21 Ideas for Hot Press Releases – Part 1

January 30, 2008

Step one to generating publicity is coming up with a hot story. After you come up with a hot story, then you’ll learn how to deliver it to the media. This is the first post about 21 idea generators to help you come up with hot stories the media will love. The hot story could be compared to your business USP. It is the basis of everything else that happens. In fact, one of the hot story ideas could be your USP!

As you read through these methods, pay attention to ways you could combine multiple ideas into one press release or story. You could have an outrageous claim which piggy-backs on national news while giving away free information. You could give away a free report revealing the 5 scams perpetrated in your industry (combining 3 techniques).

You might have discovered a solution to a problem and tie it into the human interest story of one of your clients. Most of the hottest ideas are combinations of multiple ideas. What other ideas could you come up with?

Hot Publicity Idea #1: Traditional

You can send out the “normal” press release about the new person who was hired or how you became a member of the million dollar club. You can let people know you’re opening a new office. You may have hired 13 new people. You could have released a new product or started a new service. You might get a short blurb from these releases, and a few people might even see it.

Just don’t limit yourself to this type of release. Let’s say you send out 12 press releases this year. You’re allowed a couple like this. They won’t be big winners, but they can get you a little publicity. They’re also easy ones to create in between your big ones to make sure you stay in the habit and in the news.

It’s also possible local or small media might pick up a release like this and add to it or save it for later. If you haven’t been sending out press releases, this is an easy way to get started (just don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t produce incredible results overnight).

Hot Publicity Idea #2: Outrageous Claim

Now we’re cooking. What kind of outrageous claim or promise can you fulfill? What is the ultimate benefit you deliver to your clients and customers? Two great examples of this type of release come to mind. Robert Allen originally built his information empire on the outrageous claim, “Send me to any city in America, take away my wallet, give me $100 for living expenses and in 72 hours, I’ll buy an excellent property using none of my own money.”

That’s an outrageous claim. The LA Times eventually took him up on this, and he met the challenge by buying the properties in less than 72 hours. His publicity immediately took off and his “Nothing Down” book sold like hotcakes.

The second example is an offer Paul Hartunian makes. The headline on one of his most popular press releases is, “I Can Help Anyone Find the Love of Their Life in 90 Days or Less!” He then sends out the release just before Valentine’s Day. Do you think that is popular? He says the media call him like crazy when he sends out the press release. People are lonely and always looking for love.

Some media people will want to immediately do a story on it. Others will want to put him to the test by finding him the biggest loser they can for him to test it out on.

What kind of outrageous claim can you make? What are the big benefits you help people achieve? And how quickly can you do it? The one condition with this is you must be able to back up your claim. Eventually the media will call you on it and you better be able to produce the goods. If you can’t make it happen, then don’t make the claim. You’ll be exposed as a fraud in front of their entire audience. That’s the one kind of publicity you don’t want!

Hot Publicity Idea #3: Share your Unique Selling Position

If you’ve done a good job creating a unique selling position, it’s a pretty incredible claim on its own. You can use it as the basis for your press release. This is especially true if you guarantee your focus statement in some way. You’re essentially issuing a challenge to all the other businesses in your market niche. Just like the outrageous claim, you had better be able to back it up.

The idea behind this type of story is that you’re offering something totally unique in the marketplace. The reporter or interviewer will be doing their entire audience a service by sharing your information. Just follow the rule that you’re telling, not selling.

You’re providing information on what you can do for people, not trying to sell everyone on it. This is accomplished by being lower key in your presentation. You’re an educator, not a salesperson. Focus on the facts and cut out the adjectives. Your press release must simply answer the question of why their audience would be interested in what you offer. The more unique you are, the better this works.

Hot Publicity Idea #4: Piggy Back on National or Local News

Find the hot story and get in front of it. Listen to local radio stations and read the local newspaper. Use the Internet and list http://www.cnn.com as one of your favorite places. You can also use Google News at http://news.google.com.

Both of these sites will allow you to quickly scan the top breaking news of the day. Even if you do business exclusively in your local area, world news is still valuable to your market. The media you’ll be contacting use these sources themselves. If you can tie your local news angle into a hot story of the day, you’ve got it made. The same rules apply if you’re promoting a product in a larger area or simply want traffic at a website. Piggy-back your story on what’s already going on.

