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3 simple steps to build your most important asset

September 19th, 2017 No comments

Suddenly,  thousands of people (now almost ten thousand) were liking me on social media.

All it took was a touch of misguided energy and a few frivolous comments during my lunch break.

In the last post, I told you the whole story. I also showed you two ways you could become famous on a social media channel. If you missed it, you can read all about it here.

But there’s a drawback to fame, especially for the social media fame that’s so easy to acquire:

Most of your followers, the people who give you upvotes and likes on social media, will never be customers for the products and services you offer.

Lucky for you, there’s a better way. There’s a great asset that you can build, which will bring wealth and predictability to your business. If you are an artist, this is the secret to gaining 1000 true fans, and more.

Let’s make this simple. Suppose you run a coffee shop. There are at least three different kinds of customers who will walk through your doors:

  1. The regulars. These are the people who come in at the same time each day or each week, and order the same thing. If you know enough about your regulars, you can make a fairly accurate prediction of how much revenue you’ll earn, at minimum, every month.
  2. The fans. These people aren’t regular, but they know you’re in business and they like your coffee. When they happen to be in the neighborhood and they want to grab a bite to eat, your coffee shop will be one of their first choices. If they happen to hear that you’re offering a special, or hosting a poetry slam or some live music, there’s a good chance they will show up.
  3. The foot traffic. They are in the neighborhood. But they may not know you exist, or if they do, they don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. If they happen to walk by while they’re thinking of coffee, you might get their business.

Most businesses focus their marketing efforts on building more foot traffic. But I know my readers are more sophisticated than that.

Your marketing strategy should be obvious. Turn the foot traffic into fans. Turn the fans into regulars. There are a lot of ways you can do this. Start a Facebook page and encourage every customer to join. Ask them to follow you on Twitter, and then tweet photos of your delicious food and drink every day. Get ratings and reviews on Yelp and other sites.

Whatever business you’re in, you’ve probably started doing something like this. But there’s a limit to how effective you will be. Almost nobody will find you on Yelp unless they are actively searching. Facebook posts and tweets have a very short half-life.

And what happens when Google changes their algorithm, Facebook changes their policy, or your fans and followers shift their attention to a new social media platform you know nothing about?

Your influence can drop to zero overnight. And it might take weeks or months to recover.

 

Bulletproof marketing secrets from the Bold Words Cafe

Lucky for you, there’s another way. Let’s go back to my favorite coffee shop, Bold Words Cafe, and see what they do.

When you go into the Bold Words cafe, the smiling barista is going to offer you a few extra goodies. Now, don’t confuse this with some kind of loyalty or incentive program. You’ll be missing the whole point.

Bold Words Cafe (BWC) might offer you a special stamp card, where your 10th drink is free. They’ll give you a VIP invitation to all of their live music and comedy events, maybe even a free download of some of the highlights from their best shows. They’ll let you in on their “secret menu” and regularly give you special coupons and deals.

All they ask in return is your email, so they can send you all the information, news, and links. All the cashiers and baristas are trained to do this. They keep making offers, and try to get the email of every single person who comes through the door.

Even if you’re just foot traffic, there might be something in the bundle of goodies that appeals to you. If you’re a fan, you’ll almost certainly be interested in the offer. If you’re a regular, then this is a no-brainer.

Now look what happens. BWC has your email and your name, at minimum. And you gave it to them because they offered you something that you want.

In other words, everyone on that email list has an interest or desire for something provided by the business. It’s a solid gold list of prospects.

This is why you should build an email list for your business. But don’t just take my word for it.

Corey Dilley, the Marketing Manager at Unbounce.com, says “Email marketing consistently generates 80-90% of our landing page traffic when we launch a new campaign, piece of content or product feature.”

Noah Kagan, founder of the 7-figure business AppSumo.com, states that “90% of our revenue comes from emails”

In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing delivers an average 4300% Return On Investment in the U.S.

