Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield (general)

Last week, I put out an invitation on my Facebook page. I invited you to throw all your questions about online marketing at me! What do you want to know? Where are you stuck? What are you confused about?

Well, the overwhelming majority of the questions people posted on my Facebook page were about--surprise!--Facebook. And the questions showed me that it's time for a major reframing of how we think about Facebook. Most people are just not looking at Facebook in a way that's going to serve them.

And since my mission is to help you get results with your online marketing, including your Facebook marketing, we’ve got to address that...stat!

The Facebook System that Changes Everything!

Larissa asks:

"How do I increase my FB followers? It seems I have hit a plateau. Also, I don’t want to spend copious amounts of money with FB ads…I feel they keep changing the algorithm to line their pockets by making you pay for advertising through them, and no one will see your post."
If you feel this way about Facebook ads, then I’m guessing they haven’t been working for you. And believe me, I don't want you using Facebook ads if you're not generating revenue.

This is where we need a reframe. I want to help you see FB as a place where putting in a little bit of money will result in bringing back a lot of money.

The first thing to realize is that Facebook ads cannot work on their own. You have to incorporate them into a social media sales funnel--a system that turns your fans and followers into subscribers to your email list, and turn those names into paying clients. 

I know lots of people who make money every week from Facebook ads, but they aren't just using that ad to send people to their sales page. They're using those ads as part of their sales funnel system. That’s the key to getting the Facebook marketing results you’re looking for.

Showing Your Value to Your Fans

Toni asks:

"We have a children’s clothing website. We have 4000 likes. But only 700 people have signed up for our newsletter. What is the best way to get Facebook “likes” to sign up"
A lot of people are focused on how many “Likes” they have, and are scratching their heads at low organic reach. This is happening to everyone. Free organic reach is way, way down. No matter how many Likes you have on your page, it’s entirely possible that very few of your fans are seeing your posts!

This causes a lot of people frustration—why should I have to pay to get my fans to see my posts? I won't sugarcoat it--these changes to Facebook's algorithm do kind of suck for people who have worked hard to build their Facebook following.

You could get frustrated and abandon ship...or you could start to look at Facebook differently.

Paying will get your posts seen by more people...so you want to make sure that they're seeing something that makes them want more.

To get your fans to engage—sign up, respond, make a purchase, take any kind of action—you have to make sure you're offering them something they see as valuable. 

In Toni’s case, it might be a discount, free shipping, an add-on product. If you sell information or education, you want to give away some of your valuable information for free.

I did one recently called the Product Maximizer—it was a report that I gave away offering four strategies to make more sales online. I knew my audience needed more sales, so I knew it would valuable to them. And it just happens to be a little piece of exactly what I offer for sale!

Remember, the number one area where Facebook is most valuable is in turning fans into email subscribers. The email list is where you can really cultivate the relationship with your customers.

Take a minute right now to brainstorm a valuable, irresistible giveaway that you could offer and try a Facebook ad built around this freebie—say you spend $10 a day for three or four days—and see how many people sign up for your newsletter (or email list) when there’s a free giveaway at the end of it!

Get even more of Amy's answers to your Facebook questions! Click here to listen to the whole episode on iTunes.

Boosting vs. Paid Ads

Kate asks:

"I’m gradually realizing that organic reach has been pitiful in my recent posts. I 'boosted' a post for the first time yesterday. I got more likes and engagement, and it was seen by 2500 people. Is this the way forward? Is there any point in not boosting a post anymore, and relying on people seeing it organically?"
I’m so glad you asked this question! "Boosting" a post means you’re spending a little money to get more of your fans to see that post. I don’t think that’s the best use of your money. If you’re going to spend money, it’s much better to spend it on an ad that gets people to sign up for your lead magnet.

Remember, people “liking” your post does not translate to a real customer relationship! Email marketing does that. 

How to Make Your Business Bloom

Tara asks:

"I would love to see a visual of how your business blossomed. I mean, there are so many things we’d like to do in our business, but how did you prioritize the tasks over the years, and most of all, what makes sense to do what when?"
Back in 2010, I’d just quit my corporate job. I didn’t have a product ready to sell yet, so I took some social media consulting clients. By the end of 2011, I looked at my business and thought “Freedom is a joke!” I was a yes machine to 8 bosses, practically chained to my desk but never working on what I really wanted to do. I’d tried to sell a couple of my programs, but they never went anywhere…much like what some of you are feeling!

We all talk a lot about freedom when building our businesses, but there’s not really freedom when you’re not generating revenue!

2012 is when I hit upon the importance of this sales funnel system. With a product to sell and a lead magnet to capture interest, I fell in love with Facebook ads, because I realized how to make them work!

The secret to my business blossoming is all in using this system.

I don’t want you going to bed each night worrying about where the next dollar is going to come from! All that does is squash your creativity and confidence.

Instead, I want you to wake up excited to build your business each day, enjoying the freedom to work on all the projects that help your business grow, and taking time for the rest of your life.

What Would $5000 Mean for You?

Before closing, I want to ask you this question:

If you had a social media sales funnel running on autopilot in your business, making you $5000/month for you, what does that mean for you? What does that free you up to create, to dive into, step out of? 

*The masterclass registration has passed but to be sure to stay on the list for future webinars! Subscribe to my list or checkout one of my free cheat sheets here.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_58_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I want you to succeed.

It is genuinely important to me to help you reach that place in your business where you can say, “Yes, I made it; I love my work and I love my life!”

But there is something else that is equally as compelling that I want for you:

I want you to enjoy the journey—the process of making it all happen.

If you’ve been with me for a while you know that I often talk about the kinds of strategies that have worked for me, that I know can work for you too. Things like building your email list early in the game, effective ways of using Facebook to engage with your audience, and the importance of having a marketing plan—knowing what you’re going to do before you set out to do it.

I stand behind all of these things 100%, but there is something else you need to know. Something so critical it can actually make or break your online business dreams.

I'm talking about what you believe regarding your ability to achieve success in your business.

Now before I dive into these 3 things that you have to believe in order to see the results you are yearning for, we need to dip a toe into psychology first.

The thing about belief is that it’s one of the few things that you can’t be taught to do. You and I both know that you don’t just flip a switch to believe something. That’s because belief is not an outward action that you take; instead, it’s a state of your inner being.

I can teach you how to do a lot of things, but I can’t teach you to believe.

Because belief is such an individual experience, it’s important from the outset to identify how you most often come to believe something for yourself.

Do you believe…

  • Based on your own experience
  • Based on the experience of others
  • Just by acting “as if”
  • Because it seems to make sense—logically or intuitively
  • By trusting a mentor
  • Having an “aha moment”
  • The opposite hasn’t worked for you

It's okay if you need to think about this and can’t answer right away. Maybe there are even several answers to how you believe, not just one on the list. It’s just something to keep in mind as we continue talking about the three critical beliefs you need to have for success in your business.

The 3 Beliefs You Must Have to Achieve Success in Your Business

Belief #1 - I believe that one of the biggest strengths in my business is knowing my target market intimately. Knowing how they think, what they need, and what words and emotions they use to express themselves is crucial to my success.

Belief #2 - I believe that I am not alone, shipwrecked on a desert island needing to have all the answers myself. I thrive and my business thrives with a few core mentors that I trust and can turn to again and again.

Belief #3 - I believe I have a great idea (product/service) that will impact people’s lives, and that my idea needs a clear and easy-to-navigate system to generate sales.

Whew…how did that feel? Chances are that at least one of these beliefs…and maybe all three…felt like a big effort for you to even read, let alone internalize.

Maybe it felt too audacious, too daring, to really own those beliefs for yourself. “I’d like to believe those things, but I don’t know if I’m really the kind of entrepreneur she’s talking about here.”

Maybe you felt skeptical. “Yeah, down the road maybe I’ll believe those things, if things work out well…”

Maybe you’ve just lost so much confidence in the past few months that reading those beliefs made you even more hopeless. “I wish I believed those things—I used to believe them. It would be nice to think that something that simple could turn things around.”

Listen to Episode 57  for Amy's insights on how to restore your confidence and increase your sales.  

Understanding the Three Beliefs

Let’s examine each belief more closely and see what’s important about it.

#1 Knowing Your Audience

Would it benefit you if you could step into the minds of your readers and listeners and customers-to-be? You bet it would! This essential ingredient is so powerful because it allows you to create core messages that you know will instantly attract your perfect audience.

Knowing your target market takes time and strategy, but it will boost your confidence more than anything else. When you can speak to your audience like you’ve known them for years, and they feel that you “get them,” everything else you do to build your business is a cakewalk.

There’s another big advantage to understanding your audience intimately: you become congruent with your business. What this means is that your vision for your business and what is actually happening in it come into alignment. You get up close and personal with your mission—the reason you started your business in the first place.

#2 Finding Your Mentor

It is tempting to think that running an online business is a solo venture. After all, we sit for hours oftentimes by ourselves, building and communicating through a computer screen. It feels isolating, but at the same time, a lot of people think that it’s the only way…that being “self-employed” means spending most of your time by yourself.

I promise you, nothing could be further from the truth! “Self-employed” simply means being your own boss…and guess what? The best corporate bosses in the world actually seek out contact with others—their peers, colleagues and employees. That’s how they learn what’s working and what's not in the way they run their company.

The same goes for entrepreneurs like you and me. I know a lot of very successful entrepreneurs out there, and I don’t think I can name a single one that doesn’t have some assembly of mentors, advisors, and team members helping them sort through all the information and advice that’s out there, to find the best way to run their business.

I did the same thing, early on in my business—I chose a few people I could connect with and relate to, and made them my virtual mentors. I signed up for their courses, followed their blogs, listened to their podcasts, and basically became a mini-stalker online. I was their student and I trusted the road they set out for me when it came to building my business.

I can’t tell you what an amazing confidence boost it is when you know who to turn to, when things get rough. You immediately stop feeling overwhelmed and inadequate; over time, you actually start thinking like the expert you’ve been following. This is the turning point, where you know YOUR BUSINESS WILL WORK and you will succeed.

#3 Having a System

In order for you to stand out amid all the noise of the internet, to be noticed and taken seriously, you need a system to keep you from getting off course. You can think of this as a roadmap that makes it absolutely clear and easy to navigate your message into the minds and hands of your customers.

Maybe you feel like your business is too small to really get a sales system in gear—your product is still new, your website isn’t very fancy, you want to “clean house” (so to speak) before you put together a powerful marketing system. Think again! EVERY BUSINESS, no matter what stage you are in, needs a sales system.

Here’s the thing: powerful doesn’t mean complicated. A sales system can be incredibly simple, run on its own steam, and produce revenue daily. You set it up and boom—your business is moving forward. From there, you can add the bells and whistles of advanced sales strategies to gain momentum in your already thriving revenue stream.

In fact, simplicity is the key when it comes to your roadmap for taking effective action. Once you have the system and understand how it works, you can take your business as fast and as far as you want!

Get more of Amy's secrets for how to keep your sales strategy simple and stress-free Listen to the full episode.

The Consequences of Not Having the 3 Beliefs

Okay, now you understand what these beliefs are for.

Let's talk about what happens when you don't have them.

If you don’t believe it’s that important to identify your ideal customer on a deeper level, your attempts to engage leads will miss the mark. It may be subtle at first, but you will be wondering why that spark just isn’t there. You don’t want to go down that road because this lack of deeper connection will keep you desperately striving while keeping your pockets empty.

If you believe that you must figure everything out yourself, or that your business is better off without the input of mentors, you will lack the connection you need for your business to thrive. You’ll keep trying every new thing that comes along in hopes that it will bring you success, and never gain momentum.

This one hits close to home for me, because I’m remembering what my own business was like, before I had a sales system in place. Let me tell you from experience that this foundation is not only critical to your success—it is mandatory. If you don’t believe that a sales system is important for you, or if you believe that it’s too early for you to implement, there’s a good chance that your wonderful idea, product, or service has a good chance of never seeing the light of day.

I want you to have a System in place for your business, because I know you need one. Which is exactly why I created this FREE Master Class to walk you through the steps you need to take to get a simple system up and running in your business, quickly. Just click below to join!

Why You Need These 3 Beliefs

I said at the beginning that belief is a tricky concept, because it’s not something I can teach you. I can only tell you, and back it up with my story and many others. But at the end of the day, the best proof of a belief is to look at your own situation.

If you don’t have these beliefs, how are things going for you? Is your business on track with your vision? Are your sales what you want them to be?

And if they’re not, isn’t it time to change your beliefs?

I know it isn’t easy at first. It’s scary to change, to risk spending money or time on learning to do things in a new way. Don’t let fear hold you back.

The purpose of belief is to shape the actions we take. And as soon as you begin taking action on these beliefs, you already have them. You will feel the difference inside you—you’ll feel your confidence growing, and your sense of purpose will feel more grounded than ever.

Before long, you’ll also be seeing the difference on the outside—more email subscribers, greater audience engagement, and an increase in sales.
I want all of that for you, from the bottom of my heart.
I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below. Have you tried a system that has worked well for you? How are you getting to know your audience? Do you have the kind of mentorship you need to succeed? Keep moving forward and know you are not alone!

Don't forget to join me on my FREE, Master Class where I'm revealing the EXACT marketing system I use (and where Facebook fits into it to!) generate multiple sales every single day.

*The master class registration has passed, but be sure to stay on the list for future webinars! Subscribe to my list, or check out one of my free cheat sheets here.

Direct download: Online_MarketingMade_Easy_Podcast_Episode_57.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm PST

There are two kinds of content in this world: content that attracts and content that sells.

It's easy to spend all your time and effort focusing on the second part. Eyes on the prize, right? And believe me, I want you focused on that end result.

But it's crucial to remember that the end result needs a strong beginning. In other words, you'll never get to that sale if you haven't attracted the people who want to buy your product!

Today is all about the first half of the sales equation.

The more you craft content geared toward your ideal customer, the more sales you'll make. And these won't just be one-time sales. You'll be talking to people who want to buy from you over and over, because they feel connected to you and your product. When you create content that makes them feel understood, that communicates an empathy for their situation and an excitement about helping them with your product, they are going to be watching their inboxes for your emails and jumping up and down each time you launch something new.

These are the people you want to find, right?

So let's talk about how you can reach them.

First, the Good News...

When you know your target market really well, creating content for them becomes incredibly easy. We talked last week about creating a survey that helps you get inside the heads of your target market. Once you're there, you'll be able to instantly rattle off ten things they need...

Which then become the topics of each piece of content you create.

Let me jump ahead really quick to tell you that our free giveaway for this week is a list of inspiration boosters for creating magnetic, empathetic content that your audience can't resist. Click here to get it now.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the Free Guide: "15 Content Inspirations To Help You Attract Your Target Market"

FREE DOWNLOAD

What Counts as Content?

Ready for some more good news? Everything you do online is content.

A Facebook post counts as a content piece, whether it's video or words or simply an image. So does a tweet. An email (whether to your whole list or just a segment of it), the text and imagery on your landing page, a free giveaway, a podcast, a thirty-minute webinar...

You get the idea.

We all have our favorite places to post content. Maybe you're Twitter-happy and can post 140-character quips all day long. Or maybe you love doing quick video updates from wherever you happen to find yourself.

So don't worry if you're not the world's most prolific blogger. If you're making your voice heard online, you're creating and posting content, and you are ahead of the game.

Consistency Is Key

This is one thing I have learned from all of my mentors: the people that are most consistent in terms of posting content beat out the competition in reaching any given market.

This is because consistency is one of the primary ways you earn the trust and respect of your target market. They come to rely on hearing from you every two days, or every other Thursday, or whenever it is that your regular updates take place. It's less important how often it is, and more important that it happens on a regular basis. I'll say it again: Consistency is Key.

Believe me, I know how hard this can be. It seems like every time I get on a roll with posting content regularly, a product launch derails my schedule and all of a sudden I'm scrambling to come up with new content.

For me, the key to being consistent is batching. For instance, with this podcast, I come up with lots of topics in advance, and get started right away with creating and scheduling episodes, coming up with images, queuing the social media updates...the whole nine yards. This way, I don't find myself scrambling (as often!) on Wednesday afternoon for something to post the next morning.

Simplify by Diversifying

Okay, so say you have a lot of fun within creating short Facebook videos, but your brain dries up the second you sit down to write a blog. Does that mean you should abandon writing and just rely on Facebook videos to communicate with your audience?

Definitely not. First of all, you're going to miss a huge segment of your potential customers by relying on only one form of content. Second, there are just things that a blog can communicate that videos can't...and vice versa! You don't have to do all kinds of content in equal measure, but if you want to reach as many people as possible, you're going to want to use as many different kinds of content to catch their attention in all the places they might be hanging out.

Fortunately, every idea you come up with for one kind of content can be easily translated into a totally different piece of content. Your videos can be turned into a blog post. Your blog post can be turned into a slide deck. Your slide deck can be turned into a series of Twitter images.

In other words, creating different content pieces just got a lot simpler.

Open the Conversation

Obviously, even with all these ways to repurpose your existing content, you're going to have to create new original pieces sometimes...you know, so that you can repurpose them later!

This is where you really tap into the insights about your ideal customer that you learn through sending the kind of survey we talked about last week. These insights help you spark a conversation that surprises your customer with how well you understand them, how "heard" they feel.

Here are some prompts to initiate the conversation with your audience:

  • Identify the #1 question you get asked all the time…and answer it.
  • What should your ideal customer be asking you that they are not asking yet?
  • What are your top three posts on Facebook in the last six months?
  • Which experts does your ideal customer find valuable, or who do they really value the opinion of?
  • What could your ideal customer talk about all day long?
  • What is your ideal customer most afraid of?
  • What does your ideal customer need to know about you?
  • What is your ideal customer posting on Pinterest/watching on YouTube?
  • What is your ideal customer’s “want” and what’s the Trojan horse you use to deliver it to them?
  • What could help your ideal customer right now?

Get more of Amy's insights on creating content, including an interview with social media maven Donna Mortiz. Listen to Episode 56 in full. 

Our free giveaway this week has even more of these inspiration boosters for helping you create content. It also has a list of 20 specific ways you can repurpose your existing content in fresh new pieces. Click here to get it right now.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the Free Guide: "15 Content Inspirations To Help You Attract Your Target Market"

FREE DOWNLOAD

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:28pm PST

In the last several weeks, I’ve been getting a product ready for launch. It’s called the Profit Lab…or, if you want the full title,

The Profit Lab:  How to Create Marketing Systems In Your Business So That You Can Find Your Target Market, Grow Your Email List and Sell More Products

I launch this product twice a year, and every year, I recreate it so that it stays fresh and valuable, even for people who have gone through it before. I make new videos, I rewrite the worksheets, all that good stuff.

This year, as I’ve been getting this product ready for launch, I wanted to make sure I was truly connecting with my target audience. After you’ve had some success with a product, it’s easy to start coasting on that success, which means you stay the same while your audience continues to grow and change and develop new needs. Not my style.  ;-)

To find out more about my target market, I needed to find out:

  • Where they are at, in terms of their business goals and growth.
  • What they needed from me
  • Where they were struggling, not just in their business as a whole but with the versions of the Profit Lab I’d released before.

Knowing all this was going to help me tailor this new version of the Profit Lab into exactly what my target audience desperately needs right now.

So I put together a survey. And the responses knocked my socks off!

The thing is, I knew who my target audience was, but I didn’t really know them the way I thought I did. The survey gave me a chance to understand how they think, what kind of language they use, what keeps them up at night, and why they come to me as opposed to anybody else in the online marketing world.

I learned so much from this experience of surveying my audience that I wanted to share some of those insights with you…how to create a survey that gets you into the minds and hearts of your target audience, so you design, redesign or market your products in direct response to their needs.

The result of this will be that you sell more of your products to them.

And don’t worry if you’re just starting out and your list isn’t that big yet. You can still design a survey that gets you these answers and helps you build your list...and I’ll tell you how.

I've also got a great freebie for you to download this week, which will give you lots more insight on creating a survey, as well as how to use the information it yields. Click here to download it now!

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the Free Guide: "The Product Maximizer: 4 Smart Ways To Sell Products Online"

FREE DOWNLOAD

First Step: Design Your Questions

Remember, your survey isn’t a Gallup poll. You’re probably not trying to find out whether your audience is in their 20s or their 50s, if they are male or female, or other information like that. So before you start drafting questions, take a minute to think about what your survey is really trying to find out about your target market.

We all know that endless surveys with loads of questions get really, really boring. And you want to steer clear of that with your survey. So make sure that your questions are all focused on the goal of learning something specific about your target market that relates to the product you’re offering them.

You want to include bigger picture questions that give you a clearer picture of who they are and how they define success, as well as more focused questions, such as what products/services in your niche they're already using, and what specific needs do they have that aren't being fulfilled?

To get more in-depth guidance on how to design your survey questions, click here for the full episode.

Second Step: Get People Engaged

Obviously, the first step in the survey process is putting together something that they will agree to participate in.

While it never hurts to offer an incentive to entice people to take your survey, it’s a lot more effective to create a survey that is as painless as possible.

Contrary to popular opinion, a survey doesn’t have to be dull or dry. You can create a survey that is quick, enjoyable, and creates excitement around your upcoming product. Simply take the same approach you would with designing a product, answering a complaint, or anything else that involves interacting with your client: offer them a great experience.

Here’s how:

  • Give the survey your personal touch. Write it the way you’d write your blog, your emails, or anything else. This actually increases your rate of answers.
  • Make the experience as user-friendly and smooth as possible. Use a platform that you’ve vetted for bugs.  (My favorites includes Survey Monkey and Pop Survey.)  Make sure it’s very mobile friendly, so that people can complete your survey while they’re waiting at the doctor’s office or sitting on the subway.
  • Skip the long intro whenever possible. The people who receive your survey already follow you on social media or are on your email list...so they already know who you are and what you’re about. No need to announce your survey with anything more than a subject line that conveys the survey’s purpose. (“Help Me Improve My Product with Your Feedback” or “Tell Me About Your Fitness Goals.”)
  • Keep in mind that answers are for action. When creating questions on your survey, ask yourself this: “What kind of action will I take with the answer to this?” If the answer is “Nothing,” or you simply don’t know, don’t ask that question. There’s no purpose. You should limit your time (and the survey taker’s time) to questions that have a tangible purpose.

Want more specifics on how to make your survey fun and informative? Click here for the full episode.

Third Step: Getting Your Survey Out There

  • Email to your list. Studies have found the highest survey open and click-through rates occurred on Monday, Friday and Sunday respectively.
  • Promote online. Several survey programs (like Survey Monkey and Poll Daddy) have an option that helps you with this.
  • Embed in a post on your own blog and as a guest blogger
  • Link to your survey on social media. Again, some survey programs have a code that lets you embed the survey easily into Facebook.  (Make sure to click the “Like” button after you post because this will allow it to go viral faster.)
  • Post your survey on LinkedIn
  • Post a short video on YouTube explaining why you created the survey and encouraging your audience to take a few minutes to complete it. Give your viewers the URL and also post a link under your video on YouTube.

What if My List Isn’t Big Enough?

You don’t need hundreds of responses for a survey to be valuable. If you’re still working to build up your list, create your survey and reach out to ten friends or colleagues that you think would be your ideal customer. Ask them to fill out the survey, and also to pass it on to just one other person they know like themselves. You can learn about who your audience is from just a few people filling out these questions.

In addition, you can use Facebook Ads to promote your survey. Or you can put links to your survey in your blog post and guest blog posts. When you’re getting ready to make your blog post live, make your opt-in the survey. Offer readers an incentive in exchange for taking your survey--a chance to win something, a link to premium content, a limited-time membership to your service, something like that.