If oil prices are high, how can you tie in your story to that news? If you’re a car dealer, it means that the cars which get high miles per gallon are hot. If you’re the furnace installer, it means clients who buy your new energy efficient furnace will save 37% more this winter. If you do pizza delivery, it means people save more buying from your delivery drivers than going out to eat. If you’re a travel agent, maybe people should book their trip now before rates go up.

If the hot news of the day is that interest rates are rising, how does that affect your audience? If a new medical breakthrough occurred, how does that affect your clients? If the IRS just announced they’re doing more audits, what does that mean in your business? Begin looking at all news as an avenue for more publicity in your business. On election night, prepare a press release which is ready to go no matter who wins (just edit it with the name of the new winner when it’s announced).

If you’re a real estate agent, the press release can be about how the new president is likely to affect home prices. The accountant might discuss tax laws. The lawyer may discuss laws. How does whatever happened affect you and your clients?

Hot Publicity Idea #5: Expose Scams

What kind of scams go on in your industry? This one is an exciting topic to get into because it has a two-fold effect. Not only do you generate free publicity, but you’re also seen as the good guy. You’re exposing all the dirty rotten tactics for what they are.

This strategy might not make you real popular with certain business people in your industry, but you don’t need to be friends with people pulling scams anyway. I wouldn’t ever mention names because then you bring on a lot of legal liabilities, but you can talk about the methods used to scam people.

The real estate agent could talk about scams listing agents do to get more business. Or they could talk about deceitful tactics used on buyers. The dentist could talk about how some dentists get you to pay for unnecessary work or do poor work on your teeth. The doctor could talk about health or nutritional scams.

The personal trainer could talk about fitness scams. The person who wrote an ebook on learning the guitar could talk about overpriced guitar sellers or how to spot a fraud instructor. The list here is endless. Any type of business can point out scams which take place in their industry.

The keywords are, “How to spot a Fraud in…” Or, “How to Spot Deceitful Tactics Used By…” “How _______ Rip You Off.” What goes on in your business that’s pretty scummy? What would a show like Dateline or 20/20 love to do to expose your industry? This is what you’re dealing with here. This is a hot topic. It can be controversial. And it definitely benefits the media’s audience.

Hot Publicity Idea #6: Free Information

Give away free information. If you’ve created a free report for lead generation in previous weeks, here is a perfect place to use it. Your press release can be about the free report and then the call to action at the end of the press release could be for people to contact your office to receive the free report.

Make sure you’re using a real free report in this instance. While the information in the report can lead them back to buying your product or service, it must have valuable information in it by itself. Even if they never contact you again, the report must still make their life better in some way.

This shows how you can get multiple use out of one of your marketing techniques. The report can be used for lead generation in your advertising. It can be used to build an opt-in email list on the Internet. It can be used as your publicity hook to get free advertising. You could also pull out a section of the free report and offer it as an article for newspapers, magazines, ezines, or websites. Can you see why I like those free reports so much?

Hot Publicity Idea #7: Lists

This is similar to the last publicity idea, but it goes one step further. You’re providing free information here, but you’re actually placing that information in the body of the release itself (this makes it easy for someone to publish an article). In the above idea you were essentially teasing the audience to call for a report. Here you demonstrate your knowledge by giving the list of information.

You could build a tip sheet such as “7 Best Ways to Generate Traffic to a Website,” or “3 Secrets to Improving Your Child’s Education.” We’re following the model I already gave you of a specific number of tips to achieving a benefit. You could also talk about myths in your industry. Examples of this may be “5 Myths About Going to a Dentist,” or “7 Myths About Furniture Buying.”

Since press releases need to be short (1 page with 1.5 spacing or double spacing is normal), you have to keep your lists very concise. Don’t try to give too many tips at once. This is not the place for your “13 Ways of Building a Doghouse” report. You also don’t get much supporting information. Each tip or myth only gets one to two sentences about it. So make sure all the information is easy to understand.

Part Two of this article is available here…

Part Three of this article is available here…

Stumbleupon Paid Advertising

January 28, 2008

Recently I discussed how free Stumbleupon visitors were useful to my site…and better quality than the other social bookmarking sites.

