Targeting Learning Styles In Your Online Courses

Targeting Learning Styles In Your Online Courses

Today’s post is about remembering that everyone doesn’t learn the way that you do and that you need to be mindful of the learning styles you use in your online courses!

There are three types of learning styles, Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. Generally everyone has a primary means of learning that falls into one of these three. As an online course maker, you should be aware of these and start to think about what that means for creating and selling your courses.

Visual Learners

Whoa nelly am I in this category! I have to see EVERYTHING and am very visual in everything I do and teach.

Visual learners make up between 65-80% of all learners depending on which study you read. That is a huge portion of the population and definitely something you should take into consideration.

This type of student will want to “see” everything. They will need to be able to “watch” you do things and will buy using visual cues.

Some types of content that work for visual learners:

  • Books
  • Guides
  • Videos
  • Screenshots
  • Infographics
  • Pictures

Calls to action that work for visual learners:

  • Watch this sneak peek
  • See in action
  • See how we are X
  • Read more
  • View portfolio
  • See plans and pricing
  • Watch the tour
  • View full X

If you are targeting visual learners you will need to use lots of pictures in your marketing too to make them stop and take notice of your course. A graphic for one of my marketing mini courses currently has 22 repins and 4 favorites on Pinterest (a very visual social media platform).

In a sea of content, you need to make sure that your graphics are glorious to get any attention from your visual peeps.

Auditory Learners

I have a friend and daughter and they are cyphers to me! Just the other day my daughter read a 4th grade story problem to me and when I asked to see it, she said all happy, “no Mom I will read it to you again”. Kir and Desy have to hear everything to understand it.

According to the University of Michigan, Auditory learners make up about 30% of the population. That would be a big chunk to alienate if you were just focusing on the visual learners. Auditory learners want to “listen” and “hear” everything.

Some types of content that work for Auditory learners:

  • Audiobooks
  • DVDs
  • MP3s
  • Teleseminars

Calls to action that work for Auditory learners:

  • Listen Up
  • Talk to an agent
  • Contact us today for a free X
  • Call now
  • Hear more
  • Listen in – it’s free

If you are targeting auditory learners in your marketing you will need to use a lot of “listening” cues. Right now is a great time to target listeners because of Podcasts. There has been a recent boom in Podcast shows and listeners and you can reach new customers by hosting or guesting on a podcast (especially if you can get on a big name one like my favorite, Entrepreneur On Fire by John Lee Dumas).

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic people have to touch and feel everything. They are the ones in retail stores breaking things because they have to pick up everything.

According to the University of Michigan, Kinesthetic learners make up about 5% of the population. This is a very small percent of the population, but you can make fairly easy accommodations for them using the content you already have in place! Kinesthetic people want to “feel” and “touch” everything.

Some types of content that work for Kinesthetic learners:

  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Mailed to them DVDs
  • Physical books
  • Printed notebooks

Calls to action that work for Kinesthetic learners:

  • Click here for a free sample
  • Print one out
  • Sign me up now
  • Download now
  • Sign up today!
  • Get your free book

If you are targeting Kinesthetic learners in your marketing you will need to produce some kind of physical product to accompany your course. Yes, you can offer them a download to print, but if you mail them the corresponding content to their homes or offices they will love you forever.

Targeting Learning Styles In Your Online Courses

All this is well and good, but does this mean that you should target only visual learners because they make up a huge percent of the population or that you should make Auditory courses because that is what you are?

Not exactly. But that said, it is much easier to create content for and relate to someone who thinks and learns like you do. I have to make the graphic for the course before I can know what I am going to talk about, that is how much I am a visual person.

You might hate talking on the phone, in which case targeting Auditory people who are going to want to “hear from you” probably wouldn’t be the best path to take.

Overall, you should be aware of your primary style of teaching and marketing and then try to incorporate at least a little for the other types of people!

Get Over Your Fear And Build Your Email Newsletter List

Get Over Your Fear And Build Your Newsletter List

Did you ever hear something so much that you kind of rebelled against it? I have been hearing for years that “the money is in the list”…your email newsletter list that is!

And I have a list. It is about 5,000 people right now, people who are extremely loyal and fun to talk to! They email me back and are generally really supportive of everything I do.

So why was it so hard to decide to focus on building my list? Here are some of the reasons I resisted…if you are doing any of these, just stop. Stop procrastinating or living in fear and focus on this one thing, building your list.

Okay, I get it!

I love Oprah and find myself quoting her often. But the one thing that really resonates with me is when she talks about that little voice in your head and how we ignore it in our lives.

I am sure that Oprah is talking about more important things than my email list. But if it is truly the heart of my business, then ignoring it could cause my whole empire to crumble (YES! I think of my business as my own marketing empire!…what is your empire?)

Lately the world has been telling me to build my list. People that I know, like and respect have been sending me that message in emails, blog posts and podcasts. And I heard them but just put it to the back of my mind and thought, that is for them, not for me.

Then my coach, who I adore and respect, said it. He said you can’t focus on anything but growing your email newsletter list. Not giving things away, not making free courses, but back to the basics, ask people to agree to hear from you on a regular basis through your newsletter.

Shit. That sounded really scary. Why would anyone sign up for an email list in this day and age? I have been teaching for years that you need to give them something of value for signing up for your list. Would just hearing from me be enough?

Then I thought about Sundays. Chris sends out an email every Sunday and I look forward to it and would be grumpy if it didn’t show up. I enjoy reading it and even hired him because of it. Hmmmm…maybe he knows what he is talking about. Double shit.

Sign up for Chris’ list today! You will LOVE IT!

A LOT of Pressure

Okay, so I buy that he can do it, but what about me? Yeah, people read my blog (I know you do because you got this far!) And people seem to like my books and courses, and sure they open my email messages…but doing an amazing job of sending messages each week seems like a lot of pressure.

I will have to think about what to say instead of just sending random thoughts. I will have to try to make them shorter so there is a value. I will have to make them focused to my three groups of peeps (Rebel Entrepreneurs, Realtors and Writers).

But not doing that now that I have have been hit upside the head with a brick just seems lazy. I am lots of things, but lazy is NOT one of them.

Technology Sucks

Another thing that was banging around in my head, messing me up was my email system. I use Infusionsoft and it is super easy for me to use, but I had to set up a landing page, autoresponders, etc. I had to get a LeadPages button set up and it would probably take hours, if not days.

Or so my crazy mixed up thinking told me.

Instead it took about an hour. Seriously?!?! I have been avoiding something that took an hour? Now it might take you a little longer, but it is so worth the time to figure this out!


One last thing that made me sad was people who marked my emails as spam. Because I don’t ever add anyone to my list without asking them first, this seems weird, but they do it.

And I notice. I made a point of checking who had done such a devastatingly horrible thing.

Seriously? I am not that kind of person. I am pretty bulletproof when it comes to criticism from random internet strangers. I don’t hesitate to post pictures of myself even though I don’t always like the way I look. I make video training classes with me in them even though I hate seeing myself talking.

But I was letting random people ruin my day. Even though I sent 12,000 emails in the last month, it was those 7 people who marked it as spam that made me stop. That is .058 percent of my messages that got marked as spam. Half a percent.

So no more looking at that. Only looking at signups. Pinky swear with you right now.

I will not allow internet trolls to scare me away from doing anything anymore! I will be brave and strong and bulletproof!

Get Over Yourself

My Irish besty, Deb Ward, talks about “getting over yourself”. She says it to me when I am being ridiculous about something. Say I am feeling worried about sending an email, she says “get over yourself” and it sounds really good because she has that Irish accent!

(I should make a wave file to play every time I have doubts! Then I won’t have to bother her with a phone call! HA)

What it means is that all those horrible thoughts swirling around in your head are probably not true. That all the things that you worry about rarely come to pass and that you should just ignore them because they are not you. The only one obsessing about this is you and you don’t get a vote.


Hopefully this helps you. I am not sure I wrote this for anyone but me, just to be brave!

Fearless Marketing For WomenIf you are avoiding something, stop, just do it now. If you are scared of what people will think, just get over yourself and do it anyways. Don’t wait for the brick, do it now!

If this resonated with you, you might want to take a peek at our book “FEARless Marketing For Women: How To Overcome Your Demons And Be Successful In Spite Of Yourself“.

And finally, sign up for my email newsletter…I promise it will be GREAT! Sign up today!

5 Event Marketing Tips Using Public Relations

5 Event Marketing Tips Using Public Relations

Public relations and marketing are definitely sisters in the truest sense of the word now. In the past marketing was focused on getting sales through paid means like bus benches, buying ads in magazines and billboards. Public relations, on the other hand, was about getting unpaid endorsements from media sources like magazines and television.

If you are having an event it is definitely worth your time to figure out a public relations spin for it.

Whether your event is online or offline, a big giant conference or a teeny weeny meetup, getting butts in seats is your only goal. You can have the best content in the world, but if no one shows up it all for naught.

1. Realize that the new “publishers” are regular joes and janes

Publishers have changed. Before it was easy to find places where you would try to “get press”. It was the local newspaper, maybe the area Business Journal and one or two content specific magazines. That model is totally fractured and never coming back. While it is good to submit a press release to your local paper (even if it is a national or online event), you will have to get way more creative to get the new breed of publisher to notice.

Ask to guest post on sites that have great traffic already
Offer a bribe (like free tickets) to an industry influencer if they will share your event with their network
Contact podcast hosts and see if you can be on their show
Pay for advertising or an email blast from their site

No longer are companies in charge of publishing and media. While there are instances where you will be dealing with a corporation, more and more often you will be talking to a person who has built up their own brand and audience.

2. Be respectful

Asking an editor at Conde Nast to publish a story about you or your event was not personal. They had a magazine and you had a need, pretty straight-forward. But today you really are approaching a person or small business much of the time.

I can tell you from experience that there is a right way to ask for things and a wrong way. Here is one message I got “asking” to post on my site:

I am keen to feature an article on your website as it would do wonders for my portfolio as a writer and also give me an ideal platform to share my thoughts and ideas with a large number of readers. (blah, blah, blah article titles he will write about)…Lastly, I am willing to part with $30 for your efforts in publishing my article, as I think it would be a sound investment I hope your reply is in the positive, so your readers can benefit from what I have to say. Warm Regards

Holy buckets Batman, that was beyond the pale, but understand that people who have grown big website or social media profiles get messages like this all the time.

While you do not have to offer to pay for their endorsement, please remember to be nice when you ask!

Public Relations Event Marketing Course

3. Give them something to share

If you are asking for a promotion on social media or in an email, please give them graphics and content that they can share easily. I get requests for a share all the time that are an official press release (no one is interested in press releases), a word document or power point presentation.

A “sharable” piece of written content is a prewritten email, tweet or social post that is not too salesy or self serving. Rarely will anyone copy and paste a sales message so you need to make sure it is fun and creative.

A “sharable” piece of visual content is a banner or picture that is formatted for the different social sites. I make two sizes, tall and wide. One is 1200X600 dpi and the other one is 600X1200 dpi. While those are not perfect for every social media site, they work well enough to be okay on all of them!

You have to remember that oftentimes getting a share is a split second decision. You send the influencer an email and ask for their help and they have a couple of minutes to post it for you. You need to make that process stupid simple for them to do!

No one is going to create a banner to share for you, you need to provide them with something that they can easily pop into a post. Additionally, please do not make them read the whole pitch to figure out what to say for you. Send pre-written content that people can just copy and paste!

4. Start making friends way before you launch!

One of the things that true public relation pros fostered was relationships. They knew the editors of magazines, rubbed elbows with big wigs and generally were people oriented people. While you might not need to do all that, there are things you can do make connections with the people who are influential in what you are trying to do.

  • Join their mailing list and email back with a relevant comment or compliment
  • Share their content on your social media and mention them
  • Participate in their book launches
  • Comment on their blog posts
  • Buy their books or courses
  • Leave reviews on Amazon, Udemy or other sales sites

Then when you are ready to launch, reach out to the ones that you “know” now and ask them to share your Event!

5. Make you event an EVENT!

If you are having an event that requires big time marketing and public relations, make it a big time deal! Oftentimes I will get a message about promoting an event and then go to their page or website and I can’t even find it there.

That makes me think that it is not all that important and that I should not spend my “social capital” on something that the organizer isn’t even excited about.

  • Put it on the front page of your website
  • Pin it to the top of your Facebook page and Twitter accounts
  • Email your database about it and ask if anyone is willing to share
  • Put it in your social banners
  • Share it often on your social sites
  • Make a Facebook and Google+ event
  • Put it on or for easy access

Overall, you need to take a public relations mindset about connecting and pair it with a marketing mindset of getting the word out and Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Time Management Tips | Everything Sucks The First Time You Do It!

Time Management Tips - Everything Sucks The First Time

Here are my top 7 Time Management Tips for getting yourself over a starting hurdle!

Doing marketing means that you will always have to try new things. Technologies change, the tools you use change and each and every time you feel like this is just going to be too hard to understand…ever.

Just recently I have been doing a bunch of new stuff technology wise. I am building a new website for my marketing mini courses (it is still Frankensteiny at this point but feel free to take a peek), setting up sales pages (I HATE writing sales copy), integrating a membership component (I swore I would never do that again) and about a gagillion other things that are making me blue.

BUT, and here comes the big pep talk that I had with myself yesterday, “just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean that you should give up or get discouraged!”

That’s right, EVERYONE gets funky when they have to learn a bunch of new stuff all at once. Here are some tips to overcoming that feeling that you will never “get this”:

1. Learn What You Need & Nothing More

I love learning. I am more than happy to watch videos about technical bits and strategies for setting things up the “right way”. I like to understand what I am setting out to do before I start and always wish that there was more documentation or training available.

But don’t get caught is “analysis paralysis” like I see so many business people doing. They spend hours or days (weeks?) researching and planning, brainstorming and asking everyone they know what to do. Make sure you aren’t spinning your wheels like this!

Talk to a trusted advisor, read 5-6 reviews and then pick a product, service or training solution. Don’t get bogged down in the decision making process.

2. Chunk It Down

I have about 4 moving parts to my current project. I have to get LeadPages set up for my sales pages, get my website set up on WordPress, integrate Infusionsoft into the mix and then developing the actual courses. Whew!

I think that the hardest part when you are doing a new something is figuring out what goes first, second and third. It is frustrating to start on something then realize you need a graphic to complete it, or to start a campaign in your email, only to realize you need to know the sales page first.

Don’t let this bother you! Just start a list of things to do as you find them and then start crossing them off as you get them done!

3. Just That One Time

It is REALLY hard to remember that some of it only matters when you are setting it up the first time. It is easy to lump all the setup time in with the doing time. For example, it feels like this whole process is taking FOREVER (actually I am on Day 3). So then I start thinking that doing courses will be too time consuming because they take DAYS TO DO…drama only in my head.

Honestly, the course took maybe 3 hours to make, I can sell it over and over and once the framework is in place I have an easily replicable model to use for the next 20 courses.

4. Write It Down

Which leads me to the process for making a system. Every time I do anything that I will have to do again I write it down in Evernote.

The first time is just a mass of mess and not something that I could use for a checklist, BUT it does put all the moving parts in one place. Then the second time I do it, I really try to figure out the best way to get it done. This is now a system that I can use and refine to get even faster the next time!

5. Use Tools To Help

I have mentioned a couple of the tools that I am using to make my training empire already, but I can’t stress enough that having the right tools makes all the difference in the world! If you are on a shoestring, use instead of Infusionsoft and and the free version of Evernote instead of the deluxe version. But if you have a little capital and are truly in business, spring for the tools that make you money.

My budget for tools to run my business monthly is about $500. Some are monthly subscriptions and some (like Zippy Courses) are a one time fee. While it is tempting to try to cobble something together from free products, often the time you waste trying to jury-rig something is worth far more than what you would pay for tools.

6. Play To Your Strengths

There are times you are just not good at something. Say you have dyslexia and writing is hard or impossible. Then you are going to have to farm that portion out. Or if you can’t even take the first step with a tool because you don’t know where to start, maybe pay for a little training to get you going.

That said, everything that you farm out to someone else increases your timeline. Because I do all the setup and work, the only one I can blame if it is slow going is me and my many distractions. Putting your head down and just working until you are finished is a great way to keep the ball rolling.

That said, ask for help if something really has you stumped!

7. Good Enough Is Good Enough

Last but not least is that good enough is good enough. Second only to analysis paralysis is the “I’ll launch when it is perfect” mentality. You can dink around forever with trying to get everything just right or you can launch with a “Minimum Viable Product” which is the least you can do and still provide a quality experience. In my example, I would love to have at least 4-5 courses done and ready to go, but I don’t. I have that one course and now I just have to build some more.

BUT nothing would be served by waiting to market that one course. It is really easy to think, “well I will start when I get the next thing done”. Don’t do that! Start as soon as you can!

The Rah Rah Bit

So I feel like this is a rah rah time management post for me that I just shared out loud with you! I have had times over the last few days where I despaired of ever getting any traction.

I have thought that this is impossible and I won’t ever be able to understand all of it. But just putting one thing after another and making lists of things that still needed doing have gotten me 90% of the way there. Hopefully this post will serve as the last little bit of inspiration I need to cross the finish line.

And hopefully it helps you when you are sure that you will never get done!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

How To Decide On A Non Fiction Book Cover Design

How to decide on a non fiction book cover design... #author #marketing #sellingbooks

Today’s author marketing post is about how to pick a non fiction book cover design. In it are some general ideas and then my all time effort saving tool that I think EVERY author should have (both non fiction and fiction)!

Before you even start looking at pretty pictures to use for your cover you need to find out what is going on in the industry. I like to start at the Amazon Kindle bestsellers store because it shows the covers in order from the highest sales to the lowest sales.

Then navigate to the category you are going to be writing your book for. My category is Business and Money > Real Estate > Sales. Here are the books that I am competing with in the top of that category:

Competing Books In The Amazon Kindle Store


So there are some that jump out at me for plain old design reasons. The very first thing to consider is contrast. The Amazon pages are always white so any books that are darker in color with clean edges will stand out. So for me the three white covers are out.

Malcolm Gladwells The Tipping PointFor a while there, white covers were all the rage with everyone copying Malcolm Gladwell’s the tipping point and other non-fiction bestsellers.

While I can see the pretty esthetic that might work in a physical product, my goal is to sell books so the plain coloring and wimpy font are just not going to cut it when competing on Amazon so the three white covers are out.

Next come ones with pictures. While I can see the beauty of having a gorgeous picture as the cover, that is really not a look that I love so I decided to start with some kind of illustration paired with words.

Here are the three that I came up with:

Comparison Cover Graphics

I loved the middle one! It was what is called “flat design” which all the rage now in design circles, PLUS I did a cool thing where I had each of the pieces of the umbrella a different color from the major real estate companies (in order Sothebys, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Remax). I was sure I had a winner…until I sent this out to my Facebook and Realtor list…here are the comments (there were over 40 on Facebook alone!):

Larry Arth – The brain relates to blue when it thinks of rain. Red is a color of hot. Rainmaker equals blue (I love Larry and he “gets” my concept! YAY!)

Trisha Grose – A…I think the shading on the umbrella looks more professional. Just my gut reaction – LOL! Best of luck! (rats, that came after few email A’s)

Debbie Coon – As a bystander with absolutely no qualifications- A is sharp and grabs my attention. B is “meh” C is pastel- ish Lol. Doesn’t scream “I’ll get er done!” (my glorious B is “meh”?)

Tanya Strauss Lenhardt – I’m drawn to the BLUE and I like the beach ball colors (that relates to Fierce Conversations). I prefer the more clearer font on A for your name though. (ah that is new…they like my name! YAY!)

Michelle Dube Vazquez – A really pops, C looks too muted, and B is just okay. (this is my “right hand” woman and I value her opinion highly!)

David J Deutsch – I love C! It looks cheerier and not like a rainy day! (I was worried men might not like the pink in C but lots of guys picked C)

Beth Hoskin – My vote is for C. A looks too much like emergency colors and B looks too forced with the rainbow of colors. (forced? my cute colors are forced!?!?)

And then my Besty, Deb Ward stepped in and made a request for the design of A but with the umbrella of C and the crowd went wild!

Rainmaker Real Estate Agent: A Marketing Approach To Becoming A Top Producing Listing AgentHere is how the final version turned out! I think it is awesome and really jumps off the page with the crisp black cover and graphic umbrella that catches the eye.

Additionally, if you are not in real estate, you might not be as familiar with the term, Rainmaker real estate agent, but it means someone who is making leads for their team and getting sales done.

That said, I was thinking about it on Amazon and while the “official” cover that I am using in marketing looks neat and I will have a chance to explain myself on my Realtor Marketing page to people who already probably know, like and trust me, I didn’t think it was easy enough to read the title when it was competing with a gagillion other books on Amazon…here is a mockup of the “official cover” on Amazon’s #1 page:

Amazon Realtor Marketing Page Mockup

Hmmmm…okay, I have the contrast and the pretty umbrella and the sexy bottom with red flares, but you can’t even see the title (imagine what it would look like on a cell phone!)

Let’s see what happens if we make the title and my name a little little bigger and bolder…

Amazon Page Mockup - Real Estate Marketing

Oh we have a winner! That is the final version I will use on the Amazon listing. I did have some observations as I went through this process…

1. Popular books. It is super important to check out what everyone else is doing! I use Kindle Spy to do all my research…this tool has taken me from hours to do my research to seconds:

Check out the Kindle Spy Software >>

2. Kill your darlings! There is a saying in the Fiction writing world, that authors should “kill their darling characters” or writing even if they totally love it. For this example I had to get over how much time I had taken to make the middle (beautiful) book cover and go with what my target market liked the best. This is NOT the cover that I would have chosen but I am not my audience and they do now know the whole back story so on my design. Because of this they were a great filter for what should get noticed on Amazon!

3. Creating Buzz. Doing my design in public this way has gotten my Realtor peeps invested in the process and hopefully ready to buy my book. I will be doing more marketing around this launch of course, but I feel like this is a really good way to start the process.

4. Publish quickly. I am publishing this book next week and will try to get people to buy it and leave reviews right away! I have seen people spend months (years) talking about writing and publishing a book. I would not do any of this kind of promotion until after your book is written and in the hands of your editors so you don’t lose momentum!

There you have it…how to decide on a book cover cover design in a semi-scientific way that will hopefully position my book to become a runaway hit when it goes up on Amazon!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

How To Decide On A Non Fiction Book Cover Design #sellingbooks

Product Development :: Discretionary Versus Strategic

Product Development :: Discretionary Versus Strategic

When you are doing product development, creating things like digital books, courses or even “real life” products, you need to know the motivation of your buyer to decide things like price, quality and the like.

I am creating a couple of products right now myself so I watched a really cool webinar last night by Chris Brogan and he put it in a way that immediately made a light bulb go off in my head, but maybe not the way that he thought it would!

Here are my versions of discretionary and strategic:

Discretionary is something that is not vital to your business or life. It is something that could fulfill some aspect, but you will not lose anything if you don’t have it.

Strategic is something that could help you achieve a goal like making more money or finding a mate and if you don’t have it then you really could be in danger of losing whatever it is. You might have to close your business or die a lonely death without anyone to love.

Discretionary Versus Strategic – Worldview

Chris BroganSo Chris’ thinking goes that in his world an ebook about Spartan Races in general would be worth less in price than something which was made to teach him something and which would have a measurable outcome like a menu plan or a training guide.

Note: Spartan racing is where a bunch of whacked out exercisey people run obstacle courses in the mud.

While his idea is great and what started this whole process in my mind, I think that we have to take a step back even further and ask what is discretionary and what is strategic to anyone in the first place.

I do not find anything about Spartan racing interesting so every bit of purchasing that would have to fall on the discretionary side of the equation, just because it has no value to me. So if you said that an ebook was $1 I would have the same reaction as if you said it was $100 or $1,000…no thanks!

So we have firmly established that Spartan racing is not a valuable use of money…HA!

Erin Condren Planner PageTrue confession time, I have a little planner problem. I have a online calendar that is neat and organized so that I don’t miss any appointments and which my assistant can see to schedule things that come up. But I also have an Erin Condren Planner that allows me to be creative, use washi tape and post picture of my little children in. That is a spread from my calendar.

To date I have bought the planner ($50), washi tape, stickers, a really super cute planner cover ($54), a bag that I didn’t like so abandoned ($30), and a travel case ($79) that would be good for lugging around all the stuff that makes my planner cool. I am probably bumping up on $200 in planner related spending. Don’t judge me…there are ladies who have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on their planner, they REALLY like them a lot!

While I would like to say it is not, this is TOTALLY a discretionary spend. I do not need my planner to run my life, I have a perfectly good (free) online planner that does the same thing, just more effectively.

So Chris’ worldview is that there are varying degrees of value to Spartan race stuff and mine is that calendars can be more than just a way of keeping track of time.

I think that is important and something to consider when you are building your products or services.

Chasing Rabbits

There is a saying: “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” – Russian proverb

Hearing Chris talk about discretionary versus strategic made me think of WHO would find my ebook or course to be strategic or at least unbearably needed discretionary.

I am developing this latest round of products for listing agent Realtors. Because I know the industry, I know what type of people listing agents are and the hot buttons that will make the want to buy…but I have to go one step further.

Listing agents WILL lose their business if they don’t have listings, but they could figure out how to get listings on their own. So as I think about writing an ebook or develop a class, I don’t just need to think about how to market the product after it is done, I need to make sure that it contains things that I can use in the product description which will make it either strategic or discretionarily desireable.

This may not be revolutionary to you, but to me it really struck a chord and made me look at the things that I have purchased in the past and why I felt spending my money was vital.

It has shown me that making a book or course that will appeal to the masses will only result in chasing a bunch of rabbits around. Instead I need to think about the few agents who are so committed to getting more listings that they are willing to buy all my products.

It feels like niche marketing but at an even more specific level.

Find out more

While I love product development and marketing, teaching you how to make courses is not my thing, it is Chris’ thing so if you want to find out more, please check out his course on making courses!

Stop Being Overwhelmed | Time Management Tips

Stop Being Overwhelmed - Time Management Tips

Are you sick of being overwhelmed all the time, thinking that whatever you are doing is not the right thing at the right time? These are my top time management tips…no I am not perfect but I sure do try!

My Name Is Tara and I Am A Time Addict

Cheaper By The Dozen - BookSo I have been a time management junkie for a long time. I have tried hundreds of calendars, time tracking tools, and time management systems. As I child I was fascinated by the book “Cheaper By The Dozen”, both because they had so many kids but also because the dad was an efficiency expert. In it the dad, who seemed a little weird, spent every waking moment trying to make his giant family more efficient.

As an adult, I have been fascinated watching people who seem to be more time efficient also. One of my favorite quotes is that..

You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncé

Now some people take this as a put down, that they are not doing things well enough, but I take it as a challenge. If I really do have just as much time as Bey, or Richard Branson, or Oprah Winfrey, what am I doing with the hours that I have?

Let’s be honest here, I used to have all the time in world. I had a great husband who paid most of the bills, no kids and a dog who needed to be let out occasionally. Then we adopted 3 kids and the wheels fell off! Those little suckers are not good for time management at all…great for hugs, super fun to love on, and wonderful little people, but damn can they take up every waking hour.

So I have had to figure some thing about time out.

Oh Crap, There Really Are Only So Many Hours In A Day

1. Oh Crap, There Really Are Only So Many Hours In A Day

If you are stressing out about time too much, I guarantee that somewhere along the line you got the mistaken notion, like I did that there are a million hours in the day. That putting something on the calendar would make the time to finish it magically appear.

Well that is wrong. So the first thing that you have to do is have a serious talk with yourself about being more realistic. If you want to accomplish something, then more than likely you are going to have to stop doing some other things that seem important.

For example, I gave myself two weeks to write a book. Yay! That is a week longer than I usually do so good on me, but what that means is that other things have to take a back seat for a while. I CAN write that guest post, just not this week. I can get my blog posts done, just not a big researchy one, it has to be more talky talk. I can let my family know that I will be head down working for a couple of days and that I still love them, but I will be a little less available.

Now you do this….so if you are reading all of this, it is time for you to start putting your money where your mouth is. You need to make a realistic “perfect week” calendar that shows all the time you realistically have. Here is mine:

Perfect Week

You Really Can't Do It All

2. You REALLY Can’t Do It All

So my next big epiphany after seeing my calendar in a realistic light of day was to realize that I had A LOT of things that I could do, but not all of them were equally important (to my business, my kids or me).

I took a look at all the things that I had on my to do list and started ruthlessly chopping things out. Facebook, hmmm not for me so much. Yes I do pop in occasionally, but social marketing efforts are focused on Twitter instead. Writing books and creating products, front and center, prospecting for more social media monthly clients, off the list. See I don’t love doing that kind of work and I have to be careful that anything I spend my time on is moving me toward my future fabulous life, not just keeping me treading water where I am now.

On the Mommy front, I had to admit that I would never get the Mother of the Year award. I am not going to be able to volunteer to be class mom, I will not be running my kids to 5 play dates a week and no, they can’t be in 3 extra-curricular activities a week (although they can all pick one that they are interested in). I don’t dress like the other Moms and I am not interested in doing a coffee clutch to talk about children, I like talking about marketing.

You do this now… so now that you know how much time you have, figure out what is important to you! Make lists, ask other people what you are good at, go on an off-site meeting with just yourself and figure out what is important to you (not what you THINK should be important). Be brutally honest with yourself and just pick a few things that really matter.

Stop Saying Yes, Right Now

Stop Saying Yes, RIGHT NOW

I have two time management challenges…being nice and squirrels.

First off, when someone asks you to do something, it always seems easier to say yes than to have to make them sad or let them down. We went to the Bunny House the other day and my middle girl, who really will help take care of it, asked for a rabbit. I SO wanted to say yes, but I know who will be feeding the bunnies, cleaning up after them and taking them to vet. I am already at my limit for animals with a dog, two cats, a gerbil (who Desy takes care of) and a fish.

This happens in business too! A dear man asked me if I could help him find a location to hold his event. I SO wanted to help, but that is not something that I am good at. I said no but I would help with his graphics and everything turned out great. But for a moment I thought…well I could help with that. It would so have turned out badly, I would have spent way to much time doing something that is not in my wheelhouse.

Your turn…make no your default. I KNOW, that sounds terrible and you might feel like you could let someone down, but say no and only agree to do things that fit into your plan!

Now to squirrels. They are everywhere! There was that really cool course about marketing books that I could buy, I could research Meerkat the new social network and get on board early, I could start a new website, or do a video a day, every day.

I am sure that there are squirrels in your life too! You really do have to stop chasing your tail and start having a real focus on what matters. Vow to ignore squirrels for just one week and see if you get more done. Ignore the ads, don’t open emails that could get you off track, put your butt in your chair and do your work-work for a whole week without even entertaining doing something new and different.

Get Some Help

Get Some Help

For some of you, this kick in the pants will be enough. You will be able to take this advice, turn your life and time around and go on to live a blissfully happy life.

For me, I needed a little help. I hired a business coach who I admire and respect. I pay him what is a big sum of money to me and then listen to what he says to do. When the squirrels pop up I ask myself if they are on track with what we have decided is important (they never are).

Now, I had hired coaches in the past and they hadn’t worked. Some were group coaching (that is NOT for me), some were charlatans who sold a good game and didn’t come through and some were well meaning but just not for me.

I know that all top athletes and business moguls have coaches so I bit the bullet and signed up.

If you need help with time management, goal setting or marketing, I would love to talk with you for a few minutes to see if we would be a good fit to work together! I have a One On One Coaching program that has helped many business owners get out of their own way and get on track to having a great business and life! Call today to find out more (727) 415-9165

Researching Categories, Sales Rank and Keywords For Amazon Kindle Sales | Author Marketing

Researching Categories, Sales Rank and Keywords For Amazon Kindle Sales | Author MarketingAuthor marketing is actually kind of fun. It allows me to take all the bits from other kinds of marketing that I already understand and put them together to make a brand new form that helps with book sales.

Today we are going to be talking about doing research for your Kindle eBooks for sale on Amazon. In some ways doing Amazon ranking research is just like researching for Google SEO keywords. There are four areas that matter to Kindle word-wise:

  • title of your book
  • subtitle of your book
  • keywords that you use behind the scenes
  • categories that your book is in

Each of these areas allows you to target and manipulate where your book will wind up in Amazon’s Kindle store listings. By using these pieces of the puzzle, you can figure out where you will have the best possible results and thus the chance to sell the most books.

Researching Book Titles, Keywords and Categories In Amazon

Big Fish In A Little Pond or Shoot For The Moon?

Before we go any further let’s talk a little bit about categories and whether you want to rank highly in a tiny little category or rank lower in a category that is harder to achieve. For example, our stock photography book ranks #13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Arts & Photography > Photography > Professional which is a tiny little category:

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.56.24 PM

We could also target a bigger category like Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Arts & Photography > Photography > Reference:

Amazon Store - Kindle Photography Reference


Now it would be great if you could just say that you want to get into that category, but Amazon doesn’t let you pick that far down. Instead they take factors like your title, subtitle, and keywords to figure out what categories they think you should be in. So my choices for photography categories run to Photography > Commercial and Photography > Reference and then all the other bits will have to make up for the fact that I can’t actually pick the category I like.

Photography Categories In Amazon

So there you have it, how to do some research to see what categories, sales rank and keywords you should be using to market your Amazon eBook.

Please note, I didn’ t talk about reviews which do effect the ranking of your ebook, but those are something that is less able to be controlled by you and more at the whim of others.


Kindle Spy - Amazon Ebook Research Tool

As you can see, doing all that research can be a seriously hard and boring task. Not only do you have to cut and paste over and over again, but to do all the top 20 books in multiple categories would literally take hours and hours.

And you can’t actually see behind the scenes to figure out what keywords each of the titles is using.

But wah wah, enter the most amazing research tool I have ever seen for the Kindle store. KindleSpy takes all that time and makes it disappear…doing hours long searches in just seconds!!!

>> Check out KindleSpy For Author Marketing!

note: I received a review copy and this is an affiliate link, if you would like to bypass my referral link, please do a google search for KindleSpy. that said, it truly is an amazing product and well worth the amazingly small cost!!

Best Twitter Accounts for Marketing, Entrepreneurs, Social Media, Authors, Podcasters and Startups

Best #Twitter Accounts for Marketing, Entrepreneurs, Social Media, Authors, Podcasters and Startups

This is my own list of the top Twitter accounts that I follow. There are some pretty stringent criteria that I use to include someone including:

  • Is it the person-person who monitors or answers
  • Do they share great stuff
  • Are they really using Twitter or is their feed full of just Facebook reposts

Now you might be asking me why I would have such a list and there is are a couple of really good reasons.

IMFs – First off, I like being able to easily sort through people on Twitter so I make lists like my IMF list. These are the people who I think are particularly interesting and I want to keep up with what they are sharing and help them get greater reach by retweeting their stuff!

Twitter Ads – The next reason for the lists is that I like to do a bit of Twitter Ads marketing and oftentimes the way to get the best results is to use the “following a certain user” feature. I can tell you that for me, a really good one to include in my list is Mr. 2Morrowknight who has a really big account and who seems to really be involved in working it!

I like these guys and gals. – Last but not least, I really do like being connected and seeing what these hip cats are up to! They all bring a little bit different perspective and I find that I learn something new from what they post!

PS – If I included your #Twitter handle on the list and you would like to be excused, please just email me and let me know tara (at) If you are going to leave a spammy comment hoping that I include your handle on the list, don’t bother. I have basically abandoned the comments section because it is so icky a place to try and slog through!


@2morrowknight – Keynote Speaker, #GivingTuesday Ambassador | Bestselling Author: The Road to Social Media Success |

@adage – Ad Age is the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities.

@AndreaVahl – Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. Creator of @GrandmaMaryShow. Improv comedienne and wine drinker.

@buffer – Buffer helps you share to Twitter, Facebook and more. We’re a team of 29 spread all across the world. Oh and we’re hiring, too!

@chrisspooner – The guy behind, I like designing, blogging and making pretty pictures

@ClayCollins – Co-Founder of

@CMIContent – Content Marketing Institute, CCO Magazine, Content Marketing World in #Cleveland 9/8-11, 2015! #CMWorld Twitter chats Tues 12pm ET. Tweets by @MoninaW.

@cspenn – VP Marketing Technology @shiftcomm, ninja, Marketing Over Coffee cohost, speaker, Buddhist. More: Latest book:

@derekhalpern – Investor & Founder of Social Triggers, which reaches more than 400,000 entrepreneurs each month. I’m 99% useless, but that 1% when I’m not, I’m dangerous.

@JohnAguiar – I Help Bloggers, Entrepreneurs To Use Blog Marketing, Twitter Marketing, Social Media. Kidney Transplant Rec – #6 Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencers 2013

@JoePolish – Expert marketer for entrepreneurs and small business owners; Genius behind Piranha Marketing; and Joe has some VERY cool friends.

@justcreative – Graphic Designer, Logo Designer, Web Designer, Blogger, Creative Thinker, Social Media Nut, Freelancer, Link Sharer.

@lilachbullock – Co-Founder of @CommsAxis with @danpurvis. #Digital #marketing, #socialmedia & #content agency. Get in touch today! Proud mum. #Zumba

@MarketingProfs – Head of Content here at ‘Profs. I’m waging a war on mediocrity in content.

@randizuckerberg – Founder @ZuckMedia Agency. Speaker. Investor. Radio Host @SiriusXM. Broadway Actress/Producer. Author @DotComplicated & Dot. Formerly Marketing @Facebook. Mom.

@RebekahRadice – #SocialMedia, Digital Marketing, Author, Keynote Speaker, Co-Founder @Imagine_WOW @eSocialSuccess | Coffee addict, sunshine lover & nuts about my 2 pups!

@SalesWhisperer – Marketing Automation Guru | Sales Trainer | Keynote Speaker | The Sales Podcast | Author | Copywriter | Infusionsoft-HubSpot-Ontraport |

@TARAdactyl – #Marketing Coach, CEO Marketing Artfully, Bestselling Amazon Author & Speaker (this is me!)

@WarrenWhitlock – Forbes Power Influencer, Hacker, Futurist, Radio Host, Author, Speaker, Blogger and Friend


@AliBrown – Entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor (and mom of twins!) helping women around the world step into redefined business leadership

@BarbaraCorcoran – Shark Tank, entrepreneurs, motivation, business, real estate. Today Show, GMA.

@brianclark – Founder: , Host: , Curator: .

@businessinsider – What you need to know.

@chrisbrogan – NYT Bestselling author & leading authority on owning the game you most want to win. Courses: . contact:

@garyvee – Family 1st! but after that, Businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of #AskGaryVee show and a dude who Loves the Hustle, @Winelibrary & the @NYJets


@MarshaCollier – Author 48 books: Social Media Commerce, eBay, Online Customer Service. Forbes Top 10 Influencer, Futurist, GigaOMAnalyst, Founder #CustServ chat #techradio host

@marieforleo – I’m here to help you make a difference & be your happiest, wisest & most loving self. Want to be sure to reach me? Write info at XO.

@mcuban – Cyber Dust ID: blogmaverick

@MichaelHyatt – Author of New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Founder of Platform University and Best Year Ever.

@michaelport – father, friend, lover, revolutionary, big thinker… and best selling author

@richardbranson – Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at @virgin!

@travisk – Uber CEO. Serial entrepreneur.


@BlairReeves – Building at @Demandware. Ex-IBMer. Marketer, PM, developer. Blogger on ecommerce and marketing tech. Also my jam: economics, global development, biscuits.

@craignewmark – customer service rep & founder for craigslist & craigconnects. Media inquiries please email:


@jonathanfields – Dad, husband, maker, entrepreneur. Fueled by possibility and dark chocolate. Founder of .

@loic – enjoying every minute.

@pmarca – ‘Andreessen is the quintessential guy who is wrong with corporate America…Hard to hear, talks with a squeaky voice that only a dog can understand.’–Carl Icahn

@sgblank – Customer Development & Secret History, Teaching at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia

Social Media

@AmyPorterfield – I’ll show you exactly how to monetize your online marketing efforts and grow your social media fan base, grow your email list and boost your profits.

@debsylee – International Social Media Advisor, Speaker • C-Suite Twitter Mentor • Forbes Global Influencer • HuffPost Blogger • Powered by lipstick, yoga and rugby

@Dede_Watson – ✭ Social Media Strategist, FORBES Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer ✭ Personal Brand Builder #Entertainment #Media @chelseakrost @JNSantaniello

@Don_Crowther – Social media and online marketer, consultant and speaker. Founder and creator of 3XSocial & Social Profit Formula

@equalman – The Tony Robbins of Tech

@jeffbullas – CHIEF EVANGELIST-SHUTTLEROCK Social Media Marketing Strategist & Speaker,Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer,Huffington Post Top 100 Business Twitter Accounts

@joelcomm – Author of 9 Books, Keynote Speaker, Corporate & Small Business Consultant, Brand Ambassador, Wannabe Comedian

@kimgarst – Social Selling Pro, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, CEO, @Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer, @HuffPostBiz Contributor. Loves God, family & hockey!

@LinkedInQueen – Eve Mayer is CEO of Social Media Delivered. Author of The Social Media Business Equation and Get It Girl Guide to Online Dating. Professional Speaker & Humorist

@lorirtaylor – When it comes to your brand, decaf just won’t cut it. Tweets by Team Caffeine. Visit us for more #Blogging #SocialMedia and #Marketing tips.

@loriruff – Chief Brand Evangelist @ALPFANational Advocating Transformative Change ★ Forbes Top 50 Influencer #SocialMediaMarketing ★ #GreatContent #RockTheWorld w/LinkedIn

@MariSmith – Social Media Thought Leader | LOVE Facebook Marketing! | Globe-trotting Speaker | Author | ‘Mari like Ferrari’ ➤ Meet me in San Diego!

@MelanieDuncan7 – A serial entrepreneuress, and Pinterest marketing expert, I now teach others how to grow their online businesses.

@Mike_Stelzner – Founded Social Media Examiner @smexaminer, host of Social Media Marketing podcast, authored Launch & Writing White Papers. Committed Christian and dad.

@SueBZimmerman – U eat drink & breathe? I launch businesses | Branding Online Media | @CreativeLive Instructor | Hashtag Expert | Creator of Insta-Results

@sacca – Married to @crystale, dad to @CCEleven & @CircaLuna, investor in @Twitter, @Uber, @Instagram, @kickstarter & other startups. Learn more:

@tedcoine – CMO of . Co-Author of A World Gone Social. Forbes Top 20 Influencer. Inc Top 100 Leader & Speaker. #leadership

@TedRubin – ‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ :-)

Author Marketing

@alaindebotton – Take a look at: …

@ChuckWendig – Campbell-nominated author of: BLACKBIRDS, UNDER THE EMPYREAN SKY, BLUE BLAZES, more. Writer of film, comics, games. Keeper of terribleminds. NSFW. Likely NSFL.

@dduane – 30+ years in print, 50+ novels, assorted TV/movies, NYT Bestseller List a few times, blah blah blah. Also: #YoungWizards 1983-2016 and beyond.

@DeanWesleySmith – Professional Writer of over 100 Novels

@HarlanCoben – Author. Details at . I came up with that website name on my own. I’ll wait for the applause to die down.

@hughhowey – Author. Photographer. Reader.

@jamesscottbell – Award winning thriller writer, and #1 bestselling writing coach. The Suspense Never Rests™

@jasonpinter – Founder and Publisher of @PolisBooks. Bestselling writer. Book lover. New Yorker. Email: jpinter (at) polisbooks (dot) com.

@jchutchins – Wordherder. Sometimes for hire. | The 33: | Freelance portfolio: | Novels:

@JLichtenberg – SF/Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal writer in HC, MM, Trade, e-Book, Audiobook. Writer, Editor, Reviewer, Screenwriter

@JoeFinder – Dad, husband, NYT bestselling thriller writer, Red Sox fan, Bostonian, Land Rover Defender driver, tomato farmer, owned by Golden Retriever Love Dog


@JohnnyBTruant – Speaker & Best Selling Author of over 2 million words ( ) Host of &

@KristineRusch – award-winning bestselling writer under Rusch, Nelscott, Grayson & a few other names

@neilhimself – will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.

@NickThacker – Author of thrillers: . Optimize your writing, life, and productivity:

@Oatmeal – I make comics.

@SeanPlatt – Publisher, entrepreneur, co-author of Write. Publish. Repeat. I write awesome books. People like them. Try one for free: …

@Shteyngart – Gary Shteyngart is a book writer.

@thecreativepenn – NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author . Professional speaker. Entrepreneur. INFJ

@TinaGerow – Multi-published author as both Tina Gerow and Cassie Ryan. Speaker, eBook enthusiast, lover of the written word.

@WarrenAdler – OFFICIAL Warren Adler, world-renowned novelist (The War of the Roses), playwright and digital publishing pioneer.

@wilw – I’m just this guy, you know?


@chrisducker – Author of #1 Bestseller ‘Virtual Freedom’, Founder of @VStaffFinder. Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Blogger & Podcaster!

@gjhickman – In love with mobile marketing & helping others grow their business. Founder Mobile Marketing Engine @mobilemixed

@jaybaer – NY Times best selling author, business strategist, keynote speaker. President of @Convince – A strategy consulting firm.

@johnleedumas – EntrepreneurOnFire: Awarded Best in iTunes: Ready to start YOUR Podcast?

@katiekrimitsos – Founder of the Biz Women Rock Podcast & Community & COO of the Tampa Bay Business Owners. Totally obsessed with all things Business and making global impact!

@LewisHowes – Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Former pro athlete & 2 sport All-American. Write books + dirty salsa dancer. USA National Team Handball athlete.

@PatFlynn – Lead by example. Be honest. Hold nothing back.

@RSPPodcast – I interview top self-published authors to find out how they made it, so you can do the same. Audio podcast every Thursday.

@TheRealSBBM – The home of Australia’s #1 #marketing #podcast for #small #business owners. Got a marketing question? Send a voicemail thru my website.

@TimboReid – Marketing speaker & host of Australia’s #1 business podcast. Chasing the world’s best coffee and Dad joke. What have ya got?

@TimThePaige – Husband and dad. Podcaster at ConversionCast. Conversion Educator at LeadPages. Voice Artist, Bearded guy. Diehard Cuse fan.


@bfeld – I’m a VC at Foundry Group. I live in Boulder, Colorado, invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons, and read a lot.

@biz – Co-founder of Twitter, Co-founder and CEO of Jelly Industries.

@cdixon – programming, philosophy, history, internet, startups, investing

@ericknopf – Highly caffeinated lover of entrepreneurship & startups. Father, Believer and Co-founder of @Webconnex. My passion is not being bored.

@jamesjoaquin – Co-founder at Obvious Ventures (former CEO @ Xmarks, Xoom, Ofoto)

@joshk – VC. Father. Geek

@mattjackrob – Co-founder of GoCardless. Sharing my experiences of starting a company. Also found at

@msuster – 2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to ). Now @UpfrontVC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs

@sir – Founder/CEO @MakeSpace | First Entrepreneur in Residence @UpfrontVC

Okay, those are my very top recommendations for best Twitter accounts for marketing, entrepreneurs, social media, authors, podcasters and startups. If you have someone I missed and who will enrich my marketing life…PLEASE let me know!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Startup Marketing – How To Rock Your Marketing…Like A Girl Scout?

Startup Marketing - How To Rock Your Marketing... Like A Girl Scout?

If you are looking for some great startup marketing tips, look no further…find out how to market like a Girl Scout and skyrocket your sales!!

Starting Up A Girl Scout Cookie Business

So my daughter is a Girl Scout now and we were super excited to get to be part of selling cookies! But what I didn’t realize at the time was how cool it would be to be able to take a look back at the start of a business and see ways that we could do marketing without any big networks or huge marketing budgets. Here is quick overview of some of the things that we are doing (thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk who graciously said I could use his video!)

Clouds and Dirt

So Gary’s advice was to go “clouds and dirt”, meaning try for viral online and then feet on the street! I think that we have accomplished this with our multi-pronged approach to selling. Here are some of the ways that we have been marketing the cookies with comparable ways you could do this for your startup!

Video Marketing

Every one of you is carrying around a high definition movie camera. We did one-on-one videos that we just texted to potential customers. If you are doing this for your business, I would definitely go through your contact list and see if there there is anyone who expressed an interest in your product or service and who might well buy if sent a personal message from you!

Another way you could this is to contact the “connectors” in your personal life…you know those people who seem like they know everyone. You could tell them a tiny bit about your business and offer to take them to lunch.

It is funny, our brains are wired to think we “saw” someone when we watch a video or see them in a photograph. Whether they answer your text back or not, I guarantee that they will notice that you sent them a video!

Don’t Try To Make Your Own Technology

Unless you are starting a tech company, DO NOT under any circumstances try to “develop an app” or do anything crazy out of the gate technology-wise. Without a critical mass of people who even know you exist, it is a waste of time to try to build the biggest website or the grandest Facebook contest ever.

