Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top 10 Success Strategies for 2012

The new year is less than two weeks away.  Now is the time to examine your business.  Are you where you expected to be at this point?  If not, what can you do differently next year?  If you are, what strategies can you build on to keep up your momentum?

Here are my top 10 success strategies for a successful 2012.

1.  I have already broken my number one rule for success - treat your business like a business!  Which means not to let things (like holidays) interfere.  As you can see from the date of my last post, I have not been so successful at this.  But we all backslide every once in a while.  But in order to be successful in your business, you have to work at it every day until it reaches that point where you can step away for a vacation and it will continue to function without you.  Just make sure you come back prepared to work.  So the family vacations, shopping trips, and holiday parties are over and now it is time to get back to work.

2.  Set your goals.  You won't know if you have been successful if you don't know what successful is.  What do you want to achieve next year?  Increased cash flow?  More traffic to your site?  Additional income streams?  Set your goals for next year now so you will know when you reach them.

3.  Take it one step at a time.  Once you have set your goals, determine the steps necessary to reach them.  Create an action plan will get you where you want to be.  Then follow it - one step at a time.  Don't try to accomplish everything at once or you will become overwhelmed.  By taking your overall goal and breaking it up into manageable steps, you will steadily come closer and closer each day to accomplishing it.

4.  Learn to serve.  Your value to others is directly related to how well you serve them.  Focus on providing the best possible service to as many people as possible and the rest will take care of itself.  The Bible says it very well - "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."  Focus on serving your customers and I promise the money will follow in direct proportion to your service..

5.  Use your time effectively.  Do you often find yourself wishing for 48 hour days?  Then perhaps you aren't managing your time effectively.  Are you focusing on activities that give you the most benefit?  Or are you wasting time on activities best delegated to others - or even best left undone?  Track your activities for a week.  Use a spreadsheet, calendar, planner or even just a notepad.  Note each activity you perform throughout the day and how much time you spent on it.  Then review it to see if you need to make some changes to get the most out of each day.

6.  Stay on course.  I have a friend who has been part of so many different "business opportunities" it's hard to keep count.  Every few months, he is calling me about "the next big thing" and encouraging me to get on board before it's too late.  Needless to say, while he has been moderately successful, he has not reached the goals he set for himself financially.  He blames it on the fact that he has not yet found the perfect "opportunity."  But the truth is, he never sticks with anything long enough to build it as big as it could become.  Decide what the focus of your business is and stick with it until you reach your goal.

7.  Never stop learning.  Attend a seminar.  Read books - business books, leadership books, inspirational books.  Take a course.  The more you know, the more you can offer.  And the more you can offer, the more valuable you become.

8.  Network, network, network!  Even I have had to concede and jump on the Facebook bandwagon.  You never know where you might meet your next customer, mentor, partner.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn all have hordes of loyal users.  Learn to put yourself and your business in front of them effectively using these tools.

9.  Build your business team.  You cannot do everything - nor should you.  Surround yourself with others who can do the things you can't or don't want to do.  It Should be a Dog's World requires lots of graphics and art work.  I could spend my time on this.  Or I can give my ideas to my graphic designer and let her deal with it.  Since ideas are one of my strong skills and artwork is hers, I am more than happy to let her take care of that part of my business.  Delegate or outsource what you can and should and focus your time on what you do best. 

10.  Plan your day.  Every night before I bed, I make my to-do list of what I need to accomplish tomorrow.  When I get to work in the morning, there is no time spent deciding where to start.  I have my list ready, in order of importance.  All I need to do is start at the top and work my way down, checking off items as I go.  If I don't get everything on the list finished, I simply carry it over to the next day.  But having my list helps ensure I get more done each day because I arrive in the office already prepared for what needs to be done and what is most important.  You can use whatever tool works best for you.  I just you a notepad.  You can do it last thing in the evening or first thing in the morning.  But do take time to plan each day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Don't Get Scammed!

I get all kinds of emails and phone calls about online scams - either asking how to avoid them or complaining because someone thinks they have been the victim of one. 

