Mon, 30 March 2015
I hope you’re buckled in, because my guest this week is an online business expert who is renowned for “telling it like it is.” Ramit Sethi is a master communicator who pulls no punches. When it comes to sheer mental confidence, there's no one quite like him in the online marketing world.
As a result, he’s had massive success in developing products that get huge results for his clients. His secret to developing these products is just one of the things we discussed in our interview. Our conversation was a great mix of lessons on mindset and tactical product creation strategies.
You should really listen to the whole interview, because there's way too much to fit into a blog post. But here are some of the highlights:
Redefining a Rich Life
Ramit’s landmark book is called I Will Teach You To Be Rich. But the strategies he teaches in this book and elsewhere aren’t aimed exclusively at people who want to blow $5,000 on a weekend in Vegas (but if that's your jam, Ramit thinks it's great!). Ramit says that the rich life is different for each person. For many of us, a rich life simply means being able to work from home, take our kids to work with us, building a business where money is automated and we can focus more time on the things we love.
In other words, money is an important part of having a rich life, but money is not the whole picture.
No matter how you define a rich life, Ramit says it all comes down to just a few big “wins.” If you get just five or ten of these wins, you don’t have to sweat the small stuff, and you can focus more on the things you really love.
How Fear Will Hold You Back
Ramit talks candidly about the toxic influence of fear, which gets in the way of achieving these big wins. You’d never know it to hear him talk now, but Ramit himself struggled a lot with fear in the early days of starting his online brand.
"I had been writing my blog for about two or three years and I had never made a cent. I didn’t want people to think I started my blog just as a way to make money because that was never the intention.
I was absolutely petrified that people would not buy it or, even worse, that they would call me a sell out. You can see it in the sales copy that I wrote. The way I wrote that sales copy was so cowardly.
I literally said, 'Why should you pay for this? I know you can find a lot of stuff for free.' My self confidence was so low that anyone would buy it that … I literally tried to defend it before they even bought."
But people did buy it. And they thanked Ramit for putting his information out there. What’s more, those buyers ended up opening his emails, joined other courses he offered, and took action on the things he taught them.
"The real people, the people I actually wanted to focus on, were buying and they were delighted to pay."
In other words, Ramit had found his target market. (Want to listen to the entire interview? Click here now!)
Learn to Fail Well
If you read Ramit’s blog, you’ll find a tag in it labeled “Failures.” This is where Ramit keeps an ongoing log of the things he has tried that haven’t worked out. Believe it or not, even go-getters like Ramit crash and burn sometimes. He even told me about one occasion, not that long ago, where one of his courses had a flaw in it so bad that within an hour of releasing it online, he was getting refund requests from people who had just purchased it!
Ramit says he has trained himself to look at failures not as catastrophes, but as tests. Every failure reveals data, he says, and every bit of data you get is pointing you in the right direction.
In the situation above, if he’d simply decided his course didn’t work and then moved on to the next one, that would really have been a waste of time, effort and resources. Instead, he took it as a test of the course’s weak points, found the problem, fixed it, added some new material, remarketed it to a different group, and ended up building massive success.
"My belief is if I’m not adding multiple failures to that every month then I am probably not trying ambitiously enough. If you go talk to a successful person and ask them to tell you about their failures they ask you if you have all day, because they have 50 things they have had problems with."
The Making of “Zero to Launch”
Ramit’s latest course is one that he calls his most ambitious ever…which is saying something! In our interview, he gave me a behind-the-scenes tour of how this product was put together.
Get the Free Marketing Resources from Ramit Sethi's "Zero To Launch" System
Do I Need to Be Rich to Get Started?
A lot of people may wonder, after reading Ramit’s content, whether they have to be rich already to implement his strategies. Ramit says no…it’s all about starting from where you are now. After all, if you put all your money into a fancy email provider or a slick website design, you have nowhere to build to…and you might go broke before you have a chance to build your audience!
A lot of the strategies Ramit teaches are doable with less than a few hundred dollars. Setting up a website, creating surveys, and a lot of payment providers and technology out there are almost free. What really matters, he says, is your commitment to finding your clients and listening to them.
"Most people don’t need more money. They need to focus on following the right action steps, to listen to their customers, and create something their customers will pay for."
