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Octopus Teaches Online Entrepreneurs about Reaching Goals

The National Aquarium of New Zealand reports that Inky the Octopus has escaped. The smart 8 legged creature squeezed out of a small gap at the top of his tank, slithered across the floor of the aquarium and used a sea-water runoff pipe to make his way to Hawke’s Bay, and on to freedom.

Octopus Teaches Online Entrepreneurs about Reaching Goals

Octopus are known to be very intelligent and curious, and enjoy pushing boundaries.

If you can, imagine you’re Inky, trapped in that aquarium. You remember what it was like to be free in the ocean, and your big goal is to return to that ocean.

So you study your surroundings. You learn everything you can about the place – when the human captors are watching. When they’re not watching – where the possible escape routes are.

You notice that water always runs to that small hole in the corner. You think about that – where does the water go? Where does all water go if you’re an octopus? To the ocean, of course. And as you study the situation, you devise a plan to win your freedom.

Then when the time is right, you make a very daring and risky escape.

Remember, you don’t know for certain where that pipe goes.

You don’t know for certain you can make it to the pipe. After all, you’ll be out of your element. You won’t be able to breathe properly again until you get back into water.

You’re taking a really big chance. It would be safer to just stay in the aquarium, eat the free meals and spend the rest of your life lounging about like a lazy couch octopus.

But not you. You want more out of life.

You push up against the heavy lid on the tank and manage to just squeeze out.

You slither down the outside of the tank, across the floor through an element that is totally foreign to you – air.

You reach the pipe. Little do you know that pipe is as long as 5 football fields and full of the foulest smelling stuff you can imagine.

But you don’t stop.

You. Do. Not. Stop. until you reach your goal – open water. The ocean. Freedom.

And yes, it is believed that Inky did indeed make it all the way back to the ocean in his daring night time escape.

Now imagine you’re an entrepreneur.

You have a big goal (or at least hopefully you do).

Just like Inky the Octopus, you study the terrain and formulate a plan. You rehearse it in your head. You know you might encounter obstacles along the way, but you have confidence that you’ll deal with those as they come up.

It’s time. You’re nervous and scared, but you’ve got the guts to go for it.

And once you launch, there is no turning back. You are now on your way to something bigger, better, scarier and a whole lot more exciting.

That sure beats watching reruns on TV or going off to a J.O.B., doesn’t it?

Lessons from Inky:

  • Have a big, daring goal.
  • Learn everything you can that will help you achieve your goal.
  • Formulate a strategy.
  • Fear is just a word. Do it anyway.
  • Execute your strategy like your entire future and your very life depend on it.

Can’t you just see Inky emerging from that pipe into the bay? Imagine how happy he must have been. From there it was a relatively short, joyful swim to the ocean and total freedom.

Octopus

Way to go Inky!

And when you reach your big goal, way to go YOU!!!

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What Are the Secrets Only the Wealthy Know?

That’s the question posed in an online forum recently.

Answers ran the gamut of the spectrum, but here are 28 we found especially helpful, in completely random order…

What Are the Secrets Only the Wealthy Know?

Become financially educated. Read personal finance management books, starting with Rich Dad Poor Dad. Learn how to budget and how to invest.

Live frugally. If you’re thinking you can’t save more of your money, take a look at homeless people who live on almost nothing. Yes, you can save money. Stop eating out so often. Cancel the cable. Don’t buy a new car. Don’t buy a new used car until you absolutely need one.

Always pay yourself first. Devote the first 10-30% of your pay to savings and investments.

Spend money on assets (real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.) not liabilities (everything that loses value the moment you purchase it). Thinking of buying a new car even though your old one is fine? Take that money and invest it in your business, in stocks, in real estate or something that is an asset. Then buy a good used car in a few years, when you really need one.

Don’t care what people think of you. Your neighbors think you’re poor because you don’t buy new cars? Little do they know that $20,000 you would have spent on a car is now earning you a 10% compound interest rate.

Invest in yourself. Self-education equals new knowledge. Add execution to that new knowledge and you get results. Repeat continuously.

Find ways to help as many people as possible. The more you can help others get what they want, the more money you can make.

Scale. Don’t render services when you can mass produce products. Better to make a $10 profit on a million sales than a $1,000 profit on 100 sales.

Stuck on services? Go upscale. If you’re going to render services, find the niches that pay the most.

Have multiple streams of income. This way if something happens to one, you are still in good shape overall.

Sell stuff. Lots of stuff. Hire others to help you, so that your earnings are no longer tied to your hours.

Always keep the return on investment in mind, whether your investment is time or money.

When you want to buy something, figure out how to make the money. Don’t take money out of your savings to buy a car or a vacation. Instead, figure out how to make the extra money needed to cover the new expense.

Be friends with people who have more money than you. Their mindsets and thought processes will rub off on you. That said, do not try to compete with them – keep the car and house you have now, at least for a while.

Leverage your abilities to their fullest extent instead of working harder to get ahead. Forget working hard and focus on working smart. For example, a personal coach can create a course and sell it for $297 a million times over, but can only coach a few people one-on-one at any given time.

Take calculated risks. Failure is a part of the journey. If you’re too afraid to fail, you will never take the smart, calculated risks needed to become wealthy.

Use your head more than your heart. Make your financial decisions based on provable fact rather than gut instinct.

If you have a business, work ON it, not in it. Your labor isn’t needed to make the business a success – your ideas and leadership are.

Things like sports and entertainment are simply distractions for the masses. While you’re watching sports and shows 2-6 hours a day, the rich are making million dollar contacts, doing deals and starting businesses. If you get more of whatever you focus on – maybe it’s time to stop focusing on distractions and start focusing on your finances.

Bad decisions are better than no decisions. Any decision that moves you forward is better than total inaction. The key is make decisions quickly and work until you get results.

