Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Participate in Giveaway Events

One simple way to grow your mailing list is to participate in giveaway events. If you’ve never been part of a giveaway, you might be wondering what happens during one. Here’s how they typically work: one business owner decides to create a giveaway. She asks other online business owners to contribute a product of their own.

After the giveaway goes live, people can sign up for it. They typically give their email address and name. In exchange, they receive instructions on how to claim their goodies from each of the business owners. Then they use a coupon code or special link to access the product you’re giving away.

The advantage of contributing a product is that it grows your list. Depending on the giveaway you’re joining, you may get hundreds or even thousands of sign ups. Plus, you get to form valuable relationships with other online business owners.

So, if you’re interested in participating in a giveaway, how do you get started? Begin by following some of these tips…

Look for Giveaways

Before you can participate, you need to find the giveaways. Go to your business groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Make a post and ask for giveaway recommendations. You’ll probably have a few comments that can get you going in the right direction.

You may also want to try using a search engine. Go to Google and type in the names of marketers you know and the word giveaway. For example: Kelly McCausey + giveaway event. Another word that may be useful is “free summit”. For example: Angela Wills + free summit. (I have experience with both of these ladies - which is why I use them as examples. Check them out!).

Make a Product

Once you have a few giveaways that you’d like to participate in, you need to create a product. Don’t panic if you’ve never made a product. You can create one easily by using PLR content from
Coach Glue or Piggy Makes Bank.

Simply buy a PLR product, add your own branding and upload it to your website. Just make sure your product is relevant to your business.

If you sell weight loss products, then creating a product on Google Analytics isn’t likely to attract your target customers. But if your product was about natural cleaning solutions, then your ideal audience would enjoy your product and happily download it.

Write 2-3 Emails

A requirement for many participants in a giveaway event is that they email their list. Even if you only have one subscriber, create a series of emails about the event.

Your first message could be about the giveaway and how excited you are to be part of it. In the second message, talk about the giveaway and highlight a few products that might appeal to your subscribers. 

Your third message should be sent to your subscribers on the final day of the event. Mention how much you’ve enjoyed the event then remind your list that it’s the last day to claim their freebies. Encourage them to sign up so they don’t miss out.

Don’t Be Bummed…

Some (but not all) giveaways have certain requirements. For example, one host only wants contributions from business owners who have a list of 5,000+ subscribers. Others may want you to have a product on a specific topic in order to participate.

If you see these giveaways, don’t get discouraged. Keep a list of them and when you’ve grown your list or have a product on that topic, you can join next time.

Participating in giveaways is fun and rewarding. But there is some initial set up work to make sure everything flows smoothly for your new subscribers.

Monday, November 19, 2018

List Building Basics

My friend Keri just started a website for her new keto lifestyle. She enjoys sharing her fitness journey. Although she’d originally meant for the site to be a hobby, she has decided to turn it into a business thanks to some encouragement from me!

When Keri reached out to me to say she was going to start her business, she wanted to know the first step she should take in her new venture.

And of course, the first thing I told her was to start growing her email list.

How to you build a list if you don't have one?  You can do this by offering a free gift. When visitors to your website sign up for the gift, it’s delivered to them automatically. Their email address is kept in a database so you can email these subscribers again and again.

Start by Choosing a Service

Before you can begin building a list, you’ll need to subscribe to a mailing list service. The mailing list provider will keep a copy of your subscribers’ personal information so you can email them again in the future.

I use AWeber. I have used them for several years and have found them to be very dependable and affordable. Another budget-friendly option for new entrepreneurs is MailChimp. If you have a larger budget or need custom help from a mailing list provider, then you’ll want to give ConvertKit or Drip a try.

Create a List

Once you have an account with a mailing list service, you’ll need to create your very first list. You can call this list whatever you like but in some cases, subscribers can see the title of the list. So, it’s usually best to go with something generic like “Newsletter Subscribers” or in my case  “Ninja Marketers”.

Make Your Welcome Email

When someone subscribes to your new list, they’ll be sent an email automatically. This is the welcome email and it’s one of the first emails that your subscribers will see from you.

In your welcome email, you’ll want to greet your subscriber. Thank them for signing up then provide a link to your free gift so they can download it. Remember, the opt-in freebie should be something that your visitors will find valuable.

