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7 Ways to Get The Attention of a Big Shot

Okay, so you’re still growing your online business and there are people in your niche you’d like to reach out to. Maybe they have bigger lists, more blog readers, more exposure, more clout and so forth. And like any sane marketer, you’d love to hitch your wagon to their star, or at least make a friend in the business… So how can you do it?

7 Ways to Get The Attention of a Big Shot

One way NOT to do it goes like this:

Hi Joe Smith, you don’t know me but I love your (blog / product / website) and would really like it if you would (mention my blog / promote my product / email for me) etc.

Sincerely,
New guy

If that sounds even remotely like emails you’ve sent in the past, realize you are not alone – many new marketers make the mistake of starting a correspondence with what the other person can do for them.

And what does the recipient actually hear when they read these messages? Something like, “You’ve worked hard to build your business, now drop everything and let me – a total stranger – piggy back off your success for free.”

Ouch.

Is it any wonder why they seldom respond?

So how do you get better known people and influencers in your niche to pay attention to you? Here are 7 methods proven to work:

Mention and link often. Mention them in a blog post, point to a specific article they wrote and blog about it, share their stuff on social media and so forth. Then TELL them you mentioned them. “John, loved your article on ___, especially what you said about ___. Just wanted to let you know I included you in my latest blog post here ___ and sent your article link to my followers on Twitter, too.”

Make lists, round-ups and recaps. List the 20 most influential bloggers/chefs/snipers/___. Or make a list of the 10 people you most admire and why. Or do a weekly round-up of all the best of the best in your niche for the current week. The main point here again is to link out to the influencers in a very real, authentic way and then let them know about it.

Build on something they’ve done. Let’s say your guru of choice wrote a great post – now you’re going to write your own post that first declares how much you appreciate their post, and secondly builds upon what they said. If they wrote about 10 ways to increase conversions, you might point to their article as being a must read, and then add your own 10 ways for a total of 20. Or you might show how to take what they teach and ramp it up a notch or even throw it into high gear. The point is to acknowledge their work and use it as your own inspiration to create something even better. And remember to email them and let them know about your article – it’s possible they will blast it out through their social media accounts and possibly even to their list.

Repackage what they’ve done. Your favorite influencer wrote a great post on the 20 newest trends of the year? Turn their post into an infographic, video or slideshow presentation, then email them and let them know. If you do this well you are almost assured they will share this with their followers.

Quote them. They’re the expert, right? So when you’re writing a post, quote them as proof of what you’re saying or teaching. Be sure you link to them when you do. And as ever, let them know you quoted them.

Send them a thank you. For no reason, except that they rock. This could be a gift certificate, an actual card in the mail – maybe a book you picked out for them from Amazon. Attach a note that let’s them know this is a thank you for all that they’ve done for you. Used in conjunction with any of the above methods, you will become unforgettable.

Offer to do a service for them. For free. No strings whatsoever, it’s simply your way of thanking them for how their posts, articles, products, etc. have helped you. If you’re good at graphic design or caricatures, create one of them or their product. If you’re good at photos, offer to let them use yours for free. If you’re good at writing emails, offer to write one promoting a product of theirs that you love, and so forth.

Everyone was at one time a complete stranger to everyone else but their own mother. Yet they were able to make connections, and so can you. Don’t let someone’s stature in your niche stop you, just know that the best approaches come from an attitude of gratitude. Be an asset rather than someone looking to get a free step up, and always have the goal of building a long term friendship first, with business coming in a distant second.

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10.5 Ways to Make Your Blogging EASIER

One of the toughest things about blogging is the self-imposed pressure to always have a terrific, earth-shattering, life changing blog post that makes people catch fire reading it.

10.5 Ways to Make Your Blogging EASIER

You know what I mean. You’ve got that little voice whispering in your ear that if your posts don’t measure up to some impossibly high standard you’ve set, then all is lost and the world will know that you’re a fraud.

The good news is, it simply isn’t true. You don’t need every post to be a 2,000 word masterpiece or the final definitive word on your topic. Instead, all you need is content that gives your readers what they want. That’s it. Your readers want to know the latest news or the best methods? Then that’s what you give them. Forget trying to be a great writer and instead focus on being your readers’ ‘friend in the business’ and you’ll be an AMAZING blogger.

Here are 10.5 more tips to take some of the blogging pressure off of you and put the fun back into blogging:

Make yourself a posting schedule and then stick to it as regularly as you brush your teeth. Surprisingly, having a blogging schedule actually makes it easier for you to blog. It provides soft deadlines that keep you motivated to sit down and write. You won’t be able to put off your blogging if your readers expect a new post every Tuesday and Friday, and you know it.

Keep a running list of blogging ideas. Use a program like Evernote to keep track of your ideas and the resources you can draw from when writing your posts.

Forget being totally original. Seriously. Every idea is built upon or inspired by some one else’s idea. So give credit where credit is due, provide your own unique twist or take on the subject and relax – no one expects you to reinvent anything.

Re-purpose your content and other people’s content, too. Curate, list, pull bits and pieces from here and there – it’s all good. Just give credit to everyone you sourced from. And go back to your own content and see if you can’t update it, re-purpose it, mix it up or whatever. Odds are if you’ve been blogging for more than a year then you’ve got a small goldmine of content you can mine to create new content.

Be more of a reporter and less of an expert. Being the go-to expert in your niche is difficult, especially when you’re new to blogging. The pressure can become so unbearable that you cease to write, afraid you’ll pen something that will make you look foolish in your readers’ eyes.

But if you place your focus on reporting instead of being the absolute authority, magic will happen. You’ll feel freer to express your own opinions, you’ll find it’s far easier to write posts, and because you are referencing other authorities and experts in your niche, you become your own authority to your readers.

Mix up your content. Are you only writing blog posts? Then add videos. Are you only podcasting? Then write blog posts. If you limit yourself to one media, you’re also limiting the number of people who will engage in and benefit from your content.

Short is great. So is long. There was a time when it was suggested (actually, I saw this again quite recently) that no post should be under 2,000 words, and all posts should take days to write and be the absolute authority on whatever you’re writing about.

Hogwash. I briefly mentioned this in the beginning – write as much as you need to. If you can cover your topic in 200 words, DO IT. If it takes 2,000 words, then just make sure you’re holding your readers’ attention for the ENTIRE 2,000.

This reminds me of the “short sales letter vs long sales letter” debate. It’s a stupid, ridiculous debate, and here’s why: A blog post or a sales letter should be exactly as long as it needs to be and no longer. Period.

Stop leaving terrific blog comments on other people’s blogs. Seriously. You just read a post on a high traffic blog and you’ve got your own opinion or insight you want to share that you’re sure will help that blog’s readers.

Don’t do it. Instead, create your own post on your own blog and link back to the original blog. Then let the original blog know that you mentioned and linked to them in your post. This way your blog has more great content and who knows? You might get a backlink from the blog you referenced.

Use images. Every. Time. Maybe more than once, too. It’s irrefutable that images work at grabbing attention, so make sure that every post you make has at least one image. And be sure to place a caption under the image, because people are far more likely to read the image caption than anything else on the page (other than the headline, of course.)

Publish your articles on other sites. Sites like LinkedIn, The Huffington Post and many, many others allow content to be republished on their sites as long as it fits their guidelines. This is a terrific way to pick up new subscribers by posting a link back to your own profile or blog.

And what about Google’s duplicate content penalty? The duplicate content penalty doesn’t apply to syndication or curation. If it did, you’d never see a major news site appear in the top of the search results because they all subscribe to services that helps them get duplicate content, such as the Associated Press. And bloggers who frequently syndicate their content to other quality sites report that they receive no penalties what-so-ever.

10.5. Ask for the subscribe. Ask. And ask. But don’t be obnoxious. You wrote a post on getting traffic, and you’ve got a free report on even more ways to get traffic? Ask them to subscribe right there at the end of your post. “To get 27 more ways to get targeted, free traffic with the push of a button, simply tell me where to send the report and it’s yours.”

If you’ve been having trouble blogging on a regular basis, hopefully reading this has made you realize that blogging doesn’t need to be stressful. The rules are not as rigid and some would have you believe, and the most important thing of all is to simply give your readers what they want and lots of it, in whatever form it might take.

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Relax, It’s Not About You (It’s About Them)

I see new marketers all the time freeze up with fear. They’ll have a great idea for their business and start to act on it, all excited. Then something happens, something that plants the seed of doubt, and suddenly they’re asking, “Who am I to be doing this?”

Relax, It's Not About You (It's About Them)

Maybe they have something great to teach that would help others, or they have a different way of doing things that would solve people’s problems. Whatever their idea or their business, that seed of doubt takes root. They get scared. They become self-conscious. And they doubt themselves and their abilities.

