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Posts Tagged ‘business’

Interactive Content Creation: An Experiment

This morning, I had a 5-hour drive to pick up my daughter. When I first began my drive, I thought about the different types of business-related activities I’ve accomplished while being on a long drive. Stuff like coaching calls, teleseminars, masterminds and other phone-related activities (I strongly recommend using a headset or bluetooth device so you can keep both hands free) came to mind. I have also created videos while driving…the camera was on the dashboard. Of course, long drives are also a great time to catch up on audio training and audio books (something I do quite regularly).

Then I got an idea. I wondered if I could create a different type of content while I was driving by using the interactive power of Facebook. So I pulled off the road, made a post to my Facebook wall using my iPad and asked for responses. The results were pretty cool, and showed just how powerful (and fun) interactive, user-generated content can be.

Below is the actual dialog from my Facebook wall from earlier today. The conversation will likely continue to grow. Occasionally you will see where I interjected additional thoughts. Those were the times I stopped for breaks. Enjoy the dialog and feel free to join in below in the comments!

Tony Laidig: While I’ve been driving, I’ve been thinking about the things that cause us to think or act irrationally (not including alcohol and controlled substances…grin). A couple ideas…seeing a friend or family member in danger. As a guy…women…lol. How about you? What makes you do things that defy logic or reason?

Heddy Rhea: Anxiety…and stress.

Heddy Rhea: And should you be doing this while you are driving?? :)

Tony Laidig: At a service plaza…grin.

Monty Craig: Seeing a Semi coming toward me as I am thinking too deeply while driving! Ha ha…

Kristen Eckstein: Dealing with a psychotic client who expects a best-seller quality book cover in less than 10 seconds & bugs me every 5 seconds for it until it’s ready. (I bet you can relate, Tony!)

Apothecary Jeri: Government agencies come to mind ……MVA, USPS …not that it ever happens to me of course :p

Therese Sparby: Things that defy logic or reason?!?!? I do this all the time… Every time I make a commitment that requires faith, and I follow my instinct. (for example- becoming an entrepreneur and building a business to many people… often including myself… defys both reason and logic) :-)

Laureen Falco: I would say one of the things I’ve done to defy logic or reason was to skydive. I’m one of the few – that didn’t really enjoy my tandem jump – and that one minute free fall felt like a lifetime – especially when you’re thinking that this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done! Had I had a great time – it would have been exhilarating. But the whole time, it was being filmed, and I kept trying so hard to keep my lunch down.

Elaine Ireland: Seeing my kids/grand kids do something that I KNOW is going to hurt them and not being able to do/say anything to prevent it. Sooo, I go do something stupid to compensate for it. Silly, huh?

Tony Laidig: Great comments everyone! Here are a few more I thought of (no I’m not typing this while driving). Unresolved emotions or trauma (like road rage), fight or flight scenarios, fear, faith, peer pressure and my personal favorite…chocolate.

Elaine Ireland: Since when is chocolate…anything, but GOOD for body, mind and soul?

Tony Laidig: True Elaine…but it still makes me act irrationally at times…especially when I NEED it. lol

Heidi Walter: Interesting, chocolate has never made me act irrationally. Must be my genetics. LOL.

Cathy Colonna Rogers: KIDS – Especially your own. They have a way of getting you so frustrated in an argument you can’t even put together a coherent sentence!

Tony Laidig: BTW…I am not suggesting that these triggers will always lead to irrational behavior or will do so in all people. I also realize that “irrational” is subjective. I just find it fascinating that there are influences that can control us with…out explanation. That said, here are some more possible triggers I thought of: Self-preservation, belief in a cause, a need to belong or fit in, the supernatural, organized groups or religions, chemical imbalances or food allergies, group devotion (like sports fans…grin). Any other thoughts?See More

Taylore Vance: This is Scary and we need to realize that this is behind unrest…and social problems including substance abuse — why try if you are hopeless? (Good question) http://ymlp.com/zBy5lG

Heidi Walter: Oh, Tony, you’ll have to get Maxine Jones’ book on agreements when it comes out later this fall. I am editing it now. It’s all about the conscious and unconscious agreements we make, like aging (which doesn’t have to happen) and needing food to survive (That was a human consciousness agreement that built up over the centuries). Fascinating and empowering stuff. We don’t know the title yet, but I’ll be writing about it once it’s ready.

Audrey Spiegel: All great comments and insight….I’d like to add insecurity. Oh, and being hungry and tired.