We used the website the Girl Scouts gave us because the order form and delivery were built right in. Now, I do recommend that legitimate companies use a self-hosted WordPress website, but I honestly can’t tell you how many times a business owner has come to me with a tiny budget and said they want to build Amazon.

First off, there is already an Amazon so unless you have DEEP pockets, sell your stuff there or on Ebay or Etsy instead. Second off, I love the process of building a bit of your empire and then making sure there is a need in the marketplace and then doing that again (LeadPages’ CEO Clay Collins did this brilliantly and he WAS a tech company!)

Girl Scout Website

See it live Desy’s Girl Scout Cookie Site

Social Media

So I feel like Social Media was the least effective way of selling cookies. While we did hook up with some out of town people, there were not crazy orders coming in from Facebook or Twitter that were not people who weren’t already following along with our lives.

I think that there would be a chance that I could try to “go viral” with some of the people that I know, but because this is so personal to me, I just reached out either with a Desy video or even an email from me, rather than blasting “buy my cookies, buy my cookies” over an over again on Facebook or Twitter.

That said, we got some fun shares!

Facebook Girl Scouts

Old School Marketing

What was effective for selling cookies was getting out in the community and talking to strangers. Here are my top A-ha moments from our travels…

1. You have to brand yourself. Once we got Desy a Girl Scout vest, we made sure she wore it whenever we left the house. At Michaels Craft store we sold two boxes to a lady passing by and in the beauty parlor we sold $44 worth of cookies to the hair gals who asked Des if she was selling cookies. In the real world you need to make sure people can tell by looking at you what you do. This can be by wearing a t-shirt with your logo, having a nametag or even wearing a branded hat.

Door Knocking - Girl Scout Cookies

We also put car signs on our Jeep. This is a great way to let people know what you do! Bonus points if you put your picture on your car signs!

Girl Scout Cookie Car Signs

As a startup, you need to be ready to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along when someone notices what you do.

2. Sell an established product. I have talked to A LOT of people who want to find something super new and innovative to sell. They want to “create the market” and “dominate a new industry”. I am here to tell you that selling something that is widely recognized takes a lot of sting out of the sales process.

Now I do think you should niche down as far as possible in your industry, but don’t try to make your products and services sound so new and weird. Give people a framework for understanding what you do and then you can differentiate yourself with your own key benefits.

3. Don’t be afraid to show up. We signed up for the cookie booth table, even though we knew those sales would be a small percentage of our actual numbers. That said, Desy gained the camaraderie of being with her new troop members and got a chance to see a bunch of real time reactions to her pitch.

For startups this could mean attending trade shows or going to networking. Sales is great and fun, but until you tell lots of people about what you actually do or sell, it is hard to gauge how well the marketing place is receiving it.

Cookie Booth - Girl Scouts

4. Have handouts. It is great to have a business card to give people, but most times there is no “what’s in it for me” factor to that. If you are going to take the time to door knock, network or meet people, please make sure that you have some sort of “leave-behind” in case they don’t buy right away.

Girl Scout Cookie Flyer

Asking for the sale

One of the things that I am super proud of is that Desy is not afraid to ask if you would like to buy Girl Scout cookies. As a business owner, you need to be brave like Desy and ask people if they would like to buy your product or service.

The first few times it might be scary, but after that it gets easier and you will sell A LOT more!

PS – If you would like order Girl Scout Cookies, check out Deslynn’s site >> here <<

Now That You Have A Business Strategy, You Need A Marketing Plan

Now That You Have A Business Strategy, You Need A Marketing Plan

So I was lifting my skirt a little bit last week when I was talking about my Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling Apart (if you are going to be playing along today, it might worth it to check out that one first).

In a nutshell, I sat down and really focused on what three areas of my business would most fit my life now and have firmly decided on:

  • Affiliate Sales
  • One-On-One Coaching
  • Clients (SMM)

These are my business strategy for the rest of this year. Whoo whoo! How freeing. If it is something else that is shiney and pretty, it has to wait a while to get my attention.

Is This A New Business Strategy?

I was talking with a potential coaching client the other day and he was a little surprised that I wasn’t going to try and tell him all different kinds of new things that he could do to market his business. Instead we looked at what he was already doing and just restructured his efforts.

“Tara Jacobsen and Marketing Artfully were exactly the punch in the face I needed to get me focused on what’s really important for my authority-based business. I didn’t even know I had an authority-based business, until Tara showed it to me. Now I have direction and (way more important) a kick-butt strategy for moving fast toward my goals. I’m a raving fan.”

Me going through this process is the same. I had to really sit down and take a look at all the things that I have right now and how they will fit into my goals and lifestyle.

If you are playing along at home, mostly you don’t have to look beyond what you are already doing, you just need to either focus all your bits at one target or cut out the bits that not helping you get where you want to go!

A Marketing Plan

If you are reading this post, there is a good chance you at least sort of like marketing! Well I am here to tell you that I don’t just like marketing, I LOVE IT! And because of that, there are so many things I COULD do marketing wise that I am drowning in possibilities.

But worse than that, I am spending all my time feeling guilty that I am not doing everything I have heard about and doing it well. So now I am back to the notecards…

Business Strategy and Marketing Plan

Okay, I have three pages of “could dos” (I am a marketing junky…don’t judge me!)

These include:

  • blog posts daily
  • blog posts 3X per week
  • keyword videos
  • podcast
  • free webinars (selling?)
  • paid webinars
  • stickers – inlinkz
  • stickers – sales page
  • ebooks – amazon ads
  • ebooks – evernote banners
  • meet edgar
  • download pictures daily
  • quote graphics daily
  • quote graphics 3X per week
  • social media – twitter
  • social media – facebook
  • social media – pinterest
  • get 50K visitors month to blog
  • email – fix autoresponders
  • email – lead boxes resources
  • infusionsoft quiz
  • paid newsletter
  • update social media with new info
  • writing linkedin posts
  • writing medium posts
  • daily short videos
  • book promotion videos
  • IMF – making friends
  • get 50K twitter followers
  • twitter ads
  • funny mail
  • creative do dads
  • half postcards
  • direct mailings (to who?)
  • daily instagram pictures
  • tweek website
  • fix about us page

Nothing But Time

If I had 100 hours in a day, I would love to do most of those things (just having them all in one place let me see that there are a couple I wouldn’t want to do anyways). So my next step is to make a “perfect week” or “perfect month” calendar that will show exactly how much time I have to do all these wonderful things.

Carlendaring & Marketing Planning

So there is a basic layout of my week. I have left some a little wiggle-room time (the fabulous Chris Brogan says to leave 40% but I am a bit tighter than that. So functionally it looks like I can have 2 coaching clients a week for a total of 12-ish monthly right now (I am at at 8 and closing my doors soon). When I turn over the SPP social media guys I can add some more coaching clients, but sort of glad that I have a 6 week runway for getting this started.

For you it might look differently. You might be a night owl who can do their blog posts after everyone has gone to bed or you might not have as much time tied up in client work.

Whatever you do decide, you cannot add more hours in a day. I think that is the biggest mistake I see people make. They have all these great plans and schemes, but then cannot implement because there is no time to do everything they have committed to.

The Marketing Plan Details

Okay, we are down here where the rubber meets the road now! It is great that I have all the big areas filled up, but what is going to go into the blog parts, videos and podcast content. What should I do in my foundation work blocks.

I am a super nut about having checklists so I made myself a worksheet that will show EXACTLY the tasks that I have to get done each day. Because I have thought them out carefully and said that THESE are the things that matter, I feel confident that I will be able to get at 75% of them accomplished weekly.

Wait a second…what did I just say? That I would not commit myself to doing 110%? I am as dedicated as the next gal and work my face off, but have also learned over the years that a great plan executed well will make much more of a difference than a perfect plan abandoned because of ridiculous expectations.

Instead of thinking like a drill sergeant, I like to be a little kinder to myself and go with the old Alcoholics Anonymous model, know what your goal is and then take one day at a time. If I miss a day, all is not lost. I pick myself off, stop with the horrible self talk, dust myself off and win the next day instead!

So there you have it! My mini business strategy and marketing plan seminar, all in two posts! If this helped at all, please email me at tara (at) and let me know. I love hearing success stories!!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling Apart

Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling ApartToday’s post is a little different… instead of talking about what we could do as marketers, I wanted to share a little bit about what I am doing and how it is making me a better business person, Mom and money maker.

The Back Story

So I have been in business for myself for a long time. About 15 years ago my dream job with the perfect boss got sold to another company and I was on the streets. My future husband at the time was okay with me starting my own business and so I set out to do SEO and make websites. That was mildly successful, then I contracted to a manufacturing company, had a couple of jobs over the years when times were tight and we needed stupid things like insurance and say a steady income.

A dip into real estate told me that I was good at it but definitely did not love the day-to-day problems that come with being a Realtor so I went back to my first love, marketing and we have been together ever since.

Now, over the years I have tried lots of different business models, services, products and other things to make money and have been 6 figures successful, but with a lot of work and lots of expenses. But that was okay. It was just Johnny and I and I could spend a weekend working if I wanted to!

Enter the kids! We were fortunate to adopt three kids and boy did everything get turned upside down! Instead of all the time in the world, now I had to guard every second religiously. I started some amazing and fun things that I couldn’t keep up because they took time away from what I had to focus on right now, family and getting it all together.

Flailing Around

So I coach a lot of entrepreneurs and none of them will be surprised to learn that from time it is easy to get off track, running down too many roads or not being crystal clear about what will work so you are doing a bunch of “stuff” and getting nowhere.

That is how I have felt for a little while. I have been doing four or five different things okay-ish but with no real strong center and goal. I have “tried” some things and seen some results but have definitely dabbled around without a clear goal.

Then I had a opportunity present itself. I could spend some time with a person who would be able to really help move my business forward, but what the hell would I tell him I do? Would I sit there with the list of all my little bits and be just frozen? Hell no! I needed to get a business strategy in place…:)

Time Management - What I Could Do

So I drank my own Koolaid. I had an offsite meeting with myself and sat down to write all the things that I could or was currently doing. I measured 4 metrics…

Smiley, straight or sad. Did doing that work make me happy (smiley face), not bother me or neutral (straight face) or sad (frowny face). Now I had done this with tasks before and I am pretty good with what I like to do and what I am good at, but this was deeper. It went more to the heart of what I wanted to do with my next five years or so.

Stars. The next thing I did was to assign stars to the tasks and see which things I felt innately good at doing. This was between no stars (meaning I suck at it), one half a star (meaning I can do it but it is not an innate skill) and a whole star (I am great at it!).

Money. Next came whether doing something would cost money or make money. Now some of the things will cost money to ultimately make money like doing Pinterest marketing, but for this little bit I just wanted to know if it was a good money maker or not.

Time. Last, and maybe most important to me, was time. Would it take a lot of time or a little to time to implement the idea, product or sales channel.

Now doing this process was not fun. I had to take my own personal biases for what I thought I liked to do and set them aside and try to be sure to focus only on my actual feelings and interest in things. Seeing them all together helped too. If something was not a happy face, made little money and took time to figure out, well that got put WAY back on the list of things that I had to worry about.

Based on this list and the things that I like to do, I have come up with my Three Squares of focus (that is from my coaching program, it just means the three business things that I am going to focus on)…

  • Social Media Clients – I have clients currently and love them, but I will not be prospecting for any new ones.
  • Selling Affiliate Products – I have done this in the past in dribs and drabs but will now have it as a focus.
  • One-On-One Coaching – Now this isn’t the most money around, but it is good for me time-wise and it is a total “I like it” and “I am good at it” kind of thing.

Bah ha! I am good right? I can just head off into the sunset and start working…..NOPE!

Now I have to break down the things that I will do to support that in another round of happy, sad, etc. These would include things like making videos, writing blog posts, etc. that I can do to support my two main areas of focus.

Once I have that done, I can schedule my time to make those things a priority and jettison all the rest.

Why This Makes Me So Happy

So as we draw to a close, I just want to let you know why this warms the cockles of my heart. First off, I have the ability to control my work time. The things I chose can be scheduled around when I CAN work rather than when I have to work. I can do a blog post at 5AM if the house is quiet and do posting for my clients mid-morning when I am not as on it.

I can also control my income more because instead of gathering up all the little crumbs and bits, I can focus on doing things that feed into the sales funnels for just those two areas of my business.

I can plan tasks. The one thing that scares us entrepreneurs more than anything else is boredom, so fortunately I am not going to be bored. I can create a hierarchy of things to do easily based on how well or how poorly they support my efforts in just those two areas.

Some of the famLast but not least, I feel like I can go talk to the knowledgable person without looking like an insane disorganized mess. Honestly, my business wasn’t such a mess, it was how I FELT about what I was doing that was the problem. I mostly work with super successful people like myself who are great at doing things and less good at understanding why we do them or channeling energy into the right places to maximize success!

I hope a peek into my world helps you to get a grip on your business strategy! That process of sitting down and taking an inventory is super effective and helpful. Please let me know if you need help, I have a great small business coaching program that will help walk you through some these kinds of focusing exercises.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Small Business Coaching and Motivation

How To Create An Amazing Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaign

How To Create An Amazing Valentine's Day Marketing CampaignToday we are going to talk about creating a super fun and friendly marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day. Because this is primarily for business owners, we will be focusing on clean themes and steering away from more romantic or racy campaigns that might work better for other industries.

Valentines Day Marketing Campaigns

So I believe that every holiday is appropriate for every business to use for marketing. For example, you would think selling coaching or affiliate products would match up with Valentine’s Day, but I know a good portion of my target market might be looking for some Valentine’s Day ideas so writing this post was a no brainer for me. Try to think of something in your business like this that would match the holiday.


Wow, I am not sure that I have ever written a more perfect segue to a section. As long as you have a theme to your advertising campaign, it will seem right and there will be little chance that anyone will ever be offended. Some that come to mind include:

  • For an insurance agent – love them enough to buy protection for their future
  • For a veterinarian – if you love your pets, make sure you get them neutered or spade
  • For a makeup artist – fall in love with your face, get the latest color combination

Mostly you just need to make sure that you are pulling in a reason for marketing during the season. This is not just a “Happy Valentine’s Day from the..”, this is crafting a whole marketing message around a theme that you will be rolling out over time.

For a local Denver Flower Shop and Florist, we did a series of graphics that showed a number of different themes like “she loves flowers and you love her” and “don’t get in the dog house”. They are graphic and clever enough that they will help to get noticed which will at the end of the day sell more flowers.

Don't Wind Up In The Dog House - Denver Florist Ad

Don't forget the flowers

She Loves You Valentines Day Ad

Because we carried the pink and the font across all the pieces, there is a consistency to the marketing campaign.


I use so this is the selection that I got on the first page when searching for “hearts”.

Big Stock Photo Heart Search

It is interesting to note that in a sea of images, a couple of them stood out to me as ones that I might use for clients! Remember, whether you are using paid photography or searching for Creative Commons royalty free images, what you want is something that is memorable. This can happen a couple of ways.

Bright or clever – First off, you can pick something that is bright and will jump out of the crowd when you share it on social media like this image from big stock that would be great for my Green Cleaning Products gal. The heart is evident and she talks a lot about helping to keep the earth safer so this would be a no-brainer.

Big Stock Photo - Heart Hands

Where There Is Light - Advertising Banner

As you can see, we tried to make something that would be sharable and which could spread while still focusing on Rae Ann’s brand and including her Twitter handle.

On branding – For me the graphics I used in this post are very on target brand-wise for Marketing Artfully. I use a lot of illustrations and muted colors so the typewriter and heart fit perfectly with what I generally use!

Snazzy – Whether your marketing campaign is for print or online, using a bright, snazzy color will always make it “pop”. I have to say that I almost used this picture for this post, just because of how saturated the color of the red was.

Bigstock - hearts red

Bad contrast – Something to consider is how the photography can be so non-contrasty that it just fades into the background of all the other marketing noise. For example, this stone on sand is a cool image, buy you are going to have to spice it up with colored words or something else that contrasts for it to stand out anywhere.

Big Stock - Boring Heart


  • Graphics - We talked about imagery already, but you really can’t go wrong with playing up the cheese with a love quote saying paired with a great picture for sharing.
  • Blog Posts – Of course there are obvious ones like the Top 10 Gifts To Get Your Girlfriend For Valentines Day, but as a business owner you can also do a “10 Things To LOVE About Coaching This Valentine’s Day” or something equally obvious that can still reap rewards.
  • Contests – You could do a “Show Me Some Love” contest and ask people to share something in exchange for a copy of a signed book, a free coaching session or other great offer that has great value.
  • Love Video - A super fun thing to do is to record a video and send it out to your customer base wishing them a Happy Valentine’s Day and letting them know how much you love their business. If you cringe at this then don’t do it, but for some of you, this will come off as genuine, warm and caring.
  • Postcards – If you are mailing out a message, please make sure that you are attracting attention by using a red envelope or graphic, high contrast imagery on your mailing piece.
  • Print Advertising – Many local and regional papers and publications will have a special section for Valentines Day. If you are in an industry that sells dinners out, flowers, massages, etc. it might be worthwhile to research some of these options.


Of course this just scratches the surface of all the fun things you could do to make a marketing campaign around Valentine’s Day! But hopefully it does start getting your creative juices flowing for things that you could do to stand out and sell more on the day of love!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

How To Create An Amazing Valentines Day Marketing Campaign

SEO Software Review – Pro Rank Tracker Versus RankTrackr

SEO Software Review - Pro Rank Tracker Versus RankTrackrToday we are going to be talking about two different SEO software services that help you to track your keyword rankings on the search engines (and YouTube).

Affiliate Disclosure: Let’s get this started right by saying at this time I am not affiliate for either of these software products, although I did receive a complimentary copy of the RankTrackr service. That said, opinions are (as always) long and my own!

Here are my takes on each of the services and what I like/dislike about each:

Pro Rank Tracker

I got this service a few months ago and have been using it to figure out which keywords I am ranking well for and which could use some work. I am getting ready to dive in and start doing even more so I will be changing things up a bit from my current setup, but still wanted to give you the highs and the lows of what I like!


I quite like the search volume sort feature that I can use to see which keywords have the highest volume on the regular report. This feature is missing on RankTrackr.

SEO Software Search Volume Sort

I also like the graphic nature of the email that they send daily. It makes it super easy to see what my keywords are doing at a glance.

SEO Software Review - Email


It is a bear trying to get keywords added and subtracted from the list. You can tell that this software is made by programmers who are more technologically advanced than yours truly. Setting up my keywords was the low point of using this software.


I was asked to review this software (I think because I mentioned that I am keyword obsessed – guilty!) Having used both, I can say that I definitely like the RankTrackr service better overall, even without the search volume thingy that the Pro Rank Tracker has. Here are my goods and bads!


This little chart is my ALL TIME favorite bit…super easy to see where your keywords are going up or down

Tiny SEO Chart - RankTrackr

YouTube – At first I thought, what the heck will I do with YouTube rankings, but as I thought of it more, that is brilliant! I cannot speak to the use of this feature because I haven’t used it yet, but I will be doing so going forward for sure!

White Label – If I was doing SEO officially for clients, it would be nice to have the reporting feature to send to them!

Adding Keywords – OMG, the ease of use to add keywords to this software is head and shoulders over the


I do like knowing the search volume of the keywords so I will miss that, but having done this for years I can pretty much eyeball it.

Update: The nice folks over at RankTrackr (who are VERY helpful) said I just didn’t know how to use it…:) It DOES have that feature and so becomes my absolute winner!

From the CEO…

1. RankTrackr in fact provides your with sortable data for search volume (global and local) – and it even allows you to customize the cells how you want to see the ranking data (you just have to click the pencil icon on the column and choose what you want to see in it)

2. Besides search volume, we provide additional data: number of indexed pages, cpc – cost per click on adwords (local and global) – to determine to profitability of keywords, and some more sortable data beside competitor comparison analysis, that can be selected.

So there you have it! I definitely like the RankTrackr better and will be using that one going forward. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any other questions!!!


Local Marketing For Realtors – Becoming The Neighborhood Expert

Local Marketing For Realtors - Becoming The Neighborhood ExpertSo glad I got this reader question as it prompted me to think about the ways that Realtors can use their local marketing efforts to start becoming the neighborhood expert.

“My main focus is selling residential Real Estate in Adelaide, South Australia. So I’m always on the lookout for how to getter in front of more ‘local’ people.” Eriks from South Australia

So first off I think we should talk about what doing local Realtor marketing is trying to accomplish. By nature if you are marketing to a subdivision or community, you are targeting sellers, right? Buyers may float around between subdivisions until they are ready to buy (more about that later), but sellers are always selling in the same subdivision.

Additionally, this is a little different than real estate farming, which is when you target one subdivision and go deep on it. In that process you use all of your efforts on just one community, rather than focusing on a local geographic area like your town or even a part of your town.

Not Your Grandma’s Real Estate Marketing Plan

Admit it…when you saw neighborhood expert you had just a flash of that big haired agent in the area who used to buy up all the bus benches and put her name and picture on them! This is so not what I am talking about when considering how to be an “expert” in an area.

Instead, this is how to comprehensively be “everywhere” when someone is looking to sell their home. THAT is the agent who has a great chance of being called for a “come list me”.

Technology Based Suggestions

Let’s start with technology based suggestions. Imagine a world where a home seller heads over to Google to find a Realtor to list their home and they get the “normal” page that has a couple of the big name links like HomeFinder and Trulia, but there is another player there dominating with her website, a video and a Google+ link. That is not a pipe dream and it is easy to do!

First off, pick a subdivision a week. Don’t get all fancy and try to figure out the ones that have high turnover or anything like that, we are going wide and shallow here, not spending a huge amount of time or money on any one area.

Second, start creating assets for this subdivision including:

  • A video posted on YouTube (this will be included in the next step) – here is a great example of a condo complex video, The Sage in St. Petersburg
  • A blog post that has the video, and neighborhood information and data (this one is a great example of one that ranks on the first page of Google for a neighborhood here in Colorado, click here)
  • A Google Plus posting of both the video and the blog post with two different sets of keywords – so Westminster CO Real Estate – Stratford Lakes AND Stratford Lakes Real Estate, Denver CO

At this point, you should at least make some kind of impression on Google with all your bits about the neighborhood. Don’t forget to share all your assets on your social properties like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook too.

The cost for a bus bench per year costs between $100-500 per bench and the second you stop paying, your picture goes away. If you are making a subdivision a week in this way, you will have 52 grand assets at the end of the year that you own and can use to market for customers.

Bonus Asset : If anyone is a great (and fast) writer on your team, it might be nice to have a “Guide To” for each subdivision. While it might have been a nightmare in the past using your database to do this, using a tool like LeadPages makes the whole thing much easier!

A Note About Buyers : If a buyer is searching for information about a particular subdivision there is a good chance that they are ready to buy there. Now, some of them may have agents, but some of them will not and you can scoop them up in your subdivision net!

Direct Mail Suggestions

Once you have your subdivisions picked out, start sending them mail. Because we are targeting LOTS of sellers with this exercise, we want to get your information in the hands of as many homeowners as possible so I suggest using Every Door Direct from the post office.

For just $.17 per piece, you can send a postcard, letter or flyer to every home on a mail carrier route. I suggest rotating your subdivisions so they get at least two pieces of mail from you a year.

Remember, this tactic is about quantity not quality so just make sure your creatives are good enough or funny enough for someone to stick them on their fridge and call you later!

In Person Suggestions

So now you have yourself planted all over the internet for your subdivisions and you are rocking your mailings into the subdivisions….what’s next? Now you have to show your face there!

Start doing open houses, even if you think no one will ever show up. Put your face on your open house signs and car stickers and start showing up in one of their neighborhoods weekly.

Find out if they have neighborhood garage sales or party nights and start attending those. Anytime you can “meet” someone who lives in your subdivisions, do so!

If you are super bold, door-knock your neighborhoods. Ask everyone if they know anyone who wants to sell their home. It is amazing what shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye will do for your business.

Mix Them Up!

So which should you do? If you ask me, all of them. It doesn’t make sense to go door knocking if you know nothing about the neighborhood or just mail into it hoping that someone will notice. Instead focus on getting as many neighborhoods to love you as possible!

According to NAR, 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 25% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home, meaning that only 36% of the remaining sellers are out there for you to get. You are going to have to make a determined effort to be sure that you are the one they call to “come list me”.

Well there you have it…my best tips on becoming a neighborhood expert in the modern era without park benches! Local marketing for Realtors has come a long way and it’s about time you grabbed a piece of the action!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Blog Post :: Local Marketing For Realtors - Becoming The Neighborhood Expert

Customizing LeadPages – Yes They Can Look Pretty and Different

Customizing Lead Pages - Yes They Can Look Pretty and DifferentI love LeadPages. I especially love how easy it is to customize the look of everything and make them look pretty and different from everyone else’s. If you do decide to sign up, please consider using my affiliate link to do so! click here

For those of you who don’t know what Lead Pages are, they are the service that makes pretty pop up boxes, lets you automatically send out digital products and makes your landing pages look nice.

LeadPages are used by most, if not all, of the top marketing people that I know and most of the big names in coaching, authoring and speaking too!

Here is an example of my LeadPages popup box:

My pretty Lead Pages popup box

And here is an example of the “normal” LeadPages box…

Normal Lead Pages Popup Box

Now, there are plenty of reasons to use the regular box just as it comes. They have found that having the progress bar at the top makes a loop in people’s heads that they want to finish. They have found that the arrow drives people to fill out the boxes and if you are all, “I don’t care what it looks like, just get ‘er done” then why are you reading this post?

This post is to show you that there are ways to change the look and feel of your Lead Pages so yours look different. So that you don’t have the same old “me too” popup box or landing page form as everyone else. Seriously, it takes just as much time to make a pretty form that people will notice as it does to use the same old icky “normal” form.

Customizing LeadPages

Some things to consider:

1. What is the “normal” look for your site? I never use white and plain graphics so the “normal” popup box is a glaring difference. When I added graphics to my popup boxes I started to see a big difference in signups. I think it is because they look more like my site.

2. Even if you just using a little different look, it will make you stand out from all the other people who are using Lead Pages.

3. Don’t forget that you can split test different graphics from right inside LeadPages!

4. Getting graphics designed is not hard anymore, you can even get them as cheap as $5 on Just make sure that whatever they use for your images is purchased just for your right or you could be fined up to $600 for each “borrowed” image.

5. If you would like some more examples, please check out my LeadPages Pinterest board where I collect different people’s popups, landing pages, etc.

Alrighty then, there is a peek behind the scenes of how I customize my LeadPages to make them pretty and different from all the other “me toos” out there in the marketplace! If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email at tara (at) or if you are ready to sign up for LeadPages click here!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Social Media Marketing – I Don’t Care If I Get Likes!

I do social media marketing for me and my clients. It can sometimes seem like a waste of time or a pointless endeavor, but most of the goodness that comes to me in the form of being able to share things that I actually like and use with the people of my tribe!


10 Social Media Sad Truths

Social Media Marketing - Why I Don't Care About Likes1. No one will notice. I have spent YEARS building up numbers and goodwill by sharing great stuff. If you are starting social today, there is a good chance no one will notice for a couple of months at least. It is a grind, not a sprint.

2. It will not fix your sales overnight. We often see business owners who have heard that “social” will help them sell stuff. Rarely if ever have we seen someone start selling right out of the gate (meaning in 3 months or less). Again, social is an accumulation of goodwill built up over time.

3. There are no quick fixes. I have read many articles about why buying likes on Facebook is stupid (from Joe Loomer, Social Media Today and even the Huffington Post). There is no shortcut to building up your social properties.

4. You cannot track the ROI of social media. As you saw in the video, there was tangible proof on the sales side that there WAS an ROI on social media. You could see that there were click and actual sales, although the “analytics” definitely did not bear that out. If you try to do A LOT of social and then follow it through to the logical conclusion of sales you will make yourself insane.

5. You have to be specific. As you build your social media empire, you need to know specifically what each post is meant to do. Some might be to seem interesting so people will follow you, some might be to drive traffic to your website and some might be to sell something like I did with the webinar link in the video.

6. If you do nothing but scream “buy my stuff” no one will follow you. It seems tempting to want to see an ROI (return on investment) for your efforts. But know for sure that if you spend all your time and energy trying to get people to spend money, no one will want to “friend, follow or like” you.

7. You still have to talk to humans online. If all you are doing is broadcasting out and never talking back to the people who are your friends and followers, you will wind up with very few results. Social is not just a way to send out messages into the universe, it is a communications tool that requires back and forth.

8. You still have to talk to humans in person. This one is such a disappointment to me. At first I thought that you could just “do social” online and never have to go out and meet with people ever again. But you will grow your online social media networks the most from actually getting out and talking with other human beings.

9. Social is not a silver bullet. I see too many companies who think that if they are “doing social” they don’t have to do any other marketing. In fact social is just another tool to use for building business, it is not the only thing you need to do. You still need a database and a mailing list, print and promotions.

10. Social is not simple. It is funny, we do social marketing for a select group of clients and find that they understand the gargantuan task that is posting, liking, friending, sharing and all the other bits on a daily or weekly basis. But new people who call to find out are under the impression that it is “fun” to “mess around on social” so it should be easy. Social done right for business has an executable plan and reason for everythign that is done (if you are doing a good job!)

So there you have it, the benefits and sad truths about the state of social. For me, I look at it as a really cool way to share my message, make some money and reach some new people I couldn’t meet face-to-face. What I don’t see it as is the only thing I have to do to make a solid business!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


Social Media Marketing - Why I Don't Care About Likes

Hashtags for #NonFiction and #Fiction Author Marketing

Hashtags For Authors - Author Marketing Hi authors! I love you all and want you to be better at doing your author marketing so I am writing this post. There are three parts…the first is about why to do Hashtags, the second about how to do hashtags and the third a HUGE list of hashtags for every kind of author. If I missed your genre, please let me know!

Why Do Hashtags For Author Marketing

If you are an author who wants to sell more books (and isn’t that kind of the point?) then you definitely want to start understanding WHY it is important to use hashtags in your social media postings.

At the very most basic level, all social sites are just databases of “stuff” that the site have to find some way of categorizing. Some of them (like Facebook) famously use algorithms to limit the vast amount of posts you would see and some use hashtags to help you find things. Today in the video we are going to be looking at 4 social sites that use hashtags (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest) although there are others like Instagram that also use hashtags.

If you are not using hashtags currently it can seem like a complete waste of time. Why would anyone be interested in your post just because you put a stupid word with a pound sign before it? If you take nothing else away, make sure you start thinking like marketer instead of like the amazing author you are!


How To Do Hashtags For Author Marketing

So now you have bought into my plan for social media domination using hashtags, don’t forget to have them on all the multiple levels of social media. For example, Twitter and Pinterest search at profile level for hashtags AND a post level. By including hashtags at each of these levels for your author marketing, you can increase the chance that you will be found for both being an author and your work in your genre.


Dibs & Popularity

A couple of last things about hashtags.

First, doing them regularly is making “dibs” on certain keywords that you would like to be known for! But there is a shelf life so make sure to rotate through your list using all the words that will work best for your business.

Second, everyone wants to know who is the “boss” of hashtags. No one is. There is no official governing body, it is just what people think are helpful in finding great content. For example, I am gong to be launching my #sellingfiction and #sellingnonfiction hashtags. If I have great content that helps people, they will start using my tags and they will grow.

If all I do is promote my services and scream “buy my stuff” all day long, there is little chance they will be adopted! Be careful that you don’t let all your hashtag know-how go to your head!


Finding Hashtags

Okay, I have concocted a list for you of author hashtags below, but you are going to run into a need that I didn’t meet or want to check and see “what the hell” one you find means. Here are my best Hashtag resources!


Author Hashtag Lists

General Author Hashtags

#bynr (be your next read)
#cr4u (clean indie reads)

Self Publishing Hashtags

#ian1 (independant author network)
#iartg (independent authors retweet group)

Author Marketing Hashtags


Fiction Hashtags

#ASMG (mystery)

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Author Marketing - Hashtags For Authors

3 Ways To Target Key Influencers In Your Industry

So today we are going to be talking about key influencers. These are people in your industry or other influential people who potentially help your business.

(please note in a first world marketing problem, my “assistant” Sammy asks to be let out towards the end of the video!)

How Many Key Influencers Should You Target?

I like to have 100-150 on each of my influencer lists. Now I say each because I have a number of different target markets like Realtors, Authors and then general business peeps. If you are just starting out, having one list will be just fine!

Isn’t this stalking?

So I often get people who are hesitant to use this marketing method. They hem and haw and tell me why they couldn’t possibly be so blatant about targeting people who could help their business.

I get that, but at the end of the day, my IMF list is not necessarily about helping me. It does eventually, but mostly it is a way to make sure that I am loving on the people who provided me value first.

To give you an idea of this in practice…here are some of my IMFs

Three Ways To Target Key Influencers In Your IndustryChris Brogan – I am not really sure how I initially found Chris, but I have bought a number of his courses and all of his books over the years. The value I get from his “stuff” is a drop in the bucket compared to what I have learned from him.

Seth Godin – Now Seth is a super busy guy who sends back really short email messages, but if you email he DOES talk back. Anytime I can share his new book, support his Kickstarter or do anything nice to help him I am totally on board!

The Self Publishing Podcast Guys – When my writing partner and I started writing books I needed to know how to do the publishing. After dinking around for a bit I found the most amazing podcast done by three guys, Johnny, Sean and Dave. Over the years I have supported them by sharing their Kickstarters, buying their membership and other fun bits. Then just the end of last year they became my clients and now I know, know them…what could be more wonderful than that!?!?!?

Methods of targeting influencers mentioned in the video

Twitter Lists – These are super easy to set up and use for targeting your peeps. Just make your list and then check in everyday to see if your influencers have posted anything good you can share or if they have retweeted anyone cool you can refollow. – This is a really neat, free way to find great content to post that originated with your influencers. Make sure you @mention them when you are posting something you found through them.

Bloglovin – A super cool way to see what they have posted on their website in a easy to categorize and follow program. Oh and it is free! This is a blog feed reader that works like Google Reader did before they shut it down.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

I Got Klout Perked By The Fair Trade People and I LOVE IT!

Holy buckets batman! I got Klout perked by the Fair Trade people and there is SO much cool stuff!!!

So, I check out the Klout perks that are available from time to time and have seen some that looked cool, and some that I thought, well that is not so much me. But when I saw that there was Fair Trade perk, I jumped right in and raised me hand to get it and boy am I glad I did!!!

Here is a video showing all the “bits” that came…

Here are the companies that were in the box:

Barefoot & Chocolate

Calebs Kola

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Nourish Organic

Wear Pact | Wear Pact Website (how cool! these guys are right around the corner from me in Boulder!!!)

Weavers Coffee | Weavers Coffee Website

World’s Finest Chocolate

So I just want to say thanks to Klout and all the companies that sent me goodies…I love them all and am so appreciative that you sent them!!

My totally awesome Klout perk

Planner Manners – How To Color Code Your Time and Your Life!

Planner Manners - How To Color Code Your Time and Your Life!

Alrighty then, for those of you who have been stalking me for YEARS to make this video about calendaring and planner manners…this one is for you! Now, this system is not my own, I heard about it from my besty, Deb Ward, The Irish Realtor, and she heard about it from someone else. If you are a visual person like I am, this will probably work great for you! It also works great for people with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and basically anyone who wants to take their time back and get some real balance in their lives.

A Little History

I started doing Planner Manners years ago when I worked with Deb at Keller Williams. Over the years since I opened a marketing company, began speaking nationally, took on coaching clients and adopted three kids, and the system still works.

When I started doing planner manners I just had a hard copy planner and if someone needed to see it I would scan a copy to them (Deb still uses a hard copy planner exclusively and her assistant just grabs it every now and then to coordinate their schedules). For years I only used an online version (I have iCloud with Apple but Google Calendar lets you color code too). It worked great for my business but when we threw the kids into the mix it was not as functional for me day-to-day.

Now I use a mix of my online calendar and an Erin Condren planner (I LOVE IT!)

The Overview

The Colors

The key to this kind of system is that it is visually based. I am not the kind of gal who can just have an appointment tucked away on a computer and actually remember it. I have to be able at a glance to see that I have a meeting out of my office, two client coaching calls and some strategy work to do. This can happen at a glance because each type of thing I do has its own color.

Let’s run through those now…

Pink is personal

If you are thinking about going to this kind of calendaring system, please also consider focusing on family, friends, pets or other “real” things in your life. As entrepreneurs it can be very easy to ignore your loved ones for day (weeks) at a time when you are in “in the groove” working. Well that is okay sometimes, but in general, they like to see and hear from us way more than that!

Go ahead and start planning your time with the pink bits first. These can be school days off, holidays, vacations, lunch with friends, concerts…functionally anything that is fun and has nothing to do with work.

Orange is for strategy

My next most important color is orange. This is the color of planning for the future and how I am going to make more money going forward. If have weeks without any orange I can rest assured that I am mired down in working my business and not doing any strategy at all.

Orange can be writing blog posts, meeting with JV partners on a new project, prospecting for speaking events, scheduling open houses to increase your relationships…functionally anything that has long term implications for increasing your business or reach.

Green is for money

In my world, green comes from doing client work. In your world it could come from going to an appointment, writing a contract on a house, booking a speaking gig, sales of your books, and product sales. I don’t write down what I make daily (although that might not be a bad idea), instead I color the work I do that is a direct result of my client payments.

Functionally for me this is planning client’s marketing, scheduling blog posts, fixing graphics, basically anything that I do for them.

Blue is for networking or speaking

I use vibrant blue as a way to show that I going to be leaving my office and heading out into the real world. This can be to speak, for a networking event or even just to meet someone for lunch. The reason this is important for my life is that my assistant and family needs to know if I will be at my home office or offsite.

Please don’t forget to include travel time in your calendaring. My assistant and I used to have all kinds of crossed wires before I put how long it would take me to get from Point A to Point B!

Yellow is for admin or production

We all have things in our business we have to do like pay bills or file papers. These tasks are the horrible ones that no one would choose to do, but which we as entrepreneurs cannot ignore. I make these hightlighter yellow.

Purple is for training

I like to learn thing and so I do a lot of training both online and in person. This is colored purple and is definitely an important part of my business. I think we are too willing to let learning take a back seat to “real work” and feel like it is something that best left for later. I almost put this one as #2, just because I think that if you are not growing as a person consistently, you are going to stagnate and wilt!

I also make when I teach purple, I know, that seems confusing, but you would be surprised how easy it is for me to figure out!

Why They Work

If you are not a visual person, you might not completely understand how important being able to “see” what is going on is. I swear that if I put something in a folder, it disappears forever, never to be seen again!

The beauty of the colors is two-fold. First off, you can tell at a glance what you have on deck for the day. Whether it will be a fun and festive day or a nose to the grindstone, get stuff done kind of day.

The other half is seeing if you are all out of whack. If your planner is covered in yellow, it is time to get an assistant turn over some of those admin tasks to him. If it is all green with no pink, you can bet that somewhere is someone or something that misses you and wishes you had more personal time in your life!

Avoiding Fruit Stripe Gum

Fruit stripe gumThe last thing is to avoid having your calendar looking like the fruit-striped gum zebra. Remember him? It was super cool that he had all the different colors of the rainbow all mixed up together. But if you are a business person, that is less cute. If you are jumping from admin to client work to training and back again, you are not going to be able to get much done effectively.

Instead you need to time block your months, weeks and days so you know what you are doing. If you are going to be making videos all day on Friday, it doesn’t make sense to try and set up a complex new sales funnel on the same day. Now, it might make sense to fill in with some training while your videos render, making the most of your time without setting up competing tasks.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

My Top 10 Time Management Tips

My Top 10 Time Management TipsI have spent a lot of time and money studying all the best time management practices out there. I am very regimented with my scheduling and time and it has created a huge amount of freedom in my life! Even if you just cringed when you read that, please take a couple of minutes to hear me out!

This is Part 2 of a three part time management series, please make sure to check out the other two posts, Minding Your To Do List – Everything Can Not Be An Emergency and Planner Manners | How To Make Time For What Is Important In Your Life.

1. Write down your goals

You cannot manage your time unless you know without a doubt what is important to you. Not what you think you should want, or what your business looks like today but a rock solid list of goals that you want. I write these down on a daily basis as a series of affirmations, you can write them however you like. Mine today are:

  • I make $10,000 / month passive income
  • I make $5,000 / month from coaching clients
  • I sell 100 marketing workbooks a month
  • There is plenty of money for kids and crafts
  • I get 50,000 hits a month on my website
  • I speak 4X per month locally
  • I speak 6X per year nationally
  • I have 5 passive sales funnels
  • I work with clients I love
  • I have 100 coaching clients

2. Goals without timelines are dreams

So you can write down all the goals you want, but if there are no timelines associated with them, they are dreams. For example, I can say that I want to have 50,000 hits on my website a month…but with no timeline for getting there it is just a wish. Right now I have about 20,000 hits per month so I am aiming to increase that to 30K by May and then 40K by September. With that kind of momentum I should be able to push until the end of the year and get my goal!

3. Put pen to paper

So once you have your goals written and your timelines set, you need to break down your goals into actual tasks that will get you there. For each of your 10 goals, break down the steps that you need to take to get there. These can be as big or as small as you like, just do whatever you are most comfortable with!

4. DO something everyday

Then everyday do one of the small tasks towards your goals. If you don’t consciously think about your goals and then DO something everyday, life will happen and your goals will slip out of your hands. It is super easy to have a list of small tasks that will get you to your goals and do one every day!

5. To do lists instead of wish lists

This is about your everyday. We can all make huge lists of things that we could or might do. One of my friends used to have a 50 item “to do” list everyday. Now, she never actually got all those things done so every day she felt like a failure. She didn’t have a “to do” list, she had a wish list. Don’t do that to yourself!

I like to have a list of three things each day that I HAVE to get done. Then I add a couple more and that is about it. I don’t try to fill up my days knowing that there will be other things that come up during the day that will take up my time.

6. There are only so many hours in a day

Each of us has our own time challenges and I have to say that this is my greatest downfall. I am a great one for adding and adding and adding and never subtracting anything. I will add a blog post a day, a book a week, a podcast, quote graphics and a million other tasks without ever taking anything away.

With this one, you need to look at your goals and then what you need to do to get you to those goals. Is everything on your “have to do” list something that still moves you toward those goals or can you cut out some old dead wood of to dos that don’t really need to be done anymore.

Additionally, you need to do the one in, one out like there is with regular organizing. If you add something on a daily or weekly basis then you HAVE to take away an equal amount of time from something else.

7. Ruthlessly say no

All of this time management goodness pivots on doing what you have set as your goals. There will aways be other people who will have things that they think you should do. While it is nice to work with other people, you have to keep your eye on the prize of your business and your life.

The one biggest problem I see with entrepreneurs is that they want to help other people AND that they love fun and interesting new ideas. The problem with those two things together is that it is easy to get off track with your goals and get onto a new track with someone else’s goals. Don’t do that.

Yes check out new opportunities, but don’t it at the expense of your own goals and business.

8. Only do what you want

This is kind of opposite of doing what other people want. A lot of the time we put what we are really good at last on the list of things to do. Because it feels so easy and right, we ignore it or just don’t focus on it. For example, I am a prolific writer, but because it comes so easy it is easy for me to think that it is not important, or that I can to do it “whenever”.

If you have a special skill, don’t ignore it. Make sure to make it a big part of your business. Doing what you are good at will make your life better everyday!

9. Be nice to yourself

If you are reading this, there is a chance that you are struggling with time yourself. It is really important that you don’t beat yourself up. You can’t change anything about your time in the past, you have to just be sure to be mindful of your time going forward.

There is a really neat lady who does cleaning help ( and she says, “you are not behind, just start where you are”. This works for cleaning your house and also for cleaning up your time management. All the troubles you had in the past can go away starting today. All you have to do is decide that you are going to be better at time starting today.

10. Time management is FREEDOM

I started this by saying that because I have my time so structured, I have freedom. Let me explain that now. Because I schedule everything so religiously, I have work time when I work and play time when I play. I can go out to lunch with a client or friend and not feel guilty. I can play “hookey” on a Tuesday afternoon without getting behind because I know how much time I need to spend to get my work done.

When you control your time you are master of your own domain. You call the shots and you can make every day a “WIN!”

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Content Marketing – 5 Pages On Your Website That Help SEO

Content Marketing - 5 Pages On Your Website That Help SEO

If you have read about content marketing at all, you have heard that SEO is dead…sigh. SEO has not died, Google just hid the data so we can’t see it and marketers got grumpy and decided that it would be okay to ignore going forward.

Now, there ARE some things going on in SEO that effect keyword marketing, like the fact that more people are using phones and are “saying” their search terms, but that is a post for another day. Today we want to look at pages that are easy to create and rank for various search terms that are key to you getting traffic.

Your Home Page

Minimalist WebsiteLet’s start with the big dog in the room, your home page. If you have been noticing websites and search at all, you know that a “Flash Site” (built in Flash) has no SEO or keywords what-so-ever.

But you might also be surprised that the new minimalist sites that just have giant pictures and little text can also have some of these same problems. Take for example this Lindvall site. It IS clean and crisp, but there are only 8 words on the page.

Now that looks cool, but at heart Google, Bing and the like are databases that store information about websites in the form of words. So if this architecture firm wants to rank in Google, they are going to struggle with the fact that there is nothing to index on that page.

Doing a search for “architect malmo sweden”, this site doesn’t rank in the first 10 pages. Now I know that there are people who “have enough work” or don’t care about SEO, but why not at least try?

Make sure you have pretty graphics AND words somewhere on the page that Google can index.

Start Here Pages

Thanks to Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income’s recommendation, I have a “start here” page. This is a page that takes all the guesswork out when someone comes to my website for the first time.

It allows me to organize the content in my website send people on the right track to things like “entrepreneur marketing”, “realtor marketing” or even something you might like, “keyword marketing”.

Each of the links headed out of that page add to the internal linking structure of my website and help Google to add these pages to their index.

Category Pages

Sugarrae Category PagesSome website designs or templates allow you to SEO your category pages (my template does not). It is worth taking a peek to see if it does.

One of my favorite SEO gals that I follow, Sugarrae, uses a category page that works this way. She has the ability to search engine optimize each of her category pages. As you can see, there are a lot words mentioning “SEO” in the description, which helps Google understand that that page is about SEO.

About Us Page

There is a huge missed opportunity on most websites’ about us pages. This is an area where Google EXPECTS you to have lots of keywords related to your industry. You can include your main keywords but also industry terms and other job specific SEO words.

Make sure to include a mix of keywords and interesting information that makes your page readable by humans. Add headings and use bold and italics to let Google know which bits are interesting.

Speciality Pages

This is the best way (in my opinion) to make a strongly targeted page that is SEO friendly! For example, my domain name goes to my about us page which talks about my speaking AND targets the keyword “Denver Marketing Speaker”.

This allows me to have a section of my website dedicated to a specific keyword or keyword group, without having to make the the darn thing about that topic.

I would not want my whole site, Marketing Artfully, to be about just my speaking career, but by having a section with its own domain pointing to it, I can SEO that little part to my heart’s content!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Marketing For Coaches – Selling Special VIP Access

Marketing For Coaches - Selling Special VIP Access

Everyone has an opinion about how to do marketing for coaches and I have read much of the information out there. Some is good valid marketing info and some is total crap, but the one thing I heard over and over was that you need to have different levels of access and VIP levels. Well that always felt a little hokey for me to do, although I have belonged to others’ VIP programs and membership sites over the years happily.

So with this in mind, here are some examples of “VIP Programs” that you can take a peek at and maybe gets some ideas from for your coaching business!

If Bacon Can Have A VIP Club You Can Too!

Farmland Bacon ClubIf you have any hesitancy (as I do sometimes) about creating a “Members Only” access level, never fear, your worries are over. If bacon can have its own rocking website where you can “join”, your tribe probably would be willing to belong to something you put together too!

Now, this is the lowest level of action and in the coaching world would probably be a free login to receive special newsletter posts, coupons, discounts and other things that will benefit them and you.

The sales funnel for this model is pretty basic and would look like this:

Sales funnel starter coaching programs

The nice thing is that everyone who joins your “free” membership goes onto your email list. This is a great model if you are just getting started growing an email list or your tribe.

Showing Behind The Scenes Is A Benefit

Authorpreneurs Almanac So the next level of access is getting to see “insider secrets” that wouldn’t be available without paying some money. For this example we are going to look at the Self Publishing Podcast Guys. I have been stalking these guys since 2012 when I started writing Kindle books with my writing partner. I listened to every episode of their Self Publishing Podcast and was a supporter when did a Kickstarter this summer.

So when they launched their Sterling and Stone website and said that there would be a $4.95 charge to see behind the scenes of how they publish and market their own books, I gladly offered up my credit card.

Now I get to see planning sessions, get custom training and other great information that is interesting to someone who is self publishing and marketing books.

The sales funnel for this model is little more convoluted and requires that you be someone with a high profile to work:

Membership site sales funnel

The nice thing about this model is that there is no time taken away for one-on-one coaching or even group coaching. All content and materials is sent out in a “push” model and the SPP guys save their time for writing more books.

