My Most Powerful Email Ever

Here’s a story as told to me by a fellow online marketer:

There was a time, back in the 90’s, when some of us were doing something called “fax blasting.”

This was similar to email marketing, in that we were sending out faxes via a service to people who had expressed interest in our niche.

And frankly, we made very good money using this method.

Obviously it wouldn’t work today, but there was one lesson I learned via fax blasting that I’ve never forgotten.

I was working one of those multi-level programs that were so popular then.

I’d send out a blast of 1,000 faxes, and recruit several people into the program without even talking to them. Yes, it was that easy, if you had the right copy.

I would then continue to keep them updated via fax or email, their choice.

And there was one message I sent out that got more response than all of my other messages combined.

In fact, I was frankly shocked at the response. People referred to that message on personal calls, conference calls, in emails and so forth.

Quite simply, it resonated like nothing else I ever sent.

So what was the message? It was simply me rambling on a bit about my typical working day: When I got up; when, where and how I worked; when I finally got to bed and a couple of amusing but personal anecdotes.

It was something I dashed off without much thought, yet it was the message that everyone wanted to hear.

Why? Because it was personal stuff about me.

I was their upline. And in marketing, people like to buy people, not things. If you think about it, there are probably a dozen or maybe a hundred other people selling the same or nearly the same things you’re selling.

Yet your customers buy from you. Why? Because they like YOU. Maybe they like the way you write, or talk, or the look of you… I don’t know. But I do know there is something about you that they relate to.

So next time you send out an email or write a blogpost, put a little bit of YOU into it, and see what happens.

And make that a pattern, always offering a little insight into the mystery that is you.

While it will never be your main message, it will go a long way to bridging the distance between you, your customers and making sales.

Some Important Internet Marketing Skills

If you are going to start an online business there are a number of Internet marketing skills that should be acquired. Many of these skills are important for success in any industry. Many are developed within, such as determination and motivation. You need self-confidence and a desire for accomplishment.

Do it Right!
Anybody doing anything anywhere needs the ability to stay positive. There may be periods especially in the beginning where business is slow or non-existent just yet. You need a strong mindset to keep yourself from becoming discouraged during these times. The situation should make you try harder rather to give up or slack off because ‘what is the use’.

Being capable of remaining focused is a huge internet marketing skill – and usually needed for anything where you hope to accomplish something specific. Chaos can be a prevalent atmosphere in business. One can be totally overwhelmed especially if they were not organized before the chaos set in. Organization is one of those skills that you need for practically anything.

Being organized is almost required, particularly for someone who is trying to navigate anything new. It is best when you are trying to focus on something that you remove other unrelated things from your space so that they do not distract you.

Planning is very important and is a big part of being organized and helping you to focus on what needs to be done. Just as people use maps so that they know which way to go, planning will save you so much time because you won’t need to do as much trial and error.

Writing is a key Internet marketing skill. You will need to write for advertising, email marketing , networking with peers, prospects and customers, and blogging to promote your business online. It is important that you express yourself clearly especially because you probably don’t have the opportunity to explain what you mean in a live conversation as you would if you were in retail or offline.

The last thing you need to close a sale is an important question they have before they make the purchase. If it requires back and forth emails or calls to ask and answer a question, it can mean they will just move on to something that is less trouble or that they can do right now.

Under no circumstances should you cave to your inclination to say you can’t or won’t write. You need to figure out how if that is the way you feel, or be willing to pay for writers. In the long run money concerns aside, it is to your own benefit to do things for yourself. In any case, be very friendly and responsive in your communications with prospects, customers and peers.

Home-Based Business Start-Up – Maintaining a Mindset for Success

When we are making a final determination as to whether we could set up a successful home business we should really ask ourselves the following.

keep a stiff upper lip
If we were our own boss, would we really do the work we need to do? Will we keep working diligently even though at first (and maybe for quite some time) we will not be paid? Will we be able to keep investing our time and effort and maybe a few dollars into our business for an extended period without seeing any return on investment? Will we be able to keep from feeling discouraged through this period?

