Ten Traits To Acquire On The Journey To Success

Ten Traits To Acquire On The Journey To Success

motivate, inspire, be successful

 

I came across this article on Facebook – Salesforce Marketing Cloud

After reading it, and thought it worthy of sharing here as the traits are not just for small business success.

I would say that the high profile and very successful billionaire entrepreneurs we all read, see and hear about started out with a small business – and maybe just by themselves.

In various interviews, a lot of them have listed some, if not all, of these very same traits and not just for past success. They often attribute their current, on-going and future business successes to them.

A lesson to everyone then.

When achieving great success in business, we must never forget where we came from and what it was that made us so successful in the first place.

To carry on reading the original article, click on this link to their website – 

10 Traits That Will Help You Succeed in Small Business (And Maybe Life)

I hope that you found inspiration from that story.

Anything I find on the Internet that inspires or motivates me, I will share here on my blog.

 

Mike

 

There Is No Secret to Internet Marketing – Now That Is A Strong Tip

There Is No Secret to Internet Marketing – Now That Is A Strong Tip

97% Fail To Earn Anything Online – There MUST Be A Secret to Internet Marketing!

Well, what do you think?

Internet Marketing Secret

Hidden Secret of IM Success?

The headlines of this post appear to contradict each other, or do they?

 

Today I want to discuss the truly great and most obvious Secret to Internet  Marketing. A secret that has the potential to explode the business and  popularity of those that know and practice it. A secret that can create an  unlimited amount of money online and propel exponents of this secret onto the  world stage to become an instant global celebrity in that elite group of the  most respected, followed and sort-after Internet Marketers.

 

Does that opening paragraph sound like a load of unsubstantiated BS hype to you? I know that I have certainly seen too much of this nauseating clap-trap on the Internet and I have forgotten just how many email lists I have unsubscribed  from because I’ve gotten so fed-up with this sort of thing.

 

Too many marketers out there become so obsessed about the money making aspect and treat their  subscribers like biological ATM’s. Any trust or authority they might have built up will quickly wither away and the long term viability of their Internet Business will become irrepairably damaged.

 

It’s a strange phenominon that seems to affect people online far more than those with a traditional bricks-and-mortar business. Maybe it has something to do with a perceived sense of anonimity afforded them by the Internet – who really knows?   It seems they start to totally disregard the fact that behind  every one of their subscribers email addresses is a real live person. And anyone who has run any kind of business knows: “If you aint got no customers, you aint got no business”

 

However, before I go off-track too much, I do actually have a great tip which is cool and most importantly, true.

 

Ah, So This is The Real Secret to Internet Marketing Then!

The obvious fact is that Internet Marketing is actually a real business. As long as it is treated like a business, with customers given the respect they deserve.
customer respect internet marketing

 

A very good chance of success should then follow.

 

Did you see the tip, or was it so obvious that you missed it?

 

OK, here’s the tip again – and this time I’ve made all the relevant words uppercase, underlined & orange: INTERNET MARKETING IS actually A REAL BUSINESS

 

Now, just as with any business, success requires the wilfull participation of customers – and as we all know, customers are actually Real People that buy stuff. Notice the subtle emphasis on the two words ‘Real’ and ‘People’?

 

I’ll repeat what I said earlier: “If you aint got no customers, you aint got no business”

 

In the virtual world of the Internet, it can be easily forgotten that there are Real People  interacting with a computer, tablet or smartphone. Funny videos of kids, cats, dogs or people doing stupid things don’t just magically materialize in cyber-space.

funny cat video

 

They are uploaded to sites like Facebook or YouTube by people that could very well be potential customers of your Internet Business.

 

So, what is that supposed to mean? How can some lady from Milwaukee with an uploaded funny cat video be a potential customer?

 

Well, she could be interested in learning how to make some extra income online and we also know that she really likes cats, especially funny videos of them.

 

But, you’ll never know what people really want unless you reach out to them first.

 

customer incentives

Offer More To Keep Or Get New Customers

Owners and managers of traditional bricks-and-mortar business’s know that to gain customers, they have to give something first. That something could be free advice; a free trial of a service; a free product to new customers who sign-up or buy a specific product.