Because of this, I decided to test several paid Stumbleupon ads. You can purchase visitors to your site for only 5 cents apiece through their online system. In addition, you can choose the categories they come from. I choose “marketing” and “entrepreneurs” for my primary categories in my campaign.

Their advertising can be purchased here…

Out of 1,000 purchased visits (I’ve actually purchased more, but some of it couldn’t be tracked correctly as I was also generating free Stumbleupon visitors at the same time), they only delivered 845 as counted by Google Analytics. A logical explanation for this is the visitors aren’t even waiting long enough for the site to load before going somewhere else.

Here’s where the numbers suck. The bounce rate for PAID Stumbleupon traffic was 82.02%. This means only 17.98% of visitors even went to a second page on my site. That’s an absolutely pitiful rate for a blog…and shows the quality of these paid Stumbles was very poor.

Free Stumbleupon traffic was averaging 41.52% bounce rate. So 58.48% of those were visiting other pages. And get this…these numbers were driven to the SAME PAGE that did well with free Stumbles. Ouch!

Overall…they delivered less visitors than I paid for. The visitors they delivered were much lower quality than the average free stumblers.

Although they’re a great free service to use, I definitely wouldn’t recommend their paid advertising.

Blog Advertising Tip: I didn’t know if I should reveal this here or only save it for my print newsletter subscribers. I decided to share the basic message here, although the February print issue will go more in depth on the subject.

It isn’t worth sending paid advertising to the blog.

This includes PPC traffic (my favorite form of paid advertising), advertising on other blogs, blog reviews, ezine ads, etc. Even if you develop a landing page on the blog specifically for a form of traffic (see this page as an example…)

There are simply too many distractions on the blog for it to work well with paid advertising. I’m sure it can be done, and I have ran several profitable ads to the blog, but it’s not as effective as developing a landing squeeze page.

For paid advertising of any type, don’t drive visitors to your blog. Drive them to a squeeze page. Here’s an example one that generates subscribers to this blog.

Time Out to Say Thank You

January 25, 2008

Sometimes I just like to take time out to say thank you.

The first thank you goes to you, my reader. Thank you for being a regular reader of my blog. I appreciate you and I hope I’m providing information you find useful and valuable to your online business.

Thank you to my coaching clients. As many of my clients already know, it’s not just my clients who learn from the relationship. I pick up tips, websites, and ideas from my clients while I’m coaching and helping them in their business. While many gurus pretend they have it all figured out, I don’t and never will. I’ve made very good money online for more than a decade, but I’m learning new things every week.

That’s what testing is all about. Sometimes one of your tests will create a surprising result. Testing is all about learning what really works.

I also want to thank everyone who has linked to my blog recently. Here are just a few of the people who sent traffic here recently: Fred Black, James Brausch, Darren Rowse, James Alenteal, Ed Rivis, Brian Terry, Pat Doyle, Aaron Brandon, Brendan Brewster, Ryan Healy, and Robert Phillips.

The bad part of the links above is I KNOW I didn’t include everyone who linked to me. The list would be in the hundreds. Even though your name is not listed above, I still want you to know I appreciate you and thank you for any links you’ve sent to my site.

Special Thank you to James Brausch. You have recommended my Financial Freedom book recently along with linking to my site regularly. I thank you for all that. You sent over 100 copies of one of your DVDs with permission to include them in any offer…which I did. You even sent over a collection of random books to me. Julie especially liked the Survival Handbook which you included. Thank you.

Quote from James’ post here:
BTW, if you promote him on your blog, you can forget about getting any promotion from me in the future. Especially others that I have helped out. If you want to hang out with scum bags, I don’t want to hang out with you!”

I assume he is referring to Robert Phillips, but I could be wrong as that doesn’t sound like the Robert I met recently at all. I met Robert at Crackel Barrel over lunch and had a nice conversation with him. During the time he showed me several emails between him and James Brausch.

After looking at the emails, I agreed with him that it certainly sounded like he has permission to give away or sell the multiple copies of an offer he purchased (he bought 15 copies of it that I saw in the information). Nothing led me to believe anything he showed me was fake.