One More Thought
This was a quote from the interview that was so good, I had to share it:
"So many people right now believe they have something the world needs. But you created something the market doesn’t really want. So this is a huge problem. If you’ve created something they don’t want or if you are putting it in terms they don’t want, it doesn’t matter how fancy your design is or how cool your conversion technology is. If you are getting tepid reactions you are not getting a real pain point. But when we have created something that they desperately want they will do anything to get it. They say, “Tell me now, take my money, here you go.”
That’s when you know you have a winner.
Fri, 27 March 2015
Today’s topic is very near and dear to my heart.
We are talking about how to find your calling--what you were put on this earth to do.
Even those of us with jobs we love can sometimes feel unclear on whether we're really making the best use of our talents and utilizing our passions to the fullest. Even I find myself in this place sometimes, wondering if I'm on the right track or if certain decisions or circumstances are causing me to veer off course.
I know there are a lot of you out there who feel this way. You have talent to burn, and dreams of putting your best out into the world. Some of you are hustling hard every day to make those dreams a reality. Others of you haven't found the right opportunity yet, and are maybe working hard at a job that...well, let's just say a job that you don't really love, that doesn't quite fit the size of your aspirations.
Whether you're an entrepreneur, a 9-to-5'er, happy in your work or desperate to get out, my interviewee on the podcast today has a tremendously empowering message about finding your calling no matter where you are, and taking steps toward doing the work that you are built to do.
His name is Jeff Goins, and he just released a fantastic new book called The Art of Work.
Take a minute to look through it by clicking here.
If you order it now, you can also get $250 worth of free bonus material, including exclusive access to Jeff himself, a workbook, extra video features, all kinds of good stuff.
There are lots of books out there about how to find fulfilling work. You've probably read a few of them. Jeff's book really stands alone, though, because he's not delivering his message from a pedestal of wealth or prestige. Instead, he offers beautiful stories of real-life people that have found their calling in a multitude of different ways. He gets into the day-to-day stuff that, if you pay attention, helps you discover what your calling is.
This was such a great interview, you should really just listen to it on the podcast. But I'll give you a few highlights from my talk with Jeff:
What Is a "Calling," Exactly?
Contrary to popular belief, your calling is not the same thing as your passion. Passions change as we mature, learn what really matters to us, and refine our understanding of what kind of impact we want to have on the world.
Calling has more to do with purpose. Jeff says it's not a single moment of sudden understanding; it's more a lifestyle, a constant evolution of understanding what you're here for.
It's Never Too Late
...Or, as some of you may be dreading to ask, when is it too late for a person to find their calling?
If you've been in the same line of work for a while, it's easy to think that you're stuck in the track you've created, and that your current job is simply your "default" calling. Maybe you feel like you wasted your past, that the opportunity to really take hold of your purpose has passed you by.
Jeff says that couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, he tells me the story of how he found his calling as a writer after being quite well established in a marketing career.
Jeff says that one of the biggest things he learned from the interviews in The Art of Work is that your past prepares you for what is to come. You can use everything as an apprenticeship for what is coming next. He calls this listening to your life. Everything about where you've been up to now--the passions you've had, the failures you've experienced, the opportunities you did or didn't take--can help you figure out the larger purpose is in your life. Pay attention to what came before, and use it to fuel your next move.
The Biggest Factor in Achieving Your Calling
The idea of a self-made man or woman, Jeff says, is simply not true.
As he wrote The Art of Work, he found again and again that people who felt a strong sense of purpose in their lives had discovered that purpose through the help of others who believed in them...and even one or two who didn't support them, but gave them an opportunity to say "Yes, I can!" and prove the doubters wrong.
This, by the way, is particularly true for people in the online business world. Jeff pointed out that all online marketing is based off of relationship--building trust with your clients and audience, and partnering with your peers in the business world.
Start Where You Stand
There's no single road map to finding your calling and achieving your purpose. This can be daunting for a lot of us, who feel overwhelmed and just want someone to tell us what to do. And there are plenty of people out there, Jeff says, who "sanitize" their story after they've achieved success. They only tell us the cleaned-up version that comes with hindsight, and leave out all the dead ends, the wrong turns, and the times they went in circles.
Finding your calling takes practice. It involves a lot of learning as you go, because nobody else has the exact same calling as you, so there's no one who can tell you exactly what to do.
