Business is Totally About Marketing and Advertising

Particularly with online business there seems to be an image of people who sign up for a program or two and spend a few hours max seeing what is going on there. They may read some of the documentation, and/or watch a video – sort of just ‘kick the tires’. Hopefully they bookmark their affiliate link for the program. Then that’s it.

They don’t seem to grasp the fact that nothing is going to happen now unless they do something with everything that has been provided to them. It can’t just sit there on their PC and in their member back office. The next step is definitely to find out what some effective methods are to market and advertise the link and use the other graphics and images that may have been provided.

This can range from suggestions and/or resources from the company that may include autoresponders (eMail marketing), list builders, safelists, solo ads, etc. You may already know blogging and article marketing in forums and social networks are powerful free strategies to get your links exposed in a discreet way without being a blatant spammer. (Tell a story – provide some value and then approach them with your link).

It can also include any other ideas that you may have (note: ‘ideas’ how good are they? How old are they? What are the results?). Ever hear of people getting actual results in the last decade? Sometimes it really doesn’t pay to do anything with old information at least until you have seen and used what the current ‘ideas’ may be since they have a more recent track record. Then by all means use everything possible at your disposal. You never know.

With any business – offline they principally depend on foot traffic and maybe hard copy ads etc., to get the word out about their company and products. Online there is very many more inexpensive and even free ways to attract traffic to your website, affiliate web page, blog or wherever you are displaying your affiliate link.

The point is do not sit and do nothing while you wait for someone to magically discover your affiliate links. Remember there are millions of links on the Internet and unless you are doing sufficient advertising and marketing to get your pages ranked in the search engines and/or otherwise visible to people, it is not likely you are going to get far.

An online home business is on your terms but it is still a business and there is work to be done if you want to succeed!

Pinterest’s Latest Changes Can Affect Your Business

Pinterest has recently been lauded as a terrific method of boosting traffic and online marketing for small biz, but the social media platform has also made a number of changes. For some marketers, the drastic shifts in how the platform works have been enough to dissuade them. If you want to know whether or not you should stay with Pinterest, then you’ll need to take a closer look at how the changes made will affect your company.

Automated Posting Could Be Rejected

Pinterest has changed the way they are accepting posting. It’s very popular to use a pin scheduling software to save time, but when you use something like BoardBooster to arrange your pins and automatically post them, you could end up being marked as a spammer.  Fortunately, Tailwind is approved by Pinterest, so if you want to keep things on the up and up, this is the option to use. It’s also a good idea to do some manual pinning from time to time, just to ensure things are legit. This can end up taking a lot of time, so you may want to hire a VA or Pinterest specialist to handle that side of things for you.

Interaction is Key

Pinterest is leaning toward making the site even more interactive and responsive than it already is. This means business owners need to focus on pinning regularly and sharing other people’s pins, as well. Again, this may require hiring help if you don’t have the time or interest in doing all this manual work.

Take a Chance – Realize You are the Determining Factor

Starting an online business from home is a chance.

Everything is a chance. Walking out the door in the morning is taking a chance. Nobody knows how anything will turn out. Here we are referring to taking a chance on for example starting an online business from home. It’s a chance. You may make a bunch of money and have a ball, or you may hate it and fail miserabl

The thing to remember is that there is no magic about anything. Nothing will happen unless you make it happen. In other words if you take a chance and start a business, then it depends on how much effort and interest you invest in that business as to whether or not it will succeed. There are of course other factors that we don’t control that determine if a business succeeds at any given time.

The point is that you can override whatever other conditions may prevail at any given time. Even if that means postpone, wait a little while and try again. Really the real winning way is to keep trying and keep forging ahead. Even if it is not a good time you will still contribute to your positive momentum if you just keep moving forward.

There are always going to be obstacles – it is just a part of life and business is no exception. You should look at these like a challenge to be overcome. Since we are not Superman, it may not always be possible to conquer every obstacle on the spot. However you can find a way around it and go back to it later. No telling what may change in your favor that will produce a different outcome.

