Posts from November 2009.

File Management 1: The Most Boring Task

File management on your computer is all about cleaning up.

And knowing where files are. And dealing. In business, you just got to.

Just want to scream and run away from it? Be brave. More like gardening actually.

Here are 3 steps to start with:

  1. deal with your email, start with account number one
  2. hard drive, start with computer number one
  3. backup, all systems

Today I’m only talking about email. If you don’t get on top of it, it will get on top of you and weigh you down.

How many accounts do you have? I’m not going to suggest shutting them down, any more than I would take a favourite Teddy Bear from a fully alert child!

Start with the worst, oldest one. Ugh. Say to yourself: I have to do this, or else.

Count how many folders you are organizing your emails in…you have made folders, haven’t you? Anyway, think of it as a series of file cabinets and drawers.

You’re familiar with the idea of a desktop, right? Okay, think: classic movie where the rich guy has almost nothing on his desk. It’s a temporary workspace, nothing more. Would you stack huge amounts of junk on there if you were the rich guy in the movie? No. Only the poor sod in an hidden office has all the file folders and stuff piled up on his desk.

Stay with me here: this is such a big topic, I’m going to break it down into little pieces. Over time.

Alright, now we start with the hated email…

Count how many file folders you have. If it’s over 50 that’s far too many. Bet you didn’t think you had that many, hey? Ask yourself how many folders (cabinets) you can comfortably live with…20–sound about right?

Now, you may know that by “deleting” you’re not really getting rid of anything instantly, you’re simply putting it away in a room that you may to go to in the next while. But it’s there just in case. Then you can choose to keep it forever by moving it to a file folder (call it “Temp”), and there may come a time when this room will be dealt with, too.

Okay, now that you’re relaxed…everything is alright, everything is fine

Look at the list of folders of your email. Never mind the 250 loose emails in your inbox…we’ll get to those.

Some of them will loosely fit into a category. It’s like one big cabinet will be for, say, Marketing.

Now you’ve got a bunch of folders (drawers) for various Marketers that you like, or you want to look at later. They really don’t need their own drawer each (they can share with other Marketers), and I’ll tell you why:

The secret is the box with a magnifying glass that says: search your email (not search the web). See?

Now if you have a filing cabinet drawer for each of these marketers, it doesn’t make sense. Think of the “search you email” box as your secretary. You need something, you ask her to go look for it…even if it’s misfiled under something else she will find it (she’s good!) as long as you give her something to go on.

The reason is this: the long list of file folders don’t need to be out, they can be out of sight and anytime you want to look at them you just pull open the drawer. That way your mind doesn’t feel cluttered and you have a virtual room with 10 or 20 file cabinets (good) instead of 50+, which is crazy.

And now that you’ve come with me this far…forget email communications. Here is an exciting social media video to relax your mind…(remember to subscribe to this series, opt in…because you love me)

Your Voice On The Internet

TrainingYour voice is your fortune. High, low…fast, slow…accented or not…male, female: your voice is unique. People’s fascination for individual voices runs deep, hits emotional chords and has the power to inform. Why not use your own voice for online business success?

You may be interested to know that my career in using my own voice started in long-distance switchboard operating and the ability to brand to that voice started back then. Businessmen had account cards that they would use by calling the operator to place business calls. It was then, I was pleasantly surprised to find, that the regulars would instantly know me by the second call placed, even if a week or more later. Such is the unique signature of the voice.

If all voices were the same the world would be plain and flat, so yours is needed to enrich the landscape!

So when I discovered Generator Software, I had to get it. You build audio teaching content clicking buttons to splice it together AND get your own voice in there in certain sections. It’s cool.

This fit perfectly with my interest in autodialers to reach a personal or a self-generated list. For those of you who haven’t yet learned the art of “taking” back your telephone, what I’m about to say may not appeal. Keeping in touch by telephone is a viable option for the list you have built yourself, used in conjunction with other tools, just to mix it up a bit.

Fortunately, you can be on distribution lists that you opt in for (my child’s school, the library, updates from Jerusalem). In fact, I was thinking to do it for my family because it’s better than email…and we live in different time zones. In business you can use super simple software to get your message out without downloading, or upkeep of the expensive equipment click here.

Besides an autodialer, there is online educational audio content. For some, whose background is in education, you will know about learning styles and the fact that students must be exposed to content 7 times before it really goes in. Multiple kinds of information immersion is necessary:

  1. audio
  2. visual
  3. text
  4. tactile

…and in combination.