To start with, Jeff advises to examine wherever you are. Don't assume that because your current situation or circumstance is less than ideal that the time you've spent there was wasted. Even if it's not where you want to stay, there is something in that situation that you have been practicing. Use that practice and knowledge to your advantage.
This is the first part of listening to your life. The second part, Jeff says, is taking a few steps forward. Clarity on your calling comes with action. Most of us are waiting to just know what we are supposed to do, but you won’t just know. Jeff says he was surprised to find that most of the people he interviewed who are doing meaningful, remarkable work never saw it coming.
Start thinking about what you love doing, and what you're really good at. Connect with others to get their take on what you're good at. Find people doing the kind of work you admire, take them out to coffee, and ask them how they got there. And learn to be both purposeful and flexible with the things life throws at you. You have to be really intentional, Jeff says, to make the most of whatever is happening right now. This is how life gives you clues as to what you should take action on.
What You Can Do Right Now
This, Jeff points out, is a big problem. If work is our means of making an impact on the world, we can't simply disengage from it until something better comes along. Because, Jeff says, what happens when something better does come along? If we haven't cultivated the habit of adding value to the world no matter where we are, we aren't going to be in shape to make the most of those opportunities.
What needs to happen, Jeff says, is a pivot--a turn of direction. Yes, it might mean a pivot in your external circumstances--changing the job you hate for one you love, take your career in an entirely different direction.
Sometimes, though, that kind of pivot takes years. In the meantime, your other option is to do an internal pivot: learning to orient yourself in your work toward a greater good of serving other people.
If you are really going to move the direction of your life’s purpose, it may not happen overnight. The internal pivot is the first way to change your job from drudge work to a higher purpose. This is how you first become attuned to what your calling is.
Visit The Art of Work to learn more about Jeff's book. And remember, if you order it now, you will get a bunch of bonuses including a freebie from Jeff himself that deals with these mindset shifts we talked about here.
Wed, 25 March 2015
If you've been following this blog (or podcast) for a while, you know we've come a long way since the days when everything about online marketing started and ended with Facebook.
Still, we all know that social media and Facebook in particular remain a BIG part of how we drive traffic to our websites, build community, grow our email lists and turn leads into happy paying customers.
The journey you create for your prospects that takes them from casual social media fans to loyal customers usually starts on social media. Which means you have to constantly be aware of what's changing in the social media world, and tweak your strategy to take advantage of these changes.
Don't worry--that's why I'm here! To help you master these tweaks and make social media your own.
That's why today we are diving into Facebook and video, to learn how the two together can make a big impact in your online marketing success.
And of course you already know that Facebook is important for your business.
But do you know how crucial Facebook WITH Video is for your business right now? Here are some stats that prove it:
I can vouch for these stats from my own personal experience--I've been very impressed with the organic reach with any given video I post on Facebook. I've been seeing instant traction when I post a video on my page, much more than a post with a static image. The greatest thing about video is how it takes on a life of its own through sharing.
And no, I'm not talking about highly polished, professionally edited videos. I'm not a video editor and I don't have a big production budget for these. No, the traction I'm getting is with simple, quick videos made mainly on my smartphone and edited with simple software.
Simplicity and ease are the key to making these videos a practical part of your marketing strategy--if they're not easy, you won't do them...and if they're not simple, people won't pay attention to them! Studies have shown that short video across all social media platforms get the most views and engagement. Short and simple is good.
Today, I'm going to highlight some people and companies that take full advantage of this trend in online marketing through short, simple video posts.
I've also made a free cheat sheet for you, with tips for how to post great video to your own Facebook Page. It's called “The 7 Tried and Tested Tips to Increase Your Facebook Engagement with Simple Videos." Download it by clicking here.
Get the Free Cheat Sheet "7 Tried and Tested Tips To Increase Your Facebook Engagement With Simple Videos"
Great Video Example #1: “3 Tips to Prep Your Yard for Spring” (Lowe's)
Yes, this video was professionally produced--after all, a big brand like Lowe's can afford to put money into their video. But that's not what makes it great.
Along with being short (just 54 seconds in length) and simple (it’s all imagery--no humans were used in this video, the great virtue of this video is that it’s timely.
