What a cool feeling when you’re working on your own business…
One of the best feelings ever, right?
Do you pull all nighters too, like me?
But you gotta be careful, there is a dark side…
It’s all too easy to get your credit card out spending money on things you don’t actually need…
Often it’s hard to know what you do actually need, what will help your business build and grow…
Make no mistakes ” business cash flow” is the main cause of business failure…I’ve been there…
Here are some tips on what you don’t have to spend money on too soon..
An all singing and dancing website with bells and whistles
Stay away from this, unless the website is designed and actively made to achieve sign-ups and rank excellently for search terms don’t waste tens of thousands of dollars on design…
Of course you need a website, but one that converts, KEEP IT SIMPLE.
It’s tempting to think you need an “office” to be a “real” business, but do you really? In this day and age we can work remotely very easily, that’s smart. Meetings can be conducted in swanky hotels or client venues…
Having said that having a barrier between work and home life is essential, so if you do work from home be sure everyone knows your boundaries and your “I’m at work” time…
Don’t invest in physcial locations until you really can step up and afford it, it can be a huge expense on your business…
Glossy artwork and fancy brochures
You’ll get pitched to that you need all this fancy artwork to get going, but you don’t…
Just get some business cards first and go from there…
No kidding I have boxes of old leaflets (THOUSANDS) sitting under my desk never used…
Branded stuff works well once you have disposal cash…
Advertising in magazines and newspapers
I would stay well clear of this until you are generating sales from good solid relationships you have built up…
Instead use Facebook ads or Google ads linked to a cool offer landing page on your website… far better return on investment…
Yes do this, build relationships, but don’t throw money at events unless there is opportunity to build relationships…
Definitely don’t pay to have a stand at a conference until you have a stunning sales process in place to capture leads… you’ll be disappointed… and waste your money..
This can catch you out big time… in fact the step from going from a single person to having a team is tricky…
In the short term you can use freelancers, when you feel you are generating enough new business to warrant a new member of staff, then move… BUT NOT UNTIL you are generated those sales…
Cheers for now.
So, today I’ve been funnel hacking some webinar scripts.. which I must say I do love…
Don’t know what funnel hacking is?…
It’s buying a product online that is in a niche that you are interested in also selling into and working out their sales funnel… de-engineering it….
It’s a fine activity to do and then of course emulate, and if possible improve…
Only yesterday I was talking to a local client of mine, Danny..
Danny has a small business and wants to load up his pipeline of work through the winter, so I’ve spoken to him about building out a product specific landing page….
Once his awesome landing page about THAT ONE SINGLE product is made (it doesn’t take long) I advised him to get some Google ads pointing to his landing page….
Not sure if you are trying this yourself? It works like a charm…
I’ve used the activity for years, actually more than a decade…probably nearer to two decades!!
Damn that makes me sound old…
Anyway, it goes like this…
Google user enters a specific search term… Danny’s add is displayed.. user clicks on the add.. lands on Danny’s specific ONE SINGLE PRODUCT landing page, and because it’s such a cool offer the user calls Danny… or signs up… or whatever the call to action it…
It’s that simple…
Anyway it’s on my mind a lot right now as I am building out sales funnels for some of my own new products that I’m building towards launch….
As you are a valued subscriber you’re gonna get that news first, and of course I’ll tell you exactly how I am doing it along the way.
That’s it for now, I gotta go and collect my eldest daughter from Gym.
Last week I told you that Google will start penalising websites that are not SSL compliant….
Well here are two amazing clients of mine that are winners!
Sophi from Cornish Art Gallery took this step and got secure…
Jamie from Cornwall Landscaping & Paving also took this step…
This is from Google itself…
“The secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol is used by secure sites to encrypt communication between the server and the user’s browser…
In order for a site to be SSL-compliant, all elements loaded onto the site must also use SSL…
If a non-secure creative is served onto a secure site, it can prompt a warning in the user’s browser, cause ad serving problems or even cause the entire page to be blocked…”
As mentioned I can do this work for you, even if you are not a client currently, just ask for a quote – all sites are so very different.
Don’t ignore this, get it done either by me or whoever administers your website(s).
Email me on chris [@] audana.com if I can help.