It is actually a really bad idea to let obstacles cause you to stop trying or give up. Then you let them win. If you want to be the winner, then again you learn how to go around things, or create ‘workarounds’ or just simply postpone briefly. There are usually more than one way to do something and if you stop and think about things when you encounter an obstacle, you may come up with something very creative and which is an even better idea than the one that has the issue.

It is very common for human nature to always blame somebody else or something else when they fail. The truth is there is no fault, there are only conditions or situations. To the degree that we can control things, if we fail it is usually because we gave up or didn’t try in the first place. So if you join a company or program and you fall flat – ask yourself how it is others are doing fine with the very same program. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start over to try again.

Focus is the Only Way to Achieve Balance

It is very difficult to really achieve true balance in your life. Stuff always happens and you may find that that your perfect plan is being bent out of shape constantly. While your home business should be a top priority, obviously your family or any unexpected emergency would take precedence. As well if you are still also working at a day job that would be very important in the scheme of things.

If you have created a real schedule or plan that indicates what hours it is your intention to devote to your home business, then you should try very hard not to procrastinate or push it forward because it is the only one of your top priorities that you really control and can consider ‘flexible’. Ironically the time you spend online can be some of the hardest time to remain focused.

There are a million and one things that vie for your attention online, the minute you logon. So this is the place where you have to be really rigid about what you will spend your time on and what you will need to ignore. This is because you can really waste your time and start spinning your wheels. You don’t really get anything accomplished that will help you develop your business.

One of the worst enemies of keeping focused online is your email. The best thing you can do is make folders for the companies you do use and know; just push the emails into the folders without doing more than glancing at them to see if there is anything time-sensitive.

Companies you don’t know you can either push to the spam folder (wise) or if you see something you may want to read then have a folder for that named ‘Miscellaneous’ or something. However it is a real good idea not to do business with spammers and if you believe that it makes it simpler to get rid of much of the chaos in your inbox.

Honest to God, everything that comes in is not the latest, greatest thing that will save the world. Don’t be afraid to ‘miss opportunities’ by just putting them in the spam folder. What you need to worry about is missing the opportunities you already have because you are wasting time chasing after smoke and mirrors.

Strictly limit your time for email. Of course you want to respond to any customers or prospects as a priority, and be sure you have paid bills or renewed things on time. Maybe take some time to give the folders some brief attention. ‘Take care of business’ and then move on to something more productive.

Reading the jokes people send you, reading the news online, reading social networks and forums that are not directly business related must be seen as entertainment time. That’s fine but don’t include that in the time you commit to spend on your business.

 

Professional Courtesy Online

For some reason some people think they can just be as rude as they want to be online. It’s as if they believe they are dealing with machines and don’t feel that they need to be courteous in any way. People run the machines, and they do have feelings. Because they are working in ‘service’ does not mean they are sub-human.

There are several forms of abuse such as those that will just come in and tell you how to do your job or that you haven’t done something they expected, even though they don’t have a clue what is going on yet. They come in with a ready-made agenda and will send you a rudely long, tedious list to explain every single detail they could think of, and assuming you will do everything that they have determined will be necessary. This is usually before they even give the training or documentation so much as a peak to see what is necessary and/or what has already been done for them. If you have to say ‘it’s not my job’ in any shape, way or form, you can expect lots of attitude from there on out.

It would be a nice touch to have enough humility to pose the problem by asking a question rather than making an accusation. For example, ‘is there something I don’t understand?’ or ‘can you please explain why I can’t find such-and-such?’ So much kinder – whereas an accusation basically proclaims ‘you are not doing your job’ and/or ‘you have not met your obligation or promise’. How insulting when you know you have.

Then there are those that refuse to follow instructions. No matter how much time you spend trying to explain something logically so that they will know how to do it, they will not follow. At best, they will give it their own spin or interpretation as to what you must mean to say, and will do just sort of what you said. The problem is many things will not work except one way so they are going around in circles and you are forced to go around with them and wasting your time.

For one thing computers are just machines – they do not understand ambiguity – they understand off and on, yes or no, zero and one. They don’t get it with ‘sort of’ or ‘something like’. Just the same as why passwords have to be exactly what they are (for security) and web addresses need to be the exact correct spelling and syntax in order to function properly. Don’t start screaming that your website is down for the past week, when the problem is only that you can’t spell your own domain name which is running just fine.