There are tons more suggestions on how to design your survey in this week's free download. Click here to get it!

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the Free Guide: "The Product Maximizer: 4 Smart Ways To Sell Products Online"

FREE DOWNLOAD

The Bottom Line

Sending out a survey is kind of like going on a first date. If you spend the whole evening trying to make sure the other person understands you, you’re probably not going to get to see them again. But if you spend the whole time asking them questions about themselves, you’ll come away with a really good understanding of who they are, and whether you have what they need.

When you’re creating this survey, don’t think so hard about what you’re trying to accomplish in your business. Think about getting to know your target market, and the goals of your business will fall into line.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_55.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm PST

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.

  • A luxury experience. Ramit’s products are carefully tailored to the client who buys them, for their expertise level and for their needs right at that moment. He compares the experience to visiting a great tailor or hairdresser, where you don’t even have to tell them what you want—you just sit down and let them work their magic. Similarly, Ramit’s clients can trust the material to guide them through every aspect of what they’re learning.

  • 1 answer instead of 20. As with all his products, Ramit did thousands of hours of research while creating “Zero to Launch.” Clients, he says, don’t want to sift through the “Ten Best” or “Twenty Best” options—they trust him to curate the best one for their specific need. So Ramit vets all the best resources that are out there so he can choose the best one. Simple, easy, and a big relief for his clients.

  • Don’t always listen to conventional wisdom. Ramit’s sales emails are sometimes ten pages long…something nine out of ten marketers willl tell you is a big no-no. But Ramit has found that his market loves his long emails. They open them, they read them, and they follow them. That doesn’t mean you push yourself to write ten-page emails; instead, figure out what’s right for your market. To find this out, Ramit strongly encourages the use of surveys. Surveys are the surest way to find out what your audience wants from you, and how you can serve a niche that your competitors are overlooking.

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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.

To listen to my entire conversation with Ramit, click here now.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode-54.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm PST

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.

I wanted to change my life. I was one of those people who had one job, and it was a good job. I kind of felt guilty for not loving it. But I wanted something else.

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.

I think every story of success is really a story of community.

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.

The more I understand the principles of success and what it takes to achieve a dream and what it takes to make it, it always takes community.

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.

I would ask if they knew they wanted to do “this” when they were a kid. They all answered, “No, I didn’t. I had no idea.” But now that they are here, they can look back and understand all of it makes sense, as it was all preparing them for what they are doing.

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

A study I read not too long ago said 87% of the world’s workers are disengaged with their jobs. They either absolutely hate their job or they are indifferent about it and are punching the clock and work is a means to make a living but is certainly not a way to make a life.

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.

You do have control. You have some control over your situation right now. So as you get an idea of what you might want to do try, use your current situation to practice for what’s to come. I don’t think you will regret it.

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.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_53.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am PST

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.

In Episodes 50 and 51, we talked about the importance of videos for your business.

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:

  • It’s been reported that there are over 1 billion videos viewed on Facebook each day.
  • The average Facebook user worldwide watched 75% more video this year compared to last year.
  • In the US, that increase in views was actually 94%!
  • Brands posted 20,000 more videos on Facebook than they did on YouTube in December 2014.

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.

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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.

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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.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_52.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm PST

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.

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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:

  • It demonstrates why you are different from others who provide very similar products or services.

  • It engages your audience capturing their interest and drawing them into your message.

  • It establishes an ongoing rapport between you and your audience, creating a bond that will help you convert leads into clients when the time is right.

  • It proves there is more to you and your brand than just facts, figures, and fancy technology. It shows you actually have heart.

  • It transforms your message from boring to fascinating, increasing both the impact of your message as well as the quality of the opportunities your messaging generates.

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:

  • The first thing is to give of yourself. Don’t just tell them what they need to hear; tell them what you need to say. Speaking from your heart shows that you know your stuff and you’re passionate about what you do.

  • The second thing is to be honest. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. You’ve got to be real about what your life is all about.

Now let’s jump into the various ways that you can start infusing your winning personality into your brand through various kinds of messaging.

Written Content

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.

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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.

Video

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.

Be Yourself

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

  • You are being yourself, and
  • You’re creating content that will resonate with your ideal audience.

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.

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Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode-51.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm PST

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.

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There are three main types of ads that you can and should be using now:

Native ads

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:

Facebook ads

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 ads

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!

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Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_50.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37am PST

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.

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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.

What Next?

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.

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Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_49.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:41pm PST

Here we are, two months into 2015...is it the future yet? On one hand, still no flying cars. On the other, we talk to people directly through screens we hold in our hands! Every now and then, in the middle of a Skype session, I start to feel like I'm on the Jetsons.

This post is all about how to deal with the future happening right now...specifically with regard to Facebook.

We all know that Facebook changes rapidly. It’s changing all the time. Just a few years ago, Facebook engagement looked very different. And maybe you've started to feel frustrated by the changes, or have just given up keeping track of them.

I get where you're coming from, with that. It can be daunting to keep up with Facebook's constant changing of its own rules. But Facebook is still a valuable place for you to gain traction for your business. That's why my mission for you in this post is to help you understand what’s working right now on Facebook, and how to make it work to your advantage.

First, I want to tell you about the free download I have for this week. I've collected 20 different posts from all over Facebook that I've seen capture maximum engagement--not just views, but likes, comments, and shares.

On this free cheat sheet, I explain in a few words just what is so engaging about each post. Download this cheat sheet for free and use these posts as rough guides for creating your own super-engaging Facebook content.

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To begin with, let's talk about why Facebook engagement matters, starting with...

The Facebook Definition of Engagement

Facebook (or FB, as the kids call it) defines engagement in one way and one way only: fingers clicking specific buttons. If a fan doesn’t engage with your post in at least one of four ways—like it, leave a comment, share it with others, or click on a link—it’s not considered engagement by Facebook standards. Period. So what does non-engagement look like?

Here are things that your Facebook fans may be doing that do not count as FB engagement:

  • Read your update. Kind of makes you rethink how much time you spend crafting the perfect status, doesn't it?

  • View your image. Photos, infographics, inspirational quotes, etc. are great ways to grab attention, but simply having them seen does not constitute engagement.

  • Click on a photo. If your photo is not linked (via OpenGraph or some other plug-in) to a specific site, all that will happen is that the photo will open in a bigger window. That's an opportunity to giving your reader yet another chance to engage...but in itself, FB doesn't count it as fan engagement.

  • Like your page. You heard right. People liking your page doesn't affect engagement; it only counts when they like specific posts.

Engagement from a Purely Relational Perspective

That’s how Facebook sees engagement; let’s explore what engagement might mean to you. When someone interacts with the content you have posted, they are expressing interest in you. That means your WHY, your meaning, your purpose. What do you do, and how do you do it?

Don’t sell yourself short. Your why and how are powerful stuff to people out there. Knowing about you is reward in itself.

If you are message driven, sharing what you care about in a true attempt to educate, entertain, or inspire people, and those people communicate back to you or push it out to the world… that is a reflection that you are doing something right!

So Why Does Engagement Matter?

This is where mindset enters the picture. Mindset is what will connect the dots for you between fan engagement (likes, comments, shares, and clicks) and exposure to your business (such as getting your posts into your tribe’s News Feed).

The equation is simple: Boost your engagement (likes, comments, shares, & clicks) and get rewarded.

See, the more often your fans engage with you in the ways listed above, the more often your posts will be pushed out into their News Feed. This is how Facebook helps your business--by noticing that people are interested in what you have to say, and giving them more. Therefore, in each and every status update you post, you’ll want to influence your audience to engage in at least one of the four ways that count: liking, commenting, sharing, or clicking a link. This is where your mindset is critical. When you're creating a Facebook post, it's not enough to be clever, or even thoughtful.

When you create a Facebook post, you need to come at it this way: "How can I thoughtfully construct this post to ignite the action needed for my fans to engage?"

Remember, if there is no engagement, Facebook simply thinks your audience is not interested. And they're not going to promote something that they think people aren't interested in. On the other hand, the more people take action on one of your posts, the more your posts will show up in their feed. Not just that one post they liked, but all your posts.

Say you've been getting lots of "likes" on a particular photo you posted, or had people commenting throughout the week on a status update...and then, later in the week or month, you post something about a specific promotion you're doing. All those likes and comments are what will take your promotional post straight to your fans' News Feed.

Simply put, an increase in fan engagement also = an increase in the exposure of your promotional posts.

Are you beginning to understand the roadmap? As you consistently offer high quality, valuable content that captivates your audience and motivates them to engage, through an indirect process you will increase your sales.

Is Your Story on the Minds of Your Fans?

Mark Zuckerberg recently shared his vision for Facebook. He wants to create the “perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world.”

What this means is that FB is focused on the fan experience. The fan's. Not yours. That's why sharing what is relevant and significantly useful to your fans will give you a BIG advantage to being seen in News Feed. Failing to share what is highly useful will alienate you from your fans. You really do need to get to know your audience. This is the FIRST step to engagement.

Every FB fan sees a constant stream of stories and now more than ever only the best of the best will get through on a consistent basis. You can use this to your advantage by taking action. Consider it an opportunity to up your game by taking your communications to the next level.

According to Zuckerberg,

There’s more competition for what they (users) see, so only the highest-quality content is actually going to get through and get shown to those people."

Does your content match that description? If you're not sure, now's the time to start taking inventory! If you have taken the time to learn about the people sitting in front of you, your fans will have you on “notifications” because they won’t want to miss a single one of your FB posts!

Caution for Overly Promotional Posts

As of January 2015, Facebook has taken on a new philosophy regarding overly promotional posts that will affect how your promotional posts are seen in your fans’ News Feed. In an ongoing survey, Facebook asked hundreds of thousands of people how they felt about the content in their News Feed. The feedback revealed that people wanted to see less promotional posts and more stories from their friends and Pages they loved. When FB says promotional posts, they're not talking about paid ads. They mean the free status update posts that are advertising something. Examples would be:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

If you’re wondering why fans are not as bothered by actual paid ads in their News Feed, it’s because FB has executed more control and limited the amount of ads fans see. The same control has not been allocated toward free promotional posts. Until now.

So what's a business owner on Facebook to do?

Earn Your Right to Promote 

You may be wondering why I'm talking so much about promotion when this post is supposed to be about engagement. In fact, in order to do engagement right, you have to understand the relationship between engagement and promotion.

Your mindset around promotion directly effects engagement and therefore exposure, even when you are not actively promoting with a given post. It works the other way around as well. Holding a mindset that drives you to heavily promote while not offering your fans compelling content they want to consume will decrease fan engagement and decrease your organic reach.

On the other hand, cultivating a mindset that propels you to create posts with the intention of informing and meeting the needs of your fans (without an intent to sell) will both increase engagement and News Feed reach.

Two Types of Posts: Native & Non-Native (And How to Integrate Them)

Native posts blend in. They are non-promotional. Instead, they create a conversation or add to an ongoing conversation among the tribe. Their high-quality content is an authentic offering from you, often delivered in a voice that is familiar to your audience and is easily recognized as an extension of your brand.

Non-native posts are specifically created to promote your course, product, or service. While your fans’ needs are still at the heart of the content, non-native posts show a clear intention to sell, or at least move your fans closer to the end buy.

There is another type of post that is less black and white. We can call this a semi-native post. Its purpose is to accomplish the tasks of both native and non-native posts.

Examples are posts that offer free webinars, free irresistible giveaways, or a free video series etc. While giving away useful and valuable content, you are also moving your fans through a sales funnel.

The Mindset of Integration

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to separating native and non-native posts. They can be mixed and matched to your liking and intuitive sense of your audience. What is important is that your native posts go out consistently and much more often than your promotional posts. Here are three suggestions for integration:

  • Keep native posts running regularly and consistently during promotional and non-promotional periods. They should never stop.
  • Intentionally post non-native status updates (go ahead and promote) for a specific time period during which native posts are also running.
  • Intersperse your semi-native posts casually alongside your native postings.

It is normal for promotional posts to get far less engagement than native posts so don’t be alarmed. The mindset here is to know that you will be relying on native posts to really boost that engagement so that when you do promote, you’ll get the organic reach you are looking for.

As your fans like, comment, share, and click on your native posts, Facebook will deem your page valuable. As a result, the number of your promotional posts served in News Feed will increase.

Earn your right to promote by offering purely valuable and sometimes entertaining content. Go ahead and give away the good stuff. Make it about your fans… not you. Go the extra mile. Over-deliver! Connect and make it personal.

How to Make a BIG Splash to Elevate Facebook Engagement

You may have heard that organic reach (the number of fans that see your free posts in News Feed) has declined. Perhaps you’re already experiencing it.

Here’s the deal: What you decide to do with that information can either set you apart from those who fail or land you in the same boat.

Once again, it comes down to mindset. It is your choice what you focus on. You can see this as an opportunity to fly high or a disaster waiting to happen.

It has been said that during times of economic downfall, there are folks who seek to discover what works. They read between the lines and take the extra steps that others don’t take. They find a way to use the situation to their advantage, creating tremendous success against all odds. Failure has no place in their vocabulary. Don’t let it be a part of yours.

Don't forget to download my free cheat sheet, "Top 20 'High-Engagement' Facebook Posts."

12 Suggestions to Improve the Quality of Your Posts & Boost Engagement

1. Get personal. 

A post with no commentary feels like sending a greeting card without writing anything in it. If you're posting photos, status updates, longer columns, etc. and getting no feedback, it's probably because it doesn't feel personal to your fans.

And yes, it's even important to make your business Page feel personal. 

Your posts need some commentary from you--a note about your feelings, your friendships, your goals, showing a vulnerable or even humorous side. This is what allows people to connect..and connection leads to action.

They want YOU, not your brand. Don’t be afraid to show your silly side."

Anytime you invite your audience in and have a little fun with them, they are sure to pay attention. They want YOU, not your brand. Don’t be afraid to show your silly side.

2. Focus on the fans that are actually paying attention to you right now.

So many times I head people say, “I have 2000 fans, but only ten of them will actually comment on a picture."

Rather than stress out about the vast majority who isn't engaging, you're better off getting really, really personal with those ten.

Respond back to the people who are responding to you. Click "Like" on their comment, and generate more conversations underneath their comments. Remember, it doesn't count as much on Facebook if you to have a lot of fans. What counts is that you have a few engaged fans.

Want to see more examples? Download my free cheat sheet to see how these tips translate into real Facebook posts.

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3. Make sure you ask questions that are going to ignite a true conversation.

About once a week, I ask questions to my audience about their concerns with growing an online business, the struggles they are facing, and some of the worries they have actually had while building an online business.

Recently, I asked my audience what was one of the biggest fears about their business right now. And wow--I was so pleasantly surprised to see how much honesty came through in the comments!

Mind you, it wasn't just any vulnerable-making question. I picked one that rang true with my own brand, that followed from things I talk about regularly.

That's the key to making these kinds of big questions work for you, instead of against you. Pick something that seems like a random bombshell, and people might feel alienated. Pick something that aligns with who you are and what you offer, and people will begin to open up like you wouldn't believe. Your openness will give them the much-needed outlet to express some of their concern about whatever it is that they are working on.

4. Try to stick around a little bit, especially after you post a question, even if it’s for ten minutes.

Following the response to that big question--"What's your biggest fear?"--my instinct was to stick around, rather than leave my desk and let the comments flow in. I just didn't want to leave those people hanging.

So for the next 20 to 30 minutes after I posted that question, I stuck around and replied to each of the people that posted and used their first name as well. I wanted to let them know that they were heard.

This means the world to people, in the impersonal realm of the Internet. The fact that you'd not just ask your audience to get vulnerable with you, but stay to hear their answers, is a huge gesture. When people see that you are answering them in real time, they will be more likely to start the conversation again next time with you.

5. Create posts that are relevant to your brand and tell a story.

Storytelling is always tough for me to express when I’m trying to explain it to a new customer because when you think of a story, you think of something on the longish side, right?

Something that takes a while to get through.

But when I’m talking about storytelling on Facebook, I mean just little short snapshots of what you want to convey. Sometimes a great little story is a perfect lead into a link that goes to a blog post. In fact, I often use the first paragraph of my blog post as my Facebook post.

The purpose here is to ignite a feeling in your audience. Each time you post, question what you want your audience to feel. Do you want them to be happy? Do you want them to feel inspired? Do you want them to feel empathetic or informed or supported or connected to you? Feelings, after all, are what get us to take action.

6. People will share posts that put them in a good light.

Studies have shown that people will share your post if it puts them in a good light. That’s why inspirational quotes get shared the most on Facebook. If it’s an inspirational quote and I share it with my friends, it makes me look like a person who inspires people. If you want more shares, then you want to make sure you are putting out content that people will be proud to share and will make them look good.

7. Create each post as though you are talking to a friend.

After this episode, I want you to go back to your Facebook Page and read your last ten Facebook posts. Do they sound like you are talking to your best friend? Or are they a little stiff? When posting on our business Page, we can take a very unnatural tone...not at all the way we'd post on our personal Facebook wall. But if your personal Wall has way more "friends" than your Page has "likes," that just proves the point!

People connect with you much more easily when you talk to them conversationally. It might take some practice to get out of the habit of being in "Business Talk" mode, but trust me, it will go a long way toward engaging your audience.

8. It is all about the image.

You already know that images on Facebook go a long way. For the majority of your posts you should be including a really eye-catching image. But this tip is not to create images. This tip is about finding a simple way to get a bunch of images done at once so that when you are posting on Facebook, you actually have what you need to make that post look fantastic.

Images are going to get you more likes, clicks, comments, and shares--I can promise you that.

I love using a tool like Canva for this. They have tons of backgrounds and images and text to use. But if you're the type who will go down a rabbit hole while creating an image yourself, don't go there.

Instead, you're better off outsourcing your image needs on a platform like 99Designs. You can find a designer who will work at a price you can afford...trust me, it's a lot cheaper than you might think...and get some great, eye-catching images in a lot less time than it takes to make one yourself.

9. Make sure when people share your content from your blog that it looks really good on Facebook.

You know when you go to a blog post and grab the URL, you copy it and paste it into the post on Facebook and the image and title of whatever is on the web page should get pulled through. You know what I’m talking about? Have you ever had the experience that nothing gets pulled through or just a thumbnail of the image gets pulled through?

That is not what you want to do.

In Episode #44 I offered a cheat sheet to walk you through how to use a specific WordPress plug in that will make sure all of your posts, when shared on Facebook, actually get pulled through correctly and look really good. Go download this cheat sheet now--it will show you step-by-step how to actually install a WordPress plug in called OpenGraph that will help you make sure your blog posts get pulled through correctly on Facebook. The image will show up correctly, the title will be there, the description. This is important stuff.

Each time you create a new blog post, pay close attention to the image that gets pulled into the post when fans share it on FB. Create images that instantly say what your post is about.

10. Mix up your content on Facebook.

This is an easy one; consider this another reminder to actually do it.

If you want posts to be shared and to get the likes and comments and clicks you have to keep things interesting. That means using video and different images with your posts and maybe trying a few posts without images just to experiment.

  • Sometimes people get more engagement with the non-image posts. (Rare, but it happens!)
  • Some people want image quotes and they want to share them.
  • Other people love to see posts about your blog post so they can be reminded what you’ve got out there.

Mix up your content as often as you mix up the type of posts. Sometimes include links to blog posts. Other times just use quotes, quick tips, facts, or whatever it might be.

If you want to know what’s really interesting to your audience go into your Facebook insights. Inside of insights you can actually see which posts are getting the most engagement. You will see on that very first page, if you scroll down into Facebook insights (every single Page has Facebook insights, it’s like analytics) you will see what people are sharing the most. That's what's working; do more of it.

11. Upload video directly to a Facebook post.

I want to actually take one idea that I just mentioned in Tip #10: video. The reason video deserved its own tip is because I’m seeing amazing things with my content and those of my customers in terms of sharing video on Facebook. I’m talking about uploading the video directly to a Facebook post. I’ve been doing this a little bit pretty consistently. Each time I post a short video I already have thousands of people I have reached, versus maybe a few hundred with an image post. If you upload a short video, let it go for 30 minutes and then come back. I promise you your reach is almost guaranteed to be higher than anything else you have posted over the last week.

What do you put in your video?

  • You can make a quick video of yourself talking directly to the camera.
  • You can have a few slides that you go through on the video telling people about your latest podcast episode or blog post.
  • You could also do a quick video where you invite people to a webinar or tell them about your cheat sheet.

If you are in an niche that you can give quick, helpful tips in the form of a video, DO IT. You don’t even need to be on the video. In this example I used Screenflow to record a short tip.

12. You’ve got to check out one of my favorite scheduling tools.

Confession: I am in love with Edgar.

You can go to http://meetedgar.com for all of the details.

Edgar is not a free service, but it’s worth paying for. I’ve always struggled to find a tool that I’m comfortable with that’s really easy to use that will help me schedule my Facebook posts. It’s a lot of work to constantly be looking for content to schedule in advance and post on your Facebook Page: a mix of your own content, other people’s blog posts and videos, re-posts of your old content, quotations, etc.

With Edgar you can add a Bookmarklet to make it easy when you find an article that you want to add to your content library. I love how easy they make it!

Edgar allows you to become a superstar with Tip #10 (mixing up your content). You choose what you want to share, where you want it to share, you make sure it looks good, and then you just click enter and it goes into a queue. It will then be posted at random times (you can choose the times if you want) on your Facebook Page and Twitter.

Edgar has skyrocketed my engagement. This is why I love him so.

Engagement Truly Matters

When you make an honest effort to understand your audience and you give BIG and share freely, your fans’ trust in you will snowball. Their loyalty to your brand will be obvious by their level of engagement. From there you are golden because you will have built a foundation of extraordinarily useful content and a tribe ready to consume it.

Now I would love to hear from you! What’s working for your business when it comes to Facebook engagement? Please post in the comments below.

Also, don't forget to download the free cheat sheet that I'm offering with this episode. It will make these tips come to life for you.

EPISODE FREEBIE

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Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm PST

If you’re anything like me...or if you're just human...you have faced your share of challenges and fears in the process of growing your own business. That might not be so bad, if we could all solve those challenges by simply trading stories. But no two people's challenges and fears are alike!

The reason our challenges are so unique is because our minds are. Unique, that is. Struggles and fears originate in your brain, and how it processes whatever you're dealing with, from one day to the next.

That's why one day you can be flying high, confident and on top of your game, and the next day you're sunk into despair, wondering how you got into this mess and whether it's too late to get out.

As I've said before, the real key to every aspect of growing your business is CONFIDENCE. And we all need a little help with confidence sometimes.

That's what today's post is all about--getting your head "unstuck," learning how to move forward with purpose even when you're struggling, and using each day to take the action you want.

That's why I invited my personal business coach Todd Herman to join me in today's podcast episode. He's a bit of a legend when it comes to performance mentality; big-deal people come to him for help with achieving mastery and improving performance. I'm talking Olympic athletes, corporate billionaires, members of international royalty...plus thousands of online entrepreneurs just like me.

Todd is all about action, productivity and results…which is exactly what I need for my business right now. To put it simply, he helps people perform so that their vision and what they do matches up.

I have to tell you, this Q&A with Todd is a landmark episode for me. Lots of listeners sent in their questions about improving performance for Todd to answer right here on the show. His answers will blow you away; in fact, even my editor told me that this is the most insightful podcast episode I'd ever done.

Honestly, there's just too much great stuff to list in a single blog post, so why don't you click the play button at the top of the post to listen right now? Trust me--this is stuff you're going to want to hear.

Also, I'm offering as today's "freebie" a special task-tracker that Todd gave me to use as part of improving my professional performance and guide my daily actions. It's called an Entrepreneurial Scorecard, and it's a simple, one-sheet tool that has been rocking my world ever since I started using it.