The majority of internet marketers are hard-working, honest people who create and promote valuable products and willingly help those who are just getting started.  But, as in any business, there are those who will try to take advantage of others for their own gain.

We've all seen the ads or gotten the emails.  "Make $10,000 Overnight - While You Sleep."  "No Product, No List, No Website - No Problem!"  "We Do All the Work For You - You Make the Money."   If you are just starting out online, promises like these can be very exciting!  If only it were that easy.  But being successful online takes the same work that being successful offline does.  Create a detailed business plan and implement it. Offer a high quality product or service at a reasonable price.  Provide excellent customer service.

If the internet "guru", product, or opportunity is claiming that you can just put up a Web page (or better yet, use the one they will provide you), sit back, do nothing, and be cashing huge checks in no time, you might as well save your money because this is just not possible.  One web page, especially one generic web page used by possibly hundreds of people, is not going to enable you to retire early.  Building a quality site filled with original content is still the best way to draw internet traffic - and money.

How can you tell if the person/business/product you are considering is a fraud?  Here are some simple rules.
1.  Do they make claims that sound too good to be true?  If so, they probably are.  Don't get scammed.
2.  Do they provide contact information?  A physical address or a phone number?  Call the number to see if it is correct and working.  If not, this could be signs of a scam.
3.  Is there an active email address provided?  Inactive email addresses and emails sent from free accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo could be signs of a scam. 
4.  Is there a guarantee?  Ask the company what will happen if you want to return the product or stop the service. You might even ask for references of people who have returned the product and received refunds.  If the company is not willing to guarantee their product or service, look elsewhere.
5.  Do they use high pressure sales tactics?  Don't fall for them.  Take the time to make an informed decision. 
6.  Ask!  The internet is filled with people who know this business inside and out.  Ask your friends.  Ask on forums or social networking sites.  Look for online reviews/references.  Check on ScamBusters.  If this is a scam, chances are you are not the first. 

The internet is a great tool to use to build a business.  It's full of knowledgeable, helpful people that will help you learn the ropes and outstanding products and services designed to make it easier than ever to build your business.  You can be successful online.  But it won't happen overnight, with no effort, and one Web page.  Don't get scammed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Inch by Inch, Success is a Cinch

I love old adages.  You know the ones I mean - those old sayings your parents used to tell you all the time that drove you crazy, but make sense now that you've matured.  "A penny saved is a penny earned."  "Pride goeth before a fall."  And one of my favorites - "Inch by inch, success is a cinch."

Actually, it wasn't my parents who introduced this one to me.  It was success coach Mike Litman.  And I did take the liberty of rewording it just a bit.  The actual saying is "Yard by yard, life is hard.  Inch by inch, life is a cinch."  But the path to success is also easier if taken a step at a time.  So inch by inch, success IS a cinch.

When starting a new business, or trying to expand an existing one, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the "stuff" there is to do.  Sometimes you just don't know where to start and there seems to never be enough hours in the day to get everything done.  In fact, it can be so overwhelming and exhausting that many people quit before they ever really get started. 

What can we do when we have too much to do?  Instead of giving in, try tackling one thing at a time.  Don't try to do more.  You'll only wind up tired and frustrated.  In fact, you might actually want to do less.  But do it right.  Instead of running around taking potshots at each of your to-do items, pick one today and focus all your attention on it.  Starting a new business?  What is one thing that you can accomplish today that will help you move forward?  Have you done your market research?  Written your business plan?  Decided on a business name?  Choose one task today, complete it, and check it off your list.  If it's a large project like research or writing your business plan, break it up into smaller pieces and then finish one of these each day.  Once you have completed your task for the day, move on to something else. 

Are you trying to expand an already established business?  The process is still the same.  What is one thing you can do today to move your business forward?  Write an article for publication?  Develop a new product?  Create an advertising campaign?  Choose one thing and devote yourself to it.  Again, if it's a bigger project such as creating a new ad campaign, break it into smaller, manageable tasks.  Then choose one of those and tackle it.  Focus on it until it's completed.  Then move on to the next step.

