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Archive | July, 2018

“But… I Don’t Know How!”

“I want to start an online business but I don’t know how.”

“I want to start my own blog and list build but I don’t know how.”

“I want to create a product but I don’t know how.”

I want to [insert whatever it is you want to do] but I don’t know how.”

But… I Don’t Know How!

Well guess what… neither did every single person who did it for the first time.

But you’re got to take the leap anyway, and take it on faith that you will land on your feet.

Figuring things out on the fly is a learned skill.

And the more often you take the leap – any leap – without knowing exactly where you’re going to land, the better you get at it. Plus, each time makes you better equipped to leap again and again and again.

Learning to operate at a high level within unknown scenarios is more valuable than learning a specific set of skills for a specific situation.

Prepare yourself mentally for being unprepared.

You can never anticipate the exact skills you will need until you need them. In fact, you don’t know what you don’t know until you find out you don’t know it.

You’re going to hit road blocks. Expect them. And expect to crash through those roadblock to the other side, too.

Expect challenges. Expect setbacks.

They are coming for you, so be prepared mentally.

Go in fighting, not retreating.

Keep your eye on the goal and nothing will stop you…

…but if you look only at the obstacles, you will never get far.

Think about this – your entire life you have been flying by the seat of your pants in one fashion or another.

Don’t stop now.

When they tell you to seize the day, they don’t mean tomorrow – they mean TODAY.

Take the leap, because you got this!

10 Marketing Mistakes You Can Correct

We all make mistakes, errors, blunders and things we really wish we hadn’t done.

10 Marketing Mistakes You Can Correct

Remember the last time you facepalmed?

Yeah, me too.

Let’s see if we can catch the next mistake BEFORE you make it.

And let’s also see if you’re already making one or more of these marketing mistakes.

If you are, you’re not alone.

Targeting Everyone

Who are you targeting with your online marketing campaigns? Everyone with internet access? Everyone who needs to lose weight? Every parent on the planet?

You need to narrow your target market.

If you look at the demographics of your current customers, that will tell you who to target. Don’t make assumptions about the demographics of your customer base. Women do search for sporting goods and men are interested in hair care, for example. Get to know who your customers are and you’ll do a better job of targeting.

Or if you are just starting out in a niche, it gets even easier. You get to decide exactly who you want to target and find out where those people are found.

Not Having a Blog for Your Website

Your website needs a blog, because blogs increase traffic. Businesses with blogs tend to have over 90% more inbound links, which helps you to get found by the search engines.

Blogs also help you to build a relationship with your prospects and customers, while giving you credibility and visibility. You write a post with great info, your prospects see and realize you know what you’re talking about, and they start reading more of your posts. Pretty soon they realize they like you. They trust you. And they buy from you.

Blogs are also a place where you can interact with your customers and prospects. You make a post and they get to respond. Then you get to respond to their comments. You can use your blog to get feedback on ideas and products.

And you can integrate your blog with social media, driving more traffic to your blog and website from social media, while driving visitors to your social media pages for even more interaction.

Lastly, you can share links to all of your blog posts on social media, not just your new posts. This is a great way to keep all of your pages alive.

Not Tracking Return on Investment

Do you know how much money you’re spending on your online marketing strategies and what kind of return you’re getting?

You don’t want to blindly throw money at digital marketing strategies without measuring the return on investment. And if you don’t measure your return on investment, you won’t know how successful (or unsuccessful) your strategy is. The key is to stick to what’s working and modify what’s not working. And to know this, you’ve got to track and measure.

To calculate your return on investment, you’ll first figure out what you’re measuring. It is traffic? Leads? Click-through rates? Conversions? Once you know your campaign goal, you can calculate your ROI.

Take the financial gain and subtract the cost of your investment. Divide that number by the total cost of your investment, and that’s how you calculate return on investment.

Be diligent about tracking ROI on all of your campaigns from here on out, because it’s the only way to see if your strategies are successful.

Not Using Videos

Videos are engaging and capture attention like no other medium. And video content can be a great way to get people to go to your website.

In a recent survey, 43% of people who watched a video in the past month also checked out a website because of a video. 22% said they requested information on a product. And 15% made a purchase – because they saw a video.

Get your own YouTube channel and take advantage of the second highest trafficked website on the internet. Then post your videos on Facebook, and even make 1 minute videos for Instagram. Videos can generate new prospects for you, and ultimately lead to new customers as well.

Forgetting About Mobile Users

Depending on your niche, it’s entirely possible you’re getting more visitors from mobile devices than laptops and computers. This is exactly why your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices.