That’s all for now.
I’m starting to create some video content about the journey on my next new venture….
Seeing as you are a valuable subscriber you are getting my content first, and I appreciate that…
Click here to go and watch it…
Do subscribe to my YouTube channel…
I’ll be talking about my latest business and telling you exactly what I am doing along the way as I build…
I’m super psyched about it…
I’m going to tell you about Quotes On Twitter : How To Generate Leads On Autopilot.
I talk about why it works for me in generating leads and growing my audience.
Basically put, quotes on Twitter works for retweets, and growing your audience.
When I started using Twitter in early February in 2007 it was a very clunky experience, it was awesome but it was clunky.
Back then it was adopted by the people that were neck-deep in Internet work. People like me, running Internet businesses, or working in digital marketing. It felt like the whole platform was run on a bedroom desktop computer. In fact, I think it was pretty much something similar to that. The “fail whale” joke was born, referencing the website down image of a whale.
We didn’t mind too much, it comes with early adoption of technologies somewhat.
Fast forward to 2016 and things are slick, the site is permanently on, grown massively and the communication has changed, the way it is used it entirely different.
I used to use Twitter for chatting with students, or asking for advice, shooting the breeze. It was all very non-promotional. I do still use Twitter for this but I also now use it differently, and to look to generate leads, which it does.
The problem is this.
It’s a time commitment, I mean it really really takes time, not only to think up content but also to post.
What I have found works well recently is using quotes and hashtags, and automated ones at that.
I have written before on this blog (years ago I might add), about how automation on twitter is a no go. However, I have changed my view on this and now it works very well. And to be honest if it does work well just do it.
Quotes On Twitter : How To Generate Leads On Autopilot
Well, we just love reading things that relate to us. If we stumble across a quote in our Twitter stream that resonates there is a good chance we will do one of two things:
- Like it – or heart it
- Retweet it
It doesn’t matter if we see 50 quotes, sooner or later one will absolutely resonate with a customer and we will be emotionally harmonised to act.
Use hashtags with your Twitter quotes
If you’re not tuned into hashtags on Twitter you should be.
Search activity on twitter is often conducted using hashtags. Include some appropriate hashtags with your quote tweets. Potential customers will find your content that are not following you.
This is attraction marketing, customers attracted and resonating with your quote. The quote does not have to be your words. Use quotes of well known inspiring leaders, it doesn’t matter, if you align with it, that’s OK.
Automate your twitter quotes
You have a lot of options when it comes to automated tweeting.
One of my current favorites is SocialJukebox which has a free option, which includes a hundred or more quotes ready to go.
Choose your platform and put Twitter to work on auto-pilot.
That’s it for now.
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Comment below and have your say.
Having been involved with the web, in a business sense, since the mid 90s I’ve found that it has been essential to practise search optimisation (SEO) in every aspect of my online work from forums, blogs, articles and links, you name it, my head is in SEO.
If you are reliant on the internet for your traffic it makes crystal clear sense that you ought to optimise all of your content for the search engines, to provide them tasty food that will keep them coming back for more, time and time again.
Ignoring appropriate SEO is akin to taking cash and setting fire to it, if your site is not optimised to rank very well you are simply throwing away prospects and essentially income, from whatever means that may be, affiliate links, google adsense or product up-selling.
I’m also fully aware of the power of “word-of-mouth” or new/social media communities and I am an advocate for that approach 100%, but the secret really is in a blended approach, you can have a large community all digging your content for you with various tools, but that community is infinitesimally small to the power of ranking on the first page of google within a competitive niche, period.
The other thing many people working exclusively in social or new media don’t always get is that their own tight-knit community of “diggers” are often not the prospects, not the customers, so hence no income generation!
I have operated Search Optimisation for a variety of clients over the years helping them to optimise for their niche market, tweaking code and content here and there and creating a variety of campaigns and methods for organic growth of back-links (essential activity), of course social media now helps immensely with the later IF the rel=”nofollow” tag is omitted.
I am available for SEO and Social Media contracts, just inquire and we can have a chat about what you want to achieve.
I’ll gently challenge you and leave you with the tools to empower yourself too.
Recently republished, written a few years ago.