Confidence and belief in your ability will take you further, faster. The higher your confidence and the more you believe in what you’re doing, the easier it is to bring others on board, to convince buyers and to make money.

Having a lot of money doesn’t change life as much as you think. It’s not a magic shield from illness, tragedy or loss. You’re no smarter for having it (although perhaps wiser if you made the money yourself.) You still have problems, although they might be an entirely new set of problems. On the plus side, you never have to worry about putting food on the table or paying bills, which frees you up to think about bigger things.

People will look at you differently when you are rich. The upside is they respect you more. The downside is most people will want something from you.

It’s best to not flaunt your money, but instead put it to work to make more money. Many millionaires drive beat up cars and live in perfectly average homes. Few people know they are rich and they like it that way.

Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Rent it, borrow it or do without. And don’t carry a balance on credit cards. Ever.

Never borrow money to make discretionary purchases. Only borrow money to make money.

Start with the end in mind. If you’re starting a company, from day 1 ask yourself what to do to make your company as valuable as possible so you can one day sell it for millions.

Lastly, having money is power. Power to help any charity you choose. Power to help anybody or anyone. Power to make positive changes in your community, positively impact the lives of others and make the world a better place.

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10 Signs You’re Going to be Super Successful

Do you have what it takes to succeed in your own online business? You do if you have the following qualities…

10 Signs You’re Going to be Super Successful

You’re relentlessly persistent. When you decide to do something, you tenaciously work towards that goal until it is completed, no matter what.

You’re realistically optimistic. You know that believing you’ll grow wings and fly won’t make it true. But you also know there is a method by which you can fly, and you’ll keep believing this until you find a way to do it.

You take failures in stride. Yes, you did all you could, but you failed anyway. But you realize this is just part of the success process. So instead of lamenting the loss, you ask yourself, “What’s great about this?” And you take what you learned and apply it to your next attempt.

Your face is in the dictionary under the word “self-improvement.” While some people think learning ends with graduation, not you. You are continuously reading and learning more and more, and putting what you learn into practice.

You take action. Planning is a necessary part of the process, but you know that nothing happens until you take action.

You keep an open mind. You realize you don’t have all the answers, and you’re willing to listen to others to find the answers you seek.

You maximize your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. Some folks think they need to work on their weaknesses – not you. If you’re not good at something, you’re smart enough to outsource it. Instead, you focus your efforts where they shine, and that’s what makes you and your business successful.

You’re ambitious. Sure, you could settle for a small online business that just covers the bills. But instead you’re looking to create a real business you can sell in 5-7 years for 7 or 8 figures. Shoot for the clouds and you might only hit the rooftops. But shoot for the stars and you’ll at least hit the moon, which is pretty darn good.

You set goals. You can’t get someplace if you don’t know where you’re going, so you set goals to keep yourself moving and on track.

You spend 90% of your time on the present, 10% on the future, and no time on the past. The past is over and done. Childhood was lousy? Didn’t get into the school you wanted? Passed over for that promotion? First business failed? No matter because it’s ancient history. You’re all about what you can accomplish right here, right now, with an occasional eye to the future.

You delight in delaying gratification. Sure, you could watch TV right now, but you know there is a bigger reward to be had down the road if you just keep working instead.

You don’t listen to naysayers. There’s always somebody ready to tell you that you can’t do it, you shouldn’t do it or you’re an idiot for trying. But you just smile, say thanks for the advice and keep on doing what you need to do to be successful.

After all, the best revenge on naysayers is success.

And if you have at least 8 of these 12 qualities, you’re almost certainly going to meet with success on a grand scale, and soon.

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The Secret to Getting What You Want

A man sets out on a journey of a lifetime.

The Secret to Getting What You Want

The problem is, he doesn’t know where he wants to go.

So he spends the next 40 years wandering the back roads, never really going anywhere.

Another man chooses his destination. It’s a promised land, far, far away. The dangers he faces along the route are great and the challenges seem almost insurmountable.

Yet because he knows where he wants to go, he is able to find his way, overcome the challenges and eventually reach his destination, where he retires in 10 years’ time.

One man didn’t know where he was going, and so he wandered for 40 years and achieved nothing.

The other man knew exactly where he wanted to go, and because of his belief and determination, he was able to overcome every obstacle and reach his destination in 10 years.

Which person are you?

Most people won’t define what they want until they have clarity on how they will get there.


But because they don’t know what they want, they don’t have the clarity, and thus end up doing nothing.

That’s why you’ve got to decide first what it is that you want, and be totally clear on what that is. Write it down in detail.

Only then will you figure out how to get to where you want to go.

One more thing: Once you begin your journey, take time every single day to revisit your goal.

Just like a builder continually consults the building plans, you should continually go over your goal so that your subconscious mind knows exactly what it should be doing to get you to where you want to go.

This will also help you avoid time wasting activities that you don’t need.

Advanced Tip: Measure what you treasure.

Whatever your goal might be, take daily measurements of how you’re doing.

For example, if your goal is to reach a certain income level, you’ll want to track your profits daily.

If your goal is to exercise and eat right, you’ll want to keep a journal of everything you eat and every exercise you perform.

Whatever your goal might be, measure what you treasure and you will get more of what it is that you want.

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7 Of the Worst Business Decisions Ever

While it’s true we can learn from our own mistakes, it’s much easier, faster and sweeter to learn from the mistakes of others.

7 Of the Worst Business Decisions Ever

With that in mind, here’s 7 doozies that belong in the Business Mistakes Hall of Shame:

Schlitz Beer – At one time, Schlitz was the best selling beer in America. Then they decided to change their formula, replacing quality ingredients with inferior ones, adding chemicals to try to mask the changes, and even changing the brewing process. All of this was to increase their profit margins so they could continue to compete on price against Budweiser.