You can get the Entrepreneurial Scorecard for free by clicking here.

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Click Here to Get the Entrepreneurial Scorecard

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What follows below is just a tease from my interview with Todd. Make sure to listen to the podcast to get all the insights Todd provided to listener questions.

Question 1:

"I am constantly working on a million things at once and nothing seems to ever get my full attention. How can I manage my day more efficiently, so things actually get done?"

To answer this, Todd takes us through a process known as "context switching."

Question 2:

"How can I overcome the fear of failure that constantly prevents me from making decisions?"

Todd offers a tip from the world of professional athletics that strengthens your mind against fear of failure and self-sabotage.

Question 3:

"How do I know what are the right things to do at the right time, and stay focused while doing them?"

One of Todd's signature phrases is "mental toughness." Get his secret for developing this important trait.

Note: This is where the Entrepreneurial Scorecard really comes in handy, folks. Using the scorecard will give you a crystal-clear picture of what activities are worth your time, and what you should be leveraging or delegating so that the time you are spending on projects is quality time...in other words, time that makes a difference in your business.

Download the Entrepreneurial Scorecard by clicking here.

Question 4:

"I need guidance in picking the right kind of marketing for my small business, in order to stay relevant but not become too scattered."

Todd says the key to knowing what kind of "reinvention" your business needs is all about the big picture--context is sometimes even more important than content.

Question 5:

"I have insecurity over getting that first paying client."

In order to get past insecurity, Todd tells us about embracing your alter ego.

Don't miss out on Todd's great advice - click here to listen to Episode #47.

No matter where your business lies within the growth process, Todd's specific, detailed insights are going to help you achieve mastery and gain confidence...every single day you sit down to work.

As I mentioned, the Entrepreneurial Scorecard is all about helping your goals gain traction each day. Download this valuable freebie by clicking here. The Entrepreneurial Scorecard is going to help you identify where you are spending time wisely and not so wisely, along with the areas you should be leveraging for maximum return on your effort.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Click Here to Get the Entrepreneurial Scorecard

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Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am PST

As a kid, I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book series. It featured a magical and resourceful lady who lived with all her children in an upside down house. When money was tight for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, she would send all of her kids through the house to find hidden treasures.

That story stuck with me from the moment I read it. As a kid, I felt ready for any moment when money came up short—I’d just go on a treasure hunt! Does it surprise you to learn that my perspective hasn’t changed, even now that I’m an adult? What's more, I no longer wait for the “running out of money” moment before I set out on a treasure hunt. Not when I have a five-step treasure map that leads me right to the gold.

As an entrepreneur, there are going to be times when cash is tight. It’s natural for you to feel the squeeze when you’re just starting out. Even after your business has liftoff, you might feel strapped from time to time. Or maybe you are looking at investing in some kind of new business tool or business opportunity and you need a little cash before you do so.

Running your business means living through cycles of financial growth and…dormancy, shall we say? If that’s where you find yourself now, these hidden money opportunities will definitely speak to you. I’m going to reveal five very specific hidden money opportunities that I’ve used in my own business to bring quicker cash flow.

The key to a good treasure hunt is knowing you have gold hiding somewhere. And you do! Let’s go on a treasure hunt together, and find the places where your gold is hiding.

Opportunity #1: Finish Your Online Training Program

You might have an online training program, nearly finished, waiting in your digital library. Maybe you've tinkering with it, fine-tuning the details. Or maybe you just have a growing list of ideas for programs that you know have huge potential…once you finish them.

So what are you waiting for?

This not-quite-finished training program has money hiding under it.

Seth Godin has a great term for this occasion:

“Ship it!”

It's the online marketing equivalent of Nike’s motivational slogan “Just do it.” Get your program out there. Don’t keep procrastinating under the "it's not finished yet" excuse.

Instead, release it as a beta test, and get some feedback from people. As it happens, I’m doing that very thing right now, with a Facebook Ads program I created.

Believe me, I understand the temptation to keep tinkering until your program feels ready to join the really “pro” trainings already out there. But that’s not where you need to start, especially if this is your first online training program.

Start with something simple; call it your “introductory product.” Include a few videos, transcripts, maybe a PDF of your slide decks, some supporting documents, and that’s it. The point is to get it out there and get some feedback to develop your product, while at the same time creating a little buzz for yourself.

If you’re ready to get aggressive about claiming this hidden money, set a completion date to get that online training program. Get it user-ready in 30 days. Take another 30 days after that to promote it. Then release. It doesn’t have to be a perfect or a huge launch.

My Experience

My business dramatically changed when I finally just got a product out there. It was a program to help authors launch their book online—it had nothing to do with what I ended up becoming known for. I just had some expertise in helping authors in this way, and knew that I had something to offer.

I so wish I had released this training sooner! Once I put it out there, I got great feedback, learned a ton about my target audience…and found out that I didn’t love that topic enough to grow in that direction. Releasing that program was a huge help in moving forward with the business I really wanted.

You’ll never move forward if you don’t get something out there. And you definitely won’t make any money from a program that’s never offered to the public.

Need Help? It’s Free!

Maybe you've never attempted to create an online training program. In that case, the “hidden money” doesn’t exist for you…yet. But if you're ready to start developing in this direction, I’ve created a free PDF giveaway that is just what you need.

It’s called A Course Creation Starter’s Guide, and it's going to get you moving in the right direction for your program.

This freebie is great even for those who are already working on online training programs. If you’re looking for some ways to be a little more efficient in how you deliver this program or how you create it, skip to the section called "The Seven Power Tools." This is something I use with every single online training program I create, and you can easily incorporate it into your existing workflow.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get "A Course Creation Starter's Guide"

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Listen to Episode 46 to get all the details on how to make the most of hidden treasure in your business.

Opportunity #2: Do a Mini-Promotion and Make an Offer

There are three ways you can access this hidden treasure:

1. Create A Webinar

If you’re a regular follower of my content, you know about my love affair with webinars. Take it from me—they are a great way to build your business. And contrary to popular belief, creating them is neither overwhelming nor stressful. First, you choose an existing program, product or service and decide what you want to say about it.

Spend some time outlining the content, bearing in mind how long you want this webinar to be. (My webinars typically last for about 90 minutes, and the first 45-60 minutes is me presenting my content.) Your goal is to teach participants something they can apply as soon as they walk away…and then offer your program, product or service for sale to anyone who wants a jump start on what you just taught them.

Once you’ve determined what your content will be, focus on the way it flows inside your webinar. Get specific and strategic about how you move from content to a sales promotion. You don’t want to just put a bunch of text on a slide. Believe it or not, the kind of images and number of slides you use makes a huge difference in the number of conversions you get from your webinar. For example, 20 to 25 slides for a 60-minute webinar is not nearly enough.

People get overloaded easily when there’s too much text on each slide. Overloaded people hit “pause” or start multi-tasking, and wander off. When you lose attention, you lose a lead. For a 60-minute webinar, you want at least 80 slides, each with minimal words on it, plus imagery. Your goal is to use your slides to simply punctuate your point; you don’t want your entire script on the slide. Keep your audience’s attention by constantly switching slides, and using great imagery and lots of it. (Note: avoid cheesy stock photos.

There are some great sites out there where you can find really beautiful imagery. BigStockPhoto is my personal go-to.) Another part of creating good flow is aligning your content with your sales offer at the end. You’ll spend 45-60 minutes of your webinar on content; the final 15-20 minutes is when you transition into talking about your program, product, or service and what’s in it for them. A great way to make this transition is open up a Q&A session.

For example, I’ll say “For the next 15 minutes I’m going to take some live Q&A,” and I have a few questions (and answers) ready, in case people aren’t jumping forward to ask questions.

I also make it worth their while to take action now. I don’t want them to get off the webinar and think about it later. That’s why, in between questions, I’ll say “For the next 15 minutes, if you buy while we are on this webinar, you get this fast-action bonus.”

This could be a cheat sheet, a checklist, anything related to what I just taught them.

Finally, it is extremely important to follow your webinar with an email series. I typically send out a replay as my first email, linking to the webinar so they can watch it again, and ending with a pitch about the program I’m offering at the end of my webinar.

After this, I send a series of three more emails, talking about the benefits of the program, giving case studies, showing them they can’t live without my program or product. See how that works? Believe it or not, this is something you can do within a week, especially if you already have a program or product you want to promote. You can do it all live, or you can do an automated version called “evergreen.”

For this, you record the webinar in advance and then let people sign up for different dates and times.

My favorite tools for live webinars are GoToWebinar or Google Hangouts. If you want to do an automated webinar, I use Evergreen Business Systems. I’ve also heard good things about Stealth Seminar.

Right now, I'm running an ad for a free webinar called "7 Strategies to Get Your Business Up and Running on Facebook" and in it, in addition to offering 45 minutes of highly valuable content, I promote my Facebook 101 program, Jumpstart Your Facebook Marketing." If you want to see my webinar sequence in action, you can sign up for the webinar here.

By using Facebook ads to promote it, this webinar is generating an average of $1,500 a day as well as helping me grow a very quality email list. Bottom line: webinars work really well.

2. Create a Live Mini-Training

This is something you can truly do next week if you already have a program, product, or service ready. When I say “live” I don’t mean in person; it’s a live event. You “sell tickets,” record yourself doing a live event, then release the recording to buyers. You can do this alone, or with a partner. About a year ago, David Siteman Garland and I collaborated on a two-hour live training. Anyone who bought tickets could attend the event or simply receive the recording, along with a PDF of our slide deck and some support documents (cheat sheets, checklists, etc.). We spent a week creating the event. We both emailed our lists and promoted the training for another week. All told, the event made us about $70,000…all for just a couple weeks of work!

3. Set Up a 30-Day Challenge, Followed By an Offer

The best kind of mini promo I know of is the “30-day challenge” variety, where you get people enrolled in a kind of movement with you. They opt in to go on this journey with you for 30 days, and then at the end you promote whatever it is you want to offer. Here are some highly successful examples I know about:

  • Simple Green Smoothies:They do a 30-day challenge for creating a green smoothie every day for 30 days. They run Facebook ads to the challenge. They build up their list like rock stars. At the end, they promote an eBook or some kind of guide for smoothies.
  • Money Love Challenge: My good friend Kate Northrup recently did this…not to sell something, but to start building her list with quality people that truly care about what she is putting out there. She had amazing success, with tons of engagement and a big opportunity to promote at the end.
  • 30-day list-building challenge: My good friend, Natalie Lussier does this regularly. She uses imagery, hashtags, all of the stuff that gets people engaged and active in a way that’s fun for everyone.

Opportunity #3Creating a Four-Part Email Sequence That Leads to an Offer 

You don't need a big list for this one to work. In fact, it’s better to try this one when your list is still small, because you’re going to get better and better at it as your list grows.

These sequences consist of four emails that get sent over a short period of time. Your goal with them is to paint the picture of a challenge you know your audience is facing…the solution to which is, of course, your program. What makes this opportunity so powerful is that people on your list might have already received an opportunity to buy your program, but chose not to.

After all, we all buy at different times, for different reasons. So don’t be afraid to put this out in front of people who have already seen your program promotion. This may be the moment when they make the decision. In the first email, you are easing people into the idea that there is a challenge and you have the solution. Get their attention by letting them learn something, and assure them that you are there to offer value. The emails that follow will be a little more aggressive in terms of selling the program—not in a spammy way, but demonstrating the features and benefits of your program.

  • It’s going to help them do X.
  • It’s going to solve problem Y.
  • It’s going to take away stress and overwhelm around Z.

Make the email about your audience, and tell the story of what will happen to them when they buy your program. Use case studies and examples, images, and screen shots from inside your program.

Don’t be afraid to serve it up—these are not short emails with a link to your sales page. These are meaty emails that paint the picture. The final email is going to be the one that introduces scarcity.

You can say that you are running a special promotion with a discount or free bonus when they purchase by a certain date. Make it very time-sensitive: “By Friday, this offer is going away. You are not going to get another opportunity to get this bonus when you purchase.” Click here to download this week's valuable freebie, "A Course Creation Starter's Guide."

Opportunity #4: Offering Your Services to Your Audience

Caveat: I’m not a huge fan of the service model of business if your goal is to create a more automated system. I am passionate about teaching you how to build a business that does not rely on trading your time for dollars.

This is a temporary, special opportunity, offered to a small group on your email list. Choose a special skill or a knowledge base that you have, and create an opportunity to offer your time and services to this select audience for a premium. Again, this is temporary.

This is not something that should take over your business and derail all your other projects in the meantime. This is a little bit on the back burner for some quick extra cash. Maybe you are a nutritionist and you can help people make a 30-day meal plan. Maybe you’re great at hacking website-building platforms and can offer your expertise to others.

In my first two years of business, I set up an opportunity where I would review others’ Facebook marketing strategy. I would review people’s Facebook pages and profiles, interview them about how they were using Facebook, and about how their program or product came into play. Then I would create a report—I’d made a template for it, so it wouldn’t take me hours and hours. I would create the report to offer you insight in ways you could make your Facebook marketing better, how to brand your Facebook Page in a different way to get a bigger impact, all that good stuff.

I knew Facebook so well that this didn’t take tons of time and energy. But it was really valuable to my audience. Taking on just a few of these projects per week provided instant revenue, in the midst of building my online training programs. Just think of your niche and decide what you can offer that help boost revenue for a short time as you get things going.

Opportunity #5: Becoming an Affiliate to Somebody Else’s Program or Product

I saved this one until the end because you can use it in tandem with Opportunities #1-4. Webinars, 30-day challenges, mini live promos, four-part email sequences…all those can all be used as an affiliate.

You’ve heard of this before, I’m sure. But have you actually done it? Have you done it right? I have been an affiliate for many years for different programs and products.

For instance, you’ve probably heard me talk about my B-School Bonus.  I am a proud member of B-School and I promote it any chance I get because I know it changes lives and businesses.

This is a huge part of my affiliate revenue. I am also an affiliate of Lead Pages. They do amazing things and they have changed businesses quickly based on how easy their tool is.

But I don’t let it take over my business and I definitely never want it to make more money than my own programs. The idea is to let it complement all of the stuff I am doing on my own.

Three tips for smart affiliate marketing:

1. Believe in it.

You have to have used the program or product you’re helping to market. You must know that it works, have your own results that you can talk about, and be so excited to sing its praises. You know you’ve made a good affiliate marketing partnership or connection when you tell everybody about it even if you’re not going to get money for it.

2. Build a funnel with your affiliate.

Webinars, four-part email sequences, and mini trainings all work for this. For example, if you click here, you’ll find an affiliate promotion that I did a training for. I literally walk you through how to use Lead Pages. For B School, I have an entire B School bonus experience: five bonuses you can’t get anywhere else, including the live two-day event, including a special Facebook ads program, including my new webinar program that’s not even out yet. You only get this stuff in B School when you use my affiliate link.

3. Read this article

My good friend, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, wrote a post on his blog “Smart Passive Income” called Five Ways to Unbox the Mystery and Increase your Affiliate Income. It’s a really smart strategy for affiliate marketing, especially for those just starting out. Definitely check that out, along with his other great article, How to Stop Hoping and Start Earning.

One Final Tip

These are all ways for you to find hidden money that can add to your cash flow. But an equally helpful action is to find the hidden places where you are losing cash. I can almost guarantee that you are paying for something right now that is not necessary to your success.

We all have been guilty of this. To find the leak and make it stop, spend 20 minutes right now going through your latest credit card statement and checking account statement. Make a quick list of everything you are paying for monthly for your business: apps, tools, subscriptions, etc.

Are you using everything you are paying for? If not, stop paying for it. You’ll instantly start saving cash. Voila! Instant money that you can start spending where it will actually work for you.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get "A Course Creation Starter's Guide"

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Make sure to listen to the entire episode for more tips and personal insights from my experience in hunting out hidden money opportunities.

And don't forget to download this week's valuable freebie, "A Course Creation Starter's Guide" for creating your own online training programs. Click here to download it now.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode-46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

It’s no secret that the longer we work on our business, the more confident we become. It makes sense—confidence comes from little wins building up to big ones.

But what if you could have that confidence now, and skip over those early years of making costly mistakes and feeling that constant overwhelm?

This post was created to help you do just that. Today I’m launching a new series that’s going to help you create a blueprint for achieving the dreams that motivated you to start your own online business.

Build Your Business Blueprint

Let me tell you, I wish I’d had this kind of blueprint when I was getting my business started. I look back now and think about how I would have spent time and money differently, in those early days, and how much more quickly I would have seen results.

The series I’m going to bring you is built on the three stages of business development. Today, I’m going to walk through those stages so you can identify which one you’re currently in, and prepare for taking giant leaps forward.

I’ve invited along my favorite mentor on the business building journey—Marie Forleo.

You might have heard of her through INC’s 500 fastest growing companies list in 2014, or through Oprah, who named her as a thought leader for the next generation. Maybe you know her from her award-winning show, Marie TV, or her extremely popular training program “B-School,” which shaped the success of my business when I went through it at the time I was starting my own online business.

In addition to all these credits, Marie is a personal friend and an invaluable mentor whose guidance helped me realize my business’ potential at a time when I was constantly second-guessing myself.

Just like you and me, Marie started deep in the trenches: building her list, figuring out programs and products, determining a voice for her blog, nailing down the techniques of creating video content. Over the years, she has built a multi-million-dollar business, and she is here today to offer her hard-won insight on what the three stages look like and how to navigate them gracefully.

Listen to Episode 45 to get all of Marie's expert insights on identifying what stage your business is in.

In addition to our talk, Marie is offering an immensely exciting freebie to all of you: a free video mini-training series WITH A FREE DOWNLOADABLE PDF all about the ins and outs of building a business you love. Get instant access to it here.

Stage 1: Start Up

Start-up stage is all about testing the waters. You need stamina, grit, a whole lot of hustle, and flexibility. Embrace trial and error—you’re going to mess up a lot in this stage, and that’s okay.

Marie recalls that her start-up stage was messy. In addition to working on her business, she was holding down other jobs on the side. She frequently felt scared and skeptical of herself, wondering who was going to hire her.

“I was running completely on passion and drive, not on experience and certainly not on education.”

But the upside of all this was that she was constantly moving, observing from the inside how various businesses were run, overcoming her personal challenges of time and ability. She also realized that, despite the crazy, working on her own business felt more right than any of the big, prestigious jobs she’d had in the past.

During her start-up stage, Marie focused on two important things:

1. Mindset

Your mindset is crucial in every stage, but it plays a particularly big part in Stage One. Your self-doubt will tell you that you're too inexperienced, too young (or too old), that you don't have the skills or knowledge you need, that you're not worth what you're charging people...in short, that you don't have what it takes and no one will listen to you.

The followup to these messages, of course, is that you'd better jump ship and go back to your old job, if you can.

The only way to combat this voice and right your mindset is with the other voice--the one that motivated you to start your business in the first place. For Marie, constantly referring to that other voice--the one that said "You must do this"--was crucial to getting her mindset right throughout Stage 1:

"I knew I wasn’t meant to work for anyone else. That was really the thing that drove me past all of those emotional and psychological hurdles that we all face. I knew I had to make this work because I tried the other route and that just isn’t me. This was just not going to cut it."

2. Free stuff

In the start-up stage, you do a lot of work for free just to gain experience and build up social proof and testimonials.

Marie remembers offering her services not just to her friends, but to any friends or relatives they might have.

“Just get me people I can work with so I could feel confident, not just from textbook learning but from real world experience. I wanted to figure out how to work with people who I could create real results in their lives.”

Main Focus of Stage 1: Discipline and Habit Development

In Stage 1, you are the primary source of cash and energy—in other words, you are doing it all. You are creating content, you are building your email list. You are networking. This stage is all about adding value, giving more than you are asking for in return. All the while, you are growing in your understanding of your target audience.

In the midst of all hustling to make ends meet, Marie forged some solid habits on behalf of her fledgling business: she consistently created content, she attended trainings, and she committed to building her email newsletter.

Habits like these are crucial in Stage 1, no matter how busy you are. You have to train yourself to do is be disciplined enough to do the things that matter the most for your business. For online business, that means publishing content and getting it out there to your audience.

Danger Zone of Stage 1: Creative Cul-De-Sacs

This is Marie’s term for those loops that we get stuck in, where we can waste hours and days and months without making a decision, moving ahead or doing things that truly matter.

This can include things like naming your business, or coming up with a logo—little tasks that somehow can siphon hours out of your day. You can also easily get stuck comparing yourself to others who seem to have reached the kind of success you would like to experience, which seems so far out of reach in Stage 1.

Rather than get down on yourself thinking they have done it already, and there is no room for you, use their success as inspiration. Rather than waste time and energy and emotion and passion being down on yourself, stay in your own lane and realize if someone else is successful that means success is possible.

Stage 2: Monetization

This is the stage where you are at last making a consistent profit. You streamline your product offerings, learning what works and doing more of it. This gives you more freedom in terms of creativity and support and cash to optimize what you’ve created.

Marie remembers the great feeling that came with reaching this stage.

“It was so awesome to realize I had so much to share and that people wanted to pay attention. I recognized if I did certain things I could turn it into a physical product… I started recognizing the power of leverage.”

At the same time, however, she was still doing side jobs. Marie cautions people against moving too quickly in Stage 2—it’s wise to take it slow, methodically and strategically building your business over time. A lot of growth happens in the monetization stage, bringing with it a lot of figuring out where your sweet spot is, what you are great at, how you can serve people the best.

Main Focus of Stage 2: Learn to Delegate

Once your business starts to expand, it’s vital to break the habit of having everything in your own head. This is where you start learning how to delegate, to organize yourself, and to set visions and goals for yourself and your company.

These things—delegation, organization and vision—are related. Here’s why:

Most of us start off as a one-woman or one- man show, running the whole ship from our minds. You have to articulate your vision very clearly so that you can delegate effectively. You need people on your team to see the vision of where the company is going, so that they can help you get there.

As Marie’s profits continued to build and she started to get more sophisticated, she realized her need for support. During this stage, she began to hire her first assistants to handle customer service, content creation, tech support…all things that she couldn’t keep going on her own. This left her free to test different content ideas and experiment with optimizing her programs in different ways.

That's how B-School came to be. Marie's events were started gain momentum. When numbers reached into the hundreds, she had to figure out a new way to reach all the people who wanted to attend her event, without compromising the integrity, value and personal feel she was known for. Rather than livestream the event or rent a vast auditorium, she came up with the idea for video programs that deliver the high brand experience while reaching millions of people.

Killing off her other offerings meant sacrificing a couple of million dollars a year in revenue, at first. But by focusing on excellence, she was able to reach her authentic vision for her company, both from a financial standpoint and, more importantly, from an impact and lifestyle standpoint.

This is what it takes to transition from a one-person show into a thriving company. When you articulate those visions for the coming months, you can begin forecasting out, and planning for bigger and better things.

Danger Zone of Stage 2: Forgetting to Stop and Analyze

Entrepreneurs are a fast-moving bunch. We are going from the moment we get up in the morning until late at night…and the next day we get up and do it all over again.

But it’s really important in the monetization stage to regularly stop moving so fast and analyze your numbers. Ask yourself if what you’re doing at such a furious rate is really the wisest way to reach your long-term vision and goals. What do you want? Where do you want to go in the next year? Are your actions lining you up to get there?

Don't be afraid to confront yourself and take the opportunity to make big changes, if necessary. It’s easier to make those changes now than it will be down the road.

Download Episode 45 for more details on how you can prepare now for taking your business to the next level.