At the time of this recording, the first day of spring was just a few days ago, and this video steps right alongside the Lowe's target audience to offer exactly what they need (and nothing extra) to get ready for this moment in the year. The tone is easy, friendly, conversational--like a friend next door is giving you advice. This is the perfect feeling to ignite action in the Lowe's audience...and where does that action take them? More than likely, to a Lowe's store.
Great Video Example #2: "How to Make Chocolate Cake Infused Vodka" (The Tipsy Bartender)
This page rotates their posts between videos and images, all accompanied by a different cocktail recipe. And they've nailed the formula for success. In fact, one of their quick instructional videos--a how-to for turning a leftover slice of cake into chocolate vodka--had more than nearly 55,000 shares after just one week! It also accrued more than 66,000 likes and nearly 13,000 comments. Not bad for a video that's only 54 seconds long and uses super simple imagery.
What really makes this one work, besides the brief length and the simple setup, is the snappy cuts between shots and the text layover of all the ingredients being used. This keeps it interesting while getting the point across.
Great Video Example #3: "Check Out My Latest Podcast" (Chalene Johnson)
If you visit Chalene's Facebook page, you’ll see that she uses simple videos to promote her blogs and podcast episodes.
The teasers range from 30 seconds to slightly longer than a minute, like this one. Each includes a direct link to that blog post, making it easy for fans to visit her site and get the rest of the info.
In addition to entertaining live-action videos, Chalene uses a really cool technique. (I didn't mention this technique in the podcast audio, so this is an extra feature for all you devoted blog readers!) She takes an audio clip from her podcast show and puts it into video as a voiceover, with simple images that illustrate the point. I love this innovative way of mixing up video material. For those of us who don't love being in front of a lens, it also cuts down on the number of times you have to get your confidence (and your hair) in camera-worthy shape!
Great Video Example #4: "The Bus Pole" (Lysol)
At the start of flu season, the company launched a “Lysol That” campaign with some great humor. Each video in the series highlights ways to avoid one of life's...well, grosser aspects.
Touching the bus pole, the bathroom stall, elevator buttons, handshakes during flu season...all these distasteful everyday situations create an instant connection with an audience, because they're instantly relatable. Lysol follows this connection with a one-two punch--humor and education--and seals the deal with a gentle pitch: how about a little Lysol anti-bacterial hand gel?
Great Video Example #5: "Love Your Curls" (Dove)
Dove has been leading the way with marketing videos for quite some time now. Remember their Real Beauty campaign a few years ago? These videos and the ones that have followed keep people watching with relentless pulls at audience's heartstrings, encouraging their impulse to do good in the world.
These videos also tend to be on the long side. But Dove makes up for the length with quick shots and lots of variety--interviews, action, text--that hold the viewers' attention.
Watch the video above one more time...did you actually see Dove's product? Did they even mention it? The answer is no. Through this emotionally appealing video, Dove has successfully created a call to action that encompasses both buying their product and doing good in the world. Oh, and also grabbed over 5 million views, nearly 80,000 likes, almost 7,000 comments and 47,000 shares.
Videos with this kind of emotional appeal get massive shares. They're also a little bit harder to create, since they require more thought and craft. But if this is a style that you feel will work for your brand and you are up for the challenge, don't to pass them up.
Make Your Own
Ready to start making your own videos? Instantly download our free cheat sheet “7 Tried and Tested Tips to Increase Your Facebook Engagement Using Simple Videos" to speed your process along...and also learn about some really cool video apps that will give your video a lot of viewer-friendly polish.
Get the Free Cheat Sheet "7 Tried and Tested Tips To Increase Your Facebook Engagement With Simple Videos"
If you have a great Facebook video that you've seen success with, or would like to get feedback about, share it with the community here! Post a link to your video in the comments below, or share the video on my Facebook page.
Tue, 17 March 2015
I have a question for you. What do Seth Godin, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, and Richard Branson all have in common?
If the first thing that comes to mind is that they have millions of followers on social media, you are right about that. That’s definitely true.
But the answer I am looking for is the reason behind their millions of followers on social media. There’s a single strategy they all share, a strategy that drives enormous numbers of people to follow them.
The answer: their brands are big on personality.
It would actually be truer to say that their personalities are their brands. From their signature look to their unique ways of expressing themselves, these people package their content in a way that sets them apart from anybody else in their niche.
