Self Imposed Limitations Are Coping Excuses For Failure

Get Results: overcome blocking coping strategies
Get Results: overcome blocking coping strategies

Self imposed limitations are the stories we tell ourselves why we can’t do something, or can’t reach a certain level..

  • People won’t like me
  • I don’t know enough
  • I’m not an expert in the field
  • I’m no good at writing
  • I’m not good at running a website
  • I don’t have the money
  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t have the resources
  • I’m not thick skinned enough to be able to deal with any criticism that might come my way
  • I don’t have the talent to earn £500k a year

These stories start with “I don’t”, “I can’t” , “I’m not”, so look out for them.

These are all reasons why you shouldn’t take action, so you don’t get hurt. They are designed to protect you from failure. They are coping excuses for not pursuing your goals and feeling okay about it. Coping excuses are one of the main reasons goals don’t get chased down.

Tell yourself more empowering stories. Stop trying to protect yourself from everyone else, start protecting yourself from yourself. Get out of your own way, because deep down you are your own worst enemy.

Failure isn’t something to fear, it is an opportunity to learn what doesn’t work, so you can get closer to what does work.

Failing often, means your pushing boundaries, you’re trying things out.

The worst thing is making all the same mistakes, over and over again.

Just make sure you’re listening to the market, to the feedback it gives you, even if it’s critical and be prepared to pivot when necessary.

A caveat here though, figure out what you are truly good at, ideally something you also like doing, and what you’re not so good at. It is a case of horses for courses, you  can’t be great at everything, so be honest with yourself, enlist of people close to you, who will give you honest feedback, or let the market tell you. Improving your self awareness is a critical first step for success. You can then focus on your strengths and enlist the help of people who are better at the things you’re not so good at, or figure out a way forward that better suits your unique skills set.

For more about coping strategies, click here.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Get Results: laugh about the past
Get Results: laugh about the past

Laughter is one of mankind’s greatest gifts, it can get us though the toughest of times and situations.

The ability to laugh at yourself, lifts the burden of taking yourself and life too seriously.

It frees you from the worry of other people’s opinions about you; if you don’t seriously judge yourself, why should anyone else.

Sure our teenage years are all about fitting in, conforming with our social circles. It’s a time when we’re genetically wired to care about how others view us, but as we get older, we can appreciate our individuality a little bit more objectively.

We can relax our critical, judgmental side in favour of a more accepting, look-for-the-funny-side-of-this situation, disposition.

I used to take life far too seriously. I was in a very responsible management position, and played the role the way I thought it should be played, with a great deal of seriousness. I used to get really uptight about presenting the best impression to senior managers and peers.

There was another more junior manager that came along some time later, who was refreshingly lighthearted, a self -deprecating sort of bloke, who was popular because he was so easy going, jovial,and easy to work with. Sure he’d get the work done, and make sure he didn’t get taken advantage of, but he did it with humour and humility.

I learned a lot from him, and let go of my stuffiness, I worried less about what others thought of me, because I judged myself less harshly. It was amazing how less stressed and worried I became, it really was like a weight being lifted from my shoulders.

I now love to laugh, I try to find the funny side of any situation and am happy to laugh at the silly things I find myself saying and doing from time to time.

Get Results: laughter is the best medicine
Get Results: laughter is the best medicine

I came across this poem by Walterrean Salley that I really like, so I thought I’d share it with you here.

Laughter is infectious.
It is a joyful sound that
Once it starts ringing,
Passes all around.

Laughter is infectious.
Some folks have no clue
As to what another’s laughter
Could do unto you.

Laughter is infectious.
You can get it on a whim,
But chances of it harming
Are very, very slim.

For more about self improvement, click here.

 

The Journey

Get Results: love the journey
Get Results: love the journey

Motivation is often the biggest struggle for people. You can find countless questions of Quora.com and forums around the subject of getting motivated, indeed much of this website is dedicated to the subject.

Get Results: love the journey
Get Results: love the journey

The easiest way to get motivated is to make sure the journey is motivation enough for  you.

Most people focus solely on the GOAL, and the journey required to reach the goal is relegated to being a “means to an end”, or a “stepping stone” to the goal.

Get Results: love the journey
Get Results: love the journey

But the journey is the part of the process that you’ll be engaged in most. It’s made up of the daily tasks and activities that are going to allow you to realise your goal.