You will need to be down in the trenches until you get everything set up, including some trial and error. The ‘magic sauce’ doesn’t sound very glamorous from this vantage point, does it? This is why you have to maintain a positive mindset. The work and sacrifice are exactly what makes the difference between make it or break it and not just at start-up but going forward as well.

So there is no point in wasting your time and other resources to start something you won’t be able to finish. That is why it is such a good idea for you to explore the possibilities first. Don’t forget that there are some business models that you may like more than others. So try a few on for size before you decide.

Also think about the goals you want to achieve if you do go into creating a home business. Do you just want to supplement your income with some extra cash? Do you actually badly need to bring in more income as what your job provides is not sufficient for a nice lifestyle?

Did you lose your job and now need to find a way to support yourself? (In this case it is probably advisable to get at least another part-time job first ) and work on your business start-up part-time (unless you have savings, severance pay, and/or unemployment insurance to tide you over). You have to have living expenses while you are developing your business.

Contrary to popular wishful thinking, starting a business is not going to generate income immediately. It needs to be developed over time with lots of effort. Just think logically – if we could send out 10 emails and then sit back and wait for the cash to roll in, why wouldn’t we all do it? The answer is because nothing like that exists (legally). It is more like 100’s of emails on a consistent basis over time that might produce some cash.

So do you think you can do it? I bet you can if you can maintain a mindset that is determined and motivated.

Are You Standing in Your Own Way for a Successful Home Business?

There are some mindsets that may prevent people from realizing their full potential when trying to get their home business started. Most ideas require more than a ‘vision’ to manifest. We have to make them happen by investing our time and effort to engage in w-o-r-k.

don't let anything stop you
There are sometimes symptoms when there are obstacles people can’t seem to transcend. ‘Paralysis by analysis’ is one such self-limiting condition. Paralysis by analysis is where people get stuck in the learning curve – like a hamster wheel. All they want to do is just keep reading and researching. They never reach a point where they can believe they know enough to actually take action with any of the information they have acquired in all their time of ‘study’.

Paralysis by analysis is very much like stage fright. However, it can also be a more or less permanent excuse to avoid doing the actual work, and even to insulate themselves from potential failure. We will never know if we could have success or failure unless we try.

Some unfortunate souls have been beaten down by negativity from their family or other acquaintances in their lives. They are more likely not to have a lot of self-confidence and are likely to feel a little insecure. However it is no excuse to fail. Don’t let the enemy have the victory. Learn to resist feelings that keep you from achieving your dreams.

The only solution is to take action. Ignore excuses your mind tells you that supposedly may preclude you from success. If you just defy that part of your mindset and do it anyway, you will overcome that and eventually those bad feelings. You will have the self-confidence to do it and actually you did do it. If it isn’t the best thing you will ever write or create, don’t worry. You will learn as you gain experience.

If when you are new, you don’t know that you have any experience that you can honestly write about, then take something written by someone more experienced, and review that or even quote them. Be sure to remember the quote marks and any URL links provided by the author so that you give the author credit for their work (and don’t get a copyright infringement lawsuit).

Then we have people that perceive a million problems. If there are any actual errors, identify and correct them. Done. Be logical when trying to solve a problem. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – contact support, or contact a peer or mentor who would be willing to help you. Resolve the issue and then move on.

If you still haven’t found the answer, still move on. Make a note to revisit the issue at some other time. Just don’t allow whatever it is to stop you in your progress. If you never find your answer, allow yourself to create an alternative.

Some problems people may imagine do not even exist in reality. Even things like no money for advertising or other operations. Just learn techniques that you can do yourself for free or at an affordable cost. You could sacrifice something that is not essential in order to do something you need to do for your home business.

Got Writer’s Block? Blogging for Internet Marketing

Writer’s block is probably more about a lack of ideas to write about than the actual inability to write. When someone is new and they can’t really determine how successful they have been yet, some people will feel they have nothing to say or that they could swear is true since they haven’t had the experience. These are just temporary obstacles if a person really wants to write.

write ON!
Marketers NEED to be able to write – no matter what. No excuses unless you can afford to pay for Ghostwriters, Blogging is the primary FREE way to promote a domain, website or business. This is not just a ‘file and forget’ fact. To do so would be to waste a valuable strategy that would create an opportunity to have your site(s) indexed by the search engines and get free traffic.