When you have great content, really smart offers, and a foolproof marketing strategy and you are still not getting the traction your brand deserves, what you may be missing is personality.
People respect someone who works really hard. But they love someone whom they feel is real, someone they can connect with. And in a marketplace that’s bursting with hard-working, hustling entrepreneurs, people are more likely to follow their heart than anything else.
What you want is for their heart to lead them to you.
Today’s episode is all about making that authentic connection with your audience by infusing your brand with personality--your personality.
Before I dive in, today’s free download is called “The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Infusing Your Personality In All You Do.” It shows some of the best examples of strategies I am going to highlight for you today. Download it by clicking here.
Believe it or not, there is even an industry term for this way of infusing your brand with personality. Marketing analysts call it the “personality differentiator.” Here’s what it can do for your business:
Big corporations recognize the importance of personality in their brand—that’s why so many of them get celebrities to endorse their product, or invent engaging fictional characters for the job. (Think Flo from Progressive Insurance.)
But entrepreneurs like you and me usually can’t afford to hire an outside face for our company…and guess what? We don’t need to. Instead, we get to use our own personality and everything that makes it special, magnetic, intriguing, funny, maybe even a little bit controversial, to help our own brands instantly stand out in the crowd.
Being Authentic and Professional
Some of you may be hesitating, “Are you suggesting that I use Kim Kardashian tactics to increase my brand’s visibility? No, thanks!” Don’t worry—that’s not what I’m recommending here. There’s definitely a fine line between between showcasing your personality and going to unprofessional lengths for attention.
If you look at someone like Oprah, she definitely has the whole look-into-my- real-life thing going for her while still keeping the respect of her audience. Throughout her career she has given plenty of hints as to her real life so that we feel like we really know her. We’ve seen her gain and lose weight. We’ve heard her start and abandon projects. We’ve heard her talk about friendships and politics and everything else in between. Through it all she’s been admirably consistent with her brand.
The key to being real but maintaining respect is found in being relatable.
Relatable = Staying In Your Niche While Reaching Out to Others
To be relatable to people on a wider scale, you have to do two things:
Now let’s jump into the various ways that you can start infusing your winning personality into your brand through various kinds of messaging.
This applies to blogging, of course, but also to social media updates, email marketing, and anything else your audience might read from you.
It’s a pretty general rule that it’s best to write the way you talk. For some people that comes naturally. For others, it sometimes feels like rocket science.
It can also feel a little bit vulnerable if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. But believe me, it’s always better to sound like you—quirks and all—than to sound like a generic “professional” with nothing unique or charming to make your voice memorable.
If it’s hard for you to write the way you talk, then run your next piece of content by your best friend or spouse, and ask them to tell you honestly if it sounds like you.
Your “About” Page
About Pages can represent over 60% of your website’s total traffic. Sound crazy? It just goes to show that people really want to know who you are. When they click on your About Page, it means they like what they have been reading so far and they want to get to know more about the kind of person you are. Which means you’re more than halfway to getting a new customer!
The most foolproof way to create a compelling About Page is to tell a story. Don’t just state the credits of your resume or the praise you’ve received. Craft a narrative of how you ended up where you are, what you love about it, and what you hope to accomplish in the long run. The silly stuff, the entertaining stuff, the things you think really don’t matter, are what round out your personality and create trust between you and the reader…because they seeing you as a fellow human being.
One person whose About Page helps her stand miles apart from her crowd is publicity expert Melissa Cassera. Her About Page is so good that I’m including the entire thing in the free PDF that I’ve created for you. Click here to get the download now.
Photos and Imagery
You may already realize the power of Instagram as a messaging tool. But are you using photo sharing to its full potential?
If you narrow your focus just a little bit with the images you post on all social media, this could have a huge effect in terms of defining your brand personality.
Start limiting your brand accounts to a specific image, or even a category of images, that reflect something true and unique about how you see the world.
A great example of this is Foster Huntington, a graphic designer who created an iconic brand for himself with his photos of camper vans accompanied by the hashtag #vanlife. You can see this and more examples in my free download.
Wondering what to post? The key is not to think about it too hard. Just pare away the number of cute photos of your dog or your lunch, and focus more on images that you really like, the ones that really resonate with you. The pattern will evolve over time, and come to define your brand in an organic way.