Keri’s opt-in is a seven-day keto friendly menu. She did this so she could introduce newbies to the keto way of eating. In her welcome email, she includes a link to the PDF that contains the menu.

Email Often

Some online business owners make the mistake of building an email list that they never message. They rarely email their subscribers and on the rare occasion that they do, they see a high number of unsubscribes. That’s because they were quiet so long that subscribers forgot about their brand.

You don’t want that to happen to your list, so make it a priority to email yours regularly. When you’re first starting out, you want to send out a message 2-3 times a week.

Share Valuable Content

Of course, you shouldn’t email your subscribers just to say you did it. You need to send emails with valuable information inside. If your list doesn’t feel they’re getting anything helpful from you, they’ll stop reading your emails.

Think of quick tips that you could easily share with your audience. Keri often emails her list with sugar-free dessert recipes, ideas on how to make popular dishes keto-friendly, and thoughts about her own food log. Sending this information helps her subscribers connect with Keri and open her emails. 

I share marketing tips and frequently host challenges for subscribers to my list. My information is designed to help my readers build a thriving business through online marketing.

Starting your own list can be fun and exciting. But remember, that your goal is to help your people. By sharing useful information, you’re serving your community and they’ll appreciate that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Work?

I'm pretty sure I'm about to piss off a whole lot of people...

But if you've been around me any length of time, then you know I call it like I see it.

So here goes...

How come so many people who say you want to make money don't want to do the work to actually make money?

And then when you fail, you get all angry or defensive?

And then when I challenge you on what action you actually took, you act offended?

Did I miss something? Or are you still looking for that magic, non-existent get-rich-quick-in-your-sleep-with-no-effort-kinda-business?

Personally, I think that's exactly what you are looking for.  Because it seems that we have become somewhat "entitled."  And that is not a good thing.

In this era of instant gratification, have we forgotten how to work for what we want?  Work first.  Then reward.  That's how it is...or at least how it used to be.  If I wanted good grades in school, I studied and did my homework and took my tests.  There was no "extra credit" to help me pass if I was failing due to lack of work.  (On the other hand, there was always help available for those who were putting in their best effort and still having problems).

If I wanted my allowance, I was expected to do my chores.  At the end of the week, I was rewarded with some money.  When I was 14, I got my first "real" job.  And I noticed it was the same way there.  I was expected to complete my work.  At the end of the work week I was rewarded with a paycheck.

When I decided I wanted to try out for sports, or choir, or orchestra, I had to perfect my skills (practice!  More work!). If I did, I was rewarded with a place on the team.  And if I wasn't good enough, I was told "Sorry, you didn't make it."  And I survived.  If it was something I really wanted like music or academics, I went back and practiced more and harder so I could try again.  And sometimes I just had to admit that athletics is just not my thing.

It's still the same today.  When I decided to launch my own business, I studied with other successful entrepreneurs.  I did what they told me I should do.  Occasionally, I found something they suggested didn't work for me.  But I discovered that if I just kept putting in the effort and learning all I could, eventually everything clicked!  And I was making money!

I know this probably sounds very old-fashioned.  I am officially classified as a "senior citizen" now.  But if just seems to me that there are more and more people expecting someone to just hand them success without them ever having to put in the work. 

I see more and more of the ads like these:

"Make 6-figures in 90 days with no selling, no product, no website, no list."  Seriously?  What business is this?

"Join today and we'll build your team for your!"  Really?  Do you really want a team filled with people who are expecting someone else to do the work?

And it's not just business...

"Eat all you want, eat what you want, and still lose weight!"  What kind of drug do you have to take for that to happen?  And what are the side effects?  

"Does something bother you?  We have a pill (or a lawyer) for that!"  Don't get me wrong.  Sometimes pills and lawyers can be good things.  I can definitely vouch for that!  But it seems to have gotten a bit excessive.

I have a suggestion for all of you "would-be entrepreneurs" who are busily blaming it on the industry, their coach, the government, their lack of family or friends support, their age, their gender, their education, or all the other excuses for your failure.  Why don't you just try doing the work!

Now that I've ruffled more than a few feathers, I'm sure...I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

I'm Hobnobbing With Hollywood! Meet Joie Gharrity!