This is when I tell them, “It’s not about you, it’s about your customers. It’s about the people you’re going to help.”

Imagine you’re about to go on stage to present information that will change the lives of your audience. But you’re nervous. You think you’re not a good presenter. You’re focused on how you’ll look and how you’ll sound and what the audience will think about you.

This is the wrong focus.

If you focus instead on helping those people, if you focus on THEM and not YOU, then you will find it easy to give your message.

I’ll give you an example: Just as you’re going on stage to make your presentation, someone whispers in your ear, “The building is on fire, we’ve got to evacuate these people NOW!”

Do you hesitate? Do you wonder what you’ll say at the microphone? Do you worry about how you’ll look and sound? NO! You rush onto the stage and immediately start directing people to find the nearest exit and go to it now. You tell them to stay calm, to move swiftly, to leave no one behind. If you see smoke coming from the back, you direct people to the front. You say and do whatever it takes to get those people out of there.

And lo and behold, not ONCE during that process did you think about YOURSELF.

Magic indeed.

If you have doubt – If you’re worried – If you’re scared – Then you’re thinking about yourself and you’re NOT thinking about your customer.

Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about them.

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There is a Power and Magic in Beginning

Whatever it is that you want to do – just begin. Don’t think about doing the whole thing, because you don’t have to do the whole thing… You only need to take the first step.

There is a Power and Magic in Beginning

Most people don’t start because they’re thinking about the whole thing. It’s too big. There’s too many obstacles. They don’t know how they’ll do it all.

The thought of the whole project is overwhelming and paralyzing. It’s easier to put it off…

“I’ll start it later when I have time. When I finish this and that. When the kids are gone. When I’m retired. When life isn’t so hectic.”

Life is always hectic. It’s busy. It’s a whirlwind. But we decide what we do with each moment. So just start. Just begin.

You want to exercise but you don’t have time? Just do 10 minutes a day, everyday. Just start. Don’t worry about running marathons, just do 10 minutes today. Then tomorrow, do 10 minutes more.

You want to write a book? No one can write an entire book. But anyone can start. Just write for 10 minutes, that’s all. Easy, right? Look at the clock. An hour has passed and you’re still writing.

Challenge is good. Little challenges. Lots of them. Just begin. Don’t climb Everest, climb the jungle gym. You can do that. Tomorrow climb the hill behind your house. Lots of little challenges add up.

Do you want to learn to play the piano? Just begin. Imagine if you had started when you were a kid and played 10 minutes everyday. By now you would impress almost anyone. Now imagine you start today – in 5 years, who knows? You might be entertaining your family and friends during the holidays, but not if you don’t begin.

You want to start a business. Ooooh, scary. So many things you’ll have to learn. Better to wait, right? No. Just begin. Just start.

Everything conspires to keep you from beginning. But there is power and magic in taking that first step, because it’s the first step that leads to the second, and the second to the third.

If you never begin, you will have only regret. By starting, you can create your own future.

All you need to do is begin.

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The Absolute KEY to Making Money Online? No, It’s Not Traffic…

You can have all the traffic in the world, but if it’s not converting, then you’re not making money. That’s why the crucial key to making money online is conversions.

The Absolute KEY to Making Money Online? No, It's Not Traffic...

How compelling is your presentation? How many prospects out of 100 actually BUY your product, both today and during your follow up sequence? Conversions are where you make your real money, both today and in the future. Affiliates won’t promote you if your offer isn’t converting. But if you have a high converting offer, affiliates will send you as much traffic as you can handle and sometimes more.

So how compelling is your sales letter? How branded are you? People buy from those they perceive have the answers. People buy from those they admire and from those they trust have the solutions to their desires.

There are many conversion techniques, but the big 3 to focus your efforts on are:

– Social proof factors like testimonials
– Claims backed by proof
– Scarcity

In fact if you were to focus all of your efforts on the first two – proof – then your offer would convert. Add in scarcity and you can’t miss.

I’m going to say something here that will seem almost sacrilegious to many marketers: Forget traffic. Traffic is simply a byproduct of conversions. If your offer is converting, you’ll have affiliates wanting to promote it. Just get 3 affiliates, and those affiliates will tell their affiliate friends how great your product is converting and so forth.

But if you can’t convert then you can’t get affiliates. And if your offer isn’t converting you’re also not going to spend time or money on traffic because it will be a waste. Think about this: When you convert and convert well, you can BUY all the traffic you want. You don’t even need affiliates. If you can spend $100 to make $110 then you’re in business. Increase your conversions and make $150 or $200 or more for every $100 you spend, and lounging on that beach can finally become a reality.

But you probably won’t want to get lazy on a beach because when you can convert, this business becomes addictive. You suddenly find you can make a LOT of money and you want to see that money continue to pour in.

Traffic is not money – CONVERSIONS are money. Yet I see marketers totally focused on getting traffic. They think if they can just get MORE traffic, they’ll make money. But if the traffic they’re already getting isn’t converting, how will more traffic help?

Sadly the vast, vast majority of people in this market don’t know a thing about conversions. They’re newbies and they ignore the one thing that is the most critical, most crucial, the paramount thing to make money in this business. It’s the one place you find the money – conversions.

Yet everyone stays away from studying and learning conversions. If they would just focus on how to get their offers to convert, they’d have tremendous results, more than they could even anticipate.

When you start focusing on conversions, the money will come.

So what should you study to convert better? What should you test? I’ve covered many conversion techniques in the past, but here’s a short list to get you started.

Study copywriting. I don’t know why, but copywriting tends to be something most marketers just gloss over, as though it’s the least important element. It’s not. If you have a great offer but do a lousy job of selling that offer to the prospect, you won’t convert. It’s that simple. Changes in your sales letter, or even entirely new sales letters or videos, can make all the difference. You’ve simply got to study what works and practice, practice, practice.

Social proof is huge. The prospect wants to know for a FACT that your product will do what you say it will do. They want to know that others have tried it and gotten the results you promise. They even want to know that your product is selling and selling well. Don’t just dump a few testimonials at the end of your sales presentation – weave them throughout. Make them the foundation upon which you build your sales letters and videos. And make them real, from real people who had real doubts until they actually experienced your product.

Another conversion element online marketers tend to ignore is branding – especially branding yourself. Make a name for yourself in your industry or niche. Become the go-to expert, the answer guy or gal people turn to for solutions. When you’ve built yourself a name, your name alone will make sales from your most loyal fans. They really will see you’ve got a new product, scroll down and hit the buy button. But it takes time and effort to build your brand and your reputation, and most marketers aren’t willing to do what it takes.

Decide what you and your brand stand for. You can’t be all things to all people, so choose who you want to be and then become that person, that expert. Build relationships with people in your niche, especially with potential JV partners who will mail your offers for you. Put a great deal of thought into how you present your products, what you put into your email sequences, what your graphics look like and so forth. This is a BUSINESS, not a magic button.

Branding and being a celebrity is actually the highest form of conversions because you build a reputation of knowing your niche. You’re talked about and people know you only put out real value and they buy based upon your name alone. You’re an expert, an authority figure. When Stephen King puts out a new book, do you think he needs to ‘sell’ it to his readers? No. They just buy it because HE wrote it, and they know they’re going to like it.

Give yourself a title. Who said, “I’m the greatest.”? Mohammed Ali, and everyone else took up the cry. Who said, “I’m the hardest working man in show business.”? James Brown, and that became his title.

Gary Halbert said, “I am the world’s greatest copywriter, and if you don’t believe me, you can go to my website. It says it there.” And the branding caught on and people called him the world’s greatest copywriter.

So don’t wait for someone else to give yourself a title, give it to yourself. Repeat it often enough and it will in fact stick, and after awhile few people will even know or remember that it was you who gave yourself the title.

Bottom Line: When you focus on something (like conversions) the answers just start to appear. When you study emails and sales letters, ask yourself what the technique is, what the person is doing that makes it successful. Read between the lines. Make ‘conversions’ your mantra and you cannot go wrong in this business.

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20 Pieces of the Best Advice I Ever Got in Internet Marketing – EVER

Finding advice on how to make money online is easy, it’s EVERYWHERE for a price. But it’s not all created equal. In fact, some of that IM advice can be downright harmful to your wallet and it can even erode your confidence that you can make this business successful.

20 Pieces of the Best Advice I Ever Got in Internet Marketing - EVER

That’s why I’ve assembled some of the best IM advice I’ve received over the years, so you can can hit the ground running and begin building a REAL business FAST.

Sell or market the CORE solution that people want in your market. This the one BIG reason why they’re in this market – the one thing they really, really want above anything else, also known as your BIG benefit. Don’t get sidetracked here – we’re talking about their main dream, their main desire, the ONE big thing that if they could have anything in your niche, that would be it.

