Money Doesn’t Equal Success

money-successSomeone once said that, “While money doesn’t buy happiness, it sure does make me giggle a lot.” Obviously, this was said by someone who not only was given money, but also had time to spend it. Because, the truth is, money alone doesn’t create joy; being able to have time to spend it and do things with those you love is what happiness and success truly is. When people want to become entrepreneurs they don’t actually think about the work; they think about the freedom.

What Is Success?

This boils down to what success really is. Success is freedom. Success means that you can take the day off to spend with your kids on a field trip. Success means that if you want to enjoy a leisurely breakfast with your spouse on Sunday morning, you can. Success means that if you want to take that trip to Nepal, you can. Yes, money does help you afford those things, but money is only the means by which you can purchase them and anyone can make money. But, not everyone who has money also has the time to actually enjoy it. Time is finite; money is not.

The Value of Time

Timothy Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week says, “To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”

That’s why prioritizing the things you do things based on money will often backfire. Instead, base everything you do on what kind of time it will cost you. What will it take you away from that you really would rather be doing? Some things, of course, have to be done that we don’t want to do. However, most of those things can be outsourced and worked around the most important things on your to-do list. Most things can simply wait.

People who are truly successful in life realize the truth of the limits of time and they do everything they can to make the most of the time they have. That’s why some of the most successful people you know are so productive. Successful people often live by their calendars and schedules. That might seem unromantic but the truth is, scheduling in work and fun will make your life better by leaps and bounds.

In fact, get out your calendar right now and first schedule in all the things you want to do with your family and for yourself that are not related to work. Once you’ve done that, you can fit in work around those things. That’s the entire point of becoming an entrepreneur – to have freedom, but it’s important that you remember what constitutes freedom. Not money, but time. How much is your time worth?

Book Recommendation – Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking

womm_3d_1_book_with_spineIt’s one of the oldest marketing strategies there is. We are talking about word of mouth marketing. What is it exactly? Basically, your product is so hot, that everyone is talking and sharing it wherever they go. This type of marketing has some companies using a minimum of marketing effort and netting millions of dollars while others are sending thousands down the drain for a product that hasn’t quite caught on yet. Word of Mouth Marketing is written by Andy Sernovitz, a marketing guru who understands how companies make such an easy method complicated.

If you give your customers what they want, they will make money for you. The tone is easy and fun with practical advice for any size company. Discover why people spread the good word about your product, the four rules of this type of marketing, the 5 Ts of word of mouth marketing and the ideas that will revamp your marketing strategy from here on out. Learn how to build trust into your business that means better customer feedback than ever before. Since this book is in Kindle edition, you could begin changing your business in less than sixty seconds.

Word of Mouth Marketing How Smart Companies Get People Talking – Order Here

Write the Book – How to Setup Your Lead Generation Funnel – Part 1 – Strategix Video Tip

This is the first video in a 5-part series on setting up a lead generation funnel on your website. The goal is to attract people who ae interested in what you do to offer their name and email address to you in exchange for valuable information you possess. Watch the video as we explain how to “Write the Book”.

[Tweet “Setup your lead gen funnel – part 1”]

 

10 Lead Nurturing Tips

lead-nurturing-processA lead is someone who has in some way expressed interest in something you have to offer to sale. If you put everything in a funnel with the wide side up, it would look like this:

Leads > Prospects > Customers

You’re going to have many more leads than prospects, and many more prospects than customers. When you get a lead your goal is to qualify them, turning them into a real prospect and then converting the prospect into a customer.

In order to do that, you need to nurture your leads from day one. There are many ways to do this, start with these: ten most important ways to nurture leads and work from there.

Ten most important ways to nurture leads and work from there.

1. Start with a Goal – Do you want to increase sales, educate prospects, get people to download your free trial, or do you want to accomplish something else? It’s important to know what your intentions are from the start so that you can design your lead nurturing campaign to fit in with the goal.

2. Edit, Edit, Edit – Every bit of content that you want to be consumed by your leads needs to be edited for grammar, clarity, and format. You want the information you send them free to represent the type of products and services you offer. If you make silly mistakes, they will notice and yes, they will judge you for it.

3. Outsource – If you are unsure about how to set up a lead nurturing campaign, seek out the help of a professional. There are many professionals that can take a look at your goals and help guide you through the process of what type of information you should push out to your leads.