You’ve got to pay much more attention to your journey. A goal that involves taking a journey where you struggle to motivate yourself each day is surely not a goal worth the effort, because it becomes a grind, an effort, a struggle, and life is too short to be engaged in such a lifestyle.

On the other hand a journey that you love, that excites you, that you are enthusiastic to engage in, that you are fully immersed in, is what life is really about.

Sure having a goal to aim for, gives you necessary direction, but the journey itself is what truly matters, because this is what’s going to take up much more of your actual time.

Focusing on the quality of the individual tasks and activities, is what dictates the quality of the end result. Like any great recipe, the finished meal is only as good as the quality of the ingredients and the quality of the methods used to produce it. A great chef, loves the process of creating, mixing different flavours to produce something special.

Get Results: love the journey
Get Results: love the journey

So love what you do and motivation is not a problem.

This website is a labour of love. I don’t do it for money, I do it because I love the subject matter, I love learning new stuff, I love writing, I love creating graphics and videos.

I love business, I love marketing, I love health and fitness, I love spirituality. I love to learn, and I love to share.

With over 200 posts, I find it so easy to add new content, designed to help people understand the concepts and principles behind getting great results, and I’ll continue to do so, until I don’t enjoy it any longer.

I don’t do it for the result, for the consequences, I do it because I love doing it, day to day, and hopefully you get something from it as well.

Get Results: gary vaynerchuk quotes the game
Get Results: gary vaynerchuk quotes the game

Gary Vaynerchuk is a big advocate of loving the game of running and building a business, to the degree that he says he’s even wished he would lose it all so that he can go through the process of building it up from scratch again, he so loves it. His primary drive isn’t to earn millions (even though he’s a multi millionaire now), but this has come as a consequence of his true passion, of building businesses; made up of solving problems, selling solutions, building systems, hiring and firing, generating assets, and creating a brand.

So if you can find something you love to do, and figure out how to make a living out of it, you’ve won. Good luck on your journey, and make sure you enjoy it, otherwise what’s the point?

For more motivational info, check out our motivational guide.

The Main Components of Marketing

Get Results: Marketing is about being found
Get Results: Marketing is about being found

I recently created this graphic to illustrate the main components of marketing.

Get Results: marketing illustration
Get Results: marketing illustration

For more about marketing, check out our marketing guide, here.

You Are More Than Enough!

Get Results: Love and do what you will
Get Results: Love and do what you will

We’re are bombarded with messages telling us to..

“Buy this [car/makeup…] you’ll get [girls/guys/success…]”

Marketers telling you “YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH!”, so that they can sell you their stuff

You can’t truly love others if you don’t love yourself

Self love is not to be feared
We’re told vanity and arrogance are bad
But it’s okay to feel good about yourself, it really is

You might ask yourself..

“I wonder how should I act?”

“How do I love myself?”

Some people are busy filling other people’s cup but are irresponsible with their own cup

Treat yourself like someone you love

Look through all your fear

know you are already enough!

For more, check out this inspirational video below

Overcoming Procrastination

get results: procrastination
get results: procrastination

Procrastination is defined as the action of delaying or postponing something.

We’ve all been guilty of doing this to some degree, some people do it more than others.

We know we would be better spending time doing things that move us closer to our goals. Work that is productive, and worthwhile. When in college or university, it’s revision for that all important next exam, presentation or completion of the next assignment in time for the submission deadline.

So many students procrastinate right up until the looming deadline gets so close that delay can no longer be extended, pulling the all-nighters just to have any chance of submitting something reasonable.

It doesn’t get much better for non-students, in fact, most people struggle with procrastination in some aspect of their lives. Pulled and push about by distractions and temptations, we spend way too much time on social media or surfing the net, in a vain attempt to avoid doing what we should be doing. Or doing anything we can, to get out of going to the gym.

Our instant gratification monkey keeps us seeking pleasurable experiences and avoid doing things that we perceive as work or difficult and thus unpleasant.

We’re hardwired to avoid discomfort, either physically or psychologically.

So how can we better get on with the things that  will improve us, encourage growth, and that will lead us to our goals?

This website is laden with motivational advice, we even have a model to help you unlock your potential, and hack your blocking thought patterns and behaviours. Sign up to our newsletter for more about this.

We’ll add just a couple of options here, but there are many others throughout the website.

Use CONSEQUENCES to your advantage.