In health, it’s often how to lose weight. Not how to count calories. Not the latest diet or exercise program. No one want’s a diet. No one wants to exercise (well, most people don’t.) But what they do want is to LOSE WEIGHT.

Don’t sell calorie counters and diets and exercise programs, sell them on how they’re going to FINALLY lose that weight. Don’t sell them on the latest iron pumping routine, sell them on how they’re going to have so many muscles the ladies will swoon. Don’t sell them on the latest herbal remedy, sell them on what that remedy gives them – more energy, no more ugly skin, younger looks, etc.

In Internet Marketing, it’s how to make money. They don’t want a traffic tool or a website builder or a new plug-in or even a new money generating program – they want the MONEY these things can bring. So if you’re selling a WordPress plug-in, then spin it in such a way that it shows your prospects how it will make them more money. Market to people’s core desire and you cannot go wrong.

Be a sales person. That’s right – SELL. Yes, it is a four letter word for some, but it’s one you should be proud of. Sales people are some of the highest paid people in the world, regardless of whether they do their selling online or offline. Never, ever be afraid or ashamed to sell.

Sell to the newbies. In almost any market you can think of, the real money is made on the newbies because…
a) there are so many more of them
b) there are new ones all the time
c) they’re eager to spend money to get the result they want
d) they’re far easier to please than a pro.

Someone who wants to make money online? They’re a newbie. Someone who wants to lose weight? Yes, they’re a newbie, too. Someone who wants to get lots of exciting dates? Again, they’re a newbie.

So what’s a newbie exactly? Someone who lacks the foundational, basic information they need to get the result they seek.

Watch to see what the newbies in your market are buying, and then learn it so you can sell it. Find the solutions they seek and sell those, using your own words. You might find a technique someone is selling quite well for $27. You buy the product, learn the technique, and then create your own product using your own words and sell that. You might even present it in an entirely different manner which allows you to charge far more, such as packaging it as a $497 coaching program. Do learn from others, don’t steal, and do sell what people are looking for.

It’s all about presentation. How do you convert a $27 solution into a $497 solution? Presentation and perception, it’s that simple. Do you really think one new car is worth $20,000 while another is somehow worth $200,000? Not really. It’s simply a matter of presentation and perception – packaging and presenting your product in a manner that fetches the higher price.

Know that you cannot create products fast enough to meet the demand of many marketplaces. People want the products and they want them NOW, and the products don’t have to be perfect, either. Knowing this should give you the confidence to get busy producing products instead of just thinking about it.

Build a reputation in your marketplace. Whatever it is that you sell, you want to build a reputation as being the expert, whether it’s dating, relationships, weight loss, making money, list building, etc. If you don’t have the reputation in the beginning, partner with people who do. Make products with them, do interviews with them, do joint promotions and so forth. In fact, you can create infinite businesses simply by always joining with an expert. They provide the knowledge, you provide the marketing skills, and together you make and sell products.

Your reputation is your presentation, so look and act successful. Have authority, presence and be the expert (or partner with the expert.)

Pick a big niche where people buy things over and over again. Pick a niche where you want to learn, then learn the stuff and sell it. Money loves speed, so just pick something and run with it.

Get more aggressive than you’re used to being. Have a “I don’t give a damn, get it done” attitude. Force things to happen. Stop worrying about what other people think. Don’t worry about your peers – your peers don’t buy from you, your customers do. Provide more value than the price is asking. Get aggressive selling your stuff, branding yourself and making money.

Decide to be an authoritative, celebrity type of person. “This is me, check me out, I don’t care what you think, I’m going to have fun.” This world needs more leaders. Most people just want to be lead, which makes an incredible opportunity to be a leader. And if you’re a leader, the world will get out of your way and do what you tell them to do. They will admire and follow you, and buy from you.

Be authoritative for one day and see what happens – people want leaders. Go ahead, try it today. You’ll gain more confidence in one day than you otherwise would in a year of working the business, and people will follow whereever you lead them.

Use your real name in the market you’re passionate about, use a pen name in other markets. Get a picture of yourself, or a cartoon picture and make it memorable. Use it in all of your marketing to help brand yourself in your main niche. Become a GURU and expert in your marketplace. Yes, it’s a good thing to be a guru because people will pay attention to you. It’s surprisingly easy to be an expert, just learn your topic.

#1 rule of public relations – toot your own horn. No one’s going to say you’re a great ___ (you fill in the blank) unless you say you’re a great ___. Selling weight loss info? Then you’re a great expert on losing weight. Selling make money info? Then you’re a great marketing or small biz or entrepreneurial expert, and so forth.

If you brand yourself to your list, you can have a small list and still make a fortune. Stop trying to please everyone, choose your exact audience and please only them. Be different. Don’t try to blend in, be an original. Stand out. Ask yourself how you are different from your competitors and why your list should open your emails before anyone else’s emails?

Create something very valuable to give away everywhere. Maybe it’s a free recording, audio shows, a book, videos or whatever. Your freebie needs to be stellar because it’s really your calling card. If they love your freebie, they’re going to want more. If they hate your freebie or simply aren’t excited by it, they’re going to unsubscribe in a heartbeat.

Give away something valuable every week like a recording or podcast to keep them coming back, hearing your voice and getting to know and respect you. Go ahead and plug something at the end, too. It keeps them attuned to the fact that you will indeed be selling to them, both through your podcasts and in your emails. If they love your 30 minutes of great content but complain about your 3 minute pitch at the end, unsubscribe them yourself – those aren’t customers, those are freebie seekers who want the moon delivered on a silver platter for nothing. Which brings me to my next point…

Fire people from your list when you need to. Someone complains that you offered to sell them a product? Remove them from your list. Someone complains you email too much? Remove them. Someone complains you don’t email enough? Now there’s a clue – send more emails. Someone demands you give them time and attention and advice and help forever and ever for free? Give them the boot.

These aren’t customers, these are people who will suck the life right out of you and your business. They typically only make up 1-2% of a list, but they will demand 110% of your time and give you nothing in return but non-stop aggravation that you do not need and cannot afford. Yes, it sounds harsh, but you can learn this lesson the easy way or the hard way.

Use this formula when writing copy: “I know your problem, here’s the solution, and I’ll prove it’s the best solution.”

Take the emotion out of business and focus on the math. People get so emotionally attached to their business, they forget the one thing that matters – math. Work on your business, not in your business.

Your ability to have courage and escape comfort zones will dictate how much you make. Your ability to have courage and escape comfort zones will dictate how much you make. Your ability to have courage and escape comfort zones will dictate how much you make. Yes, I wrote it 3 times for a reason – and I suggest you write it in 12 inch letters and post it in every room of your house – it’s that important.

There are no gimmicks in this list, no techniques that work this week but not next week. It’s all tried and true and flat out works. In fact, the information is this little list is probably worth more and has created more fortunes than the last dozen internet marketing products you’ve purchased combined – think about that. And go read the list again.

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12 Highly Effective Kindle Marketing Tips

Warning: Big, bold audacious claim coming up… If you’re selling Kindle books but not using these tips, you’re losing money. It’s that simple. Why? Because these tips work wonders to increase your sales and even build your mailing list.

12 Highly Effective Kindle Marketing Tips

Get your Kindle readers onto your mailing list. Inside your book, offer a bribe so tempting your readers will leave the book, go to your website and give you their email address in exchange for the bribe. You are now building a list of buyers with whom you have instant credibility because you are the author of a book they read.

Get your Kindle prospects onto your mailing list, too. When a prospect views your Kindle book on the Amazon website, they can read the first 10% of the book online without ever purchasing. If you offer your bribe within this first 10%, you’ll get plenty of people who never purchase your book to sign up to your list to get the bribe. And if you’re really more interested in building your list than you are in selling books, then your bribe can be the audio version of your book. Thus people can get your book’s content without ever buying it.

Use a combination of the above two tactics. A list of prospects is great, a list of paying customers is even better, and a list of each is best of all. In the beginning of your book, let them know you’re offering TWO amazing bribes – one you’ll divulge right then and there, and the other one will be revealed at the end of the book. Describe both in delectable detail. This way non-buyers still go on your list, but they have a great incentive to buy your book to get your second bribe.

Email your lists when your book is free. If you use the technique of offering your book for free for a few days when it’s new, then email your lists and let them know about it. You’ll build up goodwill and your download numbers will skyrocket, making your book much more likely to appear in search results for your topic.

Use your books to advertise your books. If you’re writing several books in a series on the same subject, then inside each of your books have a section where you tell them about your other books. Don’t get too wordy on this – say just enough to get them interested to go look at them on Amazon. Then every time you write a new book, update all of your other books to include it.

