. If you do it right, marketing blends in with your content creation process. It becomes a part of everything you do. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your work and recommending it to others and that’s exactly what a smart marketing plan does.

Mistake #3: Trying to Reinvent the Wheel

The world of online marketing can certainly be difficult to navigate, but what you need to succeed is right in front of you. See what is working with others and figure out how you can apply that to your own business.

Of course, sometimes that’s easier said than done. How do you know what’s really working and how can you apply the strategies without copying someone else?

Well, I’m sure you know that I’ve got your back and have the solution just right for you….

My friends Ron Douglas and Alice Seba have been at this for a long time. They know what works and what doesn’t, and they’re always willing to share freely.  They’re the perfect example of marketers who don’t sound like used car salesman, but certainly aren’t wishy-washy. They engage their audiences by educating them and making them feel like they need their solutions.

That’s one of the reasons they opened up DFY Templates and I’m inviting you to join me over there. Each month, they offer you their fill-in-the-blanks templates to help you get your marketing done quickly and effectively. You have full rights to edit the templates how you’d like. You can even use them with your clients or brand them and resell them.

The special charter member opportunity expires very soon, so go here now and get the lowest price possible. I want you to have instant access to your first marketing template package and let me know what you think.


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