If Google crashed tomorrow, Facebook declared a moratorium all commercial activity, and Twitter was taken over by communists, you could still keep promoting your business, getting back $43 for every dollar you spent, just by using your list. It could be the end of the world as we know it, and you would feel fine.

 

Do these three simple things and watch your own list grow!

Let’s leave the Bold Words Cafe, and see how a list could work in your business.

If you’re using any kind of social media, you can simplify things by thinking of it as “foot traffic.” Your upvotes, followers, and “likes” represent one person getting exposed to you one time.

At a bare minimum, you should give these viewers a way to sign up for an email list. Here’s a fast way to do it:

  1. Put a prominent email sign-up on your website.
  2. Make sure all of your social media profiles include a link to your website.
  3. Add all your existing customers, past and present, to your list.

If you do just these three things, your list will start to grow. That should be enough to keep you busy this week.

In the next few weeks, I’ll give you some ideas on how to create incentives to get more prospects to join your list. You’ll get some ideas on what kind of emails to send out to your list. I’ll even hand you the blueprint for a sophisticated system that automatically attracts and signs up new prospects for your list.

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How to get 9,700+ upvotes on Quora

September 12th, 2017 No comments

Do you want to be famous?

Today I’m going to show you how.

It’s not as hard as you think. I attracted thousands of fans this year by just talking about pizza. I’ll tell you how you can gain celebrity status just as easily.

Pretty soon, you’ll get thousands of likes for every one of your posts. Your followers will explode. Parents will offer up their children for marriage. You can brag to your friends, and buy them all pizza to celebrate your glory.

But I’ll also show you why the wrong kind of fame is worthless.

In fact, today is just a prelude to a bigger, longer message. Today I will show you how to be famous. But over the next few weeks I’m going to show you what you should be doing instead.

By the end of the month you’re going to know all about the most important asset you can have, whether you’re an artist or a business owner. When you hear what happened to me, you’ll understand.

 

How I became a celebrity by writing about pizza

My road to fame started when someone on Quora asked , “What will happen to me if I only eat pizza?”

I shouldn’t have been wasting my lunchtime on Quora, but I couldn’t resist. (If you lived in Italy for three years, ate pizza every day and had nothing to show for it but a half-written book, what would you do?)

I gave my answer here. I thought I was done.

But within three weeks I had thousands of upvotes and hundreds of new followers. A few people even blamed me for the spread of diabetes, obesity and arthritis.

As I write this, I have over nine thousand upvotes and 1.1 million views, with more than 10,300 views this month alone.

You’re asking, “How does he do it? How does a guy with a laptop in El Sereno command the attention of a million Quora users just by writing about the pizza he ate twelve years ago?”

Today I’m going to tell you two ways to get famous.

 

This is how superstars in every field separate themselves from mere mortals

Italians talk affectionately about all things American being esagerato. The size of our cars, the number of those cars that crash or blow up in our movies, the ridiculous posturing of our politicians, and especially our appetites. The first secret to fame is exaggeration.

When I answered the Quora question, I might have exaggerated a little bit.

During my Italy years, it was normal to grab a slice of pizza at some point in the day. On Quora I might have said that I made a meal out of it every single day. I might have also implied that the only other things I consumed were espresso, wine, and gelato.

I wasn’t exaggerating the truth all that much, but it was enough to make me extremely popular.

Listen, I’m not saying you should sacrifice your honesty and integrity for fame. In particular, don’t ever lie about your products, their features, and what they or you can do. Don’t lie to your clients. Don’t lie to your spouse/partner/significant other.

But outside of business and personal relationships, you should be stretching the truth into fantastic shapes and positions like you’re taking it to a session of advanced Bikram yoga.

Watch any stand-up comedian and see what they do. They take ordinary, everyday stories and blow them up until you can’t help laughing. They exaggerate.

We can even take this a step further. Look at the most successful athletes, celebrities, and artists you can think of. They’re larger than life! At least in one facet of their life, they do something that makes other people whisper and point, shake their heads, chuckle, cringe, and secretly admire them.