Since I’m not going to stop promoting Robert when it’s appropriate, I guess that means James doesn’t want to hang out with me. We’ve never hung out before (meaning we’ve never met or even spoken), but he has a right to make that choice if he wants. I don’t understand it or agree with it, but it’s his choice. Thank you anyway James.

It’s good to take time out to say thank you. Tell people you appreciate them. Tell your customers. Tell your affiliates. Tell your family.

Often the best way to reward a referral is an honest thank you. Tell them you appreciate what they’ve done. You didn’t let it go unnoticed.

For everyone reading this, thank you for visiting my blog and being a part of this community.

Ted Nicholas at Internet Success System

January 23, 2008

I spoke at Mark Hendricks’ Internet Success System back in October 2007, and I had a wonderful time. The majority of Internet marketing seminars are primarily pitchfests to see who can get audience tripping over each other to whip out their credit card and give them the most money at the back of the room. Mark’s seminar isn’t like this. His is built on value and content…and a good portion of the time is actual masterminding around attendee’s projects and sites.

I won’t be able to be at his upcoming conference on March 27th through 30th, but you should be there if it’s at all possible.

Unlike the majority of high priced conferences, his group isn’t just a one-time event where you come hear speakers. He has built a community. Take a look at his page and see how it includes a whole lot more than “just a conference.”

Mark requires you to study the complete 12 lesson Internet Success System course BEFORE you attend the conference. I personally thought this course would just be “basic” information, but it’s not. It goes into much greater detail…and actually teaches you how to set-up sites, drive traffic, find joint ventures, and more.

Because very attendee has already been through the course prior to the event, Mark hits the ground running with advanced training, constant Mastermind sessions with other seasoned marketers, along with question and answer sessions to give you exactly what you need all weekend long.

At this event, he has someone who has been a mentor to many online experts…Ted Nicholas.

Here is a short video with Mark Hendricks letting you know a little bit more about Ted.

Find out more about the conference here…

The cost of the event, all the pre-event training, and the mastermind groups is only $297 plus $67 or $97 a month depending on whether you choose the silver or gold option. Both options include this upcoming event. Your investment is 100% guaranteed of course as Mark stands behind his products and events.

Note that the price goes up by $100 on Feb 1st. So check it out today…

Do They Love You Or Hate You?

January 21, 2008

Face it. Not everyone is going to love you. It doesn’t matter how good your customer service is, or how much you care about your customers. Some people are still going to hate it if you take a strong stand for anything.

In fact, it seems like some people on the Internet are just naturally angry.

I remember one person on my list. Every time I published any email, he would send back nasty comments about why he hated what I said…and just how much I sucked (along with quite a few other choice phrases I won’t mention here).

One day I simply removed him from the list and blocked him out from the list. Guess what? He sent a message wondering why he wasn’t receiving my emails anymore! All he had done up till that point was complain about each and every one. Yet, he wanted his opportunity to complain!

I don’t know if you have a personal hater on your list, but you will have people who rant and rave about what you say.

When you have a successful business online, some people are going to hate you.

You have to learn to live with it. If you let them get to you, they’re going to drag you down to their level.

Just keep going. Just keep publishing. Just keep being who you are.

And this is what it really comes down to. So many people are dissatisfied with their own life and who they are, they feel it’s their job to attack everyone else to try to get them to feel as bad as they do inside.

Here’s a simple rule…

People should love you or hate you. Don’t let them ignore you.

If you’re simply parroting other people or you’re avoiding confrontation, you’re easy to ignore. Of course you’re not getting the hate mails.

On the other hand, you’re not making money either (at least not what you could be making).

Make some waves. Take a bold stand on a controversial subject.

Want to know one of my emails that got the most complaints ever (over 50 hate filled emails – not just removes)? It was simply an email how you couldn’t just hand someone $1,000 or $2,000 and you’ll instantly have a business without work. Obviously a whole bunch of people (at least 50) had done that recently and felt the need to defend their wrong decision. A business takes work plain and simple. A strong stance on an obvious subject like that can even bring the hate.

What strong stances are you taking?
What bold statements are you making?

Look for common ideas and misconceptions in your market. Then slap them!

Find common myths to confront.