50% of people say they will use a company less often if the website isn’t mobile friendly, even if they like the brand. 48% of people think you don’t care about them if your website isn’t optimized for mobile users.

And because 90% of time on mobile is spent in apps, you may want to consider making a mobile application for your business. But even if you’re not going to create an app, you’ll want to at least make certain your site is mobile friendly. Not sure if it is? Pull out your phone and check right now.

Having a Slow Website

Slow websites drive visitors away. You work hard to get people to your website – why send them away before they even get to see it?

Your visitors will abandon your site if it takes too long to load. If you need to spend more money for faster web hosting, then do it.

Every second counts and you cannot afford to lose customers.

Not Offering Discounts to Your Best Customers

Frankly, I think you should offer coupons and discounts to everyone from time to time. This way people who are on the fence may jump in, order, and realize they love your products.

But you should at the very least be offering discounts to your current customers. They deserve to be rewarded for patronizing you.

When you bring out a new product, offer it to them at a discount. Ask nicely for feedback and testimonials, and you’ll likely to get both. The feedback can be key to tweaking your product and making it even better. And the testimonials can earn you many more sales in the future.

Shunning Social Media

I’m surprised by the number of marketers who still avoid social media. It doesn’t cost you anything to make a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account. And it is a great way to interact with your customers at low or no cost to you.

You can use social media for brand building, interactivity, buzz building, consumer insights, enhanced marketing effectiveness and broad reach. And because your customers are on these platforms, you need to be on them as well. In fact, 81% of people in the US have a social media profile.

When you do create your profiles, don’t buy followers. If you get caught, you’ll lose your reputation. Plus, it looks darn suspicious if you have 10,000 followers and not a single one of them engages with your content.

Not Commenting on Blogs

This applies to your own blogs and other blogs, too. On your own blog, you should engage with readers by answering their comments. Your subscribers will be surprised and pleased. And in return they will begin commenting more often. Plus, blog comments help with SEO to rank higher and get found by more traffic.

Keep your comments appropriate and professional at all times. And don’t forget to comment on other people’s blogs, too. It’s a way to subtly promote your own brand.

Your comments should be natural and informative to establish your credibility and likeability. Remember to use your full name and your face avatar, as well.

Not Guest Blogging

Why would you want to go to the trouble of writing an entire post of great content, just to post it on someone else’s website?

Three reasons:

First, you get exposed to an entirely new audience who may not have even heard of you. And yes, some of them will click your link and go to your website to grab your free lead magnet, thus joining your list. And some of those folks will become your customers.

Second, you’ll create a connection with a peer in your niche. And you never know what can happen if you continue to grow this relationship – it could eventually become very fruitful.

Third, because you can link back to your website or blog, you’ll be improving your SEO by increasing your domain authority.

How many of these mistakes are you guilty of? No worries, because now you can take action, get busy and correct them. Just pick one for now to work on, and when that’s in motion, you can begin working on the second one. No need to feel overwhelmed if you have several of these to do. Remember, inch by inch it’s a cinch.

10 Reasons Why Your Website is S-l-o-w

Someone clicks on your website link and magically they’re transported to your site, right?

10 Reasons Why Your Website is S-l-o-w

Well, no. It’s a lot more complicated than that, with hundreds of requests instantly pinged around the world to bring the text and images to your visitor’s screen.

In fact, there is so much going on in those few short seconds, that there is a LOT that can go wrong – and frequently does.

And a slow website is BAD news for you.

It can cost you thousands of visitors and conversions, not to mention all the lost revenue.

If you’re Amazon, a one second delay can cost $1.6 billion annually.

That’s how much speed matters on the internet.

First, let’s test your website to see how fast it’s loading.

And remember, this is just one snapshot in time. You really should test your site numerous times over the course of a day and even a week to truly get a good look at what’s happening.

Pingdom will test and analyze the load time of your page.

And if you sign up, it will continue to test your site every minute.

tools.pingdom.com/

Now let’s take a look at what might be slowing your site down.

Slow Server Performance

When someone clicks on your website link, their browser sends a ping to your server. But if your server doesn’t quickly answer that ping, then it will take longer for your site to load.

Cheap hosting usually gives you a shared server, which means you’re sharing space and resources with countless other websites.

If your site is slow, it’s probably waiting in line to get out the door and to your visitor’s screen.

Distant Server Location

Long distance calls take longer to connect because information has to physically travel to get where it’s going.

Think of it moving through cables, transmitting over satellites and so forth.

A similar thing happens when someone clicks on your site.

If your server is based in the US, then when someone in China clicks on your website, the information has to travel halfway around the world to request access to the server, and then your website information has to travel all the way back again to load it to your visitor’s screen.