Net casting (in recent years known as podcasting), started for me, way back in the 90s.
I first had a web domain back in the 90s which was an audio service catering for musicians, classical and jazz mostly, I used to record a variety of performances and make them available on the internet for download, and some of these were to “show-off” new violin builds for example, by way of comparative recordings, kind of like A/B recordings. Of course back then this was a fairly time-consuming process due to restrictive speed connections.
Around 2000 I started Audiocourses.com (edit: since sold this business) as a post-graduate research project, as distance learning school for music production, sound engineering, and immediately made recorded voice content avaliable for download and streaming. Most of this audio was me giving tutorials in the RealAudio format, on topics such as music production, mixing etc. Being RealAudio format meant listeners could stream fairly easily from the site, RealAudio would select the bandwidth setting automatically for the user. Incidentally these early streams are still available on the Audiocourses.com downloads section and are dated to autumn 2002!
Throughout the early 90’s I uploaded more and more audio content, including such things as drum samples, sound effects and complete 24 track recording studio sessions. I then started audio blogging, which saw me using the telephone as an audio-blogging tool, I also rolled this service out for students, which enabled them to blog their thoughts simply by using a telephone, this was very popular, was quite a buzz chatting into a cell phone back in 2003 and having the content appear on a site as an audio file.
It is since the addition of the enclosure tag in RSS feeds that the concept of “podcasting” (a misguided name, in my opinion) somewhat “popularised” the concept of internet audio and video, but in essence the only thing that had changed (albeit an excellent change) was that content could be downloaded automatically. The fact is that audio/video content had been cast over the net for many years before this.
Having been “waist-deep” in audio content over the web for a number of years I had always toyed with the idea of a “radio show” for sometime (I did a number of radio style streams back in 98/99), but it wasn’t until 2006 that I decided that perhaps a regular show might be damn good therapy for myself and provide added value to the Audiocourses.com site visitors. I’ve always been very keen to ensure clients and students have plenty of virtual community building tools, a distance learning school is all about a sense of something virtually powered, so AC Radio (formally AC Podcast) was born.
Since then I have also introduced some other audio casting services including a text to speech service on SLEDucating, and a soon to be active cast on Audana (both called podcasts, but yes I have issues with that). I also have pro-audio news converted to aggregated audio on AC.
Whilst Podcasting seems to be a current popular term I have now decided to come full circle and reject it, basically just using net cast, or radio, or stream, as to be frank 50% of my current listener’s just stream right off the websites, as they have for years. The other issue is that the word Podcasting is very confusing for non-tech people, (no pod needed). I’m not alone in thinking the term podcasting will be dropped in the future, I of course may be wrong, but Radio, or cast, is far more widespread and understandable which is my excuse for sticking with it, plus I may also actually broadcast some of my shows live, which gives some more validity to using the term radio, even though technically I’ll probably not use radio waves, in the electromagnetic sense.
Recently I have been capturing sound in my car and calling these Car Casts, as well as a new fun brain dump called the Running Man Radio show, where I take a portable recorder out on my road runs.
- Make helping people your #1 goal
- Live in the now and take time to smell the roses because you never know when they’ll be gone forever
- Leave no stone unturned in your quest for success (everything matters)
- Taking action always beats creating ideas (I keep an ideas book to get that stuff out of my head so I can focus and rarely revisit it)
- Realize sloppiness is your enemy (attention to detail in all areas of your life creates massive self-esteem that spills over into your confidence, sales and profits)
- Opening a relationship doesn’t start by closing a sale (i.e. rapport and value always beat cheesy sales tactics)
- Talking to people is always the answer (more sales, more customers, more knowledge, more progress)
- Trust your gut
- Be the best version of you (imagine someone’s watching EVERYTHING you do and act accordingly)
- Leave no stains (anything you do which causes guilt, resentment or disappointment in yourself will eat away at you – don’t give those negative voices a chance to attack you)
- It’s about your LIFE, not your business (the journey of becoming a better person and helping others is the best thing you will get out of this, the business and money is a by-product)
- Find the best experts then model, mimic and be mentored by them
- Be a Player and not a Victim in your business (no excuses, everything is your responsibility)
- If you’ve done something twice, outsource it (only do what only you can do)
- No sale is worth selling out for
- Your customer isn’t king, you are (you decide who gets on your bus and who you kick off)
- Don’t take crap from anyone (including customers and prospects)
- Always be learning
- Invest more per year on your own personal development than you do on entertainment
- If it ain’t broke – test it (good is not good enough, find a better way)
- Create a crowd (don’t try to please all people just find YOUR people then make them happy)
- Money loves speed (good today beats perfect tomorrow)
- Leaders are readers
- Schmoozers are losers (networking is dead – develop ways of attracting customers to you directly)
- Ask your people to spread your good word
So I’ve had a call today from a magazine regarding privacy in a social media setting, and what better way to get some answers than to include you.