Selling Increasingly High (And Expensive) Levels Of Access

So now we come to a true coaching model like I have set up. This model also requires that you have some exposure in the marketplace to accomplish. Over the years I have spoken a lot, created a popular marketing website and have worked with a lot of clients who are willing to refer me to their friends and family.

There are multiple levels of access and cost that “staircase up” depending on the amount of my time that is required.

The sales funnel for this model is pretty straight-forward:

Coaching Sales Funnel

Now, even though the funnel is from the bottom to the top, I actually developed it out of order. I had the free website and speeches, then did the free courses to get more people on my email list and then did one-on-one coaching. My group coaching is going to launch in January and will be a way to 1) give people with small budgets access to high level marketing information and 2) will take less time than meeting with each one individually.

The group coaching model is scalable and one-on-one coaching is not, but the one-on-one coaching costs more than the group coaching. Price not withstanding, at some point and time, it becomes impossible to have enough time to work individually with more than a handful of people.

At that point you have two choices, 1) increase your prices for the individual coaching so you are working with fewer people for more money, or 2) move everyone over to group coaching and free up your time to put more and more people in the top of your sales pipeline.

However you choose to structure your coaching, it is vital that you have some kind of robust database to keep people “moving through” your sales funnel. I use Infusionsoft and have been super happy with them for the last couple of years!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Minding Your To Do List – Everything Can Not Be An Emergency

Minding Your To Do List - Everything Can't Be An EmergencyHave you ever noticed when a holiday, trip or other big event is coming up, you get so much more done despite the many additional distractions that the universe throws at your business? It is like everyone knows that you are getting ready to check out and starts asking for things….but wait, is that really true or are you just more mindful of your time when it is so limited?

Minding Your Time

I think the best time to look at your business and your expectations for yourself is when you are getting ready to take time off. When your time is limited you start really assessing what is vital to your business and which things can go on the back burner (more about these expendable things later), for now let’s just look at what is really important to me…

My business priorities are:

1. Things I have promised already to people – I am not willing to let down clients or friends so I complete any promised items.

2. Regular client obligations – I have weekly work that has to be done and I either do it in advance or have someone else take it over for me.

3. Marketing scheduling – One of the first things that seems to go for people is their marketing strategy while they are away…BIG mistake! I actually market more when I am away so I come back to a bunch of new leads.

4. Admin tasks I HAVE to do – This is boring but important, paying bills waits for no man (or woman).

5. Strategic items – I am very focused on what is strategic for my business to move forward. This includes things like making sure my blog posts are scheduled to go out.

and that is it. There is no more time before the hard stop deadline.

But looking back over that list, that is really all I need to do anyways. There aren’t any earth shattering items there that are special, what is missing is all the other distractions that usually creep in (sorry Facebook friends, you didn’t make the cut!)

Let’s break some of these down a little further and look at why they are so easy to manage now, and so slippery when I supposedly have all the time in the world.

Honoring Yourself and Your Time

I used to have lots of time, time for my business, time for my friends and associates and then we adopted 3 kids and all my free time got eaten up. Also the “scope creep” time in my business went away. You know how that goes…you schedule an hour to write a blog post but get all involved in the “research” an while away a couple of hours. In software development “scope creep” means that each little thing you add to the project makes it a little bigger and more unwieldy. Work is like that.

So my first suggestion is to rigidly schedule your time. If you have an hour to write a blog post or do your filing or make phone calls, do it in an hour. Set a timer and get it done. There is a saying that tasks swell to fit the time given them and I find that to be very true!

Making Promises

The first line item on my list is something I think we all do, make promises to people we care about. I want to help my favorite clients and friends do better marketing and make more money so of course I am willing to spend my time on them. Until it is in short supply and I am afraid of letting them down.

Next suggestion, be super realistic with what you can do. It is worse to promise to help and then let someone down than to just say that you are super busy and not able to get to it right now. A graceful “no” is so much better than over-committing.

Opportunities (Shiney objects)

I love a great new idea as much as the next gal and as soon as I get ready to take a little time off, they seem to come out of the woodwork. A business friend will let me know about his great new product he is launching and could I promote it, a new contact asks if I can just make a quick video before I leave because it will just take a couple of minutes. All of these seem fun and easy to do, but all added together with the stuff that I already have on my plate would mean that either not everything would get done or some of it would be done poorly.

You cannot ever do everything that you would like to do…not for your work, family, or friends. Your greatest asset is your time and when it is limited you need to focus on YOUR goals and priorities and politely say that you will check out those new ideas when you get back!

Wish list, not a to do list – pick 3 things

I have two different kinds of lists…to do lists that are my 3 things I need to get done today and wish lists that are all the things that I would like to do but which are not priorities right now. For example, a “to do” today was to write this post. Because I have committed to my business to write a blog post a day for a month, this is something that makes my hot list.

Now, I have lots of things that I WISH I could do like learning about IFTTT (a marketing tool that seems really neat). While that may not seem neat to you, it sounds super fun and could help my business if I had the time.

My last suggestion to you is to make yourself a wish list. Write down all your great ideas, your schemes and plans that would be fun or even effective that you can’t get to today. Make it long, and do not limit yourself. Then make your to do list for today which needs to be 3 items long. Do not stop working until they are done.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

How To Make Your Promotional Products Amazing – Sticker Mule

How To Make Amazing Promotional Products

I have been looking at stickers for a while, coveting them and wanting to get some to promote my business, but I really never had that spark of creativity that would make them amazing..until now! Today’s post is about how to make your promotional products so amazing that people would pay for them.

Where I got them

So I checked out A LOT of sticker companies when I was looking for somewhere to do my stickers and Sticker Mule came out on top buy a big margin! Their pricing was great for the die cutting sticker that I wanted. There were a number of other places that would make round stickers or square stickers, but I really wanted to have a more interesting sticker than that.

The thought behind them

In the past I had ordered more self serving stickers that were my logo with a saying that people would take but they were just being nice. I didn’t want that to happen again, I wanted to make something that would make them WANT to get a sticker. Hell, one that they would be willing to pay for!

In his book, YouTility, Jay Baer says that your marketing needs to be so great that someone would be willing to pay money to get it. I wanted my stickers to be that…super cute and pay-worthy.

The design

Cartoon Bear from Deposit PhotosSo next was the design. It needed to be something cute, but what about marketing was cute? I could use a quote or something…then I was cruising DepositPhoto one day and came across a dumpy little bear who just made me smile!

I personally love bears and then when they dress them up like little bees, I am a goner! So I ordered the bear with an extended license and we were off to the races.

Now, I am super lucky that I am a graphic designer so I could add some stripes and wings to the bear, but if you aren’t no fear I have some ideas for you below.

Note on the Extended License: I am not a lawyer so check with yours if you have a question, BUT I wanted to talk just a tiny bit about extended licensing on stock photo sites. For most uses (like blog posts, book covers, even quote pictures) I can just use the regular license from the stock photo sites. But for this one I KNEW I was going to sell it so I wanted to make sure that I paid for the commercial rights. This cost $80 on Deposit, it costs $100 on Big Stock and if you use another site, you might want to check yours out. It is seriously not worth designing something beautiful to sell without paying for the right to use it!

The concept

Bee Brave Bear StickerNow we are getting down to the meat of the matter. If I made a bee bear that had Marketing Artfully all over it, what would I gain? Again, people would take it but they wouldn’t covet it! They wouldn’t sign up for contests to get it or give me their email and mailing address just to get a bee bear.

So I branded it with my name as the designer but not any commercial website or logo.

It is a HIT! My kids love it, my hubs loves it and my clients are digging on it!!! Wheeeee


Now, I got the 2X2 stickers so I could give them out to everyone I see (the cost was really low because I had some referral money and they did a thing where you got $10 for tweeting about them). Generally it would have been about $70 for 100 which I thought was really affordable.

I also wanted to make sure that they would fit in my Erin Condren planner so tiny worked for me! The next time I order I am moving up to 4X4 so you can see my name and they are a little more substantial. But overall I am over the moon excited about my stickers!

Getting them designed

I have two suggestions for getting your stickers designed if you are not a graphics artist.

1. – for a project like this I would definitely consider doing a contest for illustrators. It looks like it would cost between $149-249 to get something exactly what you want.

2. – Fiverr has illustrators that work on spec too, but don’t let the title fool you on this one. A vector file from Fiverr will cost anywhere between $20-100 and that is what you need for a graphics product like stickers.

Selling them!

The last thing is that I AM selling them! Whoo whoo…:) I think they are definitely cute enough that people will want to pick one up from the Sticker Mule Marketplace.

Now, it would be great to think that I could just put my sticker up and make a ton of money off of selling it, but it doesn’t really work that way. I will have to promote my sticker on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to get exposure and sell them.

Made In America

Last but not least, being from Pennsylvania and a rust belt, go USA kind of gal, I am proud to say that these were Made In America! Whoo whoo

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post, I paid retail for my stickers and if you do click my link and order, I will get a discount on my next order of stickers and you will get a discount…:) Win, win!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Keywords For Business – Includes Startup, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Writing and Small Business SEO Terms

Keywords For Business - SEO Search Engine Keywords

I do a lot writing and helping to develop keywords and focuses for my business clients. While I have 15+ years experience of doing SEO work, sometimes it is just nice to have a starting point where you can set off from with your Adwords planning tool search or even just to figure out what to write about in a blog post.

These are broken down by my main business SEO and keyword interests and categories, they are not necessarily in some sort of “official” format.

Business and Entrepreneur SEO Keywords

  • Brick and Mortar Retail
  • Business Administration
  • Business Models
  • Business Networking
  • Business Owner
  • Business Plans
  • Business Relationships
  • Business Strategy
  • Business-To-Business
  • Companies
  • Digital Agencies
  • Ecommerce
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resources
  • Import/Export
  • Industrial Design
  • Leaders
  • Leadership
  • Local Businesses
  • Local Marketing
  • Management
  • Management Consulting
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organization Design
  • Project Management
  • Retail
  • Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)
  • Small Business
  • Small Business Advice
  • Small Business Marketing
  • Strategic Management
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Strategy
  • Strategic


Marketing and Social Media SEO Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • B2B Marketing
  • Blogs
  • Brand Awareness
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brands and Branding
  • Broadcast Media
  • Cinematography
  • Commercial Media
  • Conferences and Conventions
  • Content Marketing
  • Email
  • Email Clients
  • Email Deliverability
  • Email Marketing
  • Event Planning
  • Hashtags
  • Internet Advertising
  • Guest Blogging
  • Making Friends
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Meeting New People
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Mottos
  • Movie Production
  • Names and Naming
  • Networking
  • New Media
  • Newsletters
  • Online Video
  • Personal Branding
  • Personal Networking
  • Press Releases Editing
  • Print Media
  • Printing
  • Product Branding
  • Professional Networking
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Public Speaking
  • Reputation Management
  • Slogans
  • Social Advice
  • Social Branding
  • Social Graph
  • Social Media
  • Social Media Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Spam (Email)
  • Taglines
  • Video Editing
  • Video Production
  • Web Marketing


Motivation and Goal Setting SEO Keywords

  • Ambition
  • Attention
  • Bad Habits
  • Caledaring
  • Concentration
  • Conversations
  • Distractions
  • Focus
  • Getting Things Done
  • Goal Setting
  • Habits
  • Inspiration
  • Learning
  • Masterminds
  • Motivation
  • Organization
  • Organizing
  • Personal Goals
  • Personal Productivity
  • Procrastination
  • Productivity
  • Productivity Hacks
  • Routines
  • Scheduling
  • Self Improvement
  • Self Motivation
  • Skills
  • Success
  • Systems
  • Task Management
  • Thinking
  • Time Management
  • Tips and Hacks
  • Work-Life Balance


Startups SEO Keywords

  • Angel Investing
  • Angel Investors
  • Bootstrapping
  • Business Ideas
  • Co-Founders
  • Copyright Infringement
  • Copyright Law
  • Crowdfunding
  • Equity Compensation
  • Growth Hacking
  • Hiring
  • How Does Company X Make Money
  • Ideas
  • Innovation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Internet Startups
  • Inventions
  • Lean Startups
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Open Innovation
  • Patents
  • Pre-Launch Startups
  • Recruiting
  • Seed Funding
  • Seed Money
  • Social Innovation
  • Startup Advice and Strategy
  • Startup Acquisitions
  • Startup Business Models
  • Startup Compensation
  • Startup Founders
  • Startup Ideas
  • Startup Incubators
  • Startup Law
  • Startup Names
  • Startup Product Marketing
  • Startup Recruiting
  • Startup Traction
  • Technology Startups
  • Trademark Law
  • Trademarks
  • Valuations
  • Venture Capital
  • Venture Capital Firms
  • Venture Capital Investing
  • Young Entrepreneurs


Sales and Customer Service SEO Keywords

  • 10X
  • A/B Testing
  • Business Development
  • Cold Calling
  • Community Management
  • Consumer Products
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Demographics
  • Customer Development
  • Customer Experience
  • Customer Service
  • Consumer Services
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Freemium
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Generation
  • Manufacturing
  • Metrics
  • Monetitization
  • Package Design
  • People Skills
  • Pricing
  • Product Design (Physical Goods)
  • Product Development
  • Product Launches
  • Product Management
  • Product Managers
  • Product Market Fit (PMF)
  • Product Marketing
  • Profitability
  • Prototyping
  • Revenue
  • Sales Commissions
  • Strategies
  • Tactics
  • User Acquisition


Search Engine and SEO Keywords

  • Content Strategy
  • Display Advertising
  • Google
  • Google Search
  • Google Search Rankings
  • Keyword Research
  • Link Building
  • Local Search
  • Pay Per Click
  • On-Page SEO
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engines
  • Searching
  • SEM
  • SEO
  • SEO Tools
  • Social Search
  • Web Analytics
  • Web Search
  • Website Traffic


Psychology SEO Keywords

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Anxiety
  • Communication
  • Customer Demographics
  • Emotions
  • Extroverts and Extroversion
  • Human Behavior
  • Introverts and Introversion
  • Life Advice
  • Mental Health
  • Morals and Morality
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Neuroscience
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Personality
  • Personality Traits
  • Personality Type – DISC
  • Personality Type – ENFP
  • Personality Type – ENTP
  • Personality Type – INFJ
  • Personality Type – INTJ
  • Personality Type – INTP
  • Personality Type – Myers Briggs
  • Philosphy
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology of Everyday Life
  • Social and Behavioral Norms
  • Social Anxiety
  • Social Psychology
  • Society
  • Sociology


Financial SEO Keywords

  • Accounting
  • Capitalism
  • Currencies
  • Economic History
  • Economics
  • Economics of Daily Life
  • Finance
  • Funding
  • Fundraising
  • Inflation
  • Investing
  • Investors
  • Macro Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Microeconomics
  • Money
  • Personal Finance
  • Private Equity
  • Stock Market
  • Taxes


Technology SEO Keywords

  • Cascading Style Sheets
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Services
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science
  • Current Events In Technology
  • Demand Side Platform (DSP)
  • Digital Advertising
  • Digtial Marketing
  • Digital Media
  • Digital Publishing
  • Digital Strategy
  • Digital Trends
  • Disruptive Technology
  • Enterprise Software
  • Game Theory
  • HTML
  • Information Retrieval
  • Java Script (Programming Language)
  • Mobile Applications
  • Mobile Payments
  • Mobile Phones
  • Online Shopping
  • PHP (Programming Language)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • SaaS Marketing
  • Scalability
  • Silicon Valley
  • Software As A Service (SaaS)
  • Software Engineering
  • Technology Investing
  • Technology Trends
  • Usability
  • User Experience
  • User Interface Design
  • Web Applications
  • Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Websites
  • WordPress
  • Y Combinator


Graphic Design and Art SEO Keywords

  • Artists
  • Cameras
  • Computer Graphics
  • Creative
  • Creativity
  • Designers
  • Digital Arts
  • Digital Cameras
  • Digital Photography
  • Drawing
  • Fine Art
  • Freelancing
  • Google Fonts
  • Graphics
  • Iconography
  • Icons
  • Illustration
  • Illustrators
  • Image Manipulation
  • Imagination
  • Infographics
  • Interaction Design
  • Logo Design
  • Logos
  • Painting and Paintings (Art)
  • Photo Editing
  • Photography
  • Sketching
  • Typeface Design
  • Typeface Identification
  • Typefaces & Fonts
  • Vector Graphics
  • Visual Artists
  • Visual Arts
  • Web Design Best Practices
  • Web Fonts
  • Web Typography


Writing SEO Keywords

  • Adages
  • Bloggers
  • Blogging Platforms
  • Book Writing
  • Citizen Journalism
  • Copywriting
  • Creative Writing
  • Diction and Word Usage
  • English Grammar
  • English Language
  • Freelance Writers
  • Grammar
  • Helvetica
  • Idioms
  • Journalistic Ethics and Norms
  • Journalists
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Literary Agents
  • Magazine Publishing
  • News
  • Newspapers
  • Novelists
  • Online Journalism
  • Phrases
  • Poems
  • Poets
  • Presentations
  • Press Coverage
  • Proverbs
  • Punctuation
  • Reading
  • Sayings
  • Screenwriting
  • Slang
  • Speech
  • Spelling
  • Stories
  • Storytelling
  • Tech News
  • Television Writing
  • Typography
  • Words
  • Writers
  • Writing Fiction


Books SEO Keywords

  • American Literarture
  • Authors
  • Book Publishing
  • Book Recommendations
  • Children’s and Young Adult Books
  • eBook Readers
  • eBooks
  • Fantasy (genre)
  • Fiction
  • Fictional Characters
  • Getting Published
  • iBooks
  • Kindle
  • Literary Analysis and Criticism
  • Literary Fiction
  • Literature
  • Non-Fiction
  • Novels
  • Poetry
  • Publishing
  • Self-Publishing
  • Short Stories


History SEO Keywords

  • Battle Tactics
  • Government
  • History of the United States
  • Military History and Wars
  • Military Strategy
  • US Politics American Culture
  • US Presidents
  • The United States
  • World War 1


Science SEO Keywords

  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Color Schemes
  • Color Vision Deficiency
  • Colors (Vision)
  • Current Events In Science
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Extraterrestrial Life
  • Evolution
  • Eyes
  • Geology
  • Gravity
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Optics
  • Physics
  • Physics of Everyday Life
  • Planetary Science
  • Science Behind Science Fiction
  • Space Exploration
  • Space Travel
  • Stars
  • Thermodynamics
  • Time (Physics)
  • Visible Light
  • Vision (Eyesight)

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

As this is a post about SEO and keyword search terms for business, I would be remiss not to mention that it does have keywords including Startup, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Writing and Small Business!

Christmas Quotes For Business and Clients

Christmas Quotes For Business and Clients

This post is all about Christmas quotes for business (some with pictures) that are appropriate for sharing on your social sites. I am super happy that you found these and please feel free to share the pictures anywhere you like as long as you leave the branding on there.

Christmas Quotes

Now, the essence, the very spirit of Christmas is that we first make believe a thing is so, and lo, it presently turns out to be so.
– Stephen Leacock

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
– Mary Ellen Chase

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. – Mary Ellen Chase

Don’t let the past steal your present. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.
– Taylor Caldwell

One thing I love about Christmas music is that it has a tradition of warmth.
– Zooey Deschanel

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
– Benjamin Franklin

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.
– Winston Churchill

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.
– Edna Ferber

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.
– Bob Hope

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends. - Margaret ThatcherAt Christmas, all roads lead home.
– Marjorie Holmes

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.
– Charles M. Schulz

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
– Charles Dickens

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.
– Margaret Thatcher

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.
– Alexander Smith

Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.
– Eric Sevareid

Christmas Gifts

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value. - Charles Dudley WarnerMay Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!
– Author Unknown

Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.
– Pindar

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.
– Peg Bracken

The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.
– Charles Dudley Warner

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.
– Hubert H. Humphrey

Christmas Love Quotes

Christmas… is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.
– Freya Stark

Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
– Author Unknown

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!
– Hamilton Wright Mabie

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
– W.T. Ellis

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.
– Janice Maeditere

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?
– Bob Hope

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is. ~Eric Sevareid

Christian Quotes

When you give up yourself, that’s when you will feel the true spirit of Christmas. And that’s giving that’s serving others and that’s when you feel fulfilled.
– Joel Osteen

Christmas is a time to open our hearts to God and his gifts. Just like the rest of the year.
– Author Unknown

There has been only one Christmas — the rest are anniversaries.
– W.J. Cameron

The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
– Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. – Norman Vincent Peale

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.
– Harlan Miller

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles.
– Author Unknown

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.
– Bob Hope

Mankind is a great, an immense family. This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas.
– Pope John XXIII

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
– Calvin Coolidge, 1927

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance — each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.
– Deborah Whipp

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance — each beautiful, unique and too soon gone. – Deborah Whipp

Keep your Christmas-heart open all the year round.
– Jessica Archmint

Christmas Marketing Quotes

“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”  - Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it.
– Katharine Whitehorn

The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants.
– John Andrew Holmes

The message of Christmas is that the visible material world is bound to the invisible spiritual world.
– Author Unknown

“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more….”
– Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas Tree Quotes

The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.
– Andy Rooney

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
– Roy L. Smith

Funny Christmas Quotes

The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.
– Joan Rivers

Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live.
– George Carlin

Santa is jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
– Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.
– Johnny Carson

Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.
– Author Unknown

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
– Phyllis Diller

Santa Quotes

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?
– Jon Bon Jovi

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will? - Jon Bon Jovi

There you have it! My best Christmas quotes for business and clients!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Marketing For Authors – Grow Your Email List

Marketing For Authors - Grow Your Email ListIf you are a writer who wants to sell more books, this is my #1 marketing tip for authors…grow your email list!

All of us struggle with some aspect of marketing and mostly I hear that authors want to stay behind their computers, tip-tap typing away and not having to worry about marketing their books. If you are that type of writer, this post is for you! Many of the email marketing tips that I am going to give you are “set it and forget it” strategies that you can simply make a part of your business and stop having to keep reinventing the wheel.

#1 Tip – Have a free offer or lead magnet

There are still few people out there on the internet who are willing to sign up with their email address for a “newsletter”, but most of us are not all that interested in getting another newsletter. Instead we are playing the “What’s In It For Me Channel” in our heads and we want something of value in exchange for our email address.

For nonfiction authors this is super easy, you can give a free report away that has the same content or theme as your book.

For fiction authors, this is actually even easier! Remember that your readers are voracious and curious about the characters and worlds you have developed. For example, if you wrote Hunger Games you could give your readers an “official” map of Panem. Anything that makes them feel like they are getting to go behind the scenes is great!

Note: Any of the email providers will allow you to send out a digital file when someone signs up for your list. If you are brand new I recommend and if you are serious about doing marketing on the internet I recommend Infusionsoft paired with LeadPages.

#2 Tip – Send a weekly or biweekly broadcast email

So now you have started growing your list and anxiety will set in. How often do you have to come up with something to send these people?

If you are truly a schmoe, you could send them something only when you are launching a book. That really warms the cockles of their hearts to know that the only time you want to talk to them is when you are asking them to support you.

On the other hand, almost no one wants to hear from you on a daily basis. So we are somewhere between every couple of years and every day. I would say definitely at least every other week if not every week. This is enough to keep them interested and they won’t forget you!

#3 Tip – Have an autoresponder or “drip” series after they sign up

Yay! You got someone to sign up for your list…whoo whoo. Now what? If you are trying to build relationships, it probably is a good idea to email them a series of autoresponders or a drip campaign for the next few weeks, every few days. This will help to cement your new relationship.

Just make sure that it is relevant to the initial offer that they signed up for!

#4 Tip – Ask them to sign up on your social media accounts!

It is really easy to make a banner that is clickable on Facebook and Google Plus that provides your free offer. On Twitter and Instagram you can include your free offer in your website link and on LinkedIn, you can include your offer in your description.

Remember, your number one goal is to get people into your database so every time they come to your social, they should be able to sign up!

Clickable Link On Facebook

#5 Tip – Have more than one free offer!

As you are in business longer and have more assets to share, it is really good to offer more than one Free lead magnet. Think about Saturday morning in those huge discount store. As you walk around you get offered a variety of different items to sample and you probably pick and choose amongst your favorites.

Not everyone will like the same kind of free offer so it is worth offering a variety in order to get the most signups possible!

Free offer examples

Well that is a good start on email marketing for authors. You will be surprised how easy it is to grow your list when you really start making it a priority.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Feels Good Affiliate Marketing Overview and Tools That I Use

Feels Good Affiliate Marketing And Tools I Use

Today’s post is going to out to Kir mostly and a teeny bit for Sean who have questions about affiliate marketing or how to sell their own products on their websites!


I titled this post “feels good” affiliate marketing because I really believe that you can either have an income or supplement your income with selling products that you believe in and use every day. That said, I have done this multiple times over the years half heartedly and had between AMAZING (promoting Infusionsoft actively) to meh, promoting a whole bunch of different things randomly.

With that in mind, here is my take on Affiliate Marketing and how it can be done with elegance and grace!

What Do You Use Every Day?

The one way I find affiliate products to post easily is to check on every type of product I use day-to-day to see if they have an affiliate program. The easiest way to find them is to go to the bottom of the page and see if they have an “affiliate” link. For an easy way to see this, GoDaddy has a link at the bottom of their page directly to their affiliate program.

Godaddy affiliate program

The other thing you can do is check and see if any of the things you log into have a referral link inside your account. I didn’t even have to ask lead pages to join their program, they give everyone a link in their account info!

Finding Affiliate Products

Complying with the FTC Rules

FTC Disclosure on TwitterOne thing to realize is that you have to disclose that you are selling something when you promote an affiliate offer. Just this week, a ruling came down that said if you are posting a tweet directly to an affiliate link, you need to indicate that is to an advertisement.

As you can see in this Twitter post, it is super easy to include an (ad) or (spon) – for sponsored – designation. Of course I am not a lawyer (so check with one if you have a question), but it does seem that as long as your intention is not to rip people off, and you disclose on your site or in your posts that it is an affiliate link, you will be okay!

Making Affiliate Marketing Videos

My first step when promoting a product is to make a video showing the features and benefits. This doesn’t have to beautiful or perfect, in fact it will be better if it isn’t perfect. Think about it, we all hate to watch commercials (Tivo built a whole company around the fact that you could fast forward through the commercials).

Once you have some videos that you can use to show why YOU love that product, you can put them on a web page that helps to sell the product or service even more, like on our Infusionsoft affiliate marketing recommendation page.

BRILLIANT For Sharing Affiliate Links (or sell your stuff)

The last thing I want to talk about is the little picture links below. Seriously, I have spent A LOT of time searching the internet for a way to make easy tables that I could put affiliate links into. The problem was making them look nice and then you would have to manage all those links and if you had a change you would have to go back and change them all individually.

This solution comes from the world of the craft girls. They are selling machines and they use this InLinkz program to make sharing affiliate links easy peasy!

Multi Channel Marketing – Setting Up Your Content Marketing Strategy

Multi Channel Marketing - Setting Up Your Content Marketing StrategyWhen you are a huge content producer, you have funny problems that other people might not understand. Then if you add on diverse interests of the Renaissance Entrepreneur to the mix and you have a whole big beautiful mess!

Today I going to thinking aloud about a multichannel content marketing strategy for myself and my clients, the Self Publishing Podcast guys (who are PROLIFIC content creators, but not all that good at sharing all the content they develop!)

If you are a huge content creator, this may be understandable and the most frustrating part of your empire. It is great to produce all of this, but if it doesn’t ever go anywhere, what good is having all of it. You will achieve some success just because of the shear volume of data out there, but how much could you multiply that by if you took the time to actually make sure it is on the sites that matter for each type of content?

Multi Channel Marketing

Start with this! Everyone knows that creating A LOT of content is important. But what and how it is managed AFTER it is done is the key to making it work for your business.

Content is fire, social media is gasoline….Jay Baer

Some of the Multi Channel Marketing outlets that we are going to be looking at include the top 15 websites that Jay references:

  • Google (search engine)
  • YouTube (video)
  • Facebook (social media)
  • Yahoo (search engine)
  • Amazon (sales site)
  • Wikipedia (reference)
  • Twitter (social media)
  • Bing (search engine)
  • Ebay (sales site)
  • MSN (reference)
  • Microsoft (sales site)
  • LinkedIn (social media)
  • Pinterest (social media)
  • Ask (reference)
  • WordPress (blogging platform)

So based on this list there are 4 social media sites in the Top 15, 3 search engines, 3 reference sites, 3 sales sites, 1 video site and 1 blogging platform.

Awesome data from

What’s The Point

So we get that having content on some or all of these channels is key to…well to doing what exactly?

This will depend a lot on what you are trying to accomplish. For me, I want to get eyeballs on my website so I can sell them my Marketing Strategy Workbook and coaching services or recommend affiliate products that they will love. With that in mind, I have little icons with recommended products and services at the bottom of many of my pages (and just came to a realization today that having them at the bottom of each post is the most important thing on my list of to-dos, effective right now). (see them in action at the bottom of the page here)

For the SPP (Self Publishing Podcast guys), we have to figure out what the point is! It could be to sell more fiction books on Amazon (#5 on the top website list, but where there are competitors), get people on their email marketing list (which means getting them to their website) or even to just increase awareness of their podcast.

Whatever your goal is, it is really important to make sure that every bit of your marketing strives to accomplish that goal.

Sales Funnel

So my sales funnel is pretty good, up to a point. I have great content across a wide range of channels. I have most of it directed towards my website and I have a really cool data capture form from Lead Pages that prompts them to give me their email address.

Lead Pages Data Capture Box  - Marketing Artfully

Where it sort of comes off of the rails is my frequency of mailing my list. I am not consistent enough with my list to really make them anticipate my great content…sigh. Even if all I did was recap all the bits that I had produced that week, it would still be better than the lame-email effort I am exerting now.

Note: I added sending a newsletter once a week to my calendar. Seriously if it isn’t even on my calendar how can I ever hope to complete it!

Where To Share

So now let’s take a look at the multiple channels and where the best marketing opportunities are. This is not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all the available channels, just a little flavor of the things that we are considering as we set up each kind of channel.

So as I meandered through my “stuff” and the guys “stuff” which have two totally different target markets, it becomes blatantly clear that no matter what your product is, having a goal for your distribution is vital.

Hopefully this helps…Tara

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

The Top 50 Best Kinds Of Realtor Postcards | Realtor Marketing

The Top 50 Best Kinds Of Realtor Postcards

Today’s post is going to be kinda fun! I have a very popular post on my website about Realtor Postcards – Funny Realtor Postcards that just cracks me up, but today’s post is a little different. Here are 50 of the best kinds of postcards that you can send out to your clients, prospects and past clients to generate leads and make more sales.

Why Realtor Postcards

Tweet: 50 Best Kinds Of #Realtor Postcards we get to the list, let’s just talk a little bit about why I am such a proponent of sending postcards. I was an active Realtor in the state of Florida from 2007-2008 during probably the worst time in history to work that market. But I thrived because I did direct mail campaigns right into the neighborhoods I was trying to target AND sent postcards to my sphere. My fellow agents were super jealous about how many “come list me’s” I got from the stupid postcards I sent.

Fast forward to 2013…5 years after I sent my last postcard and the first year I didn’t get a referral commission from them. This is because of two things… 1) people got them and put them in their drawer to remember who to call when they needed a Realtor and 2) because I often sent out beautiful cards that were suitable for framing or hanging on a bulletin board. I do that to this day! Here are two of my most recent designs for followup thank you note postcards!

Cute Thank You Postcards

The one thing to remember is that it doesn’t cost any more to send a great design than it does to send out a plain old boring, run of the mill crappy Realtor postcard.

The Best General Realtor Postcards

  • Notification of type of market (Hurry up and BUY, it is a buyers market, OR Hurry up and sell, it’s a sellers market)
  • #1 Realtor Complaint, Lack of Communication! We are just a phone call away (picture of a phone)
  • Did you know I can help buy or sell anywhere in the country? (sell into the fact that as a referring agent you can help be on their side if anything goes wrong)
  • Wanted…your real estate referrals (with the old west look)

The Best Postcards For Buyers

  • Sellers Now Is Time To Make Your MoveLooking for a new pad? (with a picture of a frog!)
  • Bring your hardhat and get a great deal on a new construction home
  • Do you know how much home can you afford? (first time buyers)
  • It costs twice as much to rent as to own, find out why (first time buyers, mailed into apartments)
  • Stop paying someone else’s mortgage and get your own home
  • On the fence about whether to buy? Now is a great time to get into a new home!
  • Want to own your own home? I can help!
  • Do your kids need their own rooms? Get a bigger house today! (sent into “starter neighborhoods)
  • Stop walking the dog…get Fido a yard! (with a picture of a really cute dog!)
  • Pick your neighbors! Do you know anyone who is looking to buy near you?
  • Stop paying rent (with burning money)
  • Looking for a new home (animal with big eyes)

The Best Postcards For Sellers

  • Neighbor Only Open HouseNeighbor only open house
  • Just Listeds (sent to 100 homes around your listing)
  • Just Listeds (sent to your sphere)
  • “Neighborhood expert” cards
  • % of sides sold in the last year if you are farming
  • Confused about how much your home is worth? Call today to get the real price!
  • Puzzled over why your home hasn’t sold? (puzzle piece)
  • If they can’t find your house on the internet, there is a good chance they will never know it is for sale!
  • Home for sale inventory is low and I have a buyer looking in your neighborhood…thinking of selling?
  • You bring the boxes, we’ll bring the buyers (with a picture moving boxes)

The Best Postcards For Expireds

  • Don't just list your house, get it soldDon’t just list your house again, find out how to get it SOLD!
  • Expired listing specialist (we specialized in working with homes that did not sell the first time)
  • Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
  • 5 reasons your home might not have sold
  • The #1 reason homes don’t sell (and how you can fix it!)

Holiday Themed Postcards

  • Make Your Resolution To Buy A New HouseRing in the New Year with a new home! (sent at New Years)
  • I would LOVE to help you find your first home (sent at Valentines day)
  • Save some green on your new home! I will negotiate you the best deal possible (sent at St. Patricks Day)
  • Don’t be a fooled, the real estate market is great for (buyers, sellers) right now (sent April Fools Day)
  • Hop on over to see our new listings (sent for easter – picture of bunny and your website)
  • Skip the toaster and get Mom what she really wants this year! A new house! (sent for Mothers Day)
  • Declare independence from your old home! (sent at 4th of July)
  • Let me get to work selling your home for a top price! (sent Labor Day)
  • Don’t be spooked by the real estate market! It is fang-tastic! (sent Halloween)
  • Thanks for thinking of me to sell your home! (prospecting card sent to farm on Thanksgiving)
  • Wish you could find a great Realtor? (turkey wishbone at Thanksgiving)
  • Did you ask Santa for a new home this year? Shhhhh….he told me! (sent Christmas)

Helpful Tips

  • Pool safety tips
  • Fireplace safety tips
  • Days to fly the American flag
  • How to winterize your home
  • Top 10 remodeling projects that will make you the most when you sell
  • 10 Tips for Getting The Most Money On Your Home Sale

Alrighty then, hopefully this list of the best kind of Realtor Postcards to send helps. I have to say that having spent the last couple of hours looking at sites offering realtor marketing for great designs, the pickings are pretty slim out there. Instead of paying good money for sending some kind of crap design, make sure you take a little time and figure out a really cute card to send that might actually get noticed!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Where You Sell Matters – Marketing For Startups

Where you sell matters - Marketing For StartupsMy daughter and I are having a contest to see who can “sell the most used stuff on Ebay”. This came about because we have a friend, Tena, who is making $2,000 a month extra income, finding “stuff” and shipping it out to people who want said stuff. Tena hired my daughter to take pictures of her items and now we are hooked. We are trying to figure out what to sell and how to sell it.

This is super fun for me because it definitely is having a “startup” feeling to it. While I work with people starting their businesses from scratch often, it has been a very long time since I have have started my business from the dead stop of being a startup.

This post is less about “what I would do if I was just starting out now” which seems like a cop-out considering I really don’t know what I would do, and more about making smart marketing choices when you are a startup so that you can have the most impact possible fast out of the gate.

Selling Products

If you are a startup selling a product, chances are your website is not a hotbed of activity YET (now this is not to say that it will never be, but building a business plan on getting or paying for web traffic is going to take some time or money to accomplish).

With that in mind, I think it would be great to check out places that you can find to sell your product or service where there are already eyeballs.

Bonus: The cool thing about this is that you can “test out” your ideas and concepts here without building a huge platform or massive content. A little of that “try often and fail fast mentality”. I have to say that I just did this. I worked in manufacturing years ago and know what I am doing, but it is not a first love. That said, I did launch a couple of products and got a couple of RFQs in. Doing it that way allowed me to see that this is not my path WITHOUT building something huge and taking months of effort on something that will eventually peter out anyways.

Of course I can’t give you every example under the sun, but I can try and point you in the right direction or at least get your thinking headed that way!

Udemy (Courses)

If you are thinking about selling a course on your website and you have the same kind of traffic I do (about 15,000-20,000 hits a month or less), I would recommend that you post your course on Udemy instead. This is a site that is dedicated to providing training from a whole host of different people.

According to Alexa, a company that monitors website traffic, Udemy ranks 829 in the world for website traffic (634 in the US). Considering my site is ranked 67,006 in the US, there is a very strong possiblility that any course I would sell would get much more exposure if listed on Udemy than if I just try to sell it from my website!

Ebay or Etsy? (New or Handcrafted Products)

One thing that has become very clear as we have researched what to sell on which site is that Ebay is much better for certain types of products. If you have a lot of new something or others, list it on Ebay. But if you are trying to sell vintage dress patterns, you might be better off to hit the Etsy store.

I am not saying that you should take your products or services and throw them up against the wall to see what will stick. Instead you need to really research the sites that you are considering using and then make sure your product or service is a good match for their users. A little time spent on this step might make a huge difference in your success rate down the line!

Amazon or your website? (Selling Content and Books)

It is weird how little information sells for on Amazon. Many of my clients have $97 Ebooks that are truly a value for the specialized information they are teaching their readers, but that kind of price point freaks Amazon out. Most books are listed on Amazon between $0.99-19.99 with just a smattering over that price point.

When you are considering whether to use Amazon at this point, instead you should be selling a digital ebook that is a much lower price and then have “funnels” set up in place to move them from your $.99 ebook over to your $100 offering.

Part of know where you are selling is whether the price point you have to adhere to will allow you to feed your family. While Amazon is an amazing marketplace for books, you have to sell A LOT of them to make enough money to survive and thrive.

Writing Articles

Last but not least let’s look at where you are posting your content. On your website is great of course, but if you do not have a huge readership yet, you might want to consider posting some of your words as guest posts on other people sites.

Yeah, I know you hear that a lot, just guest post, but what if no one will give you a chance? Then you need to start out by providing your own “guest posting” opporutuiies by publishing on LinkedIn or even which both allow you to set up accounts and say whatever you want for free!


My husband is programmer and so we get to see a lot of messed up things. And then sometimes I do them myself. I found the really cool program that makes the little links to resources (like below). I went to Johnny all happy and asked if he could make that for me and BAM..totally shut down. He said it would take several hundred, if not a thousand hours to build that same product that I can buy for $5 a month.

Maybe it is because I have that immediate feedback loop, but I always try and start with something that is off the shelf for my marketing before thinking that I have to reinvent the wheel. I know it is isn’t perfect sometimes, but anytime you can use an established platform that already has momentum, I have to think that is the best place to start and test everything first.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Renaissance Entrepreneurs – Multi Channel Marketing

Renaissance Entrepreneurs - Multi Channel Marketing

Today we are going to be taking about multi channel marketing, renaissance entrepreneurs. What I mean when I say this is that there is a portion of the business population who are multi-faceted and multi-talented and who don’t want to get smushed down into a box. They want to be able to pursue their passions across multiple channels and learn about all different kinds of things that interest them.

Definition of a Renaissance Man

Miriam Webster defines a “Renaissance Man” as “a cultured man of the Renaissance who was knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of fields.”

Definition of a Renaissance Entrepreneur

Since Miriam was sorely lacking in a definition for Renaissance Entrepreneurs, let’s get this out there so we can move on!

Renaissance Entrepreneurs are smart, passionate business people who are knowledgable, educated and proficient in a wide range of fields AND who share that knowledge with the world through building brands and companies that change the world.

I think that last part is super important to me because in this article we are talking about men and women who don’t just have these kinds of interests and passions, but they are compelled to go out, learn about a genre and then turn and around and share it with the world via media properties like YouTube, podcasting, websites, books, movies and the like.

History of Renaissance Entrepreneurs

While there are hundreds of entrepreneurs from history that we could talk about, let’s just look at a couple that fit in super nicely with this theme and who will give you a great overview of what Renaissance Men looked like while it was still socially acceptable to be brilliant at lots of things!

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci is one of my all time favorite old time content creators. Leonardo lived from April of 1452 to May of 1519, making him an old man for his time at 67 years when he passed. He was one of the first people who came to mind when I thought about “Big Content” which we will discuss later. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. According to art historian. Helen Gardner, he was “a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. Hmmm sound like anyone you know?

Leonardo produced great works of art like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, but he also delved into anatomy with with the Vitruvian Man, and came up with ideas for flying machines and manufacturing techniques.

facts about Leonardo from Wikipedia

Benjamin Franklin

Renaissance Men In BusinessBenjamin lived from January of 1706 to April of 1790, making him 84 when he passed (authors note: I have found that many of the true entrepreneurs and Renaissance men lived longer than the general population!) Ben was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. How neat is it that he was an actual media publisher, having owned the Pennsylvania Chronicle with two partners where he served as an editor and printer. “He became wealthy publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin was also the printer of books for the Moravians of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1742 on)”

Along with his media activities and political affiliations, Ben played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania.

facts about Benjamin from Wikipedia

Who Are Multi Channel Entrepreneurs

Now that we have seen some of our brethren from the past, let’s talk about who Multi Channel Entrepreneurs are. Specifically they are entrepreneurs who don’t just have a lot of different interests that the float around to and from. Instead these are the rock stars who are not afraid to take risks and make something happen even though it can sometimes feel like they are jumping all over the place.

Here are some of my favorites from the current world of Renaissance Entrepreneurs:

Umbrella or Theme

I am feeling like there are are definitely two different kinds of Renaissance Entrepreneurs, those that have overlapping interests on a venn diagram and those that have all kinds of different interests that don’t necessarily make sense to anyone but them.

Venn Diagram of Entrepreneurs

While the overlapping circles are my recommendation, people like Marie Forleo definitely show that having totally diverse interests is possible.

That said, there is a one thing that IS an umbrella for all Marie’s diverse bits, Marie herself. So even in the most extreme case I can find, there is still some kind of umbrella that covers all of her interests.

The Internet and Big Content

As you can see from the video above, Renaissance Entrepreneurs not only have diverse interests but, to be successful, they have to also show an outward manifestation of their work by producing BIG Content. This is where the Multi Channel marketing piece comes in. It is not just enough to have interests, but the turning point comes when they start producing content across a wide variety of channels. These can include:

  • Blogging
  • Books
  • Podcasting
  • Videos
  • Social media
  • Graphics
  • Quotes
  • Tshirts
  • Stickers

Entrepreneurs and like snowflakesFunctionally any sort of media that teaches, provides beauty or even just adds to the common good of humanity. It has been so interesting to me over the years, having spoken to almost 1,000 entrepreneurs that no two were going about their business in the same manner and that none shared exactly the same traits.

Renaissance Entrepreneurs are like snowflakes, no two are exactly the same!

Pitfalls To Being A Multi Channel Entrepreneur

The thing about being multi-faceted that is nice is all the rabbit holes you can chase down during a day, finding new things to learn about and being curious. The un-nice thing about being a Renaissance Entrepreneur is you can totally be so scattered and disorganized that nothing ever comes to fruition and you spend years working in circles with nothing to show for it.

There is a reason that the “squirrel” thing is so funny (that entrepreneurs see new shiney objects and yell squirrel, heading off in a new direction), it is because it is based in truth.

Have To Have Focus (Three Things)

While you can have multiple interests and goals, humans really cannot multi-task (Forbes says so, Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work).

With that in mind, I (and all my coaching clients) focus on three things for three months. This makes us more structured and helps achieve more that we could if were all over the place doing a million things all at once.

After doing this for years, I have found that doing one or two things only bores entrepreneurs and that doing more than three becomes a juggling act that can’t be sustained effectively. Three is the perfect number! Additionally, putting a three month timeline on it make it much more likely that the entrepreneur will stick with it. Having to commit for a year is sometimes too long to sustain and committing for only a few weeks or a month doesn’t give anything time to work. Definitely three months is the magic number.

Old Dead Stuff Lying Around

If you are a true entrepreneur you probably have a bunch of “stuff” lying around. One time I had to delete over 10 websites that no longer served my purposes, totally built out, I paid for them for years, websites. There are two things to consider as a Renaissance Entrepreneur:

1. You might well be able to recycle something. One of my old sites was just hanging around and I considered letting her go, but instead I re-branded her with a realtor focus theme. While there was not a great benefit to having that site used, there were backlinks and other bits that made using it worthwhile.

2. Letting go of old bits feels SO good. If you have old ideas, plans and concepts lying around it can feel like you failed at a bunch of stuff. That you have tried and not completed many different things. Of course that is not true (as we will talk about in the next section) but stumbling upon some old videos or a blog that you abandoned can feel like unearthing a true dinosaur (and not the fun Barney type, the Jurassic Park, eat you type). If there really is a section of your business that is not serving you now, let it go! Take it down, delete the files, and truly let it go so that you won’t keep “tripping” over it in the future.

NOT Failure

I belong to Chris Brogan’s daily-ish email group and one day he sent out a message that really hit a nerve with me about blowing everything up and starting over. I emailed back revealing that I had just had to shut down part of my business and take a step back and that it felt like a failure. This is what he said that helped so much…

“Failure’s just an outcome you didn’t expect. Remove some of the emotion from it and you’ll see that it’s all about learning and growing. If I were still sad that Grasshopper New Media wasn’t what I wanted it to be back in 2006, you and I wouldn’t be here.” Chris Brogan

I can’t say it any better than that. Having to shift or reverse to get going again or any other “setback” can feel like failure, but thinking that it was just an outcome you didn’t expect feels SO much better!

Changing the World

When I doing a video or writing a post or making a picture, I just hope it will help one person. Now some of my posts, books or pictures have achieved some level of success, but at the core all my goal is to make sure that I am doing my best to produce great content that will help someone be a better entrepreneur, business owner or person.

I love the Startfish Story that talks about a young boy throwing starfish back into the sea and the idea that while he can’t save them all, the ones that he saves are helped immeasurably by his actions. Your content going out into the world is like that. It is helping people and making them better at something. Keep doing it…you are changing the world.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

The Starfish Story

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

Awesome Branding For Your Social Media Properties

Awesome Branding For Your Social Media PropertiesToday we are going talk about the look and feel for the branding of your social media graphics.

This might be sorta long, but I think if you are redoing your site or having a designer working on it, it is worth taking the time to understand all the bits and thoughts that go into redoing your look and feel to make it branded and cohesive across platforms.

Rebranding My Website

So part of this has been a long time coming. I have spent over 8 years tinkering around and trying to figure out a look and feel I would like for my “stuff”. I have had the site be predominantly acid green which I use for my logo and promotional items, I have gone “corporate” like the last iteration and everything in between.

What I did differently this time that I think was extremely effective was to start with the colors and pictures that I like in mind and work backward from there. I picked the palette of the really bright pink, blue, yellow and green and then selected photos that we still colorful and lively but didn’t compete with the colored dots and other things going on on the page.

Marketing Artfully Website Redesign

If you would like to read more about the website redesign check out my post 4 Things To Focus On When You Are Updating Your WordPress Website

Additionally I made sure to “brand” each area of my website. Because I publish for a variety of different channels (like Realtors, Authors, Entrepreneurs, and Speakers) I had to make sure that each of these genres was easily identifiable when checking out its section of the website.

Marketing Artfully Multicasting Banners

Branding For Social Media

So now we are moving over to social media. I do want there to be a clear correlation between my website and the graphics they see on the social so that when they come over it is very plain that they have reached the right place. Now, this can be much harder when you are managing multiple brands or websites in your company and we will be talking about this in a future post. For now, lets just consider that I have different areas for each of my target markets.

The key to making this work is to have some consistent elements so that people know they are in the right place, but not make it so vanilla that I get bored and want to change everything again in two months (which is always a possibility). Instead I would rather get something set in stone for at least the first six months of the coming year so that I can put a pin in this part of my marketing and do other, funner stuff!

Twitter Social Media Branding

So I am starting with Twitter because it is a little kerfuffly. The banner is really short and wide and cuts off on phones so I need to make sure I know the right dimensions to use.

an amazing post and description of the dynamic properties of the twitter header – click here

Here is my Twitter banner and the overlay from the referenced post to show how it will cut off. Now, I think it does a good job, but short of a plain gray box, there is nothing that will show up perfectly on every device and you will make yourself insane trying to get it to work. This is definitely a case of “good enough is good enough”.