This may drive those of you who, like me, want instant gratification, just a bit crazy.  I admit - one step at a time was very hard for me in the beginning.  But it works.  Small steps planned with care will achieve more than leaping in without thinking.  And each step moves you that much closer to your overall goal - and success!

What ONE thing can you do today to move closer to your goal?  Take that small step.  Because slow and steady wins the race.  Rome wasn't built in a day. The hurrider I go the behinder I get.  Haste makes waste.  And inch by inch, success really is a cinch!          

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When the going gets tough, the tough listen to Grandma!

I was saddened today to get a phone call from a friend who started a business of her own 2 years ago.  She lost her job during a round of downsizing and hadn't been able to find a new one.  Her business was growing slowly, and was making enough that, along with her husband's disability, they were making it.  But it was a struggle for her to work her business, care for her husband and family, and still have any free time left for herself.  Her husband has continually pushed her to give up her foolishness and go get a "real" job.  Then all of a sudden her computer crashed and needed to be replaced.  Since her business was online, her computer is essential.  But before she could get a new one, her car broke down.  Then her roof started leaking.  And then her youngest son became ill.  The money she spent on these meant there is nothing left for her to spend on replacing her computer.  And so she is giving in to circumstances and pressure and beginning a search for a "real" job.  Her disappointment and despair were so evident in her voicemail, it made me want to cry.  And so I promptly called her back with some ideas and encouragement.  "Don't give up!", I told her.

If you read my posts and articles with any regularity, then you know I have gone through some STUFF in my life.  But my grandma always told me that God would never send me more than I was able to bear.  Remembering, that I would sometimes utter a prayerful "Why" but then determine that there must be a reason for whatever was happening and even though I may not understand what it was at the moment, I was secure in the knowledge that I would get through it.  And so I would pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward.  Sometimes slowly and painfully, sometimes with purpose and determination, but always with the knowledge that I would prevail in the end.

The same thing can happen in your business.  Everything is moving according to plan.  Your business is growing, money is coming in, you're gaining more recognition and with it more clients and then - "BOOM".  Something explodes and when the dust settles, it leaves you wondering what happened and where do you go from here. 

An unexpected business setback can leave you questioning your own abilities to be an entrepreneur.  Maybe you really aren't cut out for this.  A nice secure job with a steady paycheck may be your destined path.  It can make you wonder if all the naysayers who told you your idea wouldn't work were right.  Maybe they know more about this than you do.  Perhaps you should listen to them and just give up. 

When I was going through some of the more difficult experiences in my life, I often wished there was an easy way out.  But the price for giving up was always so high that it was never really an option.  But in business, often you can just walk away.  You tried, it didn't work, now you're finished, no harm done.  But here too, the price for giving up can be more than you realize.

You started your business for a reason.  It may be due to the need for additional income.  Or, as in my case, circumstances in your life made it difficult to have a traditional job and still fulfill other obligations.  Or you may dream of building something bigger and better for your family.  Regardless of your reason, the cost of walking away from it can be huge.  If I had quit during any of the many setbacks I experienced, I would have missed out on all the time I had with my father before he passed away.  That's a high price to pay.  If you started your business to replace a lost job, or because you need additional income to provide for your family, what will be the cost to them if you quit?  And what kind of example are you setting for others who may be watching, waiting, hoping that you succeed so they can get courage, inspiration, and support from you?  You believed in yourself and your business in the beginning.  Don't let that belief falter just because you have stumbled.  Get up, dust yourself off, and let's move forward.

One of the things that helped me through whenever life got tough was being surrounded by a network of strong and caring family and friends who would remind me that this was just temporary and that I would get through it.  They provided advice, assistance, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on.  It has worked the same way for me when experiencing a business setback.  I have surrounded myself with others who think the same way I do.  When I hit a bump in the road, they are there with advice, support, assistance, and encouragement. 

If you are feeling like the time has come to just give up, stop.  Tap into your network of friends and mentors.  Chances are one of them has been through the same thing and can help.  At the very least, they can provide ideas and encouragement while you work through this current obstacle.  If you don't have such a network, build one.  But whatever you do, don't quit.