Listen to Episode 51 in full to get even more insights...click here to download the audio from iTunes.
If you listened to our last episode, you learned some basics about how to get a lot of compelling lead action into a short amount of video footage. So why not use that same technique to infuse personality into your brand? Videos let your visuals and your words come together with that certain something that makes your personality unique.
A lot of people get really scripted in their videos, because they want to be taken seriously as an authority in their field. There’s nothing wrong with a script, except when it leaks all the real-person charm out of your delivery. Looking like you know your stuff but having a dry, soulless delivery is actually worse for your brand than, say, flubbing one of your lines or having your dog bark in the middle of your recording.
The answer to this is simple: write your script, read it over a few times, and then throw it away before you hit “Record.” Just talk to your audience through the camera about what you want them to understand. (It may take some practice…we’re not all natural players to the camera.)
And no, you don’t have to specialize in videography for your short videos to be a valuable addition to your content. Approach your videos this way: What can you say to your audience that will help or inspire them in 15 seconds?
Network with Your Community (Virtual or Local)
Create a place on your site where you turn the spotlight back on your community.
For example, the office supply company Poppin has a web page where they feature photos people have taken of themselves with their brand new Poppin products, tagged with #workhappy.
Another example is Zipcar, the rental car company. When you search for cars to rent, you'll find little blurbs about iconic local destinations in whatever city you're searching. This gives the Zipcar brand a well-traveled impression...a very good thing for a transportation business.
The Behind-The-Curtain Approach
Not everything you post has to be about you. If there’s something you’re passionate about, zero in on it and feature it.
Even if it’s something that has nothing to do with your business, maybe a charity project, a certain travel destination, a hobby, a favorite TV show, offering little updates on this throughout your content gives people a sense of who you are.
What you value enough to talk about tells people about you and it will resonate with them in ways you probably can’t even imagine.
Maybe this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway…
The key to infusing personality into your brand is to be yourself.
I know that feels scary at times. You don’t want to lose potential customers because you say something one way and not another way. When you take risks and really put your personality out there, sometimes it can be a little polarizing. But that’s okay. All you really need to worry about is that
Don’t forget to download the free PDF I’m offering with this episode. It will show you examples of infusing your personality in your brand. I’ve also included some practical steps on how to use storytelling to infuse your personality into your messaging. Click here to get it now.
Wed, 11 March 2015
Today’s show is #50…that’s right, my 50th episode of the “Online Marketing Made Easy” podcast.
In honor of Episode #50, I’m giving away a prize: a membership into my signature program, The Profit Lab. This program shows how to build business funnels so that you can grow your email list and profit from your leads. Entering to win this free membership is easy—just click here to leave an iTunes review for the “Online Marketing Made Easy” podcast.
For Episode #50, I’m talking all about paid advertising.
And nobody knows this subject better than my good friend Rick Mulready. He actually has a podcast of his own called “The Art of Paid Traffic.”
One of the biggest things Rick does on this podcast is dispel the notion that paid advertisements are a negative thing. People often think you need a big budget to run a paid ad campaign, or lots of time for planning out a strategy. Or they might think they simply shouldn’t have to pay for advertising.
In fact, anyone can engage audiences through paid advertising…and they should!
In order to get started right away with two of the most popular types of paid advertising—Facebook ads and YouTube ads—with a simple cheat sheet that I created with Rick. It’s called “The Anatomy of High-Converting Paid Ads.” Get it by clicking here now.
Get "The Anatomy of High-Converting Paid Ads"
There are three main types of ads that you can and should be using now:
A native ad is an advertisement that sends people to a piece of content (as opposed to a direct opt-in form or sales page). It could be a blog post, a video, even show notes from a podcast.
The great thing about native ads is that they contribute to your brand’s total value. They put helpful content out into the world that adds value right off the bat, in addition to pointing to other things (your program or service) that can be of even more value.
When people end up on your content page, that’s where you can introduce an opt-in form, a lightbox or some other kind of offer for your program or service. Just make sure it’s relevant to the content that you’ve sent them to.
They also allow you to retarget people who visit the content that your ad is pointing toward, and put them on a separate list from your regular email list.