At college or university we have deadlines. The fear of a failed exam or a poor score on your assignment are enough for you to resort to pulling an all-nighter, so that you don’t have to suffer the indignity and shame of the consequences of failure. And although students are known for cramming right up the the finishing line, they do still do all they can to hit those deadlines. Deadlines work.

So putting yourself in a position where you give yourself a DEADLINE, and where failure has adverse consequences, will help you hack your motivation. For instance, having an accountability buddy, who holds you to account for your  progress, milestones and end result, is one idea. Broadcasting your intentions and date for completion to your family and friends is another, say on social media. You don’t want to look like a failure to the people closest to you, so you better get the work done.

Give yourself REWARDS for following through; if you get [x] amount done in the next 2 hours, you’ll reward yourself with 30 minutes doing fun stuff, or a lovely treat or whatever works for  you.

Use INCENTIVES along your journey, daily targets achieved result in something good coming your  way. If you get [x] done by [y] you can have/do [z].

In the same way as incentives, use PUNISHMENTS to direct your actions but for the opposite reasons. If you don’t get [x] done by [y] deadline you can’t do [z].

One last thing to consider before we wrap up this post; if you can do something that you love to do so much, and doing it doesn’t feel like work, this will be motivation enough to put in the work. So doing what you love, that also moves you towards your goal(s) is the best scenario possible. It’s worth trying to figure out a way of aligning your purpose (goal) with your day to day activities (actions/behaviours) whenever possible, because this is perfect alignment between your outer world and inner world.

Good luck in your journey.

Check out our motivation guide, here.

Check out more motivation posts, here.

Selling From Your Website

Get Results: internet icons
Get Results: internet icons

Successful selling from your website, requires a plan of action, so that you know what you’re trying to do with each advert, each piece of content, each image, video, graphic. 

Effectively it gives you a strategy, an aim for everything you’re doing, you have direction and structure and purpose. 

Firstly, you’ve got to get people on to your website, from wherever they  currently are, whether that be searching on Google, socialising on Facebook, browsing imagery on Instagram, or consuming content on other websites. 

Get Results: selling on website
Get Results: selling on website

So the question becomes, how do you get people who are minding their own business or searching for something, to want to click through to your website, instead of continuing to do what they’re doing? 

Well, first you have to be in the same location your prospects attention is focused on. If they’re on Google, searching for information, services or products, you’ve got to be there either through Search Engine Optimisation efforts, or Pay Per Click advertising. You need to be on the first page ideally, because most searches don’t extend beyond the first page. 

If they’re on social media, you also need to have a presence there, either in the same groups, or by delivering content that they find interesting, or via paid adverts. 

Secondly, you need to get “noticed”, this means standing out from the crowd in some way, either with eye-catching graphics or attention-grabbing words or copy. 

Once you have them on your site, you must provide what you promised them on your adverts or copy. Don’t mislead them, because they will be annoyed and disappointed and this isn’t good for your brand reputation. Trust takes time to build and seconds to destroy.

Include information that is entertaining, informative, insightful and adds value to the person consuming it. 

Also make sure this content is relevant to what you’re selling. No point providing cute pet videos if your customer is looking for business solutions.

There is no point getting random traffic to your site, you want people who are going to benefit from your services/products, and only them. So keep it relevant to your target market from initial content on social media or in search results through to your website pages. 

Finally you need to have a “call to action”, either getting them to sign up to your newsletter, so you can keep providing value and pitch your service/products, or have a buy now option, where they can purchase directly from you straight away. 

Test different approaches to see what works best for you, but remember people buy based on TRUST, COMPETENCY, CONVENIENCE, RELIABILITY, QUALITY and VALUE FOR MONEY. Selling on the internet is the same as selling face to face, in this respect. 

For more information about online business, click here.

For more about website marketing, click here.

 

Planning Your Goal

Get Results: planning is indispensable
Get Results: planning is indispensable

Jim Rohn famously said “To have more you’ve got to be more”, not in the sense that your sense of worth should  be wrapped up with your abilities and what value you can provide to the world. For you are an extraordinary light as you are, but society rewards those that provide the most value to others, at least in certain situations.

We all know those that do outstanding work, that help their fellow human beings or the planet, but who are not as financially rewarded as they should be, and in this sense, the world can be unfair.

Nursing and caring for instance is not well rewarded financially, doing good deeds for your neighbours, likewise.