Marketing Artfully Twitter Banner With Overlay

Here are my old banner and my new one.

Marketing Artfully - New banner in place

Facebook Social Media Branding

Okay, Facebook is a little different. They have maintained about the same size for a while but they go back and forth on whether you can use calls to actions to get people to do things (and you definitely can’t say anything about “liking” your page)

With that in mind you need to make sure that you have a strong call to action offer that they can receive when they “click through” your banner. Here is my new banner and below it the template that I used to make sure there was no overlap on the areas where the avatar and buttons were…

Facebook Banner With Clickable Link

here are some fun post examples about how to make “clickable banners”

Google Plus

Google Plus is a behemoth banner and you can also do the “click here” link on it. One thing to remember is that there is A LOT of real estate to cover and if you try to do too much it can get cluttered.

Google Plus Page Banners

Peg Fitzpatrick is my absolute favorite Google Plus guru…read her take on Google Plus profiles here

LinkedIn Banner

Not as sexy but still important to hit is the LinkedIn Banner. While LinkedIn may never be your favorite network, having all the “bits” filled out will assure that you get more response on your connection requests.

Marketing Artfully LinkedIn Banner

Special Bonus

All of this is well and good because I already have my creative done, but what if you are trying to figure out what to have for your look and feel. Here is a video that I did showing the process of developing creative for a client.

Well hopefully all that helped to see how to have Awesome Branding For Your Social Media Properties! Following are some of my favorite tools for accomplishing all this creative lovelyness.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Nerdy Copywriting – How To Find Topics To Write About For Your Blog

Nerdy Copywriting  How To Title Your Blog PostsSo today’s nerdy copywriting post is about how to use back end analytics data to find out what to write about on your blog posts. Today I am going to lift my skirt and show behind the scenes of my Google Analytics and Webmaster tools to see how I figure out hot blog topics.

Disclaimer – This will not work if you are just starting out. I would think that you need to have at least 100 blog posts under your belt to be able to reverse engineer trends and what is working for your website. Startup friends, I do enough sites for other people that I promise I will do something that will work for you soon!

Why You Should Do Research

It is easy to get going on your blog and just think that everything is hunky-dory. You are writing your blog posts religiously and getting some traction in the search engines. But what if you could increase your traffic even more. What if you could double or even triple it by making sure your site is organized correctly and that your upcoming posts are relevant and will rank well in the search engines.

I do this research semi-frequently. It is interesting to see seasonal changes (like the mega-shit-ton of hits that I got for last year’s Thanksgiving quotes) as well as what is actually ranking well in the search engines and sending traffic my way.

Additionally, I sometimes struggle with what to write like everyone else. BUT if I have a list of topics that I can count on to do well in the search engines for me, then I am way more likely to do well if I am mindful of the copywriting topics I use when writing blog posts.

Where To Get Your Data

The best place to get data about where your traffic is coming from is Google Analytics. If you are not using analytics on your website, stop now and get you over and set it up immediately. It is so interesting to see the progression of pages and what people are actually interested in reading about.

Now that being said, it is a self fulfilling prophecy in some cases. I started out writing posts about Realtor Marketing in 2008 when I left the real estate industry, just because that was what I really knew a lot about at the time. Since then I have branched out into other areas like entrepreneur marketing and working with authors, speakers and coaches. But still the biggest segment of my traffic does tend to be to Realtor Marketing posts.

But you can change that by writing a variety of posts and slowly turning the Google search ship in any direction you like.

Happy Accidents

One of the happy accidents in my life is that I rank really highly for “Customer Demographics”. This started happening years ago when I wrote a single post and there must not have been much competition. Since then I have filled out my Customer Demographics posts and made sure there was easy navigation to them from my search bar and drop down menus.

I also share these posts frequently on social media which increases traffic which tells Google that they are still relevant and interesting posts.

Finding Themes

One of the things that became clear by looking at my data and trying to get it into some sort of grouping is that I talk about copywriting a lot, even though I don’t call it that. I think that it would be totally worthwhile to swing back around to those posts, change the titles a bit and include more copywriting content.

As for today, I changed the title of this post from “nerdy numbers” to “nerdy copywriting” so I could add to my cluster of copywriting posts.

Writing About What You Like

Now that I have given you empirical data to show that you need to be writing to very strict guidelines, please disregard all of that at least some of the time.

I have posts like that one customer demographics post that are BRILLIANT, but which get no traffic. Then I have other posts that I thought we okay which become bestsellers! I think that the most important thing you can do is be passionate about your topic, only write about what you know about and then be prolific.

If you are writing a post a week it will take two years to get to 100 posts. If you can manage it, I would recommend writing a lot more post than that, enabling you to get a good jump start on ranking and beating yoru competition!

Goal Setting, Marketing Strategy and When To Quit

Goal Setting, Strategy and When To  QuitToday starts the holiday season for most people, a time of joy and love when they spend time with family and friends. My December is a little different…still friends, family and holidays, but honestly, this is bust my ass month. The month where everyone else kinda peters out and I can make huge strides in my business. With that in mind, I am starting out on my first goal, writing a blog post a day for a month.

A Blog Post A Day For A Month

For the last three or four years I have written a blog post a day for the month of December and it has REALLY helped my business and my website traffic. Some of them have become huge players on my site (one of my customer demographics posts gets over 1,000 hits a month and it is now 2 years old). Others just add a couple of hits a month but lots of posts with a few hits really start to add up. Let’s say that they only get 5 hits each…3 years X 30 posts X 5 hits = 450 hits on the lowest common denominator.

But it isn’t just the hits I get, it is the completion of a mass of work, one post at a time. The rest of the year I do about 2 posts a week which is still great, but not going to rake in those kinds of numbers.

Setting Goals

So now let’s look at you and your goals. There is a definite way to make sure that your goals are going to work.

1. Make sure your goals are finite

If I said I was going to write a blog post a day for the rest of my life the pressure would get to me. I would crack and the first time I failed I would be off the wagon and ready with an excuse right away the next time. Having done this for a while now, I KNOW I can write a post a day for a month. I have written the most awful garbage at 10pm at night in the past, but it was a published post.

So one, make your timeline a month or three months, not the rest of your life. Do like the AA people and get through this one day at a time, doing your one goal until it is finished.

2. F-O-C-U-S

The next tip is to focus. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire says this all the time and it is attributed to Robert Kiyosaki, FOCUS means “Follow One Course Until Successful”. I don’t try to do much else in December besides being out there and writing posts. I don’t start a huge project to run concurrently with my writing. Basically, I am the little turtle, plodding along and writing posts.

But something weird happens when I do this. Because all my focus is on writing and sharing my blog posts, I get more connections. I also have to do more research and learn more about other people. My reticular activator turns on and I start noticing things about writing that I never did before and come up with some amazing topics and posts that wouldn’t happen if I was just plodding along like I do the rest of the year.

3. Strategy

Doing something like this seems to be random, but in my world it is very specific. I am good at writing, enjoy it and almost push it to the back of the line because “getting” to write seems like a bonus instead of a real job. I was working with a coaching client the other day and we decided that her one goal would be to network 5 times a week for the month. This could mean real networking groups or parties or even having coffee with a friend. The point is for her to be really open to every opportunity that comes along this month and then go seek out other ones that will help “fill in” to get her to 5 a week.

Think about that. If she goes to that many events she will meet a ton of new people who she can put into her database. She will find out about even more events that might be more appropriate for lead generating, or even make some new business friends. It is not a stupid idea, just a deliberate play to make this month a standout networking month.

4. Quitting

This year I had a plan to write a book a week for a year with my writing partner. Unfortunately, we only go half way before circumstances dictated that I had to jump back into my real business and couldn’t keep using up that much time a week to publish those books. Quitting that was devastating to me, but not quitting it would have really hurt me and my family financially in a way that would have been hard to recover from.

It is rare that you will have to quit a month long goal, but doing something like this may expose other pieces of your business that you do without thinking and which might not serve you as well as they did in the past. Maybe you belong to a service club and all your best buds have left, but you still do it because it is expected. Or you so trade shows every year to sell for Christmas, even though you could reach more buyers by having an online strategy next year. Whatever it is, make sure you are mindful of what you do this month so that you can make sure you are using your time wisely.

5. Being Realistic

Back in the day when I started doing this I did 7 days a week for a month. But last year we adopted 3 kids and now I can’t do that. What I can do is weekdays because I have a job even though I “just” work for myself. That means that I will be writing 23 posts instead of 31. Now, I am sad that I can’t do the 31 posts, but at the end of the day, I also want to be there for my kids and husband at least on the weekends so weekday posts it is.

There is no shame in creating a tiny bit of balance in your life. If you are like most entrepreneurs, your balance is probably way over on the work side anyways so squeaking out a bit of realistic family or friend time is probably a good thing.

Well there you have it, a rah-rah, “get off your butt and make a plan” post to get the month started right. Wonder what tomorrow’s post will bring?

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Going Back To A Paper Business Planner, Sorta | Erin Condren Life Planner

I am going back to a paper business planner…sorta!! I had to do it even though it doesn’t make any sense to my digital husband who can put everything into his computer and have it be an actual thing.

Get $10 off your first order of an Erin Condren calendar…click here (makes sure to “register” to get your discount!)

Getting Personal

Going Back To A Paper Business Planner - Erin CondrenFor me the computer does work, up to a point. I can put in all my interviews and coaching clients so my assistant doesn’t double book me. I can put when I am traveling in, when the kids are off school and note when people are coming into town. I can add the fact that I had a mastermind meeting with my buddy Kir, but then what?

How do I make a little smiley face to show that getting an email from someone I want to work with made my day? If I note that we are doing Christmas decorating for Family Fun Night, will I REALLY flip back through my digital calendar to see that in a couple of months or next year? I can tell you in all the time I have had my digital calendar (probably about two and half years now) I have NEVER gone back to see what happened when. It is too cold and sterile.

More of A Journal and Atta Girl Working Book

Because I am so visual, I struggle a little bit with the computer. I did make it pretty colored to help break up the monotony, but still not glorious…sigh.

With a paper journal I can add stickers and highlighters and color code things. I can make little notes to the side and remember when cool things happened. As you can see in the video, this is not so much a “what to do” calendar but more a “what I did”, “who I met with” and “great things that happened” record of what went on.

The other thing that this accomplishes is that I can see the fruits of my labor. When I make a video I can note how many views it gets if it a runaway hit. I can see if this blog post strikes a note and do more like this or if a social media post gets a lot of likes. Yesterday a pretty big podcaster liked me on Instagram and Twitter. I totally want to make sure to share some of his stuff today…not a digital planner event, more a strategic nice thing to put in my planner and mark with orange!

Keeping It All Together

Another way that having a digital calendar failed me was that there was no way to keep paper things together. I really did have sticky notes all over the place and my “working” documents shoved under my monitor and beside my desk. Now I have my client work bits all snug in the front of my planner and can whip them out whenever I need them (and ignore them when I am working on my “stuff”!)

Having A Personal Life

If you are an entrepreneur like I am, you probably understand why I have to schedule a personal life. Given a chance, I would be working everyday on my business, nose down and ignoring my family. Just this year this stopped working for me. Up until then I had been half of a DINK (Dual Income No Kids). My husband knew that I was going to work 60-80 hours a week and that made me happy and kept me out of his hair.

Then we adopted 3 kids. They do not find watching me work fun (imagine that!) So now I have to make sure that I have more of a balance in my life and that I am rewarding them and myself by doing things together.

It seems weird to think that spending time with my kids should be scheduled, don’t most parents do that naturally? Maybe so, but I don’t. I want to make sure that I am spending time with each of them in the way that they like (some like games, some like watching crime shows, some like Starbucks, heck they all like Starbucks!)

With that in mind I got special stickers that I can use every time I do something fun with one or the other of them. It gives me an added incentive to put work down and play because they are really cute stickers!

Get $10 off your first order of an Erin Condren calendar…click here

The link in this post is a “refer a friend” link…I will not receive monetary compensation but will get a $10 credit just like you!. All opinions are my own.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Twitter Marketing – How To Do Competitive Analysis (Spy On Your Competition)

Twitter Marketing - How To Do Competitive Marketing Analysis

I had an epiphany last week that I truly don’t know who my competition is. Then I started to think about why that is and overall I came to the conclusion that it is because it varies depending on the marketing platform. In years past your competition was the guy down the street who does the same thing that you do. Today, competition comes from across the globe and on multiple marketing channels.

With that in mind I am trying to figure out who my competition is across the interwebs and I am dragging you along for the ride!!!

See last week’s post about finding your competition on Facebook

Competitive Analysis For Twitter Marketing

Let’s start with why you would want to know who is your competition on Twitter. Some really basic reasons come to mind including:

1. So you can target their followers with paid marketing
2. So you can see what they are posting and try to emulate that
3. To make sure you are keeping abreast of what is going in social media for your industry

Notes about Twitter…

Figuring out my competition on Facebook was much easier than on Twitter. For Facebook I primarily have my profile (person) and my business page (marketing artfully). On Twitter I have found that having one “main” account (taradactyl) is fine, but having little niche accounts actually makes more sense for growing a targeted, rabid following. For example, my EbookNerds and TweetingHomes grow much faster because they have a targeted focus (self publishing and real estate).

So for the purposes of this post, I am going to try and figure out who my competition is for Real Estate Marketing (tweetinghomes) on Twitter.

Twitter Advanced Search

The easiest way to start is to do a simple search in the Twitter search bar for your industry. After you do that you can check out the competition and find out more even more by following the hashtags (like #realestate #marketing).

The Twitter advanced search tool allows you to search a number of different criteria including keywords, hashtags and even within a defined geographic criteria.

The Devils You Know

So in real estate marketing, there are some big players who have been around for a very long time. Brian Buffini, Hobbs Herder and Tom Ferry are three who come to mind. I am sure you have some of the “usual suspects” in your industry.

You will want to check out their profiles to see if they are actively working their accounts and if they have any best practices you can copy.

Google Searches

Many times you can do a Twitter search for a specific type of Twitter account and people will have made a blog post about it. For example you could search Google for “best marketing people on twitter” and get a number of different posts recommending people to follow.

You can also find the top listings for “real” search and then check their Twitter accounts to see if they are actually using Twitter as a marketing tool.


A great tool to use is This site lists Twitter accounts according to various criteria like how many followers and the date the account was created. A REALLY good resource for finding people to follow or scoping out your competition.

Well hopefully that helps! There isn’t as much agony over figuring out your Twitter competition as there is on other sites. It is pretty straight forward and easy to check out!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

4 Things To Focus On When You Are Updating Your WordPress Website | Website Design

4 Things To Focus On When You Are Updating Your WordPress Website | Website Design

Website design is one of the things that I accidentally know how to do. Back in 2001 when I officially started my marketing company (it was called 4D Marketing back then) I needed to get work and making websites seemed like it would be a great idea. I had a working knowledge of how to make them and a little bit of creativity and so BAM…I made HTML websites. Fast forward to 2008 and I started making blogs until today…the pinnacle of my website design happiness, I revised the look and feel of my website for the last time!

The Back Story

Okay, I am an entrepreneur and so I like to mess with my “stuff”. That said, I had made the last change to my website in haste, listening to a bunch of different people who said I had to be more “corporate” and “business-like” in my presentation. Because I was going through colossal sized changes at the time and didn’t have an idea for myself what I wanted, I went with the boilerplate, stuffy, stock photo extravaganza you see on the left. I sorta hated it…not just because it wasn’t pretty or fun, but because all that corporate-ness made it hard for my peeps to find anything they needed to use.

The rest of this post is about how I made the site of my dreams come true…:)

Updating Your WordPress Website

#1 Thing – Figure out the looks and feel

Big Stock Photo ExampleOne of the reasons that I can say that I am done changing my site, at least for a while, is that I took a fair amount of time to figure out exactly what I wanted my site to look like. I decided on the fun colors of pink, blue, yellow and green used in a “Garanimals” way. For those of you too young to remember, Garanimals were clothes that all matched if you put the blue bears together or the yellow lions.

The way that I did that was to pick a color palette already done by an artist onBig Stock Photo. I did not have to design the color scheme or banners that I used, I could just pull them down and pop them in. If you are working with a web designer, they will probably be happy if you can be specific about things like this that give them clues to what you like.

Photography. I also know for a fact that more women come to my site, watch my webinars and read my books than men. With that in mind I really just wanted to make sure that the majority of the pictures would appeal to women.

WordPress. I picked a Genesis theme that was close enough to what I wanted and then spent ALL my time developing graphics that would make the theme pop. The slider at the top has just 4 pictures but it is beautiful and eye catching. The sidebar has LOTS of color and I use the 8 little dots in a row to divide things all over the site.

#2 Thing – Stop Worrying About Looks And Start Worrying About Functionality

Having worked with lots of clients in the the past on their websites, I can tell you that they spend WAY too much time worrying about what goes where and how the search bar looks. Stop worrying about looks and figure out what you want your website to do!

While I was focused on making the site pretty, mostly I wanted to make sure that people could find what they were looking for. With that in mind I started the navigation buttons with the 4 types of people I work with, Entrepreneurs, Realtors, Startups and Authors, Speakers and Coaches. Niching down always feels funny and it did to me too! I like working with Manufacturers (a group that does need the “corporate” looking website to feel okay about working with me), but at the end of the day something has to go and they got axed.

Next comes quick links to my products. I had to cut some things there too so I axed all my services. No more setting up websites or doing social media, I am moving to a coaching, my products and affiliate based model (this was necessitated by adopting 3 kids so it was a happy change, but a change none-the-less).

There is also a link to my blog posts with categories. Now, I am pretty well represented in Google, but it doesn’t hurt to let people know how they can read your “stuff”.

Another thing I did was to take a page out of Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income’s website and make a “Start Here” page. With all the blog posts and content I have on the site, it has to be crazy hard to understand without some sort of roadmap. Hopefully adding this page will reduce my bounce rate and keep people on my website longer!

#3 Set Up Consistency

I have built consistency right into my site. I have the little dots that separate the sections and am using just three different fonts predominantly (Times New Roman, Impact and Kabel).

Having this kind of locked down “style guide” structure means that I don’t have to worry that all the bits will start to look cluttered.

Additionally I did the “Garanimals” color scheme meaning that Pink is for Entrepreneurs, Blue is for Realtors, Yellow is for Startups and Green is for Authors, Speakers and Coaches (you can see this in the top banner). The nice thing about this is that I can use this in the handouts I give and the digital products I develop.

#4 Sell Something

Jennifer McGuire WebsiteOne of the BIG reasons I wanted to change the look and feel was that I need to be able to sell more effectively on my website. With the corporate look there wasn’t a way to elegantly add sales banners or calls to action at the bottom of the posts. With this in mind, I added two types of sales functionality that I “borrowed” from the world of scrapbooking ladies (I KNOW, weird right? But these gals are nothing if not dedicated to making their hobbies a money making machine!)

I used a gal named Jennifer McGuire’s site as a template for how I was going to structure my sales pieces. There would be a a bunch of sales items on the right sidebar (which sometimes people don’t see because of “banner blindness”) and also links at the bottom listing the resources that I used in each post.

Now, from a BUSINESS standpoint, I am sure some of you think that this is excessive. It really is just not done that blatantly usually. But that said, I don’t think of the scrapbooking girls “selling” so much as showing me how to do something cool and then giving me a handy-dandy way to order the products right from that post.

I feel that same way about the links I share. I NEVER talk about something that I haven’t used or bought and I just have to tell you when I find something cool, so why not make it easier for you to find it right away?

Conclusion and Question

So there you have it, the redo what’s and why’s. So I have a question for you! What do you think about providing resources this way? Tacky or helpful? Please let me know in the comments below!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Thanks and Gratitude Quotes For Business

Thanks And Gratitude Quotes

I LOVE quotes and ones about thanks and gratitude quotes are some of my favorites! If none of these thanks and gratitude picture quotes work for you, please check out our past Thanksgiving quotes from last year. I give away these quotes freely and would love if you share them, just please make sure to leave my link at the bottom as an attribution!

Thanks Tara

Gratitude Is When Memory Is Stored In The Heart and Not In The Mind - Lionel Hampton

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.
Lionel Hampton

Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude… Don’t complain; just work harder… Never give up. Randy Pausch

Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude… Don’t complain; just work harder… Never give up.
Randy Pausch

Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude… Don’t complain; just work harder… Never give up. Randy Pausch

It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.
Roberto Benigni

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. Kristin Armstrong

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.
Kristin Armstrong

I am grateful that I didn’t let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness. Mariska Hargitay

I am grateful that I didn’t let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness.
Mariska Hargitay

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. Joel Osteen

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.
Joel Osteen

One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low. Richard Carlson #quotes

The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low. Richard Carlson

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. Henry Ward Beecher

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher

Over and over I marvel at the blessings of my life: Each year has grown better than the last. Lawrence Welk

Over and over I marvel at the blessings of my life: Each year has grown better than the last.
Lawrence Welk

Additional Thanks and Gratitude Quotes

To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.
Victor Hugo

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
Henry Van Dyke

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.
Konrad von Gesner

Thanksgiving just gets me all warm and tingly and all kinds of wonderful inside.
Willard Scott

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Melody Beattie

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward

No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
Alfred North Whitehead

Facebook Marketing – How To Do Competitive Analysis (Spy On Your Competition)

Facebook Marketing - How To Do Competitive Analysis (Spy On Your Competition)Just yesterday it happened again, someone said that they wanted to know who my competition was and I froze like a popsicle.

Who IS my competition?

Today we are going to take a look at ways that we can find out who our actual competition is on Facebook using competitive analysis.

Finding Your Competitors On Facebook

Okay, I admit, I really don’t love Facebook. It is a necessary evil in my life, but I don’t put the time into it that I should do for my business pages (which is what we are going to use as our Facebook competitors).

Step 1 – Search Bar

Pages like by people who like - competitive analysis

You are going to start by finding out which pages are liked by people who like your page. This will take into account geographic preferences, content preferences and really show you who is your Facebook competition.

At the top (while you are in your “person” account) you will want to type in the following search:

pages liked by people who like Marketing Artfully (YOUR PAGE NAME WOULD GO THERE)

In my case this resulted in the following top 10 pages:

Small Business Chamber – This is a local business owner who does live networking. The interesting thing about this page is that they are focused on startups and I getting more interest from startups because of my marketing workbook.

The Colorado Connector – It totally makes sense that this is a “competitor” page. Rebekah, my marketing besty, owns this. Now, she has gone in a different direction so it is not as active as it was, but still makes sense!

Heinlein Group – Heinlein Publishing Services – Hmmm interesting. I am targeting authors with things like the Ebook Nerds Facebook and Twitter accounts but have not launched an official products for them yet. I have to think that this bodes well for the direction that I am heading!

Mike O’Neil – Mike lived here in Denver for years and still has a really strong following. That said, he only posts about 1X per month so I don’t see him as current competition.

A-Dre Productions – Interesting. Not sure why they would like this event planning company and mine. They are Denver local but are 25-34 age which is not my demographic at all.

DTC / Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce – LOVE that a reputable organization like DTC Chamber is my “competition”. We share the same age demographic and location so this one makes a lot of sense. That said, they don’t have any more interactions on Facebook than I do.

Andrea Constantine – Andrea is a local woman who speaks and coaches. It does appear that she has abandoned her page as there has been nothing posted in 3 months.

Erin Ashlee Rose – The ties are getting even weaker. She is Denver/California but appears to be a young up and coming actress. Not hitting my demographic at all.

Kudo Community – Abandoned in 2013

National Association of Realtors – Well now it gets funny. Some of my “peeps” are definitely Realtors so this does make sense. That said, they get as many new likes per week as I have total so how does that help except to find things that they post which are popular that I can share too.

Pro Tip >> See The video for how to put your competition to work for finding great content to post.

Facebook Recommended Competition

Recommended Competition Facebook

Success Magazine – Now we are getting into stupid big numbers compared to my little page. They have 2 MILLION likes and get as high as 38K likes on a post. But wait, there is something weird here! Their biggest city is in the Philippines which probably means that they are buying likes and that they are paying to sponsor posts to get those numbers. That said, we can still check out what gets the most engagement at those levels and emulate some of what they do.

Jim Rohn – Mr. Rohn is deceased and it seems that the page is nothing but 5 text based quotes and then a pitch for an official product. I have to think that this was grown organically as the main city is Los Angeles. It seems that the love, admiration and good will that Mr. Rohn built in his lifetime continues today.

Get 10,000 Fans – Not sure what is going on here. They have over 300,000 likes and haven’t posted in over two weeks. Maybe because Facebook changed the newsfeed algorithm they are shutting down? Oh well.

Mari Smith – Okey doke, just want to say from the outset that I LOVE Mari Smith, she is a class act. That said, she is a pure social media marketer and I am not. She is also a “Facebook Queen” so I would hope that she would have high numbers. With all of that, her success on Facebook does seem attainable if you were to put in the time and energy. She is a speaker and drives everyone to Facebook instead of her website. She is charming and polite and answers people. Definitely someone to watch and emulate. (She doesn’t seem to be paying for her likes, her main city is Los Angeles!)

Jeffrey Gitomer – Last but not least is Gitomer. He is a speaker and has spent decades building a following by speaking all of the country. He has embraced social media and is really involved in his social channels. I am pleased to see that he is not buying as his best city is Chicago.

Observations About My Competition

First off, it seems that quotes are far and away the best producing content on any of the pages. Quotes with pictures seem to be #1 and then quotes without pictures are #2. It is really worthwhile to spend some time figuring out what your competition is posting so that you can see what is best to share for maximum effect. This is different for each industry…for example, one of our hospitality clients has pictures of their hotels and awards that they have won as the top successful competitive posts.

I made a little spreadsheet to do this which tracked:

  • Page Name
  • Page Owner
  • #Likes
  • Talking Abouts
  • New Likes
  • Location
  • Age
  • Best Post #1
  • #Likes and Shares
  • Best Post #2
  • #Likes and Shares
  • Link to the page

Facebook Marketing  Competitive Analysis Spreadsheetetitive Analysis Spreadsheet

Seeing all the data in one place really let some of the obvious points jump out at me!

Keep your peepers open next week for the next part of this series, Twitter Marketing – How To Do Competitive Analysis (Spy On Your Competition)

OMG, You Are Totally Not Like Your Customer – Shut Your Mouth Small Business Marketing

[Blog Post] You Are Not Your Customer - Shut Your Mouth MarketingThere is a phrase in small business marketing that we forget all..the..time..YOU ARE NOT YOUR CUSTOMER!

When I was growing up we said “like” A LOT. Like, almost every other word. It was severely annoying to my Daddy who thought that was the dumbest sounding thing he had ever heard. More recently the kids have said things like “OMG” for Oh, My God and “No, I’m Good” to mean almost any negative response…you want to go to the mall, “No, I’m Good”. One of the mommies at the bus stop is ready to pull her hair out over her daughters almost universal negative answers…You want to take out the trash? No, I am good!

I know, you are thinking how dumb kids are, but wait, there is more. When I was in the corporate world we had a fun little game we played on conference calls, buzzword B-I-N-G-O. In this super fun game we would vaguely listen to what the person on the other end of the line was saying, except to try and note when they used industry buzzwords (mostly in the wrong way!) There were “stakeholders” and “metrics”, “blowback” and “buy in”. Much like the OMGs and Likes of the kids, having these sort of touchstone words made our clients and prospects feel more secure in their world.

So we have found out that people do things in “packs” because that makes them feel like part of a club.

Rarely Is Our World Our Exactly Our Customer’s World

Sometimes in business we are exactly match our customers, or we think we do. Funny story… a client who loves super healthy living and takes women out in the wilderness and has them cook their own food on campfires for a week took her gang to the store where mayhem ruled.

The premise of the camping trip was sort of back to nature, healthy living, etc. but no one told one lady who felt that her “cooking” should be ice cream for dinner. My client was astounded, who would eat ice cream for dinner? There was a complete mis-match between Chris’ world and her client’s perception.

So we have confirmed that we are probably NOT exactly like every one of our customers.

Facebook Marketing Won’t Work Because I Say So

Lately I have been trying to figure out Facebook paid marketing. With the death of posts showing up in the feeds, to keep this as more than a placeholder channel I am probably going to have to spend a bit of money…sigh. That makes me sad because I really hate Facebook, shocking for a marketing person I know! The problem is I am an introvert so all that liking, sharing, talking, poking, Happy Birthdays and the rest wears me out. It makes me a little more tired and doesn’t provide any kind of “juice” to my day. Additionally I would NEVER buy anything from a Facebook ad so it is hard to understand this as a marketing channel.

Facebook Marketing PostsEXCEPT that companies have been showing me “ads” like the one on the top…a kinda cool story about true crimes. Now, I have indicated I like Shemar Moore and Criminal Minds, I like the show Bones and mystery books…hmmm wonder how they knew I would like a post like that. I don’t know how this company generates revenue, it could be by hits to their website and so me reading that, maybe liking it and then sharing it with my network would pay off for them.

That said, the next ad down would NOT appeal to me at all…I don’t wear those kinds of fancy clothes, but wait…I do have a 16 year old daughter who loves cute clothes.

They have shown me a bunch of different kinds of clothing but ultimately I clicked on one that I thought would appeal to Britty. Imagine that, do you think that company selling cute clothes knows about my daughter and her cuteness? I am sure they do!

So now we have figured out there are ways to make any kind of marketing work if you know what you are doing.

Marketing “Tricks” Don’t Work On Me

Lead Pages - Ends At Midnight SaleBesides those rascally Facebook marketers, I just want you to know that absolutely no other marketing “tricks” work on me (I know them all!) Um…except that I did buy LeadPages on a certain day because they told me a feature that I liked was going to end at midnight.

I have been meaning to get LeadPages for a while now, but I have been busy. I launched a marketing workbook that I have aggressive goals for selling and LeadPages would help with that, but did I really have time to learn a new system and get everything set up? Then one day they said that if you bought today you could still get a free extra account but tomorrow that offer would be off the table. I had attended webinars with them and they were giving away TONS of bonuses for all different kinds of things, but I never bit. But that one email made me get my credit card out and sign up that day.

This matters because there are other products out there competing with LeadPages that I have been looking at. They are cheaper and I might have been vulnerable to have had LeadPages sell me on the concept and then one of those other companies close me. It was vital that they get my buy-in so that I became a customer and they finally found something that would tip me over to the point of purchasing.

So now we know that marketing “tricks” work when someone really does want to buy what you are selling.

SHUT YOUR MOUTH – Small Business Marketing

So if you are like me and thinking about a new marketing channel or trying a new marketing tactic, you need to shut your mouth and ignore that little voice in your head that says, “no one buys from infomercials” – they do!, “no one buys from Facebook” – they do, “no one every makes a sale at networking” – they do!

It is your (and my) limiting beliefs that make sure it won’t work.

If you are sure Facebook marketing will not work, there is a good chance you will not put in the time to understand the best messages for your audience. You will probably not monitor and track your results as much as you should to get the best sale-through rates. You won’t think that your team’s time spent learning about Facebook is valuable.

I recommend that you make a list of every marketing channel you have ever heard of and then start researching them. Find out if your competition is on there. Find out if anyone has a course telling you how to do it. Find out if your marketing budget matches what you are trying to accomplish on that channel. Once you have picked a course of action, go all in. Take the time to learn, monitor and tweak that marketing until it is getting you the best possible results!

PS – I have an affiliate link in here for LeadPages because one of my sales channels is to promote great products that I use myself. If you are thinking about some kind of marketing and want to know which course I recommend, shoot me an email today! Tara (at) (I get at least two messages a day from people with questions!)

One Last Thing To Think About


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[BLOG POST] You Are Not Your Customer - Shut Your Mouth Marketing

Customer Demographics For Realtor Marketing

How To Use Customer Demographics With your Realtor MarketingOne of the things that I love about Realtor marketing is the lack of creative uses of data in the marketplace today. Most Realtors have no idea about how to use customer demographics in the most effective ways to get listings, lead generate or close more sales.

Today I will take some of the available data and put it into context that you can use in your listing presentations, pre listing packets and even your marketing materials to grow your business.

Seller Prospecting

According to the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, “The typical home seller in 2013 was 53 years of age, had a median household income of $97,500, and lived in their home for 9 years….this number jumped to 10 years for 2014″

So what does that tell us about prospecting for sellers? You will want to be very clear about which sellers to mail to (ones that have owned their homes 8-9 years). Additionally, you will want to use graphics that depict families who have parents who are more mature and kids who are high school aged or college aged. OR you could depict a mature couple who are standing alone without kids at all.

Think about it, why are so many homes sold by 53 year olds? Is it perhaps because they are selling the family home and moving somewhere more appropriate now that they don’t have a passel of kids at home?

Think about what to mail them. You will want to talk about second homes, down sizing and what to do now that the kids have moved out. Talk about freedom and passion and getting back in the groove and having fun!

want more about this topic? check out How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing

First Time Buyer Prospecting

According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, “The typical first time home buyer accounts for 33% of purchases, their median age is 31 years and their income is $68,300.”

Oh is this good data! It will show us what kinds of people and properties to use in our marketing. You should use pretty and popular pictures of 30-somethings. They might have some young kids and should be looking at properties that are in the $200K range.

(As a general guideline, your monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance, should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income Bankrate)

Because all markets are different, you will have to see what kinds of properties would be realistic for your first time homebuyers!

For Sellers and FBSOs – Where Do Buyers Come From?

Where do home buyers come from?

According to the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, this is where buyers come from:

  • Real estate agent: 89%
  • Yard sign: 51%
  • Mobile of tablet website or application: 45%
  • Open house: 45%
  • Mobile or tablet search engine: 42%
  • Print newspaper advertisement: 23%

Things that you could use this data for:

  1. FSBOs - If you are prospecting FSBOs, the 89% of buyers who use Real Estate Agents in some manner is a powerful piece of information. Don’t beat them up about it, but the fact that you are only able to reach 11% of buyers is not great for selling your home.
  2. Sellers – Knowing that yard signs account for 51% of the buyers, you could definitely talk up having a yard sign, brochure box or other marketing opportunities!
  3. Sellers – If you like doing open houses, you can mention that 45% of buyers find that to be a great research channel. If you hate doing open houses, you can mention that only 45% of buyers even know about open houses.
  4. Both – The most impactful number is the fact that 89% of buyers have some contact with a real estate agent or Realtor. You will want to talk up the fact that you have great Realtor relationships and that even though you will be trying to sell their home, generally it will be another agent who will be representing the buyers. Make sure you talk about doing Brokers Opens, that you have a local Realtor Database or even if you are teaching locally.
  5. Both – If you rank highly for keywords related to their local market, city or even subdivision, make sure you put screenshots of that in your listing presentation.


Realtor Marketing And Customer Demographics

Having worked with Realtors for years, I know that most agents are not using customer demographic data effectively in their marketing efforts. Here are a couple of ways that you can really be different from the other agents:

Using Prospecting Data – One of the main things I would like this data for is to figure out how to target customers who might be ready to move in the next year or so. I would take the Tax Records for a subdivision that I like and drill down to find the homeowners who have lived there 8.5+ years and start pounding them with amazingly helpful information about what to do remodeling-wise to sell their home and what the 5 biggest seller mistakes are and how they can get 10% more for their home sale with this one little trick. I would make them want to call me and and have me come by to do a CMA and then sell that home fast and for the most money!

Using Commission Magic - I always had the pie chart in my listing presentation so that they could see that most times it would be another agent selling their home. This helped me get at least a half a percentage point extra for the buyers agent and gave me a great thing to talk about when doing brokers opens or agent get-togethers! I told my sellers how I talked about marketing at all the local real estate offices and the board, I let them know I had a database of agents I had done deals with or hosted open houses with and that I would email their listing to all those Realtors too! Sellers don’t care about you except in the way that your business and marketing can help them sell for more money so let them know all the cool things about working with you!

Working Those Buyers – I am not great at talking about buyers (I only ever worked with 4 the two years I was a Realtor!) That said, I would definitely look at the numbers and find out what that means for them buying a house. I would get together with a lender and have a really cool chart that showed if you make $50K a year you can buy a $150K house, if you make $60K a year you can buy a $200k house, etc. I am here to tell you that data is not available readily on the internet and it would definitely be something first time homebuyers would be interested in!

Okey-doke, there are a few ways you can use Customer Demographics to make your Realtor Marketing more effective. Leave me a comment below if any of these idea sparked a great idea for you and your marketplace!

Case Study – Event Marketing (Donna Thornton)

Marketing Case Study - Event MarketingFiguring out how to go about marketing your business and making more money is not always easy. Business owners know what they know, but often have no idea of how to craft a marketing plan that will be effective and not horrifically hard to implement.

Today we are going to be looking at an Event Marketing case study, where a small business owner melds her goals and dreams with cold hard marketing tactics that will work to make her more money!

Donna Thornton – Psychic Medium Channel

I have been working with Donna for quite some time now and she is like lots of entrepreneurs, moving forward, sideways and back as she is figuring out what her fabulous life and business look like. Today we were looking at what she is currently doing and what she would like to do going forward to determine the best marketing plan for her business.

What Donna Likes To Do

Product Development Worksheet1. The first step is to figure out what you like to do! Donna likes helping people, giving readings (tarot), clearing houses, teaching tarot classes and working at parties.

How To :: One way to figure what you like to do is to ask yourself, if you could only do one thing, all day, every day, for the rest of your life, what would it be? No matter what your industry is, in each there are parts that you are going to find that you like more than others. For example I like speaking, but I can’t travel as much as I used to because we adopted 3 kids. This opens the door for speaking locally as well as doing webinars or a podcast for marketing.

2. The next step is to figure out a practical amount of each of product that she will be selling (time-wise and income-wise) to achieve her level of income required. We used the Product Development Sheet from the Marketing Strategy Workbook to figure out that Donna would like this to be 1/4 of her income so she would have to sell 1.5 per week or 9 month. Selling 1.5 a week is not so hard to accomplish!

Who Would Buy What She Is Selling

The next thing we looked at for Donna’s marketing plan was to figure out the perfect customer for her 6 week in person training course. By knowing that the person who would be attending was a woman, 35-45, named Miranda, we could start putting things together about her that will help us figure out how to sell the course.


  • She has school aged kids, but they are not babies
  • She drives a station wagon and lives in suburbia
  • She works because she needs money for her family (she is an admin assistant)
  • She gardens and likes to decorate her house
  • Her worldview is that this class will “let her do something for herself” and she can “get together with like-minded people”
  • She wants to be part of the “club” that knows about Tarot
  • She loves the TV show Supernatural, her kids, her husband, the NY Medium and buying crystals
  • She hopes that this class will be fun, she will learn something and that it will help answer some of her questions
  • She worries that everyone will think she is flaky for taking it

find out more about doing a Perfect Customer Profile or creating your perfect avatar

Marketing Plan

Now that we “know” so much about our perfect customer, we can start crafting a marketing plan that will allow us to target women like Miranda.

Website. We did some competitive SEO research and found that, while there are 491,000 competing sites for tarot classes denver, there are only 8 listings for the exact search “tarot classes denver” and only one lone meetup from years ago for “tarot classes westminster”. This gives Donna a really great chance to rank on Google for some really good keywords that would bring in students.

Locations. She is going to check with a friend who has a conference room in a metaphysical center to see if she can use her location. Because there is already an established group of people who go there, she might be able to pick up some new students via flyers or referrals.

Local sites. Donna has a number of different local events sites to list the classes:

  • Meetup
  • Local event sites
  • Yelp
  • Regional paper (sending a press release)

Videos. Donna is going to make at least 3 videos inviting people to her event. This way she can rotate them and also get the value of the keywords on YouTube. Don’t forget, upload videos directly when posting them to Facebook.

Graphics. Donna will be using to make graphics for the event. She will be sharing these to:

  • Facebook using a posting schedule on Hootsuite (she will also be posting pictures of happy people from her last classes)
  • Twitter, remembering to use her Twitter #denver and #westminster hashtags
  • Google+ using targeted keywords like “Tarot Classes Denver” and “Tarot Classes Westminster”
  • Pinterest – posting pictures with link on a “Tarot Classes Denver” board

She will not be using LinkedIn for this campaign as it is not a great fit!

Want More? Get The Workbook!

Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyEvery month the members of the Marketing Strategy Guide club get a great Case Study like this, a newsletter and even a marketing plan! The best part? You buy it once and get everything else for free forever!

>> Check out the Marketing Strategy Guide today!

How To Brand Your Social Media For The Holidays


How to brand your social media for the holidaysIt is time to plan your social media branding for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Seeing as how the holidays are creeping up on us, you need to make sure that you have a rock solid plan for what to do to get your sales on over the coming months.

Branding Your Social Media For The Holidays

The first thing that you want to start with is doing a custom header for your social media properties. These pictures are a great opportunity if you are actually selling something that is appropriate for Christmas buying!

In this one we just added fun Christmas lights to the regular banner we use for our EbookNerds Twitter account.


If you are just having Christmas lights added to to your normal design, head over to and pay just $5 to get them added!

Cute Christmas Lights For Twitter

Marketing Branding Christmas Social Media


Make sure to click the photos and make a call to action with a link

See some in action: Cleans Green Facebook Page & Tara Jacobsen Google Plus (click the pictures to see the links)

Take Advantage Of Native Social Media Properties

Some of the sites like Twitter and Facebook allow you to “Pin” a picture to the top. Make sure that you are taking advantage of this opportunity by keeping one of your Christmas sales messages at the top!

Social media for christmas - pin it where you can

Formatting Your Ads

Make sure you have both versions of each picture to share on sites that like horizontal pictures and also vertical pictures.

You need to have both horizontal and vertical versions of pictures

Get LOTS of Ads

It is nice to have a good mix of different ads that you can share over the course of November and December.

Have a nice mix of all kinds of different marketing banners

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How to brand your social media for the holidays

The Best Christmas Gifts For Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

The Best Christmas Gifts For Entrepreneurs and Small Business OwnersBuying the best Christmas Gifts for entrepreneurs and small business owners can be hard! Should you get them something to help their business or should you stick to something personal? This list includes things that can help support them at a business level, a personal level and as a marketing genius who will be able to grow her business exponentially over the next year!

Why Not Get Her A Toaster Again This Year?

As a business owner myself, I can tell you the top reasons that I appreciate getting these types of business related Christmas Gifts are:

  • By getting me something for my small business my spouse is telling me that he cares and supports me and my business (it doesn’t always feel that way during the year!)
  • Because I am still building my business, I wouldn’t necessarily be willing to buy these things for myself right now
  • I am not always okay with spending money on myself and so having him pay will make a REALLY great Christmas present…:)

For the purposes of this post I am going to try and break down where your spouse, boyfriend, finance, business partner or other significant other might be in the process of their business right now. I am also going to try and explain why the recommended product might be such a great training or business opportunity for them! Some of the links go to affiliate links where I might get a couple of bucks for the recommendations, but many just go to things I really do think will be a benefit to small business owners and entrepreneurs and make you look great this Christmas!!!

Christmas Gifts If They Are Just Getting Started In Business


The Last Marketing Strategy Guide

The Last Marketing Strategy Guide - Xmas EditionThis is my product and I am super dedicated to helping you make this an amazing Christmas Present!! If you order before December 15th and want the printed out copy I will send it to you wrapped up all beautiful with an awesome letter about how to get started! This one is available via phone only (727) 415-9165 for $250. Want the regular version that you can print out yourself, just click this link or the graphic above!


Super Cool Stocking Stuffer

Best Christmas Gifts For Entrepreneurs - Business Card Stocking StuffersWhat about a fun stocking stuffer of business cards from Vistaprint to get her/him off on the right track! Some things to consider… 1) a lot of people like to have super glossy fronts and then just a plain white back so that people can make notes when putting them in the database. 2) If you don’t like any of the “regular” designs from Vistaprint, use to get someone to do quick custom design for you to make it special! (BONUS…you get $10 off your first order with Vistaprint!)


Christmas Gifts For The Author In Your Life


Fiction Unboxed – Self Publishing Podcast Guys

Best Christmas Presents For AuthorsIf your significant other is thinking about writing a book, getting to see behind the scenes to know what goes into the process of being a successful author. I bought the original fiction unboxed and seeing how the guys work was really valuable to me (even though I only write non-fiction!) Find out about Fiction Unboxed


Author Marketing Club

Author Marketing Club - Best Christmas Presents AuthorsJim Kukral started the Author Marketing Club and is a pretty techy kind of guy. His site allows authors to hear about the latest marketing techniques but best of all, he has the coolest “description generator” that works to make your Amazon descriptions look snazzy and stand out from the pack!

Check out the Author Marketing Club


Christmas Presents For Speakers, Coaches, Authors and Trainers

Best Christmas Presents for Speakers, Authors, Coaches and Trainers - Podcasters ParadiseJohn Lee Dumas is the most popular business podcaster in the world! His show is listened to by thousands of people a day and his annual income from podcasting is in the millions. If your Author, Speaker, Coach or Trainer has been talking about having a podcast, get on this webinar and sign up for a special discount! Podcasters Paradise


Technology Gifts For Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

Best Technology Presents for EntrepreneursGorillaPod Stand for Mobile Phones – If she is going to be doing videos of herself, having to have a person there to hold the camera may become a huge boundary. The GorillaPod will let her position her phone practically anywhere! $29.95 – great stocking stuffer!

GoPro Hero Camera – The GoPro is the neatest camera since sliced white bread. I know that this will look good under the tree because many of the giveaways that are at networking events feature this camera and there are fights over who will win it! $499.99

The Yeti Blue Microphone – Whether she is doing a podcast, webinars or just meeting with clients online, having a rock star microphone will make her sound great! $119 – If you want to shop local Best Buy will match online pricing from Walmart and other major retailers

Handmade Laptop Bag – You might not know about where artists make customized products to sell online. I have gotten a couple custom laptop bags and really enjoy the craftsmanship as well as not being a “me too” the same as everyone else. $20-200

Well there you have it, my list of the best Christmas Gifts to give Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners this year! If I missed something you think would be a great idea, please let me know in the comments. Manufacturers and publishers, if you can give my peeps a deal and have a great product, please let me know!

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The Best Christmas Presents For Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Halloween Quotes | Scary and Spooky Quotes With Pictures

Halloween Quotes - Spooky and Scary with Pictures!! BOO!!Here are some of my favorite spooky and scary Halloween quotes with pictures!!! Boo!!

Each year Halloween rolls around and I think, I have enough quotes with pictures for Halloween, but then my inner spooky kicks in and I get all excited about getting some new Halloween pics to make spooky.

When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween.
~ Author Unknown

At first cock-crow the ghosts must go Back to their quiet graves below.
~ Theodosia Garrison

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.
~ George S. Patton

Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title.
~ From Scooby-Doo

If a man harbors any sort of fear, it makes him landlord to a ghost.
~ Lloyd Douglas

From ghoulies & ghosties & long-leggedy beasties & things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us! ~Scottish Saying

From ghoulies & ghosties & long-leggedy beasties & things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!
~Scottish Saying

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~ Brendan FrancisMany of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~ Brendan Francis

This inhuman place makes human monsters.
~ Stephen King, The Shining

So what, ghosts can’t hurt you. That’s what I thought then.
~ Stephen King, Bag of Bones

It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared.
~ Vincent Price

I love finding things that scare me and doing them. That’s how you grow.
~ Vanessa Hudgens

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, May luck be yours on Halloween. ~ Author UnknownWhen black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, May luck be yours on Halloween.
~ Author Unknown

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
~ Orison Swett Marden

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
~ Samuel Butler

I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters. ~ George A. Romero

I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.
~ George A. Romero

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.  ~ George CarlinThere are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
~ George Carlin

I like to write in a shroud of secrecy because I have to keep finding ways to scare myself.
~ M. Night Shyamalan

Behind every tree there’s a new monster.
~ Todd Rundgren

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.
~ German Proverb

Ghostly things don’t really scare me, but they really intrigue me.
~ Sophie Turner

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination. ~ Richard Wright

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.
~ Richard Wright

When someone asks, ‘Does success make you into a monster?’ I always say, ‘No, it enables you to be a monster.’
~ Simon Cowell

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.
~ Rosa Parks

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. ~ Mark Twain

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
~ Mark Twain

Scare answers to scare, and force begets force, until at length it comes to be seen that we are racing one against another after a phantom security which continually vanishes as we approach.
~ Henry Campbell-Bannerman

Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death.
~ Betty Bender

I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.
~ Corazon Aquino

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. ~ Charles Dickens

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~ Charles Dickens

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.   ~ Usman B. Asif

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~ Usman B. Asif

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.   ~ Andre Gide

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~ Andre Gide

There you have it, my favorite Halloween Quotes with pictures for this year!!! Want more? Check out last year’s Halloween Quotes or my first years Cheesy Halloween Email Subject Lines.

Halloween Quotes With Pictures

Becoming An Expert – How To Pick A Niche Market

Becoming An Expert - How To Pick A Niche MarketBecoming an expert is easy. Simply know more than the people who you are talking to. The big question is how to pick a niche market to become an expert in…that is the rub!