Bundle your books. Take two or more of your books and bundle them into one money-saving offer.

Beef up your author page. Put plenty of great content on your author page. The more people can read about you and especially about your topic, the more likely they are to see you as the expert that can help them. Or if you sell fiction books, consider adding a book excerpt to the author page, or reviews that do or don’t appear on your Amazon listings, etc. Little known fact: The longer you can keep your prospect on your author page, the more likely they are to buy your book. Also, add an author video. Again, people are typically more likely to buy your books after they watch your video.

Make your book really stand out. People really do judge your book by its cover. In fact it’s the very first thing a prospect sees when they land on your book’s sales page. So how does it look? Does it convey professionalism and trust? Or does it appear to be someone’s first attempt at graphic design? Is the title clear and easy to read? What about the subtitle? Do the graphics or artwork go well with your topic, or do they merely confuse the viewer? Take a look at the current bestsellers for ideas on how to make your title and cover stand out and look like a ‘real’ book – not something thrown together by a newbie.

Don’t settle for just Kindle – do paperback and audio, too. Kindle books are great, but let’s face it: “Real” books lend an air of credibility to your work. So use CreateSpace to make your book into a paperback, and ACX for audio books. Then price your paperback and audiobooks at $9.99 or better. This will make your Kindle price look like a steal by comparison.

Get your fee in book sales. If you perform some kind of service like writing, speaking, consulting, coaching and so forth, you can waive your fee in exchange for them buying a certain number of copies of your paperback or hardcover book. This works especially well if you’re in the business niche and work with companies, since they can hand your book out to their employees. And if you get several companies to make their large purchases on the same day or week, it can propel your book to the bestseller list, too.

Once you make ‘bestseller,’ be sure to tell prospects. Change your book cover to add your ‘Amazon #1 Bestseller’ status as well as adding this information in a prominent place in your book description.

Drive traffic from your Kindle books to your website. We’ve already talked about building your list, but you can do more than that. Because you can insert clickable links into your Kindle books, you can send traffic to any pages you like, including your blog, your squeeze page, your social media pages and even a sales page.

Bottom Line: Using these simple methods can greatly increase your Kindle sales, build your mailing list and help you grow your online marketing and publishing empire faster!

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How an Anti-Booze Campaign from the 20s Can Increase Your Sales and Income Today

Weird but true… In the early part of the 20th century there was a massive campaign in the U.S. to abolish alcohol. Weirder still, this campaign actually won the day, and Prohibition became the 18th amendment. This made the U.S. a dry country in 1920 until the amendment was rightfully abolished in 1933.

How an Anti-Booze Campaign from the 20s Can Increase Your Sales and Income Today

So how does a movement influence people to take away one of their own rights?

With smart marketing.

First, in their campaign rhetoric the Anti-Saloon League made the issue an either/or choice.

Either you’re for children or you’re for alcohol.

Either you’re for our brave boys fighting the war, or you’re for alcohol.

As one advertisement featuring a picture of Whistler’s Mother read: “Which Gets Your Vote: Mother or The Saloon? Vote Dry.”

That’s right – either you’re for mothers or you’re for alcohol.

No middle ground. You don’t want to abolish alcohol? Then you hate your children, your boys overseas and your own mother.

A campaign like that wouldn’t fly today, would it?

😉

Today you either use the advertiser’s product or you’re not sexy, not worthy, not relevant, not important, etc.

If you don’t believe me, watch a few TV commercials and see for yourself.

Of course, you’ll want to be much more subtle when using this tactic in your own campaigns, but the tactic itself works as well as ever.

Second thing they did in their campaign was to eradicate the competition.

You’re a member of a state congress and you don’t want to abolish alcohol? Then we’ll run a smear campaign on you and get someone else elected who will vote our way.

No competition means easy victory.

Translate that to today’s marketing, and we don’t mean you should photoshop pictures of your competition doing evil deeds and post them on the front page.

Instead, you eliminate all competition by inventing your own class.

For example, instead of being one of a 100,000 weight loss coaches, you become the only sexy shape expert.

Third, they enlisted their competition in their crusade, working side-by-side with politicians who drank booze as long as those same politicians would vote against drinking.

In the world of online marketing, this translates into working with your nearest competitors as long as it increases sales.

This might be in the form of joint ventures, interviews, affiliate sales and so forth. No marketer is an island, and even those who appear to be in direct competition to your interests can often help you in your quest.

Fourth, they didn’t try to convince the masses, because they didn’t need to. All they had to do was switch just enough voters to their side to gain their 51% and win the day.

In online marketing, you don’t need to win every customer, nor should you try. Some customers will buy from you no matter what, and you should reward them but you don’t need to convince them. Some will never buy from you, and there’s no need to waste any time on those folks.

It’s the ones in the middle that you want to focus your efforts on to get them converted over to customers.

Fifth, they employed a new device that showed, not told, of the ‘horrors’ of alcohol. For a nickel viewers could see something new in the world – a motion picture version of the play, “Ten Nights in a Bar Room.” In this movie a drunken husband squanders his pay on drink, his daughter is injured while trying to bring him home, the man dies of drinking and the wife despairs of her lost family.

What a great piece of propaganda for the anti-booze movement, which helped to reinforce the belief that even one drop of alcohol could destroy not just individuals, but entire families.

Pretty crazy, right? But again there’s a lesson to be learned here: Show, don’t tell. In just a few minutes of showing how ‘evil’ alcohol was, the movement gained tremendous ground in convincing and converting voters to their side.

YouTube, anyone? 🙂

Bottom Line: The techniques that influence people don’t change, they just get more sophisticated with time. What influenced people a hundred years ago can still be translated into today’s terms to increase your own conversions.

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Video Marketers: 15 Tips for Going VIRAL

Since you’re making videos anyway, why not shoot for the zenith of online video marketing and go for viral? While you can never totally predict what will go viral and what won’t, there are some tricks to make it much more likely your video is the one your viewers will forward to others. Here’s 15 proven tips to make your next video go viral:

Video Marketers: 15 Tips for Going VIRAL

Don’t use a sad ending, even if it’s true. This reminds me of a time a video was shot of a firefighter resuscitating an unconscious kitten that had been trapped in a smoky home. Viral magic, right? Absolutely. This video went viral for every outlet that left out a key piece of information – despite being resuscitated, the kitten later died of smoke inhalation. Neetzan Zimmerman, editor at Gawker, was told by his editor to include the epilogue. Result – “That video did tremendously well for practically everyone who posted it, except Gawker.”

In fact, don’t evoke any sadness if sadness is the only emotion. Videos that inspire sadness are far less likely to get shared than videos that evoke almost any other emotion. However, a video can be sad and still be uplifting: For example, a heroic person who fought a disease, lost, but left a great legacy. It’s sad that they died, but it’s uplifting that they tried so hard and left a positive mark on the world.

Do use other emotions in your video. The emotions most likely to elicit that coveted share? Surprise, anticipation, joy, anger, awe, anxiety, happiness and humor. The stronger the emotion evoked, the better. Just think of what you like to share with others – odds are it’s videos that surprise and delight, or videos that inspire anger against a common enemy. What we don’t share are videos that might make others sad, unhappy or depressed.

Make the sharer look smart. Surprisingly, data compiled by Chartbeat – a company that measures online traffic – demonstrates that people forward things they haven’t even read or watched. This is ego-driven sharing; trying to look smart by sharing smart material. So for example, if your video teaches some cutting edge techniques, it’s likely to be shared by many who simply want to look smart to their friends. Of course, whether or not anyone will actually watch it could be another matter.

Make it practical. Useful content is highly viral because people love to share “news you can use” for two reasons: It helps others AND it makes them look good.

Tell a story. Even when you think stories aren’t applicable to your topic, they probably are. Stories are universal in that they can teach anything and people are hard wired to listen to them. Tell the story well enough, and it will be passed along.

Be outrageous. Do you remember WePay’s stunt of leaving a 600 pound block of ice at the front entrance to a PayPal conference? PayPal had been freezing people out of their own accounts, and so WePay froze the words, “PayPal Freezes Your Accounts” along with cash inside the giant ice block. Great stunt that got a lot of press, but WePay really blew it – they didn’t film the delivery of the ice block or people’s reaction to it. If they had, there’s no doubt their video would have gone viral.

Be controversial. Is everyone in your field saying one thing? Then perhaps you might want to say the opposite, especially if you believe it’s true. For example, in Internet Marketing everyone says “the money is in the list,” yet an excellent case can be made for other forms of IM that don’t involve list building. The key here is to debate issues that don’t hurt feelings. For example, a ‘chunky vs smooth peanut butter’ debate, or a ‘cats vs dogs’ debate won’t ruffle anyone’s feathers, yet they can inspires a lot of interest and interaction.