Basically, the Schlitz people worked very hard to ruin a best selling product. By the 1970’s, they’d changed the product so much that the bottom of each beer contained a repulsive mucus-like substance.

Of course sales plummeted, and the brand lost over 90% of its value. Schlitz beer was now relegated to the bottom bargain beer shelf for only the most desperate and poor of beer drinkers.

Lesson for online marketers? It’s clear isn’t it – quality DOES count. Whether you’re creating products or acting as an affiliate marketer, if you don’t offer your customers a quality product, they won’t be back for more. And you’ll get a lousy reputation in the process.

Star Wars – A long time ago in a studio far, far away, 20th Century Fox made one of the lousiest business decisions – ever.

In 1973, George Lucas negotiated a deal with Fox Studios on a film he wanted to direct – sort of a space western. Fox had offered him $500,000 to direct, but George offered to do it for just $150,000 if they would grant him all merchandising rights as well as rights to all sequels.

As of today, combined revenue from merchandising and sequels of Star Wars is an estimated $42 billion.

Yes, that’s right – Fox lost BILLIONS to save $350,000.

When you create a product, don’t stop there or you’ll be leaving most of your profit on the table. Create an upsell, a down sell, a continuity program, a coaching program and yes, sequels and updates.

You work hard to get your initial program sold, so why not bank on the goodwill you’ve earned to sell even more?

Take a lesson from George Lucas; the big money isn’t in the main product, it’s in everything else that comes after.

Kodak – Did you know Kodak invented the first digital camera? But they panicked and made a terrible decision – sitting on the invention so they could continue to sell film.

Naturally, it was just a matter of time before other companies invented their own digital cameras. Since Kodak owned the patent, they made millions – until the patent ran out in 2007. 5 years later Kodak filed for bankruptcy.

Lesson learned? Don’t try to fight progress. Instead, be an early adopter and use it to your advantage. Those who were first on board with online video did really well, as did those who jumped on board social media and so forth.

Things will inevitably change, which is why it’s better to roll with the flow, look for new opportunities and never stick your head in the sand like Kodak did.

Blockbuster – In 2000 when Netflix was still a niche DVD postal rental company, they offered Blockbuster the chance to buy them for $50 million.

Blockbuster laughed at Netflix’s CEO and what they thought of as his ridiculous offer. After all, they were making good money with their stores and late fees – why change?

It wasn’t long before Blockbuster was chasing Netflix, copying their DVD rental by mail plan and failing miserably.

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010. And Netflix is now worth $30 billion.

Lesson learned? Always keep an open mind when presented with new opportunities. You never know when that crazy idea someone just pitched you could be the next Netflix.

Ayds – In the 1970’s and early 80’s, Ayds candies enjoyed brisk sales as a diet aid that helped suppress appetite.

But along came the Aids epidemic in the mid 80’s, and it’s no surprise that all of a sudden people didn’t want to buy Ayds. As of 1988, sales had dropped off by half and were continuing to plummet.

Now, most manufacturers would rebrand at this point, but not Ayds. They added the word ‘diet’ in front of Ayds, but it was too little, too late and the product was withdrawn from the market.

Lesson for online marketers? Unexpected things can and will happen. It wasn’t the manufacturer’s fault that an epidemic carried practically the same name as their candy, but it did. Had they bit the bullet and rebranded, they could have saved their product.

If you find for whatever reason that you need to make a change in your business, it’s best to do it quickly before it’s too late.

Telegraph to Telephone – There was a time when the telegraph was the most advanced communication system on the planet. Then in 1876 a fellow named Alexander Graham Bell invented a little gadget he called the telephone, and was ready to bring that invention to market.

But first he contacted Western Union, the most important communications company at the time, and offered to sell his patent for just $100,000. William Orton, the president of Western Union, turned him down and instead set up his own phone company in secret in an attempt to compete with Bell.

Bell successfully sued Western Union for infringing on his patent. In 1879, Orton was legally forced to pull out of the telephone business altogether, and of course Bell went on to build a business empire.

Lesson learned? Whenever possible, work with your competitors rather than against them. That $100,000 Orton ‘saved’ literally cost him a fortune and spelled the eventual demise of the communications portion of his company.

MySpace – In 2005 when MySpace had more users than Facebook, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp decided to buy the super popular social media site for $580 million.

MySpace had 300 million registered users and was valued at an estimated $12 billion. So he got a good deal, right?

No matter how good the deal, if you try hard enough you can really muck things up.

Facebook was threatening their number #1 status, so to immediately make MySpace profitable, they filled the site with tons of garish ads.

Next, they instituted the same corporate policies as News Corp, thereby preventing MySpace from adapting quickly to its competition.

After 6 years, News Corp sold the site for just 6% of what they had paid for it.

Lessons learned? First, if it isn’t broken, don’t ‘fix’ it. By plastering MySpace with ads and banners, they drove away their users.

Second, have patience. If they’d spent a little time thinking about their strategy to monetize the site, they could have come up with much better solutions than tons of ads.

Third, be flexible. Shackling your company with corporate policies that make progress slower than a snail’s pace is not going to win the day on the Internet.

One last note: It’s really easy to play ‘Monday morning quarterback’ and talk about what these companies ‘should’ have done. It’s a lot more difficult when you’re in the day-to-day grind trying to find your way.

Something all of these companies and business people had in common is this: They did what they thought was best at the time. And sometimes that’s all you can do.

If you ever find you’ve made a colossal blunder, or even just a stupid mistake, here’s how to make it right again: Get back up, forgive yourself and then let it go. Don’t dwell on the past except to learn. If you can live in the present with an eye to the future, you’ll be fine.

We all make mistakes. Some of us just have the opportunity to make bigger mistakes than others.