I follow a gal who is simply amazing. She has been a hip-hop singer, waitress, coach, author, speaker, and many other things in her life and has somehow found a way to bring them all together in one magic bottle. Good on her! The problem for me is that she is telling other people that they can do the same.

Having worked with hundreds of small business owners over the years, I can tell you that most small business owners are not super clear about having products or services for one niche market, let alone trying to encompass two or even three markets. Entrepreneurs (like me) love the idea that we can do anything, be anything and accomplish it all at the same time, so this idea of multi-channel efforts sounds great.

Unfortunately for most of us, unless we keep our eye on the prize for one specific goal, for a fixed period of time, we veer off in all kinds of interesting and exciting shiney new directions, waking in a couple of months with a joy hangover but having not moved our business forward in any kind of cohesive manner.

Hopefully this post will help you to figure out a topic that you can become an expert in, and then give you some clear, concise steps to take to get you there.

Choosing A Niche Market – Go Broad

There is one school of though that say you should pick a giant niche that you can slice into chunks. I am up in the air about this one because I follow this model (somewhat). I want to be know for “marketing”. I want right of first refusal anytime you have a question about marketing, whether it is for coaching, which training program you should buy or whether I want to write a blog post about it.

That said, there are hundreds of kinds of marketing that I don’t know about/provide support for like Facebook paid ads, mobile marketing, local SEO, viral videos, enterprise level marketing, the list goes on and on.

There is no one I know who is an expert in every kind of marketing, or sports or food or any other topic. That said, what does it hurt to go that high level? Well…

For me to try to rank for the search term “marketing” on Google, I would have to beat out 441,000,000 competing sites like Wikipedia, the American Marketing Association, and host of other huge names. While that term gets 60,000 searches a month, how many of those are for something that is a kind of marketing that I don’t do?

Niche Market – Go Narrow

So what if I go narrow for a niche marketing term like “Customer Demographics”. It only gets 70 searches a month according to Google, but I get almost 2,000 web hits per month to the two main pages that I rank for this term.

That is some powerful Google mojo, but I am not a demographics or numbers kind of gal except as it relates to SEO and searches (then I can geek out with the best of them!) That said, it is a great place to promote my Marketing Strategy Workbook and a Perfect Customer Profile Ebook I wrote with a marketing partner.

Writing about “thin slices” of marketing like “customer demographics” and “choosing a niche” allow me to rank highly for smaller pages on my website which in turn leads to ranking more highly for my top term of small business marketing. Although I may never get to page one for that term, I will have a site that overall ranks highly for many key marketing terms.

Same Expert, Different Target Market

All that said, does that mean you can’t combine passions? Absolutely not! Just recently I met with a gal who was having trouble getting her nutrition business off the ground. She was battling all the other people out there pitching cleanses and eating healthy and getting no where.

We spent some time figuring out what her passions were in addition to nutrition and found out that she is a complete geek about doing nutrition (making her own meade and trying to understand the chemistry behind how a sourdough starter begins). She is a also a HUGE outdoor gal who would spend all her days cooking over a campfire if she could….BINGO!

We rebranded her with “Nerdy Nutrition” and her target market for many of her custom products is going to be for people who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while camping and hiking.

The neat thing about this is that if all Chris got to do was spend all her time outdoors, cooking and talking food with other wilderness people, she would be in heaven. When you can find a realistic junction point between your passions, you can really make some magic!

Marketing Your Niche

Okay, here is where the rubber meets the road. Marketing online and offline are much different animals. My offline “Marketing” persona is rock solid. My business card reflects that I am a marketing speaker, author and consultant.

Tara Jacobsen - Marketing Speaker

I speak locally and nationally about all kinds of marketing topics and am super happy with how well branded I am as a “marketing expert”.

Becoming An Expert Online

Online marketing is where you have to be super sure that you are presenting your best “face” forward. Your website and social profiles all need to line up and show that you are something specific.


You need to know what you want to be an expert for so that you can make your website reflect that. There are a number of different ways this comes across, overtly and more subtly.

  • About Us Page – Make sure your about us page states clearly what you are an expert in. I am huge fan of searching for experts in other fields and then modeling their about us page for your industry.
  • Speaker or Other Page – The cool thing is you don’t have to limit yourself to just one page. I have an about us page and a marketing speaker page. It targets marketing speaking and LOCAL Denver marketing speaking. The cool thing is that I get invited to speak at national events that are held here in Denver since they don’t want to have to fly everyone in and put them up! I have my domain name pointed to this sub page.

Social Media

One thing that I think people get wrong is thinking that someone is going to be looking for an expert using Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook (they might using LinkedIn). Instead there is a slow insidious process behind the scenes where they notice you talk a lot about your topic, then start to realize you are pretty smart, THEN they look to you as an expert.

Another thing that happens is that you get put on lists that other people use. For example I have a list on Twitter of Marketing People I like that is public. Other people have subscribed to that list and now they can follow the cool marketing people I like too!

It is vital that you take the time to figure out on each platform what constitutes being an expert. For example:

  • Twitter – You need to make sure that you have your industry hashtags in your description. Most people sifting through the sea of Twitter handles will look for a #marketing speaker, well before they will try to find a speaker in that mis-mash of humanity. Here is my Twitter description :: Taradactyl on Twitter.
  • Pinterest – You need to have your expert keyword terms at all levels from individual pins, to boards and onto your profile description.
  • Facebook – Facebook’s search capabilities are very limited so you will want to have a page with your expert status listed in the actual title if FB will one of your key marketing channels.
  • Google Plus - There is amazing search capabilities in Google+ so just make sure you have your expert keywords in your profile or page description.
  • LinkedIn - There are whole books written about how to have a great LinkedIn description. Here is a walkthrough of how I optimized my LinkedIn description “perfectly”.
  • Instagram – You may be surprised to see Instagram on the list, but this is hot up and coming network that is owned by Facebook. The key to Instagram search is hashtags so make sure to research those so you can rank well!

It is definitely worth taking the time to optimize your site and your social profiles when you are becoming an expert in a market niche! Each and every little thing you do adds up to help define you as your ideal profession so take the time to review all your profiles and make sure they are up to snuff!

Start Your Own Business – Marketing and Business Plans

Start Your Own Business - Marketing and Business PlansIf you are ready to start your own business or are already started but need hand getting going, this post is for you!

Most people who start a new business spend way too much time focusing on the wrong things. They dink around for months wondering what their logo should look like or what color their website should be. They might even order business cards before they know exactly what they are selling or how to position their business.

(these are the guys and gals at networking who have a fan deck of cards depending on what they are trying to sell today!)

If all this flailing around sounds at all like you, STOP!

Turn off your cell phone, shut down your email and read this entire post before you go any further. Yes, there is a pitch at the end for my workbook, but in between is all the knowledge and information that I have gotten over the years from talking with almost a 1,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs

Where To Start

When you start your own business, you have all the options in the world. The purpose of running your own company is to do what you like, instead of having to work for “the man” and do what someone else dictates all day long. Problem is, we all tend to go about it the wrong way. We try and figure out what people want to buy and then squish ourselves into that, selling more and more and getting sadder and sadder over the years.

Instead you should look at your strengths and skills, building a company around what your core competencies are.


  • Write down your sales strategy (how you like to sell)
  • Your strengths as a person and as a leader
  • Your business objectives for the next three months

Lastly, write down your ONE main objective for the next three month marketing cycle. Really, you can only have one main goal to work towards for 3 months (it can have parts, but overall just one main goal!)

Niche-ing Down

When you start your business, it seems like it would be a great idea to “go broad” and see what people are interested in buying. Heck, you might even ask them what they need and try to fulfill that right? WRONG!

Today more than ever it is important that you know EXACTLY what you are selling and EXACTLY which target market is going to buy it. Think about it, there are BILLIONS of internet sites, MILLIONS of business around the world and probably THOUSANDS of people who are trying to sell something similar to what you are. The only way to cut through all that clutter is to be super clear about your product offerings and know exactly who you are selling them to.

For example, the workbook that goes along with this post is made for small business owners and entrepreneurs. It is not intended to be a reference for big business or multinational corporations (that is not my expertise).


  • What is your industry?
  • What parts of your industry do you like the best?
  • Who do you like to work with the most?
  • If you could only work with one kind of person for the rest of your life, who would it be?
  • What could you sell them specifically?

Niche marketing statement. Once you have completed this exercise, you will be able to write a niche marketing statement. It should be a declaration of your products, who you are selling to and what they like. The niche marketing statement for my workbook is, “I sell marketing planning seminars, workbooks and consulting to small business owners, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and realtors who love marketing.”

Who You Are Selling To

There is an old saw in the advertising business, “selling to everyone is selling to no one”. When you start your own business it can seem like a great idea to work with anyone who comes along. What could it hurt and there is money coming in the door, right? Well doing the wrong work can lead you down a path that will not be the best fit for your ongoing business AND at the same time takes your eye off the prize of your “real” goals.

One of the people in our networking group has a super funny saying…she sells cosmetics and her perfect customer is “anyone with skin”, which of course is everyone on the planet! While hers is a bit tongue-in-cheek, unfortunately most people starting out really will work with anyone. They are desperate to make some sales and get things going and are not looking for an ideal customer, more-so they are looking for anyone who will fog a mirror.

Perfect Customer ProfileTM

When you are working on who to sell to, you need to think about things like their age and marital status (normal demographic data), but you also need to know about their lives. What they do when they are working and when they are off. Who their family is and what they like to do on Friday night.

It is impossible to write great sales copy when all you want to do is sell your own “stuff”. Instead you need to turn it around and figure out what your ideal customer actually needs, develop a product to meet that need and position it in the marketplace so she recognizes herself when she sees it!

For example the demographics for who will probably buy my workbook are: College educated woman in her late thirties to early 50’s, who has just started a business. There is a good chance she is married. But that barely scratches the surface! Here are two different types of women that I have worked with in the past. As you will see, they are very different and I would need to use entirely different marketing messages to reach each one:

Potential Customer #1

Start Your Own Business BannerThis first gal, let’s call her Chris is 46 and married. I know that she has had a job-job in the past that she was good at and is feeling like a fish out of water right now, although as soon as she is up and running she will be right back in her element. Her heroes are women like Mary Kay and Oprah who have dominated the business world without becoming “bitches” but who are super strong and powerful women.

Her husband is probably a little confused right now as he doesn’t recognize this new entrepreneur in the woman he married. The kids are a little resentful that Mom has to work more at home and she is feeling pulled in a million directions and like she is not being effective at anything anymore.

The marketing message I will use with this gal is to “stop pulling out your hair” or “running in a million directions at once”. The workbook will solve a problem of how to get all her thoughts together in one place and get her on the road to a successful business fast.

Potential Customer #2

Our second gal, let’s call her Lyndsy is 39 and single. She has been in a committed relationship for 5 years now but is not actually sure where it is going. She has saved up a bunch of money (some of it was earmarked for her wedding but that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon) so she is ready to start a new business. She got her real estate license, signed up with a broker, but now is not even sure what she should be doing next. Some of the people in her office have fancy brochures, some are doing open houses, but she is not sure how to proceed. She needs a plan!

The marketing message I will use with this gal is to “make a plan and work it!” She just needs to set herself some goals and tasks and get started. It is funny, years ago when I went into real estate I knew I wanted to work with buyers because I could prospect them easily on the internet. After working with a couple though, I found out I like the seller side much better! Sometimes when you are starting out, it is best to know what you like to like to do and then craft your business around your strengths instead of trying to squish yourself into someone else’s idea of a perfect business.

As you can see, they both are in the same general demographic, but the way that I have to market to each is very different. Taking the time to figure out who you would like to work with the most is vital to making sure that your business launches well right from the start!

What To Sell – Product Development

The next thing to consider is what you are selling. If you are doing something like financial services it can seem easy, you are “selling” life insurance policies. But are you really? How many people do you think are just going to walk up and want to buy a policy, or car, or house. Instead you need to find out what your product does that is of value to a customer! Key things to consider are:

  • Key features of your product
  • Key problems that it solves
  • The one product you are going to sell
  • Your income goals
  • How many of the product you will have to sell to meet those goals
  • Competitive pricing in the marketplace

Knowing these key metrics will help you position your product in the marketplace and sell more faster!

Creating Business Plans

I have found that most guides for creating business plans (or marketing plans) focus on money. They are totally about projections and estimates, profits and loses. Having worked in the real world for a very long time, I can tell you that EVERY projection that you will make about your business will be wrong. You will “guess” that you will sell X number of Y and then have to revise it all over again.

Business planning is great. Goal setting and affirmations are are a big part of my workbook and I truly feel that help get us where we are going. But business planning, setting a profit and loss report, and doing detailed projected future earnings is a waste of time if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur just starting out.

When you are starting out you need to make sure you have a clear plan for 1) what you are selling and 2) how you are going to be marketing it. Those are the key ingredients for making money. You can have all the business plans, charts and graphs in the world, but truly, nothing happens until somebody sells something.

I have worked with almost 1,000 entrepreneurs over the years and I will tell you that rarely is the problem a lack of effort or that they didn’t have the right spreadsheet. Instead, problems came from a lack of focus, of not knowing what they should be doing RIGHT NOW to sell more and what they needed to invest in marketing-wise to make more money so they could market more, so they could make more money.

Over 15 Years and 1,000 Conversations

I have spent the last 15 years working with entrepreneurs and small business owners, talking with them about what is going right in their business and what is going wrong. I have heard about their stunning achievements and their dismal failures. We have planned, strategized, re-planned and re-strategized right to six figure businesses that they are proud to own today!

If you are looking for a “How To Be Successful In Business Manual”, this is the one. There are worksheets covering everything we talked about in this post as well as tips, tricks and tactics that will get you up and running fast (and in the right direction!)

The Last Business Planning Guide You Will Ever Need

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles

Answering some major marketing questions today like…do listicles work equally well across the social media marketing platforms? Is it worth my time to make listicles?  A will I be able to look myself in the mirror after listical-ing?

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle TitlesSo I heard a question about “Listicles” the other day and wasn’t absolutely sure that I knew that term. Well over the few days I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about what listicles are. Functionally a listlicle is a blog post that has a number associated it with it. So my (ironic) title, 38 Super Amazing Listicle Titles is actually a listicle itself (very meta I know!)

When I started this journey I was very ANTI LISTICLE. I find those types of posts to be hyperbolic and rarely are something that I would be interested in reading about anyways (think, “36 of Usher’s Sweetest and Sexiest Moments“). Now, you might be loving on the Usher and hating on me for bashing this, but really, I am a business person with little interest in celebrity gossip.

Social Media Listicles

Since most of my readers are business people like me, let’s step back a minute and figure out what purpose a listicle serves for marketing. It is supposed to be sharable and create viral-ity so that people are compelled to come to your blog to read about your interesting list.

I find that my listicles work the other way. I get great traffic from the Google search engine to 3 of my top 5 posts that are listicles, 100 Great Email Subject Lines, Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors, and 100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples.

These three posts count for over 4,500 hits a month to my website!

But today I wanted to take a look and see how social media could boost listicles by looking at what the most popular types are according to each social media network.

Here are my findings based on the purely unscientific results of either clicking the “popular” tab on the social sites or doing an internet search of historic data. I made this post because I was fearful that only by turning teeny-bopper and hooking all my lovely marketing posts to celebrity gossip could I survive.

My results may shock you!

Popular on Twitter

Let’s start with my biggest fail. I spent hours searching on “best Twitter Tweets” or “popular Twitter Tweets” and came up with two ho-hum ones in that whole time. On the popular lists for Tweets NONE of them were about listicles. They were funny and clever, biting and caustic, but none where “link bait” listicle articles.

Not a good start but nice to know my lovely Twitter feels like I do about these types of posts!

Popular On Google Plus

Next I headed over to Google Plus to see what was trending using their Explore tool. Now, Google’s idea of popular (4 likes and a couple of shares) is a little different than mine. None of the posts listed here had even a hundred likes, but that is what Google+ is saying is popular so who am I to argue.

This site seemed the most interested in listicles with about a 1 in 20 ratio of “normal” posts to listicles. While not out of hand, at least the Google+ algorithm seemed to think that listicles were okay to show.

(note: I think that it depends who you are following. Based on the fact that most of the ones shown on my account were marketing related, I used a couple of client accounts to check for popular posts that were not marketing related!)

Current listicle titles that Google+ is showing as popular:

Overall I have to say that photography posts and less hyperbolic business posts were considered popular more often than celebrity or “shocking” posts were.

Popular On Pinterest

The next site I checked out restored my faith in humanity! Using the “popular tool” in Pinterest I was able to find a great array of kinder, gentler listicles without the major come-ons or puffery.

While listicles were present, about 1 in 30 popular posts, “Pinterest Popular” is much more about the pictures and less about shocking headlines.

While it is just an observation (after looking at about a gagillion Pinterest posts), the ladies of Pinterest are looking for “cute, easy and fast” more than any other kind of listicle!

Popular On YouTube

There is a “Popular on YouTube” channel. Now, I am not sure if this is an official channel, but after having checked out a bunch of other sources, this one seemed the most on target.

I was super surprised at the video listicles that were popular on YouTube (only about 1 in 50 videos). Because so much of YouTube is dominated by celebrity news and gossip, I expected that the listicles that would shine would be of the “Usher” variety. But NO! Many of the most popular were actually useful and not over-the-top screaming “read me”.

Popular On Facebook

So where are all those over-the-top, crazy sounding, hyperbolic blog posts being shared if not on social media sites like Pinterest, Google Plus and YouTube. Well, you guessed it! On the Facebook!

While I cannot share the links to these posts as Facebook is a closed system, here are the top listicles:

  • 30 of the Most Powerful Images Ever
  • 40 Must-See Photos From The Past
  • 40 Maps They Didn’t Teach You In School
  • 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist
  • 33 Amazing Ideas That Will Make Your House Awesome
  • 31 Haunting Images of Abandonded Places That Will Give You Goosebumps
  • Top 10 ways to ensure your best people will quit
  • The better than Ultimate Guide To Landing Page Optimization

(Note: Some of the listicle posts from Bored Panda list and some others from the internet randomly.) 

Overall really pretty tame based on some of the titles that I have seen out there (think, 23 Frightening Tinder Messages That Prove Romance Is Dead.) It seems that even the people cruising Facebook for entertainment are not wiling to go that far off the reservation when posting listicles.

Additional Listicle Research

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles


Well I have to say that overall the listicle seemed at the end of the day more meaningful than I originally thought, but ultimately less important than it gets credit for. None of the sites popular lists were crawling with listicles in any true way, although there did seem to be a place for them in the marketing mix. I am not sorry that I wrote my 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles that work on social media post, although I do feel like the outcome was a little bit ambiguous.

Where I actually see the most opportunity, based on my admittedly flawed research data is YouTube and Pinterest. Both seem to have a spot for listicles that is not quite so skeevy feeling as they are on Facebook!

How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing

How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing If you are a Realtor and believe in common wisdom, learning how to get more listings is a vital piece of the puzzle as each listing will result in two buyer side sales. While there are some tried and true ways to get listings (like door knocking and prospecting FSBOs, these ideas are intended to be more a part of a well thought out marketing campaign than a tactic of making phone calls or knocking on doors.

Open Houses / Nosy Neighbors

When I was a Realtor, lo these many years ago now, I got 42% of my listings from open houses. Those nosy neighbors who come by are actually potential sellers and often are looking for a Realtor at open houses (only finding buyers agents manning the table who are not picking up on their cues).

With a determined plan you can convert these potential sellers into listing appointments relatively easily. Simply ask or have materials out that appeal to sellers and then really work the ones that “bite”.

1. Would you like me to pop by and price your house for you? As Realtors we often want to hedge our bets and say the market sets the pricing and finagle around saying that we need to look at the market statistics, blah, blah, blah. Potential sellers don’t care about all that, they just want to know what their home is worth. Having split tested lots of questions like “Would you like to find out your home’s value”, “Do you want to know your house value”, etc. the question, do you want me to price your house for you won hands down both online and in real life.

I think it is because it is non-threatening (I am not asking to come list them) and shows authority (less dancing around about the market and a more definite phrasing.

2. Top 10 Mistakes Home Sellers Make Guide. If you have a stack of these guides sitting on the table, potential sellers will sort themselves out and take one. Even better, just have one and if someone asks if they can have one, ask them for their address and let them know you will pop by with their very own copy in the next couple of days AND will take a peek and have the price of their house there at the same time!

3. Drip on them. It goes without saying that you should have a sign in sheet and ask for name, address, phone and email address. Because email and the phone were so easy, I found that mailing information about once every three weeks to these potential buyers actually resulted in more listings. I would send a hand written thank you note, mail them a couple of marketing pieces and then “popby” with something a little more special to leave at their door. The fuzzy flower in a bag with birdseed resulted in two listings! But it was the consistent contact beforehand that made that happen!

Expired Listings 1 Month Out

Every sales trainer for real estate will say that you have to pull the expired listings each day and dial for dollars, hoping that you can turn them into a quick listing. This makes sense as it is easier to convince someone to list with an agent who has already listed before. That said, I hate to have to spend all my time making up for the sins of others. YES, you may be able to jump in there and save the day, repricing the house and getting it sold fast, but there is probably a reason it didn’t sell before and that reason will not just disappear overnight.

That said, there are a fair amount of these listings that don’t have phone numbers included or who don’t go right back under contract and these are a gold mine for marketing.

1. Only pick ones that you would like to list. If you are going to prospect expired listings this way, don’t just pull down every one that comes along. You are going to have to do some research and put in some effort so having a smaller, better curated list makes more sense. Look for the price range you are farming or would like to start farming. Pick neighborhoods that would help your business grow.

2. Once a month check through your expired listings list and see if they have listed with another agent yet. The ones who have, toss, the ones who haven’t and which are listings you would like to get, either popby with something fun or send them a note with a piece of material that will help them (maybe a CMA-like overview of their current neighborhood but decrypted for humans).

Don’t Leave Orphan Buyers Lying Around

This is pretty shocking, 25% of home sellers used the agent that they previously worked with to buy or sell a home but 65% said they would definitely use the same agent again. (report) That leaves a delta of 40% who say they would use the same agent but who ultimately don’t.

1. Set up a database of past buyers and start loving on them. Those past buyers are now potential sellers! Send them twice-yearly reports of what their home would be worth (you can rotate these reports so they don’t all have to be done the same month). If you haven’t done this before you can simply search your MLS number and start working from the oldest sales you have had back to the newest. Stop reading this and start today. Do one or two a day, sending a personal note until you have all of them in order. DO NOT apologize for not having contacted them sooner. No one is sitting around thinking about how often you have mailed them. They will just think it is nice now!

2. Have client appreciation days. There is nothing more important to humans than feeling appreciated and a thank you party once or twice a year is a great way to make them feel loved. Now, these do not have to be extravagant affairs, but could be a 4th of July picnic in your back yard or an open bar for drinks at your club.

Neighborhood Mailings

Deb Ward - Realtor BrandingMuch like “pick a niche”, you should pick a neighborhood and pound on it with mailings, open houses and even door knocking if you roll that way. There is a service from the post office called “Every door direct” which allows you send postcards, flyers, etc. to every mailbox or home on a mail carriers route.

1. Pick a neighborhood you love. There are many different ways to pick a farming area in real estate, but my absolute favorite is because you love it. If you are spending time growing a true farm, you better be sure that you are going to enjoy the locations and types of people who live there. For example, if you pick a high end waterfront community, you better enjoy talking about sailing and maybe even join the local marina.

2. Mail 3 times a year. Sending a neighborhood mailing out 3 times a year is affordable ($.17 piece mailing + print costs on a flyer is about $200)

3. Be distinctive. My friend. the Irish Realtor, Deb Ward, mails to fewer people but does so in a distinctive green envelope and prominent shamrocks.

Prospecting Likely Sellers

Home Sellers - 9 years in homeOkay, this is the big one to watch out for. Every MLS or Tax Records has the ability to do database searches that can find people who have lived in their homes for a given period of time. Common wisdom said that people would be staying in their homes for 7 years so you would be best to start prospecting them specifically in 6.5 years. But wait! Those numbers have changed over the years due to economic circumstances and the timelines for moving have stretched out!

Now you should be looking in 9 year range, meaning you should contact them when they have owned their homes for 8.5 years! According to the National Association for Realtors, statistics for sellers were that the typical home seller in 2013 was 53 years of age, had a median household income of $97,500, and lived in their home for 9 years. (source)

1. Prospect wisely. Say a subdivision has 150 homes and you want to farm it. You can send your 3X a year mailings out as normal, but there are homeowners in there that who are better prospects for hiring you as a sellers agent and you need to target them more aggressively. In the opposite months of when you are sending your mailings to everyone, you should be sending them something very specific, showing your knowledge of the area and your real estate expertise. This could be a guide to home selling, a CMA report for their subdivision or even a direct “Want me to come price your home for you” postcard.

2. Be consistent. With this gang the key is consistency and your efforts will pay off. If they have been in their homes for 8.5 years or more, the percentage that will be moving are much higher than the average homeowners so it is worth your time to be there for them right around the time they decide that they have to move!

How To Get More Listings

Well there you have it! Creative ways to get more listings that are hard work (I didn’t say creative ways to get more listings the easy way!) That said, all of these ideas involve getting systems in place and then just “working the system.” You won’t have to guess and grovel anymore about what to do, instead you will be able to pick and choose the listings that you want to take in the areas that are most friendly to you!

If you would like to learn more about how to work with Tara on your realtor marketing, check out our Realtor Marketing Strategy page!

Customer Demographics – Age Ranges, Generational Names and Numbers

Today’s post is a reader question: What are the age ranges for the different customer demographics including ages, how many are there and what are they called. Thanks to Don Zale for asking!

Currently there are about 319,000,000 people in the United States (Population Clock)

There are basically 6 generations alive today:

The Greatest Generation

Born between 1901-1926
Age 88-113 (in 2014)
1.09% of population

The Silent Generation

Born between 1927 and 1945
Age 69-87 (in 2014)
9.21% of population

The Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964
Age 50-68 (in 2014)
23.40% of population

Gen X

Born between 1965 and 1980
Age 34-49 (in 2014)
20.79% of population

Gen Y or the Millennials

Born between 1981 and 2000
Age 14-33 (in 2014)
27.48% of population

Gen Z

Born between 2001 and 2014
age 0-13 (in 2014)
18.01% of population

Generational Chart based on Ages and Percentages Of Population

Population number come from Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age and Sex: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013. The numbers and charts provided are for marketing purposes only and should not be taken as gospel!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

“Homemade” YouTube Video Commercials You Can Copy | Viral Video Marketing

Homemade YouTube Videos That You Can Copy | Viral Video MarketingI am thinking of making more YouTube video commercials and you know what that means, I am out there researching what is working now!

To start, a word about commercials (video or otherwise)…no one wants to watch a blatant commercial for 2 minutes about your product. They want to know what you do and how it relates to their lives and how it can help them. Or they want to be entertained. Or they want to learn something. Whatever their motivation, it is not to hear you pontificate about your product.

Here is one from the “bad old days” of commercials:

These watches were being used to time some of the most amazing sporting events. There were probably athletes that were easily recognizable from that time, and yet we got the talking head guy who told us all about the features of Longines watches. I tell you this only so you don’t make a commercial that bores us to death!

How To Make Videos

Today we have an unlimited supply of ways to make video that we can include in our commercials! We can use:

  • Programs from the internet to do screen captures of us talking at our desks (like Screencast-O-Matic)
  • Video making programs like Animoto
  • Programs like iMovie if you have a Mac or Movie Maker if you have a PC
  • Most of us are carrying around a production quality video camera on our phone
  • AND YouTube is available for free to distribute our videos

There are bunch of other resources that we can tap and I will include them when I break down each video. It is truly amazing how far video recording has come, how small companies can really start to harness the power of video in their marketing without having to spend thousands of dollars on equipment or production!

The Plan

So I am going to be really be “messing around” with video to see what I can do with it during this last quarter of the year, BUT I am not the kind of gal that can just have a burst of inspiration and make a fabulous, successful video. I am the kind of gal who has to research other people, how they are doing it and THEN I get creative inspiration that I can copy!

The videos that I am including in this post are all ones that I feel like I can emulate (I am not a professional video gal, but I do have some computer and graphic skills). That said, they are all pretty “normal” with no CGI crazy-ness or big name stars to muddy the waters. In each I will break down my thoughts so that you can see why they were picked with a theme for why I like them.

Dear Diary

So for this one we have to go back in time and see that there was man (zefrank1) who had a cool voice, a bunch of videos of cats and a great idea.

Functionally his first 100+ videos were him talking into a camera. They are semi interesting, but not anything that would set the world on fire. He did this for 4 years. Around video 100-ish he made a really funny video about Baby Echidnas that was a mashup of videos and screen captures. It is irreverent and has dirty words in it and I like it very much!

It looks like he did the ones of himself and these funny ones concurrently for a bit until he made the sad cat diary video and I noticed him (I like sad cats!) This one “went viral” and has over 17 million views. I have shared it personally with 1) my husband, 2) my children, 3) my friends and random strangers on social media because it cracks me up!

So now this is a proven winner and Friskies figures out that people 1) like the funny way Frank talks, 2) like kitten diaries and 3) will share the shit out of cat videos. They make a “real” commercial using Frank and his video model. There have been over 16,000,000 views to this commercial!

Now, I have seen Frank’s videos from way back and some of them are downright horrendous (the one where he was on painkillers comes to mind), but the thing is he was out there busting his ass, making videos, being vulnerable and checking to see what would stick. Good on you Frank!

That said, any of us could make a video like Frank’s cat video just by buying stock pictures, videos or even shooting videos of our cats ourselves. Nothing “big budget” here, just a really creative and fun idea!

Another “Doable” Cat Commercial

This one is cute too, although more blatantly branded and “commercially”.

What is neat about this one is that it is totally “homemade” videos stitched together with words on top. ANY of use could make this one!

Last but not least, Friskies is really good at picking “memes” to copy…you can too!

Interview Style Videos

Two recent videos have shown that utilizing very low budget sets and technology like Skype can be put together to make an interesting video.

This first one is a commercial for where you can make a card for your Mom after watching this tearjerking video. There is nothing on there that we couldn’t do with a screen capture program and a laptop! This one has 21 million views!

I actually adore this commercial by Always. It makes me proud to be a “girl” and that I have strong smart daughters who play like girls. The neat thing about it is there are no cool sets, just a black background and good lighting. If this is something that looks good to you, I am sure you can figure it out!

Motherhood Rap and Christmas Jingle

These two feature “normal” people moving around their homes. They are just cut together videos that anyone could do with their phones!

Now the rap isn’t for me, but how targeted a demographic are they reaching?!?! New-ish moms who still want to feel like a person instead of just a blob who had kids!

This was originally a family Christmas card video

and this is the full blown “commercial” that the Cardstore made using that same concept

Talking Heads

This one is funny because of the parody that Macs can’t download videos well. I also think that the music adds greatly to the commercial (I have found to have the best selection at a great price!) Just doing one like this would be a breeze without any heavy lifting at all!

Merged Videos

Okay BIG disclaimer on this one! I have to think that Chromebook bought the rights to use these video clips from movies in their video. You can’t just steal video clips and include them in your commercial videos!

That said, there were elements in here that I liked very much including the font, the flashing computers at the beginning and the music. These are super simple to do and for a commercial that I am sure cost millions to make, I feel like I could pull out some parts and do just as good a job!

Insane Unboxing and Demonstrations

I often suggest that you make videos of you unboxing new stock or even do demonstration “how tos” that show your product and how to use it. Well a lack of understanding of how popular this could be has forced me to bring out “Bunny”. Bunny has hundreds of millions of views on her videos describing “As Seen On TV” products.

As you can see you don’t need to have a big professional set or a polished professional demeanor to be popular! Bunny has grown a following of millions of people who want to hear what she has to say, just by being an interesting personality and being willing to put herself out there!

Stop Trying To Be Perfect, Amazing, Professional

There is a huge following for the “Will It Blend” guy. He puts things in his Blendtec blender that he is selling and destroys them. Now, there is a huge following in the marketing world about this guy, almost a cult following of people saying how great he is and how brilliant his marketing plan was. But let’s take a step back into the past…say back to 2006!

As you can see, he was much less polished and more, well, geeky back then. There were no whiz bang graphics or snazzy animations when he started, just him, a little intro and a blender. And don’t let anyone fool you, it took some time to get views! It looks to be about two years until he had 1,000,000 views on his video!

Will It Blend Video Stats

Today Tom’s show is much fancier, but please remember that all this took time to grow and he didn’t start out with all the bells and whistles.

Cool Cutting

Now, all videos don’t have to be vanilla and boring. They can be cut-in-and-outy interesting. The first video is by Gary Vaynerchuk who has a staff of production people who are there for him.

This second one was doing using iMovie and one of the templates that come with the program. Not bad for teen guy who was trying to help his Mom sell more real estate is it?

A Real One

Last but not least, I want to show you a “real” video done by a normal person with no experience doing this kind of video. She put her head down, got all the “stuff” together and figured it out within a week. There really is not anything you can’t figure out if you put your mind to it!

PS – A big tip here is that Donna didn’t try to make the snazzy intro herself, she went to and got one premade that worked with her look.

She has sold one client from this already…:)


I guess the last thing that I want to say is that figuring all of this out is probably going to take a little bit and you might have some god-awful videos in the meantime, but that it is worth the time to get it figured out! Using homemade videos as a template for your commercials rather than trying to emulate marketing agencies with million dollar budgets is a great way to get ideas for how to make your own videos.

Honorable Mentions I Just Like

The Chase Jarvis Intro

The Dog In The Airport

13 Misconceptions About Global Warming

Crash Course In Psychology

14 Money Saving Life Hacks

Best Messages To Send In A Followup Personal Note | Things To Say Samples

If you are looking for the best messages to send in a followup personal note, here are some samples of things that you can say!

Best Messages To Send In  A Personal Note - Followup SamplesI am on a mission to wind up this year with a rockstar marketing campaign and a followup system that is bulletproof. With that in mind, I will be writing personal notes as often as appropriate.

Now, some people are proponents of sending one a day or even 5 a day and that is awesome. The reason I am doing it the other way around is that I am going to be generating sales for my product, webinar interviews and speaking events which will lead to opportunities to send a personal thank you note.

Because I am requiring that I have something to be grateful for BEFORE mailing a beautiful card, that will spur me to make sure that I am doing the daily tasks that will make those cards necessary!

The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction (loosely stated) says that what you focus on you can manifest. In our day-to-day lives it is very easy to let things slip like that great testimonial someone sent you about your speaking event. Wouldn’t it be nice to manifest more speaking events where people send you awesome messages? OF COURSE!

By being grateful and focusing on the things in life that enrich your world, you are bringing more and more of them in and driving out time for doubt and fear.

Thank You Notes

  • Thanks for being so thoughtful, your … meant so much to me
  • Thank you for the …, it was perfect
  • I loved the …, I will think of you every time I see it
  • Thank you! I was blown away that you thought of me
  • Thank you so much, I appreciate the thought that you put into …
  • Thank you! You have no idea how much it means to me
  • I can never thank you enough for…
  • I am forever in your debt, if there is ever anything I can do for you
  • Thank you for all you have done
  • I don’t know what I would have done without you
  • Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to …
  • A BIG thank you for …
  • Thank you for letting me be a part of …

Thank you words: awesome, perfect, generous, fabulous, thrilled, appreciate, happy, grateful

Heartfelt Notes

  • I am deeply touched that you would think of me for …
  • I am so touched that you thought of me
  • Knowing you has been such a blessing
  • My heartfelt thanks to you for …
  • It was so kind of you to…

Heartfelt words: special, touching, thoughtful

Nice To Talk With You Notes

  • I can’t wait to put your ideas into action
  • I am already working on what we talked about
  • I have jumped right in and am working on …
  • You will be such a big help to …
  • I couldn’t have done without you!
  • I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today
  • Talking to you always brightens my day
  • Talking with you made today a great day
  • Having you in my life is such a blessing
  • You will never know how much … means to me

Nice words: fantastic, shiny, brilliant, unforgettable, incredible, excellent, sensational


  • I am speechless
  • You made my day
  • You are the best
  • You touched my heart
  • Words fail me, but…
  • I love the way you
  • I loved hearing about..
  • I can’t believe you…
  • I can’t wait to…

Expressions words: impressive, stunning, amazing, unique, glorious

Thank you and Inspirational quote notes

I have to say that I am not always the most eloquent person or that I always have a heartfelt feeling about the person that I am sending the note to, beyond gratitude and a thankfulness that they are somehow in my life. One of the ways that I take pressure off of myself is to include a one of my favorite quotes that would be appropriate in a personal note – here are a few that I use, make sure to check out some of your own!

Thank You Quote Notes

Best Messages To Send In A Followup Personal Note

  • John Wesley – Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can…
  • Felix Frankfurter – Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.
  • Jean Baptiste Massieu – Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
  • Epictetus – The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
  • Dalai Lama – Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
  • Oprah Winfrey – Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Inspiration Quote Notes

  • Alphonse Karr – Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.
  • Thomas A. Edison – Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
  • Og Mandino – Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.
  • Theodore Roosevelt – Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.
  • Walt Disney – If you can dream it, you can do it.
  • Mark Twain – The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
  • C. S. Lewis – You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
  • Nikos Kazantzakis – In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.
  • Victor Kiam – Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.
  • Gordon B. Hinckley – Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.
  • Tony Robbins – Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
  • John F. Kennedy – Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.
  • Winston Churchill – Never, never, never give up.
  • Benjamin Franklin – Well done is better than well said.
  • William Butler Yeats – Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
  • W. Clement Stone – Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe – Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
  • Julie Andrews – Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.
  • H. G. Wells – If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.
  • Babe Ruth – You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.
  • Paul Brandt – Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.

Get The Plan

Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyDoing personal notes is part of the comprehensive marketing plan that I laid out in my workbook, The Last Marketing Strategy Workbook You Will Ever Need! If you are looking to stop running around like a chicken without its head and start truly having a plan for your marketing and sales growth, check it out today here

Marketing Like It Is 1999! | Entrepreneur Marketing

Entrepreneur Marketing Like It Is 1999I have fallen off the internet marketing wagon and I am doing my entrepreneur marketing like it is 1999!

What was so special about 1999? That was the first year I actually started working on the computer every day and sent my first email message to a group that included a Gigabite sized picture (that would be big today, then it was HUGE and email guy politely told me he liked my marketing very much but if I sent 100 gigs over the email system again he would kill me!)

It also sounds like a Prince Song that I like (unfortunately Prince isn’t an internet guy so I can’t share a video with you – ironic!)

Offline Marketing Tips and Tricks for Entrepreneurs

Somedays I really don’t want to spend all my time banging away on a computer. Somedays I want old-school marketing to be back in style and to not have to friend, like or post anything. Well recently I took this show on the road and started making a 1999 product that is going to be the cornerstone of my business!

Marketing Strategy Workbook

The Last Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyWith all the online, ereader and ebook options, why did I make a 100+ page workbook that you have to print out to use? A couple of reasons. I am a writer. I like notebooks and workbooks and to put pen to paper to get my thoughts down. I KNOW, there are ways that I can do this with a stylus and my iPad, but that is just not the same. I don’t take as much consideration, stopping everything and really thinking about what I am doing.

Additionally I like to have a record of where I started and where I am now. Keeping files on the computer is nice, but really who ever goes back and “flips” through old files? With pieces of paper I can take a peek back and see if I have accomplished what I set out to do.

Lastly I think there are other people like me who want to have more than just a PDF that they put on their reader and ignore. My workbook will be available for sale in hard copy wherever I am. My newsletter will be going out in hard copy to my members on hole punched paper so they can just add it right in.

I know that having a real workbook is a quaint idea in this day and age, but I am so happy I did it this way!

>> find out more about my amazingly brilliant marketing strategy workbook!


Tara Jacobsen Speaking HappyHaving just done a “launch” of my product online, I can tell you in all sincerity that at least 3/4 of the people who bought have seen me speak in person. There is nothing that can compete with getting the chance to stand up in front of a group and show how helpful and knowledgable you are.

One of the reasons this might have been so successful was that I had never really had a tangible asset to sell them. I had had courses (online), offers of of coaching (ephemeral) and upcoming events, but never something that they could print out whole and hold in their hands.


Marketing Artfully PostcardsRemember when entrepreneur marketing WAS postcards and direct mail. When the only way to get your message out was to send it out on 5.5X8.5″ cardstock. Well those days are done. Today I use Vistaprint and spend about $20 to get 50 postcards. Each of those postcards gives me a chance of selling something. Of getting a new client and making another sale.

Because so few people send postcards, the impact that you can make selling them is really high!

Personal Notes

The last thing I am implementing throughout the rest of this year and beyond is to send personal notes when someone does something nice (like buys my product or asks me to speak!) Figuring this one out took a little bit of thought on my part (had to get back in the habit of asking for a physical address instead of just collecting an email address – oh the horror!)

Truthfully, the power of the personal note is that it just is nice to get something in the mail from someone when you never expected it…:)

The Real Truth – How Internet Marketing Supports Offline Marketing

So now that I am all sanctimonious about my 1999 marketing, let’s talk for real about why this is all possible in this day and age!

Resources On My Website

Making a workbook is nice, but how was I going to put all of the supporting material into a workbook. Explaining how to do some of the things is so much easier by doing a video and posting it to YouTube. Back in 1999 it would have been a multi-month process to build my own video platform, then I would have had to had a videographer to record it. Today I just use Screencast-O-Matic, record them and upload to YouTube in a matter of minutes.

Creative Cloud

Back in the day there was only Microsoft Word or Publisher to make a big document like my workbook. Today I use Adobe Creative Cloud and InDesign to make it. I have a digital subscription that gives me access to every kind of Adobe product available for about $50 a month (back in 1999 that one piece of software would cost almost $1,000!)

Stock Photography and Small Print Runs

Another brilliant thing about today is that I can buy stock photography for pennies. Using a site like I pay about $20 a month for as many pictures as I want. Considering stock photos used to be hundreds of dollars each, score! Remember my little postcard campaign, before print on demand I would have had to order thousands of cards and spend hundreds of dollars instead of about $20!

Email List

To advertise my workbook launch I used my email list. Instead of having to send something out after reviewing my Rolodex, I was able to send a message to thousands of people all at once for free (minus the cost of Infusionsoft!) I put everyone from my speaking events into that database and grow it online with an opt-in form.

Social Media Circles

In addition to my email database I sent out messages on social media reminding people that my launch was ending soon and the price would be going up. Broadcasting like that to thousands of people would have only been possible with a TV commercial before. Today we are each a media company in and of ourselves!


Last but not least I have a website that gets great traffic for my chosen category (entrepreneur marketing). Each day hundreds of people come by to see my “stuff” and I get a chance to sell them my workbook by writing posts (like this one) and banner ads. Not only that but they might join my email list and buy my workbook later.

For less than about $200 a year I have all my website software, hosting and tools to use to have an online presence. In 1999 it cost between $10,000 and $40,000 to have a site like mine! (I know because I was in the business of selling websites then!)


So which is better? Online or offline marketing? I think that is the wrong question!

The right question is, what are your skillsets and interests. I like sending mail (going to the Post Office is fun, my dad likes it too!) I like speaking and making workbooks and worksheets. I like designing postcards. I like writing blog posts.

Stop right now and think about what you like to do! Do you like meeting new people face-to-face (then start doing old school networking with an online backup of “friending” them on Facebook and adding them to your email database. Like making phone calls? Follow them up with a Video email a couple of days later to see if they are ready to buy.

There is no sense of not using all the entrepreneur marketing tools we have at our disposal, old-fashioned and new-fangled alike!

Buffer Versus Hootsuite – Which One Wins?

There is a big social media marketing tools controversy in my world, Buffer versus Hootsuite. My marketing besty swears by Hootsuite and is a true power user who has been a fan for years. I on the other hand love the Buffer and have a few other friends who swear by it. But who is right?

Here is a video showing the “back ends of each and why I like/hate them!”

So for the skinny, here is my take on each of these social media marketing tools!

Buffer Versus Hootsuite | Social Media Posting Tools ReviewedBoth are very affordable (about $10 a month-ish for the paid versions). Both are very stable platforms that have been around a long time and are rarely down or mess up posting. That said, there are some real differences in how easy they are to use day-to-day for my work.

For the purposes of this post I am going to break down 4 areas, Scheduling, Reporting, RSS Feeds and Interactions.

Bufferapp is the one that I use for my own personal posting. I have used it off and on for about 2 years and am super happy with it!


  • Pro: I can schedule easily using my browser. The photo interface is not the greatest and sometimes it is hard to get the pictures to pull in, but in that case I just upload the photo directly from my desktop.
  • Pro: I can “shuffle” the posts after I have loaded them so I don’t look like a giant spammer when I have 20 of my past blog articles going out all at once.
  • Pro: I can “scoot” each post around, up or down on a post by post level (I LOVE THIS ONE!)
  • Pro: I can set each different social network to post a different amount (so I can have Twitter post 3X a day and LinkedIn post 2X a day).

Overall, this is where Buffer cleans Hootsuite’s clock!


  • Pro: I don’t have to set anything up, there is a tab for each of my social networks built right in.
  • Pro: It is pretty easy to scroll down and see what has been going on.
  • Con: They have a really lame-ish way of showing me what has been doing well, not a way to sort the posts from the most popular to the least popular.

RSS Feeds

  • Pro: SO easy to get feeds into the system, just post the website and they pull it in.
  • Pro: I love that I can pull in feeds for each different account (this matches Gary Vaynerchuk’s thoughts that each platform has a different type of need! Fun stuff for Facebook, serious for LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Pro: It is easy to post and modify them with my special characters, hashtags, etc.


  • Con: Buffer is the huge loser here, they don’t have any way to see who has commented on the posts. You will have to log into each social network to check and see if anyone is talking to you.


  • Pro: Super nice photo review and change feature.
  • Con: Cannot “shuffle” posts at all (a huge downer for me).
  • Con: Cannot pick each network for how many times to post a day. The choice is global so I went with 2.


  • Pro: Have a great sorting function so that you can see the most popular posts that you have shared.
  • Con: You have to request every single report that you want to track and would have to keep going back and forth to see each.

RSS Feeds

  • Con: You have to have a different tab for each feed/kind of feed instead of being able to associate them with the various social media networks.
  • Con: It is really kerfuffly to get the feeds in, you have to load them from the websites and frequently I am not able to accomplish it (like in the video)
  • Con: To have all the feeds I use in Buffer I would have a HUGE tab that would be really hard to review and manage.


  • Pro: Well Hootsuite wins this one by default, Buffer doesn’t have this functionality.
  • Pro: It works really well! It is easy to see who is talking to you and follow along with the conversations.


Based on all of this, you may wonder why I don’t just use for all my work. Well, they have a very strange pricing structure. To accomplish what I need for my clients would cost almost $100 a month instead of the $10 that I pay for Hootsuite. One of the reasons I did not include this in my comparisons is that for most of you the 12 social networks you can add to Buffer will be more than enough. For me, the 12 is leaving out a bunch that I would like to add to my personal account but which are actually in my overflow for Hootsuite.

For most of you, I would recommend that you try Buffer and if you are super sad that you can’t do it all in one place then move over to Hootsuite.

– – – –

Disclaimer, I have a paid account with both and I use the Buffer account for my personal internet empire and the Hootsuite for my client work. The Hootsuite link is an affiliate link and I will get paid a little bit if decide to buy. Buffer does not have an affiliate program but I love them anyways.

– – – –

Marketing Strategy Workbook

The Last Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyIf you like this kind of thing and are looking for a comprehensive marketing solution written for smart business people, check out the Last Marketing Strategy Guide You Will Ever Need!

In it I break down all the aspects of having a fabulous business and an amazing marketing plan…but wait, that is not all, it doesn’t end there! I will update you about the latest marketing tools and strategies you need to make more sales! find out more

Small Business Marketing – When Are You Giving Too Much Away Free?

Small Business Marketing - When Are You Giving Too Much Away Free?Oh what a great day for small business! Today’s reader question is about how to figure out when you are giving too much away free.

Question: So as I’m creating my own business, a lot of things are new to me including, where is the line drawn where you are a resource and when it’s a potential client if that makes sense? Like…how much do you tell for free? – Theresa (name changed to protect the innocent)

I actually love this one because I do think that this is a fuzzy line for some people but it is super clear to me!

How Long Does It Take?

Reader QuestionsFirst off, I think it depends on how long it takes you to accomplish the task. I will pretty much do anything for free that takes me less than a minute.

Here I am particularly thinking about reader questions that are sort of the lifeblood of my business. I get questions emailed and Facebook messaged me every day that tell me what the marketplace needs and gives me an idea of what I should talk about (hence this blog post from a reader question! – you can click the picture to get to me on Facebook…friend or follow me) Answering most of those questions with resources or a quick response is easy so I fire them off all day long.

So what takes you no time that you can do quickly? Yours may be answering phone calls or text messages. It might be popping over to their blog post and leaving a comment.

I was so proud when one of the people on the stream said, “Love that we can always count on you!” It is building that kind of open door for tiny things which leads to giant doors opening for everything else!