 

The list of incentives is endless, but the goal is the same. Which is, t o position themselves or their company directly in front of people by giving them value before, or even if, they become a customer. It also allows the company to begin instilling trust by demonstrating to the potential customer their depth of knowledge, experience and willingness to assist them now and in the future.

 

In the traditional bricks-and-mortar  – or offline –  world, as it has come to be known. Just how long  do you think the business will survive, if someone set themselves up in a business area (or niche) they actually knew nothing at all about?

 

Common sense should be enough to tell them that they should, at the very least, know something about that specific area of business, or make it their number one priority before making that important first  step.

 

If you’re anything like me, I would make sure that I at least  knew a little about the type of business I was planning to open.

 

Just to throw  open the doors and hope for the best isn’t the kind of business plan that leads  to success. It’s certainly a good way for someone to waste any money they may have, unless they  have a lot more money than sense, of course! As no bank would lend them a dime  with a business plan that consists of “open the doors; coax people inside; ignore their requirements and just sell them the product with the highest commission”.

 

So imagine that scenario.

man with no business plan

His Only Business Plan Is To Get Money!

A new business just opened, with a sign outside saying “Grand Opening Come On In Be Amazed!!”  A guy standing in the doorway, enticing people to enter, with nothing more than a  pretty window display promising them that he has the  solution to whatever they need.  He may be able to lure in the odd one or two  curious passers-by who would, no doubt, be amazed  – as the sign says – when he tries to take a deep-dive into the funds of their credit cards!

 

Personally, I would hope that they just didn’t enter in the first place, or at the very least, make a hurried exit back out the door. I t should be abundantly obvious when he tried to steer them into buying the most expensive or inappropriate item. This guy actually knows or cares very little to nothing about people or their requirements. It’s a sad fact that there are marketers out there who operate just like him.

 

Beware of internet scammers

Beware – He Only Wants Your Money

Internet Marketing has more than its fair share of so-called ‘gurus’ who really regard their customers as ‘suckers-with-credit-cards’. An endless source of easy funding for them, as they know there are plenty of eager newbies dreaming of that push-button Internet Lifestyle.

Marketers like this give Internet Marketing and online business in general a very bad name. They are just after money and are not interested in giving away any value, they don’t care and do not have any respect for anyone.

 

The guy with the bricks-and-mortar business above would eventually be shut-down when it becomes well known that he’s just ripping people off. But having a real business premises means that he’s a lot more easier to find.

 

Affiliate Marketing may be touted as a  quick and easy way to make money – and I’m certainly not knocking it – in fact,  I cover it in my free eBook ‘Internet Marketing Entrepreneur Kick-Start’ or just ‘IMEKS’ for short. It’s free and there’s a lot of valuable content in it that I  have personally learned along the way.

There’s no doubt that Affiliate Marketing can be very lucrative. However, just  like most things, it can be abused and over-used to such an extent that it can  have a negative affect on marketers who make constant and aggressive use of this marketing model.

 

Every business, whether on or offline, must have something that either solves a problem or addresses a specific need. Indeed, all successful companies owe their success to some type of product or service that addresses a need or solves a problem. Other than my free IMEKS eBook that I created, I am actually an affiliate for most of the products I offer.

 

Get my Free eBook ‘Internet Marketing Entrepreneur Kick-Start’ or IMEKS. Just enter your email below.

Though in time, I will have products & services of my own.

 

Consider the launch of a new product.

 

What I regard as abuse or over-use of Affiliate Marketing, is the sheer number  of affiliates who jump on the bandwagon of each and every product launch. Every  one of them competing directly against each other and all of them  taking space in your inbox.

When you realize that the emails from different marketers are all exactly the same, it means that those  marketers have put in zero effort themselves, because they are using the vendor supplied emails  (or swipe files) as-is. Also, they don’t bother with offering any bonuses of their own. I guess the tactic may work with some people who are extremely new to IM, who just buy from the first email they read, but as far as I’m concerned, these are the types of marketers to be wary of.

 

They may as well just send  emails that say “I’m only interested in the commission, I don’t care about the product or giving you any extra value of my own!”