Image may contain: Joie Gharrity, smiling
Facebook know I love them,  I'm not talking about those spammy everybody-vomit-your-links-endlessly type of groups.  I mean real Facebook groups designed to create a community.  Done properly, they are a great place to build relationships.  That's where I met this month's Success Story.  She runs an awesome group called Branding for Professional Business Women!  Everyone meet Joie Gharrity.  And when you're finished reading this, go join her group!  See you there!

1. Joie, tell us about yourself.

I am the Founder of 113 Branding Digital Media Studio. I'm a Brand Director, Creative Producer, Author, and International Speaker. I have worked in the Hollywood entertainment industry for 15+ years at top companies, in film, television, original web content, and branded entertainment. I was hand-picked by the ABC Studio President to launch the first multi-media startup business for The Walt Disney Company.

I was inspired to launch 113 Branding because she realized that most entrepreneurs were not focused on standing in their own Spotlight and selling themselves, which impacts their long-term success. I integrate my strategic branding and content development vision with both the creative and business sides of the entertainment industry. 


2. Tell us about your book

In my book The Red Carpet Guide to Visibility and Influence, I share branding strategies, techniques, tools, and tips that can be implemented easily. I am passionate about being of service and working with entrepreneurs to help them gain Superstar Visibility and Influence in the marketplace. 


3. Why did you write this book?

I truly believe that it is your birthright as an entrepreneur to stand in your Visibility and Influence Spotlight and shine bright. It has nothing to do with the last name you are born into or your vocation. It does have to do with living your true purpose turning up your Visibility and Influence Spotlight and allowing your Influence to shine.

4. How has being a Hollywood insider helped with your current career?

I have taken my Hollywood insider background along with the strategies, tools and tips and repurposed them specifically for entrepreneurs to stand in their Spotlight. I consider entrepreneurs stars in the business world. And I treat them accordingly.

5. What can Hollywood teach us about branding and marketing?

To step fully out of the shadows and embrace your gifts and talents by getting Visible and increasing your Influence. Running a business is much like filling theater seats. It takes a minimum of two years before a feature film goes into the theaters. The minute a movie gets a green light the studio along with the producing team immediately start working on getting the buzz up in the marketplace. They do not wait until the project is complete or perfect. As an entrepreneur, you want to hit the ground running to grow the Visibility and Influence about your projects and services before you launch so that there are buyers waiting when you go live. 

6. It appears that in Hollywood, it’s still “not what you know but who you know”.  Would you say this is correct?  How can knowing the right people help you build your brand and expand your business?

A well know quote of mine is “Only together can we soar higher and higher.” It is impossible to build a thriving brand without a huge tribe and network. Getting out of your own backyard is also an important piece to growing your brand. Knowing lots of the “right people” should be a priority for every entrepreneur who is serious about building a sustainable business.

7. What has been the most difficult part of getting your message out?

Visibility takes courage. Many people have grown up not necessarily being seen and heard in a big way. Nor have they been encouraged to stand in their Spotlight and own their gifts and talents. I encourage people daily to make it a habit. It takes a minute to really get comfortable with the Visibility Spotlight. However, it is so worth it!

8. Do you have any resources that you would recommend for entrepreneurs – or anyone – struggling to make themselves stand out? 

I have a Huffington Post article called Doubleand Triple Dip Your Way to Massive Brand Visibility. It is a network driven 113 Branding Strategy that is based on the experience of working in Hollywood. We have a very unique way that we network that leverages each other’s influence.

9. I love your book and think the topic is SOOO important.  You’ve been hard at work promoting your book and your brand.  And quite well, I might add.  Do you have any tips to share on promoting yourself?

BRAG, BRAG, BRAG. I have gotten push back on my encouraging specifically women to brag. However, I do not consider this to be a negative three letter word. In Hollywood I was taught and encouraged to embrace my wins and to share them with others. How is someone going to know to work with you or buy your products and services if they don't know about them. Standing in our expertise, gifts and talents is your birthright. Shine a bright light on everything you are doing in pre-production, production and post production is my advice and allow the marketplace to see your greatness.

10. What other advice would like to share with new entrepreneurs? 

Being an entrepreneur is one of the best titles and jobs in the world. Embrace it and shout from the rooftops that you are an entrepreneur. I see entrepreneurs sometimes skirt around their title and what they do at times because there can be a stigma in the marketplace. Kick that to the curb and stand loud and proud.

11. Where can we purchase your book? 

12. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Stand in your Spotlight, get Visible and grow your Influence. Your future self will thank you!