So it’s true that you might want to do certain things that society is not going to reward you greatly for, unless you run a business or invest in a business that leverages additional resources to increases income. Generally the more people you can help, the more you get paid. You ultimately get to decide if you still want to pursue a calling that is far reaching or that helps on an individual one to one basis.

So you have to look into whether what you want to do is going to reward you well enough, if not you may want to look for other ways of providing income or leveraging  additional resources as highlighted above.

So carefully consider you goal, make sure it aligns with your inner being. Doing something that isn’t who you are, can grate on your soul and cause inner conflict.

My advice is, do what you love, that way it doesn’t feel like work. Figure out a way to do it, that will help pay the bills. I’ve never been one for settling or doing something that my heart wasn’t in, well I have but I didn’t last long doing them.

So with that said, are you doing what you love? Would you do your job if you didn’t need the money, or are you doing it solely for the money?

If you’re doing something you’d rather not do, then you need to work out a plan to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

You have to start from where you are of course, you may need to do it for a certain time, but it’s important that you have a plan to work against that will enable you to transition into what you love.

That plan is of course different for each one of us. Figure it out, bath in the vision that you are working to achieve.

You may say to yourself, “I’ll do what I’m doing until I have £x in bank, or until my online business is better established” etc.

Make your plan doable, actionable, tangible, break it down into steps that are easy to follow and measurable, so you can make sure you’re progressing towards your goal.

It’s okay to pivot, when needed, because  as you progress you might uncover insights that better inform your plan, that may speeds things up or plot a different course. You might decide your goal needs to change based on new information. So keep it flexible, but don’t let self-doubt and fear put you off.

For more about goal setting, click here.

Grow Your Business: Getting Subscriber’s On Your Mailing List

Get Results: getting subscribers onto your email list
Get Results: getting subscribers onto your email list

Get Results: opt in model
Get Results: opt in model

Getting visitors to opt-in to your mailing list (via your website) provides a great way of directly communicating with them at a later time, in fact it should be one of your on-line marketing priorities. Imagine if you lost your Facebook page or Twitter account (and it can happen), how would you contact your audience?

Having a list of email subscribers keeps control in your own hands, rather than relying on a third party platform, and gives you a direct path to people that, by subscribing to your list, have qualified themselves as being interested in what you have to say. If they arrive on your site, read a little and leave you have nothing. As the old adage goes “the money is in the (email) list” and this is unlikely to change any time soon.

What you’ve first got to think about is that, from your visitors point of view, why would they want give you their email address? They usually won’t want to be contacted unless you have something interesting or useful to say or offer.

Get Results: opt in model
Get Results: opt in model

If you think you can simply add an opt-in form to your site and people will immediately fall over themselves to sign-up, then you’re sadly, misguided. Try it for yourself and see what happens. There needs to be something else in place to get that all important email address, and incentives are a great start.

Incentivise

So you’ve got to give visitors some incentive, provide some benefit to them in return for their email address. They have to want to get communication from you for some perceived advantage. Generally, people don’t like to be sold to, so you need to get over to them that you’re looking to help them to either solve a problem or achieve a goal rather than sell them something, and communicating the benefit of your offer is vital if you’re to succeed. Answer the question “What benefit is in it for them”.

Get Results: opt in model
Get Results: opt in model

Benefits can be short-lived, and particularly relevant to one piece of content (content upgrade) or could be more long term focused and offer ongoing value. If you capture an email because of a content upgrade you should look to keep them as a long term subscriber by having a strategy in place to provide ongoing value and support, otherwise they will simply opt-out straight away. Check out my in-depth list of opt-in incentive ideas.

Sell the benefits – Use wording within your opt-in form that sells the benefit of this incentive to your visitor. “Increase productivity with my 5 efficiency hacks” or “5 efficiency hacks that will increase productivity”, obviously make it relevant to your particular incentive, answer the question. “Why do my visitors need this incentive?”

Don’t promise something you can’t produce or provide and never ever try to mislead subscriber’s. Be honest, and reliable at all times. Once you break trust it is unlikely, unless you have history with them, that they will ever forgive you, and why should they? Check the section about credibility, capability and trustworthiness (below), for more information.