Susan L. Strahosky: My predominate psychic sense is feeling. I’ve realized it can make me feel crazy when I feel things. I’m aware of things, but there is not physical or outward validation. Like there’s an elephant in the room and everyone else is in denial.

Debby Hall: Love…any and all kinds, romantic, parental, friendships. Logic and reason can go out the window when it comes to love and that’s not necessarily a bad thing:)

The Secret to Breakthrough Success that REALLY Works!

A few months ago, I taught a special webinar on your Inner Business that ended up being one of my most watched, most popular webinars to date. Well, I have another amazing (and FREE) webinar happening that I would like to invite you to. This new webinar picks up where the last one left off, and “secret” we will be sharing has the potential to skyrocket your business AND your life!

The new webinar, happening this Wednesday (October 13th) evening at 7pm EDT  is titled, “The Secret to Breakthrough Success that REALLY Works!” I’d like to invite you to join us! In this webinar, my friend, Anita Collins (Anita is a business and life results strategist) and I will be sharing a secret that could revolutionize your business (and life).

If you are struggling to “make it” or keep your head above water, this secret will help you achieve the breakthrough success that has alluded you. If you are one who has experienced some success but can’t figure out how to move to the next level, this secret will help you get you there! We will NOT be sharing fluff or theory, but rather, a rock-solid business strategy that works EVERY time…even for you!

I am REALLY excited to share this webinar with you because Anita and I will be sharing transformational strategies that have changed our own businesses. Trust me…you do NOT want to miss this!

To register, click the link below and we will see you Wednesday night!

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/registe r/252987418

Search Engine Savvy

When it comes to search engines, we all tend to get a bit myopic, thinking Google is our ONLY real choice for finding the info we need. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is that there are literally thousands of search engines available for us to use for our “data mining” duties, and some of them are rather cool. In this post, I thought I’d share some of the search engines I have been playing with recently.

BlinkX: Blinkx offers access to over 35 million hours of index videos from across the web. Using patented conceptual search, speech recognition and video analysis software, Blinkx is extremely efficient and accurate with finding and qualifying online video. They are the world’s largest single index of rich media content on the Web, and deliver more content from a broader range of sources than either Google or Yahoo! They also offer the ability to embed a “wall” of videos based on your search results on your own website.

Technorati: Technorati has been around for quite a while, but it’s likely that you aren’t using it, which is why I’ve included it in this list. They are the leading blog search engine and directory and indexes more than a million blogs. So if you are looking for relevant info on your topic and want to see what other bloggers are writing about, Technorati is your answer. You can also use the results to find articles related to your topic so that you can comment and benefit from the backlinks. I personally use it for leads on new content and info that isn’t being widely shared.

InkMesh: Inkmesh is an ebook search engine that makes it easier to find free ebooks and compare ebook prices for the Kindle, iPhone, Sony Reader, Nook and more. What I like about this search engine is that, not only can I use it to find free e-books, but I can also use the results to “spy” on what Public Domain books are being released by others. Being an iPad user, this is a super cool website for finding e-book gems!

NowRelevant: NowRelevant was a pleasant discovery! It is the interface portal for The Internet Time Machine’s backend search engine that gives you access to every written word about a subject for the past 14 days. It monitor millions of sources and feeds to give you the most up to date and pertinent information on your subject. What that means is that rather than have to filter through ALL the results you would find through Google or Yahoo…some of them years old…NowRelevant limits your results to just the past 14 days, and they offer a time slider that allows you to cut the results down to even fewer days. Why this cool is that your results enable you to track trends easily, which means you can target your PPC campaigns (among other things) with current, relevant data! Gotta love that!

ALL My Products Are on Sale This Weekend!

I’ll keep this brief…I know the weekend is here!

For the next three days (October 8 – 10, 2010), I’m putting my money where my mouth is by discounting EVERY product I have in a pretty significant way. Why? Simple. I am committed to your success and want to make it as easy as possible to get moving forward in starting your online business, or, if you’re already selling online, to help you shift to the next level!

I also value you as a member of my list or reader of my blog. There is a LOT of BS out there in the Internet Marketing space, and I want to provide as MUCH real value as possible, and for the next three days, for less!