Whew.

Honking Big Images and Files

Remember dial-up? Images loaded a bit at a time.

The same thing is still happening today, only faster. If you have a lot of complex files on your page, it’s going to take longer to load than a simple page of plain text.

Pay attention to file formats. Browsers can load GIF, PNG and JPG images quickly, but heavy formats such as BMP and TIFF will take longer.

Excess Code

Yup, if you have a lot of code, your site will be slower.

Try not to clog your site up with excess coding and Javascript.

Text Graphics

If you’re using images to display text, your site will be slower.

It’s better to use a regular font whenever possible.

Too Many File Requests

Again, big elements take longer to load. And it’s not just size, but also quantity that matters.

Every image, every social sharing button and every piece of your website requires a different file request to load.

If your page has 50 files and 50 people are trying to load your site at once, that’s 2,500 simultaneous file requests.

You can see why websites crash if traffic gets out of hand.

An Excess of Traffic

You’ve seen this one happen – A lot of traffic is sent to a website, and it slows down. Send enough traffic, and it could crash.

Your server can only handle so many requests at one time. The more requests there are, the slower your website gets.

Yes, it’s tough to be popular.

Redirects

You walk to the gate at the airport, only to find out the gate has been changed to one on the other side of the airport. So, now you’ve got to walk all the way over there.

A redirect is like that. It’s like loading a page twice, and you want to avoid that whenever possible.

Outdated CMS

If you’re using WordPress (or Drupal or Wix) to manage your site, then you’ve probably noticed regular popups asking you to install updates or new versions of the software.

Updates are good – kinks have been worked out and speed has often been increased. Be sure to install the latest version of all software and plugins to load your site faster and more smoothly.

Too Many Plugins

This is for WordPress users. If you’ve got a ton of plugins, then you’ve got a ton of file requests with CSS files and Javascript to load.

This is more stuff that has to be transmitted to get your site to your visitor’s screen, which again will slow things down. Only use plugins you absolutely, positively need.

Bottom Line: 47% of people expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. If your site is taking longer than that, you’re losing views.

The Best Video Creation Tip EVER

You’ve heard how important video is in your marketing. You’ve heard that having videos on YouTube can lead to traffic, new customers and more sales.

The Best Video Creation Tip EVER

You’ve heard that nothing can connect you with your audience as fast as video. And you’ve no doubt also heard endless advice on how to make those videos. I watched one video on how to make videos geared towards newbies that suggested they invest the “paltry” sum of $1,500 just on lighting equipment!

Come on now… Don’t let bad advice like that keep you from getting started. Here’s all you need to know to get started making your own marketing videos – just DO IT. Just make your first video. Don’t worry about getting the lighting just right, the sound just right, the words just right. Decide what you want to talk about, show some passion for your topic, and speak into the camera.

Now here’s something you might not know – amateur videos can reap just as many new viewers and customers as professionally created ones. Why? Because viewers know it’s the real you, not some Hollywood make-believe commercial. They see you as a real person speaking from the heart about a topic you have great feeling for, and they are actually rooting you on to succeed.

So if you have yet to make your first marketing video, wait no more. Resolve to create your first video before the week is out, and post it to YouTube. Then tell your list, your blog readers and everyone you know to go take a look.

And after that? As long as you have something interesting to say, keep creating videos. You’ll naturally get better at it with practice, but it’s those first videos you’ll look back on with fondness. Where else but the Internet can you make a totally amateurish video that actually gets watched by more than a handful of people, and potentially brings new customers your way.

Remember, money gravitates towards the action takers. Let me know when you post your first video – I’d love to see it. And I may even share it with my own list and website visitors. Once you become a content creator, you’ll open new doors and possibilities for your business to grow!

Is Social Media Truly Gaining You New Customers? Or Just Wasting Your Time?

More and more I’m seeing that there is a “trick” to social media, and it’s not to bombard people with a plethora of content. Rather, it’s to use specially crafted content designed to lure a customer in and get them at least one step closer to becoming your customer.

Is Social Media Gaining You New Customers?

Have you ever gone fishing? What’s the secret to becoming a great fisherman or fisherwoman? It’s not blanketing the water with bait. Sure the fish will consume it, but if it’s got no hook, how are you going to reel them into the boat?

Instead, the secret lies in using the right bait on the right hook AND knowing what to do when you get the nibble – that is, setting the hook before the fish gets away.

So what’s your bait in social media? It’s helping the person to solve a problem. Think about this – you’ve got a problem and it’s causing you stress, perhaps making you lose money, lose sleep, or just plain irritates you. You don’t know what to do.