Stage 3: Expansion

Although you are never done growing or expanding in your business, in this third stage you have more financial freedom and creative freedom than you have ever had. Your mind is more open to think of other opportunities you’ve wanted to explore. You’re going full force and everything that you’ve created has gotten even better.

Stage 3 is where you get to reap the rewards of everything you’ve created. For example, during the last holiday season, Marie declared two weeks of total shutdown for her company. Everyone unplugged and enjoyed the opportunity to not be “on." It was, Marie says, the best thing they’d ever done—and it was all made possible by the freedom afforded by their hard work in the first two stages.

Of course, during Stage One and Stage Two you wish you could find that down time. It doesn’t come as easily and it’s probably not going to be shutting down the business for two weeks. But there are pockets of time that you can take those breaks.

Main Focus of Stage 3: Follow Your Vision

Stage 3 can feel like a mountaintop, but it's not the end of the journey. When your business is enjoying the creative freedoms and financial stability of Stage 3, it’s important to remain true to your vision and expand it in the right ways, especially as more opportunities arise.

Danger Zone Stage 3: Ignoring Your Intuition

Bigger isn’t always better. More isn’t always what you truly want. In Stage 3, as new possibilities and greater freedoms arise, you’ve got to listen closer than ever to your own intuition to build the business that you want.

Enjoy the Journey

The great thing about this business journey is that it never really stops. Even while Marie is in Stage 3 of her business as a whole, she’s in Stage 1 with certain aspects. No matter where you might be right now, you can always find yourself circling through these stages, embarking on new territory.

All the things we’ve talked about today can be found in greater detail in the content Marie shares in this free mini training series. Click here to access Marie's guidance through the three stages we talked about today, delivered with her signature flair.

EPISODE 45

Click Here to Check Out Marie's Free Training Videos

LEARN MORE

And don't forget to listen to Episode 45 in full--there's a lot more that Marie and I discussed in this interview that you won't want to miss!

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode--45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm PST

To a large extent, blogs are living, breathing things. They're a place for you to record the day-in-the-life of your brand, to explore new possibilities and take the occasional look back to see how far you've come.

This is precisely what makes your blog the primary place where brand loyalty is fostered. Your posts allow your audience to come along with you and experience the development of your brand as it happens.

Ideally, your blog is your audience's closest connection to you. That's why it's a good idea to step back now and then to reexamine your blog. Even if you've had a blog for a long time and your subscriber numbers are strong, it's always a good idea to find ways to breathe new life into it.

Don't worry--I'm not talking about a whole new site redesign. There are lots of simple, no-cost ways to tweak, amplify and expand your blog's potential, making it more valuable for subscribers to read...and more streamlined and effective for you to use.

To help us really understand what launches a blog from good to great, I've invited master blogger, Mike Stelzner, to share his insights and tips.

If you don’t know Mike Stelzner yet, he’s the founder of Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest social media magazine, and the host of the top-rated podcast “Social Media Marketing.” Mike and I go way back—he offered me my first paid gig when leaving my corporate job.

That feels like a lifetime ago, but in reality, it was just a few shorts years ago! You’ll also learn about a really cool way to make sure that all of your blog posts look fantastic when they are shared on Facebook.

This is SO CRUCIAL to attracting new visitors to your blog! To learn how to make this happen, click here to access the special quick guide.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the Quick Guide: "How to Easily Set Up Open Graph and Make All Your Posts On Facebook Look Outstanding"

FREE DOWNLOAD

Mike is a goldmine of insight on creating a successful blog. Here are just a few of the things we talked about in my recent podcast episode:

Choosing Content

Social Media Examiner churns out huge amounts of quality content in the form of long, newsy blog posts…every single week! How do they choose what to blog about?

⇒ Run smart surveys

As of my conversation with Mike, Social Media Examiner was producing their 2015 survey to find out how marketers are using social media to grow their businesses. It’s coming out soon!

You'll learn about trends in mobile optimization and social integration, which content categories and social platforms to prioritize, and what to expect from the future of social media marketing. (If you can’t wait until the 2015 one comes out to see what one of these surveys looks like, click here to see the 2014 version.) The data collected in these surveys is used to decide what their audience wants more of as they design their editorial calendar for the year. This narrows down the field considerably to topics that will instantly catch on with their readers.

There’s still a lot of brainstorming to be done, but it’s focused within certain categories that are important to the Social Media Examiner audience.

⇒ Reach out to great writers

Make it worth their while. A lot of talented writers contribute to Social Media Examiner in exchange for their huge number of page clicks. Find out what exposure on your site can offer your writers, and start sending out feelers. If you find a couple of truly standout writers, snap them up—put them on retainer or hire them for specific blogging projects. When you can marry great content to an engaging, authentic voice, you’ve got blogging gold.

⇒ Pay attention to what your audience likes

Facebook shares and “likes,” retweets and comments are important, but they aren’t always the most important. In their first couple years, Social Media Examiner would take their cues on content from the number of tweets and page views any given post received.

If an article got a lot of Twitter play, for example, they would write more articles on that topic. But then they realized that page views weren’t their goal; their method of monetizing had to do with growing their email newsletter list. After tracking conversions, they started to see patterns in what brought in paying leads. Those became their new guidelines for what kind of content to produce and where to channel it. Don’t miss out on more of Mike’s priceless advice for optimizing your blog—click here to listen to Episode 44 for the full interview.

Don't Be Afraid of Sending Too Many Emails

Social Media Examiner is famous—some might say “notorious”—for emailing their list every single day. Here’s what Mike had to say about all those emails:

⇒ Consider the end game

Statistically, most people come to your blog once and never come back. By getting them on your email newsletter, you have a chance to lure them back over and over. The daily email from Social Media Examiner teases subscribers with their great content—little 70-word blurbs that include the day’s articles and lures them back to the website.

⇒ Use FOMO to your advantage

Daily emails are an implied brag, i.e. if Social Media Examiner has something to email about every day, they must have a lot going on! It creates FOMO (fear of missing out) in the subscriber—they want to stay up to date—which gets those emails opened.

⇒ Give your followers something to share

Everybody wants something cool to share with their friends and followers. If you produce a lot of content, your audience will always have something to share online—“Check out this cool article I read on Social Media Examiner.” Even if they never buy a product that you have to sell they become evangelists for your brand, offering the most powerful kind of advertising: word of mouth. Recently, all those great blogs have parlayed into the Social Media Examiner Show, a podcast that comes out four times weekly and repurposes longer articles into abridged versions delivered through audio. An entirely different editorial staff handles these audio episodes, as opposed to the written ones. Obviously, it takes really rich content to be repurposed in so many ways. If you don’t have the budget or the time to manage a big editorial staff, here are Mike’s top two priorities for soliciting help in creating content that can be mined for multiple uses:

⇒ Copy editor

The most important step is making sure your content is pitch perfect—you can’t have misspellings, punctuation errors or awkward, clunky, repetitive phrases. No matter how great an authority you are on your topic, misuse of the English language will undermine your readers’ respect for what you have to say. When I asked Mike which was the single most important blogging-related hire to add to your team, he answered without hesitation "A copy editor."

⇒ Graphic designer

First impressions are a big deal, when it comes to content getting shared. You want something that looks beautiful wherever someone shares it—a Twitter Card, for example, is a lot more visible than a simple tweet, even one with an attached image. An Open Graph-optimized image for Facebook and Twitter will get your content optimum play on social media. Open Graph data is how Facebook decides what image to post in your feed; you can determine it yourself, instead of letting Facebook (or whoever is posting the link to your content) decide for you. One image with eye-catching typography and white space left in the right areas will draw an audience’s roving eye and get your content opened. Download our free quick guide that walks you through the process of setting up Open Graph. This free download is extremely valuable to attract even more traffic to your blog!

Tracking Your Traffic

You probably already know that Google Analytics will tell you what percentage of your traffic is coming from Facebook and Twitter and so on. But by using UTM tracking codes—a little extended code that goes on the end of your URL and compressing that with bit.ly—you can assign campaign-level triggers to any particular thing you do. It works like a homing device to see where your posts end up and which ones are getting the most traffic. This allows us to segment what percentage of our social traffic is coming from our own sharing versus other people out there sharing on their own.

Get More

You can listen to the entire podcast and get all of Mike's valuable insights on how to make your blog better than ever. Just click here to go to iTunes and choose Episode 44. And don't forget to download the quick guide that we created to help you set up Open Graph--an easy way to make sure your Facebook posts look outstanding and consistent.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the Quick Guide: "How to Easily Set Up Open Graph and Make All Your Posts On Facebook Look Outstanding"

FREE DOWNLOAD

Don’t miss Mike speaking at Social Media Marketing World, an annual event held right here in San Diego, California. It’s the place to be if you want to rub shoulders with people just like you who are trying to figure out social media marketing. If you can’t attend this March event, make sure to download the recordings from the more than 100 sessions being offered.

Direct download: Online_Market_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

How many times has this happened to you? You’ve spent hours composing the perfect email to showcase your content, you’ve carefully segmented your list to a specific audience, you’ve queued it up to send at the optimal time…and a week later, your analytics reveal a dismal click-to-open rate. Ouch!

It’s frustrating and discouraging, the kind of thing that can make you second-guess everything you know about online marketing. But it could be that the only thing holding back your campaign’s potential is the email subject line.

Get the full story--listen to Podcast Episode 43.

Don’t underestimate the power of this one simple sentence. As I’ve mentioned in the past, email marketing is the most effective means of online marketing. The gateway to that email—the first thing your customers see—is your subject line.

It has to contain hints of everything your email has to offer—the specificity of your product, the authenticity of your brand, the urgency of your offer. It has to convey not only your knowledge and authority, but also your personal empathy for your audience’s needs. Tall order, right?

Fortunately, crafting an enticing subject line is not rocket science. The best subject lines can be broken down into five basic strategies, each built along a simple formula.

Strategy #1:  Focus on the Benefit

  • With this strategy, you focus on the end result your reader wants most.

  • Meet your readers where they currently live by speaking to their wants, desires, interests and concerns.

  • Answer their question:  "What's in it for me?"

  • Here's an example of a benefit-driven subject line:

⇒ Example: "See How Easily You Can Learn to Paint"

⇒ Formula: See How Easily You Can Learn to [insert topic you are going to teach]

Click here to download a free cheat sheet with even more benefit-driven subject line formulas!

Strategy #2:  Be Specific

  • Set the hook for your readers by hinting at something super valuable contained within your email.

  • Identify your target audience very clearly: age group, professional demographic, special interest

  • Give a couple of specific details to ground your hint—let them know that you know what you’re talking about.

Here’s an example of a highly specific subject line:

⇒ Example: “What Every Accountant Ought to Know About New Tax Laws”

⇒ Formula: What Every [identify your target audience] Ought to Know About [something specific you will teach them]

Strategy #3: Get Relevant

  • Relevance = useful + timely. Your reader should know this and act on it…right away!

  • Localization (mentioning a neighborhood/city/state of your target audience is proven to increase opens…even for people who don’t live there but are curious)

  • Make reference to an upcoming event, current trends, news items

  • Here’s an example of a subject line with powerful relevance:

⇒ Example: “Feeling out of control? Your Guide to Family, Food and the Holidays.” ⇒ Formula: [Bring up something--a feeling, situation or new development your customer is interested in] This [your content] can help you with [upcoming event, season or timeframe].

Get even more tips and examples--click here to listen to Podcast Episode 43.

Strategy #4: Make It Personal

  • This works best when you already have a strong, loyal following.

  • Use your subject line to show readers that you’re on their side, that they are not alone, that you are here to help them.

  • Hinting at a related story of your own will increase their trust in you, and their curiosity to see how you addressed the issue.

Here’s an example of using highly personal connection: ⇒ Example: “How I finally stopped skipping my workouts.” ⇒ Formula: How I [action] [something your audience wants too]

Strategy #5: Call Out a Problem

  • We all want to make less mistakes, feel confident to overcome challenges, and take risks with more confidence.

  • This is another strategy that serves to help your readers identify with you, and teases them to open the email and find out how you tackled a problem.

  • The key to this strategy is integrity. Steer away from scare tactics—you’re here to offer constructive awareness.

  • Here’s an example of calling out a problem with positivity and integrity:

⇒ Example: “Here's How Goal-Setting Can Hurt Your Business” ⇒ Formula:  Here's How [fill in the blank] Can Hurt Your [fill in the blank]

Get More

Don’t forget—you can listen to the entire podcast and get the full details on how to craft subject lines that get your emails opened! Just click here to go to iTunes and choose Episode 43.

In addition, I have even more formulas and examples outlined for you in a cheat sheet I created for this episode. You can download it for free right now by going to amyporterfield.com/43download, or you can text 43download to 38470 and I’ll send it to you right away.

EPISODE FREEBIE

Get the 10 Highly Effective, Irresistible Subject Line Formulas

FREE DOWNLOAD

There’s definitely an art to crafting irresistible email subject lines. And as with any art, practice makes perfect. Try crafting at least five subject lines each day to feel out the different approaches and find what works for you. Then pick the best one to perfect for your email that week.

Daily practice will give you the confidence to not only write your marketing emails faster, but will serve to ground you in the knowledge that you have something valuable to offer the world.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we are going to dive into a new way of goal-setting and business planning.

Now if you follow my content, you already know that I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to planning for the New Year.

I love it! I love new beginnings. I love looking back on the year, examining what worked and what did not work and then building something new or improved from there. I am going to cover 3 Lessons from this year that I am taking into the New Year. Some of them were easy lessons to learn, some not so easy.

So let’s go ahead and dive in!

Lesson #1: If you don’t build in the margin now, you will struggle to find it all year.

Margin is all about finding time to breath, to be creative, and taking time away from the computer to recharge.  Margin allows you to be better when you return and dive into your big projects. Finding margin is easier said than done and in this episode we are going to talk about ways to make it actually happen!  In this lesson I will also share with you how you can use an at-a-glance wall calendar to see the pockets of margin in advance.

Lesson #2: Build a team around your core skills.

We all know that building a team is crucial for longterm success.  In this lesson I suggest a different way to approach your next hiring decision - one that will help you do more of what you love. Building your team is one of the most important steps you may take in the new year - this lesson will help you do it better.

Lesson #3: Add some soul to your goal-setting experience.

I realized that goals without the "why" are empty promises, meaningless in fact. They can quickly deplete your energy, make you feel unproductive, create massive overwhelm and suck the creativity right out of you. Who wants to feel like that? In 2015, I am changing things up - I am approaching this whole goal-setting thing differently and starting with the WHY.

These 3 lessons are exactly why I am so passionate about helping you change your goal-setting experience. I want your new goals to move you forward, invite in new opportunities and make you feel fully alive. In my journey to a more meaningful goal-setting experience, I was introduced to Michael Hyatt’s goal setting philosophy.

He also believes in starting with the WHY, getting to the root of what we really want and focusing on what matters most.

Right now and for the next week or so, Michael will be releasing a video series on goal-setting - it’s totally free and 100% aligned with creating a more powerful goal-setting experience.

I encourage you to check it out! He put a lot of effort and time in this series and it shows. It’s quality stuff.

You can check out his free goal setting trainings at www.AmyPorterfield.com/Goals but only for a very short time, so don’t wait to check it out!

Key Takeaways:

The three lessons I learned this year that you too can apply to your planning process as you get ready for the new year.

#1: Build margin into your year IN ADVANCE. Don’t wait to find
pockets of time that you can take off - be intentional about this
time and protect it with your life.

#2: Get strategic about your hiring plans and build a team around
your SKILL SETS - find that one person or the people that will
accentuate your skill sets and talents.

#3: Create goals with more meaning. Specifically, identify the
WHY before you set your big goals for the new year. Don’t set
any goals that you don’t identify WHY you really want it.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast-Goal_Setting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm PST

When it comes to online marketing, most people are overlooking their number-one biggest asset.

Social media activity, off-site ads, and all other tricks are a drop in the bucket compared to the power of the email list. You may have heard me say it a million times on this site, but I’ll say it again here: the energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list.

But don’t just take my word for it.

“I have literally built a million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my #1 business priority and asset.” (Michael Hyatt)

“Without a doubt, our email list is the best investment we’ve ever made.” (Douglas Karr)

“Email is the most important channel for you to cultivate in your online business.” (Mike Stelzner)

These guys are heavyweights in the online marketing world; each of them has a subscriber list numbering well over 100,000. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that a list in the hundreds, or even thousands, makes your email marketing strategy less important.

No matter what your subscriber numbers are, your email list is one of the most valuable assets you have in the quest to help your business thrive. When you really understand the value of that list, you’ll be more than happy to invest your time, energy and budget to help that list thrive.

In this blog post, I’m going to highlight three foundational strategies for growing your email list. Once you implement these strategies, you’re well on your way to creating smart marketing funnels that will put your list-building efforts on warp speed, as well as lead to increased revenue from each email you send out.

The Main Thing: Quality over Quantity

When my good friend David Siteman Garland (of The Rise to the Top) started out, he had an email subscriber list of just 500 people. In those early days, he did a small product launch and generated $19,800 on the strength of that list.

These days, David’s email list is much larger. What hasn’t changed is the incredible loyalty of those subscribers. Whenever I do any kind of affiliation with David, I’m astonished at the way his list gravitates immediately toward any email he puts out.

It’s all because he started with a focus on list quality.

David never fails to infuse his emails with his authentic personality. He is genuine, super funny, and a little bit quirky…all reasons why his subscribers love him and keep coming back for more.

David is a prime example of my first strategy for growing your email list.

Strategy #1: Build Remarkable Content

This means more than simply content that people want to share. Remarkable means truly leaving your mark by ensuring that you’ve niched your business well.

When you direct your communication in general terms toward anyone who might be listening, no one feels like you are talking to them. The key is talking to a very specific audience about a very specific message.

When it comes to content, niching yourself can make all the difference between great and remarkable.

The difference starts with how it affects you, the content creator. The people that get very specific with their message tend to get much more excited about their business, because they know exactly what they’re doing and who they’re trying to reach. Creating the content stops being a chore, and starts to simply flow out of them.

A message that tries too hard to fit too many different types of people is not only less rich, it’s just not as exciting to create.

In contrast, niching your business empowers you to send an extremely powerful message. This is what attracts the people who are going to stay with you. Those are the subscribers who constitute a quality list.

Let Your Personality Shine

To build a loyal following that eats up everything you putting out there, make sure that you bring your personality to every email.

If you are silly, bring that to your emails.

If you’re really witty, make sure that shines through.

All of those little quirks that make you unique should shine through in your email content. Use stories—especially your own—as much as you can. And when you’ve done a good job of niching yourself, your target audience will instantly see themselves in your stories.

This is what remarkable content is made of. It’s what speaks to your audience in a genuine, heartfelt way. It’s what makes them excited to open your emails.

Strategy #2: Understand the Opportunities and Limitations of Your Email Service Provider

Your “email service provider” is the company you use to send out your bulk emails, as well as manage all of your new opt-ins and leads. Some of the most popular options are AWeber, MailChimp, and Infusionsoft…but there many, many others out there.

Before getting into the specifics of this strategy, here’s a little pop quiz to see how well you know your own email service provider.

(Don’t worry—if you fail, no one’s even going to know.)

Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Email Service Provider?

  • Does you email service provider require a double opt in from your new leads or do you have the choice for single opt in?
  • Are you able to easily do A-B split testing with your emails?
  • Can you manually import a customer list and mail to that list instantly?
  • Are you able to send out time-based email autoresponders?
  • Are you able to send out a new autoresponder based on a specific action somebody took in an email that you sent?

If you just aced that test, bravo. But if you didn’t, don’t worry—you’re not alone.

A lot of people sign up for mass email services but never take the time to learn how they work. Invariably, these people get held up in the process every time they try to email their list. It becomes such a negative experience that, over time, they start finding reasons not to email their list. Or they simply rely on sending out the same newsletter template over and over.

Being limited in your understanding of how your provider works means stifling not just your creativity, but also your ability to make money. If you're happy with your email service provider, but you don’t know the ins and outs, it's time to make some time for it. If you’ve been thinking you needed to upgrade your provider, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that you can do a whole lot more than you realized.

Many providers have great tutorial videos. A lot of them also have Facebook groups where you can ask questions and learn from other users. And if you have an idea in mind that you want to try, but can’t figure it out on your own, take advantage of the provider support desk. Get on the phone with them and tell them exactly what you’re trying to do.

Bottom line: the more educated you are about how your email service provider works, the more innovative and strategic ways you’ll come up with to market your business.

To help you with this, I’m offering a special free download—a cheat sheet that shows the opportunities and limitations of some of the most popular email service providers. You can download it for free by clicking here. Or simply text 42download to 38470 and I’ll send you that cheat sheet right away.

Get the Top Email Service Providers: Pros and Cons

FREE DOWNLOAD

Strategy #3: Create Multiple Lead Opportunities

This third strategy has two parts to consider:

1) Creating Multiple Lead Magnets

In my opinion, everybody with an online business should have at least three lead magnets running at any given time. No matter how niched your audience is, you’re going to appeal to more people within that niche if you offer a diverse array of valuables.

Some people prefer a webinar.

Others just want a cheat sheet PDF.

Still others want a full-on report that walks them step-by-step through an important process.

We all respond to different modalities. That’s why it’s important that you provide multiple opportunities for your target audience.

You can even create multiple lead magnets out of the same content—make a webinar, a PDF and a video out of the same material. Or you can create unique lead magnets for each topic. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for your business. The results will tell you a lot about your audience.

In addition, once you start to use your email service provider to its full potential, you can track and tag your various leads to see where they’ve come from. This is really valuable because it lets you see which platform (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or others) is converting the most leads for you, as well as which individual lead is converting the best.

Never forget that the point of having a lead magnet is to lead your new prospect into becoming a paying customer. Therefore, you must create lead magnets with your profit path in mind.

It’s okay if you’re not ready to launch a program or product just yet. Even if you’re in a place in your business where you’re just building up your online presence, it’s still extremely important that you create your lead magnet to start building your list.

If you are ready to sell, think about your end game. Is your lead magnet aligned with what you plan to sell? What does you idea audience need to understand, be aware of, or believe in order to want or need your product, program, or service? Design your lead magnet content to ensure that your audience truly understands the value of your offer.

Where most people fail with a lead magnet is creating it with the idea of only offering immense value. That’s important, but it’s not the only thing to focus on. A well-designed lead magnet not only offers value, but also leads your prospect to a buying decision.

Let’s say you are a health and fitness coach, and your business is all about helping people lose weight. If your paid program is a ten-day meal plan to detox from sugar, a great lead magnet might be “Ten tips to beat sugar cravings.” The two are aligned with each other; with a lead magnet like that, you’re going to attract the perfect audience that would be genuinely interested in what you have to sell.

2) Placement of Your Opt-In Form

There are six places where you must create opt-in opportunities for your audience:

#1: A Feature Box

Feature boxes work like gangbusters. Splashed right across the header of your website, they are a great representation of your brand from the moment someone lands on your home page. (You can see mine at amyporterfield.com.)

#2: The Sidebar

Everyone is familiar with this one—the right column of a website is where people expect to find the links they need to navigate your website. You definitely want an opt-in opportunity here.

#3: Inside Your Blog Content

It just makes sense to have a link to your free valuable content in the midst of your primary content. By hyperlinking a word or phrase, readers can click to make a box appear that allows them to receive your free giveaway by entering their name and email. This is where I use Lead Pages—it has a feature called Lead Boxes that allows you to do exactly that.

#4: The End of a Blog Post

A reader who has followed your blog post to the very end is a hot lead for you. So create an opportunity with an opt-in box at the end of a post where they can sign up to receive even more value.

#5: The Pop-Up Box

If you just cringed when I said that, stay with me. Pop-up boxes definitely get a lot of bad press. But the fact remains that they are extremely effective.