For example, since many were pitching a business with absolutely no work, I stood against it. Our goal is to produce a business where we Earn More While Working Less, but it will take you additional work in the short term to produce the systems to allow you to work less in the long-term.

Make a list of common myths and misconceptions in your market. Then begin confronting these boldly!

Be unique. Be a voice instead of just an echo.

Think about anyone who is successful. Controversy surrounds them. Sometimes it’s in a good way and others it’s in a bad way. Either way, it’s still a part of their life.

Some love them. Some hate them. It’s when the majority are simply ignoring you that you’re missing something.

How many people love you?
How many people hate you?
How many people are just ignoring you?

7 Ways to Make Money Online

January 18, 2008

Do you want to find ways to make money online?

If so, then you’ve come to the right blog. Every week I publish 2 to 3 articles designed to help you turn the Internet into your own little cash machine. I’ve been earning my full-time living online for 12 years now, and I’ve helped thousands of others do the same.

Below are 7 ways you can begin making money online today…

Method #1: Information products

Hopefully you noticed by now that creating information products such as ebooks, CDs, DVDs, and home study courses are my favorite way for someone to get started online. You take your knowledge and experience…and you bottle it up to sell to others. You can even get started in an online information business using other people’s knowledge. Pick a market. Do a survey. Then take the questions from the survey to interview another expert on the subject. Your questions are provided by your visitors…and the answers are provided by the expert. All you had to do was take action.

Create a product once. Get paid on it forever.

If you’re interested in getting off the treadmill of trading hours for dollars in your own information business, check out this link…

Method #2: Affiliate Selling

You can get started online today without even having your own product or service. There are millions of affiliate programs where people are ready and willing to pay you a fee for every new customer you send over. You can even find programs which will pay you for every lead sign-up you send them.

Right this minute I am earning what many consider a full-time income directly from affiliate programs. And I do it without spending a penny in advertising, because affiliate programs are a secondary income for me compared to the sell of information products. Most of my affiliate sales come because of mentions throughout my products about other related products you can find online.

Method #3: eBay

The majority of Google visitors are looking for free information. eBay visitors are looking to buy something. They may be bargain shoppers, but they’re on eBay to spend money unlike many other sites. By finding the right products you can quickly develop your own Powerselling business on eBay…or you can expand your business by opening up an eBay division to increase your profits.

Method #4: Freelance Work

Offer your skills as a freelancer through sites such as eLance.com or Rentacoder.com. Or train in Internet marketing skills to become an online virtual assistant to assist others in their businesses. If you want to move towards a higher income, train to become a copywriter, business coach, or web site designer…skills business owners are desperate and willing to pay for. You can eventually expand any of these skills into a business by outsourcing your work to others or training a staff to handle the work.

Remember, offering a service doesn’t mean you have to be the one doing the service. Create a system. Then outsource the system while you sell the service.

Method #5: Buy and Sell Domain Names

Some people are in the online real estate business where they buy and resell domain names. Some are even in the “online real estate development” business which means they buy a domain name and put a basic site on it with a few incoming links. Then they resell it a “developed domain.” You can go to the Sitepoint Marketplace to see the types of prices these domains are going for.

Obviously developing a site and making it profitable greatly increases it’s value!

Method #6: Drop Shipping

You become an expert at selling online. There are thousands of companies who will supply you with products and fulfill your orders for you. Products are not the problem. They’re easy. You are always in a business of building an audience of customers who and ready and willing to buy from you. Then you make money selling them products you develop, products you’re an affiliate with, or products you have drop shipped for you (For example Worldwidebrands.com is one of the resources where you can find thousands of drop shipping companies).

Method #7: Sell Advertising

You don’t even have to sell a product. You can simply sell advertising. Build an audience. Generate traffic. Then sell advertising. You’ve probably heard for “Made for Adsense” type sites, and that’s one way to go. If you generate quality traffic though, you’ll almost always make significantly more money by selling the advertising directly to companies who want to reach that target market.

You’ll notice I don’t sell advertising in my newsletter or anywhere on this blog. My traffic is more valuable to me in selling my own products or affiliate offers. This is still a strong revenue producer for many sites. For example, see Darren Rowse talk about some of his advertising income here

Why Didn’t I Include Blogging Above?