Terminology is not inter-changeable so when a technical support or a customer service agent tells you to phrase something a certain way, when referring you to another site for assistance, don’t change the words around at all, especially if you are not sure what you are talking about; the person you are speaking to will not understand what you are trying to say and can only guess. Then they will either give you the wrong information as a result or tell you they can’t help you.

It is not fair that now you will have to take up more of someone’s time to explain again what should have been done or said the first time. Time is a finite resource for everyone – support is there to help you and they wouldn’t do that kind of work if they didn’t like it. But you need to realize they are human and have just so many hours in their day. Oddly enough you may not be the only person who requires assistance so please try to cooperate as much as possible.

 

What Are Your Whys?

What are Whys? Whys are the reasons you want to do something. It is important to remember your Whys because they will help to keep you motivated. It is not always easy to start a business especially if you are working a full-time job, have family responsibilities and little ‘extra’ money to work with.

Your Why could be that you want to give your family more than you are able to with just your day job. Your Why could be that you know you are capable of doing more than you are doing now and you enjoy the feeling of gratification or satisfaction when you accomplish more. So both of those sound ‘optional’ or would be categorized as ‘it would be nice’.

Then there may be a Why that is just a driving wish like a new fancy car, a new house or a luxury vacation. These can certainly represent strong Whys but again, they are optional. It all depends on how much you really want something to say how much it will help to motivate you to go that extra mile to achieve it.

However your Why may be more critical such as you cannot meet your commitments and responsibilities unless you have a second income – or a first income if you have lost your job. Or you may have some special need from an emergency that involves medical or other insurance co-pays. You just can’t cover anything extra with your current income.

In some situations you may have no choice but to get a loan of some kind because you need the money right now. Using any kind of credit or loans in a big way is never a good idea and should always be avoided. It is hard to win when you have an albatross around your neck like a huge financial obligation.

…But then you can still develop a way to pay the debt back as fast as possible to minimize the interest going forward. In any case, even if none of these Whys are yours, here is one Why that can cover the whole gamut: Your Why can be that you realize the importance of having savings that you can fall back on in case of an emergency or special need.

This doesn’t have to be endless and you can maybe set benchmarks that you will work hard to save so much and when you reach that point you can spend a little on something nice and ‘optional’. You do deserve a reward for your discipline and hard work. Then go back and start saving again looking forward to the next time you have earned something special!

 

Your Home Business – The Little Red Engine that Could

No doubt you have heard about the children’s book, ‘The Little Red Engine That Could’ written in the 1930s. If not, the crux of the whole matter is the little train struggling along to haul a huge load of cars and merchandise and as it goes it keeps repeating while it chugs along: “ I think I can, I think I can”.

So obviously in motivational literature this book is quoted many times because it shows the determination and strength necessary to stay focused and to ‘keep on trucking’. We will always just about anywhere in this life, no matter what we do, encounter obstacles and difficulties. If we allow them to become our focus then they will prevent us from doing many things we would otherwise accomplish in spite of them.

It’s as if it is some sort of right of passage that we have to struggle. Why? To prove we really want something enough to fight for it? Or conversely to weed out those things that will just be a waste of time because we really don’t care about them enough to fight? It seems appropriate to remind of the saying: ‘What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger’. So this must really relate to the belief that when we overcome difficulties and trials that we become stronger because we are conquerors.

Looking at it from the dark side, if we think we can’t then we probably won’t – Or said another way ‘if you think you can’t you are probably right’. So you have to decide on how you will function with your mindset. Plenty of us are used to being very negative because so many things are not in our control and we wish they would be otherwise, but can’t do anything to change them. We have to ‘accept the things we cannot change’. Very good advice but sometimes it is hard to do and we wonder why that is the best we can do.

We really have to force ourselves sometimes to see things in a positive light – to find the

good in things that really don’t appear that way on the surface. If you have to, then try to see conquering your obstacles and problems to continue on to do what you need to do as an exercise that is strengthening you. It is true that if you can learn to overcome the small things that this will help you when you have to overcome something that is really important or substantial.