Be surprising. We alluded to this earlier – surprises get passed along and talked about more than almost anything else. Remember that video of a serene, tranquil scene that suddenly turned into a screaming demon? That wasn’t just surprising, it was shocking. You don’t have to go that far – hiding ‘easter eggs’ in your videos can make them viral. For example, a hidden URL that takes the viewer to something special, or what appears to be a naked person walking past in the background, or anything that is unexpected and fun.

Another kind of surprise is the “Cracker Jack Box surprise,” a toy hidden inside every box. It’s no surprise there’s a toy in there – they tell you that on every box. What is surprising is what the toy is. If you make a lot of videos, you might plant a ‘surprise’ in every one – it could be a bit of eye candy or a link to download something useful.

Make it an “experience.” This one takes some planning, but the potential upside is nothing short of huge. Remember the Blair Witch project? The movie promos made the movie ‘real’ to the viewers, and the viewers then become a part of the movie, getting pulled in as though it were a real life event. In fact, some people actually thought it was.

Make it interactive. Remember the Subservient Chicken from Burger King? Millions of people made that chicken dance. Or how about Office Max’s viral phenomenon, Elf Yourself? Upload photos of you and your family, and suddenly you’re in your own dancing elf holiday video.

Be funny. Or cute. Or both. If you can work footage of your kitten doing something hilarious into your video, go for it. People never get enough funny or enough cute. Then there’s just plain silly – like the Old Spice commercials. Short, fun and full of surprises, these go viral every time.

Capture the attention of a taste maker. Remember the video of Yosemite Bear Mountain saying “oh my god, oh my god” about the double rainbow? That video was online for 6 months before it took off and eventually got tens of millions of views. So what happened that finally started the flood of traffic? Jimmy Kimmel tweeted about the video, and after that it was a viral phenomena.

How do you get a taste maker to share your video? First, go after small taste makers within your own niche. Second, actually make the video with them in mind. What do they love? What do they share? Incorporate that element into your video and your odds go up dramatically that they’ll share it. Third, ask them to share it. It never hurts to ask.

Add a trigger. In the video “Friday,” the trigger is of course “Friday,” and while the video was popular it was shared and watched far more on Fridays than any other day. Remember Alice Cooper’s song, School’s Out? That song was released decades ago, yet it’s still played every late May and early June on thousands of radio stations.

Capture the attention of a particular community. This can be as simple as opening your video with something like, “This video is for avid gardeners only.” Or, “This video is for avid Red Sox fans only.” Then at the end of the video, ask them to share the video with fellow avid gardeners or die hard Red Sox fans. If you’ve incorporated other viral elements, this simple step can give your video the added push it needs to begin its viral journey.

Next time someone forwards you a video, ask yourself why they did that. What was it about that video that made them want to share it? You can learn a lot simply by watching viral videos and asking yourself, “how can I apply this to my videos?”

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How to Get More of Your Emails Opened

These days everyone’s inbox is flooded with emails and it’s harder and harder to get noticed, much less get opened. I’ve been doing my own testing of what works and what doesn’t, and thought you might like to see the results.

How to Get More of Your Emails Opened

Optimize your “sender” or “from” field. Using a business name does not seem to work as well as using a personal name, probably because people want to read messages from people, not from businesses. However, combining the business name with the personal name seems to work well, especially if the business name is either well recognized or implies a benefit. For example, ‘Joe Smith, ProBlogger’ would likely work well, as would ‘Jane Smith, Traffic Tips.’

Further optimize your “sender” field. I’ve experimented with using symbols before and after my name in the ‘from’ field to make my emails stand out, and it does seem to make a small difference. For example, ~Joe Smith~ tends to be opened more often than Joe Smith.

Use a great subject line. Entire products have been written on this topic alone, but here are some tips:

Use a number: “3 Ways to Get Bigger Muscles in 7 Days”

Use curiosity: “The Fried Banana method to Younger Skin”

Write as if you’re addressing a friend: “Hey” “What do you think?”, “Okay?”, “I told you he’s crackers”, “Last Sunday”, “See You Tues” “Got it?”, etc.

State a big benefit: “Look 10 Years Younger and Feel 20 Years Smarter”

Personalize the subject line. Everything else being the same, personalizing the subject line can increase your click through rate. Just don’t over do it.

Avoid spam words. You know the ones: Cash, payment, money, credit, quote, etc. These words will land you in the spam folder, and you’re not likely to get many opens there.

Optimize the preview text. Remember, the sender can often see the first line or two of text, so make it interesting, relevant, and preferably curiosity provoking.

Make it a habit to be entertaining. The more entertaining and interesting your emails are, the more likely your recipients will continue to open them.

Send twice. 8-12 hours after you send an email, send the email again to those who didn’t open your first email.

Last tip: Email often. Once a day is great. If you only send an email once in awhile, recipients will forget who you are. By being in the inbox daily, I’ve found they are more likely to recognize you and open your emails.

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What Self-Made Multimillionaires Know that You Don’t (and How to Become One)

If you want true financial security, it’s not enough anymore to be a millionaire – you’ve got to be a multimillionaire. So how do you join the ranks of the 1%?

What Self-Made Multimillionaires Know that You Don't (and How to Become One)

Make a firm decision to be a multimillionaire. Your first step is making that firm decision and then reaffirming that decision several times a day. See yourself rich, feel yourself rich, be rich in your heart and mind. This is where is starts and this is the first step to realizing your dream.

You must lose the poverty thinking. No matter what you were taught about money being evil or scarce, you’ve got to let go of those beliefs once and for all. Abundance is all around you when you open yourself to it. Like attracts like, so if you’re thinking poverty, you’ll just get more poverty.

Continuously think of your multimillionaire status as real. Since you can’t hold two opposing thoughts at the same time, if you’re thinking about how little money you have then you’re not thinking about getting rich. You’ve got to feel abundance throughout your entire body, and meditation combined with visualization is a great way to achieve this state.

Stepping stones are okay. In fact, they’re great. One of the biggest obstacles new marketers face is that $10,000 a month wall. They think they should be making this amount of money from day one, but the fact is you have to start somewhere. If that means getting your first $10 day and working up, so be it. Most self-made millionaires began with one small step on their journey and then simply never stopped growing and moving ahead.

It’s not just money, it’s also something else. This might be making a difference, proving yourself, living up to your potential, making the world a better place or leaving a legacy. If your sole focus is the money, you’ll find that all the money in the world won’t make you happy. But if you have other goals beyond the money, being rich can make you happy indeed.

Get yourself some millionaires. They say you are the average of the people you hang out with, and that includes your income. So find wealthy people, whether you know them personally or read their blogs and books.

Buy time. Rich people buy time while poor people sell time. Nothing is more valuable than time, and this includes money. So anything you can outsouce to someone else, whether it’s work related or home related, should he outsourced the moment you can afford it.

Forget spending – invest instead. You know that new car you want to buy? What would happen if you took that $30,000 and instead of buying a car, you invested it for 20 years at 7% interest compounded monthly? You’d have $121,162. If you bought the car, in 20 years you would have nothing of that money.

Millionaires-in-the-making invest when they can, whether it’s in their business, their education or in their portfolio. Instead of buying a house, they purchase an apartment building that produces cash flow and tax write-offs. Instead of buying a car outright, they buy cars for their company and then deduct them because they’re used during work, and so forth.

Create multiple sources of income. The more revenue streams you have, the more money you can potentially make and the more secure you are should one of your streams dry up. This is why marketers go into more than one niche, create more than one product and look to earn money in multiple ways. Remember when Google made junk Adsense sites obsolete? Those with many different streams of income were the least affected, while those who depended solely on Adsense were devastated.

Take advantage of trends. Right now one of the hot trends is finding inexpensive products and selling them at huge mark-ups on Amazon. Eventually the competition will be severe and something else will be hot. That’s okay. If you stay flexible and keep a close eye on the marketplace, you’re ready to take advantage of trends as they happen while also building a solid, reliable business you can count on.

One last note: Self-made multimillionaires are confused by people who aren’t rich. They don’t understand why you can’t do the very same things they do – and they’re right – you can.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to creating great wealth is the mindset. If you believe that money is limited, or evil, or that rich people are bad, then you’ll never get rich yourself.

But if you can focus on abundance, if you can create a clear picture of where you’re going, and if you can feel satisfied with what you have right here and right now, then you can achieve wealth.

Lack leads to lack. Worrying and stressing about your lack is only going to produce more lack. By all means get fired up and excited about what’s coming, but while you’re making it happen, let abundance flood your very being.

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10 Sneaky Persuasion Marketing Tactics

People are nothing if not predictable. Let me give you an example: If you say to someone, “You’ve got a great job.” They will invariably tell you why it’s NOT great. But if you say to them, “You’ve got a lousy job.” They’ll tell you why it’s actually a very good job.