This separate list that comes from native ads is what we call a “warm list”—it lets you know a very specific interest group within your list. So if you’re running a native ad for a particular program or service and people click on it, you know that next time you promote that same program (or a similar one), those are definitely people that you should retarget.
Retargeting is also something you need to know about for our next kind of paid advertising:
Around here, we talk a lot about Facebook ads. The fact is that Facebook changes its setup all the time, and what worked six months ago or even six weeks ago may have changed dramatically. That’s why it’s crucial to be consistently checking out Facebook’s terms and conditions for ads. Check the help pages to stay current with the rules, so that you know your advertising isn’t going to get pulled out from under you!
These days, Facebook’s foundation for advertising is a lot like the native ads we just talked about...ads have to add value to Facebook users. In other words, the less salesy you can be with your ad, the better.
To be honest, this change benefits you as the business owner—running an ad that leads to a blog post is a lot cheaper in what you pay per click, versus running an opt-in page ad. It also builds trust with your users. They click on your ad, get to a page of real, valuable content, and they feel good! That’s something that people will keep coming back for.
Retargeting comes into play when you set up your Facebook page to target who you want to be tracking and what pages you want to track. That way, you can build a specific list from anybody coming to any page on your website.
Don't worry--Rick and I made a special video just for you that shows how to set up the retargeting audience within Facebook (also known as "Website Custom Audience"):
Get all of Amy's secrets for easily creating effective paid ads! Listen to Episode #50 in full.
YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world, second only to Google. Just like Facebook, you can search it by topic, not just by keywords. But the biggest advantage YouTube has as an advertising platform is that videos are, by nature, extraordinarily appealing.
This is the drawback for some people considering YouTube ads…they don’t like the idea of being in front of a camera. In fact, you don’t have to spend any time in front of the camera, if you don’t want to. You also don’t have to hire a huge production crew. Some of the most effective ads are made with just a person holding up an iPhone and talking into it.
If you're new to YouTube ads, a great place to start is with “in-stream” ads…the ones that come up when someone starts to watch a video, that they can skip after a few seconds if they choose to. What's more, the ad creator (that means you) start actually paying for the ad after it reaches the 30-second mark.
With these ads, it's crucial to make your mark on an audience within those first 30 seconds. This is where our handy free cheat sheet comes in. You can download it and get the secret of how to create an effective ad that includes a memorable message and a call to action within those precious 30 seconds before someone hits “Skip to Video.”
Take Your Time
It’s important to note that if all these strategies are new to you, don’t feel like you have to implement them all at once. It’s much better to explore one of them at a time. Test things out, educate yourself, take notes on what you see around the Internet that appeals to you.
Don't forget to download our free cheat sheet for a fast, simple understanding of how to create these ads yourself!
Get "The Anatomy of High-Converting Paid Ads"
Mon, 2 March 2015
Today’s post reminds me why I love doing this podcast so much. Not only is the material great, but it comes from two of my favorite people—a power couple in the online marketing world.
Their names are Joshua and Jill Stanton and together, they run a business called Screw The Nine To Five where they teach people who are dissatisfied with their day-to-day jobs how to take their skills and transform them into a self-run online business.
Whether you’re well on your way in creating your online business, just getting started, or even simply circling the waters trying to decide whether to get your feet wet, this post is tailor-made for you. It’s all about mining the raw material from which online businesses are built, and crafting it into the cornerstone of your success.
Entrepreneurs are an idea-happy bunch. You probably have tons of ideas swimming in your head right now. Maybe you’ve even grown used to hearing people say “That’s crazy” or “Wow—that’s going to take you a long time.”
It’s never a good idea to pay much attention to the naysayers. The fact is that nearly every idea is a good one, if you can figure out how to make it profitable.
That’s where Jill and Josh come in. They are showcasing some of their concrete strategies for determining any idea’s profitability.
Actually, we’ve condensed their strategies into a series of four step-by-step tests that you can run any idea through.
Spoiler alert—those tests are today’s free download. Click here to get it now.
Get the Free Step-by-Step Guide: "The 4 Profit Validation Tests"
Josh and Jill have been making money online for quite a while, but their spunkily named website came about after they were asked repeatedly how they did it. They decided to start a program specifically for training others to do the same thing they did--a place where they could just send everyone asking their advice.