We must force ourselves to write, and it is not only blogging, but writing ads, communicating with our prospects, customers, and peers; trying to convey an issue to a technical or customer service agent when we have a problem or question, and participating in social networks and forums.

Most people starting out in Internet Marketing don’t have a lot of money to spend at first, maybe even for the first several months when you are not yet generating a substantial income. This is one of the reasons that you need to just do it! Sit down and start writing. Write anything.

Pretend you are writing a letter to a friend if that helps.
You do want to write as if you are open and relaxed as you would with a friend. Nobody needs to create a text book or technical specifications here, just be able to clearly convey an idea or concept – even an opinion works. Of course in some cases especially on the technical side, being able to quote statistics and citing specifications is more powerful than just your opinion.

Try to be conscientious of correct spelling and grammar, which only requires proofreading and being as accurate as possible. Very quick and easy to look up a few words on a search engine if you are not sure how it is spelled or what it means.

Most Wordprocessors have spell check so that should help too. (however they are not advanced enough to recognize some things such as words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context – for example – ‘Right me a letter’ should be ‘Write me a letter). Just take a few minutes to browse through what you have written before you publish it. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just close!

You can write about what you are learning, and/or your opinion of things that you read. Reading is an excellent way to get ideas for what to write about. Never copy word for word, but you can just rewrite anything in your own words.

Be honest if you have not yet experienced something first-hand or earned a substantial amount of money from it – There is nothing wrong with quoting people who have, as long as you are truthful and give credit to the author. Use “quote” marks to indicate you are quoting, not composing, to make this acceptable. There are tools that people use to check if their writing is being copied by someone else without their permission or not giving credit to the original author, so beware. Write ON!

Your Home Business – Be Sure to Create a Business Plan

To be sure you stay on track, which is easier when organized, you should have at least a tentative plan. You need to know if you have any money you can invest in your business or you must find free ways to do everything at first. You should have a plan so that you can commit your time.

know where you are going
Your qualifications and skill-set that you have acquired in your working lifetime are the core assets you have to work with. They represent the foundation that you will build upon to create a profitable business. You can always get a lot of free information and even ‘formal’ training online if you would feel better to update your skills.

It is fairly important that you be confident in what you can bring to the table when starting a business of your own. You may need to learn to use simple technology, and even learning about a new industry or niche may be on the agenda for you. Since you will be technically ‘self-employed’ it is more or less up to you what you do or don’t do. Probably best if you can avoid doing things you really don’t like if they are not necessary. If necessary then learn to live with it.

It may help you to do some self-assessment exercises at the planning stage of developing a business. Like an inventory, listing what exactly you have to work with. This will make you feel strong and/or point to things you may need to get some more details about before you can proceed.

On purpose or not, you will be learning lots of new things as you go along – even while still in the planning stage. If you have an open-mind and are willing to learn and to do the work necessary, you will do fine. It is best to get anything you need to learn out of the way so that it doesn’t become an obstacle that keeps you from making progress.

Be honest and play a role reversal game. Take stock of your skills and attitudes about work and ask yourself if you would you hire you? Apply for a job in your own home business. Write a cover letter resume and state why you are qualified for the job and really believe you are the best candidate and should be chosen for the position.

Remember not to use ‘convincing’ behavior or ‘selling’. Merely present yourself and leave it at that. (selling and convincing can create an atmosphere where people will resist rather than cooperate) if you do not do it in the right way.

Use power words to describe your assets such as for example, accurate, dependable, reliable, flexible, proactive, timely, can learn quickly, are efficient and enjoy helping others. Spell out your skills – mainly emphasizing the duties for the available position. You can also include ‘life’ skills. For example you were on a debate team, or committee at your church or club.