Between January 2011 and January 2013, Social Media Examiner grew their email list by 375% to over 190,000 readers. Founder Mike Stelzner attributes nearly 70% of that growth to the site’s pop-up box.

Here’s a contrasting example from renowned blogger and author Chris Penn. After he took his pop-up box down from his website, he said his subscriptions “fell off a cliff.” Within weeks, he started running a new series of pop-up boxes and saw an increase in his opt-ins.

Pop-up boxes definitely work, especially if you are cultivating a quality audience. I promise, if your audience really feels loyal to you, they are not going to be annoyed by it.

Pop-ups are infinitely customizable these days. You can design them to look the way you want and appear only when you want them to. (One of my favorite tools to customize pop-up boxes is optinmonster.com.) I like to have them appear within minutes of someone being on the site, but not appear again until 15 or 30 views later. You can also make sure they are mobile friendly—in other words, that people viewing your site on their smartphones can make the pop-up box go away, if they want to.

#6: Your “About” Page

You might be surprised to hear that your About page is one of the most popular pages on your site. So if you’re not including a few email sign-up opportunities on your About page, you are likely losing some great traffic. Again, Lead Boxes is a great option for embedding an opt-in opportunity inside your About page text.

You might be thinking that’s a lot of places to incorporate an opt-in box on your website. But it all comes back to being appropriately aggressive in building your list. Don’t think you’re bothering somebody with an opt-in box. If your content is remarkable, and you’ve built a quality audience that is eager to hear from you, then they will be eager to sign up as well. If they’ve already signed up, they will just ignore the opt-in opportunities.

It’s a good idea to mix up your lead magnets and opt-ins throughout those different placements. For example, on my feature box across the top of my website, I have a free mini series about social media and list building. But inside my About page, I will have a PDF of all of the tools I use online. Then in the right sidebar I have an opportunity to sign up for a webinar.

This is not something you can do overnight. It takes a little bit of time to build up your lead magnet opportunities. But it’s definitely worth the effort.

Key takeaways

Three online marketing strategies to help build your email list:

  • Build remarkable, personalized content
  • Learn to really use your email service provider
  • Create multiple lead opportunities and embed them throughout your site

And always focus on quality, and the quantity will follow.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:27pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interview my new friend, Chalene Johnson.

Chalene is a world renowned multi-passionate entrepreneur that has built and sold several multimillion dollar health and fitness brands. You might recognize her name from her top selling Beach Body Workout DVD programs.

Chalene is currently the founder and CEO of a business and lifestyle coaching company called Team Johnsonwhere she has taught her personal and business development strategies to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs. In light of all of this, she has managed to become an Instagram marketing master. The way she uses Instagram to promote her numerous brands is nothing short of amazing. I'm sure you’ll agree after listening to this podcast.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why it's important to become an "Early Settler" on Instagram now before it inevitably hits critical mass with Facebook's backing.

  • How to move beyond posting the typical photos from your personal life to strategically sharing valuable content that drives leads and sales into your business.

  • Why you should set up a few "Feature Accounts"- sub niche Instagram accounts, and how to chose the theme of these accounts according to your business. You’ll learn how to manage them all with zero overwhelm.

  • How to allow your audience to feature their post on these "Feature Accounts" for greater brand exposure, while you benefit from a steady stream of content you didn't have to create.

  • How to craft interesting and helpful content related to your business in a 15 second video.

  • How to place a click-able links on Instagram that will lead people back to your bio, where you can link to a lead magnet or your website.

  • How to create 15 second video 'call to actions' to drive traffic directly to your offers.

  • Why using video on Instagram, while possibly yielding less engagement apposed to a photo, can establish you as a leading authority faster than a photo post when done right.

  • What Instagram has coming on the horizon in terms of metrics tracking and their very own advertising platform.

  • How to create cool split screen video posts that are part on camera instructional and part B-Roll demonstrations.

  • How to pull in text on screen 'call to action' captions in your mobile phone videos.

  • How to craft effective 'call to actions' to get people to share your post and where to place those CTA's to maximize every square inch of Instagram.

  • How to effectively use hashtags and tags to elevate your brand exposure.

  • How to outsource the entire content creation process.

  • Where to get a third party app that will gauge your marketing against Instagram's posting statistics letting you know exactly when you should post to reach your unique target audience.

  • And so much more!

Key Takeaways

  • Establish your roots on Instagram now before it becomes the huge business advertising platform Facebook is developing it to inevitably become.

  • Provide valuable nuggets relative to your business not just journal personal life snapshots.

  • Take advantage of every square inch of the comment section by being very descriptive about your post, including where to find related info and always give a call to action.

  • Create and honor a business theme.

  • Aim to make your Instagram account appear like a magazine spread with helpful "How to" photos and/or videos.

  • Using video will establish your brand authority and position yourself as the 'go to expert' in your niche.

  • Place a click-able link on Instagram that will lead people back to your bio, where you can link to a lead magnet or your website.

  • Change out the click-able link on all of your sub niche accounts to correspond to your current promotions to centralize the direction of your traffic.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm PST

In this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast I share with you a new experience I’ve just embarked upon and how this experience taught me so much about my business, dealing with the people helping me with my business and more importantly, this experience has taught me a lot about myself.

I decided to try something different and create a 3-part video series as a pre-launch for the reopening of my Facebook Marketing Profit Lab video training course.

The reason for my new approach was because I felt like it was time that I foster a deeper connection with my audience and share a bit more transparency into my personal life. I wanted to become more personable, because I know that sometimes I can come off as "all business" - (much to my husband's chagrin!)

It was time to really peel back the curtain and share intimate details about the beginning struggles of my business, the reason for my choosing Facebook as my traffic and lead generation vehicle and how my mindset and business knowledge, as a whole, has gone through this amazing transformation over the years.

I felt the need to share in this way mainly because the exact business metamorphosis I have experienced, is the business metamorphosis I truly wish all who choose to learn from me, are fortunate enough to experience too.

Here are 7 tips to creating a 3-part video series

1) Content Flow and Story Structure:

The sequence of your stories (the flow) and the level at which you share your whole self, will make a big impact on how your videos touch your audience. The more you share, the more your  audience will understand your journey and connect deeper with your message. The more honest and transparent you are when telling your story, the more your audience will relate to you and your message.

2) Video crew or One-Man-Crew:

Try your best to invest in a great video quality production but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t launch your product or services until you can afford an expensive video crew. It can be done on a very small budget.

3) Written scripts or off the cuff dialog:

If you have trouble feeling comfortable speaking in front of a camera, writing out a script and reading from a teleprompter will ease the tension and make sure you don’t miss any key points. However, there will be times where just speaking to another person on the set will help you appear more passionate and sincere. (Below I list a couple of teleprompters I recommend.)

4) Location choices for added professionalism:

Recording the videos at your own home will always give you that internal feeling of comfort-ability, sort of like the “Home Court Advantage.” However, if you’re going for a more professional appeal, renting a hotel suite or renting a Co-Work space for the day, will definitely increase the production value and really put a polished look to your videos.

5) Have a keen ear on set during each recording:

By having another person on set whose only purpose is to pay very close attention to what is being said, is a surefire way to catch those inevitable mistakes you and your video person likely won’t catch. This will avoid having to reschedule the entire shoot and post production editing nightmares.

6) Express your honest opinion about each shot selection:

Review a still of the shot selection before recording. Don’t feel you are being “difficult” if you don’t feel it is the most flattering image of you. Instead of just going with the flow, suggest a new angle or shot setting.

7) Become comfortable in your own skin:

If you’re like most people, you’re not used to seeing yourself on camera and may view the final footage with an overly critical eye. Just remember that your audience is well aware they are not watching a Hollywood production and they definitely know we are not glamorous actors. No matter how you think you look, if you let your passion for what you do supersede your insecurities, you will automatically exude an air of confidence and your audience would come to love the authenticity.

So there you have it. I just wanted to share my takeaways from this major video shoot I’ve just experienced. Now that you have this new “behind the scenes” insight into the making of this 3-part video series, I look forward to reading your comments down below after you’ve had the chance to view the video series.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Show_Episode_39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am PST

In this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast,  I will be exposing the recent change Facebook made to their algorithm and not only will I explain the reason for this change, I will also give you some tips to help you counteract this change and to increase your brand’s engagement in the News Feed.

Although I’m a huge advocate of Facebook’s paid advertising, in this episode, I’m teaching a couple of FREE methods of posting content and reaching more potential customers in the News Feed.

Here’s what the recent Facebook algorithm change is all about.

They are cracking down on "click bait.”  What exactly is click bait?

Click bait is when a link is shared in a Facebook post with a title that sparks curiosity but does not really tell people what the article is all about. This essentially teases people to click a link but does not give them all the information so they are not exactly sure what they’re going to find on the other side of that click.

Granted, click bait links can be an effective strategy, because people can’t help but click to find out more. And many marketers were finding success in their calls to action; that’s why these types of posts has been flooding the News Feed on Facebook.

The challenge is that the click bait strategy is making it hard for users to see content they genuinely want to see and care about. Facebook is viewing click bait as gaming the system to get out into the News Feed. Because Facebook has a viral component built into their Algorithm, these click bait post were gaining a lot of exposure.

The more people click on the link, even though they’re not sure if they’re even interested in the content on the other side of that link, the more that post shows up in the News Feed.

And that’s why Facebook became concerned with this practice and made this recent change that no longer allows click bait. Your content will be negatively impacted when you use a click bait type of posting strategy.

Here’s how to craft your post so that you’re not a victim to this algorithm change and your posts get as much News Feed exposure as possible.

Tip #1:  Create or Only Share Quality Posts

Focus more on quality versus quantity. I would rather see you post two times a day with high-value content versus a bunch of posts that won’t get you the engagement that Facebook is actually paying attention to each time you post.

As you can see, this post was highly valuable and resonated with his audience. Look at all those shares and likes!

When people click on the link and go to your website from Facebook, make sure the content is interesting, exciting and engaging so they will STAY longer on your site.

Now, this isn’t particularly new news. However, most of us don’t think about how long people are spending on the other side of our links that we include in our Facebook posts.

Make that content valuable enough to keep them there and you will boost your engagement on Facebook . . . for free!

Tip #2:  Be Specific With the Titles of Your Facebook Posts

The more descriptive you are with your headlines in your post, the more likely people will genuinely be interested in your content when they actually get to your website.

Stay away from click bait and instead be very specific about what you plan to share with your fans. Images including info such as this example is also very helpful.

This would not only safeguard you, but it will help you with targeting. You will attract the ideal audience on Facebook with each of your Facebook posts.

Tip #3:  Post a “Preview” of Your Content When Posting on Facebook

When you include a preview in your post, you are more likely to get out into the News Feed. This means more free exposure for you!

What is a preview?

A preview is when you include a link to your article in the post and an image and a blurb under the image are automatically pulled into your post.

>Facebook has said that they will favor posts that have links that include a standard preview in the post versus posts that include a link with a photo but no preview.

Wrapping Things Up

Facebook is all about their users having a great experience when they go on to their website. But, if you think about it, that’s how we all feel about our own websites. When people come to my website, I want them to have a memorable and a valuable experience.

I encourage you to pay attention to how most people post on Facebook when they’re not marketing. Model those posts versus trying to be sneaky or too promotional with your posts.

Finally, we all want to offer immense value and that’s what Facebook is rewarding. They’re rewarding those of us who are posting content that people actually want to read, share, and comment on.

Key Takeaways

  • Facebook is now paying careful attention to how long people are staying on the webpages your links are clicking through to from a post.
  • Make your content valuable enough to keep the visitor on the webpage and you will boost your engagement on Facebook (for free!).
  • The more descriptive you are with your headlines in your post, the more likely people will genuinely be interested in your content when they actually get to your website.
  • Including a link preview in your post will help you gain more exposure in the New Feed.
Direct download: OMME_38_How_to_Craft_a_Facebook.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01pm PST

Would you like to know how to spend less time trying to convert your Facebook Profile "Friends" over to "Fans" of your Facebook Page?

Would you like to learn an easy trick to link your Profile and Fan Page together so that your visitors to your Profile would have direct exposure to your Fan Page?

You will learn all of that and more in this weeks Episode of Online Marketing Made Easy - Ask Amy Podcast.

On this episode I answer a question from one of my listeners about how to get your Facebook friends to like your Facebook Page.

This is the question she asked:

 Kathy Sacks: “I have more than 500 friends on my Facebook Profile. Since it would take a long time to get that many “likes” on my Facebook Page, I’d like to get my friends on my Profile to to like my new business Page. Do you have any advice for me?”

Now, the short answer is that there is no foolproof way to move your friends over to your Page.  There are a few things you can try and I’ll go over those things with you but I want to encourage you not to spend too much time trying to move your friends over to your Page.

Instead, I would encourage you to spend more time on developing your Page, the content, the engagement, your list-growing strategy, all of that can be done on your Page.

I wouldn't suggest you spend too much time on this strategy although I am going to give you some helpful tips to get you started to make that transition.  I understand that if you are growing a Facebook Page you want to build your fan base quickly and it makes sense to start with the friends on your Profile since they seem to have an interest in what you are posting.

Sounds logical, although, it doesn’t happen as though we think it should.

One thing you might want to think about is this: Are those friends that you have on your profile genuinely interested in your business?  Some of them likely are but definitely not all of them are.

To be upfront, some of your Profile friends just aren’t interested in hearing from you about your business. That’s why I just want to caution you, it's likely on your Profile, you have a mix of people that are friends or just want to know you personally and have no interest in what you are doing for business.  That's just how it is.

In my experience, moving friends to fans is a slow process that is rarely a raving success.  That’s why I don’t want you to spend too much time in this area.  However, I will say, it is worth an effort to give it a shot.  Do it and then move on to bigger and better things.

I did promise you a few things that you can implement to build your new fan page with your existing friend base from your profile.

1) The first suggestion I have for you is make sure that you link your Profile and your Page.  In the video below I’m going to show you how to link your Profile and your Page so if somebody comes to your Profile they can easily click a link right there on that timeline and go over to your Facebook Page and become a fan. This can be tricky because the step-by-step process I am going to show you (it's quick, I promise!) doesn’t always work for everybody, so I am also going to show you a quick workaround in the video.  I've got you covered ;-)

Linking your Profile to your Fan Page

2) For about two weeks, start a campaign where you are actively promoting your Page on your Profile.  What this means is that you’re telling people that you are now posting regularly on your Facebook Page about (...you fill in the blank here) and that you would love for them to come over and become a fan. Make sure you tell them to click “like” on your Page to become a fan.  Give them an action so that you can actually stay in touch with them in the newsfeed. Do this for a week or two; that should be enough to create the awareness.   You then need to take it one step further and give them a reason why they should come over to your Facebook Page.

Use Video to promote your Page to your friends on your Profile

Creating a video to encourage your friends to come over to your Page is a great strategy. My good friend, James Wedmore, did this when he first created his Facebook Page.  At the time, James was only using his Profile to connect with people on Facebook and he wanted to start using Facebook ads.  So he created a Facebook Page because you can't run ads on Facebook if you don't have a Facebook Page.  He made a short video telling people something like, “Hey there, I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon, I have a Facebook Page, and I want you to come over because this is what I’m doing over there.....”  In his video he talked about a free giveaway to get them to want to actually click the link, go to the Facebook Page, and become a fan.

Lure your Profile friends over to your Fan Page by using a "FREE" giveaway

If you’re not comfortable with video, do some kind of promotion or giveaway on your Page for a series of one to two weeks just to get people to come over.  You’ve got to give them a reason why and tell them what's in it for them.  The thing is, most people are not going to pay attention if you just tell them to come over to your Page.  But, if you tell them what’s in it for them and you create a benefit they’ll pay attention.  I suggest giving away an ebook related to your brand or possibly a program or a product that you have; something completely aligned with your brand so people that are interested in your giveaway are going to be genuine prospects for you.

I always say giving away a shiny iPad is not the best idea for a giveaway because anybody would like the iPad but not everybody would want my Facebook marketing program.  But, if they do then they are a perfect fit for my audience.  A giveaway is a great way to go that extra step and actually attract the friends on your Profile that are genuinely interested in your business.

Attract New, Quality Fans with Like Ads (Instead of Focusing on Moving Your Friends Over)

If you have a Facebook Page with less than 500 fans I’m sure that you want to grow that Facebook fan base quickly.  One strategy that may be much more powerful than moving your friends to your Page, is to experiment with Facebook Like Ads.  If it fits within your budget, I would spend two weeks running a Like Ad campaign.  With approximately $100-$200, you could grow your fan base by a few hundred fans quickly. 

Once you get to 500 fans, that’s considered to be a pretty solid audience. That’s when I would shift gears. I would stop focusing on growing your fan base and worrying about your friends coming over to your Page and instead focusing on turning fans into leads. Attracting leads on Facebook is extremely important if you want to make your Facebook efforts profitable.

7 Steps to a Facebook Marketing Plan

In my flagship program, Facebook Marketing Profit Lab, I take my students through a seven step process to create a profitable Facebook Marketing Plan.  If you want a quick snapshot of all seven steps, you can check out Episode #28 where I dive into each of them with specifics.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don't spend too much time trying to move your friends over to your Facebook Page
  • Spend more time on developing your Page, the content, the engagement, your list-building strategy
  • Ask yourself: "Are the friends that I currently have on your Profile genuinely interested in my business?"
  • Make sure that you link your Profile and your Page
  • Spend only two weeks maximum on the campaign to actively promote your Page on your Profile
  • Take things to the next level with a short video to introduce your new Page and brand to your Profile friends list
  • Think about creating an irresistible giveaway to entice your friends to become your fans.
Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy-37-Ask_Amy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy PodcastI interviewed my good friend, Pam Hendrickson. Pam and I go WAY back. She is actually the person who interviewed me for my position with Tony Robbins, and was my first "big boss."

Pam and I have spent many hours working and traveling together. We joke that we spent more time together during certain seasons than we did with our husbands!

Pam worked for Tony Robbins for close to 20 years before going out on her own. Considering her experience with Robbins, she thought launching her first products would be easy, but she was wrong. In spite of the fact that the products were great, she made very few sales.

The turning point for her was when she learned how to give her customers what they want, and in this episode, we dive in deep about how to do that.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • A key success principle for business

  • What will cause your business to fail even if you have the best content in the world

  • The necessary foundation for great marketing

  • Common mistakes when defining a target market

  • Tools for understanding your target market

  • How to cultivate relationships

  • Why technology will never replace face-to-face interactions

  • And so much more!

Key Takeaways

  • A key to success in business is not being afraid to make mistakes

  • Great content alone isn't enough. If it isn't want your customers need and want, it won't be successful.

  • The foundation of our marketing comes from understanding who our target audience is, and creating all of products and services based around that.

  • Ideal customer exercises are great, but they don't go deep enough. It's important to go beyond who and really dive deep into their pain points.

  • Product creation and marketing are easy when you truly understand your audience.

  • There are three primary areas to focus on:

    • Tactical
    • Relationships
    • Emotional connection
  • Tactical focuses on learning more about your audience. This is an ongoing process. In order to learn this information, you can conduct surveys, look at what your competition does to see what's working for them, and conduct market research using tools such as Keyword Spy and Ispionage.

  • Relationships focuses on really getting to know your audience, and enable you to go deeper when it comes to truly understanding them and therefore really knowing how to meet their needs. A great example that Pam gave was that if you went to the gym and someone had you  fill out a survey, they would have a certain level of understanding about your needs. In contrast, if you went to the gym and spent time talking with the person exercising next to you, you would have a much deeper understanding.

  • Emotional connection is when you really begin to FEEL what your audience feels. It goes deeper than having an intellectual understanding of their needs, and enables you to basically put yourself in their shoes so that you better understand them on an emotional level. This is the opposite of the tactical side of things because it focuses on feelings rather than facts.

Action Steps

  • For a week or two, spend ten minutes per day researching your target market using tools such as Keyword Spy, Eyespionage  and Pew Research.

  • To help you build relationships with your audience, pick one or two live events to attend. The goal is to have an opportunity to connect face-to-face with your target audience.

  • Set aside 20-30 minutes to get quiet and FEEL the problems and pains of your customers.

A Special Gift from Pam for My Audience

Pam really went the extra mile by creating a special gift just for you, a free video training and report, which you can get here.

Direct download: OMME_36_Pam_Hendrickson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:37am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interview my good friend, Laura Roeder.

I've had Laura on the podcast before, but I wanted to have her on again, because she is a master in setting up processes and systems to grow your business.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The difference between a project manager and a VA

  • Why your project manager should work only for you, rather than have other clients

  • How much you should pay a project manager

  • The role of a project manager and what it takes to hire and train one

  • A mindset shift that needs to happen before you hire your first project manager

  • How you should think about how much you should pay your project manager, and what you should do less of so you an afford to hire help

  • The golden ticket when it comes to hiring team members

  • Why you don't have to find a project manager who is a perfect fit for your business

  • And so much more!

Key Takeaways

  • There are a lot of highly skilled, underemployed people out there now, who would love to work as a project manager

  • You're in the right place to hire a project manager if you:

    • Feel overwhelmed, burned out, or emotionally exhausted

    • Have a bunch of ideas and projects you want to tackle but are too busy

  • A project manager keeps you organized and helps you to continue moving forward with the things you really want to do

  • It's more important for someone to have the ability to learn than it is for them to already know all of the programs you use

  • Be willing to take the time to train your project manager and don't just tell them what to do, but why you want it done

  • Spend less money on programs and then use that money to pay a project manager

  • The main things a project manager should help you do:

    • Translate your goals and plans into daily tasks

    • Make sure things are being done on time and if they aren't, figure out why

    • Ensure not just that the work is done, but that the quality is high

Direct download: 35_Hiring_First_Project_Manager_with_Laura_Roeder2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42am PST

This episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, is the third Ask Amy episode.

This is a new feature that I’ve added to my podcast. As I mentioned in episode 30every other week I’ll answer your questions about online marketing, Facebook marketing, Facebook ads, webinars and email marketing.

To submit a question, all you need to do is go to amyporterfield.com/askamy and leave me a recorded message. Your question just might be the very next one I choose for the show!


Here’s the summary of the question for this episode:

“In episode 29 you talked about how to hyper-target your audience using Facebook ads, and you specifically talked about retargeting. Can you put retargeting ads in both the newsfeed and the right-hand column and if so, which option works best?”

Key Takeaways

  • Retargeting ads use a tracking pixel that you’ve put on your website. You can set the pixel to track for 30, 60, or 90 days.

  • Retargeting ads are great because they allow you to target the people that really care about your brand; they help you connect with your website visitors on Facebook.

  • You CAN place retargeting ads in both the newsfeed and in the right hand column.

  • It’s important to set up your retargeting ads in the Power Editor.

  • I have better results with ads placed in the newsfeed, but it’s important to experiment to find out what works best for you.

  • Lookalike audiences are very valuable but the results you get back from Facebook can be huge -- as many as a couple of million people. To narrow down the results, when inside of the Power Editor, under the “Audience” tab, you can select age, gender and so on to target even further. In addition to that, you can further refine your targeting by indicating that they need to be a fan of at least one of the Pages you add to the interest section (again, under audience). 

 

Direct download: 034_Facebook_Retargeting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy PodcastI interview my good friend, copywriting expert, Ray Edwards. Ray and I go way back. I first met him when I was still working for Tony Robbins. At the time we were in need of a killer sales letter for a big product we had just created, and Frank Kern, a master at online marketing, suggested we reach out to Ray.

As it turns out, hiring Ray to write the sales letter was one of the best decisions we ever made because he nailed it. The sales letter Ray wrote converted really well; every time we used it, our sales were through the roof!