 

It’s also obvious to me that the hype surrounding the  latest-and-greatest-shiny-object is the same as the hype that surrounded the  last one. And the number of times I have read and heard the phrase: ‘…ABC…  is the last and only product you will ever need to buy for…XYZ’.

 

Just who are they kidding?

 

bright shiny objects

Resist The Lure of Bright Shiny Objects

Alas, it would seem that serial consumers of bright-shiny-objects (BSO’s) are  also afflicted by a sudden loss of common sense when it comes to the Internet  and the promise of untold riches there for the taking.

They’re always ready,  with credit card in hand, eager to click the Buy button and take advantage of  that ‘special early-bird price’ before the deadline. Some may promise you the earth and show ‘proof’ of how they’ve made $$$$$’s thanks to this “truly amazing product – a game changer!”


Yep, heard it all before and ‘game changer’ appears to still  be a popular and over-used phrase now that we’re in 2016!

 

Don’t get me wrong though, I think most people do go through the BSO phase. I  certainly did and openly admit to having hard disk folders stuffed with BSO’s, a  lot of which have never even been looked at again after all the hype had finally  died down.

 

Do you also receive emails with subjects like “GO, GO, GO..”; “GO NOW!”;  “GET…XYZ…BEFORE THE PRICE GOES UP!”….

 

I’ve had emails like these and a lot  of them have been directly from the vendor of XYZ themselves. At this point, you  may ask: “so what’s wrong with promoting your own product then?” And the  straight answer is “nothing at all”. It’s the way they have chosen to market  products of their own to their subscribers that really should start to ring alarm bells. Also consider that their continued survival in Internet Marketing is heavily dependent on a continuous stream of product launches.

So, be very wary if any of them release a product and state something like: “This really is the last and only IM product you will ever need to buy!”  because the implication is that they will never, ever, need to produce another product – and that would go directly against their business model and would mean the end of their business!!

 

Mixed Messages of the ‘Guru Mentors’

Marketers that present themselves as mentors, who warn against all the hype and  the money-pit that BSO’s can become. Yet, they also use these very same tactics themselves to  encourage people to buy their own products, which, I am sure they will put forward convincing arguements of how ‘essential’ their product is  – and certainly nothing like a BSO!

im guru training whiteboard

Guro Mentor Marketers Mixed Messages To Loyal Followers

Take a good look through your email inbox and see how many there are from marketers who are said to be gurus or even mentors. Maybe you are already a member of one or more of their private Facebook groups. I’m sure you must have come across them. Groups where people are banned for self promotion, but the ‘Guru-Mentor-Marketer’ takes full advantage of their loyal followers to use the group as their own private sales machine.

 

I don’t intend to dig any further into this and will instead leave you to  examine your own inbox and form your own opinions on this matter.

 

Some products  launched, though, can be genuinely useful as long as you don’t get swayed by all the hype. Focus instead  on direct benefits to your business; whether the product will fit into your  business plan; is it a useful tool or just a nice-to-have toy? I’ll freely admit  that some products can advance your business, when used correctly.

 

When I’ve seen something that appears to be a good fit and really useful for my own business, I always check  out Brett Retucky’s site first. He conducts and publishes in-depth tests on the latest IM product launches and is not afraid to give his straight and unbiased opinion.

 

At this point, I’ll remind you again that the greatest secret of an online business is the fact that it is a business, as long as you are serious enough to  treat it like one. And always give your subscribers and customers the respect they deserve – and never forget that they are real people.

 

Now, concentrate on all the basics you need to get started. Download my free IMEKS eBook and use the information contained in it to start on your own journey. You will expand on your knowledge as you go and eventually start to make some money . Seriously consider signing with a genuine  and successful mentor whose business is not dependent on their own continuous flow of  product launches.

 

One such mentor, whose business does not depend on constant product launches – and also happens to be my mentor – is a well respected and successful marketer  by the name of Dean Holland. His Business Commission Blueprint was the thing that finally enabled me to make my first ever income online.

 

Whatever you decide to do is obviously your choice, but remember to never stop learning. Keep up to date with new methods and techniques which are always being  developed and can potentially grow your business even more.

 

Momentum is key!

 

Take action and don’t hold off doing something until you know it all, because the fact is, you never will know it all.