Offsetting the risk for subscribers

If I am the visitor on a new website I consider the risk reward balance of becoming a subscriber. Asking myself “If I give this person my email address can I opt-out if I change my mind?” So adding some text to your opt-in form saying that subscribers can opt-out easily at any time, and will not be pestered thereafter, will help to reduce this concern.

The main fear for many visitors, that prevents them from subscribing, is being swamped with spam emails that don’t offer any value to them and that become a pain to get rid of. Knowing they can click a button and never see your mail again is a big risk reducer. “One click to unsubscribe at any time – guaranteed!”.

Another concern is email addresses being sold onto third parties without the subscribers permission, and this should never happen, but sadly does. Make sure you state that there is no risk of this happening if they sign up with you. “We will never spam you” or “We will never share your email address with anyone else” or a combination of the two will help.

Adding extra value

When a visitor lands on your page they probably don’t know you, they don’t particularly care about you and your brand, or want to build a relationship with you, what they want is to get some benefit from you and your site. It’s your job to answer their question, “What’s in it for me?” The benefit should be so good they just can’t resist to sign up. The promise of insider information, better quality bonus information, discounts, rebates etc. and they’ll get that exclusively if they sign up.

This content can be hidden on your site, free from being indexed like your other content, on a page rather than that a post so it doesn’t appear in the blogroll. There are a number of WordPress plugins that will help you keep this content off your sitemap or navigation. Contact me for more information about this.

Other considerations for getting email opt-in’s are:

Getting Visitors

Getting people to see your page in the first place is of paramount importance, but the traffic volume alone is no good, you need traffic that is interested in your offer, so targeted traffic is what counts.  Laser focus your marketing messages to speak to people who are interested in your niche and only them. Check this post for more information.

Important Content

Once they arrive on your site, you need them to stay around long enough to see your opt-in box, so having content that will keep them engaged and on your site long enough to get the chance to opt-in is another big part of the jigsaw.

There needs to be some demonstration of value in your content that makes the visitor think, “I like this enough to sign up”. Think about it, if the content on a site you visit is not engaging or of high quality or relevance, are you going to sign up for their email newsletter?

You need to be thinking “I can get some value from this person” to even consider signing up. There’s got to be an interest from the visitor in the subject matter, and then they have got to like your take on that subject matter to want to stay around and hear more from you.

Placement of opt-in

You should consider placement of your opt-in form, do you put it in the sidebar, and if so at the top, middle or bottom? In the post itself, and again where is best? There is no definitive answer to this, the best advice is to test for yourself and see what works best for your audience. Some ideas for placement testing include:

  • Sidebar – top, middle, or bottom separately and altogether,
  • within the post itself – above the fold or bottom of post or both
  • It’s great to include an opt-in form on both the “homepage” and “about us” pages, and again test multiple locations and see what works for you.

Make it stand out

As well as considering the location, it’s important, wherever you place your opt-in form, to make sure it stands out and is noticed. Use the rule of contrast, and make your form the opposite colour to the rest of your website. Visitor’s must be drawn to your opt-in form and the human brain is hard-wired to notice things that don’t match the rest of the environment, that stand out.

Number of fields

Think about how many fields you’re asking  the visitor to fill in – my testing shows the fewer fields the visitor has to complete the more subscribers you will get. On the flip side I have seen research that suggests converting subscribers to paying customers (further down the sales funnel) tends to be better from leads who originally opted-in via forms with more fields, so as always test variations and see what works for you.

Credible, capable and trustworthy

Credibility, although last to be discussed here, is without doubt the most important element you need to sell anything online. If you can prove you know what you’re talking about, you know your niche, your product or service, you’re three quarters of the way to achieving online success.

Credibility builds trust, and gives your audience confidence you can deliver the results they are looking for. Credibility comes in the form of customer testimonials and reviews, case studies, demonstrations, free samples, free trial periods, social media following and interaction, before and after photos, published income statements, in fact anything that shows you can do what you say you can do, and the better you can demonstrate this the easier selling will be. Think of why you shop at Amazon (for instance), is it because of their stunning website design, the colour of their sidebars or footers?

You buy from Amazon, because you trust them, you know they can deliver what they say they will, and when they say they will, you can check out product reviews, you can return it if you’re not happy with it when it arrives. If I didn’t say it before “Credibility is key”.