Believe in yourself and stay positive. Try to focus on the light only and just brush off the rest and keep moving onward! It wasn’t a famous saying, or classic literature, but just a deodorant commercial – however it really stuck and is appropriate to this conversation. “Don’t ever let them see you sweat”. :)

Creating Your Own Lead Generation Videos

All of this equipment is not necessary to create lead generation videos. Most people don’t have a video editing suite and fancy cameras on hand, so where do you start?  The good news is that you don’t actually need anything fancy. The sites below are all good enough that you can turn out a lead generation video with minimal equipment, using either your own photos and videos or stock photos.

Animoto

This website is designed to give you all the tools you need to create a video for social media. You’ll find ready-made storyboards where all you need to do is plug in your images or videos. It is one of the easiest methods of building a video and customizing it to promote your funnel.  Even the most basic option allows you to use hundreds of royalty-free music tracks, though you can also upload your own. It’s an affordable option that you can try out before you commit.
Pricing: Free trial, $8-34/month

Kizoa

If you want to throw GIFs and effects into your lead generating videos, then this is the site you’ll want to check out. They even offer a version for iPhone, so you can film on your phone and immediately turn it into a high quality video.  Like Animoto, Kizoa offers several templates to help you get started, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. It makes it simple to create your own designs, as well, and has a full library of animations and effects. Once the video is done, you can share it on social media, via email, or even add it to your website.
Pricing: Free for basic membership, $29.99-299.99 for a lifetime membership

Masher

This site provides a huge library of videos that include footage used by top news organizations. You’ll also have access to music and images, as well as filters and special effects to make your video one-of-a-kind. If you don’t have much footage of your own, this is the site you’ll want to check out first. Masher gives you more than enough material to create a great lead magnet video.

Loopster

For short videos to entice your users to sign up for your email list, Loopster provides everything you need, up to a 20-minute timeline. You’ll be able to use graphics from their library or from your own. It also allows you to speed up or slow down video to create a unique effect. You do have different storage limits depending on the level of membership chosen.
Pricing: Free to start, then $4.99 a month, up to $129 every three months

WeVideo

With a massive music and image library, this site is a good spot to find what you’re looking for to build a great business video. It offers cloud storage and has a time limit on how much you can publish per month, depending on the plan you choose. The site also offers a business-specific option to help you turn out high quality videos to show your clients.
Pricing: Free to start, then $4.99-29.99 per month

Video isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you want to connect with your OSP customers and generate even more leads, you’re going to want a video or two on your site. However, it’s also a valuable method of lead generation and one that you’ll notice many marketers are using. It just makes sense to use what works, so the only question is, which site will you use to build your video?  Have fun with this!

Your Priorities are Your Predictors

This colorful code with all of its letters and symbols tells a computer what to do.  Your priorities set your mind in gear and quite frankly are predictors of your success.  Online Sales Pro provides the tools – or the code – for your business to do well, as long as you make that your priority.  Let’s look at more about this.

What Is Your Priority Today?

Make a list. Write down everything you must do – personal, family, business – write it all down.  Now take a look at the list and determine what must be done TODAY.  When you MUST do something, put a number by it with #1 being the most important.  If something doesn’t warrant a number, then perhaps it can be put on tomorrow’s list – or for one next week.  Be sure to include exercise – physically and mentally.

  • PHYSICAL. Work out at the gym – or do an exercise routine at home.  Eat properly.
  • MENTAL.  Play games.  Do puzzles. Read books.  Attend workshops or trainings. Challenge yourself to think beyond the norm.
  • PONDER.  Get outside. Sit quietly for 15 minutes and focus.  Listen to music.

What Is Your Priority Tomorrow?

Plan in advance.  Think of what you won’t get done today and put it on tomorrow’s list.  There’s hopefully always another tomorrow, so if you don’t get it done tomorrow, then add it to the list for tomorrow’s tomorrow.  What’s important is to set a plan toward your goal and aim for it.  For instance, if you are working to build your customer base, then attend one of OSP’s Lives on Facebook and learn more about building a list.  Aim for a goal you can accomplish in a few days rather than struggling with the details of a year-end goal.  By breaking that larger goal into smaller steps, you can manage the journey better. Don’t just plan your todays, but also plan your tomorrows.