Note: I model this after Seth Godin and Chris Brogan who are best selling authors and who take the time to answer all their reader question emails. I have gotten some amazing one word answers from Seth over the years and Chris is always there to answer my quick questions.

How Long Does It Take YOU? And do you like it?

That said, I do sometimes do things for free for my friends or people who refer me out frequently. I have made logos and websites, written sales copy and set up Facebook pages.

But I like doing those things (for my friends) and it keeps me at the top of my game. I am getting ready to make one of my friends an amazing website because I want to test something. Yes it will benefit her, but it is also to help me.

I often give talks for free and this blog is full of great free stuff. I do those things because I like doing them and have found ways to provide free that make me happy and serve everyone, not just one person at a time.

Note: Once you are a client I tend to do anything reasonable you ask without charging more! This is because I only work with a handful of people who have actually become friends as we have worked together over time.

Overselling On A Sales Call

One place I notice that I fall apart with my free model was back when I did face-to-face selling of our social media services product.

I would hit the door, start to tell them everything that we could do and answer every question they had about their social media. They would act all excited, tell me they would call me with a credit card and fade away. Well for heaven’s sake, I sat there and gave them the roadmap for them to follow. I should have told them WHAT to do instead of HOW we are going to do it!

Shut Up And Listen

In the previous section I forgot the first rule of selling, “Shut up and listen!”

I was so busy talking that I didn’t have a chance to hear what they really wanted so that I could set out to provide the answers to their real questions. Rarely does someone want just a Facebook page. They want to sell more products or services. They want to connect with their tribe. They want to be big shots. What they don’t need is someone sitting in front of them telling them all about how to set up a Facebook page!

Note: I rarely do in-person selling anymore as that is not my best thing. I also am re-arranging my offerings to include less one-on-one services and more “in it for everyone” stuff because that is what I like and am good at!

Should You Go To Coffee? Or Let Someone “Pick Your Brain”?

I cannot possibly say this better than Marie does!

Note: I don’t go out to coffee very often. It takes too much time to drive there, spend the time and then drive home. I always give away the farm and then they don’t need to pay me so that really doesn’t work for me!

Should You “Pay It Forward”?

There is a school of thought that says you should do something for free to show a prospect how great your product or service will be. This could be a free sample, making them something or just doing a little work before they hire you.

For a prospect I rarely will do anything free. I think it devalues your paid work and you have to give so many samples or free items away before one of your prospects will pull out a credit card that you could be hurting your paid clients or buyers by using your time for sales.


I totally loved this question! It is a problem that lots of us struggle with and few know how to handle with grace (I still flail around when talking to a humans about why I won’t “grab a cup of coffee” with them!)

That said, one of the most important things I have heard lately is from Suzanne Evans… the thing that you are best as the thing that you value the least and which is your greatest asset (or something like that!)

Knowing that, it is super important to remember that your products, time, your knowledge and your experience are not things to be given away, they are meant to be packaged up and sold to amazing clients or customers who NEED you!

The Last Marketing Strategy Workbook You Will Need EVER!

Keyword Marketing and SEO Update – How To Track Your Keyword Rankings

Today’s post is about how to obsessively track your keyword marketing and SEO rankings. We are going to focus on three main tools including Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Pro Rank Tracker (a third party site).

Google Webmaster Tools

Now that the keyword data is missing from Google Analytics, the Google Webmaster Tools are my new best friend. There I can find data showing:

  • How many times my site appeared in search (impressions)
  • The number of clicks that my received (clicks)
  • How many times my site was view compared to how many clicks I received (CTR – Click Through Rate)
  • Average position (shows all the keywords that I rank for and which position I am in)

Back when I had easy peasy results in Google Analytics I didn’t pay this site much mind but now I am a whole hearted supper and pretty much stalking my results in the Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Analytics

Keyword Marketing and SEO Update - How To Track Your Keyword RankingsAhh my old friend Google Analytics. You fickle bastard you, no more keyword data but some really good information about which pages are ranking and the sources of traffic that are working the best.

Pro Rank Tracker

Probably my favorite site right now on the internet. First off, they give you 50 free keywords to track and their prices really aren’t that horrendous if you get a jones for more. They send a daily email showing whether you have gone up or down which is super cool for figuring what to write about to keep your rankings up. LOVE THEM!

However you choose to track your keyword marketing efforts and SEO rankings, make sure you know what you are trying to rank for and the best practices for increasing your rankings without being a spammer (no sense in hosing up your life by doing bad SEO practices now that Google has declared war on spamming!)

How To Create A Kick Ass, Take No Prisoners Marketing Plan

There are marketing plans and then there is a MARKETING PLAN. Today we are going to talk about all the steps that you need to take to create a kick ass, take no prisoners marketing plan that will get you more customers and make you more money than you ever dreamed possible!

Warning: Just a word of caution, this post will make you very successful at whatever you choose to promote. Please don’t just skim over the first parts. This is totally the, “I got to the top of the ladder and found out it was against the wrong wall” if you are not completely sure about what you are trying to accomplish.

How To Create A Kick Ass, Take No Prisoners Marketing PlanHaving cruised the internet to find out what the “marketing plan template” competition is offering I was pleasantly surprised to find that they stink. While their process and format might work in business school or be the bomb in corporate America with 12 levels of management, this type of marketing plan is for business owners who will be implementing it themselves or perhaps working with someone on staff or outsourced to get it done. It is also for someone who is less concerned with “process” and more concerned with making money, getting leads and making sales.

How To Do Your Marketing Plan

Okay, we are ready to get going! First off, if you are really going to do this, please put down your phone, stop checking emails and get out a tablet of paper to write on. OF COURSE you will not wind up with a complete marketing plan in 30 minutes like some people promise, but you should be able to get a good start and a plan or path for which way to go.

What Are You Selling

The very first thing you need to do is is to know EXACTLY what you are selling. I have talked with almost a thousand small business owners and very few knew exactly what they were selling. There are two ways to think about this:

  • Selling an exact product or service that people are looking for like jewelry, business coaching, homes for sale or any other number of things that people are actively buying.
  • Selling the answer to a problem like “how to get the man of your dreams” or “becoming a better salesman”.

Sometimes you are better off to sell the factually correct product or service and sometimes you are better off to sell the solution to problem. The one thing never to do is to sell a concept like “security” if you are selling insurance or “beauty” if you are selling makeup. That is too cute and obscure to be a good marketing goal.

So the first thing you need to figure out is 3 Things You Are Selling. Write them down in pencil for now.

Selling online.

If you are reading my blog on the internet or a phone then you are aware that much of marketing is done via the internet these days. You probably did not just type in the whole long url to get here, you might have come from a Google search, seeing a social media post or even being subscribed to my blog feed. All of these ways of finding someone require words, more specifically keywords.

The reason I said to pencil in your three things you are selling is that you need to figure three relevant keywords that will show up in searches on the internet when someone is looking for your product or service. There are two ways to think about picking your keywords:

  • Tiny niche, big fish. If you want to have very fast results, pick a “long tail keyword” that is very specific and has little competition. This will allow you to rank highly for a term quickly and get eyeballs on your marketing fast.
  • Big niche, lots of opportunity. The other way to do this is to pick a big hairy audacious keyword and then work for a while to rank highly for that on Google and share it frequently on social media to get backlinks and gain authority about that term.

Whichever way you pick, you want to take your three products or services you are selling and make sure to research each to know what keywords you should actually target for those terms.

Who Are You Selling To

This is the most important thing to consider when doing your marketing plan. If you don’t know who you are selling to you cannot effectively plan how to market to them. Gone are the days when you could head out to social media, make friends and sell “stuff”. Today you need to be laser focused on who you are trying to reach and where they are going to be spending their time, online or off. Because of all the competing marketing messages (think email, online, texting, billboards, postcards, networking), you have to make sure that all of your efforts are concentrated on reaching your exact customer, exactly where they are.

We have written whole books on how to figure out who your perfect customer might be, but to get you started check out, Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile. This will help you find your current customer demographics as well as the “perfect customer” who will buy and buy.

What Is Your Budget

The next thing to consider is how much do you have to spend. I have a goal to spend about $1,000 a month in marketing across all of the channels, your budget may be higher or lower than that. In this number I include the cost of buying training programs or getting coaching on how to do some specific kind of marketing.

Here are a few top level ideas for different budgets:

$0-$500 A Month Marketing Budget

If you are working with a very small (or non-existent) budget, you are going to have to put in some sweat time. Most of the marketing that is done on the internet can be done for very limited resources so that is going to be our go-to marketing spot for you! Some things that you can do with a limited budget include:

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Guest article writing
  • Networking
  • Making videos
  • Attending local industry events
  • Learning SEO
  • Writing Ebooks

for a comprehensive list of free marketing ideas check out our

$500-$1,000 A Month Marketing Budget

If you have a little more money and want to outsource some of your marketing tasks, you can definitely find help. A decent amount of online exposure can be had for around $500/month. Conversely if you like doing marketing, you could take those funds and buy marketing training, using your money to increase your knowledge and expertise. Some things that you can do with this budget include:

  • Paid ads on Google or Facebook (LinkedIn has a minimum of $500 so we wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket)
  • Sending postcards or direct mail
  • Start a podcast
  • Buying marketing training
  • Traveling to industry events
  • Paid ads in local papers or magazines
  • Flyers or brochures
  • Having videos professionally done

for a comprehensive overview of free and paid options, check out our ebook, 100 Marketing Ideas: Our Top Marketing Tips For The Web, Social, Video and More


Now you are in the “get a professional or in house person to do your marketing” range. If you are spending more than a few hundred dollars a month on paid advertising it is well worth your money to pay for someone who is knowledgable in that area to manage it for you. Additionally, you should be outsourcing your social media or blogging (you can still write the content but have them post and SEO them professionally).

What Are Your Assets

While budget is definitely a consideration when figuring out your marketing plan, more-so is taking a look at what your assets are. I like to write which includes books, blog posts, and articles for local magazines. I also don’t mind making videos if I can do screen captures instead of them being with me in them. When you are getting your marketing plan together, it is vital that you play to your (or your team’s) strengths and weaknesses. If you set a goal to make 7 videos a week and hate doing them, it will not work out as planned!

Here are some character traits and what you could do with those talents!

  • Great at building relationships – focus on Facebook, in person networking and your email newsletter (you can love up on your people!)
  • A total ham and show-off – become a speaker, make videos with you in them, start a podcast, attend industry events where you can make key connections
  • Methodical and precise – LinkedIn would be a great place to make industry connections, do how-to videos without you in them, schedule your social media precisely

The key to an effective marketing campaign is playing to your strengths, even if you are outsourcing parts of it. For example, we do social media marketing for clients, but it works most effectively for the people who are willing to make videos which we then turn into blog posts, sharing on social media and spreading across the internet. Several of our clients have said they would like to make videos but that is just not in their wheelhouse so they never got done.

Setting Targets

You need to know what your goal is for all this marketing. A mistake that I see frequently is that a business owner will say that they want “a sale” from their marketing. Now this is great if they have an ecommerce site and are direct selling on the internet. But even for those people, sales often come after a number of different exposures to the product or service.

For example, I wrote this blog post which will have a data collection link so that people can sign up to learn more about my marketing plan template product once it is developed (right now I am just trying to rank for my main keyword, “marketing plan” in anticipation of completing that product). I will probably start with something free and then work my way up to a higher priced item.

Marketing Plan Sales FunnelThis process is called a sales funnel and you should have one too! To the right is what I am doing with mine.

As you can see, I don’t just jump into selling a several thousand dollar consulting program. There are steps along the way that work someone from the top (this blog post) to the bottom, charging progressively higher prices along the way. Rarely will someone do a search, find you on the internet or social and call to say sign me up (although it does happen from time to time). Instead they will do a search, see you have great information and then be looking for the next step in the process. Some next steps could be:

  • Make an inquiry phone call
  • Send in an internet lead or quote request
  • Signup for your email newsletter
  • Request a one-on-one meeting
  • Sign up for a lower priced course or offering

All of these results are part of the sales process. Of the people who sign up for my newsletter, a percentage will buy a marketing plan template. Some of the people who buy a marketing plan template will want to learn more in an online class. Some of them will figure out that they would rather have some help-help and call me for a consultation.

Activities based

Now, marketing is a sexy past time when done at high levels. Getting all dolled up for a photo shoot or buying the latest video camera are fun and festive. Going to networking or speaking at an event is a rush. But now comes the hard part.

None of those marketing efforts work without having a plan for each. For networking your plan could be to add them to your database, send a video email to say high, follow that up with a phone call and then send a personal note. Each an every person that you meet should be run through that process.

You should have a plan for every bit of your marketing process. Doing social? You should know how often you posting to each site each day, when you are going to check your messages, how many people you are going to follow and more. For bloggers you should have an editorial calendar and a rock solid plan for what content you are going to be writing and then what you are going to do to share that content socially, numerous times over the following weeks and months.

To do: Make a plan for each day of the week listing the marketing tasks you have to do each day!

Marketing Plan Accountability and Ridiculous Goals

So, now you know what to do. You have an idea of what you are selling, some thoughts about what your marketing plans are going to be and an activities based plan for what you are going to do every day.

Failure is not an option. First off, don’t give yourself permission to fail. Laid out the way we do, it is easy to see that taking 20-60 minutes a day to do your marketing efforts is extremely possible and profitable. But that old saying is true, what is easy to do is also easy not to do. It is easy to think, “I am busy so I will just skip following today” or “so I missed a blog post this week, that is not the end of the world”. That kind of “slipping” will lead to your marketing being a lackluster, half assed effort that is just annoying, not effective. Don’t do that.

Ridiculous Goals. Right now I am on a quest to do a video (or two) every day of the week until the end of the year. That will mean that I have well over 100 additional videos (some of which are included in blog posts and some that are shared on social). The thought of making 100 videos is overwhelming, but if you just think of making one video a day, that effort seems easy and do-able. Set huge goals for yourself but break them down into daily tasks that are doable.

Thank you so much for reading about how to create a kick ass, take no prisoners marketing plan! If you would like to find out more about our products or services give me a call today (727) 415-9165

How To Create A Kick Ass Marketing Plan

Niche Marketing – Real Estate Farming

Niche Marketing - Real Estate FarmingHow to do real estate farming in a niche marketing way. Learn the internet marketing way to increase your farming leads and dominate your area.

In a previous post, Real Estate Marketing To A Farm Area, I talked about how to pick a real estate farm area, some marketing tips and what not to do. Today we are going to get more in depth and less “realtory” about it all focusing on the internet marketing aspect of real estate farming!

Too often we treat realtor marketing like it is in a class all to itself. That is just not true. Real estate marketing is just like every other marketing on the planet and is in some ways much easier than other types of marketing.

Local Marketing

Let’s start with what real estate farming is. It is picking a geographic location that you are going to market to. This includes an area like a city or town, a neighborhood or even a subdivision.

The smaller the area that you pick, the easier it is to dominate it in the search engines and the more “real” leads you will get. Think about it, someone who is searching for “Denver real estate” is casting a pretty wide net, someone looking for the “Cherry Creek real estate area” is getting more refined and if they are searching for a subdivision in that area they are probably pretty close to buying or selling sometime soon!

Picking A Real Estate Niche

Niche marketing in the internet world is about choosing a small-ish target and then focusing all of your energies on that target. One of mine is “realtor marketing” so I write posts like this that will rank well in the search engines AND be helpful to Realtors. That distinction is super important. If you are just picking a niche and then not producing great content that people doing those searches will want to actually consume, you are wasting their time.

So how should you pick your niche? There are a couple of ways that work well:

  1. Pick an area that you like. This one seems random but might be the most brilliant way. Niche marketing means that you will be spending a lot of time making videos, doing open houses and focusing on an area and if you LOVE being there it will feel like play instead of working.
  2. Pick a high turnover area. The highest turnover areas tend to be the ones that are in the median price ranges that are attractive to move up or first time buyers. Only you will know these “hot” areas where the homes sell often and you can generate a lot of sales and buyers.
  3. Pick a high cost area. Farming for luxury homes is a fun and profitable prospect. You don’t have to sell hundreds of these homes to make a high income and once you have dominated these kinds of keywords and social sites, you are in the drivers seat for generating high cost, high quality leads.
  4. Other. There are a million ways to choose your niche. You could pick working with only sellers in a geographic area, only first time homebuyers, just veterans, commercial or a million other criteria. Whatever you choose, you have to make sure you do enough local marketing to dominate that market.

Keyword Selection

In our post 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors, we break down the keywords that people use for searching real estate terms, but that is just half of the equation. The other half is knowing what the local terms are that people are using for searching.

For example, here in Denver a lot of the agents are using “Front Range” in their marketing which is a term that describes all of the cities along the Eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. It is a local term and seems like it would be great for covering a wide area. Unfortunately there are only 30 searches per month for “front range real estate” which is definitely not enough to target as a niche. “Denver Real Estate” has over 8,000 and “Cherry Creek Real Estate” has 320 (still not great but 10 times more than front range real estate!)

Dominating A Real Estate Keyword Or Ten

I am a firm believer in picking three keywords to target at the start. You should definitely have a big one would be a stretch to reach (like Denver Real Estate), then a couple like “Cherry Creek Realtors” or “Wash Park Homes For Sale”. But real estate is super cool in that you can target tens or even hundreds of keywords easily just by taking videos and pictures as you drive around on your listing appointments or buyer showings.

This video about “Stratford Lakes” Real Estate has had over 400 views. While it is a pretty basic attempt, it has resulted in closed buyer business and has established Tena as a keyword holder for that subdivision.

This video has given Deb a foothold in the St. Petersburg, FL area and has resulted in at least two closed deals that we know about.

As you can see, these are just 41 and 33 seconds each. I think anyone has to agree that taking 33 seconds to make something that could earn thousands of dollars of commissions is a high quality use of time!

Keyword Tracking

Once you pick a keyword or three, you will want to start tracking your rankings for that keyword and see how you are are fairing in the search engines. We recommend a couple of different ways to do this:

Google Webmaster Tools – This is a great way to find out what you already rank for and can target how to rank even better for key terms.
– A really neat site for seeing your current rankings for targeted keywords. They will send a daily email about how your keywords are ranking.

Social Media Marketing

So we have hit on keywords for your website (which you can use for your videos also). Now let’s take a quick peek at social media and the similar and different ways that you can target your keywords to maximize your efforts.

Google+ – Some of the results that appear in the “real” Google Search Engine come from posts on Google+. You can use your same keywords in those posts that you are using in your website.

Hashtags – Start checking out Google+, Twitter and Pinterest to see which keywords match your real estate marketing niche. To give you an idea, there is a #denver #realestate and #cherrycreek hashtag. Now, this will probably work less effectively for subdivisions but is still well worth figuring out. I love using for finding new and relevant hashtags.

Top Realtors – If you would like a customized real estate farming strategy for your team to implement, give me a call today to find out more! 727-415-9165

We Wrote The Book On Marketing To A Farm!

Real Estate Marketing To A Farm EbookHow To Find, Grow & Reap The Benefits of a Geographic Farm…Find out tips and strategies to cultivate a successful real estate farm area. While researching for this title, we were surprised to discover how little real information there is out there about how to farm a neighborhood.

Included Topics:

  • What Is A Farm, Choosing a Farm & Farming For Sellers
  • Newsletters, Postcards, & Brochure Boxes
  • Website, Video, Email, & Social Media
  • Open Houses & Door Knocking
  • Creative Farming Ideas

Looking to take your real estate marketing to the next level? Start here

Manufacturing Marketing: How To Give Your Company A Personality

Manufacturing Marketing: How To Give Your Company A PersonalityToday we are going to talk about manufacturing marketing and how you can give your company a personality!

For most manufacturing companies marketing is a pretty dry thing. They produce products, make sure to get collateral and flyers to their distributors, maybe throw up a website page and hope that they can be found by someone who wants to buy whatever they are selling.

It is a very passive process that is not exactly sexy or sales generating.

Now we do know some more aggressive companies that attend trade shows and get belly-to-belly with their customers and tell how their product or service will help them either work smarter or make more money.

These companies tend to do a great job person-to-person selling, but maybe not so much on the online world.

Ranger Ink and Innovative Craft Products

One company that we see doing an amazing job at bringing their products to market is Ranger Ink and Innovative Craft Products. Ranger has taken a consumer goods product (scrapbooking ink) that they sell through craft stores and are promoting it directly to their customers using brand spokesmen.

Tim Holtz

I first found out about Ranger because there was a really neat guy (Tim Holtz) who was great at demo-ing his new products at the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Shows. Functionally, as a consumer, I had started doing journalling and wanted to see some how-to demos.

Well Tim was cool and seeing some of the products displayed, I did trot out to buy them when they hit the stores!

Dyan Reaveley

So the next thing that happened was this really amazing chick named Dyan Reaveley showed up and started selling for Ranger. She was not model skinny and wore glasses (I am not model skinny and I wear glasses…we are soul sisters!)

Dyan Reaveley Promoting Tim HoltzThe cool thing about Dyan is that she owns a craft store too in England. I am actually signed up for her email mailing list and get her updates where she is cross promoting…wait for it…Tim Holtz’s products.

So this goes on for a couple of years. As a consumer I wait anxiously for the Summer and Winter CHA shows so I can get a dose of “how tos” from my “friends” and then go buy the new “stuff” they are selling.

Dina Wakley

So I was just getting to know Tim and Dyan and what happened, they invited a new gal, Dina Wakley, to join them. Now, it looks like they are all friends and having fun so I was happy to “meet” Dina and add her to my list of “must watch” videos when the CHA show happens.

Selling To End Users

As a manufacturer I am sure you are thinking, yeah but….yeah but scrapbooking is cool. Yeah but no one in our space is as charismatic. Yeah but…

There are a million reasons to say you can’t do it, but there are amazingly dull topics who have passionate supporters and we are sure you can find someone who would be a good fit for your company to be the “face” that is out there for the public to know and love.

Some of the huge benefits that Ranger is gaining from using this style of marketing include:

  • Drive from their end users for craft shops and retailers to stock the products that the spokespeople talk about
  • Increased exposure through the spokespeople doing projects with products
  • Endorsements from people already respected in their field
  • Free content creation and sharing as fans of these three artists share their projects and suggestions
  • Product development of different creative product lines based on the expertise of each artist

No matter your industry, it is worth seeing if you can find some way to humanize or put a face on your products.

If you would like to learn more about our Manufacturing Marketing services, please click here.

We are not in any way related to Ranger Ink, just fans of their manufacturing marketing methods and all the cool designers they are using!

The Benefits Of Writing A Book For Marketing and Sales

The Benefits of Writing A Book For Sales and MarketingWriting a book for marketing and sales purposes is one of the most impactful things that you can do for your business. I have written a number of marketing books that are currently generating money and opportunity for my business on a weekly if not daily basis.

An Instant Expert

Years ago to be an expert you had to have some kind of credentials. You had to attend a college or get a certification or be “knighted” an expert by someone in a position of authority or power. These days you just have to do the work to be an expert. You need to know and love your topic with a passion (and hopefully 10,000 hours of work towards mastery).

But just being knowledgable does nothing without sharing that knowledge with other people. When you write a book and put your name and reputation on the line. You are putting a stake in the ground and claiming your expert right.

The cool thing about this is that even writing is now about doing the work. You don’t have to wait for someone to give you permission, you can just start writing and then “voila” you will be a published author.

Easy Peasy Publishing

Getting published is no longer the un-overcomable challenge it once was. Back in the day you would have to write your book, print out a gagillion proofs, send it off to the big publishers and then wait for the rejection letters to start rolling in, possibly crushing your dreams of being a “real” author forever.

Today’s publishing landscape looks tremendously different.

Digital Books

First off you can publish in your own right using Amazon, iBooks or Kobo. Within 12 hours of hitting submit, you can have a digital version of your book online ready to start selling. This is how we have published all of our books and we have been super pleased with every one of them!

The ease of getting your words into the hands of readers using self publishing is an amazing gift that was never available before.

Small Publishing Houses

But what if you want a “book-book” to use as a business card or sales piece. I don’t know if there were always such helpful publishing houses in the past or if the competition from self publishing spurred the movement, but there are some really nice, helpful small publishing houses like Black Card Books who works with authors to help them publish and promote their books.

These smaller publishing houses are not going to be buying pages for their authors in the New York Times, but we do find that they are much more aggressive about actively promoting all their authors (not just the top 2 or 3 who make the bestseller list).


Writing books gives you authority and opportuntiies that are not available any other way. Just a few of the cool things that have happened because of our books include:

  • International exposure on webinars and hangouts from interviewers who found our books on Amazon
  • New clients who don’t have to ask if we know what we are talking about, we just send them the book and they understand that immediately
  • Speaking events because the organizer found our book online
  • An offer from a major publisher for a complimentary title to one of our books
  • So many more!

It is incredible what book writing can do for your sales and marketing efforts. If you are thinking about writing a book, stop thinking and just start it right now!

Denver Book Publishing & Marketing Seminar

Gerry Roberts Book Publishing and Marketing SeminarGerry Roberts, Best Selling Author and amazing speaker is coming to Denver, August 26th!

He will be here to talk about how to use a book as a marketing tool and income accelerator. Now, you know we are super strong believers in books and the ability of using a book to market different parts of our business.

Find out more >>

B2B Business Development Using Social Media

B2B Business Development Using Social MediaMarketing for B2B Business Development became confused in 2008-2009 when social media took off. Before that marketing was relatively easy to do, just put your ad in the yellow pages and maybe a couple of trade publications, clap your hands and call it done for the year. Maybe if you were really hard-core you had a drive-to-web campaign using direct mail, but basically, it was pretty contained and involved just paying and then waiting for leads to roll in.

This style of marketing is called direct response and it is really the straightest line from paying for a marketing item (like having an email blast go out to a targeted list), to generating leads directly because of that action, following up on them and then making a sale. The really nice thing about this is you can say you spent X amount of dollars to have the piece produced, sent it using your database which costs X amount per month, got X amount of leads and converted X number of those leads into closed business.

The old days were great!

Excessive Clutter

Now, you might be asking if I am saying that you shouldn’t do direct selling…well no! There are still numerous ways to direct response that are effective. But we are talking about Social Media and Business Development today and that is a totally different animal.

When the social sites exploded onto the scene (and by these we are saying sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest) they stretched out marketing an almost unbearable amount. Add to that blogs, TV and movies on demand, email, texting and all the other ways that we are bombarded with marketing messages each day and it is no wonder that doing marketing started to feel like a three ring circus instead of a business play.

Getting your marketing message to the right people is more important now than ever.

Pure Business Development

Let’s look again at what marketing is and has always been. A way to put a message about your company in front of people who might be interested in what you are selling and then having them call for a quotation, learn more by visiting your site or do some other action that puts them into your “pipeline” where you can followup and convert them into a buyer.

That is business development. Somehow social media as a marketing channel got put on a different level from other marketing. It was held to a standard that no marketing could attain…every post you make, every video you shoot, everything should lead directly to a sale. A fun thing to banter around is “what is the ROI of social media”.

I think this is because of the effort that has to be expended to succeed at social media. It is not enough to just throw up a Twitter page, you have to get followers, find content, post frequently and then respond when someone actually talks to you. You have to track on the back-end and see how many website hits your Twitter efforts are generating, follow that through to confirmed leads and then closed business.

Oh and that person who “found” you on Twitter might have visited your website first, checked out your YouTube videos and finally looked at your Twitter account before deciding to actually contact you. Jay Baer, author of Youtility states, “customers will contact a sales rep only after independently completing 60 percent of the purchasing decision process”.

The marketing process has turned around, now your customer is researching you and your offerings BEFORE ever reaching out to talk with you.

Targeting The Right Customers

The very first thing that you need to do when starting your business development efforts on social media is to figure out who your customers are. Are they large multinational corporations where you have to get to a decision maker who is closely guarded, or are they a young startup where the founder is on the social circuit and you can reach her directly? Are they small companies who use social media themselves or are they larger and you really need provide content that the person who is looking for your products or services will be searching for.

Some of types of customers we target for our social media clients include:

Parent Companies – There are often some really big opportunities behind the closed doors of multinational companies. Viewing their social media, you have to know that it is being handled by minions and that the marketing department is sanitizing all the messages you may be sending to reach out to their executives or purchasing departments. For this type of mission, you may have to work hard, doing targeted paid advertising to reach these decision makers. You can also check LinkedIn and Twitter to see if your decision maker is using either of those.

Distributors – One of the most fun B2B targets is when you want to find companies who would think that your product would be a good fit for their product line. The conversation about representing you is much nicer when they have seen all your great social media and come to you asking about your product or service. This is easily accomplished by following and liking their content, targeting industry resources and joining industry groups. Once you have established your authority in those places, being considered becomes a no brainer.

Complimentary Companies – Another way to increase your social engagement is to find companies that provide similar but not competing products or services. Sharing their information, industry accolades and posts is a great way to start a conversation about how you can work together.

End Users – Sometimes is can seem like all you should do is target your actual business-to-business contacts, but that is truly missing an opportunity. As a manufacturer, corporation or company, you need to present your product or service in the marketplace so that end users can see it in action and be enthused about. Think of a company like CSX which does freight shipping. They do a lot of video and commercial advertising on political and business programs, trying to be top of mind when busy executives are making decisions about how to move their freight around the country. Due to the size of the contracts, they can get their “ROI” easily if those spots secure just one multi-year contract. All the rest would be gravy.

Your Sales Channels – Promoting businesses that are representing your product is a great way to cement the relationship and increase sales up the supply chain. Oftentimes as the producer of a product or service, you need to the one that is promoting the companies that represent you and providing them with social content that they can share with their networks. Nothing that you do to help a dealer or distributor will hurt sales and could actually increase your ROI as their orders increase.

Going Where Your B2B Customers Are

Common wisdom says if you are doing B2B Social Media marketing you should use LinkedIn and nothing else…sigh. Nothing could be further from the truth than that! For every business we have ever worked with, there have been multiple social media platforms that they could use with a targeted plan and message. Just because you are doing business-to-business marketing, don’t rule out Pinterest or Facebook, depending on which level of customer you are trying to reach.

Sometimes your “business” customers can look more like consumers and sometimes your ideal prospect will be in love with Instagram and not use anything else socially. Ruling out all other social platforms to focus exclusively on any one channel is a recipe for disaster and may be why there are so many questions about the ROI of social. If you have spent thousands of hours “working” LinkedIn and not gotten anything out of it, maybe there are other social sites that could be more effective for your business.

If you would like to find out more about our manufacturer marketing, click here, all others check out our marketing services page!

Fairy Tale Quotes For Business

Fairy Tale Quotes For BusinessI love using Fairy Tale quotes for business. There is just something so powerful about bringing the viewer back to a time when they were young and hopeful. There is a great mix of past fairy tales and new classics so you take your pick!

These are all business quotes, that is appropriate to post on your social media if you are in business. For the pictures, please share freely but leave the attribution on the photos.

If I missed one of your favorites, please let me know in the comments and I will add it in!

Peter Pan Quotes

“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”
― Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)

“All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.”
― Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”
― Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”  ― Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)

“It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”
― Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)

Alice In Wonderland Quotes

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.”  Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

“You’re thinking about something, and it makes you forget to talk.”
― Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

Winnie The Pooh Quotes

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
― Winnie-the-Pooh (A.A. Milne)

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”
― Winnie-the-Pooh (A.A. Milne)

“Think, think, think.”
― Winnie-the-Pooh (A.A. Milne)

“So perhaps the best thing to do is to stop writing Introductions and get on with the book.”
― Winnie-the-Pooh (A.A. Milne)

Dr. Seuss Quotes

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― (Dr. Seuss)

Only you can control your future.
― (Dr. Seuss)

Harry Potter Quotes

“I’m going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don’t think I don’t know how this might end. I’ve known it for years.”
― Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

“I'm going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don't think I don't know how this might end. I've known it for years.”  ― Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
― Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)

“Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.”
― (J.K. Rowling)

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”
― (J.K. Rowling)

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
― Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)

“The only way out is through.”
― (J.K. Rowling)

“We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.”
― Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

“We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.”  ― Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

“When in doubt, go to the library.”
― Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)

Tom Sawyer Quotes

“In order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”
― The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

Hunger Game Quotes

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”
― The Hunger Games, (Suzanne Collins)

“If you appeal to the crowd, either by being humorous or brutal or eccentric, you gain favor.”
― The Hunger Games, (Suzanne Collins)

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”
― The Hunger Games, (Suzanne Collins)

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”  ― The Hunger Games, (Suzanne Collins)

Marketing Tips For Real Estate Teams

Marketing Tips For Real Estate Teams | Realtor MarketingMarketing your real estate team is a bit different than just advertising for a single agent. There are a number of different considerations that you should make sure to take a look at and have a rock star plan in place for how to accomplish your team goals.

Being A Real Estate Rainmaker

When you own a real estate team, oftentimes you are the sole person actively generating leads for your agents. You need to be directing marketing activities that will provide leads for them to follow up on.

You can also provide materials that they can use to talk to their sphere like “send me your referrals letters” and even real estate related stats that they can send to their friends and family via email.

Whatever you do, it is your (or your admins) responsibility to track each lead, asking for accountability from your agents. Some will say that “internet leads suck” or some will not want to do floor time. We have found that the teams that take these things into consideration and dole out the leads their agents believe in most will have the best results.

Should You Merge Your Clients

Some of the agents that join your team will have a database of their own. With all the tools in place now to sort and sift contacts, you should ask or require that they add their contacts to your database, assuring that you will release them if they leave and that no one else on the team will get those leads without their permission.

One reason for this is consistency. Realtors have every intention of marketing consistently, but then they get a couple of buyers and a few deals under contract and the marketing goes out the window until that cycle ends and they need someone to work with again.

If your admin or in-house marketing person is consistently doing mailings, reaching out on social and emailing great information, why not include your agents’ sphere contacts. As long as this is part of the interview process for joining your team and you have a rock solid plan in place for respecting their contacts, it should not be a problem.

Make sure to ask them to report any leads that via phone calls or in person meetings they have so you can track incoming leads and the sources.

Client Database Versus Marketing Database

While we are talking about databases, lets look at how you handle your marketing database versus your “in contract” database. Today’s top agents are using their databases to track the entire transaction, most of them have some sort of client portal and basically your closing coordinator is a whiz at keeping tasks and closings on track.

A super strong marketing database will be a little different. It has to have a way to collect email addresses off of the internet in exchange for something great (like a free report on which remodeling projects make the most money back – prospecting for sellers!)

It also should be where all your Zillow, and Craigs List leads go. These are really internet leads and you may have to nurture them for weeks or even months before they are ready to talk to an agent. Sign call leads that are not ready to work with an agent should be here too!

Functionally what you want to do is have a plan for contacting all of these people every week forever. Your leads, your agents’ leads and every other contact that you can find should be included. We recommend two different databases for this. if you are just getting started or Infusionsoft if you are going to be doing a lot of internet marketing.

Team Photography

You might have thought that this is the old, “picture of your team” but no! This is the new, “make sure your team is taking pictures ALL THE TIME!”

Most teams are set up so that the Rainmaker is the listing agent or owner and the agents on the team work with buyers. As such, they are spending time driving around and getting the chance to snap photos of interesting houses, local attractions and even “selfies” of themselves working with happy customers.

You should have a dropbox folder where your agents can upload all these fun pictures for you to use in your marketing! These types of photos are great for sharing on Pinterest, your Website and Facebook. Just have them name the pictures what they are like this: clearwater-beach-at-sunset.jpg.

Should You Market Your Agents?

One last thing to consider is really important and can have a huge impact on your business. When you have a real estate team, you can handle your marketing in two ways:

1. Only market the team leader. This is a great way to keep consistency and to know that all your marketing efforts are headed in the same direction. The problem with this method is that many people will only want to work with you and there could be an awkward changeover point where they find out they will be seeing houses with a different agent. Not un-overcomable, but something to consider.

2. Market your agents. Here is another potential problem. If you are marketing and supporting your agents, sharing them on your social media, blasting them in your email newsletter and featuring a separate page for each one on your site, you can find that they are receiving leads that you are not aware of.

Now, we aren’t saying that the agents are being sneaky, just that they consider that phone call a one time event and your marketing person or admin considers that marketing time well spent and will put them in the database and drip on them forever!

If you can get your agents to report every lead they receive and ask for phone, name and email address, then YES! Market them.

We believe that all the little ships rise up together and that trusting and counting on your whole team (admins, marketing peeps, agents and closing coordinators) is the very best way to get leverage so you can do what you love!

If you would like to talk with us about how to structure your team’s marketing, check out our Realtor Marketing Strategy page to find out more!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

SEO and Website Update for Service Based Businesses | What Is Working In 2014

SEO and Website Update for Service Based Businesses | What Is Working In 2014SEO has been on my mind a lot lately after giving an SEO talk to some really great, hardworking service based business people. Now, these are guys who are out there in the trenches every day, making a living and busting their butts through manual labor.

They are a mixed bag when talking about marketing, some are on the side of “I do it all by referral”, which is great and I never argue with!

Some are on the side of “My site ranks #1 for my main keyword and has for years”, which is awesome and I am sure brings in a ton of business (I would still recommend some other kinds of marketing but would not touch that site with a 10 foot pole, if your stuff is working, leave it alone!)

The last group is the majority. They have a website that is not ranking on in the first spot of Google. They might not even be on the first page. One fellow that I was emailing with said that he was sick of the hype from SEO companies when they sold him about getting him on the first page, only to say that it was too competitive and giving up. Having taken a peek at his market and seeing the competition, I would say that trying to do it with just SEO (getting backlinks and SEO’ing a static site) would not cut it in 2014.

There really is just too much competition out there for a pure SEO play to work, in addition to the fact that Google has taken away all the tools to measure which pages are working for which keywords and why.

Now we are having to guess which pages might be ranking well and then try to reverse engineer an idea of what might be going on.

What Is Working With SEO and Websites Now

So if SEO as a pure play is not working now, what is?

It is definitely a mix of good SEO practices combined with social media and videos. Because Google search returns such mish mash of Videos, News, Google+ posts, websites and maps, it is impossible to know which one will tip you over and start producing great traffic results.

It could be a video that you nailed or the Google+ post that gets shown every time someone searches for your keywords.

Whatever winds up working, you can bet it will not be just because you got some backlinks and optimized a couple of pages. Today’s search is so much larger than the “old days” when there were 10 static results that were the same for everyone!

What To Do

There are about a million things you can do but to get started this is a pretty good list:

1. Check Google Webmaster tools. Use Google Webmaster tools to see what you rank for right now, these are the keywords that you are going to focus on short term. These low hanging words are your best bet for moving up fast.

2. Share your best posts on social. Not just once, scheduled out over time and mixed up so that you are not spamming. Make sure you are including a mix of industry posts and your keyword targeted posts.

3. Check out your competitors to see what they are ranking for. You may find new words to target and even if not, you can see what kinds of efforts they are using to get there.

4. Grow your social. While follower counts are not the be-all and end-all, it is silly to ignore the millions of people who are using one or the other of the social sites daily.

5. Make some videos. Google owns YouTube and it is the second biggest search engine in the world. Video results show up on search. There really is no good reason not to be rocking the videos.

6. Produce regular content. Google’s Caffeine algorithm update a few years ago started rewarding sites with new content (like blog posts). If you are not regularly updating your site you will be fighting to keep your search listings.

7. Speaking of updating your site. Make sure you have a blog, either as your website or as a stand-alone supporting your blog. Either way, you need to know the power of blogging!

Who Does This Work For?

This kind of SEO and website focus will work for most local service based business like:

  • Pressure washers
  • Cleaning companies
  • Realtors
  • Lawyers
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Accountants
  • CPAs
  • Marketing companies
  • Gym trainers
  • Churches
  • Attractions and tours
  • Veterinarians
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Electricians
  • Appliance repair
  • Pest control

Basically anyone who is performing a “service” that can be fulfilled locally. The reason this works so well is that you are not just targeting a search term or location but the convergence of the two.

Ranking well for Accountant might be nice, but it would be much more beneficial to rank for Denver Accountant if you are serving local people.

Hopefully this helps get your arms around where SEO and websites are for local service providers in 2014. If you would like to find out more about the marketing services we offer, please give us a call today! 727-415-9165

10 Ways Website Design Has Changed and What To Do About It

10 Ways Website Design Has Changed and What To Do About ItWebsite design is different today than it has been in a long time. Changes to how Google tells us about what keywords we should try to rank for have made a radical difference in what we should be doing and how we need to set up or changeover a website. Incorporating social media is a vital part of the equation, as is maintaining a social and blog presence.

This post came about because of two things that recently happened. First we were asked to speak about SEO at a conference which I haven’t done for quite a while (mostly everyone is enthralled with social right now). This meant that I had to get all my thoughts in order about how search is working and why we do what we do. Because I have been actively involved in search engine marketing for over 15 years, sometimes I think everyone knows the history and why we do what we do when building sites for clients. Secondly, I was overwhelmed with questions and concerns from business owners who were using a free website builder or a basic site builder like GoDaddy’s site tonight. I really was not aware that so few small biz owners did not understand the need for a strong website.

This post will cover the top 10 things I saw happening that were distressing and why they are important.

PLEASE NOTE: All of this information is for sites that want to take over additional search terms, are struggling overall in search or for brand new websites. If you have a website that is ranking well for your key search terms, leave it alone or make changes very judiciously!

1. New Content Matters More

One of the biggest changes that I think people have missed is the named update to Google called Caffeine that rolled out in 2010. This update basically changed how Google finds information. Instead of being linear, going from site to site to site “crawling” the internet, the Google search engine could now find information concurrently from all different sources at once. This means that having fresh content that is relevant to the searcher can be a huge boon to getting rankings and keeping relevant in the listings. The way to do this is to have a blog website instead of a static HTML site. Blogs have become beautiful so if you are just starting out and had a bad visceral reaction to the word blog, bear with me a bit, you will get over it when you see the rest of the post.

Caffeine Update From Google

2. You Need To Post At Least Weekly

It used to be that you could build a website, have great SEO and then leave it sit there and it would slowly climb in the rankings as it “aged”. That really doesn’t work anymore. Now-a-days you need to have a structured plan for how to send out content that is search relevant, planning it over time so that you are hitting each of the keywords that you are targeting separately.

3. One Post Needs One Keyword

It used to be that you could write a post or page and cover at least three keywords (heck, years ago it was important to have lots of tags on your posts, now that is a detriment). Today’s posts have to be laser targeted and focused on ranking for just one keyword each, with content to support that one keyword.

4. SEO Content Needs To Be Longer

It is a hard and fast rule from Matt Cutts that posts shorter than 300 words are not generally indexed as well in Google. That said, some recent findings show that the majority of results for highly competitive keywords are averaging at least 1,000 words and some go well over that mark. We have found that to be the case when doing work for our clients. Simply going over the 500 word mark on key content will make a huge difference in the results that they get.

Great post from Forbes about this

5. The Loss of Keyword Data Sucks

We had a stunning blow last year when Google totally shut off the data about which keywords were used with which posts. Now, it had been coming for a while with the “not provided” results growing, but when it totally disappeared it was definitely a blow. Now, there are some truly bright spots also. The Google Webmaster Tools has some great data that can help show what terms you rank for site wise and reverse engineering content based on that and some knowledge of what searches are being done can help pick some immediate “low hanging fruit” and get some immediate gains.

Great post about this issue

6. Talking Search

One of the things that has been a sea change for search and SEO marketing is the switchover to more mobile searching. This happens when someone, phone in hand asks a question rather than typing a search term into Google. Instead of typing “Tampa Bay Realtors” they say, “who are the best realtors in Tampa Bay” or “which is the best Realtor to sell my Tampa Home”. Those are entirely different SEO terms than someone who is just pulling up a search for “Tampa Bay Realtors”. While it is important to try and rank for the regular term, adding content that answers the other questions is also vital to going forward.

7. Mobile Ready Website Design

I feel like this is the first actual website design tip (probably because it is!) While blogs are beautiful now, there are some pieces holding over from the “old days” of websites that are not so great for mobile responsive websites or blogs. One of those is the wide-wide top banner across a site. Today’s best design is actually to have smaller pieces at the top so when it is on a phone it actually large enough to see something of it. We have heard numbers ranging up to 60% of website usage being mobile based now in some industries and we can’t see that number going downward anytime soon.

8. Focusing On The Home Page

Having access to the data for a wide range of websites, I am here to tell you that the majority of any site’s visitors are not coming directly to the home page. They are doing a search for something that is relevant to them and coming in on a page that important to them, then maybe hitting the home button and going to the front of the website. I wish that site owners would spend less time worrying about what their website looks like at the front door and worry more about what is behind that door, SEO and content wise. The most beautiful website in the world does no good if no one is coming to visit it.

9. Using Stolen Pictures

We are very careful to only use pictures that we have purchased the right to use for each individual client from a variety of photo sites. If your website designer does not do this, you as the owner can be liable for between $600 and $10,000 in fines. It is definitely worth it to ask the question before hiring a designer to work on your site or your individual blog posts.

10. Hiring A Cheapo Overseas Company Or Your Cousin Bob To Make Your Site

This last one makes me crazy as someone who has been in the business of websites for over a decade and a half. A company will hear about “outsourcing” and send their website design overseas to be done by people who do not speak English as their first language and who are hard to communicate with because they are multiple timezones away. Or they will use their Cousin Bob, who has just decided that he is “going to build websites”. Bob really is trying, having started researching all the bits that go into it, watching some webinars and checking out a bunch of information on YouTube, not realizing that most of what is out there is outdated and could actually hurt the efforts of his new clients.

If you are looking for some great Website Design Services, I would love to talk to you about what you have, what you need and what you would like to rank for in the search engines! Check out our Website Design Services Page or Give me a call today and I will be happy to take a couple of minutes to find out more!!! Tara 727-415-9165

Social Media Marketing Systems For Success!

Social Media Marketing Systems For SuccessSocial media marketing is supposed to be all loosey goosey, just surfing around the internet, having fun and finding great “stuff” to share. But if you are doing social media marketing for your business, it stops being fun and starts to be work.

Do you have enough posts to go out? Have you gotten the right mix of sales messages to industry posts? For goodness sakes, how much time are you really supposed to be spending each week on this?

Social Media Systems

If you are like most entrepreneurs, systems is not your favorite word. Wasn’t working for yourself supposed to mean that you could be free? That you would be master of your time and that no one (not even you) was going to be looking over your shoulder to see if you getting everything done?

That said, systems are what is going to make your social media marketing bearable! Here are some things to do to make all that effort worthwhile:

1. Write down what your goals are for social media.

Are you trying to get people to your website? Do you want them to fill out your email form? Are you trying to get in conversation with targeted sales prospects? Knowing this will help you plan out your strategy.

2. Set up a weekly posting schedule that includes having those goals met.

For example, if you want to get people on your email list, you need to post your free offers at least a couple of times a week (every week). We see too many business owners posting their free offer one time and thinking that it is going to hang around and generate leads. Unfortunately, you have to post every piece of content multiple time to have a chance of reaching even a fraction of your followers.

If you are trying to connect with key influencers or sales prospects, set up some lists in your accounts so you can be sure to see their postings. Comment, like and share on the stuff that they post. Engage with them by having two or three times a week on your to-do list that you deliberately seek them out.

3. Make content that fulfills your needs.

We are setting up a local Denver business directory website and have some pages that we want to share frequently. This means that we cannot have just one picture on that page to post to Pinterest or share to social sites, we need to have multiple images that we can rotate through, mixing up the graphics so people don’t lose interest. Additionally, someone might respond to the picture of the young businessman and someone else might be attracted by the fun older woman. You have to know your demographic and figure out what the best ways to reach them are!

You also have to have some kind of written content or a HUB where you can send people to. This site has over 300 different articles that I can share on my social media websites. Too often we find that a company will have a static website with 4-5 pages. There is just not enough there to provide a range of different posting opportunities for social. We recommend using a blog website and posting content at least once a week. Done for a year, that would be 52 articles that could be added to the social sharing mix.

4. You have to have an easy way to find and share other people’s stuff.

We recommend having at least two posts a day to most social media websites like LinkedIn, Facebook pages and Google+ Pages. This will show anyone coming to your social properties that you are active PLUS it will allow you to post your marketing content more because it will be less spammy when woven into all those other posts. We use a combination platter to accomplish this.

Finding other people’s content.

First off, we use to store all kinds of RSS feeds that are in the same industry or have fun, sharable content. We can fly through those and schedule out a bunch of different types of postings for a whole week relatively easily (I would schedule at least an hour a week for just this part)

Second, we get email newsletters from trusted sources and pop some of that content into the mix to keep things fresh. We also keep our eyes open when we are surfing around and sometimes find bits that would make sense for our feeds.

5. Scheduling your own content.

In amongst all this sharing should be targeted posts about your offers, sales messages and calls to action. You should have an editorial calendar of what you are writing and posting so that you can accurately gauge if your results are working. For example, we are launching that Colorado site and selling social media services. This post is part of our lead generating since many business owners will read all this stuff and say, “but can’t you do all this for us?”