You probably noticed blogging wasn’t included above. Why? It’s because blogging a promotional tool to help you do one of the above. For example, I use this blog to primarily sell my own products and coaching services.

Another blog may be in existence to promote affiliate programs. While another may be published to sell advertising space.

Too many bloggers work their butts off on a blog without figuring out how in the world they plan to make money from it. Are you going to be selling your own products and services? Are you going to promote affiliate products? Are people willing to spend a significant amount of money to advertise in your market (check Adsense to see how much people are paying for clickthroughs)?

How will you turn your website or blog into profits? You should have that answer day one before you even get your site up.

Otherwise you’ll spend the next few years jumping from opportunity to opportunity without getting anywhere.

Make a decision now…and start making money online.

What is Blogging?

January 16, 2008

Too often we forget to explain the terms we’re using on our websites, in our newsletters, or in our blog posts. You’ll notice that every market has their own language and terminology.

For example, James Brausch said my Christian book, “Financial Freedom” may “probably only make sense to protestants or those who have some kind of protestant background” in his post here. In the case of that book, it was done on purpose because the book was written to a Christian market.

One of these terms I constantly say, but have never yet defined on this site, is blogging.

The term “blog” simply means “web log.”

For many, blogs were started as an online diary where people kept a running account of their personal lives.

Blogs have expanded way beyond this. Today you will find blogs that focus on being a journalist while others focus on simply using a blog to promote their business. You also have the term “blogger” which has expanded out of a blog. A blogger is simply someone who blogs. They write, publish, or manage a blog.

To keep it simple, a blog is a website where you publish regular updated content about a specific subject. The reason you use a blog over any other form of website is because it’s so much easier to regularly post to a blog without having to deal with HTML, website design, and all the other technical aspects.

In addition, you’ll find search engines such as Google love blogs. Think about it this way. What’s important to most search engines? They’re looking for relevant content and other sites linking to you. Blogs are designed for producing content. And the whole nature of the blogosphere (simply means the world of blogs connecting with one another) is to link to each other. Visit other people’s blogs, take part in their comments, and link out to others. If you do this, you’ll start seeing incoming links at your blog.

Do a little keyword research, and target phrases your customers are looking for. Create posts with titles similar to popular searches, talk about the subject, and generate incoming links for your blog.

You’ll find I don’t normally refer to myself as a blogger. While the term simply means someone who blogs, blogging is NOT my primary business. Blogging is a tool I use to promote my business. Blog posts such as the one you’re reading generate visitors to my site (through the search engines, incoming links from other blogs, and other methods). I also keep an email list on this site that sends out notices whenever I publish to bring my visitors back to my site.

For a business owner, a blog generates both new visitors…and it allows you to keep in touch with your current customers.

To get started with your own blog, you can set up a free account at Blogger.com.

Or you can get started using WordPress (the same software that runs this blog) through any webhost which has Fantastico installs available. For example, you could sign up for your own website at MyLowCostWebHost.com (affiliate link) and then go into the Fantastico install section to install a WordPress blog.

I show the whole setup and promotional process for a blog in my 2 DVD set, “Blogging for Fun and Profit.”

PlugIm Test Results

January 14, 2008

I’m always testing something on this blog. In fact, I always have numerous tests running across my businesses. I’m going to make it a habit of revealing a few of the blog tests here (although more information will be revealed in the monthly print newsletter of course).

You can see my review of Blogrush here.

PlugImThe last two weeks I’ve been testing the PlugIM Widget on my blog. You’ve probably seen it on the top left of my posts recently and wondered a little bit about what it was.

Because of the incoming traffic this blog received last week, I had two stories on the front page of PlugIM at the same time. They were in the 3rd and 5th position when I checked them on Tuesday. This of course meant I could get some good results back to judge the value of this widget.

PlugIm Front Page

If you get front page rankings on many of the social bookmarking sites such as Digg, you are going to generate a flood of traffic (although you may or may not even want their traffic considering how low quality it often is).

How much traffic did two front page rankings on PlugIm get me?

I have received a total of 25 visitors from their referral page of plugim.com/referral.

Of those 25 visitors, 80% of them were brand new visitors. They only averaged 44 seconds on my site. And they had a 80% bounce rate.