Summary

There needs to be so much more in place to get subscribers onto your email list than just having an opt-in form on your site. Without subscribers, selling online, while not impossible, is much more difficult for some type of businesses. This varies depending on the type of niche you are involved in of course, my photography studio business sells lots of experience vouchers online without needing to get subscribers (although I still collect the emails of visitors to send promotional offers to), but this seems to be very different for none physical businesses that sell things like digital products and solutions, where getting subscribers is much more important in the sales process.

Below is a list of elements you will need to get visitor’s email addresses.

  • You’ve got to get targeted traffic to your site in the first place,
  • Provide good relevant content to engage your visitors and keep them hanging around, also the more of this content there is and the longer you have been around helps in the perception of credibility
  • Have an opt-in form generator such as Thrive Leads to capture your visitor’s email address and an auto responder such as Mailchimp or Aweber to deliver the relevant incentive promised,
  • An opt-in incentive and the wording used to sell the incentive to your visitors. Also think about an ongoing strategy for offering continuing value that requires staying subscribed to get access to it. (list of ideas here)
  • Risk reducers – using reassurances such as:
    • We will never spam you
    • We will never share your email address
    • You can opt-out with one click at any time, but please give us a try
  •  Positioning of the opt-in box:
    • On the home page
    • Within post above fold and end of post
    • On the “About us” page
    • In the sidebar
    • Don’t overdo it though, sometimes less is best.
  • Number of fields the visitor has to fill in – keep to a minimum.
  • Make sure your opt-in box stands out, use the rule of contrast when deciding what colour to use, which involves looking at the predominate colour of your website and picking the colour opposite on the colour wheel
  • Most importantly – being perceived as credible, capable and trustworthy – trust elements, money back guarantees, free trial periods, income reports, testimonials, review, case studies, list of major brands you have done work for, TV appearances etc. Without credibility, I doubt having all the other elements in place would lead to much success, it is the single most important ingredient of selling online, and off-line for that matter. If  you were to consider what to spend most time on improving, it should be this. As I said earlier, I sell lots of photo experience vouchers online, and the main reason for this undoubtedly being seen as credible, capable and trustworthy.

Once you have all the elements, described in the preceding paragraphs, in place you have a fighting chance. Test all of the variables to see which is more effective with your audience, it’s an on-going process of testing, and re-testing. There is no magic bullet, and what works for one doesn’t guarantee will work for someone else. Don’t assume you know best either, use your hunch as a starting point and test against it.

Just a word of warning regarding testing. Don’t change more than one element at a time and make sure you are getting sufficient volume to make the results meaningful. This will be hard when starting off, because you will obviously not have the volume of visitors, but online success is not achieved overnight, and measuring performance from the start is what will give you an edge over other newcomers, and ensure you have taken a solid first step.

While you’re here, why not check out our marketing guide here.

The Best Affiliate Marketing Business Model

Get Results: affiliate marketing business model
Get Results: affiliate marketing business model

Targeting the right audience

It’s all very well getting lots of traffic onto your website, but if it’s not targeted traffic, then you’re not going to earn much money from all those visitors. If you’re selling dog collars for instance and getting people to your website who are looking for holidays, then all that will happen is those visitors will bounce off your site and go elsewhere. So think laser focused targeting for all your marketing messages. Appeal to prospects that actually want what you have to offer. Find out who they are and where they hang out, and deliver your message to them and only them. To test the depth of knowledge you need to have a about your audience, can you answer these questions?

  • Who is your ideal reader/visitor
  • What do they look like, talk about, care about, hate, fear, desire
  • Who do they hang out with, talk to, argue with, ideolise, want to be
  • Where do they hang out online, in person, want to go, not want to go
  • What products, brands, personas, do they love and hate
  • How do they talk, formally, passionately, analytically
  • What lingo do they use (ie keywords)

Why are they coming to you?

  • Why should they listen to you instead of everyone else
  • What problems are they looking to solve

Where to find your audience

Does your audience frequent Facebook or Twitter. Do they love to spend time on Youtube surfing the “How to…” videos in your niche? Would it be more productive to target them via the major search engines such as Google and Bing? If so then you would need to consider Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and getting your site up the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings. If you want to get yourself in front of your audience fast, then Pay Per Click (PPC) might be the way to go. Think very carefully about your acquisition strategy because getting it wrong can cost time, effort and money. To summarise:

  • Optimise your site to make it search engine friendly,
  • Use PPC – make sure you know what you’re doing with this method,
  • Participate in forums,
  • Get active in Facebook groups,
  • Network on Facebook and Twitter,
  • Guest post on blogs in your niche (good for reputation, traffic and SEO),
  • Attend events and conferences – great off-line method,
  • Link out to other valuable resources/sites.