We will be spending the next month crafting graphics, writing posts and generally making sure that all our efforts are focused towards those two ends.

We have recently switched back to for most of our social scheduling. For less than $10 a month we can have everything in one place for ourselves and our clients. We had been using but the cost for their business accounts was just prohibitive for how much we do.

It is a marathon

After hearing all that, you might want to tear your hairs out. How can you get all that content done, all those pictures made and all those posts scheduled?

One thing that makes us sad is when people come to us and want to have social media success in a month. They say things like, “if I don’t see a return within a couple of weeks, I am going to try something else.” Social media marketing doesn’t work like that. You have to get started and build up your efforts over time, growing your followings and interacting with people and brands.

This is not a quick fix to your sales efforts, it is impossible to make enough content or pictures BEFORE you get going. You have to build these things over time, with focused energy and a social media marketing system in place.

Call me!

If all this seems like too much work, give me a call today! We can help you get a plan and implement it for you so you can do actual work instead of spending all your time on social media. Tara (727) 415-9165

Time Management Tips – How To Manage When You Have Too Much To Do

time-management-tips-too-muchIf there is one thing I am good at it is time management, goal setting and task management, with a huge BUT. But when I get to feeling overwhelmed, and there seem to be too many things to do in a short amount of time, I fall apart like everyone else and start scrabbling.

Well today that ends! I know how to get back on track, I have only been off for two days, for some of you I know this plan may be ending a lifetime of feeling like you are doing everything from behind.

The Promise and Premise of Entrepreneurship

There is a funny thing about being an entrepreneur. You are supposed to be all loosey-goosey with your days wide open and a choice for every task you have. You should be sitting around, picking and choosing the tasks that you like to do. Or your days should be filled with interesting meetings that lead to amazing opportunities. But wait, each of those opportunities probably has some kind of deliverable! Rats!

Being organized time-wise can feel to some people like they are being bound up, but to me it is freedom. Freedom from constantly worrying that I am not doing what is most important, or that I am forgetting something, or that I will miss an opportunity. It also means that when I do have the chance to get out, I know that there is nothing vital being left behind or having to race back to finish something.

For me, the last two days might feel like your everyday. Flailing around from one unfinished project to the next, scribbling to dos on sticky notes, enjoying the fact that a scheduled call canceled so I would have an extra couple of minutes to squeeze in something. If that sounds like you, just know that it can end today. I have lived a scheduled life and will just get right back on the wagon. If you have never felt the joy of scheduling, today may be the day that you change your world.

Here is what I am going to do today to get right (pretty much in order)

Make Money

The first job of an entrepreneur is to make money. Look at everything you are doing now and find the one or two things that are on your to-do list that will be responsible for making you the most money. For me today it is writing two sales pages, one for an upcoming event in October and one for our social media marketing packages.

Now there are probably 5 million other things I COULD do to make money but those are the two that will be directly money making activities so I should do them sooner rather than later.

Note: These have to be finite tasks. We also need a website for the October event, and that is more fun than writing sales copy, BUT it is not the very next thing that I have to do. PLUS it is a group of to-dos (write sales copy, add data to the directory, write 5 blog posts, etc.) It is a sub-task that is vital to the overall success of the October event and is probably my least favorite part so getting it out of the way will make the rest much easier.

Fulfill Promises To Yourself

I have “my” promises and “my company’s” promises and these are the next most important things. I promised myself years ago I would write at least one blog post a week for the Marketing Artfully blog and I am doing it now. I will not throw some crap together and call it a day because this site has actually been one of the main driver of sales. I also have to publish our book today. Now that can be this afternoon because I already have the cover done and publishing is actually only about a half an hour (my biz partner did the final edits yesterday). We made a vow that the biggest thing on either of our lists this year was to publish a book a week and barring death, we will do it!

Some other things I could/should do are 1) send out the newsletters and 2) do to-dos that Rebekah needs to move forward. Probably the to-dos will make the list, maybe the newsletters will get done tomorrow. It would be best if they were done today since tomorrow is a holiday, but no one will die if they go tomorrow so that may be answer…got to keep plodding along and see what else should get done today.

Note: It is easiest to not do these things. There isn’t a boss anywhere who will say “you didn’t write a blog post this week, so you are fired”. But to me, these “steady” things are the backbone of my success. They are the tiny building blocks that make up my whole factory and by letting them slide, I would be starting the decay of the whole building.

Fulfill Promises To Your Clients / Customers

Next are promises to our customers. I need to get article titles to our copywriter for one blog and some pretty graphics up for another one. Both of those together should take less than an hour. I will put an hour time in for those (see more about time later). Also I need to send a logo out, which will take 15 minutes and make a huge difference to our customer, this is a sure thing.

Note: After stuff I “have to do” for our comes the promises that we made to our customers which are sacred to me. That said, doing them crappy just to get them off my plate is not okay and they need to be given the gravity that they deserve. Also, poor planning on their part doesn’t mean I have to jump on my end. I have in my head that I need to save time for one of my customers who wants a pretty big job done, but they haven’t sent over all the pieces yet. I can safely move any time I had planned for that over to next week. Sometimes we are so pro-active about doing right by our customers that we wrap ourselves into knots. They would expect to send it over today and have it done, so why would I make myself crazy trying to do it?

Little Tasks

I have a few little things that need to be done like sending a link to a client (that one took less than a minute, I just popped over and did right now!) That said, most of these “little tasks” will take about 5 minutes or so. With that in mind you really have to give them a block of time on their own. Because I have a few that have backed up over the last couple of days, I am going to schedule half an hour today to clean them up. This will make me feel better, so many less things on my to dos!

Note: Because they are tiny, some experts suggest that you do anything that is two minutes or shorter immediately. That doesn’t really work for me since it means popping open my email or going on social or doing something else that will knock me off my game. I give them their own block of time, knowing that I can’t go down a rabbit hole and get them all done if I don’t stay on track.

Written Down

Ahhhh this is the key for me. I have a to-do laminated sheet that I use to write down what my three top to-dos are and then it has 10 more lines. There is no way that I can get 13 things done in a day generally, so having a longer “to-do” list would be silly and demoralizing. I have things that need to get done on the top three lines and do those immediately. The rest I cross off as I get done.

Note: I also have a Wish List. There are probably a couple of hundred things that I would like to do. Things that would be interesting, could make a difference or even might be way more fun than what I really have to do today. But they are not actually important. It is fine to have a wish list, but if your to-do list is 50 items long, you are just setting yourself up to fail every day.

There Is No Extra Time

This one is the most important to success by far. I have a day planned. I have about an hour this morning before my kids get up and it takes an hour and a half to write a blog post, so they get a pop tart and the TV (not optimal parenting, but great entrepreneurship!). Then the sitter comes and I am FREE to work! So I have from 7-10:30 today, before I go to a mastermind meeting. That is 3 1/2 hours max of steady work time. We have already determined I am going to do an hour of client work, I do have half an hour of tiny todos and I might just be able to carve out 45 minutes to send the newsletter out. One hour can go towards company work and there all my time is allocated.

The biggest mistake I see people make is to act like there is a time stretcher. While I would love to have more time, there is no magic that will make this part of my day grow so I have to be careful that I have a realistic goal of what I can really do. Luckily my mastermind is with one of the world’s best sales people, so I am going to take my “writing sales copy” out of this morning and do it when I meet with her. I have an owl timer that sits next to me so I set it and know when “times up”. Get a timer.

Note: I ALWAYS underestimate how long something I like to do will take and over estimate something that seems hard. If you like to do research online and give yourself an hour, is that a real estimate or will you stretch it out, messing up the timing of the rest of your day. Does that task you dread REALLY take an hour or are you being histrionic because you hate it? Once you get into the groove, you will see how easy it is to get things done and moved off your plate when you aren’t messing around with yourself.

Get Some Help

So I threw in there that I have a copywriter, I also have an assistant and some “elves”, workers who are doing things right now that I would have to have on my list if they weren’t there. You cannot do this all yourself, nor are your skillsets going to match every task you have to do. Before you think you are ready, you need to get some help. My elves are not full time, 40 hour a week, salaried employees. They are amazing women who need to make some extra cash and who work a few hours a week for me. But that is like getting 10 hours because they do things I am not good at.

Note: As a lone wolf, this process would become overwhelming. There is no way to run a business and not have any outside support. You don’t have to have a lot, but somewhere, somehow, there has to be some way to get things off your plate and onto someone else’s.

Ignore Email

I also talked before about not wanting to do “quicky” things that required I see my email. This is because my email is full of other people’s problems. It has people who want to partner, write blog posts and even my clients who have needs. I have done my scheduling for the day so you know I don’t magically have more time to do everything in there (or even to delete them all) so why look. My clients have my cell phone and will text me if there is a marketing emergency (there has only been one if 12 years of doing this) and my staff knows to text too if they have a problem.

Note: I generally try to make email the last thing I do in a day. Today that means after my mastermind. I don’t want to have all those other problems swirling around in my brain while I am trying to be powerful and creative about writing our sales copy. If you really can’t survive without knowing that your email is being monitored, make that your assistants job twice a day. She or he can check it and then send you only the things that really need your attention.

Work Really Hard For 6 Hours

I am a hard worker. I am from Pennsylvania and the work ethic runs deep there. That said, I can only really work hard like a maniac 6 hours a day. The rest of the time I am okay with doing “stuff”. So today my “work hard” time is a little shorter, but still doable. On normal days I put in time from 5:00AM to 11:00AM, knowing that after rocking the hard work, I can add things like scheduling social postings, training, webinars and other fluffy, non essential work.

Well that is it, hopefully you got the gist of my time management system and goal setting tasks and I am so much more settled now that I am back on track. I know exactly what I need to do today and can “win” because it is all possible. Now, if you want to learn more about why you might be off track in the first place, check out our book:

Get The Book!

Marketing ADHD: A Entrepreneur Marketing Self Help Book for…Squirrel! [Kindle Edition]

Marketing ADHD BookAs an Entrepreneur in today’s fast paced marketing world, it can be a challenge to keep your eyes on the goal and not be distracted and tempted by the endless supply of shiny new objects. With everything relatively easy to obtain and access, it’s not difficult to become lost in a sea of great offers, quick fixes, and cutting edge trainings. It doesn’t take long before business comes to screeching halt while the average, over-stimulated entrepreneur tries every “magic pill” to make their presence bigger, better, and faster.

It is time to stop the merry-go-round and regain control! This book will help you identify how “shiny object syndrome” is taking over your business life and help you stop being seduced by magic marketing messages that keep you from focusing on and growing your company in to the success you know it is meant to be.

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Should You Write Your Blog Posts For Google or Social Media?

Content Marketing - Should You Write Blog Posts for Google or Social Media?The question of whether to write for Google or social has been banging around in my head a lot lately when thinking about content marketing. The happy, friendly answer of course is that you can write great content that does BOTH…big smiley face. But I am not really sure it is possible to do Google and social well.

This question came to mind a couple of different ways:

First: I did a really neat search on Similar Web for this blog, They had some good “stuff” that was presented in a pretty manner but what came glaring out at me was that 75% of all of my visitors come from Google search traffic.

75% Google Search Traffic

Now that amounts to a fair bit of traffic so YAY! But my numbers from Social were deplorable…

6% from social

and that is with me and my business partner sharing these posts on our HUGE social networks. So I started thinking…what the hell is going on here?!?!?!

Second: We set up a fair amount of blogs for our clients and they always want to get to the first page of Google for words like “Tampa Real Estate” or “Best Restaurant Denver”.

In the first case, they would have to build a giant site, garner a ton of real backlinks and take a relatively long time to get there. There are already other sites who have done that work for years and there is no way to jump to the front of the line.

The other kind of client is thinking about ranking well for a search term that doesn’t come up all that often in search. Currently Google is showing NO traffic for the keyword “best restaurant denver”. Now, that doesn’t mean there is no traffic at all, just not consistent traffic. Mostly when I want to find a great restaurant I will check Yelp first (they have a real scoring system, not just who is best at SEO) or ask my friends on Google+ or Facebook.

Lastly: My biz partner and I have talked for years about how we get traffic to our respective websites. She always used PLR (Private Label Rights) or duplicate content which is not Google-cool. She is a much better social media marketer than I am, sharing and building interesting networks of real people (I talk about marketing all the time so my real friends tend to try to be supportive but sometimes roll their eyes a lot!).

Long story short, in today’s world there is no one “right” way to do it and there are things that crossover, but I am a staking a claim – your one little blog post can’t be great for search and social at the same time! You have to pick a side!!!

Let’s start at the top – Headline

Google search results for entrepreneur marketingGoogle likes factually correct headlines with words to match search. As you can see here, all the results for the search “entrepreneur marketing” have those exact words somewhere in the title. Now I have heard like everyone else that Google killed SEO and now it understands words so you can just write about any old thing and it will figure out you mean “entrepreneur marketing”, but a couple of minutes on the search engine will show you these kinds of results for your industry!

Social. That is all well and good but knowing that most people who are going to find and share your post to social media will not take the time to rewrite your headline to make it more interesting does not bode well for our factually correct headline words. I like the fact that Vala added a personal endorsement on his post, but none of those headlines would really jump out at me in a buzzfeed kind of way. You can see that there are many hashtags (#entrepreneur) and @mentions but are those enough to counteract the bland dryness of the good for Google headlines?

Twitter headline listings

Buzzfeed-style sharable headlines are more along the lines of scandal, intrigue or mystery…

Buzzfeed headlines

Now, maybe I could write scandalous marketing headlines that would be intriguing AND search friendly, but would serious business people who are actually looking for marketing help really respond to that? I don’t really think so.

- – – A break for blatant social media link baiting – – –
Click To Tweet >>
SCANDALOUS Blog Post Reveals The Secret Behind The #SocialMedia versus #Google Controversy [JK]

- – – Now back to our regularly scheduled programming – – -

Next comes content

Google generally adds up all the content in the blog post and figures out if what you say you are talking about in your headline is what you are actually talking about in your post. They also check to see if the user “bounces” meaning that they see the search result, click the link to the post and then come right back to check another search out.

While it is true that you could do a super fun headline like “Funny Realtor Postcards that will make you laugh so hard you pee your pants“, at the end of the day it is up to your content to support that title. The funny realtor postcards blog post is actually about how to have cute headlines for your print marketing, but I am not sure they are THAT funny.

I can only assume that someone seeing that title in social would expect pictures of postcards and not be thinking about reading a 1,000 word blog post on how to do direct mail marketing.

Pictures matter

There are at least 5 different sizes of pictures that you need to satisfy social. (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+). Pinterest likes a really tall photo that spans a couple of rows of listings (like the one at the top of this post!) and Google Plus likes a really wide post that they will make huge in the feeds like this.

Google wide photo

If you are primarily considering sharing your picture to social, you want to give enough information in the picture that someone could get the idea of what you are talking about just by looking at it THEN you want to make sure the words on the picture match the content of the blog post.

Plain jane social media pictureIf you are just writing a blog and not sharing it socially, then any old picture will work (or you could even skip the photo entirely). This is good enough to give you an idea that we are talking about social media and that is about all we are trying to accomplish.

Should You Write Blog Posts For Social Media or GoogleThis one though is great for sharing. It is 1200X800 so it will be big enough to show up well if shared on the social sites and anyone seeing it will know that it is about social and that it is a blog post about content marketing.

That is just the tip of the iceburg about pictures for social (it is such a big topic we wrote a whole book about it!)

Can you do both?

I really do try to make my blog posts Google friendly, fore-going social stuff. That said, it is pretty easy to make the graphics “social friendly” too. At the end of the day I am much more concerned with making Google happy than making social happy which shows up in my deplorable social numbers!

Do you try to do social or Google in your content marketing? Please leave a comment below to let me know!!

Buy The Book!

Graphic Design For Social Media Marketing EbookGraphic Design for Social Media Marketing

If you are checking this book out, you have probably figured out that pictures and good design matter to marketing, that your marketing efforts are becoming more and more image based, and that you HAVE to get with the program and start doing better, prettier, more compelling pictures in order to keep up.

The cool thing is that with just a few “tweaks” you can take your graphics from amateur to brilliant and this book will show you exactly how! We talk extensively about how images can capture a mood or evoke a feeling immediately, how to position text on an image to create impact, and generally how to make your marketing marvelous with pictures and graphics.

>> Get it on Amazon!!!


How To Sell A $97 Strategy Session – This One Is For Larry!

How to sell a $97 dollar strategy sessionThis post is about how to sell a $97 dollar consulting or strategy session.

You are going to see the length and wonder what the heck is so hard about doing this, but this is actually a piece for one of my all time favorite clients who is EXPLODING in his business recently and ready to take the next steps to make more money (and strangely enough, it will not be $97 at a time!)

Not A Money Maker

If you are doing a $97 consultation, even if it is for just an hour, you cannot do or source enough of them to make big bucks. Think about it…40 hours a week, $97 a hour times 52 weeks in the year IS just over $200,000…but…you are probably not a machine that can spit out great information on demand or keep too many stories in your head all at once. You will also have to do marketing and lead generation, administration and business development.

So why do a $97 session? It is basically to weed out the people who are tire-kicking or just fishing and find the diamonds in the rough.

Why So Much Resistance

In our coaching business, we find that many of our “peeps” are super resistant to doing this, and maybe not for the reason you think. Here are some common reasons they give for not being comfortable:

Realtors/Real Estate Investors – Larry works with real estate investors from the US and around the globe. He has an amazing real estate investing website and has recently started writing for a very highly regarded real estate investing magazine. On his site and in his popular newsletter he says constantly that people can call him with any questions, that he is available anytime. Very few people call, and the ones that do are mostly at the very end of sales cycle and are ready to talk money, but it seems to be taking them a long time to get there. One huge factor holding Larry back is that in the real estate industry, Realtors work for free until a deal is closed and he isn’t sure that someone will be willing to pay him for his time and expertise before being ready to close a transaction.

Direct Sales – We have another client who works in the direct sales industry (MLM). She has been a top recruiter for many years on a national level and her expertise is a highly coveted skill. That said, she feels really funny about charging people for her time. Mostly she works just with the people who are in her downline and puts charity time in working with people who belong to her company but are not in her downline. She has seen other people work with MLMers and charge for it, but it is hard to get her head around why someone would pay her money and how that would help grow her direct sales business.

Who Am I To Talk?

So you are on my site reading this so you probably know that I am pretty good at marketing, but what you may not know is that for years all my lead generating was done on a semi-paid model. I would give free talks around town or where ever I happened to be and offer the people in the room a $97 consult. I never did “coffees” or one-on-ones because I can’t help myself, I tell whoever I am with all about what they should do marketing-wise and if I met with 20 people informally I would get paid $0 and have wasted my time.

I say that I wasted my time because I am in business and the goal of being in business is to make money, not to help random strangers. Helping out people with no thought of payment is a non-profit model and I am a for profit business. Additionally, they got the ideas and concepts for free, so they assigned that exact value to them, $0, and didn’t really do anything with them.

Over the years I have talked to close to 1,000 small business owners and learned the back end workings of their businesses. Their motivations, goals and dreams which means that I can now help even more people do even better work in their business. While I no longer do $97 consults, I am super happy that I got all those chances to talk to people, building up my experience and their businesses.

The Real End Result

Enough about me, back to charging money for your time. So let’s look at Larry and his real estate investors. There are probably a few reasons they are not just calling him:

  • They really feel like they are going to be bothering him so they don’t call
  • They feel like if he is willing to talk to them for free, how good can the info be
  • They are so early in the process they would be “wasting his time” reaching out right now

It is funny that 2/3 of those involve people being considerate of Larry and his time. The people who are his best prospects really are happy that he is giving them great information on his site and in his newsletter, they respect his opinion and are just waiting until they are ready to pull the trigger before reaching out to him.

The problem is that some of them will never have enough information to make an investment, they will spend years and years, gathering information and never buy a property. Some other ones will read Larry’s stuff religiously, but not wanting to bother him, will pay someone else so they can have their questions answered and that guy will get the sale because he will have established rapport and been helpful on a personal level.

Strategy Sessions Instead of Consults

Consulting is experiencing a lack of respect and interest right now. People are sick of consultants who swoop in, talk-talk-talk and run out. We like to position our talks as strategy sessions because they are. We are not just throwing out info but making sure to put it together in a cohesive whole.

Another nice thing is that a strategy session feels like it should lead to another. You might want to offer them another session at a later date or even get them into a coaching program.

How To Set Up A $97 Strategy Session

Because I wrote this post for Larry, I know he was polite enough to read all the way through (aren’t you?!?!?) but what he really wanted was the meat, the step by step guide to how to make a $97 strategy session available!

1. Make A Page On Your Website – Write out what you are offering

I always gave them about 7 examples of things that we could talk about, but basically you don’t to have so much there that they rule themselves out because you don’t have their exact problem listed or so little that they don’t see a reason to give you $97.

2. You don’t need to put too much about you!

Probably you are selling your $97 strategy session at a speaking event, on your website or in your newsletter. All places where they already know how cool you are so keep the “about me” to a couple of key highlights.

3. You need a payment processing thingy (that is the technical term)

To start, we recommend using Here is a BRILLIANT tutorial about how to put a PayPal button on your site. You just needs parts one and two! This functionally allows people to pay you, you will get notifications and they will get a receipt.

4. Thank you page

You want to have a Thank You page that explains what happens next (PayPal will let you designate this when you set up your button). This page should tell them EXACTLY what is going to happen next so they don’t worry that they just wasted their money.

I tend to tell them:

1. How long it will be before someone contacts them to set up their time (within one business day)
2. Who will call them (my gal Shell)
3. My phone number in case they have

here is my actual thank you page

5. A few graphics

If you are going to do this, do it right. Get with person and have them make two or three graphics that will be on your page. You want a little bit of a variety so that you can share different things on social media and in your newsletter and people won’t get banner blindness (seeing the same thing over and over).

You should also have a call to action button on the sidebar of your website saying that they can “set up a time to call” or some other fun verbiage.

6. A sales sheet

It is important to have an on-site signup form anytime that you are giving a talk. You want to let them know that they can hire you. This one is a very gentle offer, all we are asking for is their name and email address. Oftentimes we would have a credit card signup sheet.

$97 Marketing consult


That is it! It looks like it has a lot of moving parts but is actually pretty straight forward and easy to do. If you would like help to figure out your business or marketing efforts, check out our Marketing Strategy Sessions!


The last thing I want to leave you with is the actual reason that you are doing these strategy sessions. You should have some real things that you are going to sell AFTER the fact. Now, that does not mean that your hour should be dedicated to selling something else. You should spend the whole time talking to your customer and finding out what they need.

After that you might find out that they need a product that you are an affiliate for, you might find out that they are ready for some ongoing training or they may be ready to start investing in real estate, they just needed some one-on-one time to figure that out.

IF they have additional needs and the money to spend on those, it is your responsibility to help them figure that out. You are not “selling, selling, selling”, you are really “helping, helping, helping”.


The Super Advanced, No Bullshit Twitter Marketing Plan For Dave (and You!)

Super Advanced Twitter Marketing Plan for DaveYes that is right, this post is a comprehensive answer about doing Twitter marketing that I wrote for Dave. Luckily for you I like Dave and am willing to tell him all my best Twitter secrets! In it I tell you what I do, why I do it and how it helps my marketing efforts.

– – –

Our client Dave was watching our web show #4, the one where we talk about building big social media networks and he got a little feisty. He said,

I love your podcast but you know when you talk about networks my head hurts. Then you say to grow the network that you like the most…what you do if you don’t like any of them????

Dave Negri

Now, Dave one of the nicest guys we know, but he is also sort of a marketing guy. He runs an awesome podcast about how contractors can increase their business using marketing ( and is not afraid to try new things but social media just makes him grumpy. I figure if Dave is disgruntled with social, you might be too!

My Twitter Empire

If you are a Twitter kid, this post is going to make your little heart sing, but you have to remember that you can’t focus exclusively on Twitter. I am fortunate to have “elves” who can do the manual posting for me on the other social networks, but I can’t just ignore big dogs like Pinterest (which I love but do poorly), Google+ (which is a great SEO tool) and Facebook (let’s not talk about Facebook…sigh). That said, Twitter is the only one that I am in every day.

For those of us with multiple interests, Twitter is really cool. They do not object to having multiple accounts for the same person, you just have to have different email addresses for each. I set up forwarding addresses in my hosting to cover this.

Years ago having a generic Twitter account like my @Taradactyl twitter handle was cool. You could talk about a general topic like “marketing” and people would follow your account. That account has over 18,000 followers and is really a huge asset for my company. That said, it is harder now to grow a generic account unless people are actually following you (more about that later).

@tweetinghomes – This one is for realtors. Another old one, it got most of its followers when it was a little easier. In actualality I had set it up years ago and just let it churn, posting cool stuff and ignoring it. I also had set up TwitterFeeds to share other people’s stuff so there was a little boost for that too. Every time realtors I had set up posted on their blogs, twitterfeed would post that link automatically. It has about 5,500 followers at this point and is a nice one to have, but not really on my radar much.

Today it is much easier to grow an account if you have a specific target market. Some of my more recent accounts are:

@Ebooknerds – We are writing a book a week for a year so I am pretty interested in book marketing. This account is where I share all the cool stuff that I am learning and writing about in regards to self publishing. It is the fastest growing of all of our accounts, with about 600 followers at this point.

@Searchynerds – I love figuring out how to do keyword marketing and seo so having this one is really just a great way to share all the research that I do about SEO and search. It has about 750 followers and has been growing slowly.

@smmnerds – I have to read about all of social media for my business and I didn’t want to mess up my other Twitter accounts with stupid Facebook shares so I started this one. No one likes it. There are only a handful of followers (maybe because I don’t love it either!)

@emailnerds – about email marketing, I think you can see the theme here! 574 followers

@mandmmonsters – the account for our Marketing and Media Monsters personal brand. We need to do a little work on this one because it is stuck at 2001 followings and we only have 1,715 followers so we need to either get more followers or stop following as many people so the ratio is better. (Twitter has a 2,000 follow limit until you get this even and then there is a ratio thingy, don’t worry about it, just try to get over 2,000 followers fast). Screwing around with this is a good thing to do on a Sunday afternoon watching the World Cup, unfollowing all the icky people and following key people who are going to help your account grow.

I also just started @PodcastNerds and @VideoMkgNerds because we are doing a podcast show and a web show so I know I will be researching these topics and have fun stuff to share.

>> @TweetyNerds – if you are reading this post you HAVE to follow my Tweetynerds account! I post lots of great info about how to use Twitter. I do so love the Twitter.

Why They Help

So overall I have about 30,000-ish followers over a wide range of marketing channels. This is not an earth shattering number in the Twitter world, but the cool thing is that when I have something I want to talk about people are there to listen. Here are the reasons why I like having them…

Archive of cool stuff to read

One of the reasons that I think my accounts do so well is that I actually read almost all that I post. OR if I haven’t read it, I would be interested in reading it. I sorta-kinda use my Twitter feeds to save stuff I might want to reference later.

Promoting our content

I generate A LOT of content and if I posted all of it on one account, it would seem very spammy. With this in mind I schedule the promotion of our stuff over time over all the accounts, mixing it in with the other relevant posts.

People know the Taradactyl

When you love Twitter and have an active Twitter account, people will remember your Twitter handle. Being the Taradactyl is now part of my soul and it makes me smile. It makes other people smile too.

Getting Twitter Followers

Posting great stuff. Let’s start with the bullshit answer that really does work. Posting great, highly targeted stuff will make people follow your accounts. They will set up auto-tweets that share your bits every time you post because they can feel confident that you will not be a douche bag spammer.

Following other people. People who like Twitter are actually looking for people to follow who are cool. If you follow other people, some of them will follow you back.

Your signature line of your emails. I don’t want people to “Like my Facebook page” or “Connect on LinkedIn”, I want them to follow me on Twitter. People will do the thing they like best first so I don’t give them an option. On my email signature they can connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ (things I care about) but NOT Facebook or LinkedIn.

On your website. You should have a link to your social media properties on your website. I have not gotten militant enough to take the Facebook and LinkedIn ones off there yet, but there may come a day.

NOT on your website. One thing I think is dorky is when people put a widget with their Twitter feed on their websites. You have done all that work to get someone to actually visit your site and now you are going to send them off down the Twitter rabbit hole. I don’t think so!

Following YOU This one is for Dave! If you are an author, speaker, podcaster, web show host or other celebrity (no matter how minor), people will want to stay in touch. Make sure you have the link to your Twitter account in all your books and posts and show notes. People will be following YOU not your account.

How To Post

Having all those accounts is great but how the heck do I get cool stuff on them all the time? I use a paid account. It is $10 a month to have multiple social media accounts and all I have on mine is my Twitter. (I do have another account for my other social properties, but this one is just Twitter).

What happens is you set up Buffer on your browser with a little button and any time you find something good you hit the button and pick which account to share it to. Because I am already surfing the web for this kind of content, it is easy to fill up the scheduled slots.


I don’t spend any time thinking about what, when or how to post, I just find things that I find interesting and post them. Interesting things ALWAYS include my content, I just make sure that is not the only thing I am sharing.

I stick to the genre specific accounts (email, twitter, etc.) except for occasional posting of my stuff that gets broadcast across all the channels!

What you post matters

So if you just hit Buffer and post the title of the post, that is better than nothing. BUT I find that having a real call to action makes the retweets and shares more likely. Consider these recent posts, which would you rather retweet? I have to guess the ones with some oomph and personality!

The last one is not very sexy. It doesn’t have my personality in it. There are no special characters to make it stand out from the crowd. If your whole Twitter feed is just a series of shares, you are going to be one sad panda.

>> Get the Twitter Cheat Sheet and make your Twitter marketing better!

No better way to connect with fancy people

Joel Comm is a pretty big deal in the marketing world. I have met him in person and he is a cool cat who I might want to interview on our web show. But there is no reason in hell that Joel Comm will want to be on a show as little as ours is right now…unless…hmmm…maybe he knows me a little as a friend because I do nice things for him!

I share his blog posts on my Twitter, making sure to tag him with his @joelcomm handle

I give him Klout and share that on Twitter

Notice that the favorite on this post is from the man himself!

I also have him on a Twitter list so that I can check and see if there is anything he posted that I can retweet. He will be notified or notice on his posts that I did that.

Now, this does seem a little stalker-ish when put all together like that, but really, I just share his stuff occasionally. He has great content that my people would like anyways, is funny and clever and a genuinely nice person that I am happy to promote.

I am also stalking @seanplatt, @chrisbrogan and other cool people that I follow.

It is really amazing to me the level of access you can get to “real” famous people today.


Hashtags are one of the main ways people find neat stuff on Twitter. You will want to figure out what hashtags other people use that you might be able to include in your posts. My favorite hashtags are #marketing, #socialmedia, #twitter, #amwriting and more.

This is a wicked cool tool to use to find out what hashtags match your industry >>

Advertising on Twitter

We have gotten the very best results of any of our paid marketing on the Twitter! The neat thing is that the ads are about the length of Adwords ads without all the management hassles. You just put up two posts, give it a couple of days, see which one is better, take the bad one down, put another one up and keep going. It is SO much easier than any of the other paid social media or search marketing channels.

We target accounts that we find in our Analytics which match our regular followers. So for TARAdactyl, there are 10 other accounts that seem similar when checked by Twitter. We start with those as our target ad reach and then add extra accounts depending on what we are selling. For example, if we are promoting a sales book we might add @Gitomer who is a sales guy and who has a relatively large following.

What we do not do is add anyone with millions of followers like Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins. People with accounts that large are no longer talking to a particular audience, they are now just broadcast personalities and not good for us to use in our marketing efforts.

What To Do Next

If you are down here you must REALLY like Twitter (or Dave!) Here are some next steps in case you want more:

  1. Check out our ebook about social media marketing on amazon, it has good stuff mainard
  2. Follow the tweetynerds twitter account to stay current on twitter
  3. Get the Twitter cheat sheet

Thanks for reading…



The Best Marketing Blogs For Social Media Sharing

The BEST Marketing Blogs For Social Media SharingLike most of my amazing blog posts, I wrote this post about the Best Marketing Blogs for Social Media Sharing because I need them myself. I am working on things to post to Twitter and ways to do my own research into marketing, both current and up-to-the-minute AND stable, steady great advice that I can really get behind!

There are some of the usual suspects, but for my purposes I need to find the niches, the little corners where great people were writing about marketing and not so many people were reading. It is okay to have a Social Media Examiner or a Mashable, but so does everyone else (plus they clog up my feeds with all the posting they do). To really succeed at social sharing, you cannot post only things that are popular, you have to post things that no one else has seen!!!

The Criteria For Selection…PURELY subjective beyond the fact that I don’t like “getting started” or basic stuff that is already out there and has been rehashed to death!

If you have a blog and think I missed you, leave a comment below. Just know I monitor all comments and will not approve your gratuitous link in my beautiful post.

Overall Small Business Marketing

Marketing Artfully – Yep! This is my blog and post information about small business, entrepreneur and realtor marketing on a weekly basis. I have a pretty strong following and am super proud of everything I put out there.

Matthew Woodward – Matthew could have gone in affiliate marketing too, but have to say that his newsletter and blog is one that I read religiously. Great stuff!

Comm100 – Some really good articles. Mostly beyond the basics which I like!

Boost Blog Traffic – Jon Marrow has a really great blog that has lots of different strategies to improve your marketing. A good read.

Vertical Response – Has a lot of different types of marketing that is great to share. Very impressed with their actual information (rare for an email company!)

Top Rank Blog – A lot of social, but enough other bits that I put them in general. Actually a really nice mix!

Crazy Egg – Great in-depth articles about a wide range of marketing.

Marketing Genesis – I love Andy Jenkins (Mike Filsame sends too many emails for me to love him..:) Their “Random Acts of Coolness” are super interesting and helpful.

SteamFeed – A pretty high frequency site, but really good content and I haven’t seen them all over the social media.

Marketingland – A wide range of authors talking about many different types of marketing.

Wordstream – A mix of authors and generally really interesting content. May lean towards PPC or SEO, but overall a mixed bag.

Quick Sprout – put out by Neil Patel, I really enjoy his writing style and that it is not basic, basic, basic.

NextDevMedia – Nice meaty content that I would be happy to share!

Nathalie Lussier – Love her practical tips and marketing videos.

Content Markting

Content Marketing Institute – super comprehensive site with lots of contributors. A nice mix.

PR Marketing

PR Secrets – She does a really nice job of presenting PR as an approachable endeavor.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Land – A really informative site for SEO info!

Top 5 SEO – 100% White hat SEO blog, rare to find such great info that I can actually use!

Search Engine Roundtable – Great mix of SEO topics for sharing.

Unbounce – Really kind of neat format and interesting articles about conversion and techy bits.

Moz – I have to admit, the mustache is a little off-putting, but the information is GLORIOUS. A mix of posts and videos that are great to share.

SEMRush – To be honest, a little (a lot) self promoting, but there is some really good stuff in and amongst all the SEMrush this and that.

Email Marketing

Aweber – One of the few email marketing companies who post actual email marketing information instead of just a big string of sales messages.

Litmus – Great advanced email marketing content.

Benchmark – Really good blog about email marketing! A little different spin, maybe more nerdy.

Marketo – Okay, having to eat some crow here now that I have been sad about email marketing company’s blogs. My impression was that Marketo is all about themselves, but checking the last 10 posts or so it was 9 about marketing and 1 about themselves…:) I can live with that.

Social Media Marketing

Twitter Counter – Great info about how to maximize your Twitter!

Tweet Smarter – It is hard to find great info about Twitter only…this is one of those!

All Twitter – Again, a really nice Twitter only site with some really good content.

Amy Porterfield – Love this gal for Facebook marketing, more on the paid side than organic.

Inside Facebook – A really good, Facebook only website with lots of great posts!

Mari Smith – YES I know she is actually a “big dog” but there is so little usable, real information about social media out there that I had to give her a shout out!

Facebook News – Social is not all about Facebook, but so many people are focused in on that that sharing CORRECT information that comes right from the horse’s mouth can be a big play.

Andrea Vahl – A local Colorado gal, she is funny and has great information beyond social.

Pinfluencer – Great for Twitter, hard to use for the rest because no pictures! BUT SUPER GOOD data about Pinterest.

Marketing Pilgrim – A great mix of all the different social sites.

Video Marketing

ReelSEO – Some interesting info about videos (not sure a whole lot of “marketing” here)

Video Brewery – A little high on the self promotion but in and among are some great video marketing articles.

Lou Bortone – He seems to be a very genuine guy who knows quite a lot about video marketing.

Vidyard – Surprisingly good and more advanced video marketing strategies. note – it is physically impossible to use this site on mobile and very annoying on a desktop because of the popup but the content might be worth soldering through

Reel Genie – Good solid information about videos (not sure there is much marketing but good solid info)

James Wedmore – Great information about video marketing and on top of that he is a super funny guy!

Graphics – Really good graphics blog…seems like mostly social media but solid marketing tips with pictures.

Ideabook – Chuck Green – His blog is named PagePlane, but I promise you this is the really cool guy from Ideabook. LOTS of great info and I recommend subscribing to his newsletter.

Affiliate Marketing

Sugarrae – Kick ass, take no prisoners affiliate marketing from a pretty cool chick.

Smart Passive Income – I couldn’t have this list without Pat Flynn! He is a brilliant, funny and super nice guy who posts great content about affiliate marketing.

ShoeMoney – Hmmmm, almost put him in the big dogs, but there are some really great posts and I just like this guy.


ABestWeb Affiliate forum

Pay-Per-Click Marketing – Not the normal sell you PPC crap, this site has real, useful information for paid marketing.

Geeky Marketing

Marketing Professor – Our buddy Travis Campbell is probably the geeky-est guy we know. He is alway trying to “figure out” advertising, email and the like.

Social Triggers – Derek Halpern is pretty damn geeky. He is all about people and how the interact with marketing.

Kissmetrics – Data driven and relevant…get great stuff here!

Visual Website Optimizer – Dang this is geeky…may be even too techy for me, but I was still very intrigued and know what scares me is what I need to learn!

Marketing Experiments – Getting nerdy with it, they test, test, test.

Brian Massey – He is a semi-funny guy who really does focus on technical bits to make your site better. – REALLY good marketing show, I shared a bunch of these interviews…they are great!

Help My Website Sell – A new one to me, seems like there is some good stuff here!

Web Designer Depot – I love almost everything that these guys send out. Lots of good content and enjoyable format.

Corporate Marketing

Convince and Convert – Jay Baer’s blog. It is really great information for huge corporate accounts and industry. That said, there are many ideas that us little guys can grab and redesign for ourselves.

AdAge – Lots of great ideas to use here! This is advertising-advertising more than marketing.

Eloqua – put out by Oracle, it is top level marketing mainly for the big guys. Still great stuff!

General Business

Marie Forleo – LOVE this gal. Her straight talk and great answers have helped me out of more than one jam.

Chris Brogan – Sort of a marketing guy, mostly a business guy…love his stuff!


Jeffery Gitomer – I like a cranky guy who tells it like it is about sales. Gitomer is the real deal, just wish he would put pictures in his posts so we could share them more!

The Big Guys

HubSpot – These guys do an amazing job of producing great content!

Copyblogger – Great stuff, very popular.

Social Media Examiner – Really good information. The problem is that everyone shares it so not so special.

Duct Tape Marketing – Really high quality blog from John Jantsch.

Marketing Profs – A ton of really great info, that gets shared A LOT!

Gary Vaynerchuk – One of my all time favorites! Straight talk, cussing and really great usable information.

Seth Godin – The 800 pound marketing gorilla! His stuff is great to share, just know that everyone else does too!

Jeff Bullas – A pretty prolific guy on Twitter, he does write interesting articles!

Clickz – GREAT setup for being able to break out individual types of marketing feeds instead of getting every single one of their posts.

Problogger – Good site for internet marketing and blogging.

How I Use These Sites

Social media sharing is a big part of marketing these days. While I do have a metric shit-ton of my own stuff I could share, it would quickly seem very self serving and not all that friendly.

Instead I use and to schedule stuff that I have read and found interesting. I have multiple Twitter accounts that focus on specific aspects of marketing (Tweetynerds, Ebooknerds, etc.) which means I need a wide range of very specific content.

In addition to having stuff to share, I am learning as I am listening to all these great marketing peeps, moving my knowledge and business ahead.

Only after I have other great stuff do I go in and schedule specific posts that are from my marketing empire, ensuring that I don’t become too “all about me”.

Hopefully this post about the Best Marketing Blogs for Social Media helps you too! If you found it useful and would like to see more like this, please leave a comment below about what you want to learn more about!

Get The Book! Social Media Marketing Strategies

Social Media Marketing Strategies Ebook

There is a lot of information out there about how to set up your social and websites, but very little about how to actually work them to increase your brand reach and sales funnel. This book is an in-depth guide on how to dominate your niche.

Throughout we cover the background for each topic so you know what worked before and what you should avoid now, tips for using the sites including universal best practices and in-depth marketing strategies.


The Best Business, Sales and Marketing Podcasts

The Best Businesses, Sales and Marketing PodcastsI admit it, I am a bit of a podcast junky! I LOVE listening to the latest and greatest information from people who I would never have had access to “in real life”. Seriously, they say that your income and success will match the 5 people around you that you spend the most time with. I think that spending time with amazing people talking to me in my head counts!

The Best Business, Sales and Marketing Podcasts Overview

Knowing I was going to write this post this week, I decided to look around the interwebs and see what other great lists were out there that listed podcasts that I might be interested in and really was saddened by the quality of the referrals. A whole bunch were just the “usual suspects” that I have some of, but most were about podcasts that had not updated in months or years. With that in mind, I will include the most recent date that I have updated this list and let you know if they stop or just fall out of favor with me (SO feel like the Red Queen…off with their heads!)

updated 5/29/2014

The Picking Criteria

Purely subjective. I have a bunch of time a week to listen to podcasts, but very little patience for misinformation. Not all of these are “professionally” done as that is not my criteria. My criteria is whether I learned something new about business, sales or marketing when listing to the episodes.

A “my life” note. I tend to listen to them all, even if the episode doesn’t seem to apply to me and my business. The reason is two-fold. First, they often go off topic or talk about something that I do like. Second, whenever I think something will be “stupid” it is generally the thing I need most in my business, I am just resisting because I am a putz. Just an observation.

My Criteria

I don’t like tiny little podcasts. I am not all that good at operating my iPhone so having to click and click and click to hear even a half an hour of content doesn’t work for me. That said, I did include one that was such good content I couldn’t resist.

I only have a couple that publish daily. There are very few people I want to hear from daily and mostly podcasters aren’t them. I like to have a great mix of genres and information as that is what sparks my marketing creativity.

Quality. As I said, quality of the sound is not my first priority. Nor is staying on topic if the sidebars are super interesting. Some of these have really structured, concise content and some are off the cuff. I will try to note that when possible.


The Best Marketing Podcasts


The Marketing and Sales Success Show – Tara Jacobsen and Rebekah Welch

The Marketing and Sales Success Show PodcastA recently launched podcast that talks about “real marketing” including finding your perfect customers, dominating your USP, testing and tracking you efforts and product development. It is a disorganized, rollicking fun time that is full of really practical marketing information. This is one of my favorites!

Website | iTunes | Stitcher | Webcast

disclaimer: this is our podcast…we are super proud of the work that we are doing on our Show!

The Impact Factor – Ken McArthur

The Impact Factor Logo Ken McArthur is a fellow that I met in real life as a speaker at his JV Alert Seminar. The neat thing about Ken is that he is SO nice that amazingly successful people are always around him and he interviews many of them on his podcast. The level of guests is really high and Ken is tremendously knowledgable.

iTunes | Stitcher

For Immediate Release – Chuck Hester

for immediate release podcast While this is a new podcast to me, it seems that they have been around A LONG TIME. The format is very structured and on topic (mostly interview style). There are different focuses of the show (LinkedIn, PR, guests). Chuck gets some really big name interviews and has a super professional style to his shows.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

I Love Marketing – Dean Jackson and Joe Polish

I love marketing logoI know Joe Polish is a big deal and you should listen to him (he knows stuff). That said, I have followed Dean Jackson for about a decade, starting when I was a real estate agent. He is a down-to-earth guy who is a wealth of knowledge about all kinds of marketing. They get some great guests and it is a really great show!

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Additional Marketing Podcasts:

Marketing Over Coffee – John J. Wall and Christopher Penn
Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Audience Hacker – Jonny Andrews
Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Marketing Smarts – Marketing Professors
Website | iTunes


The Best Entrepreneur Podcasts


Love Your Leap – John Lee Dumas and Tom Paige

Love Your Leap PodcastJohn Lee Dumas has the awesome Entrepreneur On Fire podcast that we have listed below, but that is actually just him interviewing other interesting people. I actually like this one better because I am getting to hear John and Tom talk about entrepreneurship and other topics relevant to their businesses, shows and selling. This is one of my favorites!

Website | iTunes

The Fizzle Show – Corbett Barr, Chase Reeves and Caleb Wojcik

The Fizzle Show Podcast Funny starts and very much “insider funny”, I love these guys. They are very zippy and have a wealth of knowledge. They are great and unorganized, picking a topic and the talking over each other throughout the show. I love this format because you get some real “a ha’s” out of the show! Great real world information.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Entrepreneur On Fire – John Lee Dumas

Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast logoSeems to me that everyone and their brother has known about this guy for a million years. That said, I just found him last month from my mastermind partner. Everyday he does an interview with someone, on a very structured format, in a super excited style. It takes a little bit to get used to, but once you know what is going on, the consistency is comforting and the absolute wealth of knowledge is astounding.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

The School of Greatness – Lewis Howes

School of greatness logoLewis Howes is a really nice man (and not hard to look at!) His show is a little on the healthy side for me, but his integrity and sincereness overcome the fact that most of the times I feel like a total schlub when I listen to all the athletic people talking. He has mainly entrepreneurs and other notable guests in an interview format.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Additional Entrepreneur Podcasts:

The Human Business Way – Chris Brogan
Website | iTunes | Stitcher


The Best Self Publishing Podcasts


The Self Publishing Podcast – Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt and David Wright

Self Publishing Podcast LogoOH MY GOODNESS, maybe my all time favorite podcast show ever. These guys are very unorganized, the topic is usually never the content and they bicker (my favorite episode is the one where they argue about pricing!) If you are writing books, you need to be following these guys. A lot irreverent, they are a great listen. This is one of my favorites!

Website | iTunes | Stitcher | Webcast

Rocking Self Publishing Podcast – Simon Whistler

Rocking Self Publishing PodcastSimon is a really neat guy who is very “British proper”. No swearing, on topic and a very organized show.

He has great guests and is obviously very genuine on his show. I really enjoy listening to this show and recommend it if you are writing and publishing your own books.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Additional Self Publishing Podcasts:

The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn
Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Sell More Books Show – Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen
(they would have rated a blurb and a picture but Jim said he hated my EbookNerds Twitter…:)
Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Self Publishing Roundtable – David Wright
Website | iTunes | Webcast


The Best Social Media Podcasts


Social Pros – Jay Baer and Eric Boggs

Social Pros PodcastJay Baer is a very serious guy who works primarily with corporate clients (I am not as familiar with Eric). I like this one because I get to “big picture, big budget” ideas that we sometimes are able to emulate for our “little guys”. They often have great guests (not all the usual suspects) who I can “meet” and start stalking on the Twitter.

iTunes | Stitcher

Additional Social Media Podcasts:

Social Media Marketing – Michael Stelzner
Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Social Media Pubcast – Jon Loomer
(the only tiny one I listen to…it is that good!)
iTunes | Stitcher

Online Marketing Made Easy – Amy Porterfield
iTunes | Stitcher

The Best Podcasting Podcasts


School of Podcasting – Dave Jackson

School of Podcasting LogoDave Jackson is sometime snotty and sarcastic…I LOVE THAT! Very plain talk about what you should and shouldn’t be doing to make your podcast successful. Technical information, practical advice and occasional guests. I like that he talks the most, I want to hear from the people who have lived the podcasting life and know all the stuff that will mess me up! Lots of great practical resources.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

The Audacity To Podcast – Daniel J. Lewis

The Audacity To PodcastOHHH this guy tells it like it is. He had a huge argument with himself about whether episode numbers matter or not! The thing is, it really made us think about the structure of our podcast and how we wanted to set things up so we wouldn’t have trouble down the road! Pretty techy and as far as I can tell, all Daniel, he brings up some really amazing practical points.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher | Webcast

Additional Podcasting Podcasts:

Podcasters Round Table
Website | iTunes | Stitcher | Webcast

Podcast Answer Man – Cliff Ravenscraft
Website | iTunes | Stitcher


The Best Real Estate Marketing Podcasts


Curaytor Watercooler – Chris Smith and Jimmy Macklin

Curaytor LogoThis one is a little weird, you need to get on their mailing list, because figuring out how to find them is kerfuffly. They seem to do a webcast weekly (which is AWESOME, Chris cusses and drinks and asks really amazing questions – of COURSE I like the loud one!) That said, their iTunes doesn’t seem to have the same content and hasn’t been updated lately. I just watch the web shows.