Here are the questions:
- How do we change our settings?
- What info should we not to give eg address?
- What to think about – would you want your boss knowing this info?
- What should you be doing on your Facebook privacy settings at the very least?
- Is tweeting pictures of your baby safe?
- How can you set up a blog that only friends and family can see?
I have lots of views on this subject but I’d rather use this post to get a bit of chat going with you, cause I know you’ll have a thing or too to say also. Care to get involved?
You’ll hear me talk a lot about educating your customers, this generally comes under the subject known as “content marketing”. Essentially then you are using content, that YOU generate to educate your leads and customers. You should be creating content specific to your niche market. For me then, I am educating you in specific techniques and strategies concerning digital marketing.
You should be thinking about search engines finding your content. That is to say you actively write content based on what you think someone looking for your services will type into Google. You can also write about a subject or issue that current customers may be experiencing, thus further aiding helping their endeavors.
For each single entry as a blog post/article it will create a unique link in Google that your site may be found with, if you write 200 articles, that would mean there are 200 additional links that may match with what a lead may type into Google.
Text or Images?
You should use a combination of both, but you must always consider that Google’s preference is text, and lots of it. Google understands text very well and by using lots of text you are able to help Google understand precisely what your article is about. This article then is based on why you should be using small images on websites.
As well as understanding the text of a webpage, Google also places a lot of importance on the page load speed, i.e. how quickly the page loads. It does this because generally speaking the faster a page loads, the better the user experience is. If you think about that for a sec it makes a lot of sense. How many times have you clicked the back button when you have been waiting for a webpage to load? It’s pretty irritating if it take more than a second, isn’t it?
So when you use large images this has a serious impact on page load speed, which is, well, very not good.
What Size Then?
When I refer to image size I am generally referring to the file size, not so much the physical size. I am talking about how many KBs or worse MBs the image uses up.
In the above image I used for this article the original image was whopping 4MB, which frankly is enormous and will take much longer to load than say one at 1MB or 0.5MB. In fact the lower you can get the image, and still retain quality, the better. The one above I got down to 106KB which is 0.1MB more or less, which loads near instantaneously.
Most computers will have some basic image editing software on them, for example all PCs will have Paint. You can open paint and simply re-size the physical size of images to a size that the page needs. In this example I lowered the original 4MB image down from 4000 x 3000 pixels to 600 x 400, thus reducing the file size to a great 106kb.
Don’t Be Lazy
It’s easy to think you can throw any size image at a website and all will be taken care of by the website software itself. Whilst this is true in some cases, such as WordPress for example, it will still mean you will be filling up your website space quota unnecessarily. For example most of our client plans have a dedicated space allocation of let’s say 200MB. If you then create posts with 4MB images in them it will not take too long before you’ve used up all your space, 50 posts in fact. Whereas if you used images of 1MB each you’d be able to post 200 articles. This is sensible thinking then for page load speed and space allocation. Additional space can always be bought/upgraded but with this simple file size tactic you can get more for your money.
Facebook Makes Us Lazy
Social networks like Facebook make us lazy because we simply just dump our images onto the platform and assume it’s endless. The catch though is that it is not really free, Facebook creates the pay-off through advertising, so you are bombarded all day with paid adverts, revenue generating mechanisms that do indeed afford you to keep dumping huge images into the portal. Your own website probably doesn’t come with a billion dollar technology base behind it, and therefore use your space wisely.
Reduce your image file size before uploading, it’ll mean you get better page load speeds and more posts within your data allocation.