Copywriting is something that a lot of my clients have questions about, and I have to admit that it doesn't come naturally to me; I have to really work at it! But it's a super important skill to master because impact and revenue are directly tied your ability to write great copy, so I invited Ray on the show to share his wisdom in this area with all of you. I know you won't be disappointed!

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • One of the first things you need to learn if you want to start a business or create a second income stream

  • The gene you do NOT need to be born with in order to be a good copywriter

  • Why you need to do more than just write great content

  • What your value-add content should always have

  • How to know if you're giving away too much

  • How to create a lot of content in a short period of time

  • 4 Rules of Writing

Key Takeaways

  • All the emails you send should have a "promotional" element to them

  • Every email you send should include a link

  • The brain doesn't differentiate between an actual experience, and a vividly imagined experience. Therefore, help your readers vividly imagine doing what you recommend, and the outcome

  • Listening to what your audience tells you is the best way to know what questions in the emails you send

  • The copy you write needs to be scanable. You can accomplish this by using bolded headers, bullet points, and so on

Direct download: OMME_33_Ray_Edwards_Copywriting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

This episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, is the second Ask Amy episode. This is a new feature that I've added to my podcast. As I mentioned in episode 30every other week I’m going to be answering your questions all about online marketing, Facebook marketing, Facebook ads, webinars and email marketing.

If you have a question, I likely am going to have an answer for you! All you need to do is go to amyporterfield.com/askamy and leave me a recorded message. Your question just might be the very next one I choose for the show!

Here's the question for this episode:

I'm a huge fan of your podcast and your content. . . My question is I've noticed that the Facebook layout has changed and things have moved around a little bit. Is there anything I need to know about this new layout to help me maximize my impact and exposure on Facebook?

This is a great question, and is very timely since Facebook is rolling out the new Facebook Page layout, and if you don’t have it already, you’ll be getting it soon. If you don’t yet have it and want to see what it looks like, you can check it out on my Facebook Page, http://facebook.com/AmyPorterfield.

Let’s start at the top, and I’ll break it down for you!

Stats Located on the Right

In the new layout, to the right of your cover photo, you’ll see the following stats for the week:

  • New Page likes
  • Overall post reach
  • Unread messages (This will be blank if like me, you don’t use the private message button)
  • Notifications, which includes clicks, likes, shares and comments on each of your posts

How to use this information: On a weekly basis, track these numbers in an Excel or Google spreadsheet and pay attention to whether or not you’re making improvements in these various areas.

Tab Management

Beneath the cover photo you’ll see tabs. The tabs are like the boxes that were across the top on the old layout. When you click on them, they take you to custom apps inside your Facebook Page.

All of your tabs won’t display across the top, but you can change the order of them to position them. You do this by clicking on the “More” dropdown menu, and clicking on “Manage Tabs” as pictured above.

I wouldn’t spend too much time on tabs, because unless you’re using Facebook ads to drive traffic to the tabs, they don’t convert well because most people never go to your Facebook Page, but instead, likely see the majority of your posts in the newsfeed. If you do want to use tabs, be sure to use ads to drive traffic to them.

Scheduled Posts

If you schedule posts directly from your Facebook Page, in the new layout, you’ll see a notification that says, “Scheduled Posts,” the number of posts you have scheduled, and when the next scheduled post will be published.

I love this feature because since I schedule my posts directly on my Facebook Page, I can now easily see where to find the scheduled posts, and can quickly view and edit them.

The About Section

It’s important to be strategic with how you use the “About” section of your Facebook Page. As you can see from my example, I put a link to a free webinar, to help grow my email list. Other types of lead magnets such as eBooks, cheat sheets, checklists, and so on work as well.

In addition to that, I also put a link to my website in the About section. One thing to be aware of is that this option is not available if your Page is a local business.

Pages to Watch

One of the coolest features about the new layout is found inside of Insights and is called, “Pages to Watch.” This feature provides a great opportunity to see what’s working for other Pages, specifically Pages that also attract your ideal customer. This can give you some great ideas about what you can do to increase the engagement on your own Page.

You’ll find this feature on the Overview tab inside your Facebook Page Insights. Scroll down, and you’ll see an area that says, “Pages to Watch” and from there you can manually add the Facebook Pages that you want to watch.

Top Posts from Pages You Watch

Once you’ve selected some Pages to watch, inside of Insights, on the Posts tab, you’ll be able to see which posts from the previous week were the most engaging, and you can model what they’re doing. For instance, if you see that they’ve asked a question that got a lot of engagement, you can think of a similar type of question to ask your audience, and then pay attention to whether or not you get a rise in engagement as well.

One thing to be aware of is that when you add a Page to watch, the admin of the Facebook Page will get a notification that their Page has been added, but they won’t know who added it.

Direct download: 032_AskAmy_FB_Page_Changes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I dive into launching your programs, your products, your services online. The great thing is that I dove into this extremely important conversation with the pioneer of all online marketing launches, Jeff Walker. Jeff is known for a system he created called The Product Launch Formula and is truly one of the top internet marketing experts and leaders.

He tells a great story of how he got started, and to get the full scoop, you’ll need to listen to the interview because I wouldn’t be able to do his story justice, so for now I’ll just say that before he started his first online business, he had never ran a business before. He had absolutely zero sales training and no marketing skills.

He jokes that he was always the kid that couldn't sell more than one bag of donuts for the Boy Scouts fundraiser every year and that one bag was usually purchased by his parents.  So as you can see, sales and marketing didn't necessarily run in his blood from day one.  He was an average guy who made an extraordinary impact on many people's lives and continues to do so through his teachings.  That's why I am honored to have Jeff on the show today.

Before you listen to the interview, I want to share one more thing with you and that is that Jeff just wrote a book called, Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love And Live The Life Of Your Dreamsand for a very limited time, you have an opportunity to get the book for free -- you just have to pay for shipping and handling -- and in addition to the free book, he’s throwing in a bunch of free bonuses. To get the free book and bonuses, go to amyporterfield.com/launch.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How I met Jeff and how my life changed as a result of meeting him

  • Tony Robbins’ response to the information Jeff shared with him

  • Jeff’s failure in the corporate world, and his stint as a stay-at-home dad

  • The day Jeff's wife's cry for help shook him to his core

  • The amazing story of how Jeff went from being unemployed and desperate to making a million dollars in less than an hour

  • Success stories from those who started small and grew big

  • How dropping hints can build anticipation before a launch

  • The launch that brought Jeff’s wife home

  • How Jeff figured out how launches work for many different types of industries

  • How to know what your customers need from you

  • Jeff's view on your email list

  • The decision I personally made that totally changed my business

  • And so much more!

Key Takeaways

  • Dropping hints about something to come is a great way to build anticipation before a launch

  • Successful product launches aren’t magic, but are based on how the mind works, and pull people in

  • Done right, people will eagerly anticipate your next move and look forward to everything you do

  • There are 3 core sequences in a launch:

    • Pre Pre- Launch, when you agitate the market and get people interested

    • Pre-Launch, when you build value through videos, blog post, and social media

    • Open Cart, when you actually start taking orders

  • It’s important to find out what people’s hot buttons are and then create products that meet those needs

  • There are three types of launches that part of the Product Launch Formula:

    • Seed launches, when you start with no product (and in some cases no list) and you get paid before you even create the product

    • Internal launches, where you do a launch just to your list

    • JV launches, which are more complex and therefore should not be your first launch

  • You must focus on building assets in your business, and the most important asset you can build is your email list

Direct download: OMME_031_Walker_Product_Launch_Formula.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

This episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, is extra special because it is the very first edition of the Ask Amy segment that I'm adding to the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.

Every other week I'm going to be answering your questions all about online marketing, Facebook marketing, Facebook ads, webinars and email marketing. If you've got a question, I likely am going to have an answer for you! All you need to do is go to amyporterfield.com/askamy and leave me a recorded message. Your question just might be the very next one I choose for the show!

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Something I've been struggling with lately
  • Why my style hasn't always served my customers
  • The push back I've gotten regarding how I teach Facebook marketing
  • How overwhelming and scary creating a marketing plan can be when you're first starting your business
  • The importance of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone
  • Why you should look at Facebook differently
  • And so much more!

Here's the question for this episode:

I just launched my website officially at Easter. I took your advice, I put a Facebook sweepstakes on the right side bar, and the resort I work at allowed me to give out a fantastic package, they're really helping me out and it's going really well. In the first month, I've got about 130-something likes and I just love to see that, but I want to keep the momentum going. I want to know what the next step for me might be, whether it's Facebook ads or whatever you think would be the most efficient thing for me.

Key Takeaways

  • Anytime you get new leads from Facebook, it's important to be ready to nurture those leads.

  • Follow up with your new leads with a weekly email, with the focus initially being on pure value, instead of selling.

  • After 4-6 weeks of pure value, select one opportunity to  promote. Send 3-4 emails that talk about this opportunity. Be sure to make those emails about them, rather than about you and your offer.

  • Work on sharpening your copywriting skills. This is important even if you plan to hire someone to write them for you in the future.

  • If people don't purchase, put them back into a value-add sequence, and when you're ready to promote again, go back to 3-4 emails about an opportunity.

  • Use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a lead magnet rather than to a sales page. The goal of ads is to grow your email list. This is how to turn your efforts into profits.

  • Even though it's hard to get organic reach on your Page, it's still important to provide good content for the people who see your posts.

  • Email is more intimate than Facebook, when you really understand how to use email.

  • It's useless to have a big email list if you never use it to promote.

Direct download: OMME_30_ASK_AMY_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we talked all about Facebook ad targeting. But before we get to that, I wanted to tell you about some changes coming your way related to my podcast.

First, starting in June I am going record one episode per week, rather than every other week like I have been doing. Look out for some extra podcast love coming your way!

Second, I am going to add an extra layer to my podcast and start recording an “Ask Amy” segment where you get to send me your questions and I will address them on my show. In full disclosure I took this idea from my good friend, Pat Flynn who now has a show called AskPat. I called Pat to ask if he minded, and in true Pat fashion, he encouraged me to go for it. Gotta love good friends like that.

So if you would like me to address any questions you might have about online marketing, Facebook marketing, list building, content creation, webinars - anything goes - so just go to Ask Amy and you can be one of the first to leave me a question.

OK, switching gears, let’s get back to our topic for today, Facebook ad targeting. I’ve invited my really good friend, Rick Mulready to come on the show with me so we could talk about what we both are seeing that’s working right now with ad targeting.

Rick has an extensive online marketing background and teaches Facebook advertising to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The cool thing is that he is in the trenches daily experimenting with ad campaigns and getting some pretty big results; the guy knows his stuff.

So Rick lives in San Diego and lately we’ve been meeting up at Starbucks and sharing insights about our experiences with Facebook ads. (Does that sound super geeky? We can't help it - we love this ad stuff!) The discussions have been so good that I wanted to get Rick on the show and invite you all into one of the most valuable discussions we’ve had, which is focused on Facebook ad targeting.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The most valuable Facebook ad targeting options, including Interests, Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.

  • Which targeting option to choose when you are just starting out.

  • How to target your website visitors with your Facebook ads.

  • How to expand your targeting options if you feel you can't seem to find a big enough target that is effective.

  • We'll answer the question, "How many people should I target with my ad?

  • We will also discuss which ad metrics to pay close attention to so you know your ad is working.

To help you navigate your Facebook ad targeting, I've included additional details in this post so you can understand how each target works and where to locate.

I suggest you create your ads in the Power Editor.  Think of the Power Editor as a more robust "Facebook Ads Manager" dashboard. You can do more in the Power Editor and I highly recommend you test it out. (It's a bit confusing at first, but I promise it gets easier once you understand where everything's located!)

I can't stress this enough:  The MOST important part of your Facebook ads campaign is targeting. Below I will walk you through some of the most important targeting features.

There are two different places where you will set up your ad targeting.  When you are totally new to ads, two of the easiest targeting features you can use are "Demographics" and "Interests." To locate these two targeting features, go into the Power Editor, and under the "Ads" tab you will see  the "Audience" tab in blue.

Once inside the Power Editor, when you click on "Ads" you will see the "Audience" tab.

Under the "Audience" tab, if you scroll down a bit you will first see "Demographics" where you can set the age, gender and location for your ad targeting.  Scroll down some more and you will see: Interests, Behaviors and categories. Let me briefly explain each to you.

Interests

The "Interest" field allows you to type in the name of the Facebook Pages you want to target. When you target a Facebook Page, you are asking Facebook to show your ad to the fans of that specific Facebook Page. Note that sometimes when you type in the name of the Facebook Page in the "Interest" field, it won’t show up. If you have this problem, be sure to first go to the actual Page and check the name of the Page and make sure you type in the exact name of that Page. However, sometimes that won't even work.  Some Pages just won't show up in the "Interest" field - it's a Facebook glitch.  Frustrating, I know!

Hot tip: Brainstorm a list of people, publications, other groups in your industry, and even competitors whose fans you may want to target.

Hot tip #2: Use Graph Search, which is basically a search functionality inside of Facebook. It is a really long search bar across the top when you’re logged in to Facebook. You can conduct searches such as, “Pages liked by people who like __________” (insert the name of your page in the blank). This will give you a good idea of Pages you might want to target.

Here are some other searches you may want to try:

  • Favorite interest of people who like. . .
  • Groups of people who like. . .
  • Pages liked by people who like xyz Page and abc Page
  • You can get even more specific and search for things like, “Pages liked by women who live in Canada who like xyz page.”

Especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a large email list or a large fan base, "Interests" is a great place to start.

There are two other targeting sections right below "Interests." Let's explore those briefly.

Behaviors

Behaviors is located right under interests. This is a more advanced targeting technique. The way this works is that Facebook partners with 3rd party data companies that track people’s purchasing behavior outside of Facebook.

Categories

Categories is the section located under Behaviors.

"Partner Categories" are similar to behaviors, where Facebook partners with other companies to get data.

There are also "Facebook Categories" you can explore. If someone likes a Page about cooking, you can target a broader category such as food and dining.

Neither Rick nor I use "Categories"  because it tends to be too general, so we don’t recommend them, but they are worth testing just to see if they might be a good fit for you.

Custom Audiences

Now switching gears here, let's talk about a few other Facebook ad targeting strategies that are even more powerful than the targeting above.

Once of the ways both Rick and I set up our targeting is with "Custom Audiences" and "Lookalike Audiences."  You can create a Custom Audience by taking a list of email addresses of those who have subscribed to your email list and uploading them to Facebook. Facebook will check it’s database against your email list and find matches. For example, out of 3,000 email addresses, there may be 1,500 matching email addresses on Facebook. Now you have a list of 1,500 quality lead you can target inside of Facebook. (Note: You need at least 100 matches for this to work.)

Lookalike Audiences

Now with Lookalike Audiences, this is where the magic happens! Once you have a Custom Audience, you can create a Lookalike Audience. Facebook can take your Custom Audience and create another targeted list that is very similar to the one you uploaded. Since Facebook knows so much about our likes, interests and behaviors, these Lookalike Audiences are pretty valuable to say the least!

Regardless of the size of your Custom Audience, your Lookalike Audience may be as large as a couple of million people. The ideal target audience size can vary. If you have a HIGHLY targeted list it can be as small as 1,000 people, but we suggest you keep your targeting groups to a maximum of 600,000 - 700,000 people. I usually try to aim for 500,000. (Note:  This does not apply for people targeting a very local audience. Your lists will be much smaller of course!).

Targeting Set Up

To set up your Custom and Lookalike Audiences, you will do this in the Power Editor a well.  When you log into the Power Editor, in the upper left you should see a drop down menu that says "Manage Ads." Click there and then click "Audiences."

Once you are on the "Audience" page, you can click on "Custom Audience."

From there, the image below will pop up.  To upload your email list to Facebook, click the first option, "Data File Custom Audience."

In the "Data Type" you will see a few options for upload, choose "Emails."

It may take a few hours for Facebook to check your email addresses against those in their system, so be patient and check back in a few hours. Come back to this exact same spot in the Power Editor and you will see the status of your new audience.

Retargeting with Facebook Ads

Another feature of Custom Audiences is the ability to create a target list from your website traffic.  This strategy is also known as retargeting.

Here's how it works:

  • You generate a pixel code from Facebook and then place that pixel on your website.

  • Facebook begins collecting data from that pixel and creates a Custom Audience for you of your website traffic.

  • Now you can target that Custom Audience and show your ads to them OR you can create a Lookalike Audience so you can have an even larger, targeted group to use as well.

Below I show you where to access the Facebook pixel that you will add to your website.  Click "View Custom Audience Pixel" to get the instructions you need to place this pixel in the correct spot on your website.

Once you have your Custom Audience of website visitors in place, you can then create a Lookalike Audience to expand your targeting.

In the "Source" field below you will type in the name of your website visitors Custom Audience and Facebook will create a Lookalike Audience for you. This is some pretty powerful targeting because it's so much more focused that just targeting people who have liked a specific Page!

Now one more thing I will add to the mix.  As you might already know, you can target your existing fan base with your ads.  You would do that in the same section where you would target "Interests."  But what you might now know is that you can also create a Lookalike Audience to target people SIMILAR to your existing fan base. In the "Source" field you will type in the name of your Facebook Page to generate your new target list.

Key Takeaways

  • Facebook targeting is one of the most important components to your Facebook ad success.

  • If you have not done so already, take a little time to experiment with Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.

  • I am 99.9% sure that your audience is spending time on Facebook. My challenge to you is to create smart targeting options to go find them!

2017 Amendment

Graph search is no longer available. Facebook has replaced it with a similar tool called Audience Insights. To learn more about Audience Insights, click here.

Direct download: 029_Targeting_with_Facebook_Ads.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I decided to do something a little bit different. I’m currently promoting my signature program, Facebook Marketing Profit Lab. When I create a new program, I always create a free, value-packed training around the promotion. In this case, the training is called, “How to Create an Easy-to-Implement Facebook Marketing Plan that REALLY Works.”

I deliver the training through live webinars, and after the promotion is over in a few weeks, the free live webinar will no longer be available. I have worked SO HARD on this training that I want it to live on beyond my promotion, and I thought that the best way to accomplish that was to present the training in a podcast.

I think you will find it extremely valuable, and at the end of this podcast you will have a really good understanding of how to create a Facebook marketing plan that is focused on both the needs of your business AND the needs of your customers. In addition to that, this plan will actually help you produce leads and revenue on a consistent basis on Facebook.

People have a lot of concerns about Facebook:

  • They aren’t sure what they’re doing and they feel stuck

  • They are frustrated with their list building strategies; their list is growing painfully slow

  • Or, they are just frustrated with Facebook in general, but are still holding out a little hope because they really want Facebook to work for them because they’ve put a lot of effort and in some cases a lot of money into it but just haven’t gotten the results they were hoping for.

  • And some people are just looking for a plan so they get see more fans, leads or sales through Facebook.

If you can relate to any of that, this podcast is perfect for you!

Specifically, we covered the following 7 steps that you need to Create a Facebook marketing plan that really works.

1. Create Your Lead Magnet

To build trust and affinity with your Facebook fans, create a free irresistible giveaway that solves a problem or offers immense value. To ensure that your giveaway attracts your perfect ideal audience on Facebook, create something that is SO GOOD your audience would pay for it.

2. Set Up Your Lead Capture Page

The next step is to create a webpage that will collect name and emails in exchange for your giveaway.  A well designed lead capture page is critical because it must convert. Instead of paying for a programmer and designer to create this page for you, look into using LeadPages. With this tool you could have a lead capture page up and running in 10 minutes!

3. Create a “Gotta Have It” Facebook Post and Turn It Into an Ad

At this point you want to create a Facebook post that entices your fans to sign up for your irresistible giveaway. This post will become your Facebook ad.  To get maximum exposure and results, create an Unpublished Page Post (also known as a “Dark Post) in the Power Editor ads dashboard. Only run this ad in the News Feed.

In this episode I promised to show the current Facebook ad I am running that is generating over $30,000 a month for me via my Facebook Marketing Plan.

My Unpublished Facebook Ad

When you go into the Power Editor, you will see the option to create an "Unpublished Page Post" and when you click on that link, this box will pop up.  This is where you want to include all of your copy and the image.  Note the image size in the example below:

4. Only Show Your Ad To Your “Perfect Customer” Target List

To ensure that your ad is only seen by Facebook users who will be genuinely interested in your free giveaway, use Lookalike Audiences on Facebook as your targeting strategy. Not only will this help you target your perfect customer profile, it will also allow you to reach a larger, targeted audience.

5. Only Pay For Leads That Have A True Interest In Your Offer

It’s important that you understand how much you want to pay for your leads.  When you get clear on what you want to eventually sell to your new lead, it’s easier to decide how much you will pay for your ads to convert a fan into a new customer.

6. Always Know In Real-Time If Your Lead Magnet Is Working

Use the Conversion Tracking Tool to ensure that your lead magnet is converting fans into leads.  Track these metrics daily so you can be confident that your strategy is actually working!

7. Create The “5 MUST EMAILS” To Perfectly Position Your Offer

One you have attracted your new lead from your Facebook efforts, it’s time to take things outside of Facebook. Create an email auto responder series to provide even more value to your new lead and when the time is right for you, begin to introduce them to your offer.  Email marketing will move your new lead to become a customer.

Direct download: 028_7StepsforFB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:41pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we talked all about video creation and editing. I know a few of you instantly felt a little anxious when you read those words, because video is not usually at the top of anyone’s “favorite things to do” list - or at least that's the case for me!

I’ve been creating videos ever since I started my online business, but it’s always been a tough thing for me. I don’t particularly like to see myself on video and let’s face it, video is a lot of work - from both the creation and editing sides.

And yet video is very important for online marketers, which is why I invited my friend, Caleb Wojcik to be on the show. Caleb promised me that he would give some tips to make video easier, and he delivered on his promise!

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Caleb's progression from screencast videos to using multiple cameras
  • The best type of video to start with
  • How your audience determines how polished your videos need to be
  • How to make videos using PowerPoint or Keynote
  • How to make video editing faster and less painful
  • The reason why 60% of the people that Caleb surveyed don't create video
  • A trick for finding mistakes in the videos you create
  • The benefits of editing backwards
  • The sweet spot when it comes to video length
  • Why you shouldn't put videos that people will pay to see on YouTube
  • Where to host your videos
  • And so much more!

Key Takeaways

  • If you're nervous about creating videos, screencasts are a great way to start.

  • The best screen recording software is Screenflow for Mac and Camtasia for windows.

  • It at all possible, when shooting video, sit facing a window.

  • If natural light isn't available, position lighting directly in front of you, at a 30-45-degree angle. Light shining directly on you, you'll end up with a shadow from the camera on your face.

  • When using your phone to shoot talking head videos, be sure to use a mic, such as Rode Smartlav to improve sound quality.

  • DIY videos are fine, especially when they're not being used as part of a paid program. For paid programs, it's better to go pro if possible.

Gear to Check Out

Microphones

Software

Teleprompter 

Video Hosting

DSLR Cameras

Digital Audio Recorders

Direct download: OMME_027.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interviewed my good friend, Chris Ducker. This interview came at a perfect time, because the evening after completing the interview, I got on a plane to the Philippines to speak at Chris' event, Tropical Think Tank.

This was an exciting trip for me because not only is this my first trip to the Philippines, I also had the opportunity to speak with some some really fantastic people, including Pat Flynn, John Dumas, Greg Hickman and Natalie Sisson, and of course Chris Ducker himself, so it was a lot of fun.

On today’s show, we are talking about the power of virtual support and outsourcing. This is an important topic for me, because I recently learned a valuable lesson, something I did not believe for so long until I finally experienced it personally in my business.