4. Remember the Drip – Don’t send everything all at once to your leads. Instead, practice the drip system of sending just a little bit of information at a time. Tease them, heighten their desires, and make them want what you have to offer before you give it to them.

5. Consistency Wins the Day – Like with the drip, you need to send out messages and information to your leads on a regular and consistent basis. If someone signs up for your email list, they are expecting to get regular, if not daily messages from you. If you make them short, to the point, and informative, they’ll be happy to get the messages.

6. Use Your Blog – Don’t forget about your blog, too. While you will use your email list to send information out to leads, you can also use your blog, and use the blog update feature within your email marketing system to notify leads of new blog posts. Write some of your blog posts directly to leads as the audience.

7. Know the Buy Cycle – Every audience has a buy cycle according to the products and/or services that a seller is promoting. You should have information going out to leads at every stage of the buying cycle in order to qualify them and ultimately convert them.

8. Understand Your Audience – Nurturing a lead is different from talking to someone who has already purchased from you. Ensure that you separate leads from interested parties and from actual prospects or customers. In this way, you’ll be able to target your messages correctly for the audience.

9. Know Your Products – It should go without saying that you need to know your products and services backwards and forwards. Know how a product or service impacts your audience. Also, remember if you outsource some of this work you’ll need to help your contractors understand your products and services too.

10. Study Your Metrics – As they say, nothing is done without the paperwork. It’s very true about lead nurturing. If you want to be certain that what you’re doing is working, go by the numbers. Before you even start, determine what metrics you’ll study to determine success or failure.

When you embark on a lead nurturing campaign, slow and steady wins the race. Deliver informative and engaging information to your leads on a regular and consistent basis and over time you will convert very happy buyers. Tell us how you are nurturing your leads by adding a comment below.

Search Engine Optimization for Web Marketing Novices

Guest Post by Aaron Houghton of www.boostsuite.com
Aaron Houghton is a co-founder and CEO at BoostSuite.com, the collaborative marketing platform for small businesses. Aaron has over 15 years experience building and selling marketing products to small businesses around the globe.

search engine optimizationSearch engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of acquiring traffic from the organic listings on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo by creating website content and using specific keywords within said content to match relevant search queries. Organic listings are the first 10 results you see on the left of the results page that have a white background. The listings with colored background means they are sponsored, or paid ads. Searchers generally trust organic listings more, because these websites aren’t paying to be placed there. They’re relevant in the eyes of the search engines to the query.

If you want your website to appear on that first page of results for any particular search, you must have that search query (or keyword) located in various places of your website. You must also have links coming into your site from other relevant websites.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. I own a boutique cookbook store. I sell are cookbooks that contain recipes for all the various types of cuisine around the world. I have a brick and mortar shop, but I also have a website. In fact, it’s an e-commerce website, meaning I can sell my cookbooks online. To optimize my website for the search engines, I’m going to make sure that I have a unique page for each and every cookbook I sell.

For my French cookbook by Juila Child, I’ll need to make sure I create one product page specifically for this cookbook. It shouldn’t share a page with a Chinese food cookbook, because that’s irrelevant (to a certain extent). Then I add phrase “French cookbook by Julia Child” in the page title, meta description, page URL, h1 heading, and the body content of the page. If you want to know more information about each of those items, I suggest searching for them!

I may also create a blog post about my newest French cookbook by Juila Child that I just got in earlier this week and provide some teasers about some of the awesome recipes to incentivize people to read, and then purchase the book online, or in my store. That’s more “content marketing” than “SEO“, but the concepts still hold true. This technique works at getting me more inbound links as well because another book store in another city may see my article and link back to it, which would get me a relevant link. The link wouldn’t hold as much weight if it were coming from a custom guitar manufacturer website. See the difference?

If you want people to find you in the search engines for various queries, you need to have those queries all over your site. I don’t mean just go on your website and start stuffing them wherever you can, because you can actually get penalized for doing that. Instead, find relevant places to add the keywords and you’ll start getting the hang of it. There are a lot more intricate aspects of search engine optimization, but the basics are really creating unique content on a page by page basis that contains your keywords or phrases that your target audience searches for in the search engines.

