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My Secret Weapon

If you're building your business on your own then having access to other people to get help, bounce ideas off and who understand what you are doing is vital.

Here's my secret weapon and who I turn to for help... Click Here

When you first start your online business, you can do it all yourself. But as your business grows, so do all the little things you have to do. Automation helps small entrepreneurs set some of these tasks on autopilot, which frees you up to focus on more important things and allows your business to scale.

You can’t automate everything. That would be wonderful! But there are some aspects of your business that need the human touch.

Automating your online business makes perfect sense!

Automating your online business makes perfect sense!

Automation helps you by taking care of mundane tasks. You still have to do the thinking, strategizing and relationship building. Here is a sampling of some of the things you can automate.

Automated Back linking

For your website’s search engine optimization, you need plenty of links coming in. Going out and getting these links is a time consuming task that’s not always the most exciting. Luckily, there are automation tools that help you find back linking opportunities. These are services and software programs that use keywords chosen by you to bring you lists of sites to link to.

This helps to make it faster and easier, but you still need to choose the sites yourself. If you put it on total autopilot, you may link to sites Google doesn’t like such as link farms and this will get you penalized. Review each site and decide if it’s right for you. Read More→

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Take a second to consider this – you’ve got a market in two different languages. How would you go about marketing to them? For most of us, we’ve never even thought about doing this before. But the world is truly getting smaller and it’s likely in the near future that you’ll have to market to two language groups.

Multiple Accounts or One That’s Bilingual?

The first question is whether you should create a different social media profile for each language or market to two languages simultaneously on one. Let’s say you’re marketing to English and Chinese speakers. Imagine setting up and managing two different social media profiles for each social media site you use – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and so on. That would be a major headache!

You pretty much have to stick to one profile to market to both language groups through it. But this presents serious challenges as well. The next question is whether you should have posts in only one language at a time, or whether you should provide a translation.

There is no right answer, but here are a few things to consider: Read More→

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Once you set up a Facebook fan page, it’s a bit like a party where nobody is there yet. You’re waiting around for people to come along and like your page. The usual best practice is to first reach out to friends, family members and associates and ask them to like your page. You may also invite your personal followers. But after that, what do you do? Here are some ideas.

Join Groups

A great way to get exposure for your page which will turn into followers is to join groups. Find groups that are relevant to your niche or where your target market hangs out. Join these groups and participate by commenting on posts and making friends with people. Other members of the group will see you and click on your profile to check out your fan page.

Develop your social media presence correctly!

Develop your social media presence correctly!

Host Contests

Hold a contest where the winner gets a freebie. The best option is to invest in a slightly costly (in other words valuable) giveaway and then offer smaller things for runners up. The catch is that they have to start following you on Facebook. That’s all they have to do and they’re eligible to win. Do this regularly and you’ll keep getting new followers.

Offer Exclusive Content

Offer content on your Facebook site that they can only get by joining. There are special tabs for doing this where you can publish ‘fan only’ content. On your page, tell them how this exclusive content will benefit them. The great thing is that to get that fantastic content, they only need to do one thing – click the ‘like’ button. Read More→

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Once you’ve finished writing your book to publish on Amazon’s Kindle, you’re over the hard part. The next step is to tell the world about it and drive traffic to it that will turn into sales.

There are many different ways to promote a Kindle book and I thought I’d discuss some of the easiest and most effective methods here.

Bear in mind ebooks can now be read on many different devices & platforms.

Bear in mind ebooks can now be read on many different devices & platforms.

Offer Kindle Select

There’s an option called Kindle Select that allows you to offer your book free for five days out of every month. Why would you want to give it away for free? Because it gets you killer exposure. It’s available only for Amazon Prime members. The catch is that your book has to be offered exclusively on Amazon for 90 days.

Ahead of the free promotion, tell everybody on all of your marketing channels. Make sure they know that the book is offered for free only on those certain days. Ask them kindly to leave reviews.

Solicit Reviews

Which is our second tip – it’s all about reviews. If you have a high quality book on a hot topic but no reviews, you still may not make sales even at a $0.99 price tag. The reason is that there’s simply so much free or cheap stuff out there. Reviews tell customers that this is a book worth not only the small price tag but also the time and trouble to read. Read More→

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Get the right kind of "Likes"

Get the right kind of “Likes”

When you post something on Facebook or Twitter, you hope to see it liked and shared. That’s the whole point. It means you’re connecting with your audience and it also gets you more exposure for your brand. But if you’re not seeing the likes you’d like, there are some things you can do to get more.

Pay Attention to Peak Times

For every social media site and for every market, there’s a sweet spot when people are online. There are patterns and it differs from one audience to another, but in general, people are checking their social media accounts during the early morning, right after work, and at the end of the day. These are usually the best times to reach them. Read More→

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News jacking means taking news stories and sharing them with your readers while also injecting your own opinions. It’s not really a new technique. People have been sharing news stories for years both online and off. But what’s different about news jacking is that today’s technology allows you to discover what’s trending and share it in real-time, which makes it more effective than ever.