Familiar = relaxed

Humour = relaxed

And a “relaxed” state leads to easy retention. Most people need review, and somehow it’s all so fresh and refreshing to see the tools necessary to online success in repeat sequences. So if you’re looking to add educational marketing material to what you already have see Monthly Products  to create your own. The quality is quite high because of the recommendation to use high end microphone plugged into your computer.

In particular you may find the recommendation for Internet Marketing Explained useful for training purposes click here.

Twitter

Twitter support is so happy and cute. They always have the nicest videos with upbeat music to go with, so makes it easy to learn…the voice is excellent.

Internet Law Compliance

light hearted

light hearted

Did you, by chance, attend “THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGES” tonight? That was a recommendation by email by David Garfinkel, copywriter.

It was a pretty good webinar where Joel Comm and Attorney Kevin Houchin talked about their Site Compliant FTC Toolkit.

They were talking about the new rules issued October 5, 2009 by the FTC, which will be effective December 1, 2009.

So coming up real soon in a few weeks.

Here’s my light-hearted review:

Will affect everyone using testimonials and endorsements in marketing and sales in ANY form of advertising, not just online! (even sandwich boards)

Not enough to be truthful in marketing and will protect consumers in the United States, both individuals and businesses. Actually shipments can be stopped, accounts frozen, fines laid. (severe embarrassment)

Going from truthful to transparent. (will some ads disappear?)

Testimonials, especially, will be scrutinized, and you must disclose material connections (eg. tell that you are getting a commission from an affiliate product). On websites, social sites, email, sales pages… (lets get real people)

If an endorsement is made and it is not totally obvious that the expert is benefiting from the advertisement then you must more or less hit people over the head with it. Big names making a TV endorsement may be exempt. (we should know this by now)

I guess because the internet is still so new, we need to be told for each and every affiliate product that the person is making a commission. Probably because there are so many new surfers coming online every minute.

There’s two kinds of testimonies:

1) Aspirational–this is when you are promised all kinds of money, like Mr. Big Bucks. Or you’ll lose 100 lbs and get a new life.

2) Generally accepted–this is what Mr. Normal makes: zero, maybe a bit more. Or you lose 2 lbs and gain 4 lbs.

You cannot hide behind “Results may vary” or “Results not typical” stuff like that.

Testimonials must continually reflect engagement (not sure how that’s going to pan out). Means you may have to keep getting new people who have actually bought whatever it is, be still using it. Can’t just get one golden case and keep using that forever. You have to actually keep tabs on that person. (what if you already learned the marketing or lost the weight?)

And it will ESPECIALLY be products that go into your body and information that goes into your mind. (wonder how many people work at the FTC?)

Must stick to generally expected performance results. And must be a real user. (will fake ads using models disappear? And the completely made up lying-through-their-teeth ads go away?)

“Material connections” will have to be disclosed. That means the affiliate relationship will have to be spelled out.

You marketers may be liable for what your affiliate companies are saying and doing, even outside of your sphere of use of the product. (kind of reminds me of the contracts we sign when are hired at company, you sign your life away!)

So…

1. Be compliant

2. Stay compliant

3. Show your proactive intent to be and remain compliant

Gosh.

Testimonials may need to be more formalized. Experts will be held to a higher accountability.

Then Joel and Kevin flog their 230-page conversational searchable PDF  document, with a very cool badge, and membership site.

The crest-looking badge is very nice and comes in a choice of four colours with your reference number embedded. Actually I like it so much I think my blog should be a gargantuan shield-looking badge and nothing else.

Anyway, if you buy a book on your own and give a review out of the goodness of your heart then that’s okay.

What I thought was funny was that the badge gives you a commission if someone clicks on it and buys it, too! Same ‘ol same ‘ol.

Tell you truth, I love sales people. We should call them “Buying Technicians” and give them a raise. Give everybody a raise. Are lawyers really sales guys?

The Federal Trade Commission has a website, and here it is click here (I do not get a commission for this).

My recommendation: be smart, not scared

And for gosh sakes click on one of my links, you won’t allow me a cut unless you keep clicking links all over the place and get out your credit card. Make sure you’re getting a good deal.

If you have discipline you can get anything for free. But then what will you do with your money? Money’s not worth anything unless it keeps moving.

Really, if you’re a poor old granny put that money into butter and beef and the bus. Or charity, like I do.