So many successful people I look up to have told me that it is possible to work less and make a bigger impact, which includes bigger profits. That was hard for me to believe because it went against everything I knew about hard work paying off.

However, on episode 23, I talked about how I experienced this very thing in 2013. I tell you this because with the right support, you truly can do less and make more. That’s why I think the topic today is so valuable to anyone building a business online.

I’ve actually had Chris on the show before and so today we are going to dive a bit deeper into this topic. For those of you who do not know Chris, Chris is a serial entrepreneur, virtual staffing expert, blogger, podcaster and author of the new book Virtual Freedom (which is a FANTASTIC book and one I highly recommend.)

In this episode, right from the start, Chris gets personal about a recent experience he had with burnout - and how his burnout did not effect his business AT ALL.

Also, Chris dives into the mindset and mechanics around expanding your team with virtual support. The mindset requires a different way of looking at your business and your role in your business, seeing the value of letting go of some of it, and leveraging it by entrusting certain aspects of it to someone else. The mechanics include specific strategies and tools you can use to maximize your outsourcing experience.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Mindset and the mechanics of expanding your team

  • The value of letting go and leveraging

  • Chris' burnout, and what he did about it

  • The importance of taking care of yourself and switching off regularly

  • What entrepreneurs should do with the time they save by outsourcing

  • How a virtual team kept Chris' business going in the midst of his burnout

  • The importance of entrepreneurs going off the grid from time to time

  • What super hero syndrome is, and how to overcome it

  • The impact of ego on your business

  • What will defeat the benefits of your outsourcing efforts

  • How you can make more by working less

  • How to counter the feeling that you can do things faster yourself than telling someone else to do it

  • The biggest problem when training your virtual staff

  • How to throw little curve balls to your VA, and why you should

  • Why you need to take care of your team ahead of all else

  • Whether you should outsource locally or overseas

  • The 3 basic ways Chris communicates with his staff

  • The point where a lot of businesses begin to fail and how to avoid it

  • And so much more!

When training your virtual staff, the biggest challenge you'll run into is yourself [Tweet This]

Direct download: 026_ChrisDucker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we talk all about Twitter.

Since I am not a Twitter expert, I have invited my friend and mentor, Michael Stelzner, on the show to talk about some very specific strategies he uses to promote his live and online events with Twitter.

Mike would say that he too is not a Twitter expert, but I would disagree because he is doing things on Twitter that are getting some serious results - and he’s been perfecting his Twitter strategy for many, many years, so in my book, he’s a pro.

For those of you who might not know Mike, he is the founder of  the best social media site around, Social Media Examiner, which he launched  in October of 2009, which has exploded, to say the least. Last year more than 7.5 million people visited the site. He's the author of two books (Launch & Writing White Papers) and is host of the Social Media Marketing Podcast. He also founded the parenting blog MyKidsAdventures.com.

5 Strategic Ways to Promote with Twitter

1. Transactional Tweets

This type of tweet has a psychological component to it. When people have just made a purchase or signed up for a newsletter, they're poised to take action, and are more likely to do the next thing you ask them to do. Therefore, as soon as the transaction is complete, send them to a thank you page, and on the page, add a text link with a request.

For instance, you may have a text link that says something like, "Click here to tweet your excitement about (coming to an event, a course they just purchased, etc.). When they click on the link, have it open up a pre-populated tweet that says something like, "I'm attending/just purchased. . ."  Be sure to include a link to the event or item being tweeted about.

2. Verbal Tweets

Podcast listeners are often on the go. They may be listening from the gym, while they're driving, etc, so give them a URL that is easy to remember. Mike directs people to go to SocialMediaExaminer.com/love. I actually stole this idea from Mike, and on occasion in my podcast you'll hear me ask you to go to AmyPorterfield.com/love. If you click on that link, you'll see that it opens up a window with a pre-populated tweet about how much they love my podcast. This is a great way to get your podcast listeners to spread the word about your podcast!

3. Shout-Out Tweets

Shout-out tweets are a great way to give love to someone! An example of how Mike uses this technique is that he lists all of the speakers for his events and asks people to click on the name of their favorite presenter. When they do, again, a pre-populated tweet opens up that says something like, "Hey [name], I'm really looking forward to meeting you at [event]."

4. Affiliate Tweets

Write up 10-15 different tweets that promote your product or event, and put them on a blog page or in an email. All people have to do is add their affiliate link to the tweets you've crafted, and they can then easily be shared. The easier you make things, the more likely people are to share! You can use this same strategy even if you don't have affiliates, but have other offerings that you want your audience to help you promote.

5. Custom Tweets

Social share buttons such as Digg Digg have been around for awhile, but when people use them, they promote only the specific page or post the person is on. But you may not want the person driving traffic to the page they are on, such as on the page with information on hotels for an event that is being promoted.

The solution is to craft custom tweets, and then embed that code on any page. This enables you to include a link to the page you want people to go to, regardless of the page they tweeted from. This also gives great social proof because instead of having several Twitter buttons with smaller tweet counts, when you use the widget, the tweet count is aggregated.

Hashtags

In the final third of the show, Michael dove deep into how to best use Hashtags on Twitter, as well as shared some of his favorite Twitter tools.

Direct download: 025_MikeStelzner_Twitter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I share with you some insight I’ve recently discovered about myself. It’s something that I’ve always known on some level, but I’ve just recently really owned it and started to be actively aware of it. I decided to share it with you, because maybe you can relate.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes my mind is a pretty scary place to live as a result of the stories that I create  about my experiences. When I’m in my head, these stories are completely true and real, but in reality, they are just perceptions.

As an example, in the early years of my business if I promoted something and it didn’t go as well as I thought it should, the story that would play in my mind was that I’m just not as good as my peers, that I didn’t have what it takes to be a success, that I’m in over my head, and that I should have never left Tony Robbins. These stories crushed my confidence!

Now that I’m more aware of these stories, I try to spend as much time as possible in the present moment, where life is actually happening, rather than focusing on these stories that I’ve made up. This approach has helped me quiet fears, doubts, and worries as they pop up as I’m building my business.

I’m sharing this with you because these stories are something we all have to deal with from time to time. Because of that, I invited my good friend and mentor, Marie Forleo, founder of B-School, best selling author and the creator of the award-winning web show MarieTV.com, back to the show as my first repeat guest.

I specifically asked Marie to come on the show to explore these mindset pitfalls, because Marie is not only a marketing pro,  she also has a great way of pulling you out of your head and into the present moment where things tend to look very different than they do in our minds.

Marie and I discuss the following three mindset pitfalls that entrepreneur’s tend to face as they’re building their business:

#1: How Do I Deal with the Competition?

Competition can be destructive, especially when you’re first starting out and are vulnerable. It can cause a downward spiral that Marie refers to as “the comparison hangover.”

You may be tempted to look at someone else’s videos, Facebook Page, Twitter stream and so on and feel like you’ll never get there. The comparison hangover can make people feel like crap and some people even use it to take themselves out of the game.

But competition is actually a very positive thing that can fuel you and drive you to succeed. It can be a healthy form of peer pressure that can actually push you to strive for more.

One thing I learned when I was working with Tony Robbins is that it’s important to surround yourself with people who are more successful than you so that it motivates you to strive to do even better. While you’re doing so, it’s important to remind yourself that they used to be right where you are and didn’t attain their level of success overnight.

It’s up to each of us to pay attention to these signals and the type of story we’re making up in our minds regarding our competition, and choose to make competition a positive thing.

#2: How Do I Deal with Criticism in My Business?

If criticism shows up on the doorstep of your blog or your Facebook Page, it’s important to deal with it head on. In many cases, critics just want to be heard, so if you acknowledge them and their point of view, and tell them you respect where they’re coming from and perhaps even find a point in their criticism that you agree with and acknowledge it, it works wonders.

By doing so, you completely disarm them and open up a dialogue. When you respond with something like, “I completely agree with you on that point” or “I can really see where you’re coming from,” both of you may actually end up learning something!

Naturally, we’re not talking about rude and tasteless comments or things that are sexually offensive, but criticism where someone is legitimately upset or doesn't agree with your point of view.

Marie shared a saying that is important to remember:

All human communication is either a loving response or a cry for help. [Tweet This]

This perception is a very helpful tool for all of us to remember. When someone’s criticism is a cry for help, showing respect and acknowledging them can really help.

In addition to this, constructive criticism – if you don’t shy away from it – can make you better in the same way that competition can. It can help you to raise your game and grow considerably.

Now remember, we’re not talking about rude comments on YouTube where people criticize your appearance or things that have no basis in truth.
Another tip is that when someone criticizes you, take a look at what they’ve created in their own life or business. People who are truly successful themselves are unlikely to hatefully critique someone else, especially online.

#3: How Do I Deal with a Lack of Follow Through?

Follow through is one of the most important lessons that Marie has ever learned. She shared some thoughts from a friend of hers and one of her favorite authors, Steven Pressfield.

It’s important to ask yourself, “Am I operating like an amateur or a pro?” It’s a simple question, but the answer is profound and changes everything.

Amateurs are people who show up every now and then, flake on their commitments, don’t take their work seriously and are more likely to get lost in things like addiction, drama, negativity, or eating constantly. They may have a lot to do, but have a ton of excuses about why it doesn’t get done.

We all know amateurs and in fact have all been an amateur at some time in our lives.

In contrast, a pro is someone who shows up no matter what, who gets results no matter what, and figures out how to make things work. Pros take themselves seriously and are dependable.

A pro is different from a perfectionist. Pros produce no matter what, even if it can’t be done perfectly. For example, if a pro has made a commitment to publish content a certain day of the week, death is about the only thing that could keep it from happening. A pro also understands that the only way to get good at something is to do it consistently.

If you’re struggling with perfectionism, focus more on the actual content, rather than the bells and whistles that are nice to have, but not 100% necessary.

It also helps to get things started, knowing that everything is going to be an iteration. For example, when you initially release a course, it may not be just the way you want it to be, but you can keep making improvements.

This is what Marie did when she first launched B-School, her online school for modern entrepreneurs. B-School has now been out for five years, and has grown into a comprehensive soup to nuts program that changes people’s lives.

Direct download: 024_MarieForleo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:19pm PST

This episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast is all about some of the big business lessons I learned last year and that I'm taking with me into this New Year.

I call them lessons, but really they were big wins that just really worked well that you can apply to your own online business.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why you should create a year-long promotional calendar

  • The importance of documenting all planned promotional emails

  • How I earn the right to promote my programs

  • How to know when to say no to opportunities

  • How to do more with less

  • My revenue in 2013

  • How I optimized my online programs

  • What to do if you're just starting out in your business and don't know what to focus on

  • The importance of focusing on one big project at a time

  • How to create marketing funnels for increased revenue

  • My experience (both good and bad) with masterminds

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 023_Lessons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we talk all about creating a brand new podcast. My special guest is a recent Best of 2013 iTunes award winner, John Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. His show is unique in that he broadcasts seven days per week, which takes a crazy commitment!

John has interviewed over 425 people to date and his interviews tell the stories of entrepreneurs who have “made it” in their niche. The stories of his guests are inspiring to say the least and help others out there who are looking to take their own entrepreneurial leap.

I wanted to create this episode at this specific time because at the time of this recording, I’ve been podcasting for almost a full year, and it’s been an extremely rewarding experience.

I LOVE podcasting. It’s opened so many doors for me, introduced me to an entirely new audience, and has allowed me to expand my brand beyond my Facebook trainings.

It’s also given me more confidence in my business and has created opportunities for me that I would not have been given had I not created this show. I highly recommend podcasting to anyone that is looking to expand their brand and take things beyond their blog and website.

This episode is extremely valuable. There are tips for those just thinking about starting a podcast, or just starting out, AND there are some great ideas in there for those that have been podcasting awhile and want to take their show to the next level. So we have something for everyone here!

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to get started with podcasting

  • How John went from having zero online presence to building a six-figure monthly income

  • Tips for those questioning whether or not they have what it takes to podcast

  • The minimal equipment needed to start a podcast

  • Steps needed to produce a podcast

  • How podcasts are found in podcast directories

  • The importance of great show notes and how to best utilize them

  • How to monetize a podcast

  • The importance of intros and outros, and how to get them done well

  • What aspects of podcasts you can outsource

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 022_EOF_John_Dumas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, the focus is how to streamline the planning phase of your business so that you get all your goals set so that you’ll be ready for the New Year. If you do so, you can hit the ground running and get your year off to a great start!

As I was planning this episode, I started to wonder how other people -- specifically the people I admire who are getting big results in their online marketing businesses -- actually get things done and how they plan and set their goals. Instead of just wonder, I reached out and asked them! Specifically, I asked Michael Hyatt, Pat Flynn, Melanie Duncan, Chris Ducker and Michael Stelzner how they plan for the New Year.

Take the Time to Focus on Your Business

During this episode, I want you to take this time to really focus on your business. My hope for you is that you actually take these tips and strategies and put them to action right away.

Goal Setting Tip #1: Get Very Specific

Before I get into the specifics of getting very specific, I want you to do a quick exercise.

First, grab a piece of paper and fold it in half.

What Worked in Your Business?

On one half of the paper, write what was great or what worked well for you this year. What got you excited? What did you love doing? What did your customers love? What made you money?

Get really clear on what worked, what didn’t, and what you really enjoyed. This is important because the emotions behind the work you do play a big part in your success.

Before you even you even think about writing down goals for new things you want to do, first focus on enhancing, improving, and optimizing what already worked for you this year.

What I personally realized when I did this exercise is that I need to focus more on what is already working. For example, I already have three successful programs, so instead of creating more programs, I’m going to focus on making the programs I already have even better.

What Didn’t Work in Your Business?

On the other half of the paper, write what needs to improve or what didn’t work. What were the failures? (We all have them!) What frustrated you or stopped you from moving forward? What should you stop doing?

It can be just as important to think about what you need to stop doing as it is to plan for what you want to accomplish.

As an example, I plan to travel and speak less in 2014 than I did in 2013, because I ended up being away from my family more than I wanted to this year and also found it hard to accomplish some of my more important goals since I was on the go so much.

Set Your Goals

Once you’ve done the above exercise, it’s time to set your goals!

Here’s an important goal-setting tip for you: fit all of your goals onto one page. If you write pages and pages of goals, you’ll be overwhelmed, and you won’t likely focus on all of them anyway, so keep your goals simple and concise.

Here’s what to include on one-page goal setting sheet

1. Revenue projections

The first thing on my list is all of my revenue projects, specifically how much money I’m going to make, and where that money is coming from.

While it may seem like revenue shouldn’t be the top goal, my good friend, Stu McLaren helped change my perspective on making money. He says, “Money is a leverage tool for impacting more lives than we could ever reach on a personal level.” I love that, because not only is it important to make money to provide for my own family, this perspective gives me a higher purpose for making money.

Since this is a top priority for a business, it’s important to not only list how much money you plan to make, but to also project how you plan to accomplish that goal.

As an example, for myself personally, I’ve planned out income funnels such as what I’ll make through my programs, through affiliate partnerships, etc. and I have funnels set up inside of Infusionsoft that sends information about my programs in a strategic way to the people on my email list. Being strategic in this way helps me know how most of my income will be generated.

If your business is newer, you may not be able to project the source of your income as well. I couldn’t have done it myself two years ago. But at the very least you can set some revenue goals for different programs, products and services you have.

2. Contributions

In addition to setting revenue goals, it’s important to set goals for the contributions you want to make. For instance, you may set a goal to contribute a certain amount to charity. That’s something I was able to do in a big way for the first time this year. It felt really good to do it and I definitely want to do it in an even bigger way next year.

Another way I want to contribute is to connect more with my customers, prospects, past customers, and peers -- people that I connect with on a regular basis but don’t typically see in real life.

So one thing my team is doing is starting a thank-you card a day campaign. We’re also going to be focused on doing things to wow our customers in unexpected ways. For instance, we may send flowers, or I may on occasion pick up the phone and call someone.

And of course I plan to give a lot in terms of the free content I put out on a regular basis.

So be sure to take the time to think about contributions you want to make, whether that be in a financial sense, or through giving in other ways.

3. My Special Focus

It’s easy to run so many different directions in your business that you fail to accomplish the most important things. Because of this, I actually put, “Podcast Perfection” on my one-page goal sheet.

The reason I chose this is because I’ve completed a full year of podcasting and I LOVE it, but I haven’t focused on it as much as I’d like, so I’m going to make it a big focus in the New Year.

Having a separate section for my podcast on my goal planning sheet helps me to focus on planning goals that are specific to my podcast and figuring out how I’m going to reach those goals.

So think about the big area you want to focus on it and include a section on your goal planning sheet for that specific thing.

4. Focused Foundation Strategies

This is where I’m most specific. For instance, one thing on the Focused Foundation Strategies section of my goal planning sheet is to send out an email to my list every Thursday, and I’ve even blocked out time on my calendar for writing all of the emails for each month.

I’ve also planned out the rest of my content, including everything from blog posts to program updates in a similar way, again blocking out time on my calendar to make sure it happens.

Now here’s a goal planning tip from one of our special guests, Pat Flynn

Write it down, break it down, take it down.

Pat’s goal planning tip consists of three simple sentences:

1. Write it down.

Write down your goals. When you write them down, your goals become clearer and you have something specific to work toward. In addition to this, when you write your goals down, you have something you can visibly see.

2. Break it down.

Take each big goal you’ve written down and break them into mini-goals. Big goals can be intimidating which leads to procrastination. But when you break them into mini-goals, they are much easier to accomplish.

3. Take it down.

Take those mini-goals you’ve written and crush them. Take them down, one by one!

Goal Setting Tip #2: Stack Your Goals

What I mean by stacking your goals is to create your big picture goals and then create a stack of mini goals that will get you to your big goals.

What I need to do from there, there's a little bit more work that needs to be done, I need to stack my goals, make those mini-goals so they'll lead up to the big goals.

For example, if I have a big goal of growing my email list by 50,000 in a year, I need to have some mini-goals such as webinars for list building to reach that goal.

I have some more help with this tip, because the idea of these mini goals seem to be a hot topic with my special guests.

Now a goal-planning tip from another one of my special guests, Chris Ducker.

Focus on one goal at a time.

Chris’ tip is shared in story form and is all about his own experience as someone who went from working 12-14 hours per day in 2009 to becoming a virtual CEO. He did this through focusing on one big thing that he wanted to let go of at a time, with a different focus each month

For instance, the in January 2010, he focused on getting his email under control, and handled by someone other than himself. In February he started hiring people to replace himself in various areas. In March he worked on getting himself off the training floor, and so on.

In his own words, Chris states, “My tip here, really, above and beyond everything else is to set that big goal up for the whole year. What it is, it doesn't really matter. It could be starting a new business, it could be launching a speaking career, it could be producing a new product for a new service for your following online. It doesn't really matter.

But create that one big goal and start breaking it down into mini-goals that you then achieve on a regular basis as the year goes by. It will make you feel good, it will make you feel as if you're achieving something every month, every quarter, whatever the case may be, and ultimately you should go ahead and achieve that main goal over the year as well.”

While Chris didn’t use the word, “stacking,” he’s definitely a fan of the stacking effect where you stack mini-goals to reach the big picture goal.

You might want to try coming up with one epic goal for the year and then creating 12 mini-goals to reach the big goal, and focus on one of the smaller goals each month.

Bonus Tip: Be Very Protective of Your Time!

I want you to get very deliberate on how you spend your time. Everyone I know that's highly successful, including all of these special guests I have on the show today, are very deliberate about how they spend their time. I can promise you that many of them say no more often than they say "yes."

Being protective of your time will help you reach the big scary goals you’ve set.

My next guest, Melanie Duncan provides great insight on the topic of setting big scary goals, and the three types of goals everyone should set.

Melanie starts off by stating that most goal setting books and audios will tell you to set super ambitious goals, and the problem with that is that when you wake up the next morning and look at them, it’s very intimidating.

Because of this, it’s better to set smaller goals and you’ll feel motivated to tackle them. Melanie has learned that when she accomplishes the smaller goals, she feels fantastic and motivated to then tackle bigger things.

A mutual friend of both me and Melanie, James Wedmore says you should set a goal that you’ll hit no matter what, a more challenging, but very doable goal, and a “hairy scary” goal that is way out there. You’re bound to accomplish at least one of the goals, and feel good about it, even if you don’t manage to accomplish the most difficult one.

An important thing that Melanie touched on is the emotions behind the goal. You have to consider how your goals make you feel, because your emotions impact your ability to accomplish the goal.

One thing I personally love doing is picking a word or theme for the year. Mari Smith does this every year. This year, instead of picking a single word, I picked a phrase, “Work less, contribute more.” This is actually a goal of my entire team. We’re going to accomplish this by working smarter and more efficiently.

Speaking of a word or a theme for the new year, Mike Stelzner and his personal planning tip for this episode, takes this to a new level.

His tip has to do with coming up with a company vision statement. Your vision statement can include things that aren’t yet true, but that you are working toward. That was the case for Mike’s company, Social Media Examiner, when they wrote the vision statement a year ago, but today, he can say with confidence that they’ve grown into their vision statement.

Mike has the vision statement taped on the wall in his office, so he sees it every time he sits at his desk. He advises that you keep your vision statement simple and just a couple of sentences long.

I love the way that Mike created a vision statement that pushed him beyond his comfort zone.

Since we’re on the topic of comfort zone, I thought I would end this episode with Michael Hyatt's strategy for goal setting and his thoughts about moving out of your comfort zone.

This one will really push you in ways that will make you uncomfortable, but will set you up to win. Michael states that you should set your goals outside of your comfort zone because that is where real growth begins, where solutions are, and where fulfillment resides.

The trick is to make sure your goals are set high enough, but not too high. Michael suggests taking note of these three indicators to help you know that you’re on the right track:

1. Uncertainty. It’s good to be a little uncertain about how you’re going to accomplish the goal. Embrace that uncertainty, rather than running from it.

2. Fear. Most people avoid fear, and that was the case for Michael as well for a great deal of his life. But fear is an indicator that you’re getting close, and let’s you know you’re heading in the right direction.

3. A sense of inadequacy. In most cases when Michael pursues a goal that he just knows he has to achieve, he feels inadequate. This is going to be the case for anyone who is out to accomplish anything of significance.

After hearing Michael’s tip, I actually had to rework some of my goals because I was playing it a little too safe.

Thank you!

A big thank you to all of my special guests for contributing to this episode. This episode just wouldn't have been the same without him, so big shout out to all of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to send in your goal setting and planning tips.

My Gift to You

The number one thing that I want to accomplish through this podcast episode is for you to be motivated to take action and set goals for the coming year. To help with this, I created a Goal Planning Worksheet just for you. Click here to download the worksheet!

Direct download: 21_GoalSetting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interviewed Natalie Sisson, also known as the Suitcase Enterpreneur.

In 2006, Natalie left her home country of New Zealand and since then has been traveling the world and living out of a suitcase -- all while building a successful online business.

On her blog, Natalie teaches creative ways to run a business from anywhere in the world, using outsourcing, along with online tools and social media.

She's also written a new book about how to create freedom in business and adventure in life.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Natalie started with nothing but an idea and created a successful and profitable Facebook app

  • What caused Natalie to cry herself to sleep at night and how she overcame it

  • What it takes to make significant changes in your life business

  • How to avoid undermining your progress

  • How to know your special sauce and how to use it to your advantage

  • How to get good feedback from those who know you well

  • The two big things Natalie did to launch her book

  • Natalie's 30-day blog challenge

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 020_NatlieSisson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, my guest is one of my very favorite people - Pat Flynn.