 

Just get started once you have the basics in place and in time, your knowledge  will also grow.

 

Until Next Time…

mike flanagan, make money online

My Business Goals, Objectives & Ambitions

My Business Goals, Objectives & Ambitions

Business Goals, Objectives & Ambitions

I decided to use this post to address my business goals and objectives in my new online business, as well as my on-going and personal ambitions.

SMART GoalsI haven’t written for a while as I have been recovering from the fall I had while I was walking my dog a few weeks ago. The ribs are still a little painful, but my sprained right hand made it awkward as well as painful to type as I was thinking about the pain more than about what it was that I was writing about.

Things are not too bad now, so I thought it was time to get back into things.

The time away has allowed me to properly think about what my actual goals really are the direction I want to take with my fledgling Internet business.

I missed Dean Holland’s regular iPro webinar last night (Monday 21st) and will catch up on the replay, but I did get to the one held on the 14th. What a marathon that was, turned out that it lasted over 4 hours! Many people went live with Dean and spoke about their goals and ambitions with their on-line businesses. I was also meant to speak, but had to leave as it was approaching the 2 hour mark due to other commitments.

Goals & Objectives

So, I thought that I would use this post to document my goals.

Most people start with their first objective as being to build up a stable and regular monthly income, at an amount sufficient enough to cover their monthly outgoings so they can quit their full-time job.

That’s not a bad objective and is probably what I would have written at one stage, except that I am now sort-of semi-retired. I write that in a hyphenated way, because I have in fact been away from work due to a long term illness since August 2010. I finally agreed a pay-off from my employer and have been officially unemployed since January 24 of this year. I now have no mortgage to worry about, so I can’t be thrown out onto the streets, but there are still utility bills to be paid; food to be bought; cable TV & running of car etc…

I’m still not fully recovered from my illness and still have to take medication and regularly see medical professionals.

And that is precisely why an on-line business is beneficial to me.

Internet Marketing is something that I have been studying since I have been off work. I took a couple of on-line courses and played around with html and WordPress websites. The technical side is no real challenge, as by profession I am an architect of complex computer network systems.

Anyway, back to my goals.

I have all this scribbled in pencil on a piece of paper that resides on my desk. I have “First of June 2014” as a starting date, written on top of the paper, as the month of June is the middle of the year and has a nice, round feel to it. But, I didn’t reckon on my dog causing me to trip up while chasing her down the street and breaking a couple of ribs!

I also didn’t allow for any contingencies in my planning, which is something I would have done as a matter of course when running projects at work. Oh well, stuff happens, as they say.

My Goals

Keep Calm Make SMART GoalsThe periods mentioned in the list below are with reference to that June date:

  • To consistently earn a four figure income every month, within a three month period. To begin with, the amounts need only be modest and I am only looking at figures between $1,000 and $2,000. My sites will slowly rise as I finally make a break-through and start to see stable and regular payments into my bank account.
  • Within a six month period, the monthly income will be approaching $5,000 and I will be pushing that figure higher so that my new focus will be on five figures per month after the six month mark.
  • Income streams will multiply as I become more confident. I am already working on a software product that will be launched using the tried and tested methods of JV’s and affiliates. So this goal is the production of a viable product that will be launched with the six month window.

My Ambitions

Around the time I joined iPro, I also joined a small team of people that are being mentored by a creator of several successful software products in the field of content curation. I can’t give out too many details at present as I have signed a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement).

My ambitions are to build both a personal and corporate brand that are both known, liked and trusted. This blog is the vehicle for my personal branding, which I have also begun to enhance, starting with the new website banner you see above. I have added a privacy policy to the main drop-down menu and will be adding more new sections. I am also not happy with the amount of time the site takes to load and I know there are too many plugins. A better WordPress theme is needed which will replace my current free ‘Magazine Basic’ theme.

 

Entrepreneurial Mindset & Big Business

All software products I produce will be under a corporate brand name rather than mine. I receive many emails on a daily basis from internet marketers selling their latest and greatest software product and of course, they make sure everyone knows they are personally responsible for it.

Well, what’s so what’s wrong with that, you may ask.