Finding Stories

Finding News is easy these days, on and off line!

Finding News is easy these days, on and off line!

How do you know which stories are the best to share with your readers? One way is to subscribe to several newsletters that relate to your niche. Whenever you see a story that you think your readers would like, share it immediately.

You can also sign up for alerts. Choose relevant keywords and set up alerts so that whenever a new news story is posted that contains those keywords, you’ll know immediately.

Social media offers some good ways to search as well. There are software programs that help you find trending stories on Twitter, which you can then share with you audience.

Sharing News Stories

There are several ways to share news stories. You can put them on your blog or share them with social media. Social media is a good method because you can write a simple blurb about the story and include a link. Read More→

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Procrastination is the enemy of marketers and freelancers because you have no time clock, no boss, and no obligation to work. You’re on your own and you’re only accountable to yourself. When the temptation to procrastinate strikes, the only line of defence is you.

Here are some ideas I’ve used before that have helped me overcome procrastination when it rears its ugly head.

Recognize Your Procrastination

Don't put it off!!

Don’t put it off!!

A lot of times, we procrastinate without realizing it. For example, checking your email throughout the day may be a form of procrastination. Do you really need to check it every hour? I constantly organize my schedule as a form of procrastination.

These procrastination activities may be important tasks, but you’re still using them to put things off. Take a good look at all of your habits and ask yourself – Am I really just buying time? The first step is to know your enemy.

Consider Value

Whatever task you’ve got before you is going to bring you some kind of value. There’s a payoff, or otherwise you wouldn’t do it. When you’re procrastinating, you don’t realize that value. Your expectations of its outcome aren’t high enough to get you off the couch and get you started. Read More→

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Social media is useful for lots of things – building your brand, connecting to your audience, seeing what’s trending in your niche. But it’s also great for building traffic. Here are some ways to boost the traffic your social media sites bring you.

Build Backlinks

Drive traffic through your social media sites in the same way you drive it to your regular site – through back linking. Employ the same strategies like article marketing, guest posting, forum posting, and so on, but instead of a link to your site, link to your social media sites.

Use social media to its full potential

Use social media to its full potential

Blog More

Set up a blog for the sole purpose of driving traffic to social media. Along with blog posts that are published frequently, include links to your social media sites and buttons so that readers can like through your blog. Be sure to include a call to action that tells them what they’ll find there.

Exclusive Social Media Content

For each social media profile, update with different content. This gives your audience a reason to find you on each channel. If instead you post the same content on Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn (for example), they have no reason to visit your other social media profiles. Read More→

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Apr
03

How to Upsell Online

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The up-sell is a classic sales technique that salespeople use to increase their earnings. It has been used successfully offline for as long as anybody can remember, and marketers have figured out some techniques that work online as well.

Up Selling is a vital part of internet marketing - don't leave money on the table!

Up Selling is a vital part of internet marketing – don’t leave money on the table!

The Anatomy of the Upsell

Here’s how it works: You go to a nice restaurant and order the salmon. You ask the waiter for a bottle of wine to go with it. They ask what kind you’d like and you tell them you’re not sure. What goes with salmon? They suggest a premium wine and just like that, you’ve been upsold.

Or here’s a really common upsell – ‘Would you like fries with that?’

The idea is that you offer an enhancement, upgrade or add-on to a purchase. It’s important to clarify here – you’re not selling them another product, but an addition to the one they’ve already purchased. Offering a different product is called cross-selling.

Upselling Online

Your head is probably already spinning with possibilities. For most online products, it’s not too hard to think of ways you can enhance the purchase. But let me give you a few examples: Read More→

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It’s a drag when you’ve got the traffic but it’s not converting. But for a marketer, it’s a blessing in disguise because your visitors are telling you something is wrong with your site. A few easy tweaks and that traffic will be converting. Here are some common mistakes you might be making.

You’re Making It Difficult

Don't complicate matters-keep it easy!

Don’t complicate matters-keep it easy!

If it’s too difficult for people to make a simple purchase from you, they’ll head somewhere else to buy. If they have to register before purchasing or go through a bunch of different pages, they’ll head to another site where they can simply click a ‘buy now’ button.

It’s the same if your purchase process confuses them. Look at how slick, easy and clear the Amazon sales process is – after your purchase; it gives you a printable receipt and sends a confirmation email. People have anxiety when they’re shopping online. Make your sales process as clear as possible to quell this anxiety.

Lack of Customer Service

Lots of ecommerce sites fail when it comes to customer service and this is a terrible shame because you need it even more when you’re online than off. In a brick and mortar store, customers have face-to-face contact with your sales staff. This is not so online.

When there’s a problem with an order, the customer shoots an email off into the vastness of the internet and that’s scary. What if nobody responds? If you’re there for them when they need you, you’ll make their day and they’ll come back to buy from you again (and tell their friends). Read More→

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