I know most of you already know Pat, but if you don't, he is a well-known and highly successful online entrepreneur. He is a podcaster, blogger and author and is best known for his transparent leadership style and smart business strategies. He blogs at smartpassiveincome.com and has a
podcast by the same name.

Now there are a dozen topics Pat and I could discuss that would be highly valuable if you are growing an online business - but I am going to do something a bit different with this interview.

About a week ago I saw a Facebook post from Pat where he talked about all the hard work and dedication he put into one keynote presentation he recently did for a financial bloggers’ conference called FinCon. The post is inspirational and demonstrates the mindset needed to succeed, and after reading it I had so many questions for him, I decided to invite him onto the show.

 

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The importance of focusing on one thing at a time

  • What Pat told himself in his head in order for his FinCon speech to be successful

  • How speaking can help you in other parts of your life and business

  • What Pat does to make sure he stays the course

  • How Pat sets big goals and priorities

  • What Pat told himself to keep from procrastinating

  • What you have to do to make goals real

  • How fear is a disservice to your audience

  • How to grow your confidence

  • Tips for finding a mastermind that's right for you

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 019_PatFlynn_split4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:25am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I pull back the curtain and give you a peek into the inner workings of my business. I give you the scoop on my team, my favorite tools for building my business, and lessons I've learned as I've built my business.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why I had to fire my clients

  • The cost of doing what I always wanted to do

  • The reasons webinars have been so essential in the success of my business

  • Where almost 100% of my income comes from

  • How to figure out which opportunities to pursue

  • The make up of my team, what they do and the number of hours they work

  • The tools I use for my business on a daily basis

  • Why moving to better systems results in a mindshift

  • The importance of mindset and accountability

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 018_OnlineBiz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm PST

Facebook gives me plenty of opportunity to create content because they are notorious for making updates to their platform!

There have been a lot of pretty significant Facebook changes in the past few months, so on this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I’m going to cover seven specific changes Facebook has recently made.

It’s important to understand these changes because they can have a big impact on your business and how you market online.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Overall news feed algorithm changes

  • Algorithm updates including story bumping and last actor

  • The ins and outs of promoting a contest on your Facebook timeline

  • How Facebook hashtags work and why and how you should use them

  • My thoughts on Facebook embedded posts

  • Facebook ads Lookalike Audiences and how I've used this new feature

  • How you can get FREE access to millions of Shutterstock images for Facebook ads

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 017_FB_Changes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we're diving into outsourcing and I've invited my very good friend, Chris Ducker, to come on the show and share with us some tips that will help all of us streamline our businesses a little bit more and allow us to break away from that crazy addiction many of us suffer from regularly, which is trying to do it all ourselves.

At one point or another, if you're an entrepreneur starting a business, whether you have a local business, an online small business, or whatever it might be, you probably have suffered from this crazy addiction once or twice in your life, and Chris is going to help us with some very specific actionable tips to outsource more and get the support that we need.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Chris went from working 14 hours per day, 6 days a week to being a "virtual CEO"

  • What you should NEVER outsource

  • The types of tasks that you can outsource and when it makes sense to outsource them

  • The right mindset to have when it comes to spending money on outsourcing

  • The one easy thing Chris had his VA do that increased his YouTube views by 25 to 30 percent

  • Common excuses business owners make for not outsourcing -- and why they're not valid reasons to do everything yourself

  • The myth of the "Super VA"

  • The difference between a role and a task, and why you should always hire for the role, not the task

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 016_ChrisDucker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interviewed Melanie Duncan, the creator of the extremely popular online training program, Power of Pinning. Melanie is also the owner of Luxury Monograms and CustomGreekThreads, both online businesses for physical products.

So she has a great mix of experience and knowledge using Pinterest to promote an online training program, like many of you have listening now, as well as using Pinterest to promote physical products.

For this show I asked Melanie to focus on how to use Pinterest for lead generation in addition to using it to increase web traffic.

If you are a coach, consultant, author, speaker, or a service professional (such as a local marketer or social media manager), then this episode will be extremely valuable to you.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The secret to the success of Melanie's program, The Power Of Pinning

  • How to best use multiple Pinterest accounts

  • The advantages that service providers have on Pinterest over those who sell physical products

  • The importance of the first two rows on your Pinterest page and how to use them effectively

  • How to use "teaser images" to increase traffic and build your list

  • Why using tall images is important and how to bring even more attention to them

  • How to change a personal Pinterest page to a business page and the advantages of doing so

  • The biggest mistakes that online marketers make on Pinterest and how to overcome them

  • What ONE action you should take in the next 24 hours in order to increase your effectiveness on Pinterest

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 015_Pinterest_with_Melanie_Duncan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interviewed Rick Mulready. Rick has a really interesting background that includes working for companies such as AOL and Yahoo, but most recently he's been on a journey to share his conversations with the heads of social media from the biggest and most successful brands in the world including Nike, JetBlue, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ford Motors, and many others.

Most recently, Rick interviewed the Boston Police Department's Public Information Chief about the massive role social media played after the recent Boston Marathon bombings.

I invited Rick on the show to talk about what he's learned from these big brands and how we can apply those strategies and techniques to small business budgets. We cover a lot of great tips that run the gamut from content creation to how to promote on social media sites.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The importance of going deep with social media.

  • How to avoid social media overwhelm

  • How your business objectives and goals determine where to focus your social media efforts

  • How to find out where your customers are online

  • Why you shouldn't chase shiny new objects when they first come out and what you should do instead.

  • How to generate leads and sales using social media

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 014_RickMulready_Big_Brand_Strategies_for_Small_Businesses.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am PST

This episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, is brought to you as a direct response to your feedback. Some of you may have seen me post an image on my Facebook Page of two soda bottles. One soda bottle said "Facebook Advertising" and the other one said "Webinars that Convert." I asked, "What do you want to learn about most?" (The soda bottle images were just a fun way to grab your attention!)

A few hundred people responded, and the winner was Facebook advertising, so that's the focus of today's podcast. If you have never experimented with Facebook ads, or if you've tried them but want to see bigger results, this is the session for you.

By the way, if you voted for "Webinars that Convert," that was a close second, and since webinars are truly the #1 way I've built my business, in the very near future I'll record a podcast all about webinars and how you can use them in your business.

But for today I'm going to focus on the questions that I hear over and over again about Facebook ads.

In this episode, I'll give you the scoop on the upcoming changes with Facebook ads and also answer the following questions:

  • My ads are constantly getting disapproved by Facebook. What can I do to ensure they get approved?
  • How do I know if my ad is working?
  • How much do Facebook ads cost?
  • How do I find my ideal audience with Facebook ads?
  • How can I get bigger conversions with my Facebook ads?
  • What's the best type of ad to run for my business?
  • And so much more!
Direct download: 013_Facebook_Ads.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:55pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interview Greg Hickman, one of the leading mobile marketing experts. Greg and I discuss how to get started with mobile marketing.

If you're anything like me, you know that mobile marketing is important, so it's been on your mind, but hasn't made it to the top of your priority list. My guess is that after you hear what Greg has to say on the staggering stats on mobile usage, you'll want to make it a higher priority.

The great thing is, after talking with Greg, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy -- and inexpensive -- it is to get started with mobile.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What it means to be mobile friendly, and why that's important.

  • How mobile marketing goes beyond optimizing your website.

  • The meaning of "responsive design."

  • The hierarchy of mobile users' needs

  • The percentage of people who access Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on their mobile devices.

  • Easy and inexpensive ways to get started with mobile marketing and how to determine which is the best option for you.

  • How to make lead pages more mobile friendly

  • Important things to keep in mind regarding mobile when sending email to your list

  • How to create the best possible experience for people who visit your website.

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 012_Mobile_Marketing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:37pm PST

In this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast I interviewed David Siteman Garland. We talked about how you can turn your online platform such as your blog, web show, or podcast into revenue by creating your own online course.

David is the host of the popular show, The Rise to The Top. On his show he interviews the best "fluff-free experts and doers" and gets them to share their insights and strategies that help people just like you build their platform, grow their audience and subscribers, and make money.

I recently spent a weekend masterminding with David and I can confirm that he's the real deal. The crazy, high energy, wicked-smart guy you see in his videos and on his blog is the exact guy he is in person - which is rare at times.

I've been following David for a few years now, so I am honored to have him on my show.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The pitfalls of being a serial learner.
  • How to make a good income without burning out
  • The best ways to come up with ideas for products and programs
  • No-cost ways to test what will or will not sell
  • The step-by-step process that David follows each time he wants to promote something
  • How to use surveys to build your prospect list
  • The perfect time to launch your online course
  • And so much more!
Direct download: 011_David_Garland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19pm PST

Today's episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, is all about selling with social media, and today's special guest is Laura Roeder, founder of LKR Social Media.

I invited Laura on the show because she is a master at selling with social media. She does it in a way that's incredibly inviting and her raving fans and customers are proof that's she's doing many things right.

In addition to that, an inspiring conversation that I had with Laura while I was still working for Tony Robbins was a springboard for me to start my own social media consulting business. About six months after that call with Laura, I started to put all of the wheels in motion to start this business, which has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

Laura's journey to creating LKR Social Media is a one you'll want to hear. She shares her story and some action-packed, strategic social media tips in this interview.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Chicago weather contributed to Laura's journey into social media.
  • How to use leveraged, scalable tools to make sales for your business.
  • The reason for the disconnect between social media and selling.
  • How you can use "under the radar" selling on social media.
  • How to create a "Golden Page" to sell more (this one tip is WORTH every minute of this episode!)
  • An easy way to measure social media ROI.
  • And so much more!
Direct download: P010_LauraRoeder_How_to_Use_Social_Media_to_Sell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I cover part three of a three-part Facebook marketing mini-training.

When it comes to marketing on Facebook, consider building a plan around these three phases:

  • Phase 1: Attraction
  • Phase 2: Promotion
  • Phase 3: Selling

In my last podcast episode, I talked about the promotion phase, where it's all about attracting quality leads through opt-ins, contests and promotions. If you missed that, or if you'd like to listen to it again, you can find it at amyporterfield.com/8.

Today's episode is all about the selling phase. The focus during this phase is turning a prospect into a loyal customer, but I have a different take on the whole selling process when it comes to Facebook - so I want you to keep an open mind because I think you can learn some valuable strategies here.

In this episode I show you how to incorporate easy email marketing strategies with your Facebook efforts to see bigger results (aka profits!).

To really drive home the importance of creating a solid email campaign for your new Facebook leads, I wanted to give you some invaluable tips, so I invited my friend and email marketing expert, DJ Waldow to come on the show. DJ has a popular website called SocialButterflyGuy.com and he's the co-author of the book The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing. DJ is my go-to guy for all things email marketing.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to create email campaigns that are specifically geared to your new Facebook leads.

  • How to put more of your Facebook marketing on autopilot.

  • How to deploy an autoresponder sequence once you get a new Facebook lead (and if you don't know what that is, I'll tell you!)

  • A formula to ensure that you are getting the most out of the efforts you're putting into getting leads.

  • A common misconception about Facebook marketing.

  • How the right perspective will reduce the stress of selling on Facebook.

  • And so much more!

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_009_FB_Selling_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I cover part two of a three-part strategy that I use with my customers to teach them how to look at Facebook marketing.

When it comes to marketing on Facebook, consider building a plan around these three phases:

  • Phase 1: Attraction
  • Phase 2: Promotion
  • Phase 3: Selling

In my last podcast episode, I talked about the attraction phase, where it's all about growing your community on Facebook. If you missed that, or if you'd like to listen to it again, you can find it at amyporterfield.com/7.

Today's episode is all about the promotion phase. The focus during this phase is growing your email list, where you put out great, valuable content in exchange for a name and email. I cover how to use Facebook to get a genuinely interested fan to become part of your email list.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to grow your email list on Facebook

  • How you should think of Facebook when it comes to the part it plays in growing your business

  • How my business has grown as a result of using Facebook (with specific numbers given)

  • Two Facebook lead-generating strategies (hint: one tip is how to run a contest on Facebook!)

  • How a business owner in a small town with no list created a thriving business using Facebook

  • And so much more!

Direct download: 008_Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Build_Email_List_With_Facebook_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm PST

This session is Part 1 of a 3 Part mini-training all about Facebook marketing.  On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we are diving into Facebook Marketing.  Specially, I'm going to give you three strategies that are working RIGHT NOW to attract more quality Facebook fans.

Why are Facebook fans important?  Well there are a few reasons.  First, when you grow a big community of loyal fans on Facebook, your chances of getting seen and heard inside Facebook increase.  It's really just a numbers game.

The more fans you have talking about you, liking your posts and sharing your content, the more often people on Facebook will see your content. You want an army of raving fans talking about you - and Facebook can do just that!

Also, your Facebook fan count acts as social proof.  That means when someone comes to your Facebook page and sees you have a few thousand fans (or more!) they think, "Ok, this company is legit."  Crazy, I know.  But true!  We want to become fans of pages our friends and peers like.  The more fans you have, the more new fans you can get.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

In this episode, I share with you three super simple, but highly valuable, Facebook fan attracting tips.  Implement these and start seeing more fans overnight. Simple as that!

Strategy #1: The Facebook Like Box

A Like Box helps you attract Facebook fans that are genuinely interested in you and your business.

Here's why you should add a Like Box to your website:

  • Your website audience is a warm audience and are very likely to follow you on Facebook too.
  • It's easy to implement (takes less than 5 minutes!) and is one of the more effective ways to grow a quality fan community.
  • The Like Box will  get you more fans, but NOT move your existing website traffic over to Facebook.
Strategy #2: Target Friends of Fans with Facebook "Like Ads"

A Like Ad can be shown to the friends of your fans and does not require any special copy or images. It's easy to set up, inexpensive and extremely effective!

Here's why "Like Ads" work like gangbusters:

  • These ads are the simplest ads to set up, and the cheapest too.
  • When you attract fans who are friends with your existing fans, you are more likely to attract a "quality" fan.
  • When you run Like Ads, your exposure, reach and impact on Facebook increases quickly.
Strategy 3: Increase Your Engagement

Here's how engagement will help you attract more fans:

  • One of the most common reasons why people on Facebook struggle to get more fans is that they don't have any engagement on their Facebook page. When you don't have engagement you won't be seen in the news feed and the news feed is where all the action is on Facebook.
  • When you get people talking about you on Facebook (liking your posts, commenting and sharing your content) your exposure organically increases (meaning you don't have to pay for the engagement, it just happens natuarally).  When your exposure increases, your fan base increases.
  • I will show you how to make sure you never have another moment where you say, "I can't think of anything to post on my Facebook page today!"

Remember!  This episode is Part 1 of a 3 Part Mini Facebook Training.  In episode 8 I will show you how to promote your programs, products and services on Facebook and in episode 9 I'll show you the smartest strategies to use when selling on Facebook.  So make sure you don't miss those upcoming sessions!

Direct download: Amy_Porterfield_Ep_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interview Anne Samoilov, on the topic of online launches. I consider Anne to be an online launch expert, and while that's not a title she would likely give herself, it's very fitting.

Anne has worked on several big online launches including Marie Forleo's B-School launch that you have may heard me talk about in episode 3.

It's a strategic and smart strategy to think about the promotion of your business in terms of launches, and I wanted to interview Anne because she has a unique, holistic look at launching anything online that I know you'll find helpful.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Anne defines launching (it's not what you think!)
  • A common misconception regarding launches
  • How to set a foundation for a successful launch
  • How having the right systems in place can free you up to be creative
  • How to make sure you're targeting the right people
  • And so much more!
Direct download: 006_Launching.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I interview Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot.

Today’s episode is a special one because it’s something many of you actually asked for in response to a survey I sent out a few months ago. In that survey, many of you indicated that HubSpot is a site that you frequent often, and it was clear that many of you feel that Mike Volpe and HubSpot is the place to go when it comes to list building, content creation, content marketing, and overall social media.

For those of you who aren't familiar with HubSpot, they offer inbound marketing software that allows you to blog, tweet, capture leads, optimize your SEO, view analytics, basically everything you need to do to market your business and HubSpot puts it all in one spot. Hence the name.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How inbound marketing can be defined
  • How SEO is interwoven with inbound marketing
  • The most important lead generation strategy
  • How to make calls to action more effective
  • What caused HubSpot's conversion rates to increase significantly
  • What led to an 82% revenue growth for HubSpot
  • Advantages that small companies have over big companies
  • How to streamline content creation
  • The most important tips to keep in mind when it comes to SlideShare presentations
  • The biggest content marketing mistakes companies make
Direct download: 005_Hubspot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm PST

On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast, we talk about a topic that I have a love/hate relationship with, and that's video marketing. I love video, because it has been one of the most important ways I've built my brand, but I hate it at times because it doesn't come naturally to me.

Since I'm not a video marketing expert, and because I believe that video is essential for anyone building a brand online, I asked a good friend of mine, James Wedmore, who is a YouTube and Video Marketing Expert to come on the show and share his tips and proven video marketing strategies that you can implement today, even if your budget and experience with video up to this point is limited.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How James created a wildly successful video around a list-building strategy -- a strategy that you can model for your own business.

  • Why videos James created in college to promote an entirely different business are still paying dividends today. 

  • How James plans his video marketing efforts to make the whole video making process much easier.

  • How to create great videos without being on camera.

  • What you have to do first before you can raise the bar on the quality of your videos.

  • How to get around using a teleprompter without memorizing an entire video script.

  • The list-building with video strategy that James personally uses. 

  • The simple 6-step process that James uses for all of his videos, that you can easily copy, regardless of your level of experience with videos.

Direct download: 004_VideoMarketing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm PST

Today I’m beyond excited to introduce you to a mentor of mine and a great friend, Marie Forleo! Marie is not only a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and online marketer, she is also the founder of an award-winning weekly online show, Marie TV.

With nothing more than a dream, a laptop, and passion, Marie has created a multi-million dollar empire from scratch. She’s even been interviewed by Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, where Oprah referred to her "as a thought leader for the next generation."

I can trace my own online success directly to Marie, who had a huge impact on me as I transitioned from working with Tony Robbins into venturing out and starting my own business.

In this episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, Marie shares her own inspiring success story with us, and also provides some tips and strategies which will help take your own business to the next level.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Marie got her start and what she does in her business.
  • How she made a living while she pursued her passions.
  • The conventional wisdom she chose to ignore.
  • How to quiet self-doubt while building your business.
  • Advice for those struggling to find their own voice.
  • A simple brain exercise that is a great creative workout.
  • How to figure out who your ideal audience is.
  • How to streamline content creation so it's not so overwhelming or painful.
  • Marie's signature program, B-School.
Direct download: P003_AmyFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm PST

The focus of today's podcast episode is content marketing, and specifically how to do it on a shoestring budget. Let's face it; we all need to create content consistently but we all love to save money, right?

Because we're all so busy, consistently creating content is a challenge and is often an afterthought -- something we'll do when we "have more time." However, in the same way that paying bills and answering email is a priority in order to keep your business alive, so is content marketing. Few people survive in today's fierce online world if they don't continually produce unique content!

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The answer to the question, "What is content?" I provide a quick list to remind you of how many opportunities you have to create content.
  • The most important question you need to ask yourself regarding your content. The answer to this question will help you create content that engages and interests your audience. I also talk about the importance of solving problems and providing information that will enable your audience to take action and implement what they learn.
  • How to brainstorm ideas for content.  I cover 3 tips for coming up with stellar content ideas that fit your ideal audience.
  • How to repurpose your best content. Brainstorming is important, but you may have already created a lot of content that you can repurpose. In this segment of the podcast I give you ideas for ways you can repurpose your existing content and provide examples of how I use this strategy myself.
  • How to get inspired by mixing things up. I share one of my best sources of inspiration; it drives my husband crazy, but it's one of my favorite ways to get fresh content ideas!
  • How to become a ninja outsourcer. I cover 3 main roles you need to have in place when it comes to content creation. I provide tips for finding great people who will treat your business as if it's their own; content marketing is a direct reflection of your brand, so it's worth investing in the relationships you have with your contractors.  I also talk about the importance of staying involved in the process and how to communicate your needs and expectations  without micromanaging.
  • How to optimize your content calendar. To get the most from your calendar, it needs to be extremely easy to use and easy to access. I explain how and why I use Google calendar for my content calendar.
  • The importance of creating content with the big picture in mind. My tip here is something that most people don't teach. (Hint: less just might mean more for you!)
  • I share some tactical content creation tips including how to capture and keep track of ideas for future content. I talk about mistakes I made early on and what I did to improve my process for organizing my content creation ideas so that I can find them when I'm ready to use them.
  • The importance of responsive design.
  • I wrap up this episode by sharing my motto, "Give more than you ever expect to receive." Tony Robbins put it perfectly: "If you can make it your goal to always find a way to add more value to people's lives than anyone else, then you'll never have to worry about success."
Direct download: P002_Online_Marketing_Made_Easy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am PST

Welcome to the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast.

I am seriously thrilled to jump into this podcast! I know it sounds a bit silly, but I could talk about online marketing all day long - I just can't get enough of it. (But I must admit, sometimes it drives my husband crazy!)

About this podcast:

As you might already know, for the past few years, I’ve been focused on Facebook marketing, and while I’m obviously a big fan of Facebook marketing, I've also found great success in other social media platforms and online marketing strategies outside of social media marketing.

So this podcast is going to go beyond Facebook marketing and dive into smart, proven strategies worth implementing when it comes to marketing a business online.

In this first episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, we dive into social media list building strategies to help you attract your ideal audience, strengthen your relationships beyond your social media platforms, and of course grow your email list.

In this episode, here's what we'll cover:

  • The 3 big reasons why some emails always get opened and most are ignored

  • Learn the very specific, big questions you want to ask before you create a free giveaway offers

  • The most successful valuable giveaway offers are those made up of premium content. I'll give you a list of the most popular giveaway offer formats that work great on social media sites.

  • There are two types of social media list building strategies: Indirect and Direct.  Get examples of each to make sure you're maximizing your social media activity to ensure your list is growing daily with quality leads.

I'll  also cover specific list building strategies for Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter. To help you better understand each strategy, I've included image examples below:

Experiment with Facebook Offers

Facebook Offers are a FANTASTIC list building strategy.  Offers are highly valuable because they get out into the news feeds of fans, friends of fans and non-fans, depending on your targeting focus.

Step 1: Create Your Facebook Offer and Promote it with a Facebook Ad

Step 2: An Email is Sent to the Facebook User's Personal Email

Step 3: Drive Traffic from the Email to Your Opt-In Opportunity

YouTube List Building Strategies

It’s important to strategically leverage your videos to drive traffic to your opt-in opportunities. When people watch your videos all the way through, they are likely interested in what you have to say, so you want to make sure not to lose them after the video ends.

Pinterest: Optimizing Your Images

Recent data shows that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined. Facebook is the only social media site that drives more traffic than Pinterest. And that is precisely why Pinterest can be a solid list building platform for you when you get strategic with your images.

When list building on Pinterest, create images that are relevant to your giveaway offer and then pin them to Pinterest.  Make sure to include the link to your opt-in page in the description field when pinning your image.

Optimize your profile by adding a link to your opt-in page via your Pinterest profile. Plus, make sure to add your website to your Pinterest profile; it doesn’t have to be a link to your homepage, but can instead include a link to your opt-in page to drive more traffic to your giveaway offer.

Twitter Strategies

List Building Tip: Embed your opt-in link in your Twitter bio.  This will allow two different links in just one profile.

List Building Tip: Use the free tool, Click to Tweet, to create an automated tweet you can use all over the web. It's easy to use and works like a champ to help you promote your content on Twitter.

Direct download: P001_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01pm PST