Three of my favorite quotes remind me of this whenever I feel discouraged.  I keep them hanging on my office wall - just in case!

For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. - Mary Kay Ash

Have you got a problem? Do what you can where you are with what you've got.- Theodore Roosevelt

God will never send you more than you can bear. - Grandma

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Marketing Shape Up Plan

We just spent a glorious week at Disney World with our children and grandchildren.  It was one of the best vacations I've had in a long time.  But even though I had started this trip with the best of intentions, I noticed a couple of things when I got back home.

The first one hit me the morning after our return.  I was getting ready for my day and as I was, I stepped on the scale for a quick peek.  I was prepared for at least a small drop in weight considering all of the walking we did around the different parks each day.  I was actually hoping to see a rather substantial decrease.  Instead I discovered I had gained seven pounds!  How did that happen?

I immediately determined to get back on track towards my weight loss goals.  Though I had done quite a bit of walking, I also had to admit I had done quite a bit of cheating.  Many Disney World restaurants have wonderful food and we had purchased the deluxe meal plan which includes dessert with your meals.  True, I didn't have to eat them, but I was on vacation after all.  What harm could a couple of extra desserts do?  Plus snacks. 

The second discovery happend later that night.  I was online checking stats on websites and sales figures and I noticed a small drop.  Nothing huge, but enough that it caught my attention.  How did that happen?  The same way the weight gain did - by cheating.  I had taken my laptop to Disney World with me.  I had every intention of working a couple of hours a day.  But then the kids wanted to go to the park early so they could spend more time there.  And they wanted to stay late to see the fireworks.  And my daughter wanted to get together for a quiet talk after the kids were asleep.  Or my husband wanted to have some couple time.  So I skipped a few days of marketing.  (Okay, I skipped a week's worth of marketing!)  But what harm could a few days do? 

As I was sitting at the computer looking at the data, it hit me.  Just as I needed to a shape up plan to lose the extra weight I had gained and get back on track, I also needed a marketing shape up plan to make up for my total absence from my business and get it back on track.

Step one was to set a goal for each.  Once you have a goal, it is much easier to plan a course of action to reach it.  Trying to create a plan without a goal is like starting a trip without a final destination in mind.  It's hard to keep on track if you don't know where you are going.

Now that I knew where I was going, step two was to create the plan to get there.  Since I already have an active marketing plan, I just needed to tweak it a bit to make up the lost ground from by vacation.  I am in the habit of doing at least three marketing activities a day.  I decided to double this for the next two weeks.  Six marketing activities a day should be more than enough to shape things up.

Once I had the basic plan in place, it was time for some spot toning.  Not every weekly activity needed to be done with increased frequency.  For example, Monday is the day I usually review to see what's working and what's not.  I take a look at all of my marketing efforts for the previous week and identify the areas that need more attention as well as those that are shaping up as planned.  I wouldn't want or need to do this any more frequently.

On the other hand, I usually write and submit at least one article a week.  Increasing this to two for the next couple of weeks would certainly be beneficial.

Yes, it's going to be an intense two weeks.  But by making the committment to rebuild my muscles now - both physical and marketing - I will soon be able to slow down to my normal pace and get back to doing what I love to do - spending my time helping others!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Web Design No-No's

Everyone knows I am not a web design expert.  That's why I use SBI!  I did outsource a designer once but discovered that I am WAY to controlling for that to work well.  Now I just outsource my graphics with PopArtDiva and use SBI! for my site.

I don't need to be an expert, however, to tell my clients when something just doesn't work.  And after a knock-down, drag-out session with my newest over his site, I thought I might share some of those here. 

1.  If I have to wear sunglasses because the colors on your site are blinding, I am not going to read it.  Likewise, if there are so many different colors it looks like the Skittles rainbow.  Granted, bright colors can be eye catching if used properly.  The key word there is properly.  Use them to draw your visitors to a particular place on your site or to highlight something of importance or interest.  Too many colors just looks busy.  Keep it simple.  Two or three but definitely no more than four colors is enough.

