Goal Setting: How to Make it Work for You

I told you in the first article on goal setting that the reason you are likely failing to meet your goals is that you are concentrating on the Prize rather than the Process. You should read that article before this one if you haven’t already done so. The problem with focusing on the Prize is that it doesn’t give you any direction when it comes to taking action in your business. You can sit down at your desk in the morning, look at your “goals” list, and see that the first thing on there is to buy your dream home. Great goal. But, there is no connection between that goal, and your action. If I sit down today and outline  my next product, will I be able to buy my dream home at the end of the day? No. Of course not. Because there is no direct connection between what you do today, and being able to check that goal off your list, looking at the goal gives you no motivation and no direction. Which is exactly why most people have a goals list that is neglected and forgotten. Your dream home is your “Prize,” and what you need to be thinking about as you sit down at your desk in the morning is your “Process.” We talked about getting beyond the Prize last time. Today, let’s look at how to do step three, which is “figure out the Process.” Step Three: Figure Out the Process The Process, in our example, involves figuring out how you are going to be able to buy that dream home. What process are you going...

3 Key Reasons Customer Service Matters

There are many things I love about being an entrepreneur. Going to live events with my fellow entrepreneurs ranks right up there in the top spot. This weekend, I was blessed to attend Kim Garst's Social Boom event in Tampa, Florida. Many of my best friends online – and now offline too! – were there. We stayed at the Tampa Marriot Westshore Hotel. And the customer service there was awesome. The shuttle driver remembered our names. The management volunteered a bigger room when they overheard my comment that ours was a little small for me and 3 kids. And, they specially packaged snacks for my kids to eat during their afternoon adventures (without me ever asking, of course).  I could literally give you an entire article about services they provided to me, their customer, that went far and beyond what I've ever received at the many hotels I've stayed in. I will go back to this hotel when I am in Tampa, without doing any price checking. Not because the beds were more comfortable, the bathroom was nicer, or the hotel restaurant was tastier. None of those things happened. All of the physical aspects of the hotel were adequate, but none were extraordinary. What will keep me coming back there is the people. And what they did for me, and how they made me feel.  The same is true of your online business. You provide products and services that are similar to those offered by others in your market. But, you can provide customer service that will set your business completely apart from every other in your market. It...

How to Effectively Use Google Alerts and Why You Should

You’ve probably heard of Google Alerts. You may even know you should be using them. But, have you taken the time to set up your Google Alerts yet? It takes about 10 minutes, and will save you lots of time. So, make the time to get it done! Google Alerts are emails sent to you for search terms that you have set up. You identify the search terms that interest  you, and Google will notify you any time there is a result in Google for your terms. The results come from News, Web, Blogs, Video and Groups. You determine which of these places you want to see results from. First we’ll talk about “why” you should be using Google Alerts. They will enable you to respond to your press, to keep up with your market, and to create great content. Then we’ll look at “how” to get your Google Alerts set up. It’s easy, you can set up very specific alerts, and the MyAlerts extension for Chrome makes it even more convenient to keep up with what’s going on in your market. Why Google Alerts? 1. Respond to Your Press – Good or Bad The first Alert you’ll want to set up is for your name. Obviously, your online reputation is crucial. To keep up with it, you need to know what people are saying about you online. People will be impressed if they mention you in a positive way, you find that mention, and take the time to thank them. Same goes for any negative or misleading information that’s put out there. You want to know about it, and...

Why Your Online Branding Should Include YOU

Your online branding is one of the first, and most important, decisions you need to make in your business. Deciding who you want to be online, however, can be a difficult task. When you begin your online business, your confidence is never 100%. Doubts inevitably creep in. Do you have what it takes to make your business profitable? And, even if you’re certain of your abilities, will you be able to influence the number of people you need to build a successful business? For a number of reasons, you may have decided that your online branding should not include you ~ neither your name, nor your face. In many cases this is an unfortunate decision. Branding *YOU* is the easiest way to show your unique greatness to the market. Also, people like to do business with people over companies. If you are the face of your online branding, rather than a logo or a company name, it’s therefore easier for you to appeal to your audience. The good news is, no matter how you’ve decided to do business, your online branding can still include you. If you are not doing business online as “you.com,” you are either doing business as a company, an affiliate, or through a direct sales company. Let’s look at how you can still brand you in each case. 1. Online Branding  for Companies Using a company name rather than your own name doesn’t mean you have to hide behind your company. I’ll show you two great examples. ME Marketing Services is a social media management company run by Mandy Edwards. Mandy uses a business name, but there’s no...

The Social Media Numbers Game: Is Bigger Really Better?

In much of life you may be judged by the company you keep, but in social media, you are judged by the numbers you keep.  The more fans, followers, and friends you have, the more successful you are deemed to be in social media.  The more connections you have and circles you are in, the greater number of people you are presumably influencing. Makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Sometimes the Numbers Lie One of the problems with focusing on your social media numbers is sometimes the numbers lie. It’s always possible to manipulate the numbers game. In fact, if you’ve been engaged in social media for any length of time at all, you’ve likely seen it done. You can buy 1,000 “targeted” Facebook fans for about $100-$200. Non-targeted fans are much cheaper. You can get 5000 Twitter followers for next to nothing. But, there are so many problems with these “too good to be true” answers to the social media numbers game. First of all, you will almost always be amazed to find that the people offering you these great deals have a couple of hundred fans/followers, at most. Which means they aren’t going to deliver you what they’ve promised either. Second, even if the promise is fulfilled, the engagement level of these new folks – yes, even the targeted ones – is going to be little to nothing. The payment is merely for following. You’ll be lucky if even a few of these new followers ever see your posts in their stream or news feed. People who are a fan of buying Facebook fans like to argue that no one will “Like”...

The Online Business Myth: Turn Your Passion Into Profit

The truth is, you can’t always turn your passion into profit. It’s a catchy little phrase that rolls off the tongue easily. And, it sounds good. Who wouldn’t want to turn a thing you’re passionate about into a profitable online business? But, before you quit your day job and run to the bank to open another account to hold all of that new-found profit, let’s step into reality for a minute. I have a passion for going on fun outings with my kids instead of working. I also have a passion for eating ice cream. I doubt either of these is going to be turned into a very profitable online business. And these may be extreme examples, but the fact is, not every passion can be turned into a profitable online business. The theory that if you follow your heart the money will come, applies only to some people. The people whose heart goes in the direction of a revenue generating cause. So, once you’ve come to grips with the fact that your online business is not always as magical as simply turning your passion into profit, where do you go from there? How do you know if you’ve chosen the right market for your online business? You are going to invest many, many hours into your business, and a lot of money too. The importance of picking a profitable market from the beginning cannot be underestimated. It is no fun to get a year (or more) into it and realize you aren’t making money because there is no money to be made. If you are just starting out, or...