Final Exercise: Provide actual statistics and other information to demonstrate where you have had on-the-job experience using your skills. Provide the position title and define all the duties that you performed. Give length of experience and special recognition, promotions, and accomplishments. Be sure to include references the employer can contact.

Things to Consider When Designing a Business Opportunity Website

Although there may be some important things to consider if you are designing a business opportunity website, the main focus should be to attract search engines so they will direct traffic to your site. It is also highly relevant to attract prospects that may become customers.

biz op site
With regard to search engines, it is actually best to focus on one niche at least per page if not the entire site. You want to make it easy for your site to be added to their index. That index is very important to any business because this is where people will find the links they have queried.

A swipe file that has a good list of keywords that you can use to help you in creating your content (information and advertising, etc.) is very helpful for defining your focus. “Targeted traffic” is the best kind of traffic as it zones in on your keywords (niche). Targeted traffic focuses on what you have to offer.

One of the main tasks for creating either content or a business opportunity website is keyword research. This is a very important and should not be overlooked. To do this you would take the obvious ‘root’ words that you know of that refer to your business, such as ‘home business’, ‘business opportunity’, ‘affiliate marketing’ and etc., to start with. There are various keyword research tools that you can use online and you can see how to build ‘more keywords from these root words to build your list of keywords.

For example phrases like ‘online home business ideas’, ‘money-making affiliate programs’, ‘best online business opportunity’, use those root keywords and show you a variety of ways to use them in your writing content and advertising. These phrases are referred to as ‘long tail keywords’ in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

You can use those root words in different ways so that your content doesn’t sound boring or spammy (repeating the same phrase over and over again). With just little twists you can keep your writing interesting (and not get slapped for spamming keywords); and you can actually rank for multiple keywords in the same document.

With some of the better keyword research tools, they will show you more ways those root words are used and how many sites are using them in various formats. You can focus on using the root words in a way that fewer of your competitors are using them so there is less competition for that word or phrase. For example you see that 1000 websites use ‘home business ideas’ but only 500 use ‘ideas for a home business’. See how your chances may be improved with the tiny twist?

If you build your website to include a blog or at least to have a blog that is linked to your website, this makes it much easier to submit ‘fresh content’ to your website. This is an important factor as search engines like ‘fresh’. It is much easier to add a blog post than to try to keep redesigning a static HTML website your site has something ‘different’ that the search engines will re-index. As well, with a blog you can easily add meta “tags”, on the fly for each one of your posts rather than the old-school tedious HTML code.

To have a strong foundation for your business opportunity website or content, you just need to focus on welcoming your human traffic (prospects). For them the site should be easy to navigate with organized menus and site maps so that they can find exactly what they are looking for – ideally in multiple ways, without getting lost in the process.

How to Create Compelling Content for your Home Business Blog

Your content should have useful information, you don’t want to create a text bookish atmosphere that will bore people. Without sounding academic, there are many ways you can present value — information that people need or at least will enjoy. Just imagine you are writing to a friend so that you can project a warm atmosphere.

write on!

Experts on writing teach that if you don’t catch someone’s attention right off that you will lose them – they won’t stick around to read the rest of the article. Hence, you should use exciting words, especially in your subject or title to grab the reader’s attention. You want to attract the reader and then hold their attention. This is sometimes referred to as ’emotional writing’.

Emotional writing can be seen as dramatic or compelling. It is a good idea to do some keyword research and make a ‘swipe file’ with words that are both key to your articles subjects and exciting. In advertising and sales, there are many ways in which this works — using time constraints: ‘this is your last chance’, ‘don’t miss out’. Scarcity: ‘last 5 in stock’ the ‘next 8 callers only’; Excitement: ‘must have’, ‘secret tips’, ‘top of the line’, ‘unbeatable’, ‘latest discovery’, ‘truly great’, ‘the best’, ‘fantastic’, ‘wonderful’, and ‘awesome’.