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Simple Trick Increases Product Sales

This one is so simple, yet diabolically effective…

Simple Trick Increases Product Sales

When you first introduce a new product to your list or your blog readers, do you simply pop a link on there with a line of text and hope they click?

Of course not. You introduce the product. You tell them what’s good about it, how you use it, why it can change their business or help them achieve their goal, etc.

In other words, you’re introducing the product and warming up your readers BEFORE you send them to the sales page.

Now here’s the mistake I see marketers making all the time…

…when they first introduce the product, they take the time to do everything we just said.

And they make sales.

Later they decide to promote the product again, only this time they forget a crucial step.

They slap that affiliate link or product link up on social media and figure people will click it and buy the product.

But they don’t click.

Why not? Because there’s no introduction to entice them to click and learn more.

So here’s what you do…

Take the copy you wrote in that email or post that introduces the product, and give it a page of its own on your site. Add your affiliate link or sales link to the bottom.

Now when you advertise the product on social media and other venues, send visitors to your intro page first. I’ve seen this little technique increase conversions 4 fold.

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The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Higher Conversions in IM

You might think the best way to make sales in the online marketing field is to promise lots of money for very little effort.

The Counter-Intuitive Approach to Higher Conversions in IM

After all, we see these products that promise you’ll rake in the dough simply by tapping your toes three times and whispering you want to get rich.

Which makes for great fairy tales, but frankly your average Joe isn’t buying it.

You know what people say (and believe)…

“If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.”

The fact is, there are folks who make hundreds of thousands of dollars online each year.

Some do it each month.

A few do it each DAY.

So just because it sounds too good to be true doesn’t make it so.

But it will scare away a lot of buyers, because they don’t believe THEY can make a ton of money from home.

And those programs that promise the moon for a few clicks? Their refund rates tend to be in the 50% range. Ouch. Plus you’ve got to wonder how well they sleep at night.

So what’s the counter-intuitive approach to increasing your conversions in the make money online / internet marketing field?

It’s simple, really.

Tell them they’re going to have to WORK.

Tell them they’re going to have to put in an EFFORT.

And the results they get will depend on what they actually DO.

Obviously any business is going to take work. But if you don’t TELL them it will take work, they will likely mistake you for a scam.

So be honest and open about how much effort it will take.

And you’ll find your products not only sell well, they also continue to sell for a long time.

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A Sweet Little Side Business You Can Run Part Time

This won’t make you rich, but it can pay the bills.

A Sweet Little Side Business You Can Run Part Time

Basically, you’re going to hire two outsourcers and then sell the websites they build for you. This has been done by at least one marketer that I know personally, and I’m sure many others have found similar success with this business model.

Here are the details:

Hire two outsourcers, possibly from the Philippines or anywhere you can get excellent full time help for about $500 each per month.

One outsourcer should be versed in all phases of website building and PhotoShop. Things they will need to do: Install WordPress sites, install plugins, install autoresponder forms, use Photoshop to create website graphics as needed, etc.

The second outsourcer is a good writer, preferably a VERY good writer, able to research and write about most any topic.

This is your team.

One thing to know – work expands to fill the time allotted. So if you give your team two weeks to build a site, that’s how long it will take. Instead, see if they can do it in 2 days. For what you want done, it should only take 2 days. In fact, for the website builder it should only take one day, and two days for the writing.

Now then, the first site your team is going to build will be for you. It should be an authority blog, containing several posts and an embedded YouTube video or two.

You choose the domain name, let them know what you’re looking for, then let them sort out everything else.

This is going to be your example website. Of course, you can continue to build this site out over time, making it a true authority site. And you can use the outsourcers to do this for you. But first and foremost, you want to treat it as your example website.

Now you launch an offer to build authority websites for other people in the niches of their choosing. You can start by notifying your list of your new service, place an ad on Warrior and branch out to Facebook after that.

Charge whatever you like – $300 is a good price but it’s up to you.

The website will be a unique authority blog in whatever niche they choose, with perhaps 5 posts already written, all the plugins in place, basic SEO, a domain of its own… you get the idea.

You’re paying your team $1000 a month, so you need to make 4 sales to be in profit.

But realistically your team can build 10 sites a month, spending 2 days on each site and working 5 days a week.

10 sales at $300 is $3,000, minus the $1,000 you pay your team leaves you with a $2,000 profit.

Of course, you can charge more, offer different packages and so forth.

For example, your deluxe package might contain 15 posts and cost $700, depending on how good your team is and how well you do at selling the sites.

If you find your team has downtime between orders, you can have them create a product for you, or build sites which you then sell premade.

There is some work in getting the sales and communicating the desires of the client to your workers. But it shouldn’t take you more than an hour a day to accomplish this.

And once your other ventures are making enough money that you don’t want to be bothered with this endeavor anymore, you can always sell it as a turnkey business.

Sweet!

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The Basic Marketing Mistake You’re Probably Still Making

Short and sweet: Are you going wide instead of deep?

The Basic Marketing Mistake You’re Probably Still Making

For example, if you’re in online marketing, are you trying to reach every new marketer out there?

If your niche is gardening, are you trying to reach every vegetable gardener on the planet?

And if your niche is dating, are you targeting every single male – period?

Then you’re going too wide.

By appealing to everyone, you appeal to no one.

I once coached a woman who wanted to start a newsletter for parents.

All parents.

Of every age of child, 0-18.

Who lived anywhere on the planet.

I spent half the coaching session trying to talk her out of this strategy, or rather, lack of strategy.

She could not be dissuaded.

And I never heard from her or her newsletter again. My guess is she’s still stuck working the 9-5 job she was trying so hard to leave.

What should she have done?