Getting yourself a home

Don’t rely on making your main internet home Facebook or Twitter, because although these are great platforms to engage with your audience, relying solely on these could wipe your business out overnight should these platforms decide to change the rules, as many software companies have found to their costs. For instance Shortstack started off providing engaging Facebook competitions until Facebook decided to cut them out and do it for themselves and although Shortstack have evolved away from Facebook to some degree, they recently wrote a blog post detailing their acknowledgement of the mistake of over-reliance on a third party to support their business.

I now use WordPress for all my sites, it’s free to use (except for the hosting of course if you’re using a self hosting option), comes with lots of plugins to add functionality to the site, is loved by Google and is ideal for SEO and has tons of free themes to make it look original. Most of the modern themes are also mobile responsive which is a must these days for both ranking and user experience.

Building relationships – Email Marketing

Provide Great Content

Once you get targeted audience to your website, you need to have something interesting, useful, unique and most of all, helpful for them to read, look at and engage with. Look to help them with some problem they have or to achieve something they want to achieve. Great content should:

  • Be honest
  • Be valuable (don’t waste peoples time)
  • Be delivered in multiple formats if possible
  • Be as short as possible but no shorter
  • Be relevant
  • Be fresh
  • Be shareable
  • Solve problems by providing solutions
  • Attract an audience
  • Above all – be results oriented.

To do this you must understand their wants and needs. Use surveys, interact with them via email and find out their pain.

Tips about Content generation

Think about what someone in your niche is going to need to follow in your footsteps. Think about your progression and map this out for your audience if they are trying to replicate you.

Use easy to remember forwarding URLs for certain topics to make them easier for your audience to memorise, these can be purchased as domain names and pointed to any page on your site. Promote this easy to remember URL in your marketing messages.

Use the medium that best suites your site. Look what the competition are using and do it differently and better.

know the product – be a sales agent for it, if you haven’t used it and found it useful don’t try to sell it. Become a resource of information for using that product. Give your audience tips and tricks for getting the best from it. Show the product being used, “un-boxing the product” is a popular type of video content. Ask yourself “Can I trust the product to be good for my audience?”. Become a source of information for that product. “How to….” videos and articles, show you using it for your own purposes, helpful tips and advice, and reviews

know what you want your audience to achieve by using your website what is their goal, then design a road map to help them achieve that goal, show them how using your products will help them get to their goal.

Build deep relationships with your subscribers. The deeper the relationship the shorter the pitch required. Speed up the building of relationships by:

  • Be personable – easier to connect. Use video and podcasts,
  • Tell stories and entertain,
  • Random Acts Of Kindness – reply to comments, give them a special deal, put comments on their blog,
  • Be real,
  • Build trust first:
    • Give lots away for free, add value without charging. If your seen as a giver people more likely to respond positively,
    • Get others to recommend you

If you don’t currently use the product yourself, get in contact with the owner of the product and ask some questions about the product and write a post about the conversation.

Get a special deal just for your audience, or give a rebate (using part of your affiliate earnings) back to the purchaser if they go through your affiliate link.

Other tips

  • Create an epic post about the product. A ONE Stop shop resource,
  • Multiple Youtube videos about different aspect of using the product,
  • Hold a webinar for the product,
  • Publish a webinar replay – Be sure to record your live webinar so that you can embed it on your website as a replay for those who didn’t watch it live, and those who did watch it live but want to get the information again,
  • Use an indirect social push – link to a post or a resource that will engage people beforehand about the product or a video about it, not directly to an affiliate link
  • Keep track of your click through’s – use pretty links or crazy egg,
  • Indirect email list promotion – For me, I like to indirectly promote on my email list – like I do with social media – it’s all about giving people as much high-value content as possible, and on the email, it’s exactly the same. I don’t directly promote anything on my email list – and if there are any links in my emails they all point back to my blog,
  • Indirect promotion on other people’s sites,
  • Be honest and disclose that they are affiliate links,
  • Thank people in advance for going through your affiliate links,
  • Review and compare products of the same type,
  • Focus on how it will help your audience (benefits not features),
  • Believe in your recommendations,
  • If it doesn’t work try another offer,
  • Test, test and test again,
  • Make your own product instead,
  • Be patient. Trust is built over time,
  • Provide a resource page full of all your affiliate products and links,
  • Offer a bonus
    • Extra content (i.e. extra skins for a opt-in box)
    • Discount price, rebates,
    • Tips and tricks document included,
    • How to use document included.