Monday, November 5, 2018

5 Ways to Get Noticed in a Noisy World

My friend Joie Gharrity (you'll meet her later this week!) says everyone deserves to stand in the spotlight.  And it's true.  As business owners, we all want and NEED to be noticed for what we do.  But have you noticed?  It's a bit harder lately.  There is so much noise, so much chatter, it's almost impossible for the small business owner to be stand out.  You either have to be posting EVERYWHERE 24/7 or spend a ton of money on ads.  Maybe even both!  And if we are just starting out, we may not have the time (many of us may still be working a job) or the money.  It's a battle we just can't win...

Or can we? 

The answer to that question is yes...we can!  There are some simple steps you can take to help you stand out and shine in this crowded space.

1.  Choose your space and master it!  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn...and probably a few more I haven't mentioned.  Lots of the marketing gurus tell you to have a presence on ALL of these social media sites.  And I a point.  It's okay to have a presence on each of them providing your target market is also present there.  And with the automation available today it's easier to manage multiple platforms than in the early years of social media marketing.  But I still say to pick one platform and become the master there.  I am active on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Less so on LinkedIn.  But Twitter is my home!  It's where I generate the most leads and interact with thousands of followers.  When I have something big happening, Twitter is where I make the announcement.  

Twitter is my space but it might not make any sense to you.  That's ok.  If you love Facebook, them become the Facebook whiz.  If you love using images and photos to convey your message, then Instagram or Pinterest may be the best spot for you.  It doesn't matter which one you choose as long as you are comfortable there, can master the platform, and build your tribe. 

By the way...if you are on Twitter, I'd love to connect with you.  Follow me here

2.  Embrace the technology!  As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, you can automate much of your social media marketing.  Tools like HootSuite and SocialOomph or Social Jukebox allow you to schedule posts in advance.  You can link social media accounts so that what is posted on one will appear on others.  Of course, the same tool might not be right for every platform.  So once you have decided where to build your empire, do your research to find which tools and apps work best with that platform.

3.  Reuse your content!  It's hard coming up with fresh content everyday.  Especially if you are still working.  So reuse and revise.  For example, I will take this blog post and break it up into smaller posts for FB and Twitter.  I will use the image to post to Pinterest and Instagram.  I may find a couple of points and turn them into image posts for Facebook.  And when I'm looking for a topic for a video or Facebook Live, I will come right back to this post.

4.  Let your personality show!  When I first started on social media, I thought I had to be all professional and formal all the time.  But that's not me.  I'm the girl that does videos in her PJs or in Cosplay costumes.  I'm often snarky and irreverent and I tend to go against the norm.  When I finally let my true self show, my engagement skyrocketed.  Don't be phony.  People can spot phony a mile away.  So just be you. 

Oh - that doesn't mean you get to be rude, hateful, or hurtful.  If that is your true self, you are in the wrong business. 

5.  Provide value!  If you really want to stand out in the crowd, then share your expertise for free, with no expectations.  In a world full of people screaming, "Buy my stuff!  Join my team!  Notice me!", offering value free with no conditions is a definite attention-getter.  And when people see that you give away good stuff, they are more likely to purchase from you later because you have already proven your worth.

So...are you ready to stand in the spotlight?  Awesome!  Follow me on Twitter and I'll help spread your message if it's worthwhile.  I love retweeting value!  Or find me on any of the other social media platforms. 

Are you already getting noticed?  Share your tips and techniques in the comments!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Finding the Perfect Journal for Your Needs

Journaling can be done with traditional pen and paper or you can capture your thoughts digitally by using an app. But one method isn’t necessarily better or worse than the other. It’s just a matter of preference. Still, if you’d like to know the pros and cons, here are a few ideas…

Advantages of Handwritten Journals

Handwriting can boost creativity, so you can make connections faster and easier. It also gives you space to leave the digital world behind, which can help you see your problems in a new light.

Another pro of handwriting your journal entries is that there are fewer distractions. If you’re typing on a laptop or smart device, you may be tempted to stop and check your email, read the news, or do other tasks that keep you from completing your entry.

Some people prefer handwritten journals because the writing is often more emotional and raw. With typing in a digital journal, you can erase and rephrase your sentence as many times as you want, which can sometimes result in more sterile writing.