Do you have any other basic tips to provide search engine optimization novices with? Let’s hear them in the comments!

3 WordPress Plugins We Can’t Live Without

We have already expressed a number of times in previous posts how much we love WordPress as a website solution for ourselves as well as our clients. Today we wanted to just highlight 3 great plugins that emphasise why we love WordPress so much – the additional functionality you have available to you. They are all low-cost or no cost add-ons that improve your ability to get your marketing done and hat’s why we love them so much.

#1 – Co-Schedule

We just discovered this one, but it’s already on the 10 list of all plugins we use and recommend. Essentially, CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop editorial calendar for WordPress that puts your blog posts and social media messages on the same schedule. Now we love the fact that WordPress users can save time and grow traffic by scheduling blog posts and social media together on a unified drag-and-drop calendar. It’s the content marketing calendar that WordPress has always been missing. It’s not a free plugin, but it is only $10/month and integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Buffer, and even Google+ Pages.

KEY FEATURES

  • Drag-And-Drop Editorial Calendar
  • Schedule Social Media While You Blog
  • Save Time, Grow Traffic
  • Easily Re-Schedule Old Blog Content
  • Lightweight WordPress Plugin
  • Automated Social Publishing
  • Simple Team Communication
  • All-In-One Publishing Solution
  • No More WordPress Hacking

Take a look at their video as well:

[video_embed url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK3un3Wt_Qo?rel=0″]

#2 – Gravity Forms

We have been using Gravity Forms for years now, but it continues to be the #1 form tool for a number of reasons. It’s easy to implement (in fact you could have a form up and collecting data in under a minute if you really wanted to), it has a ton of pre-build form options, it allows conditional actions (meaning if they select a certain answer, follow up questions can appear), you can collect information and payments all in one form and it allows you connect your form with a variety of other services (like email marketing or CRM) with a simple addon.

This great and essential plugin starts at $39 and has a variety of addons for free and low cost. We love to use it to collect payments and use Stripe to accomplish that (see it in action here: https://getstrategix.com/catalyst-order-form-monthly).

KEY FEATURES

  • Simple Click Form Builder
  • and Custom Form Fields
  • Conditional Logic
  • Order Forms
  • Customize Entry Management
  • Variety of Notifications
  • Customization of Styles & Layout

gravity-forms

#3 – Google Analyticator

The reason we added Google Analyticator to this list, is that it takes your Google Analytics data and breaks it down to the essential information needed to understand what is happening on your website and then adds it as a widget in the Admin panel of your WordPress site. No need to go and log into your Google Analytics account and dig through al the pages because you have all the important data as to what is happening on your site right at your fingertips.

For the budget conscious, here’s the great news – it is totally free (although they do have a pro version available as well – http://www.analyticatorpro.com/pro)

KEY FEATURES

  • Supports Universal (analytics.js) and traditional analytics (ga.js)
  • Includes an admin dashboard widget that displays a graph of the last 30 days of visitors, a summary of site usage, the top pages, the top referrers, and the top searches
  • Includes a widget that can be used to display visitor stat information on the front-end
  • Supports outbound link tracking of all links on the page, including links not managed by WordPress
  • Supports download link tracking
  • Supports event tracking with outbound links / downloads instead of the old pageview tracking method
  • Support site speed tracking
  • Allows hiding of Administrator visits without affecting Google Analytics’ site overlay feature

screenshot-1

There are a ton of other great plugins out there as well and we will review them in the future, but we hope you see how much these plugins can help you with your marketing and as a result increase your bottom line. Let us know your thoughts by adding a comment below.

Developing A Loyal Blog Audience [Infographic]

When it comes to blogging there are all sorts of opinions on how to do it. There are all sorts of suggestions on how often to blog, but the one thing everyone can agree on is that blog loyalty is definitely the ultimate goal. Who doesn’t want their prospects and customers regularly coming to their site and reading the posts they have spent such a long time crafting. The problem is, it just doesn’t happen often enough, especially for smaller companies with a very small audience. So how can you maximize your content? This infographic by Quick Sprout explains how you can go about achieving that goal. The 3 main pieces of advice we can glean from this is to: focus on producing quality content, respond to comments and build your personal branding.
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Catch Me If You Can – Strategix Video Tip

Do you feel like you are always chasing your prospects? Do you even know who is visiting your site? Do you know how much you could be losing by not catching them? Let’s look at a way we can not only catch our visitors, but find out why they came in the first place.