The last stat is the one I like the least. Only 20% of them visited a second page on my site. Compare that to Stumbleupon where the traffic has a 41.52% bounce rate.

I’ve removed the plug-in for the moment from this blog as I’m not happy with these results. So I’m not going to recommend it for the space and load time it takes right now.

What are some future results you’ll see me talk about here? Currently I’m buying some Stumbleupon 5 cents per visitor ads, Bloggingzoom is being tested, and multiple split tests are being done on popovers to generate subscribers (yes, I know they’re a little annoying but they’ve already proven themselves to increase the subscriber rate).

Free Small Business Podcast

January 11, 2008

I appeared on Melody Campbell’s “Get More Business” small business podcast this past week.

She did an excellent interview where we discussed the importance of building relationships with your email list, how to choose a profitable niche market, and how to get started in your online business on day one.

The interview can be downloaded for free here (simply right click the below link and choose “Save Target As”):

You can also listen to it online through her podcast page here:

The title of the session is “How to Choose a Profitable Niche Market” from January 4, 2008.


What Are Your Natural Gifts?

January 9, 2008

What are your natural gifts and abilities? One of the keys to earning more, working less, and enjoying life is to know yourself, your abilities, and your desires.

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
William Shakespeare

You’re a unique individual, with unique talents, gifts, and desires. No one else is exactly like you. If you find your unique gifts, and focus your energy in that direction, it’s the recipe for your success.

Look at the top performers in any category: athletics, music, business, etc. They are all at the top of their game because they focus their energy on their giftings. They hire out everything else around them and do what they do best. They practice. They perform. They master the skills they were born with. None of them is an exact copy of someone else.

There is only one problem. This principle is in conflict with another principle: modeling success. The quickest way to produce business success is to find those who have already mastered the subject and model them.

For example, I don’t know if I’ve ever truely had a unique business idea. Everything I’ve done has been modeled after something else that worked before it. If I want to write a sales letter, I look through sales letters that have worked in the past in all different fields. Most of my marketing strategies have been developed by seeing a “model” work in another business field.

Reinventing the wheel is a long, slow process…and it’s a waste of time in business. Find out what has already worked and use it as a model of success for your business.

Then modify it for your own unique slant and gifting. While I’ve modeled all my marketing strategies after something that has worked before, I’ve almost always tested and found ways to make it produce better for me. That’s what my business has always been about.

Find a proven model of success.
Copy it for the basic system.
Test and modify to improve on it for my own business.

Some of those modifications will always occur because I’m unique. I’m different in some way from the person I’m modeling the strategy after. For example, they may be great at one area while I’m unique in a different way.

My primary gift is the ability to see the big picture, and how all the pieces fit together in the whole. I take complicated subjects and make them simple. I’ve always had a little trouble describing it until one of my coaching clients sent me an email that basically spelled it all out for me…

But it’s this UNBELIEVABLE way you bring clarity and truth out of a mess. Like you can clean off the dirt of the diamond.. wash away the filth…and bring truth to things in such a SIMPLE WAY.”

I think that defines what I do better than anything else.

You’ll find that those around you every day will often spot your gifts before you do, because whatever you’re excellent out just comes naturally for you. You don’t even notice how well you do it because it’s simple…and it’s often fun to you. Others see it, because it looks like it’s “sweatless victory” to you even if you actually work hard on it.

One of the wonderful things about coaching other business owners is I get to see their unique skills in action.

I’ve consulted a business owner who promoted their business primarily through public speaking. I was hired to come review him during one of their seminars. Even though I told him he was a much better speaker than I, he still hired me to do this. He knew I could spot holes in their marketing and put the entire package together better even though he was a worldclass speaker.

I’ve consulted with clients who are much better with Google Adwords than me. While I use Adwords quite profitably, I focus more on content methods of driving traffic and joint ventures. I’ve consulted with clients who do million dollar businesses primarily through PPC advertising. What were they looking for? Focus…and my ability to help them put all the pieces together.

I’m so thankful for my uniqueness. It’s allowed me to create million dollar information businesses, coach clients who are experts in their field, travel the world, and build a business that fits me.

“A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men.”
Proverbs 18:16

What is your gift…and how will you apply it to build a profitable business that you love?

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