10 Sneaky Persuasion Marketing Tactics

Knowing the triggers you can use to activate certain behaviors in prospects can help tremendously to increase your conversions and your bottom line.

That’s why I’ve compiled 10 slightly sneaky methods to get your audience to do your bidding – or stated another way, here are 10 methods to get the public to buy your product and share your message with the world.

People crave entertainment like they crave air, and they always need more of it. A good analogy is caffeine – in the beginning, the smallest amount of caffeine can give you a nice little buzz. But the more caffeine you use, the more you need to achieve that same buzz level.

Entertainment is no different. The movies of the 40’s weren’t fast paced enough for people of the 60’s. The music of the seventies can’t compete with the music of the 80’s. The comedy of the 90’s seems tame compared to the comedy of now. Why is that? Because entertainment is constantly having to turn up the intensity to get the same reactions from the audience. People want more and more exciting stuff, and if you can build excitement and entertainment right into your product, you’ve got a hit.

Speaking of entertainment, people LOVE controversy. Build a controversial website, blog, forum, product line, podcast, YouTube channel, etc. and watch people flock to it. You’ll get free publicity everywhere as people either promote you or flog you in social media, forums and other blogs across the net.

And as a marketer, you could capitalize on both sides at the same time if you wanted to be sneaky about it. For example, you might build two websites – one on each far, far end of the political spectrum – and let them slug it out online. Anything that has what is perceived to be a polar opposite could work, such as God-fearing vs Atheist, protecting wildlife from loggers and miners, etc.

Or build controversy into your product from the start. “How To Use Tax Loopholes So You Don’t Pay Your Fair Share Of Taxes.” Is it legal? Yes. Is it fair? No. Or how about toy guns for children? Some parents love them, many hate them, and all will have something to say about it which drives more traffic to you.

This one’s really sneaky – carry on a conversation between two people about how great a product is. This could be in a forum, posts on a blog, or even if it were to “come up” during an interview about something else. The point of course is to not appear as though it’s a promotion. Yeah, I know; pretty sneaky.

People like to follow, as in “follow the leader.” What happens when one cow walks away from the herd? If the other cows suspect this cow knows something they don’t, they’ll follow. It doesn’t matter WHAT this cow might know, only that they have information that might be of use. Is the grass greener over there? Is there a secret stash of alfalfa or a salt lick over there? Let’s follow her and see!

It might seem callous to compare people to cows, but the herd mentality applies to many species including people. If someone is seen as a leader and that leader uses ABC product, then it’s going to be easy to get the followers to use ABC product as well.

As a marketer, you can use this in one of two ways – either become a leader yourself, or get your product into the hands of leaders and make sure people find out about it.

Speaking of following, people follow the confident person. They’re attracted to confidence like bees to honey. If you don’t have confidence, get it. Depending on your niche, arrogance might work as well.

Take it away. Whatever your product is, find a way to take it away from the potential buyer. Maybe they have to qualify and not everyone can. Or there’s a limited number. Or the offer is ending soon. Or maybe they’re just plain NOT supposed to have it, so you tell them NOT to buy the book but you drop hints of just how powerful it is.

People do not like to be left out. This works well in the Internet Marketing niche and it works even better in any non-marketing savvy niche.

People work harder to get something for nothing. Weird but true. What else explains someone who masters a gambling system or studies race horses just to bet? If your product promises huge returns for small effort, it will sell. Unfortunately, most products like this can’t deliver. But you can use the something-for-nothing technique in a way that is totally ethical – referrals. That is, get people to promote you through social media in exchange for something free.

Another way to ethically use something-for-nothing is to make it appear as though the very act of purchasing your product is a giant leap towards attaining their goal. You’re being honest that there is work involved, but you make the first step seem so enticing they feel they’ve practically achieved their dream simply by buying the product.

People get seduced by stories. BIG TIME. Think of the man sitting cross-legged, playing a flute while a cobra sways hypnotically to the music. This can be you hypnotizing your audience through story telling, both written and verbal.

Entire courses have been written about using storytelling in marketing. A good story creates thoughts and images in your prospect’s head that seem to originate from the prospect, not from you. And a really great story causes the audience to feel emotions and desires that come from these thoughts and images. Bottom line, get good at storytelling and then use your skill to weave mesmerizing stories throughout your marketing.

People buy dreams, not just once, but over and over again. Why is it a camper will buy every camping gadget out there? Why will a golfer purchase every golfing book written in the past 20 years? Why do Internet marketers buy online marketing products sometimes at the rate of 3 and 4 a day?

This is why a list of actual buyers is so hot – if these people bought once, they will very likely buy again and again. You can continue to create products and promote products to this list and as long as their dream remains alive, they will continue to buy. Perhaps it’s the act of purchasing that makes them feel they are one step closer to realizing their dream. Thus 5 purchases puts them 5 steps closer, and 10 purchases put them…

You can get sneaky with this one as well. Create several somewhat similar products and then let them compete with each other. It can be surprising how many customers purchase two or more.

People actually WANT to believe. So make it real. Make it believable. Help them along. Show some negative with the positive. Did you know that testimonials are far more effective if they mention something NEGATIVE? For example: “I wasn’t crazy about the title of this course and thought it was going to be just a rehash, but it turns out it was exactly what I needed. Using this information I’ve been able to ___ and ___ and achieve ___.” Make it believable.

And remember, please use these methods only for good and never for evil.

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A Never-ending Supply of New Ideas

Something I come back to time and again is the importance of generating ideas, having ideas and then putting the best of those ideas to work. Every business you see and every invention you marvel at was at first someone’s idea. Every great blog post, piece of new content, information product, etc., all started as a tiny little seed inside someone’s brain…

A Never-ending Supply of New Ideas

Without the idea, nothing else flows. With the idea, anything is possible.

So how do you get great ideas? By training your brain to find them for you. Every day write down 10 new ideas. If you can’t think of 10, then write 20.

“But if I can’t come up with 10, how am I going to think of 20?”

By relaxing and having fun.

The reason 10 ideas a day is hard is because you think every idea has to be good. No. Even most of the ideas you first think are good won’t actually be… That’s okay. Just train your brain that you want 10 (or 20) new ideas every single day, and your brain will deliver. It’ll be slow at first, but it’s like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Write down your ideas. ALWAYS write down your ideas. Even the hair-brained ones. This teaches your mind to keep finding new ones.

How Do I Know It’s a Good Idea?

Short answer – you don’t. It might sound, look, feel, taste and smell like a good idea, but until you test it out, you just don’t know.

So if you think it might be a winner, take fast action and see what happens. If it fails, you haven’t wasted much time or many resources.

New Projects are Like a Road Trip

You know that ancient saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Imagine this:

You’re starting out on a road trip. Maybe it’s your first road trip, so you’re going to make it easy – 150 miles – or kilometers – it doesn’t matter.

You’re in your car pulling onto the road, headed in the right direction.

Now quick: Tell me every curve of the road ahead, every car or truck you’re going to meet, every stop you’re going to make along the way.

What? You don’t know? You can’t see 50 miles ahead? 100 miles ahead?

Of course not.

Then why is it that when most people start a new project, they think they have to know every step they’ll take before they ever start?

You don’t. You only have to know two things: Your destination, and the first step in the right direction. That’s all you need to get started. And just as the road keeps appearing as you continue to move forward, the next step will become obvious as you complete the present step.

So start exercising your idea generating muscle, implement new ideas quickly and leverage the ones that gain traction to create your next business and life success. Then wash, rinse and repeat…

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To Succeed Online, Reverse Your Strategy

Here’s how a typical Internet business works – you pick a niche, create a product and then find the audience to sell that product to. If it doesn’t sell, you do it all over again. If it does sell, you make more products to sell to those same people. Sounds logical, right?…

To Succeed Online, Reverse Your Strategy

Maybe not. Suppose – just suppose – you decide to sell NOTHING for the first two to three months of your business. Not a gosh darn thing.

Instead, what you do is focus on building and nurturing your audience. Once they know you and are confident you know what you’re talking about, then and only then do you sell them something.

“But I need to make money NOW!”

Okay, what if you had started the entire process 3 months ago? They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is today. So bear with me for a moment while we plant a tree in your mind right now…

Let’s say you’ve taken up a new hobby. Maybe it’s golf. You’re cruising the Internet when you find this offer for a free golf book for newbies, “10 Ways to Take 10 Points Off Your Game Today.” You enter your email address and get the book.

And next thing you know, this author is sending you golfing offers on a daily basis. “BUY THIS!” “BUY THAT!” And on and on. What do you do? Maybe you buy something, maybe you don’t. But do you lose faith and trust in the person? Yes. This is just some guy who used a bait and switch on you. “Get my free book!” turns out to really mean “Let me sell you a whole lot of stuff so I can make money!”