A Match Made in Heaven – WordPress and Social Media

social-media-and-your-websiteWith the explosion of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, small companies might be wondering if they even need a business website.

Since social media sites offer many of the tools that a website offers, it may seem that social networking has now replaced the traditional business websites; but there are several things that a professional business website can offer that social media cannot.

However, WordPress makes linking social media to your company website easier than any other platform. Not only that, but going forward, your website and social media can work together to help you get more eyes on your business.

Here are some reasons you will always need a company website, in addition to social media:

  1. You Are the Owner  – When you create a WordPress website, you become the owner of it. Since WordPress is a content management system (CMS), it will never be sold and you’ll always have your own domain name. Although social media is a powerful way to engage with customers and bring in new business, all of your content placed on a social media site will be associated with the site’s brand.
  2. You Are in Control – On social media sites, users have an array of options, such as games, chats, pictures, and other business pages they can visit. With your own business website, you control everything that happens.
    There are no “social” features that distract your visitors, keeping the focus on your products and services. Additionally, readers won’t be bogged down with competitor advertisements.
  3. The Credibility Factor – While social media certainly helps your image via customer engagement and support, nothing can replace the authority that a high-quality, professional website brings. Having your own professional website and consistently loading it up with quality content can boost your credibility and ultimately drive in new business.

Keep in mind, however, that the best course of action is to incorporate social media into your business website. This way, you will have the best of both worlds.
You’ll be able to identify yourself as true leader in your industry through social engagement, as well as a professional website that accurately represents your brand. Tell us how you are using social media on your website to gorw your brand by adding a comment below?

Basic Internet Marketing Tips for Start-Ups

Guest Post by Steve Myring of molchester.uk
Steve Myring is owner and CEO of
Molchester Digital Marketing Agency

It goes without saying that without proper marketing and advertising, companies are bound to suffer in this age of stiff competition. Owners of start-ups usually get confused which marketing strategy to follow to taste long-term success. In today’s tech-driven age, online marketing is the key to visibility in the online space. This means you need to advertise your company through online ‘word of mouth’ tactics via the Internet.

Online marketing usually refers to four main categories SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and paid advertisement. For a start-up, choosing the right online marketing method is critical to the organisation’s success in the long run. Let’s go through the above mentioned four categories and understand their potential along the way.

Tip One: Search Engines Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the method of ranking a website on various popular search engines. People looking for information on a particular product or service prefer websites that appear on the first page of Google, Yahoo, or Bing’s organic search results. #SEO plays a crucial role in converting the internet searchers into potential buyers.

So every company vying for a slice of online visibility needs to achieve a high ranking on search engines to start getting maximum online traffic on their website. Highly skilled online marketers use a number of methods to optimise a site for search engines like using specific keywords, developing relevant content, and following SEO guidelines carefully.

Tip Two: Content Creation and Distribution

If you are marketing your business online, you must explore the power of quality content to attract a large number of readers to your site. Not only text blogs, and articles, as part of your content marketing strategy, you should also add images and videos to increase visibility, appeal and engagement factor of your content marketing efforts.However, it is not just about creating quality content, you also need to market it through the right channels or else you are wasting your time and effort..

Tip Three: Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest have become widely popular with millions of active users worldwide. As such social media has become an important part of online marketing. You can open an account on these sites to start interacting with millions of people talking about your company and its products. Through social media interaction, you can reach out to more people anytime, at any part of the world. You can create a community of people interested in your start-up and easily share relevant content and useful links/product videos with them. Not only that, you easily analyse your performance and ROI in real-time to monitor the impact of your strategies.

Tip Four: Paid Advertising

Through paid adverts on Facebook Advertising or Google AdWords, you can easily reach out to more number of people in less time. The pay per click model or #PPC refers to the method of paying the publisher only when a potential buyer clicks on the advert, which is a cost-effective marketing method that allows you to set your hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly budget.

Choosing the right internet marketing method is not an easy task; you might have to go through several trials and errors until you understand which strategies are the best fit for your business. In fact, you need to juggle with 2-3 different methods until you get what modern marketers call “the right marketing mix”.