Most of my one million viewers don’t officially approve of merrily traipsing around the Italian countryside, devouring stacks of pizza Margherita washed down with enormous jugs of aglianico wine, and finishing off with an affogato di cafe while watching the sunset. But it stands out.

Find something you can overdo, something you can exaggerate, and you’ll stand out too.

 

What does everybody want?

Another way to become famous is to tell people something which is both unexpected and something they want to hear.

All I did was make the case that pizza is good for you.

Of course it depends on what you put on the pizza, but nobody wants to cloud the good news with such trivia! Better just to add pizza to the list of comforts and vices we used to think were bad but it turns out they’re good for us:

Wine
Chocolate
Coffee
Beer
Sleep
Red meat
Marijuana
Sunlight
And now… Pizza!

As a one-time high school health teacher, I need to remind you that everything listed above is still bad for your health if you’re exposed to the wrong kind, the wrong quality, or too much.

And let’s face it, if your favorite vice is on that list, you’re probably abusing it. Don’t let my plug for exaggeration become your excuse.

But you’re not here to read disclaimers. You want to know all about fame. So look for ways you can give counterintuitive advice that will be good news for your prospects.

  • If you’re a financial planner, tell them why they should take longer vacations and eat out more
  • If you’re a fitness coach, discuss the importance and benefits of rest
  • If you’re a real estate agent, explain the benefits of paying off a mortgage as slowly as possible
  • If you’re a lawyer, describe an interesting loophole that can save your clients a lot of expense and grief

Now, let’s sum up what we know so far:

1)To become famous, exaggerate something. Put a visible aspect of your life into overdrive.

2)Tell the masses something that’s both hard to believe and something they will be happy to hear. (Dr. Oz had me at “Coffee is good for you”)

Now go on out there and do something to earn your fame! I want to watch you commit atrocities on YouTube. I want health freaks to name a new diet after you. I look forward to hearing anxious whispers about you coming from dark, smoke-filled rooms.

Most of all, I’m eager to see the masses stampede to do business with you, driven by your fame. They don’t even remember that you have competition. How could anyone compete with you?

 

What are you going to do about all those fans?

I told you I was also going to explain why fame is a waste of your time, so here we go.

I’ve got hundreds of thousands of Quora views, and thousands of upvotes and followers. But how many of my Quora fans need a copywriter? How many of them want to buy a book about biking across southern Italy and becoming the architect of your own fate?

Let’s address the elephant in the room. You can be famous if you want to be, but how many of those adoring folks are really viable prospects? And how will you even find them?

I’ve got an answer to that, too. Do this one thing (if you’re not doing it already) and you could multiply your profits and your effectiveness tenfold, according to some very reliable sources.

Next week, I’ll tell you what to do about that elephant in the room. I’ll show you how to harness and magnify the power of your new-found fame.

I’m going to give you the most important asset you can have, whether you’re an artist or a business owner.

If you want fame, and more importantly if you want customers and clients, you need to get this next thing right. If you subscribe in the space below, I’ll make sure you don’t miss it.

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Be the First to Dominate New Markets: Gary Vaynerchuck and Instagram’s shiny new toy

August 10th, 2016 No comments

instagram_storiesInstagram has a shiny new toy.

It’s called Instagram Stories. The new feature lets you link together pictures and videos in a slideshow format.

At first I was so excited about it that I poured olive oil in my coffee. But once the caffeine kicked in, I realized that your stories only last for 24 hours.

I decided it’s not worth the time and resources to build an asset that’s only going to last a day. Maybe for a special campaign dedicated to my followers, but on Instagram I just don’t have that many followers.

The Social Media Blues

In general I’ve been feeling a lot of angst over social media these days. Blog posts and YouTube videos can accumulate followers over the course of several months and years, but is it worth sending out a tweet with a half-life of 20 minutes? Or even a Facebook post that nobody’s going to see after a day or two?

Then I saw a Gary Vaynerchuck speech that made me rethink my strategy. (If you don’t mind his frequent use of the F– word, this 37-minute speech is worth watching). Gary turned his parents’ mom-and-pop liquor store it into a multi-million dollar enterprise.