Allow me to shift my mind back to the senior role I held in one of the top three, multi-national IT corporations. I wouldn’t look twice at a product that was attributed to an individual. Through customer meetings, I was responsible for ascertaining and understanding the objectives with relation to a customer’s business requirements.

When all was understood and accepted by both parties,  I would start by looking at software/components etc that were already available with which to architect a solution. An important criteria, is that any suitable products already on the market must have a robust on-going development and support structure behind it. A well documented product life-cycle must also exist so that upgrades can be planned well in advance to minimize disruption to daily operations.

I have had many good products presented to me, that would certainly cover some specific requirement in a program of work. But because the vendor’s ego was so huge, they couldn’t stop themselves from bragging about it being their own personal creation and they alone were responsible for on-going development and support.

Among their peers and in the industry sector they inhabit, such people are regarded as guru’s. Followers pack out webinars and live events in particular, so they can personally meet and be photographed next to their idol. Credit card at the ready, they will impulsively buy anything and everything produced by their hero.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the wrong vision and approach to present when attempting to sell a product into a large commercial organization.

After such boardroom meetings, which rarely ended well, I have personally witnessed a kind-of look descend on their faces, a look I can only describe as a combination of devastation, disbelief and confusion. Wounded pride mixed in with a sense of insult when they realize that the corporate suits and hard-nosed business types are not swooning at their feet. Some have even been left in a state of physical shock when they are rejected.It is a real shame, as some of the products I have seen are very good indeed, but the attitude and risk presented by these so-called ‘guru’s’ are incompatible with the very high value business environments they would love to break in to.

Richard Branson

Photo used in accordance with License.Photo by J Simmons.Image of Richard Branson cropped from original

Succeeding in the boardroom requires a very different approach. Lessons needs to be taken from people like Sir Richard Branson, who perhaps is the most famous and high profile of entrepreneurs. He has perfected an image of a tie-less, long haired and bearded, swash-buckling go-getter. But he knows that the boardroom isn’t the place for that persona.I guess that, in a way, acknowledgement of this very different environment and attitude expectation, could be regarded as the ‘secret sauce‘ for success in a big business environment.

This is the very reason why I want to introduce products into the market as a company brand instead of my personal brand. I know in the early days, these things are most likely one and the same. Take Microsoft, for example. In the early days it was Bill Gates – when phoning Microsoft in the early to mid 70’s, you spoke to Bill. I know this from personal experience, because I did.

When IBM were in the early stages of creating and developing what was to become a new and now dominant genre of personal computing, the first IBM PC. Would they have ever awarded the contract to provide an Operating System for their PC to a company known as ‘Bill’s Software Products’ rather than Microsoft?

I Didn’t Get To Dean Holland’s Automated Income Seminar!

I Didn’t Get To Dean Holland’s Automated Income Seminar!

Hmmph… I Didn’t Get There!

Saturday morning on the 28th June 2014.

mf-desertToday is the start of Dean Holland’s Automated Income Seminar in Manchester, England.

As I only live six miles away, it’s easy for me to get to and I know where to park without it costing an arm and a leg, or at least the equivalent cost of a new player for one of the well known Manchester football (soccer) teams.

I bought my tickets well in advance and was looking forward to going there and meeting people in real life that I have only communicated with virtually. After all. events like this are ideal for networking and forming business relationships.

Alas, for me it wasn’t to be and I’m very disappointed that I didn’t get to the Seminar today.

But it wasn’t for a lack of trying. You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I broke ribs on my right side as I tripped up while taking my dog (Flora) for a walk. Flora slipped her lead and ran down the street, I chased after her, tripped up and landed heavily on my right side.

I can now categorically state that free-form body-surfing on the road – or any hard surface for that matter – is not a sport that I will be indulging in on a regular basis. In fact, for anyone thinking of taking this up as a sport, I totally do not recommend.

Since it happened I have been taking things easy, as per the doctor’s recommendation. Lying down flat is painful, so I purchased and have been sleeping on a lay-z-boy type electric reclining chair, where I can control the angle. It’s also great for getting up, as the chair can rise forward to a near standing position.

All this is good, but swollen ankles and feet is one of the downsides of not sleeping flat. Also, I injured the top of my right foot and sprained my right hand during the pavement nose-dive.   So, taking it easy has meant not driving or going anywhere and this is where my plans have unraveled. Twisting and bending to get into the car is extremely painful, as is reaching over my shoulder for the seat-belt. But, problems arose even before I got anywhere near the car.