2.  Skip the splashy intro pages.   If I am at your site, I am looking for something.  I do not want to sit through a production number featuring flashing lightening bolts and horrible canned Muzak while the name of your company scrolls across the screen.  I'm going to skip the intro anyway so save yourself the time and effort of creating it.  Because if it's too annoying, I might not just skip the intro.  I might just skip your site altogether.

3.  Ditto for Flash.  It's cumbersome.  Not everyone has a flash player on their computers.  If I have to download something extra just to visit your site, I probably won't if I have other options (i.e. other websites). 

4.  Use a font that I can read.  I'm old.  My eyes have had lots of use.  They don't work perfectly anymore.  So if I can't read what you have written even with my reading glasses, I'm moving on.  This doesn't mean you have to use Arial or Times New Roman exclusively or a 24 pt font.  But do use a legible font in a size that most people with normal vision can see.  I don't mind wearing my glasses as long as I can see when I do.

5.  Don't make your site so difficult to navigate that I need a road map just to find my way around.  If I get lost on the first couple of tries, I will go someplace easier to get around.  One or two clicks should get me anywhere I want and it should be obvious where I am and where I'm going.

6.  My first question when I get to your site should not be "How do I turn off this music?!"

7.  Don't even bother to put up the site if you aren't going to maintain it.  Nothing is more frustrating than to think you found the site you need only to find all the information on it is out of date.  It will make me wonder if you are even still in business.  And that will send me looking for someone I know is still around. 

A website needs to be easy to navigate, easy to read, and easy to understand and current.  Catch my attention with a great page title.  Lead me to the information I want quickly and easily.  Show me how to contact you if I need to or give me the opportunity to purchase your goods and/or services with a few clicks.  Leave the gimmicks, noise, and flash for someone else.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Let's Swap Ideas

Do you have an idea that would help someone out? This is the day to share it!

I'm not sure how Swap Ideas Day originated, but a day devoted to creativity and productivity sounds like a good idea. If you have a good idea, why keep it to yourself? And if you hear a good idea, why not try it out? Swapping ideas, whether in-person or on an online forum can foster a sense of community and be totally invigorating.

I think this is an awesome idea.  Imagine the wealth of inspiration each of us could accumulate just by swapping a few ideas!

So let's do just that.  Share your ideas with us, either by posting here in the comments or on Twitter (#swapideasday). 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Read a Book Day - These are my Faves!

Today is Read a Book Day.  It's a day to curl up in a comfy chair with a nice cup of tea, pick up that book you've been meaning to start, and spend the day - or at least a few hours - relaxing, learning something new, or just being entertained by a good book.

If you are looking for some good reads to help you with your business, here are my top ten favorites.  These are in any particular order (other than the order they appear on my bookshelf!)

1.  The Impact Factor (Ken McArthur) - Ken's book is loaded with advice on how to get your message heard. Step-by-step plans, lists, and bullet points are provided to help you put his advice into action. He illustrates everything with personal examples from his own experience and the experiences of others.  A must read for anyone trying to stand out in the online business crowd.

2.  Testosterone Free Marketing (Denise Michaels) -  One of the best business books I have ever read.  If you have ever dreaded having to get out there and ask for the sale, this is the book for you.

3.  Guerilla Marketing (Jay Abraham) - My business bible-every small-business owner should have it on their bookshelf.

4.  Conversatons with Millionaires (Mike Litman) - The first business book I ever read.  It is filled with secrets from successful millionaires that will help you skip lots of struggle and wasted time and help you get started making money.

5.  Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki) - I didn't read this until I heard Robert Kiyosaki support network marketing as a viable business model.  Since that's how I got my start, I had to read this book at that point.  So glad I did.  It taught me a lot of things I didn't know (like my house is not an asset!). 