Targeted brand new first time parents, or parents of 0-2 year old children, or middle class working parents of annoying teenagers, or adoptive parents, or frustrated foster parents, or…

…you get the idea.

Broad niches will keep you broke and frustrated.

Narrow niches will make you rich.

It’s that simple.

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5 Methods to Advertise Your Online Business Offline

You have to admit – the online world is CROWDED with marketing messages.

5 Methods to Advertise Your Online Business Offline

It’s hard to start out and get noticed, and it’s become more difficult every day.

Ironically, some of the older methods have once again become more effective. As everyone else vies for attention online, consider doing something old school, such as…

1: Sending Postcards

When you send an email, it’s easily ignored or deleted. A message on social media carries even less weight.

But a real life, physical piece of mail that lands in their mailbox is something they will take notice of. And postcards are cheaper to mail than letters.
Here’s what to do: Decide on the goal of your postcard – do you want them to join your list? Attend your webinar event? Go to a sales page?

Once you have your goal, use testing to find just the right slant for your offer. A postcard is a relatively small space, so every word and every image has got to pull its own weight. But once you find the magic mailing piece, you can continue to mail it out for months and even years, as long as it remains effective.

Know the lifetime value of your customer. This will help you determine what kind of conversion rate you need with your postcard mailers to be in profit.
Send the postcards yourself, or use a postcard mailing service. Simply Google “postcard mailing service” and you’ll find a company to match your needs.

2: Sending Lumpy Mail

What’s the best way to get your mailing piece to stand out? Make it lumpy.

If you’ve ever received a non-profit solicitation for a donation, you probably know what we’re talking about. They send pennies, pens, calendars, packs of greeting cards and all sorts of things to get you to open their envelope. And of course once you have their free gift, the law of reciprocity kicks in and you want to send them something back.

For our purposes, think of something unusual and cost effective, such as…

A pebble (because of the rocky time they’ve had, or the rocky time ahead if they don’t get your product)

Seed packets (to ‘grow’ their business, grow their profits, etc.)

A compass (so they can find their way)

A thumb drive loaded with your promotional materials

Worry stones (because they’re up at night, worrying about their business or how to pay the bills)

Poker chips (because they shouldn’t gamble on other products or providers)

Aspirin in a packet to ease their pain

A paper wallet because you’ll show them how to fill it with money

A sand timer for when they’re running out of time

And so forth.

Again, there are services to help you accomplish this. For example, http://lumpymail.com is a good starting point.

3: Print Ads

The trick here is to make your ad look like an article in the magazine or newspaper you’re advertising in. Let’s say you’re advertising in a magazine – get an issue and see how their articles are formatted. Two columns? Three? What font do they use? What about picture placement?

Write your ad as more of an advertorial than a regular ad. You might have to put the words, “Paid advertisement” at the top of your ad, but it will still convert better than if your ad looks like an ad.

Have a great headline and use lots of subheadlines to keep the reader on the page.

Have a strong call to action for an irresistible offer. The offer should be so good people simply cannot resist it, whatever it is.

4: Get a local column

This is an excellent technique for local business consultants. If you live in a small to medium sized city, your local newspaper might be thrilled if you would volunteer your services to write them a column each week on a topic that interests their readers.

If not, you might consider taking out a weekly ad and making it look like a column. In some respects, this is actually preferable to writing the column for free, since you’ll have more control over your topics.

Be very helpful in what you write. Only the last line or two should promote your business. The bulk of your column should be helpful information that people can use.

This will set you up as the authority and the person people turn to when they need your services.

5: Birthday cards

Here’s something that used to be common and no longer is, which is why it will make you stand out from the crowd of marketers like a beacon on a hill. Send REAL birthday cards through the mail to your best customers.

You might collect their birthday (Month and day, not year) when they check out. You might even tell them WHY you’re collecting it. Let them know it’s optional, but you’d really like to remember them on their birthday.

Most people will be eager to share their birth date with you. Or you can hop on Facebook and discover their birthday there if they have it listed.

If you don’t want to send the cards yourself, use a service such as sendoutcards.com.

Now then – a person might interact with a few hundred people and companies online over the course of a year. But odds are you will be the only one who remembers their birthday. That makes you pretty special.

You might include an offer of a free birthday gift in your card, too. Perhaps a video you recorded for their birthday (you can use the same one for everyone) and a download link for a free product.

Guaranteed they will be opening your emails and following you closely on social media after that.

How to send a birthday card on Facebook – okay, this is obviously online, but I wanted to include it because many of our readers won’t want to send actual cards (although we HIGHLY recommend it!)

Here’s how to send an electronic card through Facebook:

Go to the Birthday Card Maker app on Facebook by typing in “birthday card app” on the search bar.

Click “Okay” for the app to access your basic profile information.

You’ll see a calendar with pictures of your friends and dates of their birthdays. Choose which friend to send a card to.

Click “send a birthday card.”

Pick out the theme of your card.

Post the card to your friend’s wall by clicking the “Send this Card” link on the card itself.

Note: If you have a lot of Facebook fans, you might want to outsource this task.

When it comes to things like investing and marketing, doing the opposite of what most people are doing is often the winning course. Now that everyone else is online, be sure to look for offline opportunities to win the hearts, minds and wallets of your customers.

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How to Sell More Offline Services, Coaching Services, etc.

This works for any big ticket item you are selling one-on-one. For example, maybe you sell SEO services to brick and mortar businesses. Or perhaps you sell coaching over the phone to people who got a free 20 minute session with you.

How to Sell More Offline Services, Coaching Services, etc.

This works in print as well, but it works even better when you’re actually talking to the person.

Let’s say you sell list building systems to local businesses. You’ve sat down with them, explained exactly what you can do for them and they’re excited. “How much do you charge?” they want to know.