This is how Internet marketing typically works, and the days of it being a magic bullet are long gone. Sure, the money is in the list, but if you are continually going for the sales before you even establish the relationship, you’re doing it backwards.

I say it’s time to adjust.

Second scenario: You sign up to get the free ebook, and here’s an email introducing the author. The next day, s/he sends you a great golfing tip. And the next day, and the next. Maybe the author throws in some personal golfing stories, a few golfing jokes, some golf news, etc.

Now this author feels more like your email golfing buddy and golf expert than a sales person. In fact, in 2 whole months s/he hasn’t tried to sell you a single thing. But maybe they have sent you a few videos with cool tips, so you can get to ‘know’ and like them even better. In fact, you trust this person and feel they have your best interests at heart.

They’ve built a REAL relationship with you.

Now then, what do you think is going to happen when this author starts sending you the occasional offer? Odds are you’re going to take a very serious look at buying it, because your new golfing friend/expert is recommending it. And if they’re recommending it, you know it must be really GOOD!

And as long as this author continues to send you only the best advice and best offers, you’re likely to continue buying, too.

So is it worth it to invest 2-3 months to build relationships that create super high conversions and subscribers that are loyal to you for a long, long time? Is it worth it to build such a tight bond, they never unsubscribe? Do you want to be their go-to person, the one they know and trust for advice, tips and recommendations? Or do you want to be just another sales person pitching the latest product until your subscribers flee your list?

“But 2-3 months before I make a sale??!”

Yes. I know. It takes a real commitment and investment of your time.

But let’s trying putting it into perspective: Let’s say you want to open a business in your town. You scout a location, make the deal to rent the building, get your business licenses, get the equipment you need, order the inventory, hire staff, get insurance, etc. How long would it take? And how much would it cost? And how much would you clear after all of your expenses?

What I’m talking about here is a viable way to build a six figure business in less than 12 months, with almost no out of pocket expense. To begin with, all you need is a good autoresponder. You don’t even have to put up your blog right away, because in the beginning you can do everything via email.

This is a business model you can start today. It helps if you have expertise in your subject – if not, you’ll want to start reading and learning immediately. Your topic should be one you’ve got a measure of passion for, because you’ll be writing and talking about it a great deal. You’ll need 10 or more hours a week to devote to this.

And you’ve got to be ready to sacrifice a small amount of short term income for an abundance of long term income. Long term beginning in about 2-3 months, and the potential to grow fairly large around the 6-8 month mark.

This is all about your audience. It’s all about what they want. And here’s the kicker – you know how experts tell you to research what people want before you create a product? In this case, you’re going to be so in touch with your audience, you will know exactly what they want before you ever offer it.

You’ll have people standing in line to buy your products before you even produce them. Think about that – you’ll know IN ADVANCE that your products will sell and sell well, because your audience trusts you enough to tell you what they want. Maybe it’s not in so many words, like, “Could you sell me a product about this or that,” but rather, “How do I _____?” When you keep getting the same questions, you know there is a market for a product that solves that need.

To sum up – old school method: Spend weeks creating a product nobody buys. Then do it again. Or build a list and then fry it to death.

New school method: Spend 2-3 months building an audience that LOVES you and trusts you, then create products and make recommendations based upon what they want.

Times have changed. If we, as marketers, don’t change with the times, our customers are going to leave us behind.

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Make Money from Home with Amazon FBA

In the past if you wanted to sell tangible items, you went to eBay. You listed each item one-by-one, answered questions, printed out labels, packaged items and shipped them. It was a lot of work! But with Fulfillment by Amazon you can get the same results with about 10% of the effort. Here’s how it works…

Make Money from Home with Amazon FBA

You ship your items to Amazon, and then Amazon lists the products, does customer service, handles the payments, ships the products and then pays you.

Your main job is to find great products that have a high profit margin and send those to Amazon. When you sign up to be a FBA seller, you’ll see where you tell Amazon what you’re sending them and how much you want them to charge. You fill out this form each time you make a shipment. Then you let them take care of the rest.

You’re using Amazon’s traffic, their website, their sales process, their sales pages and their shipping. All you need to focus on is finding and shipping the right products.

Remember, Amazon is in the business of selling and shipping items. They’re not in the business of finding small quantities of items to sell. That’s why they need you.

So what kinds of products can you sell? Basically, anything that’s already selling well on Amazon is a possible candidate. Ideally you want to look for products that meet these criteria:

– You can purchase them for one third or less the sales price on Amazon.

– The products don’t weigh a ton – remember, you’re paying for the shipping from you to Amazon.

– Products that are selling well – in the top 100,000 is good.

So where do you find these products? Initially, you can check the discount and dollar stores near you. Take your smart phone and scan the items to bring up their Amazon listing so you can see how much they sell for and how well they’re selling.

Discount stores are places that take excess inventory from other stores and manufacturers and liquidate it to the public. At first it might take you awhile to figure out which products are viable, but guaranteed, they’re out there.

Items you might focus on initially:

– “As seen on TV” items
– lighters and fire starters
– kitchen items and cooking tools
– popular toys
– phone cases
– wallets
– water bottles
– novelties

Also, anything with a recognized brand. For example, a generic hat might not be in demand. But a Walt Disney or a Boston Red Sox hat probably is.

Each time an item sells, Amazon will send you an email letting you know. You don’t have to do anything; they’ll do the shipping and you’ll get paid. If you find an item of yours selling really well, go buy some more and send them in.

The downside? For one thing, there’s a lag time between buying and shipping a product and getting paid. And of course this lag time will depend a good deal on how fast or slow your products sell. That’s why you might want to start small and use your profits to build the business.

One more reason to start small: You eliminate the possibility of making a large mistake. New sellers on FBA sometimes purchase what seems like a bargain – such as 1,000 units of a product at $2 each – only to discover it doesn’t sell well. By keeping your inventory low at first, you can get a real feel for what works and what to avoid.

Sometimes someone will undercut you on price. For example, you have an item selling like hotcakes for $19.99, and they send a box full to Amazon and tell Amazon to sell them for $7.99. Their items will then be sold first, but when their inventory runs out the price will go back up and your items will begin selling again.

Advanced model: There are tons of items that cost almost nothing to manufacture that are then sold for $10 or more. For example, as-seen-on-TV hair gizmos or kitchen gizmos can often be manufactured for a few cents, yet they sell for $8 to $20 or more. A water bottle that costs $1 to make can be sold for $11.95. A flashlight might cost 50 cents and sell for $10, and so forth.

When you find one of these hot sellers, you can actually contact a manufacturer and have them start making them for you and shipping them directly to Amazon.

While there are marketers selling courses on how to use Amazon FBA, you can also research everything you need to know.

Here’s a link to some of the benefits of Amazon FB:

https://services.amazon.com/fulfillment-by-amazon/benefits.htm

Here’s a link where you can get started selling on Amazon:

https://services.amazon.com

Here’s where you can find seller forums on Amazon:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/

Once you get the hang of it (which shouldn’t take long) you can earn yourself a nice little side income. And you can even get the whole family involved, finding products to sell on Amazon.

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Why Introverts Make the Best Marketers

First of all, let me clarify that introverts aren’t necessarily shy. They are, however, quieter than extroverts. Introverts talk plenty when they have something important to say, but they tend to stay quiet when the topic is small talk. Why? Because small talk isn’t important to them. Now, let’s say you have 2 salespeople – an extrovert and an introvert.

Why Introverts Make the Best Marketers

The extrovert is likely to talk – and talk – and talk – which is exactly what you expect from a sales person. And in the midst of all this talking, the extrovert will make sales.

But the introvert will do something the extrovert commonly fails to do – the introvert will ask questions and LISTEN to the answers.

I don’t mean they wait for the prospect to stop talking so they can begin extolling all the many benefits of the product. I mean they LISTEN. They want to know what’s keeping the prospect awake at night in relation to the problem the product solves. They want to know the prospect’s fears, desires, dreams, etc. They want to know what’s worked for the prospect, what’s failed for the prospect, and what that prospect really, truly wants so they can help this prospect get it.

And this same sales person will continue to use questions as they present their product or service, questions that direct the prospect to the desired conclusion – that this product is what they want and need.

Everything else being equal, 9 times out of 10 the introvert salesperson will outsell the extrovert – all because they asked questions and listened closely to the answers.

Introverted marketers have the same advantage as introverted sales people. They dig to discover what it is their prospects truly want. They ask questions, be it in person, over Skype, in forums, via email, etc. And they pay close attention to the answers.