So here are the details…

For the next 3 days, the following products will “ring up” with a $20 discount off their regular price:

Copywriting Basics that Work: (http://copywritingbasicsthatwork.com)

Create Audio Products: (http://createaudioproducts.com)

Public Domain Code Book: (http://www.publicdomaincodebook.com/home.html)

Build Your Business Using FREE Tools Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Leveraging Social Media for Online Success Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Niche Market Research Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)


ALSO, for the next 3 days, the following products will “ring up” with a $30 discount off their regular price:

Easy Money Picture Project: (http://www.easymoneypictureproject.com)

Limitless Blog Content: (http://www.limitlessblogcontent.com)

Public Domain Explained: (http://publicdomainexplained.com)

Public Domain Profit Centers: (http://www.publicdomainprofitcenters.com)

WordPress Mastery Step-by-Step: (http://wordpressmasterystepbystep.com)

Creating Powerful Photo-Based Videos Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Creating E-Book Products from Beginning to End Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Photoshop Product Creation Tips and Tricks Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Product Creation Strategies Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

This offer will NOT extend past Monday, October 11th and will not be repeated again. So NOW is the time to take advantage of these prices and invest in quality products that will help you build your online business!

Tony

Why You Will *NOT* Make Money from Public Domain Content!

You may have noticed lately that I haven’t been talking about Public Domain content as much now as I have in the past. So what happened? Have I given up on the Public Domain? Have I milked it for all its worth and now am onto bigger things? Have I gone underground and am keeping all the new tricks to myself? Nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that I have (temporarily) shifted away some from teaching about Public Domain content because of YOU!

You see, I discovered a growing trend with many of my subscribers that really concerned me. They would hear me talk about the Public Domain and share what’s possible with the content and get excited. They would invest in my Public Domain courses, find TONS of great Public Domain content, but then, something happened. It is this “something” that concerned me, and it is the PRIMARY reason why you will NOT make money from Public Domain content!

I found that many of my customers…perhaps even you…didn’t DO anything with the Public Domain content they found. It just sat there on their hard drive taking up space. Tons of ebooks, images, magazines and more…all with great potential, all doing nothing to make them money.

I wondered, “What about the blog posts and articles you were going to write using PD content? What about all the product ideas you had using PD content as the source? What about the books, e-books, videos, audios, posters, membership sites and all the other wonderful products you can create using Public Domain content? Quite honestly, I was puzzled. I wondered why so many would take those important first steps of action, but then stop. A little investigating revealed the answer. And this discovery is what shifted my business.

What I discovered was that few people actually knew and understood what their next steps should be. They found great content, and in some cases, even created products, but didn’t know how to get those products online. They weren’t sure how to build the websites and set up the download pages. They didn’t understand how to get traffic to their site (if they had one) and, in many cases, the idea of using social media was confusing at best. It seemed that even knowing the right tools and software for creating those products was elusive.

Can you relate? Is this where YOU are in your own business? I think you will agree that it would be irresponsible of me (or anyone else) to ignore the problems you might be struggling with. And so, because of these revelations, I’m changing how I approach my product creation, my interaction with my subscribers and customers and with YOU! No, I haven’t given up on the Public Domain. As a matter of fact, it is playing a key role in some of the new projects I’m working on right now! The task right now, however, is to see YOU succeed even MORE with Public Domain content!

So I’m curious…what roadblocks are YOU facing with taking the next step? What is the ONE THING you believe would make all the difference in the world in helping you become successful (or more successful) online? Please post your thoughts and comments below. And if you would, please also share this with your friends and subscribers through the Twitter, Facebook and Digg links. Thanks!

Business Success Reboot, Part Two

Lately, I’ve been exploring the question of…

“If I had to do it all over…to start over from scratch…WHAT would I do different?”

What I want to share with you today is the ONE skill I learned that made a HUGE difference in my income. And I want to share this because, when I first started out, I was told (just like I’m telling you) that I needed to understand this and I thought I had it all figured out…that I knew what I was doing.

Boy was I wrong!

My first product took me 11 months to create…and I wouldn’t recommend ANYONE take that long to create products. As a matter of fact, now I create several new products every single week…but that’s another story. Anyway, once I had my product created and the website designed I was ready to make some money. After all, I deserved some compensation for all the hard work I had put into creating it (the product was the Public Domain Code Book).

When I designed the site, I felt comfortable with the graphics because that’s what I did for a living at the time. But there was ONE element that I held some real concern about…writing the copy for the sales letter. I looked at what a couple other websites had used and thought I’d try to model them. I was
TOLD that I needed to understand the basics of good copywriting but I ignored those who told me that.