Let’s say you charge $1,000 a month for the service. Tell them you normally charge $2,000, and explain why your service is a tremendous deal at that price. Then tell them that if they will allow you to use them as a case study, you will knock that price in half.

Here’s the beauty of this system:

First, you’ve already primed them for a higher price, so when you offer the lower price, they’re actually relieved and much more likely to say yes.

Second, in the back of their mind they’re thinking, “If s/he is using my business as a case study, that means s/he’s going to work extra hard to get good results.” Which makes perfect sense, because you wouldn’t want a case study that failed.

Third, you can use these case studies to bring in new clients. For example, let’s say you performed a service for a plumber. Now you can contact plumbers in other cities and show them the exact results you achieved in that first plumbing business.

When they see these specific results, they are much more likely to sign on.

The same goes for any other service you provide to local businesses, professionals, coaching clients, etc.

Show them your ‘regular’ price, then offer the option of getting a reduced price in exchange for allowing you to use them as a case study.

One caveat: In the case of personal coaching (versus business coaching) you might want to change their name in your case study to protect your client’s privacy.

Apply these simple tips to selling your marketing and coaching services, and you’ll find it much easier to land new clients.

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How to Repurpose Your Content for Maximum Return

Here’s how to make your content timely, highly relevant and super hot, every single time.

How to Repurpose Your Content for Maximum Return

Let’s face it – online marketing is and always will be about selling stuff to people. Simple.

The techniques might change (somewhat) and the methods we use become more refined, but it’s still all about selling products and services people need or want.

Keeping that in mind, it’s very simple to write a series of reports on all of the basics.

For example: “How to start a Facebook Fan Page and get 1,000 fans interacting with your product.”

“How to build a profitable list of 10,000 people in 3 months.”

“How to create products, how to drive traffic, how to use social media, etc.”

You get the idea.

Now then, here’s the trick to making your content super timely and hot:

Watch the news.

See what the latest brew-ha-ha in marketing is.

For example, did Google make yet another change that threw website owners for a loop?

Then your ‘how to drive traffic’ report can be repurposed into: “How to Drive as Much Traffic as you Want without Google”

Did Facebook make major changes to their advertising policy?

Repurpose your Facebook Fan Page report into, “How to Get All the Facebook Leads You Want WITHOUT Buying Facebook Ads”

Or for your, “How to make a product” report, you could take the latest marketing trend and write something like this: “5 Products [New Trend] Users are Screaming for That You Can Make in 2 Days.”

In each case, you’ll just go into your Word file, update your document with the new title, add or change the bits specific to the current news or trend, and you’ve got a hot selling new product to offer.

Place it on Warrior, JVZoo, etc. Either promote it to your list, or buy enough traffic to get some sales. Your goal is to get noticed by the affiliates, and from there it’s Profit City for you and your evergreen content.

The beauty of this system isn’t just that you can repurpose your best content over and over again.

When news of a marketing change or new trend hits, you can get your highly relevant product to market almost overnight, filling a market gap practically the moment it’s created.

Plus, isn’t it wonderful to continue getting paid for content you wrote once, and only need to modify to make it highly relevant again?

One more tip: If you don’t like to write, you can always search for PLR. Then update and tweak it to make it relevant to what’s happening now.

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Your Home Business: Turning Pennies into Dollars

Henry Ford taught us that to simplify the manufacture of automobiles, that the best way to do so was to install the assembly line. That one change revolutionized the auto manufacturing industry permitting the industry to build cars at a cost that would allow the average person to afford one.

Your Home Business: Turning Pennies into Dollars

The lesson we should take from this is that having the ability to improve the process of getting the job quicker and cheaper, without compromising the quality of the job being done, will help catapult the person who simplified the process to the top of his/her field.

Pennies saved in your home business can turn into dollars at the end of the day, and dollars can quickly multiply into hundreds or thousands of dollars over time.

Doubt me if you will, but let me ask you a question. Do you think a saving of two fifths of a penny could make any real difference in the profit margin of a home business? Of course the right answer is “it depends on how many transactions are done in a year, utilizing the savings of the two fifths of one penny.”

You only have to think back a couple of decades to really appreciate this question. Do you remember the nut that lived and died in a Las Vegas hotel room? You know the one who was a billionaire, and was so worried about germs that he died of starvation? If you guessed Howard Hughes (1905-76), pat yourself on the back.

Now Howard did not make all of his money on his two fifths of one penny. He did however make a ton of money from his two fifths of one penny. It seems Howard owned a can manufacturing company. And one day, Howard’s team figured out how they could make one minor change in the design of their food can to reduce the amount of tin necessary to make a single can.

As the story goes — if my memory serves me correctly — the reduction in tin usage equaled a saving of two fifths of one penny per can. Howard — being the really smart businessman that he was — decided that he would not be so greedy as to keep all of the savings for himself. What Mr. Hughes did was to keep half of the savings for himself, and give the other half to his customers. The incredible thing about Mr. Hughes decision is that by saving his customers an extra one fifths of one cent per can, he managed to take more market share away from his competition — netting his company an additional and substantial portion of the total market share in the canning industry.

Let us return our thoughts to your home business. Have you ever gotten the feeling of excitement — when you read something or thought of something — that you could not wait to implement this new idea? This could be one of those moments…

In every home business, there are certain processes that we do over and again. Sometimes it may be possible to trim the time or expense of a process which in turn will add pennies or dollars to your bottom line. If it is a process that you do hundreds or thousands of times per month, then your savings will multiply into hundreds or thousands of dollars in monthly savings.

Imagine what running a home business was like BEFORE the computer…

Before the personal computer, we had to hand type all letters and invoices. Now, we can set up a letter or invoice that we send out quite often, and we can save it in our word processor so that when we need to use it again, we can print it quickly and efficiently. There is no longer a need to type the document again from scratch.