6.  Multiple Streams of Income (Robert Allen) - Creating more sources of income.  What a concept!

7.  The E-Myth (Michael Gerber) - Just because you have a skill or knowledge or a great business idea, doesn't mean it will be a success.  If your business is totally dependent on you being there to make money, it's not much better than a normal job.  This book will show you how to turn your business into a system, like Starbucks or McDonalds, that anyone can run.

8.  Duct Tape Marketing (John Jantsch) - Practical advice on creating a marketing system that won't cost you a fortune to implement.

9.  UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging (Scott Stratten) -  I admit it.  The only reason I read this book the first time is because I follow Scott on Twitter.  When I saw his book on Amazon, I figured what the heck.  Let's see what he wrote.  Now it is one of my all time favorites.  Why?  Because he told me I could stop all of the traditional marketing techniques I so hated (cold calling, putting up flyers, posting hundreds of ads), and taught me that it's actually all about connecting and building relationships with my customers.  Thank you!

10. Take Action! Revise Later: A Simple Guide to Success in Business (Bob Jenkins) - Ditto.  I bought this only because I met Bob at a jvAlert event.  So once again I saw the book and since I learned quite a bit from him at the event, decided it might be a worthwhile read.  And it was.  Not only did he show me I didn't have to get it exactly right the first time because I could always change it later,  it is filled with tips to help you take the action necessary to get your business going.  I even have TARL posted on the wall in my office as a reminder to Take Action! Revise Later.

Do you have a favorite business book?  I need something new to read for Read a Book Day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Make Marketing a Habit

I'm trying to get back into an exercise habit.  I am setting my alarm so I will get up at the same time every morning and exercise.  By doing this, I hope to reap the benefits of participating in a regular exercise program.

Marketing must be a habit also.  If you truly want to build a successful business, marketing is something you must do regularly.  Much like exercise, there won't be any long term benefit if you only do it when you feel like it.

Almost every morning I get up when the alarm goes off, lace up my running shoes, put one of the dogs on his leash, and go for a morning walk. (Sorry, all you avid runners, but this gal is too old and banged up to try running anymore.  Those days are gone!).  We've been doing it long enough that I am beginning to feel the difference when I miss it.  And the days that I do miss it are steadily decreasing in number.  It's becoming a habit.

Likewise, almost every day, I do at least 3 tasks to market my business.  Just as I schedule my exercise for first thing in the morning, I schedule my marketing tasks as part of each day as well.  If I miss one of my regularly scheduled tasks, my business feels it.  I've been doing it long enough that I can see the difference.

How can you develop the marketing habit?  Easy.  Repetition.  Doing the same thing over and over until it is part of you.  So pick a marketing task.  Anything will do.  Do you write well?  Make it a habit to write and submit two articles a week.  Do you enjoy making videos?  Schedule time each week to create and post one video.  Are you a Twitter and Facebook fanatic?  Set aside time each day to tweet or post about your business.

Once you are in the habit of doing this one task, add another and do it repeatedly.  And then another and another.  Soon your marketing habit will be such a part of you, you will feel the difference when you skip a day.

Psychologists say it takes at least 6 months of repetition for something to become a habit, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you will see results.  And you will see results.  I've lost 14 pounds, just by walking the dogs every morning.  And my business continues to grow, just by marketing every day. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Promoting Your Site

Business plan - check.  Catchy business name - check.  Business cards - check.  Website - check.  Traffic - oops!  No traffic.  What's an online entrepreneur to do?

Fortunately, there are many ways to get traffic to your site.  We will cover some of them here.

The easiest way to drive traffic to your site is to provide visitors with content.  A good content-rich site is like a traffic magnet.  Make sure your keywords are included in your content so the search engines will find you.  In fact, you really want to make a list of all your keywords and then develop a page devoted to each one.  Put your keyword in the first paragraph of the page, preferably within the first 90 characters.  Use it in a text link or hyperlink.  Help the search engines find your keywords in every way possible.

Does your website have a site map?  If not, you need to build one.  A site map is another way for search engines to find you.  And since it has links to all of your pages, it will help your visitors find their way around more easily.  The easier your site is to navigate, the more likely you will get - and keep - visitors.