Email Sign ups

Encourage visitors to opt-in to your email list so that you can keep in touch with them and continue to help. You need to have an opt-in box on your website to do this. I have them dotted around my site in the sidebar and footer of most of the posts. I encourage you to do the same. Only ever provide great content and assistance, don’t ever spam them with endless sales pitches. We all hate that, don’t we?

You can use what are known in the trade as opt-in bribes to encourage subscriptions. An opt-in bride is something of value that the visitor has to exchange their email address for. This could include:

  • Cheat sheets
  • Tips and tricks information
  • A white paper
  • A resource list
  • An Ebook

In fact anything that adds value, and is perceived as being valuable and relevant to your visitor. If they don’t want it, they won’t sign up. If they do sign up always make it really easy to unsubscribe from your list as a matter of courtesy.

Note: If you sign up for our newsletter, feel free to respond to any of the emails we send you asking for our “Lead Magnet List” which will give you more ideas for what to use as Lead Magnets.

Have something to sell

Ultimately we are looking to build a business from our online endeavours, so we need something to sell. Something that will help our audience, something that gives more in value than it asks for in payment. Think of saving your audience time, effort, money wherever possible. Look to help them make money or solve some problem or pain they want to remove from their lives.

You can look to sell your own products or be an Affiliate and sell other people’s products. There are literally thousands of such products available to sell from physical products, services to digital products and everything in between.

If you’re starting out in online marketing, it is probably wiser to sharpen your marketing skills before investing a great deal of your resources in developing your own products, and Affiliate Marketing is an ideal option. Products can be found via networks such as Clickbank, Commission Junction, Amazon and JVZoo to name but a few.

summary of where to find products to sell

  • Clickbank,
  • Amazon affiliates / associates but look for high value products,
  • Odigger.com or offervault.com,
  • Commission junction you can be an affiliate or sell your product through them,
  • Think about what you use yourself,
  • Directly approach the company yourself, ask if they do affiliate program,
  • Forums and ask for ideas to the likes of web warrior forum and digital point forum,
  • If you cant find a product make one yourself.

Where to use affiliate links

  • Put affiliate links in an Ebook
  • Put affiliate links within content section and as many natural links as possible, without overdoing it. Not everyone will read the full article
  • Link to an image of product Easy Azon WordPress Plugin – I have never used this myself so I can’t recommend it,
  • Mention discount prices “click on this link to save 20%” if you have such an offer,
  • Measure affiliate links using prettylinks (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pretty-link/ ) or gocodes to put a long affiliate link and creates a short nice link which is easy to remember
  • Create own advertisements, use text widgets to rotate text links,
  • Affiliate links in your images.

Keep the conversion going

Keep providing help to your audience, otherwise they will move on and leave you behind. If you’re only looking to service a narrow band of people at a certain stage in their development and don’t intend to offer support for them later, than that’s fine as long as you know how to keep the flow of new recruits coming to your website. Have a plan and work the plan.

Get Results: affiliate marketing business model
Get Results: affiliate marketing business model

 

Summary

To be truly successful in Affiliate Marketing you need to build an audience that keeps coming back to you for more, I’ve heard it described as building a tribe or engaged community, even raving fans – whatever you want to label it, it’s about engaging on a regular basis and building a relationship with them. In order to achieve this you must provide great, unique, valuable, and actionable content that your audience needs and wants. This should be your major focus. Without an audience you can’t hope to build an affiliate business.

If you’re looking at doing it as a sideline, or full time business you will probably want or need to earn money from it by selling something. I prefer to use a method that adds value and genuinely helps people. I love to talk about Marketing and Business so write about it a lot. I have to make a living but have decided to only sell products that are relevant to my audience, I would be proud to have developed myself, and that are of genuine use. If I don’t like it I won’t try to sell it.

If you’re getting into affiliate marketing then pick a niche you are passionate to write about, otherwise you won’t enjoy it and will likely give up if the going is tough. Don’t do it just to make money, do it to help others. The side effect of adding more and more value is you tend to make more and more money.

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