There was bleeding along the way. In the 1990s, he attempted to sell wine on the internet. (If you’re under 35, you’ll have to listen to Vaynerchuck’s expletive-riddled speech to appreciate the gravity of this.) He may have built one of the world’s first shopping carts.

The website cost him $15,000 and only generated $800 in sales the first year.

But as the internet picked up traction, Vaynerchuck was already established. He was a pioneer, and he’ll tell you that pioneers always win.

In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (a must-read for every entrepreneur), the very first rule is to be the first at something. Being first is the “unique” part of a “unique sales proposition” (USP).

Eventually another company will come along and do it better, faster, and cheaper. But you’ll still be ahead if your company name is synonymous with the thing you did first.

This brings me back to Vaynerchuck. Whenever there’s a new platform, software, or any other means of sharing a message with an audience, Gary Vaynerchuck will stay up all night to figure it out. (You can almost hear in his voice that he probably gets too much caffeine and not enough sleep.)

In a podcast last May, he talked about Snapchat being the next big thing, and all the great things that would happen to a person who carved out their territory on Snapchat before anyone else was doing it. He said similar things about Instagram, and that was long before they unveiled Instagram Stories.

Maybe he’ll be right. But remember his early ecommerce experiment cost the family business over $14,000 the first year. He also talks spending 41 sleepless nights trying to figure out a platform I’ve never heard about. His whole point is that he’ll be right about some of these platforms.

What I’m trying to do is hand you a treasure map. Here there be monsters. If you’ve got the energy to play around with the scores of new platforms that pop up every year, you’ll probably lose both sleep and money in large amounts. social_media_map

But you could also strike it rich before the end of your career.



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Do you need new ideas? Try these tools

August 2nd, 2016 No comments

marketing_innovationInnovate or stagnate. That’s the brutal reality we live in.

I follow James Altucher’s advice religiously, and every morning I write 10 new ideas. Most of them are crap. The rest are usually related to things I’m already doing, so there’s only marginal benefit to implementing a new idea.

To paraphrase Altucher, someday you may have to sprint 100 yards to escape the velociraptor. If you’ve been sprinting every day for the past year, you’ll be a lot faster when the time comes. The goal, as Altucher will tell you, is to give your idea muscle a daily workout. Then, when you really need ideas, you can deliver.

I agree with this, but in practice I keep getting stuck on the same kinds of ideas. I’m essentially a teacher, salesman, and writer who likes to travel. Virtually all my ideas end up coming back to teaching, selling, writing, and travel.

In contrast, James Altucher spends much of his life talking to interesting, successful people from every field imaginable, and he also reads for hours every day. If you want to get the most out of your 10 ideas, you have to expand your horizons.

A Whack to the Side of the Head

Fortunately I’ve found two great tools that make it easy to come up with new ideas and banish stagnation forever. The first is Roger Von Oech’s “Creative Whack Pack.” It’s basically a deck of cards.

Before we move on, let’s say really quickly that you can probably come up with a lot of ways to use a deck of cards. Matt Furey made an entire workout system based on cards. Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt created a movement with their Oblique Strategies.

Each of Von Oech’s cards has a quick tip or question, followed by a cartoon and a story. They’re designed to get you thinking. This morning I picked up a card that said, “See the obvious” and had a picture of a mouse hiding in a cat’s ear.

The story underneath almost doesn’t need telling. No cat would ever think to check its own ear for mice. If you’re a mouse, that’s the obvious place to hide, right? The card asks, “What resources and solutions are right in front of you?”

social_media_obviousMore than half of this morning’s ideas came from that card. No need to reinvent the wheel. I have a lot of valuable, under-used assets already.

I pick out a random card each week, keep it visible on a shelf in my office, and ponder it whenever I feel stuck or I need another whack to the side of the head.

The other tool I use is Twitter.

I spend a lot more time reading tweets than tweeting. This is where ideas come from. There are two ways to get them.