Market, market, market.  Too many would-be online entrepreneurs put up a site, then sit back and wait for traffic to find them.  When it doesn't they get very upset, declare it's all a scam, and quit.  You have to let prospects know you exist.  You do that by marketing your site both online and offline.  Place ads, send emails announcing your new site to your lists, blog about it on your blog if you have one,  Tweet about it, announce it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or any of the myriad social networking sites. 

Write articles for others to use as content for their sites.  Just make sure that when they do, they include a link back to your site.  Many websites are looking for good content for their readers.  My personal favorite is

Get some PR.  You are an expert in your chosen area.  Participate in or host a press worthy event of your own, and let the local media know about it.  It can be something as small as hosting a business workshop for teens or teaching newbies how to use social media.  I have done both of these and both got me great press and new business.  Plus the media now knows me and frequently contacts me to get my input on other stories and events.

Earlier I mentioned using your blog to promote your site.  I assume you have one.  If you don't, you need to start.  It is one of the fastest and easiest ways I know to get exposure online.  I like Blogger.  I have clients who prefer WordPress.  It doesn't matter which one you use.  Just use one of them and get started. 

Is your website listed on your business cards and letterhead?  Sounds simple but not everyone thinks about it.  I have at least three business cards right sitting in front of me right now from a networking event I attended this morning that don't have a website listed or email address.  Since I like to look at a person's website before I call to find out more about their business, these three have just lost out.  And while we're talking about adding your site to your print media, don't forget to add it to your email signature as well.  If you're like me, you send a lot of email every day.  Each one carries a link to my sites at the bottom.

SEO and meta tags, optimizing your videos and images - these all have a place in promoting your site.  But for most beginners, it's a bit complicated.  I don't even pretend to fully understand SEO.  That's why I have someone else do it for me.  Meanwhile, the tips listed above will help you get started.  Once you have some traffic coming to your site, you can learn the rest.  Or hire someone else to do it for you...  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Holy &%*#! What a Ride!

An accident.  Rehab.  A death in the family.  Rattlesnake bite.  Tornado.  Flooding.  Raising your teenage granddaughter.  Sounds like the plot to a bad disaster movie, doesn't it?  Well, unfortunately, it's been all too real.

The past year has been difficult for me and my family.  I will spare you all of the depressing details.  Let's just say it was enough to make me withdraw from all except the most essential interactions.  I desparately needed time to heal - physically and emotionally. 

But heal I have, thanks to God and the support of my family and many friends.  And I'm back now, and ready to get back to work.

Now I wasn't completely absent.  Still needed to make a living after all.  So I have kept in touch with my network marketing teams, worked with some of my coaching clients.  But I didn't reach out to anyone new or share with anyone I was not well acquainted with.

This down time was actually very beneficial.  Of course, I would rather have not had to go through some of these experiences.  But they did cause me to step back and take a good hard look at where I was heading.  And the conclusion I came to was - I was going the wrong way.  It took me a while to figure it out, but suddenly there it was.

With that in mind, I am making some changes.  This blog will remain.  I still think it serves an important purpose.  Don't Trip Over Your Brain is expanding.  Since I have started two other network marketing businesses in addition to FHTM, it will focus more on network marketing techniques anyone can use and less on FHTM specifics.

Bob has recovered from his run-in with the rattlesnake.  But between that and the fact that he is 15 years old (that's like 105 in dog years!), he is no longer as spunky as he used to be.  And so he will be retiring from traveling.  He will still be blogging.  But we are revamping his entire site.  The traveling will be taken on by Austin and Bob is going to devote his energies to a new adopt-a-pet segment.  The Adventures of Traveling Bob is now going to be a new expanded site.  Look for our launch in mid to late August 2011.

As for me, I've also been working on something new.  It's not completed yet, but I'm very excited about it already.  So much so, that I don't want to wait until it is finished to share.  Boomer Biz Coach is becoming more focused, starting with the launch of our new site:  Boomer Business Ideas ( 

Lots more coming.  I'll keep you posted.  It feels good to be back in the world again.  I missed all of you.  Now let's get to work!