You begin searching the Internet for answers, but nothing seems to fit until you run across a person on Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter, etc. who claims to know something about your challenge. You provide a few details and ask him or her what to do and BOOM! They give you a solution that HOT-DIGGITY-DOG actually WORKS!

How do you feel about that person? More to the point, are you open to doing business with that person? If you’re like the vast majority, the answer is a resounding “YES!”

So what happens next? If this person is smart, they’re going to get you to take another step. It might be to opt into a list, get on a skype call or make a small purchase. They are setting the hook and you are HAPPY to be joining them.

Contrast this scenario with one of throwing out a ton of content here, there and everywhere and hoping upon hope that somebody somewhere notices and raises their hand and says, “SELL ME SOMETHING, please!” Sure it happens, but it’s not a system – it’s a crap shoot.

So here is what I propose – become the helpful go-to person in your niche, whatever it might be. Demonstrate that you WANT to answer questions and help people. In fact, use your social media time specifically for this one purpose – answering questions in your niche. On days when no one asks a question, give the answer to a common problem – guaranteed someone out there is searching for a solution to that exact problem the moment you are posting.

By focusing on offering real solutions instead of simply spewing content, you’ll find you spend LESS time in social media and get far better results, in terms of sales for your business and earnings on your bank balance.

Can Virtual Big Gulps Line Your Pockets??

We’ve all seen the mega launches of super expensive products that boast about how heavy the packing box is.

Can Virtual Big Gulps Line Your Pockets??

“You Get 32 CD’s, 22 DVD’s and 3 Big Manuals of 250 Pages Each! This package weighs a whopping 15 pounds, delivered to your door!”

As marketers we suspect that bigger is better, even when it’s not. After all, more of anything seems like a better deal to the customer than less of something, right?

But thanks to a new study, we now know that “more” of a product not only sounds better – it can also be a status symbol for the customer.

Take for example the Big Gulp drink – 30 oz of sticky sweet carbonated beverage. Does anyone on the planet NEED 30 oz of sticky sweet carbonated beverage? While some might say they do, the fact is it’s a flood of empty calories with a bevy of negative health effects, yet they sell like gangbusters.

And believe it or not, they can actually make the purchasers feel BETTER about themselves.

No, I am NOT advocating you run out and buy one of these things – rather, I’m suggesting you SELL these things, in digital form.

Follow closely – This is from the Journal of Consumer Research and it concerns a series of experiments carried out by Derek Rucker of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

In the first experiment, volunteers looked at photos of people holding different sized drinks and then were asked to rate the STATUS of the people they saw in the photos. Tabulated results showed that the bigger the drink, the higher the status score each photo rated. No, I’m not kidding, and it gets weirder.

In the second experiment, half of the volunteers were asked to remember a time when they were bossed around. The other half were asked to remember a time when they were in a position to boss others around. No surprise here – the volunteers who remember being bossed around felt the least powerful. (Yet another example of how the thoughts you choose determine how you feel.)

Okay, here comes the surprise – next those same volunteers were offered a drink in 3 different sizes. There was no choice on what KIND of drink, only of what SIZE drink they could have.

Those who felt the least powerful CHOSE THE BIGGEST DRINK. In other words, even in something as ordinary as choosing a drink, the decision is not based solely on how thirsty the person is, but rather on how much power they feel they have.

And in the worldwide economy, it’s a reasonable conclusion that as people feel powerless to control what’s happening, more and more super sizing will be taking place, and not just in food.

Now then, here’s how to use this in your marketing…

First, when you can make your product appear larger, do so. For example, you might take each chapter of an ebook and separate it into a report – 12 reports look like more than one ebook. If you are shipping audios or videos, place them on 12 discs rather than 4. And so forth.

Second, offer a super size version of your product. That is, you might have your regular product and a second version that offers more information, more promises, more benefits, etc.

Third, offer them power and prestige. For example, if you’re creating a membership, don’t make it just any old membership. Give it a name like The Exclusive Gold Club for Star Class Members or something that conveys the power and prestige so many people are lacking in these uncertain times.

Fourth, don’t forget to add an OTO to your offer. OTO’s are like supersizing the fries – they’ve already decided to order, now it’s just a matter of offering them more, and many times they will jump at the chance to upgrade to that virtual Big Gulp.

One more thing… Don’t feel guilty about up-selling your customers. People want to feel they are in control, that they have power, that they do matter. And if it’s a choice between buying a few Big Gulps that are going to rot their bones and pack on the fat, or your new product that can actually HELP them, you’ve got a duty to offer them that product and let them decide for themselves.

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