Google Wonder Wheel

Start with self, add spokes

Start with self, add spokes

This is me, as a hub with no spokes…so in the coming weeks lets see what I can do to get connections. Anyway, if you play around with it, it’s freaky and “alive” as you click on each new ball of information. It shows trust and authority. Ciaran Doyle says he uses it to get ideas. Try with any words you’re interested in. Fun!

Make an ordinary search on Google. Look for the words on the page just under the colourful word Google, click “show options”, the left column slides out with a list, about two thirds of the way down, click “Wonder Wheel”.

Lots of connections

Lots of Connections!!

this is good, see the legs?

this is good, see the legs?

DRA, Distributors’ Rights Association

Online Business Resource

Online Business Resource

Website of Distributor Rights Association (non-profit) Distributors’ Rights Association You can listen on live radio & on the internet. Peter Arnold is a former Executive Director (Canada), voluntary. It is the only company that has published a manual that sets out the global standards for independent contractors and companies within the MLM and direct sales industry.

The DRA is now broadcasting Live through Radio and Live through the internet every Saturday morning 9am Eastern, 8am Central, 7am Mountain, 6am Pacific time.

They’re educational, and the guests could be attorneys, CEOs, top distributors and other professionals.

Basically, increased membership brings increased clout with MLM companies (that have policies and procedures, terms and conditions that can be 30 pages long, protecting themselves not you).

I might have passed it by, but it comes recommended by Ann Sieg, for whom I have respect. There is a constantly updated Law Library.

Multi-level Marketing Watchdog MLM Watchdog this is a link on the DRA website.

Review of Selling Simple Info Online by Bob Bly (Copywriter)

Copywriters are people, too

Copywriters are people, too!

Reading Selling Simple Info Online by Bob Bly who says:

“We copywriters are taught to write conversational copy.  Many marketers erroneously think that conversational copy means write like you talk. But what it really means is write like your prospects talk.”

And…

“Our chief engineer insisted that in our copy we replace “dumped” with “gravimetrically conveyed” (now that’s funny)

Let’s hope we don’t start using these terms to refer to what happens when you’re tired of your girlfriend!

Sales copy should be like having coffee: use your reader’s language, using empathy word “our”. It’s an art. Unless “pens” are “writing instruments” and sell starting at $100.

The goal is to buy, whether writing purists agree or not. And write so as not to be misunderstood…like “free*gift” rather than “gift” which surprisingly can beg a question! (Is it really…?)

Bob talks about if there’s a cut-off age to not bother starting fresh, and the short answer is a resounding “No”! (my friend Sandy is 66 and she is the awesomeness person I know and she’s starting over)

Badges earn trust. He also says capture names and emails with a giveaway. And after a long diatribe on autoresponders he says Tuesday is good, and nobody has the answer on handling your names list. That’s because you have your own kind of audience. (people are fickle)

He says use a professional videographer to tape testimonials. (let them eat cake!)

Use bullets in your giveaway page for a downloadable white paper. (People love it)

Make “I want more” headlines. Dead content doesn’t have stories (off with their head!)

Emotion people!…or flog your freething in your headline. Give the solution to your readers problem as only one (click) action. Make it current (don’t be so lazy!)

Money back guarantee…and if product is an ebook it must be 10x better than a book for the price. If generating leads, then say “no strings”. (has the whole world been over-petted?)

Dedicate part of your time to building your elist. Buying a database?…let’s just say CAN/SPAM is there for your own good.

Actually Bob goes on and on about marketing costs. And he claims you’re leaving money on the table by not harassing people with a pop-up when they try to leave without opting in! (gosh, no means no!)

You can make an enewsletter because your Mom told you not to talk to strangers (candy-gram). Btw there’s an insatiable hunger for Hobbies, Business Opportunities and Money Making / Investing. (it’s a bottomless pit)

Make free content your best stuff. And he  says offer something not too expensive right away. 3% will buy, the rest may never buy (can you say “wheel kicker?”)

The Pereto Principle strikes again with the 80/20 ratio on content vs sales pitch. (personally I lean to 90/10)

And finally opt-out rates: I don’t even want to go there :( (because it makes writers sad)

  • My review: 52 pages of “What to” not “How to”
  • My comment: Doesn’t anybody love writers, or are we just devalued all over the place?…even the Lord knows about this.
  • My recommendation: Take click-by-click training: http://cathyfletcher.renegadeprofessional.com, and get yourself accountable to someone!
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