These same marketers spend time researching what successful marketers are doing. They don’t assume they already have the answers – instead, they look to those who’ve succeeded and they ask how it was done and how it can be duplicated.

Now mind you, extroverts can master the skills of asking questions and listening to the answers as well as any introvert, if they try. It doesn’t come as naturally for them, but it will come with practice.

And if you look at the most successful people in the world, what you will find is they stand on the shoulders of those who came before. They asked questions, got the answers and used this knowledge to carve their place in the world.

Try it. Next time someone asks you for advice, ask them questions first. Next time someone asks about your product, ask them about their needs first. Next time someone is on a forum looking for help, ask them for more information. And then pay close attention to what they say before you make your reply.

It’s an almost unknown fact that asking the right questions and listening to the answers can be one of the highest paying skills in the world.

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2 Ways to Enter the Conversation that’s Already Going On in Your Prospect’s Head

You’ve heard that adage before, haven’t you? It’s akin to walking over to someone, standing beside them, making them feel very comfortable with you, and then gently, subtly, asking them to walk with you.

2 Ways to Enter the Conversation that's Already Going On in Your Prospect's Head

They’ll go along with you quietly and in agreement almost every time.

Contrast that with standing far away from someone and shouting to them that they need to come stand where you’re standing or else… Or else they’re stupid, or else they’re missing out, or else they’re making a mistake, etc.

This is the point where most prospects dig their heels in and say, “Oh yeah? I don’t think so!”

Can you blame them?

This is why you want to start where they are. What do they already think or know about your niche, about your product or service, or about you?

If prospects routinely believe your offer is too good to be true, lead with that. “I know what you’re thinking… this is simply too good to be true. I thought the exact same thing myself, but then I discovered that…”

They might think this isn’t the right solution to their particular problem. “You might feel that in your case, our product won’t make the difference you need and want. I felt the exact same way when I had this problem, but what I found was this product not only ____ and ____, it also ___…”

You might start with the problem itself. Your prospect is in financial difficulty, so talk about what that feels like, how it affects them, how it makes life difficult, etc.

And here’s an entirely different way to start where they are in their minds, and that’s to begin with whatever it is that everyone is talking about right now.

For example, let’s say you’re sending out an email and the big story today is the revolution in another country, or new photos from space, or some crazy thing the government is doing. Whatever it is, the story is plastered all over the news. You can lead with that and gracefully tie it in with your marketing message.

Celebrities are fantastic for this. People love celebrities: Movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, etc. Start out talking about the latest celebrity news and tie it into what you want to say.

For some inexplicable reason, celebrity is frequently confused with credibility. Thus when you tie a celebrity in with your product, even when it’s perfectly clear that they are not actually related in any way, it elevates the status of your product in the customers’ eyes. Strange but true.

Using the news or celebrities necessitates creativity on your part. Make sure it’s in good taste, and that it makes sense. Also, when possible, make it entertaining. In fact, always strive to be interesting and entertaining – your customers will love you for it.

One last thing – if you don’t know what’s going on in your prospect’s minds, it’s time to find out. Hit up social media to find out what’s being talked about, or go to the forums to see what problems people are having. You’ll discover enough in 15 minutes of research to craft a half dozen marketing messages that all begin with you entering the conversation in your prospect’s head.

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Are You Repelling Prospects? Good!

A hundred years ago a shop might have tried to be many things to most people. In fact, big box stores still do that today, with good success. Walmart is everything and all things to those looking for the cheapest price. But even they repel customers – namely those people who value service and quality over price.

Are You Repelling Prospects? Good!

These days it pays to specialize. Rather than trying to be most things to most people, you want to do one thing and do it really, really well. If you teach gardening techniques, rather than teaching everything to every gardener, pick a focus such as organic vegetable gardening. If you teach marketing, teach it to a very specific audiences, such as chiropractors or coffee shops or contractors.

Yes, you’ll be repelling the vast majority of customers, but you’ll also be attracting the exact prospects you can help the most. And in so doing, you can also charge accordingly.

After all, who commands the highest price – the person who teaches generic marketing techniques to anyone and everyone? Or the specialist who teaches plumbers to build their businesses to seven figures? Every time, it will be the specialist. If you don’t believe it, look at the health care industry, one of the biggest businesses of all. Who makes more – a general practitioner or a heart surgeon? Specializing pays, and it pays big.

One more benefit of specializing and perhaps the most important of all is this: You become the ONLY choice. When a dentist wants advice on building his practice and he’s faced with 10 choices – 9 of whom do marketing for any kind of business and 1 who works exclusively with dentists, there simply is no competition. Even if your prices are double or triple of your so called competitors, because you are the specialist you will win the business nearly every time.

Bottom line: Know exactly who your target audience is, become their ONLY choice, and repel everyone else who is not a good fit. You’ll attract better customers who appreciate you more and are happy to pay for your specialized service and products.

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Why “In Person” Interviews are Better than Skype

As you already know, a popular business model for breaking into any niche is to conduct interviews with the movers and shakers of your niche. In this manner you are creating great content, making potentially profitable connections and making yourself an expert by association. But do you know what’s even better than conducting an interview by phone or Skype? Doing it in PERSON. Here’s why:

Why In Person Interviews are Better than Skype

First, the vast majority of communication isn’t what a person says, but rather the person’s facial expressions, gestures, body language and so forth. For this reason your interviews are going to be better when you can do them in person. By watching your subject, you’ll be able to draw out more information and revelations than you possibly could over the phone.

Second, you can develop a much stronger connection with your subject in person. No matter how much time you spend on the phone or even on Skype, you’re still miles apart and have never actually met the person. You’re much easier to forget this way. But in person, you can make a much stronger impression and create a deeper connection with your subject that allows you to become much closer.

Third, you can prolong the initial connection by inviting them out to coffee or lunch before or after the interview. This makes for a great bonding experience and again increases the odds of your relationship building beyond simply the interviewer and interviewee.

Fourth, you’ve got a great photo opportunity in person. Get your photo taken with this expert – who is probably something of a minor celebrity in your niche – and then use that photo for marketing purposes.

For example, you can add the photo to your website. Use ALT tags to describe the image with something like, “Joe Smith of the podcast Super Abundance with renowned financial expert Warren Buffet.” When people search for Warren Buffet, they could find your photo.

Use the photo on social media. Again, it makes you an authority by association in your niche.

Use the photo in promotions you might be doing, both online and offline. This increases your credibility and elevates you in the eyes of your readers and potential customers.

Naturally there will be many times when an in person interview simply isn’t possible. But when you’re going to another city, check to see who you might set up interviews with while you are there. Watch to see who comes to your city. And when you go to events, set up interviews in advance whenever possible. Also, be ready to do interviews on the fly at conferences – you never know who you might get your next interview and photo with.

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Why Should I Bother Publishing Content?

If you’re currently working at something other than publishing – affiliate or CPA marketing, perhaps – then you might wonder why you would want to bother publishing your own content. Publishing isn’t for everyone, but there are several very good reasons why you might want to consider it.

Why Should I Bother Publishing Content?

You can be the good guy. People are looking for answers, for help and for solutions to their problems. You and your content can make a real difference in their lives. And by making that difference, you become….

The expert. The go-to person. The Big Kahuna that people respect. You’re the trusted authority and now opportunities are coming to you in the form of free advertising on social media, affiliates, joint venture proposals and so forth. Which brings us to…

A greater income and additional income sources. You’re now monetizing your expertise by selling products and courses.

So what kinds of content can you create and publish?

Blog Posts
Websites
Short Reports
eCourses
eBooks
eMails
Kindle Books
Actual Books
Workbooks
Resources Lists
Infographics
eNewsletters
Print Newsletters
Magazines
Interviews
Frequently Asked Questions
Webinars
Podcasts
Slide Shows
Video Courses
Audio Courses
Home Study Courses
Step-by-step Tutorials
Templates
Presentations
Screencasts
Cheat Sheets
Buyers Guides
Membership Sites
Member Forums
Top Lists
Stories
Mindmaps
Live Events
Apps
Software

More ideas

You can publish content everywhere – your site, your blog, your member’s area, your newsletter, etc.

You can give away content – such as an ebook or ecourse – to build your email list.

You can record audio and/or video versions of your book and sell it.

You can hold live webinars or in person workshops, then sell the recordings.

You can build traffic by sharing great content such as infographics and top lists on social media.

You can create video courses to sell and promote your video courses by giving away snippets of the course, or a ‘lighter’ version.

You can interview experts and use the interviews and the transcripts as products or giveaways or as content on a paid membership site.

You can combine your articles and blog posts into eBooks and print books!

If you’re not yet creating and publishing content, you might be missing out on a world of opportunities. And if you are, you might want to consider adding new types of content to further expand your reach, your business and your bottom line.

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