So I wrote what I thought was some pretty clever copy in the vane of Indiana Jones meets the Public Domain and I was SO proud. I absolutely LOVED how the copy and the sales letter turned out. Now for the REAL test…sending traffic to the site to make some serious cash! I bought some traffic through Adwords (another nightmare I’ll save for a future installment) and suddenly, I realized I was facing worst-case scenario…I spent a LOT of money on Adwords and made ZERO sales. I couldn’t tell my wife, she would have killed me if she knew how much money I spent with Google with nothing to show.

When I began to consider what could have been wrong, the message about the importance of copy came back to haunt me. I had to face the fact that my sales copy sucked. I went on a frenzied quest to learn the basics of copywriting to see if I could even salvage all the time and effort I had put into this first project. It paid off. I re-wrote the sales page based on what I had learned and sales began to happen…a few here and there, and then more and more. Since then, that first product has sold over $50,000 and is still selling today!

What made the difference?

It wasn’t the product and it wasn’t the traffic…it was the SALES COPY! That’s what made the difference. It was an expensive lesson to learn and one that I want to help you avoid. That’s why I created, “Copywriting Basics That Work!” You’ll discover how to avoid ALL the mistakes that kept my first product from selling, as well as the secrets to creating sales letters, video sales letters and e-mail promotions convert like crazy.

Do yourself a favor (and for the benefit of your current and future sales), take a few moments to watch the video I created and discover the KEY to finding true success online.

Committed to your ongoing success!

Copywriting Basics That Work

Business Success Reboot, Part One

I have been giving a LOT of thought to the question, “If I had to do it all over again in my business, what would I do the same, and what would I do different?” As I contemplated the ideas, I realized that there might be some benefit to my musings for others…especially those who are just starting out. So over the course of the next several post, we will explore the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of creating your own online business from my own experience and point of view. What I share will not be the “be all end all” type of guidance. Rather, it will be a reflection of the pitfalls and triumphs I experienced through the process of selling online.

Okay…we’re going to start off with a huge lesson…definitely the BIGGEST lesson I’ve learned through the business-building process.

The very FIRST thing I would do differently if I were just starting my business today, would be to learn how to think like a successful entrepreneur as quickly as possible and at whatever cost I could afford! Here’s why: Products, strategies, even relationships are NOT what cause you to be or become successful. While these are certainly pieces of the puzzle, they alone will not make you successful. Only a success-oriented mindset and belief system will truly create the type of business success you want and deserve.

The reason mindset is so vitally important is simple…money is a representation for a value exchange, nothing more. If a product or service “costs” $5,000, the price declares that the product has value in the amount of $5,000. Whether it actually does or not is immaterial, and certainly determined by the end-user. If you do not “see” the value in your own product or service…or, more importantly, in yourself personally, neither will anyone else. One of biggest challenges early on was recognizing that I had value as a person, and that what I had to offer was valuable. It was a process and lesson that cost me a lot of time, honesty and money to learn, but was easily the most influential “strategy” that created the biggest impact on my business.

As I worked through the process of developing my “inner game” as my friend, Pat O’Bryan, refers to it, I had to be brutally honest with myself and face some tough questions, like:

  • What is my purpose in life?
  • Why do I feel worthless?
  • What am I afraid of? Failing? Success?
  • Will I look like a fool?
  • Do I really have anything to offer that people would spend money for?
  • Will my parents approve?
  • What if I fail?
  • Am I even smart enough to do this?
  • What is my reason WHY for wanting my own business?
  • Is it even possible for ME to earn a decent living online, much less a phenomenal one?
  • Where do I begin?
  • Do I deserve to be a success?

Perhaps you have thought many of these same questions! They’re energy and dream stealers and stop most people dead in their tracks. Think of them as a poison that is slowly killing your hopes and dreams. They create a self-talk that’s founded on expectations and beliefs that do not even have substance or proof. One question I asked myself regularly, at times even moment by moment, was, “What evidence do I have that proves that THIS time I will fail?” That THIS time I’ll lose everything!” The truth was (and is) that there is NEVER any evidence. Whether you allow yourself to focus on the past or worry about the future, you MUST realize that neither exists! Only NOW exists and success is simply a choice away.

Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. The questions (and others) above are the perpetuators of the SAME THINGS! You must choose better questions and responses! Here are some examples of the types of questions and responses I used to change my mindset and business:

How can I best serve those around me? Serving others gets our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances.

I am grateful for _____________________ (fill in the blank) in my life. I struggled a lot with depression and realized that as I remained in a place of gratitude, I wasn’t depressed or fearful. The question I asked myself constantly was, “Why are you focused on what you DON’T have when you can give thanks for what you DO have?”