The computer has simplified our business communications and has provided us the opportunity to reduce our costs of doing business.

Think about all of the other processes that the computer has enabled us to do for far less expense than what we could in the past.

In this case, the computer is a tool that permits us to save time and money.

So, my challenge to you is to begin examining the processes in your own home business and look for ways in which you can save yourself time and money. It is far better for you to contemplate on this matter than it is for me to do so for you. Simply put, you know your business better than anyone on the planet does. Therefore, you are in a better position than anyone to find those extra dollars that will decrease your costs and increase your profits.

The extra pennies and dollars you could extract from your business could spell the difference between success and failure for your home business enterprise.

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Starting Your Home Based Business on a Shoestring Budget

Whether seeking a supplemental income or a full-time income, many folks have undertaken the task to discover a viable home based business solution to meet their personal needs.

Starting Your Home Based Business on a Shoestring Budget

For most folks who contemplate a home business, a low-cost or no-cost solution is not only nice, but also very necessary. Many also seek to find a home business that will permit them to maintain their regular day job in order to protect their base income.

Taking the cautious approach to a home based business and keeping one’s job during the start-up period is often a very good decision. By maintaining one’s job, one can maintain the health of their personal finances while permitting their home business to grow healthy and strong.

Fortunately, most home based businesses can be started with little or no cash, can be maintained on a shoestring budget, and can be operated successfully with only a part-time investment.

One day, the business will be strong enough to support itself and its owner. When that time comes, it will make good sense for the business owner to leave his or her outside job to dedicate more time to growing and maintaining their new thriving home based business. You will know when that time has finally arrived.

The nature of a home based business makes it easy and very realistic for most folks to take the plunge into home business ownership.

Yet, many folks put off starting their own home based business, because they have the misconception that they will have to risk thousands of their own hard-earned dollars at start-up. Then later, if their business fails, they fear they may be forced to take out a second mortgage on their house just to stay out of bankruptcy.

Are you one of these folks? Do you let your fears of failure keep you from reaching for your dreams?

If so, then allow me to introduce you to a few home business ideas that you can start for less than $100 and can be started and operated very profitably as a part-time business.

THE LIFEBLOOD OF ALL SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES

First of all, let me advise you to search out a business model that will deliver steady and repeat business. It is the one thing — above all others — that will assure that your company can survive the test of time.

HOME-BASED MAIL ORDER:
Home-based mail order is a good example of how one can quickly grow a home business income. Mail order is a low cost start-up business that can be launched for around $100 USD.

With proper planning, your home-based mail order business will not require up-front inventory purchases. In the mail order business, it is not uncommon to rely upon drop-shippers for product fulfillment services.

By utilizing drop-shippers, we can sell the products, collect the money and then purchase the products from the wholesale outlet. The wholesale outlet will then put a return address for your company on the product packaging and deliver the product directly to your customer.

Your primary expense in the mail-order business is advertising. Classified advertising tends to be a relatively inexpensive form of advertising with thousands of outlets available to the small business owner.

WHOLESALE BUSINESS:
Buy low — sell high. You can acquire high quality, top-of-the-line merchandise for a fraction of the retail cost. Starting a wholesale business would require a Wholesale Dealers Directory as your source for merchandise, such as the one above.

AUCTIONS:
Auctions can be an excellent source for buying cheap and selling high. Both government auctions and Internet auctions can lead to some excellent profit opportunities. Auctions are an excellent tool for both acquiring and selling merchandise.

MAKE AND SELL YOUR CRAFTS:
Crafts are a hot seller at country fairs, swap meets or any place where people gather. Make your own crafts and sell them for a tidy profit!

SELLING INFORMATION:
Selling information by mail is another good example of an inexpensive home based business start-up. One can gain the resale rights to information for usually about $50 USD. Other costs will include printer cartridges, paper and postage. There are plenty of free classified sites on the Internet, in which to successfully advertise your information.

WRITE INFORMATIONAL BOOKLETS:
Write and publish your own informational booklets; sell them at a high price! All you need is a little know-how, a printer, paper and stamps. This is a GREAT home business idea! You can also sell the resale rights to others, for extra profits. In this age of the Internet, you may also take advantage of the fact that selling information is one of the most profitable endeavors one can pursue online.

OFFICE SERVICES:
Offer office services for hire in your local paper. You’ll be surprised at the amount of regular office business that can be gleaned from one little classified ad. Word processing, typing, accounting, data entry, proofreading, transcription, promotional letters and newsletters. All these tasks can be accomplished right from your own home office.

AVON REPRESENTATIVE:
Yes, Avon’s been around for eternity, hasn’t it? Then it’s not such a bad prospect as a home based business, is it? I once knew a woman who did so much business as an Avon rep. that she had people calling her and knocking at her door wanting to order products at all hours of the day and night! Once you are an established Avon representative, you, too, will turn a good profit.

CONCLUSION:
On your search for the ideal home based business, try not to get caught up in any scams that will run off with your money. There are thousands of scam artists out there just waiting for the next sucker to come along. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Just use your good judgement and invest wisely in proven methods of earning extra income.

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Finding Your Home Business Niche

When some folks begin to think about a business of their own, they know in that very moment what kind they are going to start. Then, there are the rest of us…

Knowing that we want to have a business of our own is not enough. Many of us have struggled with the important question of what type of enterprise we would like to start.

Finding Your Home Business Niche

Franchises offer a simple pre-packaged money making idea, but the cost of a franchise often makes it a prohibitive option to most folks who contemplate going out on their own.

For those who do not have a million dollars to buy a McDonalds franchise, we must look to other ideas for our own business.

There are literally hundreds of lucrative home business ideas for you to choose from, which will suit every type of personality and all levels of financing. From selling information on the Internet as a infopreneur, to growing delicious gourmet mushrooms for sale to restaurants and catering companies; there is a pile of money to be made by filling a need for these and a host of other necessary services.