Especially if you are promoting something technical, but effective in any case, is giving proof of what you say. This would work very effectively for instance if you can quote a study or survey that has been done that will back up your claim, (give them a link); or income testimonials. Quoting statistics is not really very effective unless you provide the source of your statistics or claims. They can help you to create an interesting article.

You shouldn’t necessarily focus your writing on selling unless you are creating a sales page. For the purposes of ‘content’ you always want to keep it purely conversational and interesting. Try to present the information without pushing it.

One last example of how to keep it exciting: describe some condition that needs to be fixed, or a substance that can do something factually. Discreetly at the end add a paragraph describing how your product or service is what they need and include your link. This is easier to use if you are selling a product. For example an article about some human condition like dry skin or dandruff. Then you provide the remedy or solution.

This can apply to home business opportunities, as well. For instance the condition being ‘paycheck is insufficient’, or ‘hate your job?’ Starting a home business can be the solution to either one or both conditions and with just a little creativity you can turn that into a good article!

New Home Business Start-Up – Having Target Goals

If you are really serious about wanting a successful home business, you should start right out being organized. This involves having lists that include tasks and clearly outlined target goals you need to accomplish.

aim for your target
A few tips about making ‘to do lists’: Do not try to put a whole year of tasks on one list. You should ideally have at least three lists – one for now (today or this week for example), one for near future (the month) and one for distant future (6-months to a year for instance).

One reason for this is so that you are not trying to be organized using a list that looks like a complete snarled (scribbled) mess. Every time you cross something out because it has been done* or been cancelled, it gets harder and harder to navigate. Remember you don’t want your lists to become another obstacle. Lists are to help you, not hinder you further by becoming tedious.

Another tip about lists is that you should be realistic. Don’t put something on the ‘now’ list unless you are absolutely sure you will do it today or this week. When you don’t get to it, cross it off and move it to the next list = whether it will be part of the newest ‘today’ list you will create or pushed out to ‘near future’.

A point about not doing what you projected or planned, is that it can get discouraging when you don’t accomplish what you intended. No just once or twice (stuff does happen), but as a rule. If you often do not meet your deadlines, it would be a good idea for you to analyze what is happening to keep you from your target goals.

If you are really sophisticated you might want to look into Gantt Charts. It is really fun if you like to plan in detail. It has charts that show the beginning of a project and what needs to be in place at that time. Then as you go along it lists the dependencies. For example, can’t use the swimming pool until it is filled with water. It outlines how much time and what resources are necessary to accomplish each step of your plan so you can be ready for the next step.

Remember the tighter your plan and the closer you stay to the target, the better the outcome for your business. If you are a born procrastinator, you may find that just having the plan will encourage you to accomplish your target goals pretty much on time.

Building a Home Business – Learn How to Do Things Yourself

It may seem convenient to have someone else do things that you are not sure how to do. However it is much better to learn how to do things for yourself. We are not talking about building a space ship (“rocket science”). We are merely talking about very basic technical things for your website or your membership program.

U R in control
Even if you could afford to hire technical support to do them for you, you will not be as well off as if you learned how to do it yourself. Somewhere in your program, in your hosting account, or in a search engine, you will find directions on how to do just about anything you need to do.

If you get used to shuffling off anything you do not know how to do, then you will never learn how to run your business completely. If you pay someone else to do it you will never learn. If you have a high volume of work and little time, then it is understandable.

However, it would be wise to ask your support to write some simple instructions for you (and pay extra if necessary) when they do your work. This way you are not tied to paying for support and never quite knowing what is going on. To be real you should actually know how everything in your business is done, whether or not you have support. You should have written procedures that anyone can follow, ‘just in case’.

Particularly if you have not been happy in your career, you will have a great time calling yourself ‘the boss’. Maybe you will also enjoy procrastinating as long as you can if you have nobody to push your work off on; but you can’t carry this too far. You being the boss are the one who is responsible for your business whether you have support or not.

You never can tell — you may come up with some new innovations on how to do things in a more efficient, more accurate way. You must learn how things are done presently or on average before you could see a different perspective where you may improve the procedure. Don’t forget to update your written procedures when you change anything throughout all stages of your home business’ development.