Additional Real Estate Marketing Podcasts:

Bare Naked Agent – Pat Hiban
iTunes | Stitcher


The Best Women Only Podcasts


Business Women Rock – Katie Krimitsos

Business Women Rock PodcastI know Katie “in real life” and she is just as nice in person as she seems on the show. She launched onto the podcasting scene, taking the community by storm and I couldn’t be happier for the girl! Her interviews are really good and she is attracting some amazing guests, both “big dogs” and regular business owners who work in the real world.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Biz Chix Podcast – Natalie Eckdahl

Biz Chix Podcast LogoEven if she wasn’t interviewing cool women, I would want to “hang out” with Natalie. She seems to be a really strong force for good, being a mother, wife, entrepreneur, and about a million other things. Her perspectives about the challenges of being a great mom and also a great entrepreneur are priceless for women like me who don’t just want to be a great business owner or a great mom, we want it all!

Website | iTunes | Stitcher


The Best Internet Marketing Podcasts


Internet Business Mastery – Jeremy “Sterling” Frandsen and Jason “Jay” Van Orden

Internet business mastery logoI have listened to these guys A LOT over the years. It is funny, when they started they used pseudonyms and changed to their real names somewhere in the middle.

They have a great style and focus on beginning internet marketing. If you are just starting out and not sure how to get going, you can’t do better than to begin with these guys!

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn

Smart Passive Income LogoPat Flynn is an awesome human being. The neat thing about this podcast is that he talks about how to do affiliate marketing, what works and how he has hosed it up. He calls himself the crash test dummy for how to do marketing and is constantly implementing and innovating new ideas. A genuinely nice person, I am glad he is my “friend” on the podcast.

Website | iTunes | Stitcher

Did I Miss Any?

Alright friends! I have listed most of the ones that I have on my phone (I told you I am an addict!) That said, I am sure that there are some amazing podcasts out there that I have missed…:)

If you have one or know of one and let me know in the comments, I will check it out and see if I like it. Please keep to the topic of the best business, sales and marketing podcasts. I monitor all the comments so spamming the crap out of this post with your icky spam links will not do any good!

Podcast Marketing For Beginners – What To Do When You Are Starting Out

Podcast Marketing For Beginners -What To Do When You Are Starting OutAs you know I am a total marketing freak and I can speak super intelligently about many different types of marketing (public speaking, networking, graphic design, blogging, social media, SEO and about a gagillion more things). That said, I never had a podcast so I don’t feel like an expert at podcast this point by any stretch of the word.

I don’t know everything (yet) about podcast marketing, but what I do know about is the challenges and frustrations of hearing and reading bits from AMAZING podcasters who started years ago who now give totally different suggestions than than what they actually did to be successful. I think this happens in every business so I WILL have an amazing podcast with thousands of downloads someday in the not so distant future, but this is what I am doing just as we start out.

If you would like to hear more about our “journey” through podcasting startup, I will have that below!

1. Don’t just look at iTunes

I am a Apple fanatic, iPhone, MacBook Air, iPad and all. OF COURSE I was going to put our podcast on iTunes, but what do all those android users do to listen? I looked around to some of the blogs of amazing podcasters I liked and they had their shows on iTunes AND Stitcher. The cool thing is once you have that RSS feed thingy done, adding your podcast to other services is a breeze!

Here is our show on iTunes and on Stitcher.

2. Podcast graphics on your websites

Make sure the iTunes podcast and Stitcher podcast graphics are on all your websites, not just your podcast site (more about that later).

Podcasts are not mainstream yet, even though you may be consuming them like a mad person. BUT people who like podcasts REALLY like podcasts and will see your download on iTunes or available on Stitcher graphics in the top right.

Don’t get cute about them, much like the Twitter logo generally leads to a site’s Twitter account, your podcast buttons should lead directly to where they can find your shows to subscribe.

3. Have a separate website

I totally lucked into this one. We were messing around trying to figure out which of our “real” websites to use to host the show on, thinking that it didn’t matter all that much. Come to find out your show feed IS the thing that makes your iTunes and Stitcher bits work. I would not want the hassles of trying to keep my podcast feed separate from the hundreds of other posts that I have on Marketing Artfully..ack.

Additionally, I couldn’t figure out how to make it a great user experience for our listeners. If it was tucked in this site or the MandM Monsters site, they would have to hunt for it instead of it being right out there, front and center! >> check out our AMAZING Marketing Podcast website

4. Don’t forget what you already know!

Putting a keyword targeted link in there made me realize that oftentimes we discover a new technology or start a new project and want to learn all the “secret tricks” about how to do that one thing better. Instead, you should look in your bag of goodies and see what you are already good at (SEO, social media, networking) and make sure to use those skills when you are marketing your podcast!

5. Don’t listen to what they say, do what they did

So my secret crush, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, has a STUPENDOUS “setting up a podcast” post, that made our initial setup so much easier. But he said something in there that made me realize this post needed to be written. Pat makes thousands of dollars and had a gagillion downloads of his podcast. He has worked for years to build it up to what it is and is a raging success. BUT he says things like, “if I had it to do all over again I would..”

We have gotten most of our best ideas from listening and copying successful podcasters. Our intro is a compilation of a bunch of different starts that we like, the format was figured out by listening to a LOT of podcasts and figuring out what we like listening to. We put certain graphics on because we had stalked other podcasters and seen what we liked.

When you are figuring out your podcast, don’t think you have to make ALL the mistakes others have made, emulate the shows that you like and take the best bits from each!

6. Start right away, don’t wait to have 4-5 “in the can”

I feel like all these people who say, “if I had it all to do it all over again I would work less, have more balance, start it perfectly, do it this or that way” are being genuine but misguided. Pat said he would have waited to start until he had a bunch of podcasts done before launching. But that would have changed everything. Maybe he would have gotten one less opportunity or missed being featured on a site or other podcast that made a huge difference.

DON’T listen to them, start when you have your first one. It will be horrible and you will cringe in a year when you hear it, but it will be out there in the world. It will be an opportunity for someone to find you that will not happen if you are waiting for perfect. It will also force you to get all the pieces of your marketing together all at once instead of waiting weeks or months to get them done. There is nothing like being under the gun to make things happen!

7. You need to have more than a podcast on your posts!

Now we are getting into marketing instead of “podcast marketing”. On our first podcast blog post we forgot everything we know about marketing and made a bunch of mistakes. We are going to leave it that way so you can see our problems!

While we do have a video that people can watch and a player for the show episode, there are MANY things missing! (see the “right” way to do it here, on our “perfect” podcast blog post example)

A graphic that people can share on social media. You should have a separate graphic for each of your shows. It should be branded with your podcast but should also be unique enough that you can tell them apart. For these first few ones where it is just Rebekah and I, I used pictures of us with the M&M Monster branding and the iTunes and Stitcher icons so people know it is a podcast.

Content, words, heck anything for Google to index. On the first post I was so excited (overwhelmed) that I just wanted to get ANYTHING out there. That said, you can’t grow a blog without any words on the page for Google to index and we want the chance at least for that blog to rank well in search engines for topics we talk about on our shows.

Resources. There is nothing worse than listening to a podcast or Google hangout and not being able to figure out what the hosts said and how to find the things they are talking about. I am going to try to get WAY better about writing notes so that I don’t have to listen to every show in its entirety.

8. Any format you have!

Some people like video (hangouts), some people like audio (podcasts) and some people like to read (transcripts of the show). Make sure you are offering every format that will make everyone happy. YES, it takes a little longer but it will serve you well in the end.

9. Google Hangouts

We struggled with wanting to do podcasts until we figured out we could just do a hangout and then whizzy-wig the recording into an audio format. The benefit of doing a hangout and then recording it is that you are letting people see you and get to know you in a way that is not possible when just hearing your voice (more about this later).

Our Podcast Story

If you had some amazing a-ha ideas while reading the podcast marketing bits, I don’t mind if you leave now and get to work, but I did want to at least once tell you about our podcasting journey!

For a few years now (don’t let it take you this long!) I have been hearing about podcasts and just never jumped in the pond. Then a few months ago I figured out how to make iTunes work and started listening like a madwoman. There are some great podcasters out there and I got to “know” lots of them through hearing them talk to “me” each week. Now I know that they aren’t actually talking to me personally, but by listening week after week I got to learn about them and their lives, really feeling like they were a friend who told me neat things.

But I still didn’t want to just do a podcast. It seemed like a lot of work and I didn’t have anyone to do it with. Then my biz partner and I went to conference and heard about using Google hangouts to feed a podcast and the lights went on! I have been wanting to do more real videos where you don’t just hear my voice, but you get to see me too. That said, we have tried the “sit down in front of a video camera” or taping our events and neither one of those was right either. It was just too contrived and not something that I could maintain over a course of months or years.

But doing Google Hangouts is easy. It is using the camera on my laptop and then the Google just puts that recording right on my YouTube channel! I am doing it with a friend so I don’t have to look at myself and cringe every time I see a bump or a wrinkle, I just watch her and she just watches me.

We are not worrying about them being heinous and weird. They are not perfect and that is okay, I am sure they will get better and we will make more money and get a better backdrop…but for now good enough is good enough! We are so out in front of the game that we will win.

We give great content in a niche that is not talked about all that much…finding your perfect customer who will buy and buy. We are VERY knowledgable and already know that people like our “stuff”, we are just able to broadcast it the whole world now.

It is supporting our books. We are writing a business book a week for a year and have creeping up success but this should supercharge those sales.

It is free. The wonderful, weird part of this whole thing is that besides the $15 a month fee for hosting the audio files, this is all free to do. We take our time, use Google, iTunes, Stitcher and a number of other sites and bam we are broadcasters. Think of back in the day what the cost would be to do a “TV show” and record CDs to send out. The expense and time required would have put it out of reach for many of the people who are succeeding today.

The dorky ending. I am not a real emoter except with my friends and family. You are not going to find passionate talk about how I help people or what my dreams are (I do things and have them, just I don’t talk about them here). But if there is one thing that I wish for all my entrepreneur marketing peeps it is this…figure out how to make this work for you! Start an accounting podcast or a direct sales hangout or a funeral home show. Yes it will take time, but the rewards that you will get in the long term are something that you can’t even imagine today.

You WILL be the same person in a year, but where you are and what you have accomplished will be different. Make a difference starting today.

If this helped at all and you would like to help back a little bit, please signup for our podcasts on either iTunes or Stitcher. Bonus points if you leave a review!!! Please let me know about it in the comments and I will do something nice for you too!!!

Entrepreneur Marketing – Keep Moving Forward

Entrepreneur Marketing - Keep Moving ForwardWhoo whoo! This week is an amazing week to be an entrepreneur (she says jumping up and down, clicking her heels and giggling like a school girl)! This week we finally got on track, the gears are all turning and everything is coming together. This is a very good week to be in business.

So how do I know that this is a good week? Because last week was not so great. We were pounding out what to do with some little bits here and little bits there that were not coming together. We hadn’t heard from a client and worried that we were getting dumped, we had opportunities that did not match our vision (we really weren’t sure what our vision was but knew that those were not them!)

If you are an entrepreneur I know that you have had my “last weeks”, but have you ever had a this week? One were you KNEW you were getting somewhere? Cherish that feeling because it is usually followed by a lot of hard work to implement all your gloriousness!!!

Ideas are not strategies

My marketing partner, Rebekah, hates that we call one of our talks 100 Free Marketing Ideas. She loves the talk but hates that we use the term “ideas”. Ideas are for suckers is pretty much her take on it. Entrepreneurs can churn out ideas a dime a dozen. She wishes that we would talk to them about important things like strategies, systems and implementation (all things that I love too by the way). Just having given the talk about a million times so far, I know that free ideas get butts in seats at events and so we stick with ideas.

That said, you SHOULD have ideas, but it is implementing those ideas as strategies that will make your business better. And not half ass implementing of a million things, pick three rock star ideas and then run with them. I say three because entrepreneurs are categorically incapable of having just one idea. That feels too limiting and way less fun than chasing after a bunch of different things all at once, driving yourself nuts, right?!?!

So what are our ideas?

We have a strategy for exposure, for reaching beyond the limits of our current client base, for moving beyond the borders of our state lines and going big, like worldwide sensation big. Okay, that sensation part is not really true, we really want to help way more people, in way less time for a fair price WHILE getting to hang out together in fabulous places like New York, London, Dublin and other cultural and interesting cities.

We have tried many things that are not quite that like:

TINY CHEAP CLASSES. Holding in person classes in the Denver area for a small amount of money and a huge amount of time. We did this mainly so we could get to spend time together talking about marketing and make some money. Problem was that the effort required to put on these classes (securing a room, marketing the heck out of them, attending to teach, splitting the profits) meant that we were making barely above minimum wage for a highly skilled and valuable product. We tried taping them and selling them, but because of the interactive nature, they didn’t come across great on videos.

FREE NETWORKING GROUPS. Rebekah’s background is in promotions and networking so having free networking events is not hard, the mechanics are in place and hey, how much time could they take? Well we are back to the promotions, marketing and wrong clientele of it all.

SPEAKING LOCALLY. We still speak locally to small groups, colleges and the like, but that cannot be our only avenue for exposure. If we want to make it to London, we are going to have to get beyond Centennial CO and be out in the world, spreading the marketing word!

MEMBERSHIP SITE. I made membership site years ago and packed it with tons of great content. It took about 4 months of back breaking labor, but I bought into the whole, “you can get recurring revenue every month”…yeah right. I sold about 20 of them and then was on the hook to keep producing content every month to make them happy…sigh. I do not like things that I have to commit for years for.

COACHING PROGRAMS. So a couple years ago I got caught up in a sales pitch and bought a coaching program from someone who said they could help with speaking. Come to find out it was a coaching program about coaching programs. That was not my passion, but I did think, “well what could it hurt?” Holy buckets am I a bad coach. I am a great accountability person. I am a great masterminder. I am a great ideas gal. I am not great at meeting with someone on a weekly or monthly basis and building them up, holding their hand and telling them everything will be alright. I feel bad about taking someone’s money so they can feel good that they are “doing something” if that something is just hiring me but not changing in any way.

There are lots more, been there, done thats like the “recurring revenue from a newsletter”, affiliate marketing that worked for a while but then they changed our salesperson and we never sold another one, the list goes on and on.

What is your theme?

So why have I told you all the bits of our business that were not working? Hopefully you can write down all of your experience like that in a row, enumerating all your efforts (not failures) to see if there is a theme to them. Here is our theme…

1. We love working with entrepreneurs
2. We love teaching entrepreneurs
3. We love talking about marketing
4. We want to reach more people with less time
5. We want to hang out together
6. We want to make money

Over and over we came up with ideas that accomplished some of those things. We would teach and not make money, or we would make money but not reach as many people or we would….well you get the point. What you should do now is figure out what the main idea of all your great ideas that you implemented poorly was and write them down.

Moving forward

This all sounds horrible. Like we have been flailing around with no direction and have failed over and over. Do not get me wrong, at the time these all made us money but did feel like failures, like we wasted our time and were never going to figure it all out. Then a lightbulb went off this year. We could still do all those things, maybe not in same ways but in some way, so “what to do, what to do?”

As Barbara Corcoran says, “There’s great power in moving forward, whether you’re moving in the right direction or not. At least you’re moving forward.”

So now we have our three things. Three ways we are currently lead generating, helping entrepreneurs and working together. They are all doable, accomplish our goals and will add to the business world in ways that we can be proud of.

Writing a book a week for a year. I didn’t say they were easy! We are writing a business book a week for a whole year. We are about a third of the way there right now and there is nothing that is going to stop us from hitting that goal. We KNOW we are going to make some money on the book sales but that is not the point. The point is that we have already been offered numerous speaking opportunities, a book deal from a real publisher and a great deal of advice from people who say we are stupid and wasting our time. They do not understand that this actually a part of a larger plan. If you have your strategy and know what you are doing ignore the nay-sayers. They are too busy worrying about you to build their business.

Starting an internet show. We put our first internet show in the can this week. It is live on YouTube (we are using Google Hangouts to record it) and will be in the iTunes store as soon as they approve our account. The website is up and running and ready to go. This fulfills our helping entrepreneurs and spending time together. What it also does is allow us to highlight a book a week and sell more book and consulting services.

Selling courses. Remember the giant membership site debacle? Well that soured me for YEARS about making big, giant courses that take eons to make and sell well only if you are devoted to them alone and get hundreds of partners to beat the street in your name. But what about little courses? Based on our books? WHA WHA…the clouds parted and the sun shone through. We are recording the first videos today.

Seriously, this post is just for me. One day that seems to be glorious, where everything is lined up and I can see the future so clearly that I should be wearing sunglasses. My wish for you today is that you stop, look at what you have done, what you are doing now and what could change your life for the better in the future. If you figure it out, please let me know! You can comment, send an email or an owl, whatever it takes, just let me know you have made up here with me!!

100 Quick Marketing Activities You Can Do TODAY!

100 Quick Marketing Activities You Can Do TODAY!Marketing is all about doing something…writing a book, making a sales page, posting to social media. But honestly, our biggest marketing “wins” coming from forward movement, just doing some kind of Marketing Activity instead of waiting until everything is perfect.

This is list of marketing tactics…each is a little nibble of something you can do if you have 5 minutes between doing important things. Our huge marketing empires are made up of all these little moments.

If you like this, you will love our 100 Free Marketing Ideas sheet which is much more structured and could help more with a plan.

Social Media Marketing Activities

  • Check your profile and business banners, are they looking good or should you order new ones?
  • Order new social media banners on
  • Share different people’s social media profiles once a day for a month “introducing” them to your lists
  • Give someone you just met Klout, share that to your Twitter to give them love
  • Follow 100 people on Twitter who could buy what you are selling
  • Research your hashtags on
  • Set up a Twitter ad
  • Make a Twitter list of influential people you can follow and share their stuff
  • Download our Twitter Cheat Sheet and start using special characters in your posts
  • Like 5 business pages on Facebook, you have to comment on one of their posts to get credit
  • Upload a movie to your business page, wait 30 minutes and share it to your profile
  • Check the sidebar ads to see what they are doing
  • Accept your friend requests on Facebook, post something nice to their wall that is not self serving
  • Figure out what your biggest prospect likes and share a post which they would like that has nothing to with your business on your wall, tagging them
  • Pin 5 pins on your favorite Pinterest board from the internet helping someone else
  • Repin 10 pins on Pinterest
  • Check and see if your board pictures are the prettiest one you can pick, if not, fix it
  • Make sure your most import boards on Pinterest are at the top or the bottom (the middle is for “stuff”)
  • Follow 50 people on Google+
  • Sort your Google circles so they have no more than 99 people in each
  • Email a post to a Google circle
  • Use hashtags in your Google+ posts
  • Upload a video directly to Google+
  • Like 10 people’s posts
  • Join a community that you are interested in and circle all the member (you have to participate)
  • Accept all your invites on LinkedIn
  • Join 5 groups who have people like your prospects
  • Like 5 peoples posts
  • Write a recommendation a day for a month

Video Activities

  • Shoot a quick video of something interesting from your cell phone and upload it to YouTube (do that every day for a month!)
  • Start a playlist of something interesting and add 5 videos
  • See if your 5 favorite industry leaders have a channel, subscribe
  • Make it your mission to see if you can one of your videos to 1,000 views
  • Learn to use Jing or (yes! it takes about 5 minutes to figure out)
  • Make a channel trailer for your YouTube channel, be real and tell people what you do!
  • Try Google Hangouts and see how easy it is

Posting Pictures

  • Take a picture a day and post it to Instagram
  • Tag your Instagram pictures with hashtags
  • Follow 5 Instagram people you want to do business with
  • Like 5 Instagram pictures
  • Make a quick quote with pictures in
  • Make a quick quote with pictures using the Word Swag app on your iPhone
  • Make a post with quotes and pictures on your blog


  • Write down 25 ideas for blog posts
  • Check who your top 5 competitors are on google and see what they are doing that you could copy
  • Start saving quotes you like in Evernote
  • Check Amazon to see which categories books in your industry sit in
  • Check Google to see how many competing websites there are for a phrase you are trying to hit
  • Do a Google search and see how many Google+ posts come up in the results
  • Save all the best sales pages you see in Evernote
  • Check Google Trends to see which of your keywords is hot right now

The Book Biz

  • Leave a review for your favorite author (hint hint) on Amazon
  • Add some of your favorite authors books to your wish list in Amazon to help them
  • Check your favorite book categories and figure out what is missing in the marketplace (later you can write a book!)
  • Visit Goodreads and start a book list

Local Sites

  • Check in everywhere you go on
  • Take a picture each time you check in (bonus points if they are selfies or who you are dining with)
  • Check in on Yelp and give your favorite local businesses a review
  • Send a press release about your company to the local papers


  • Check the keywords and description on your blog (are your terms out of date)
  • Check your sidebar, is it showing your visitors exactly what you want them to do…we want you to sign up for our free courses!
  • Use Google analytics to find out which of your posts is the most visited and add a call to action that matches the content
  • Make 5 thoughtful comments on competing sites in your niche
  • Subscribe to the Google Webmasters YouTube Channel to learn the latest SEO tips
  • Add a neat video to the sidebar of your blog
  • Share 5 of your best archived posts


  • Look at your outgoing signature line, snazzy it up a bit
  • Send a really amazing message to everyone, include something that they would really want!
  • Make segregated lists of people who like your industry AND then ones who like dogs, babies, etc.
  • Start asking everyone you talk to for their birthday, start sending out cards
  • Make sure your subject lines are awesome


  • Look at your business card, is it up-to-date and interesting, does it have a call to action?
  • Start a list of local companies that you can recommend
  • Do a hard copy newsletter, hand it out and mail to key prospects
  • Make a comment card to give to your customers for feedback
  • Pick up some thank you notes to send to people you talk to
  • Order some cool pens, we use the javelin pens and everyone loves them!
  • Order some stickers (we are enthralled with the sticker!) click for a $10 credit!


  • Call your best customer and thank them for being wonderful, ask them if there is anything else you could offer that they would like to buy
  • Send an email with an interesting link to your favorite customer and just say you were thinking of them
  • Make a sales leads sheet or print out your pipeline…what could you do to add just 5% more leads to your pipeline


  • Try something on the list that you have never done before or think is stupid
  • Use to spark an idea, see what is available for $5 and go for it
  • Start a list like this that is relevant to your industry to post on your blog
  • Vow to spend 5 minutes a day working on your favorite social media channel…every day, no distractions
  • Do something nice every day for someone who can’t help you, share a charity’s post, enter a contest and vote for someone, share a kickstarter, just be nice


Buy The Book

New media marketing ebook

New Media Marketing Strategies: Oh The Tangled Web We Weave

There is a lot of information out there about how to set up your social and websites, but very little about how to actually work them to increase your brand reach and sales funnel. This book is an in-depth guide on how to dominate your niche.

Throughout we cover the background for each topic so you know what worked before and what you should avoid now, tips for using the sites including universal best practices and in-depth marketing strategies.


Are You Going All Justin Timberlake With Your Marketing?

Justin Timerlake MarketingSmall business marketing is a lonely game. You spend hours and hours crafting a great sales page or doing a ton of graphics or writing a blog post…then you send it out into the world and hope someone, somewhere will like it enough to actually read it and come back to you with wallet in hand.

Now, I don’t believe that Justin spends too much time alone pining for attention, but he does do some amazing things in his acting and singing career that I think we can definitely emulate!

When you see this picture of Mr. Timberlake, what comes to mind? Suave, debonaire, you might even be picturing him in his Suit and Tie video. He is a serious artist with a very high profile…and also willing to do whatever it takes given the situation he finds himself in!


So JT (Justin Timberlake as we like to call him around the dinner table) appears on the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and instead of just having the “normal” sit on the couch and tell us your story show, they do the History of Rap, dancing and singing and generally carrying on. Now this is a full on production with singing and dancing, choreographed to the minute and obviously something that was not just thrown togother.

As far as I can tell, they have done five of these shows, featuring different music each time. Now there is a good chance that JT is a big enough draw on his own to appear a few times, but these shows bring down the house, get shared virally on the internet and generally increase awareness for three things, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and the Tonight Show. No wonder he keeps getting invited back!

Play Full Out

Justin Timberlake all out

Look at these and then revisit the super snazzy guy in the picture post. Since we follow (stalk) JT closely, we know that he has been wine, a gingerbread man and many other goofy characters on the shows that he appears on. In every one, he plays full out which is the key.

If you are a fine looking, stylish grown man dressed in a wine bottle and only kinda sorta going through the motions, you are going to look dumb. But when you are living it, doing the best that you can and going for it, it becomes something really spectacular to behold.

No matter what you are doing in your marketing or business, please make sure that you are playing ALL OUT! Making videos, don’t be wimpy, give them some life, show that you care, show some personality. Doing a webinar, don’t hold back your best stuff, throw it out there and you will be surprised about how great a response you will get!

Don’t Be Afraid

Everyone doing anything is at least a little afraid. The most outgoing extroverted human will still get some butterflies before speaking to a stadium full of people. If you are playing hard you will constantly be running up against things that make you a little nervous. Don’t let them derail your momentum or make you stop!

This is not just about speaking or public appearances, it works the same for learning how to use Google Hangouts, or how to make really cool graphics or any other new skill. As humans we have spent millennia making sure that we DON’T risk life and limb just to check out a new tree or eat an unknown mushroom. Mistakes like that could kill you, but marketing rarely will!

So Bland Your Are Invisible

One last thing before we go! It can seem like a brilliant idea to make your “Stuff” appealing to everyone. To “dumb it down” so that no one finds it even a little bit offensive. That is the WORST strategy you can use. If you have to be bland to feel okay, you are going to struggle all throughout your marketing efforts. Bland is boring and great marketing is the opposite of boring.

Would Justin Timberlake be okay with bland marketing? I don’t think so…he would recklessly run at it, jumping off the cliff fearlessly knowing that great things are on the other side!

Email Marketing For Small Business – What To Do, What To Do

Small Business Email Marketing - What To DoYou have heard for years that “the money is in the list”, that you have to have a list and that you need to send email newsletters or give away free offers…and you ignored (or half-assed) all of that.

Then, thank heavens, you heard that email marketing is dying and you got away from even thinking about, except when that little voice in the back of your head said, “but I read emails still”.

The Dead Email Marketing Myth

Seriously, you can try and get around the fact that you need an email list, you can gnash your teeth and complain about the time and expense, but can you really say that email marketing is dead? How many emails will you get in your inbox today that you requested from someone selling something?

Email marketing is still the most powerful way to connect with people who actually want to hear from you! Stop whining and get your email marketing started today. (Right after you finish reading this post!)

The Dreaded Newsletter

When was the last time you thought to yourself, “damn I hope I get to join five or ten new newsletter lists today?”, said nobody ever! You have to have interesting reasons for someone to join your list. Things that they want to have that you can provide. We give away a number of free marketing courses, marketing tools and other bits that people would actually want to have in exchange for giving us their email address.

You don’t have to a big production either! One of our “best selling” give-ways is the 100 Free Marketing Ideas handout that we use for our speaking events. No additional effort AND we get to add them to our list.

Subject Lines

Today ends your lame subject lines. Stop sending out messages that say Sally’s Newsletter and start using powerful subject lines that will get your emails opened and read.

There are only a couple of rules here. Write them to one person (only one person will be reading them at a time) and make them compelling. Think to yourself, “if I got this message in my email would I stop everything else that I was doing to read it?”

If you need some ideas, check out our post, 100 Great Email Subject Line Examples

Make Sure You Are Selling Something

We are bad at this, producing content at a furious pace without ever getting to the “ask”. Well that all changes this week. We printed out and reviewed every one of our email campaigns and will be including a call to action to buy a book, join another course, check out a blog post or any number of other awesome things that they can do which will result in sales for us.

No one expects something for nothing and few people will offended if you provide great content AND the ability to extend the conversation beyond with a course, book or other item.

What Email Service Should You Use?

If you read this post and just decided to start an email list, we recommend you go with MailChimp. They offer free service up to a thousand or so list members and will do some of what you need to do if you are going to have a strong marketing campaign.

If you are all fired up and know that you are going to fix your current systems or really start rolling, we recommend Infusionsoft (that is what we use). Infusionsoft is a huge database system that will let you do things like email data capture, list fulfillment, ecommerce, events, video marketing and more.

Great Stuff

One day I was all excited telling a client how cool a new marketing strategy was and that I would forward her the article. Well I got a shock when she said she didn’t want to read the article, she just wanted to know what I thought about the article and if it was something she should look into.

Dang. That was so powerful and has driven everything I have produced from there on out. Your list people have signed up because you have some kind of expertise and they are looking to you for direction. Make sure you are giving them great content AND the input from you that they need to be able to use it.

Stop Thinking About Email Marketing and Start DOING Email!

Email marketing strategy sessionIf you took the time to read all the way down here on this post, you are probably aware that you need to do email marketing. You have probably tried a couple of times with various degrees of success and are ready to really DO it this time. Get off your hands and get your email marketing set up right this time  with a small business marketing strategy session TODAY!

Entrepreneur Marketing For Startups – If It Sounds Too Good To Be True

Entrepreneur Marketing - Startup warningEntrepreneur Marketing is one of the most predatory areas of marketing today.

Fleecing “newbies” out of their hard earned money is big business and we are here to tell our entrepreneur friends some hard truths (that might just save them some money and time!)

The 10K A Month Pipe Dream

Internet marketers (the people who are selling the “gold rush” and “get rich quick” systems of success are not stupid. In fact they are some of the smartest people in marketing today. They have spent millions of dollars to find out which exact triggers will cause you to hit buy, hoping that this time they are telling the truth about how much you will make.

One of the best converting triggers is to promise that you will make $10K a month. Studies have shown that this is “the dream”. The six figure income that everyone wants to hit.

While I agree that this is a great goal, the chances that you will make $10,000 a month if you are making very little or nothing right now is slim.

No List, No Site, No Problem

Another biggie in the internet marketing world is to say that you don’t need to have any assets to make money. That you can start with nothing and make millions.

When have you ever heard of this working in real life? When someone sat on the couch, dreaming of owning a franchise and raking in the big bucks. Or an author who has a book in their head and is a best selling author.

If you have no assets, digital or otherwise, it is going to be very hard to build up anyone’s business but the person selling the product. Oftentimes this kind of scheme involves you sharing their content on social or with your few connected friends. This works (for them) because they get hundreds or thousands of people to share their product with a few friends, adding up to a huge campaign for them and little money for you.

People Making The Course

Which brings us to the real reason most internet marketing courses are developed. To make money. That is the only reason. It is not some altruistic need to help “the little guy” or the wanting to “share it”. It is capitalism pure and simple.

They are making something that will make them money.

So are we bashing capitalism, heck no. What we are bashing is the hyperbolic sales messages and the packaging of crap to sell at a profit to people who are desperate and want to believe in miracles.

Circle Jerk

If you belong to any internet marketing lists, you will notice that there is a “launch” every couple of weeks (or days). All of the guys and gals with big lists will send out the latest and greatest amazing course to their list, knowing that their pals will send out their course the next week or next month.

The first thing that annoys me is that they hardly ever even take the time to change the subject line of the emails. This happens for a couple of reasons. Laziness on their part, they just copy and paste to their list and make money. Also, the people launching these products have spent a lot of money to have great copywriters find out what will trigger sales. Oftentimes they leave them intact because they know it will make you open it (and maybe buy).

It Used To Work

One last bit on the downside of many of these programs. Do you really think that someone who is making internet millions is going to “share the secret” with people who will be competing with them and driving up the cost of business?

Say someone knows the secret to getting $.10 clicks on Facebook. If they sell a course to 1,000 people in their niche and those people all start buying ads, the cost per click will go up as competition increases.

Instead they make their money and take all those screen captures of their money making success. Then once that starts to cost more naturally, they package their “system” and sell a course using techniques that used to work, but which are not as effective anymore.

Good Guys

I am sorry to say that being an entrepreneur is hard work. You will have to work hard and the chances of you going from zero to $10K a month in days are non-existant, but building a strong sustainable business is possible.

There are some truly good guys and gals in the marketplace. Here are a few that we know tell the truth and building strong, sustainable businesses helping entrepreneurs succeed.

  • The M&M Monsters are dedicated to working with entrepreneurs to get them started off on the right track. We do marketing strategy sessions that are affordable and effective.
  • good guys
  • Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income is a great guy who has built up an amazing affiliate business and who shares his tips with his podcast listeners.
  • Self Publishing Podcast – Sean and Johnny are an amazing resource if you are thinking of writing and publishing your own book.
  • Perry Marshall – If you are going to be doing Adwords, you need to start with Perry Marshall. He is the master of adwords marketing and has helped us often over the years.
  • Internet Business Mastery is where to start if you are just getting into affiliate marketing. This is a great post that talks about what we did here!
  • Joel Comm is a super successful internet marketer who is a great person to follow as he shares A LOT of great information.

We have spent years working with entrepreneurs and know that you can make it! You can have the life of your dreams and be hugely successful doing work you love. All it takes is time, patience and hard work. We know that you have it in you and all you need is a little push in the right direction!

Get Some Real Entrepreneur Marketing Help!

Entrepreneur Marketing - Start up strategy session bannerWe have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, helping them to get a real startup marketing plan in place and getting their businesses up and running faster than they ever thought possible! There is no secret to being a great entrepreneur, just having solid plan and executing it effectively every day…see how now!

What Does The New Twitter Look Mean For Small Biz Marketing?

What Does The New Twitter Look Mean For Small Biz Marketing?Twitter is changing how your profile and stream looks, whether you like it or not. The first thing that jumps to mind when I see it is that it is totally a Facebook clone now which makes me sad. One of the reasons I like Twitter so much is the ease of use and clean layout. This update seems to make things a little more fancy…sigh.

Here are the new look and the past look so you can see the differences:

New Twitter Look and Feel

New Twitter Look and Feel

In the new version, there is a wide-wide graphic at the top and underneath are your tweet stats including number of tweets, photos and videos, following, followers, favorites and more (the “more tab” holds the lists).

There is no background image, nor is there a way to modify the arrangement or add any additional personal information.

Old Twitter Look and Feel

Old Twitter Look and Feel

I liked the old look and feel much better as it had the information about the person right up front and center where I could see it. I actually use that information a lot when deciding whether or not to follow someone. Those bits have moved to the left under the profile picture.

New Twitter Timeline

New Twitter Timeline

According to Twitter, the new timeline will allow you to “pin” an important post to the top and your highest quality tweets (the ones that people like and retweet the most) will be a larger size than the old ones.

It is easier to select which view to see of the profile, right now I see tweets, tweets and replies, but supposedly you will also be able to choose only tweets with photos or videos.

Old Twitter Timeline

The Old Twitter Timeline

The size of pictures included does not seem to have changed. It appears that 800 height by 1200 width is still the aspect ratio that they display. If photos are larger they display the middle area like Facebook does.

New Twitter Mobile

New Twitter Mobile

I pulled both the new and the old on both the Twitter App and the Google Chrome browser and this looks very similar to the old desktop Twitter. One thing to note is that the only part of the wide-wide picture that shows is the middle. We will have to watch where those pictures “cut off” so as not to have a ridiculous header in mobile.

Old Twitter Mobile


Not much change here but important to note that on both versions it is important to have some of your posts include photos.

Read the whole Twitter update

out top suggest next step resources

Get Some Help! New Media Marketing Strategy Session

New Media Marketing Strategy SessionWhat does this change mean to your Twitter marketing efforts? How have the recent changes at Facebook hurt your views and what should you do next? Is Pinterest right for your business and if so, what should you be “pinning”?

It is almost impossible to keep up, but with a New Media Strategy Session, you will know that your business is on the cutting edge of what is working today on the social networks!

Find out more TODAY! >> Click here

Dear Facebook Business Pages, We Are Through, It Is Not You It Is Me

Dear Facebook Business Pages - We're ThroughI am both a marketing gal and a small business owner. My time and monetary resources are finite (with time being my most precious commodity) and Facebook, you aren’t there for me on either of these! With that in mind, I am breaking up with you. And it really is not you, it’s just me and the time and money I am willing to spend to make you happy.

Recently a big brand, Eat24, who had 70,000 fans shut their page down because they weren’t able to get their posts seen by anyone. They had a really funny exchange, with Facebook coming back to say that the brand needed to shut up and understand that someone’ friend’s new baby or homemade cupcakes were more important than their pictures of sushi.

Your Friends

One of the things that Facebook said in their reply was that:

There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi porn (but if we are in the mood for it, we know where to find it Eat24!). So we are sorry that we have to part this way because we think we could still be friends – really we do. But we totally respect you if you need some space.

Facebook Word SearchI do agree that maybe a friend’s baby IS more important than seeing a page’s posting, but I am not sure why Facebook feels the need to make that decision for me.

Today on my wall, in order, I have one of those stupid “tell us the first three words you see” word search from a lady I know very peripherally, a post from a young friend, a business friend, my father-in-law, my father-in-law (he is a prolific poster!), my brother, ironically a picture of an old business acquaintance’s baby, an updated profile picture of our friend Fred, a cute business quote from someone in my network and a post from an old friend from Florida.

Had I been given the choice, I could have skipped the baby, the old-old friend’s post, one of my father-in-laws posts and for sure the word search (which Facebook feels I should see every one of!) What is conspicuously absent to me is postings by one of my best friends (whose posts I comment on and who I message several times a day), my father and my husband (from both of whom I have let Facebook know I want to see every post). For some reason, Facebook has decided that stray and random strangers should take precedence over my Daddy and sweat pea.

I GET IT, Facebook was started as college sharing site and college high-jinks are fun to some people. For me, college was a chance to hang out with people who thought farting was the height of hilarity and to share a bathroom with thirty other women, several of whom had PMS at any given time. Good times for sure.

Too many “friends”

Facebook Spammy MessagesSince I am in marketing, I do have A LOT of friends (3,972) at last count. In that number are my friend-friends and family, business people I have met over the years and friended, Realtors around the country because I do Realtor Marketing in addition to small business marketing, authors, marketing experts, and then everyone else.

Now, over the years I have thinned the herd and eliminated people from foreign countries known for scams, have unfriended and blocked anyone who sent me a special message starting with “Hi Dear”, and anyone who posts excessive political commentary for either side. The last one is very subjective on my part! While I do feel like they have the right to post whatever they want, I don’t have time to let negativity from either political party enter my business networking time. Make no mistake, for me Facebook IS business networking.

While I do enjoy seeing the limited amount of posts Facebook shows me from my real friends and family, I can see my husband’s stuff on Google Plus, I talk in person with my Denver besty once a week and exchange frequent emails during the week, I talk to my Tampa besty on the phone as often as we can manage and my Daddy doesn’t post all that much anyways.

Friends With Benefits

My Facebook friends have to be friends with benefits to be a part of what I spend my precious time on. Some ways they benefit me include:

  • Posting interesting business stuff that I can share to other networks
  • Posting their own business info so that I can comment and increase our connections
  • Talking about marketing
  • Talking about what is working in their business
  • Sharing interesting or motivational quotes
  • Sharing interesting or motivational stories about people who are succeeding in life or business
  • Posting pictures of rescued dogs (this last one is just because I like great stories about doggies finding forever homes)

I am not that fun in real life. I don’t want to “poke” anyone, join them in a game of “kill the gangsters”, be on their birthday calendar or wish them birthday wishes unless I know-know them, or any other of the other fun, social things that social people like to do. I am sure part of my perplexity at Facebook is just that I am not that interested in doing what some people like to do, again my fault, not Facebook’s.

Profiles For Business

We have been telling our clients lately that growing their Profile is more important than growing their page. Well, it is time to take my own advice and stop trying to make our pages what they once were, a way to connect with new people interested in marketing….sigh.

So the big “kicker” about why you should use a page instead of your profile is the limit of 5,000 friends. Well, I have been on Facebook for quite a while now and have almost 4,000 friends and and 500 followers. I know that I am reaching my limit, but only laziness is keeping me from clearing up another thousand or so people from my friends list who have no real connection to me at this point. I cannot foresee a time when I will need more than 5,000 friends and they can follow me if I reach that limit anyways.

When you have events, it is friends you invite, not people who like your page. When you recommend your page, it is to friends. I just can’t see where focusing on my friends is going to be a bad thing.

Pages You Like

Let’s get back to Facebook thinking they know what I like. I don’t like babies and think they are funny looking and while I applaud my friend efforts to procreate, I would rather see stuff about marketing from pages, stuff that my clients and business friends post and skip the baby pictures. And I HAVE indicated that to Facebook. I have marked many business pages as things I would like to see in my timeline. No go.

To see page posts I have to go…

How To Get To Facebook Pages

…see, all the way down there, #14 on the left? Those are the business pages I have followed. At this point I have to manually go there and click the tiny little link to see what pages have posted. I never actually do that. One of the reasons I don’t is that I am not able to put them into lists like I can on any other social network. I like having lists like Influencers, Marketing Peeps and Email Marketing so I can sort things out and see what everyone is up to. No go.

Business Page Traffic

One of the reasons that we did use Facebook was to drive traffic to our websites. The old page format (which I still have for a while at least) allowed me to put a link to my website front and center (1.) and to have pretty graphics that would prompt people to sign up for our free offers (2.). Those are going away with the new page layout.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that few people ever came to our pages anyways (they tend to like and see wall posts more in theory), BUT at least there was a glimmer of a chance. As you can see, the new design eliminates even that small chance. The arrow is pointing to the tiny little link that you would have to click to see our offers. I would never actually do that so why would I think that anyone else would.

Facebook Old Layout, New Layout

Not to beat a dead horse, I KNOW that this Facebook’s prerogative. They are aggressively trying to make money by aggressively trying to reduce the marketing opportunities that I can get for free. I get that and while I am sad, I will survive, just not by investing my time in Facebook.

See all the changes

Promoting Posts

Did you know that only about 1-2% of the people who have “liked” your page will actually ever see your posts. Let’s consider my Marketing Artfully page. Recent posts have been seen between 5 and 119 views (once). So let’s set 10 as a reasonable estimate of the number of views I can expect to receive on a post. 1,131 Fans with 10 views per post is right in line with what we have heard, about 1% (.88% for you mathy people).

So what makes the difference between a post that gets 11 views, has 6 likes (over 50%), and one share. This post was originally written by a man who is very well respected in the marketing industry:

Facebook Low Views High Shares

And one that gets 119 views, has only 1 like (almost 1%), and one share. This post was also written by a well respected expert.

High Views Low Shares

Who the hell knows why the one with one like and one share beat the crap out of the one had almost 50% likes? Facebook does not share it’s algorithms with us so there is no way that we would construct a plan to figure out how to make that happen again. We would just have to hope that something caught on.

Pay to promote a facebook postBut wait, there is more! I could promote that post which got 119 views to 5,000 to 15,000 more people for the low-low price of just $30. Since it is not a link to my website, I guess my play here would be to gain more likes for my page, which would lead to more views, which would lead eventually to more hits to my website? Okay, let’s go with that!

If Facebook is only showing my posts to 1% of likers and we estimate that 10% of people who actually see a post might click to my site (I made that up, if someone knows an actual number for this, please let me know!) and think a fair return for $30 is 15 clicks ($.50/click) then I would have to have 15,000 likers to get 150 views (1%) to get 15 clicks (10%). This means that ALMOST EVERYONE I have a potential of reaching with that $30 promotion not only has to engage with it, but then has to take the additional step of liking my page for this to make any sense at all to me money wise.

There is NO WAY that is going to happen.

if my math is messed up on this, please let me know!

Am I Deleting All My Pages?

So the company that we started this story with was so glum that they deleted their page with 70,000 likes. That seems ridiculous to me. I am not going to delete any of my pages, I just will not be spending any more time trying to figure out our Facebook Business Pages.

I will post amazing stuff to my profile and I am lucky to have elves that work for me who can post to each of our pages twice a week so that they don’t go fallow. There is still value to having current Facebook pages as that is where many potential clients check to see if you are in business. They can also check my messages and make sure I am not missing anything important.

If you are an entrepreneur doing this yourself shouldn’t take more than an hour or so a week, just make sure when you turn your focus elsewhere you aren’t completely ignoring Facebook.

I am assuming I will have a little bit of a hard time with this. Checking my Facebook bits has become part of my ritual on my phone. Because I am moving my efforts away from Facebook, I will now need to spend more time on productive social networks like Twitter and Google Plus (right now my Pinterest is more personal and less business-y).

But, like they say everything is a habit. If I consciously try to make sure I am hitting the other networks, I will eventually ween myself off!

Small Business Advice

Much of the controversy surround Facebook’s move to a “Pay To Play” model has centered around Brands. For those of you who are not marketing junkies, a brand is Nestle or Oreo or Nike. These companies have deep pockets and lots of man hours available through employees to be able to weather this changeover.

For little guys like me and my clients, reducing time spent on Facebook seems counter-intuitive. Isn’t that were everyone is hanging out? Could be, but they are truly there to like stupid word searches, see pictures of puppies who need rescued and play games.

I think it is time to admit that Facebook is never going to be the small business marketing Mecca it was in the past. That unless you have a huge presence established already, you are going to have to pay to get more “likes” and that those likes are much less valuable than they have been in the past.

It is time to move marketing time and energy over to social networks that are okay supporting business people (Twitter, Pinterest and Google+). Heck, Pinterest actually encourages commerce by allowing price tags.

I Really Tried, For The Love Of God Will You Please Show My Stuff?

If you have gotten down here, you are obviously as marketing obsessed as I am or maybe you are someone who works at Facebook and who has some pull. I understand that you can’t show everyone everything and that you don’t think my normal effort to create compelling content that actually helps people is enough.

BUT TODAY I tried! While I am breaking up with you, I did spend quite a lot of time getting a cute kitten breakup picture. I searched my stock photography site for just the right combination of “I hate your guts and am dumping you” paired with your favorite, cute kittens.

Throw the girl a bone, show this last post that I will be actually trying on to more than 5 people, I beg of you!

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The Best SEO and Social Media Tools

The Best SEO and Social Media ToolsWe find all kinds of great social media tools and SEO analysis sites, but I am not sure we have ever shared them with you!

There are literally thousands of tools that can show you all different aspects of what is working and not working with your internet marketing efforts. We have broken them down into different sites with various functions.

If you have one that I missed, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below. I am happy to find new tools myself and would definitely consider adding it if it really helps!!

Quick Sprout – SEO and Social Shares


Quick Sprout - Social Media and SEO ToolsSprout social is a free SEO and Social Media analysis tool. Functionally, you put in your website and up to three competing websites. They return three kinds of data.

Website Analyzer: Speed, SEO warnings including that my descriptions are too long (they all say that, I am fine with it), backlink counter, social media shares (this seems pretty neat but the numbers for Facebook and LinkedIn seem low and the Pinterest number (0) is factually incorrect), top keywords and SEO recommendations.

Social Media Analysis: This is pretty cool! You can see each of your posts, pages and category pages, seeing where you might want to share more socially or find out which of your content has the best social reach.

Competitor Analysis: A general overview of how your SEO and other bits stack up against your competition. Not that helpful BUT you could do the main search for each of your competitors and then compare to see where they have chinks in their armor that you could exploit.

Neatest Feature: You can download your report in PDF or Excel format.

>> Check out Quick Sprout

Buzzsumo – Social Media Sharing


Buzzsumo Social Media Monitoring ToolsBuzzsumo allows you to put a keyword or domain in to find out what has been shared the most in the category you have selected. I started with “Marketing” and that was absolutely too broad a term to produce any sort of actionable results.

“Social Media Marketing” returned more targeted results BUT they were all from the top players in the industry (Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur, Mashable) but there were 63 pages of results and by going to further down pages I was able to find some new places to get content to share and find out what the social communities where interested in.

It is really interesting to note which are popular on LinkedIn (10 ways to generate media buzz for your startup) and which are Twitter darlings (A social media myth debunked). Depending on your main social site target, you would want to title your posts in very different ways to attract the attention of the various networks.

You can search both by keyword and find the top influencers in that category.

Neatest Feature: There are some really neat filtering tools. Sort by date, type of post and even see “regular people” instead of just the usual suspects.

>> Check out Buzzsumo – Twitter Tool


Hashtagify Twitter ToolsThis is one of my all time favorite Twitter tools. It has a similar technology to what google used to have with showing the connections to various keywords, just this time with hashtags.

Functionally you put in a Hashtag and it shows the most related hashtags. For “marketing” we got leadership, branding, advertising, SEO, socialmedia, social, sales, and business. Clicking socialmedia I got SM, SMM, infographic, facebook, seo, twitter. It is a really great way to find out which hashtags are related!

The top influencers section shows the top 6 people ranking for the hashtag and has a great little flyover that shows how many followers each has. This is great for finding out who to follow on Twitter and to have rock solid data for who to use in your targeted Twitter paid marketing efforts.

>> Check out

Ritetag – Twitter Tool

Three Stars

Rite Tag - Social Media ToolsTo log in you use the open auth login through Twitter. They then rate each of your posts as to how likely they are to be shared.

X – if you don’t have a hashtag. This is why they got three stars. If you have no