First, just look at what’s trending. If there’s something big that’s related to your life, you’ll definitely have something to say about it. Probably more than you can say in 140 characters. This could become your next blog post or video.

Better yet, if you have the solution to a problem that’s trending, you may have just figured out how to make your next million and save the world in the process. Good job!

But more often than not, the trending hashtags are all about the Kardashians, the Trumps, and Beethoven. That’s when you need to dig a little deeper.

Search your own hashtags. Hashtag keywords related to your industry, your passions, or news that’s relevant to you. If you spend just 10 minutes doing this you’ll almost always find something.

Dromaeosaurid parade by durbed

By Durbed [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia

Don’t ever forget about that velociraptor!

Six months ago I had to outrun a velociraptor. I left my biology teaching job and had to figure out how to make a living. But I had almost a year of Altucher’s “daily practice” under my belt.

I sat down and wrote 10 ideas for generating income. Almost immediately, I knew that everything would be OK. I could figure things out.

The first project took months of hard work to implement, but now it’s producing a steady income for my wife and I. The second idea is starting to bear fruit, and I’ll test the others over the next 6-12 months. Meanwhile, I’m still coming up with 10 more every day.

This brings me to one last tool that you already know about. Your very own brain. You may be surprised to find how creative you really are.



Resources for this post:

Oblique Strategies: http://www.rtqe.net/ObliqueStrategies/OSintro.html (Highlight some of the pages to see the hidden text!)

James Altucher’s most important post ever: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/02/how-to-be-the-luckiest-guy-on-the-planet-in-4-easy-steps/

Creative Whack Pack (this is an affiliate link):

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6 Hacks to Upgrade Your Presence on Twitter

July 14th, 2016 No comments

There is a reason Twitter’s revenue is almost 11 times what it was six years ago.

According to StatisticBrain.com, 135,000 new users sign up for Twitter every day. (See the end of this article for sources) There are 190 million unique visitors to Twitter.com each month, but that doesn’t begin to give you the full picture. Most followers use the Twitter app from their phone, and don’t even bother going to the website.

It’s not a question of how much business you can gain with an active Twitter presence. Twitter is considered a source of news for 63% of users, so the real question is: how much business will you lose if you’re not active on Twitter?

1. Tweet your posts and product launches

If you have a useful, informative post you should promote it. You’re being followed by fans who are interested in what you say. Some of them are probably buyers for your latest product, so a new product launch is newsworthy.

Use hashtags that are already trending to make sure your post gets the largest possible number of views. (Use hashtags.org or similar service to find trending hashtags)

Invite your fans to tweet and retweet your articles and blog posts

Expanded Ramblings did a survey and found that 38.6% of users will tweet links to blogs and other content that they enjoyed. Make it easy for your fans to do this.

I like to use “Click-to-Tweet” by Cheeky Apps: https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-click-to-tweet-by-cheeky-apps/

You just have to come up with a tweetable sentence, less than 140 spaces. They do the rest.

2. Make personal contact with an important influencer

When I was a teacher, I Tweeted each of the founders of the Minerva Project, asking them how I could best prepare my students for the future. I got a reply within 5 minutes.

Leaders and celebrities are surprisingly easy to reach through Twitter, especially in business, publishing, and academia. Since it’s quick and painless, they will often respond directly if your Tweet is about something close to their heart.

Try it. You might get personal advice from your favorite guru. You could end up with a great story to tell. Maybe you’ll make a new friend.

3. Follow hashtags related to problems that your business solves

Imagine if several users post the same question or problem, and you personally respond with the solution. You’ll gain a number of followers, goodwill, and probably a new client or two.

If a subject is trending in your area of expertise, you know what to do. If the trend isn’t readily apparent, you could do searches for hashtags relevant to your business: #refi, #ServerMeltdown, #CaliforniaTaxLaws, for example. If you find one with a lot of recent posts, jump in and show off your knowledge.

4. Get ideas for new products, services, or content

James Altucher wants you to write 10 new ideas every day. It’s as important as brushing your teeth. I’ve been doing this for a while, but the ideas are limited to what’s already in my head.