Of course, actually liking what you do will have a lot to do with the success of your new venture, so be sure to pick a home business that you’ll enjoy running and that will keep you motivated.

For example, if you’re a math whiz, an accounting or income tax service might be the ideal home business for you to start. Perhaps writing is your forte and you’d like to start your own home based copywriting service or advertising agency. Each of these businesses can be run successfully–and profitably from the comfort of your own home.

Academia might not be your cup of tea, but maybe you are good with your hands — having a creative genius where crafts are concerned. Craft items are red-hot sellers at swap meets, country fairs and world wide over the Internet, and they can provide you with solid profits. If crafts don’t interest you, then why not start a laundry service with pick-up and delivery, or a shopping service for shut-in’s–even a companion service or granny sitter or a doctor shuttle service; any of which could be much in demand, in and around your neighborhood or community.

When brainstorming new ideas for your future home business, keep in mind the soul of any successful endeavor is providing a product or service that others will actually purchase in quantities. Satisfy the needs of your target market, and your target market will keep you and your home based business healthy, happy and profitable.

Below are some suggestions for home business ideas that might help you decide on a suitable venture in which to invest.

Multi-level-marketing (mlm), floral/plant service for offices and hospitals, pooper-scooper service, dog walking service, answering service, vending machine service, gift basket service, homemade soap maker, mobile windshield repair service, mobile tire repair service, income tax specialist, researcher, freelance writer, business card and letterhead designer, courier, shut-in/shuttle service, landscaping service, tree trimming service, wood crafter, carpenter, crafts and crafting supplies, pool cleaning service, plants/nursery starts, growing herbs, growing mushrooms, garage sale and swap meet vendor, proofreader, private investigator, typing service, interior decorator/designer, website design, wedding consultant, hot lunch/snack vendor at local courthouses, pet sitting service, pet grooming service, Internet entrepreneur, paralegal, gourmet catering service, new media production, mobile cosmetic technician, mobile nail technician, mobile hair stylist, aerobics instructor, personal fitness trainer, advertising consultant, companion service, small printing service.

Ideas, ideas; hopefully the above ideas will give you some fresh ideas of your own to mull over. A spring board if you will, on which to dive into your own chosen home business.

When you work from home, any business you start has the potential to explode into a perpetual gold mine! It just depends on how much your home business is in demand around your community or on the Internet. Your home business might start slow and steady, regularly picking up clients as you become more established. On the other hand, your chosen home business may take off like wildfire, quickly becoming too hot for you to handle by yourself (well done!). This is the time to enlist the help of willing family members to help you out in your time of need, which will make your business into a friendly, family concern. This will also help family members better understand your business and get a grasp on the mechanics of profit.

Good luck in all your decisions and have fun with your home business, whichever one you choose, and don’t forget to enjoy your newfound freedom!

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Is a Home Business Right For You?

Every morning as people wake up and make the commute to work many dream of the day when they will finally work for themselves. Every time the boss lets someone know that they must give up their weekend plans for the good of the company, people contemplate the benefits of being the owner of their own business.

Is a Home Business Right For You?

Are you one of these people?

If you are, it is important to ask yourself some very important questions before you make the uncertain leap into self-employment.

Many dream of the benefits of home business ownership, but few take into account the sacrifices that must be made to bring the dream to fruition. Please don’t make this mistake yourself.

You must approach home business ownership with your eyes wide open. Ask yourself the important questions, and more importantly, answer your own questions openly and honestly.

AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION

Are you the type of person who relishes every chance to gather around the water cooler for social interaction?

If so, then home business ownership may not be the right decision for you.

Instead, if you feel that you can be quite content sitting alone at your desk; speaking only to clients and really minding your own home business, then you might have what it takes to succeed as a home business entrepreneur.

If you feel at ease with your own company and don’t need a dozen coworkers milling around your desk, then you, too, could savor the freedoms that will allow you and your family, to live the lifestyle you know you want and deserve.

THE KEY TO HOME BUSINESS SUCCESS

Self-motivation is the key to success when you start a home-based business. You need to possess the ability to push yourself ahead. Your drive and determination will be reinforced with every new sale.

The level of success that you will achieve greatly depends on the time and effort you are willing to plow into your new home business. Your organization, planning and marketing skills, will all be put into practice when you embark on your liberating journey from employee, to being your own boss. In fact, you will be the wearer of many hats and gain a wealth of business experience along the way, when you finally make that commitment to work at home.

YOUR SUCCESS RESTS ENTIRELY UPON YOUR OWN SHOULDERS

You will now be the boss. Are you truly able to work independently? Do you have the drive; the tenacity, to persevere with your home based business? Will you be able to invest the necessary time to nurture it, to watch it grow and see it through, from germination to full, glorious bloom? When you’re the boss, you are responsible for the success of your home business, from A to Z, from disappointments to victory.

When you work at home, it will empower you to achieve many things you were unable to do when you were stuck working for that tyrant boss. Remember him? He’s the guy that wouldn’t let you take time off when your baby was sick…the same guy that called you in to work on Thanksgiving Day.

A home business means that you can take good care of your family and make money from home, simultaneously. You will have the best of both worlds! Just think–no more dirty laundry piling up–you can do it while you work. No more scurrying around at the last minute searching for a babysitter either. And no more worrying about getting fired; you’ll be the boss!

IN CONCLUSION…

Stay positive and focused on your home based business, even if, when sales aren’t up to par, you get occasional negative remarks or derogatory comments from people with stuffy, dead-end jobs. Ignore their cutting words and bear in mind that success is the best revenge! Keep your admirable, positive attitude at the forefront and show them what you’re made of!

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