Ever since, they've been helping people see how they can translate their day job skills into an online job that generates way more income in way less time. In other words, you don't have to learn a brand new skill set in order to start an online business. You simply take what you know and strategically build a business around it.
The "strategic" part is where we can all use Josh and Jill's expertise. Because of course you need to see whether your idea for how to translate your skills to your own business has wings...or not. Odds are it does, but it's not going to be a get-rich-quick situation. However, if you put the passion and hustle and hard work into it, you'll be amazed what you can do online.
I can speak to this personally. Back when I was working my own 9-to-5, I was dreaming of starting my own online business but resigned to the fact that none of my knowledge would translate into the outside world.
All it took was a good friend who reminded me that I worked in marketing...something every online business needs to know how to do well. I was sitting on a gold mine.
You might be, too. Here are the four tests that will help you find out.
Test #1: Udemy.com
This is best suited to people who might want to sell digital products or programs. Udemy is an online learning marketplace. They have five million customers and they have digital products and programs ranging from everything from crocheting to IT. In other words, there's a lot of opportunity here.
I have to say, it's pretty great that there is a resource like Udemy, where you can simply go and see if somebody else is currently making money with your course idea. It’s that simple.
Test #2: Amazon.com
This, again, is best suited to digital products and programs. But you can also use it if you want to start a service-based business. It’s not limited to information products. As you may know, people can skew their Amazon ratings by canvassing their audience to buy books or post reviews at certain key periods of time. But ratings and reviews aren't what you're after. The sales results are what you really want to know about, and those are updated hourly by Amazon.
The way to make sure you are getting an honest reading of sales results is to look for a few different books in that category that are in that lower ranking. You can open up a whole bunch of different listings and see how well that topic, in general, is performing.
Get all of Josh and Jill's insights on these four profit validation tests. Click here to listen to Podcast Episode #49 in full.
Test #3: Google Keyword Tool
It's really important to discover if there is an audience for you to market your great idea. One tool for this is Google’s free keyword planner tool. (You can find it by simply Googling “keyword planner.") It allows you to run a search for any keyword or phrase and find out how many people per month are searching for that phrase. It’s a really great way of gauging how big an audience is searching just Google alone.
For example, enter the keyword phrase “how to become a real estate agent” and you'll see that that search gets 14,800 searches per month. In other words, almost 15,000 people every single month on Google are trying to find information on how to become a real estate agent. So if you already are a real estate agent, there's an opportunity for you to offer a course that guides people down the path to becoming certified.
Test #4: Facebook Ads
This final test is where you go when a Google search doesn't turn up any results. What that usually means is that the people in that market aren’t seeking their answers on Google.
Instead, they're probably on Facebook.
To find out what kind of audience is waiting for you on Facebook, you want to find blogs within your industry...blogs that nearly always have Facebook Pages associated with them.
Alltop.com is a service that lists every single blog, all of the top blogs, in any category. Search on Alltop, and you're likely to find the industry that you work in right now under one of those categories. When you select that category, it will bring up a list of all the top blogs in that industry. You can go through those sites and see if they have a link that goes through to a Facebook Page. Once you discover their Facebook Page, you will then use Audience Insights to see what size of audience they have and what demographic it lies in...what age range, what interest group, what gender, etc. (Audience Insights is a tool that is located inside your Facebook Ads Manager.)
Essentially what you are doing is targeting your already existing competitors to see what kind of audience they've already built up. Later on, you can use that information to run ads to those same people to sell your own products and services.
If you put your idea through these four tests and find its profitability is validated on all four...well, then, it might just be time start creating a program or product. Even if your idea is validated on just one or two of the tests, I agree with Josh and Jill that it is definitely worth pursuing. You just have to make sure you are actually willing to commit the time and energy to really giving this a good go.
As I said earlier, creating an online business not an overnight thing, by any means. It’s going to take some time. But these tests will also give you insight on where you want to be spending that time, as well as where you want to price your product.
If you want to see these ideas in action, you can join Josh and Jill in an upcoming webinar called the Money Test Webinar. In this free online class, Josh and Jill will walk you through each of the four validation tests, step by step.
You can get the sign-up link by downloading our free guide...which will be very helpful to use in the webinar, I might add.
Get the Free Step-by-Step Guide: "The 4 Profit Validation Tests"