Slippers or big airy sandals are the only footwear I have been wearing for the last couple of weeks and it is only when I tried – with my wife’s help – to put on a pair of regular shoes, did I realize just how much my feet have swelled up.

My only options of footwear, therefore, were slippers or big airy sandals. It was a close call, but for walking around town, the sandals somehow had that slight edge.   Anyhow, I was not going to be put-off by the pain and suffering I would have to endure. Not to mention the big airy sandals…*

* I told you NOT to mention the big airy sandals!

Well, I did drive in to Manchester and I did park where I wouldn’t get charged an amount equal to the gross-domestic-product of a small country.

But, after getting out of the car, I called to mind that someone once said something like “…mind is willing, flesh is weak…” and it is only when I managed to hobble about 200 yards away from the car, with my right foot, ribs and right hand aching that I realized the folly of my endeavour.

The only sensible course of action was to head home.

I’m really disappointed that I didn’t manage to get there.

Are Solo Ads like Sucking Lemons?

Are Solo Ads like Sucking Lemons?

solo ads and sour lemonSolo Ads and Lemons

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like sucking lemons.

It’s the sour taste, which can sometimes causes my mouth to smart.

There are, however, a lot of people in the world who do actually like the sour taste – if you are one of those people then good-on-ya! Because if we were all the same, then the world would be a pretty boring place.

A place where everyone wears the same clothes, agrees with the same things, thinks the same thoughts.

On the other hand, a place like that would be predictable and if everyone in that place sucked lemons, then I would just have to learn to like them.

So, in a place that is controlled and predictable, there would only be one solo ad vendor, approved and vetted by those in power.

I’m very glad that I don’t live in a place like that, democracy gives us lots of freedoms, including the freedom to choose lousy vendors. And that’s where my analogy of learning how to suck lemons comes back into play.

I have never placed a solo ad before – that is, not before Friday the 9th of May 2014.

I’ve done my research, scanned forums and social media for opinions and feedback on different solo ad vendors until I chose a couple to try out for myself.

Advice found from various sources all suggest taking the minimum package on offer from two, three or more vendors. It appears to be common practice for vendors to over-deliver and postings I have read on-line confirm that this is indeed the case.

Packages on offer take the form of number-of-clicks. Some vendors may offer a minimum of 50 clicks, others may have 100 as their minimum.

There also doesn’t appear to be any kind of fixed rule for over-delivery. Comments I have read from satisfied customers indicate over-delivery rates between 10 and 20 percent. But as I have said, there is no fixed rule and these percentages are just rough figures from my own estimations.

Spreading your budget amongst different vendors is also sound advice, which minimizes your risk and avoids having all your eggs-in-one-basket, as it were. Not forgetting, of course, that the whole point of doing this is to measure the quality of the traffic and the amount of opt-ins gained from it.

Tracking therefore, is essential to gather meaningful metrics from vendors, which will help you decide which one will be chosen for a larger campaign, by purchasing a greater number of clicks from them.

On the subject of tracking, I’ve come across three FREE ad trackers:

  • Prosper202  –   http://prosper.tracking202.com/apps/
  • CPV Lab      –   http://www.cpvlab.com/
  • ClixTrac       –   http://www.clixtrac.com/

Prosper202 and CPV Lab are both self-hosted, which means that you will need to install them on a website you own. With ClixTrac, just create a free account. I haven’t tried any of them out myself yet.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post – solo ads.

Another very important metric is something known as Tier 1 traffic. Simply put, it is the amount of traffic – or clicks – originating from the USA, UK, Australia, Canada…. They all have strong economies and are predominantly English speaking countries. I don’t wish to insult citizens of other countries and apologies if I’ve left out other Tier 1 countries from my short list. I’m only reporting the information that I have found.

So, the best way to learn how to suck lemons – and maybe even gain a taste for them – is one segment at a time. Just like Solo Ad vendors, take small portions of what each has to offer to begin with, because spending a large bite of your budget on the first one you come across could leave a very sour taste in your mouth.