Twitter gives you a constant feed of other people’s thoughts and news. Spend 10 minutes a day following the stream, asking yourself, “How would I help this person? How can I use this? Why does this make me angry? How would this affect my clients? What could my business do about this?”

When you have such a rich mountain of raw material, you’ll surprise yourself with the ideas you get for new inventions, blog posts, products, screenplays, and knock-knock jokes.

 

5. Test the response and reaction to your ideas

Before you spend a lot of time and money on a new idea, run it through your Twitter feed. Your followers might just ignore it, and then you know you have to express your idea in a different way or junk the whole thing. (Or maybe just tweet on a different day or time)

If your idea sparks controversy, you know you’ve found something you can work with. If you get a lot of enthusiastic encouragement, hearts, and retweets, then you know your idea will be popular.

I used to use adwords to test out new ideas. Twitter is faster, and you can’t beat the price!

 

6. Get it done faster and effortlessly

Twitter is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort. But I can get you started. This month I’m offering a bundle of social media services for a low, introductory price. It also comes with a money-back guarantee.

You’ll get ten Tweets that are relevant to your company and optimized to be seen. You’ll also get templates and a calendar so you can keep on tweeting into the future with or without my help. I’ll integrate your tweets with your blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page and more.

Twitter is just a small part of the entire package. You’ll also get content for blogs, YouTube, and Facebook. And if you’re not happy with the final product, you’ve got a month to ask for a full 100% no-questions-asked refund.

Just click on over to this link: http://wp.me/pxhzF-4h

 



Sources:

By The Numbers: 170+ Amazing Twitter Statistics

 

Twitter Statistics

 

 

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Categories: Social Media, Tactics, Twitter Tags:

Kickstart Your Social Media for $497. Money-Back Guaranteed.

June 9th, 2016 No comments

Nobody looks at the Yellow Pages anymore.

If you want your business to thrive, you’ve got to maintain a strong presence on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.

For $497 I’ll build you a personal content management system that gets your business into all the major social media, where everyone can see it. If you don’t like the work I do for you, for the next 30 days I’ll promptly refund every penny you paid, no questions asked.

So what exactly do you get?

  • A 30-minute brainstorming session to uncover the hidden potential in your business. We’ll find the qualities that will make you stand out and attract the best clients and customers
  • Fresh, original content posted on WordPress, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. This new content comes straight out of our brainstorming. It’s tailored to sell your services and products, but it is also material your market will actually want to watch, read, and see. We can easily fit it with the online marketing you’ve already done, or I can set everything up for you if you’re starting from scratch.
  • A flagship Youtube video. Google owns Youtube, and those search engines love Youtube videos. We’ll make a video that promotes your core message, embed it on your website, post it on your Facebook page and promote it through Twitter and Instagram. You could potentially reach thousands of viewers.
  • A Facebook Page that really works. There are two common mistakes that prevent your FaceBook page from turning heads and attracting real clients who want to do business with you. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, we’ll set it up right the first time. If you’ve already got one, we’ll level up your Facebook mojo with new posts and videos that increase “likes,” and leave visitors eager to come back and learn more from you
  • A personalized, easy to follow marketing plan with templates and ideas so you can continue to produce new content in the future.

If you’re unhappy with this service for any reason, for 30 days after we finish I’ll refund your money, all 49,700 pennies of it, no questions asked.

How do we start?

If you’re interested, call or text me or fill out the contact form below. We’ll set up a 30-minute session by phone or Skype, where I’ll ask you 14 questions.

Usually that’s enough to know whether we can work together. There may be a few follow-up questions but usually after the first conversation I’ll have 2-5 key points that will be the basis for most of your social media.

Over the next few days I’ll write up your core content, which tells your story and puts your business in the best possible light. Once you’ve approved this basic content, I’ll have everything I need. My team and I will get to work on your video, and soon your story will light up all the major social media platforms.social_media-marketing-deal-expires-August

All you need to do to get started is text 213-453-1327 or fill out the contact form below:

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