Journal Options

You can find a variety of journals available in stores and online. But before you buy, think about the type of journal you’ll want. If you’re going for a bullet journal, then you’ll need to shop for one with a bullet grid like this BulletJournal/Notebook with Pen Loop - Elegant Black Leather Notebook with PremiumThick Paper.

If you’ll be doodling or creating artwork beside your journal entries, you may not want any annoying lines to get in your way. That makes this Spiral Daily Notepad a good choice. Not only are there no lines, the paper is refillable so you can keep re-using the journal cover as many times as you wish.

If you need your journal to lie flat and hate spirals, then Studio Oh has some beautiful journals you might want to consider. This cute Follow Your DreamsSloth Journal is as inspiring as he is chill.

Pros of Digital Journals

Digital journals can be more secure, especially when protected by hard-to-crack passwords. With a handwritten journal, anyone can read your entries if they have access to your notebook.

Another advantage is that digital journals can be tagged and searched. This means if you have a journal entry from two years ago, it’s much easier to find a digital copy than to sift through years of notebooks.

Plus, digital journals allow you to include other media. For example, you can write a post about that day at the water park and include videos of yourself going down the tallest slide.

Journal Software

There are several options if you prefer to journal digitally. The Day One Journal is one of the most well-known and popular journal apps. It can be used on both Android and Apple products and it’s free.

If Day One isn’t what you’re looking for, the Journey app is a good alternative. It’s free and has a desktop version that works on both Windows and Mac. It syncs seamlessly between the different locations so you always have access to your latest entries.

Although EverNote is a productivity app, you can use it as a journal if you wish. Just start a new notebook and name it “Journal” or “Thoughts”. Then create a note within the notebook. Each note can be treated like a journal entry. You can add tags, format text, and include images in your entries.

So, Which Should You Choose?
Try both journal options! Spend a week or two writing daily entries in a physical journal. Then switch and spend a week or two writing daily entries in a digital journal. At the end of your experiment, choose the one that felt most enjoyable to you.

Monday, October 8, 2018

How to Rock Your Journal Sessions

I love journaling. I always feel better after doing it. But sometimes, I let life get in the way and I avoid doing it - sometimes for or several weeks. It's a bit like going to the gym. I never regret getting it done but sometimes, I find it difficult to get started.

I shared this with my friend, Kristen, and she suggested a few tips to help me become more consistent with my journaling habit. If you also struggle with consistency, consider trying some of these ideas…

Create a Template

Kristen explained that she had created a template for her journaling time. It meant that when she sat down to write, she didn’t have to wait for inspiration or try to come up with something new to say. A few of the questions on Kristen’s template include:

·         What am I grateful for today?

·         Who did I show kindness to?

·         What I did learn from yesterday?

·         How am I feeling?

·         What’s one thing I want to do now?

My template is a bit different since I journal for a different
purpose. But I find that having  some predetermined questions
that I ask each time really helps get my thoughts flowing.
Make It Fun

Kristen told me to make my sessions fun. “When it’s fun, you’re naturally drawn to an activity, so make it easy and enjoyable.”

For me, this means brewing a cup of my favorite tea each time I sit down to journal. I savor the tea in my favorite mug and the warm liquid helps me to relax before I begin to write.

Play Music

Another way to make it fun is to play music. Some people, like me, do their best journaling if they have their music blasting. Other people find music is too distracting when they’re trying to write.

If you enjoy listening to music when you’re working on a project, you might be one of those people who finds it inspiring to listen while you journal. Experiment with different kinds of music until you find the one that makes journaling easiest for you.

Have a Special Journal Spot

I like to journal from the comfort of my front porch during the early morning hours. I sit in my rocking chair and sip my tea, often getting out early enough to watch the sunrise.

Kristen has tried to do the same thing but didn’t find the environment stimulating enough. She likes to be surrounded by people and the hum of conversation. So, she decided to make the local Starbucks her journaling spot and finds it works much better for her.

Schedule It

Kristen encouraged me to schedule each journaling session like I would a doctor’s appointment or other event. “By scheduling time to journal, you’re more likely to do it,” she explained.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to make it a daily habit. Kristen enjoys journaling each morning but I find that is too frequent for me. So, I changed my schedule and now journal twice a week.
Journaling might not feel natural at first, but don’t give up on it too fast. Instead, try some of the tips above. Pay attention to what works best for your personality and inspires you to write.