What Is Your Priority This Week?

What would you like to accomplish by the end of the week?  Plan it out, day by day.  Start your week on any day you wish.  Perhaps you’ll start it on Monday and end it on Sunday.  Maybe you’ll be less conventional and start your day on Wednesday to have a shorter work week, splitting it in two.  Perhaps you do more of your online business work during the weekend, so start your week on Friday.  Whenever it starts, make a plan, a priority, to get at least one goal reached by the end of the week.  Think of the cogs and wheels that will get you to that goal, a task at a time, and plan those out a day at a time.

What Is Your Priority This Month?

You’ve got 12 months to reach that year-end goal, so figure out what stepping stone you will reach during each of those months.  Planning those will make that goal seem more obtainable to you. Along the way, you may tweak the various tasks, but make sure that each month has a purpose, has a priority, and that every week gets you closer to the goal.

Once you have determined what your year-end goal is, set your priorities to tell you what needs to be done today, tomorrow, this week, and beyond. Those priorities you have will predict your success.  Keep track of your accomplishments and celebrate each completed task.  With your list of things to do, let us at Online Sales Pro help you get there!

Getting Organized Saves Time

Running a business successfully takes many skills – and one of the most important is organizing.  Initially it does take time to get organized, but it is well worth it since you will save so much time once you are.

Clutter Costs Big Time

When you are not organized, your life is cluttered.  Not just your desk.  Not just the kitchen sink.  Not just your garage.  Your LIFE is cluttered.  You might not realize this, but clutter creates havoc in your mind.  The chaos is disturbing, and before you know it, you’ll be thinking in the negative.  You’ll become more pessimistic than optimistic.  Others will see your face frown more than smile.  When you think your brain is hard at work for you, instead it will be trying to sort through everything trying to keep you on the straight and narrow.  Before you even get started organizing your business, take time to do the following:

  • Clear off the counters in your house.  Put things away.  Do not leave them out to haunt you.
  • Pay your bills and take the papers off your desk.  If several items need your attention, put them in a manilla envelope and date it.
  • Throw things out.  You probably don’t need all of what you have, so pare it down. Just keep all you need and what you want.
  • Strip the negativity from your thoughts, because that is cerebral clutter and can put productivity to a halt.

Fear Can Stop You In Your Tracks

You may ask – what does fear have to do with this?  If you are usually rather disorganized, you will need to change.  Most of us are leery of change.  We’re comfortable with who we are and what we do.  Change is intimidating.  Acknowledge that and try to change one bit at a time.  Organize things slowly – even then you will see the benefit – and soon the fear of change will turn into the pleasure of being organized.

To L.I.V.E. is a Choice

An expert in organizing, Jennifer Ford Berry, captures her knowledge in the acronym L.I.V.E.  Spelled out in her book, Organize Now!  A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life, we discover that the letters stand for:  List – Internal Organization – Vision – External Organization.

  • LIST.  The older you get, the more you’ll realize that to help our memory, we need to write things down.  Create a daily list of what you need to do and what you want to do.  Cross tasks off the list once you have accomplished them.
  • INTERNAL ORGANIZATION.  Take this blog to heart.  Start thinking in a more organized way.  Plan your schedule so that one task flows into the next so you are not retracing your tracks.  It all starts off in your brain, that gray matter that keeps you moving.
  • VISION.  Focus on who you want to be, what you want to do, where you want to go, when you must start, and how you will get there.  Without a plan for how you will meet your goals, sadly, you won’t.
  • EXTERNAL ORGANIZATION.  Now you are ready to clean up your life and your lifestyle.  Make things fit.  Put things away.  Get rid of the clutter.

A favorite librarian friend of mine said that the best lesson she learned in Library School was getting organized.  The good news is that you do not have to go to Library School to learn this lesson.  By eliminating clutter, by embracing change, and by using author Berry’s tips, you will be able to manage all of the details so much better.  Use Online Sales Pro to help you organize your time, your business, and your contacts – and you will accomplish so much more.