How can I offer $______ in value to my customers? When you begin to look at your business as offering value versus making money, your mindset shifts.

There is ALWAYS a way…always! This is one of my newer responses…it’s written on my marker board above my desk. I’ve found that it shifts you out of a place of fear and into hopeful anticipation for one reason…there is always a way! You may not know it yet…nevertheless…there is always a way!

In the next post, I will continue with some other transformations I’ve experienced in mindset that will certainly benefit you as well. I will also share books and resources I’ve personally found to be useful and helpful in that transformational process. Until then!

Oh and by the way, I am SO grateful to have you as a reader! Please feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.
Also, if you could do me a favor and please share this with friends, family and subscribers who you feel could benefit from it most. You can do so by re-tweeting, sharing it on Facebook and on Digg! Thanks!

If I Had to Do It All Over Again

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately about what I would do differently in my business if I had to do it all over. I realized that there are some elements of my business that I would handle exactly the same, but others I would definitely change. So what I thought I would do is over the next several blog posts, I am going to walk through the lessons I’ve learned over the past several years of selling online (my first “sales” site was launched in 2002). I will share my successes and mistakes in every area of the business…from product creation and affiliate selling to JVs and traffic.

My hope (and goal) is to help you avoid the same mistakes I made and benefit from the strategies and methods that worked. I will share what I would do right now if I was starting over. The first post will be ready in the next day or two!

Content Marketing and the Public Domain

Now more than ever before, the key to reaching your audience is to provide them with high-quality, ongoing beneficial content. The day of junk articles and spun content are pretty much over (thank God!). If you think about, it makes sense that your reader would WANT to read something of quality…that’s what YOU want too, right? Of course you do! Nothing you hate worse than to find a website that “hopefully” has the answer you’re looking for, only to find out it’s a spam site designed to get traffic and siphon your money. There will always be those who try to scam the system (not to mention you and I) but you know better…especially when you consider that your content marketing has a great friend in the Public Domain!

When you consider that there are over 85 million books, 200,000+ magazine titles, 5.5 million patents, billions of images and more, content for your site (not to mention your articles, products, autoresponders, etc.) should be a no-brainer! Think about this…we are talking about PROVEN content! It’s already been written by experts and read by thousands if not tens of thousands of readers (just like your target audience). This content was subjected to peer-review, editors and publishers whose desire was to share the best writing on the topic at hand. WHY? Because they knew that if the articles in their magazine sucked, readership would drop and their advertisers would lose money. If the books they published were crap, no one would buy them. Remember, there was no Internet 50+ years ago…LOTS of people read so publishers HAD to produce quality content. Content marketing was just as relevant then as it is today!

Honestly, as a content publisher, you really have NO excuse to struggle with writing blog posts or offering quality content to your readers, prospects and customers! To gain further insight on how to use Public Domain content as a part of your content marketing strategy, be sure to check out these related articles found elsewhere on my blog:

Sell Quality and the Price Won’t Matter

The Previous Post Was a Lesson

Limitless Content

The Gospel According to Magazines

Take Better Photographs Now!

I need your help!

I’ll be honest…the Public Domain is NOT my first love…photography is. Ever since the days of running around my Grandmother’s yard snapping flower and bug pictures with my Great-Grandmother’s Kodak 126 Instamatic, I’ve been hooked. Trust me when I say that I’ve been at this a while. A year ago, while at Joel Bauer’s Passion2Profit event, Joel had us list the one thing we were passionate about as kids…as teenagers…as adults…the one hobby we go back to again and again. The answer was easy but also troubling…PHOTOGRAPHY! Not the Public Domain, not product creation, not graphic design, not audio or video. It was photography hands down.

I found my response troubling because, as an entrepreneur, I’ve built my business around everything BUT photography, and, thanks to Joel (and my mastermind group), I felt challenged to explore WHY I haven’t done more with it from a business perspective. I love photography and it seems to show from the responses I receive from those who see my work.

You can view a lot of my photography HERE => http://lightdream.smugmug.com

So here is why I need your help…over the past several months, I’ve received a LOT of requests and feedback about teaching on photography. I think I’m ready to listen and respond to those requests. My question for you, dear reader, is whether this topic is something YOU are interested in? I’ve created a brief survey to gauge interest and direction on creating a Photography “something” and I’d appreciate it much if you would take a minute and give me feedback.

You Can Access & Complete the Survey HERE!

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