Are you a Master at what you do? Does it matter?

When trying to build their business, a lot of entrepreneurs blame the fact that they aren’t successful on just needing to get better at what they do.

I think people get this from their years in the workforce. When you got a performance review, your boss would usually talk about ways to improve performance, and a lot of times it involved getting a certification, learning a new skill or software, cross-training in another department, etc.

You know what, though? If you are a business professional and have some level of expertise, you know more than a lot of people out there! There is someone who would love to know what you know, and in that way, you offer value to them.

Now, I’m not saying that additional training isn’t important. But I think a lot of entrepreneurs use the excuse of wanting to get more training/skill/knowledge/another certification as a way to avoid taking that next big step, stepping up, and really marketing their business and seeing the success they deserve.

“Marketing is more important than mastery”.
-Ali Brown

Marketing is THAT important. And if you’ve been holding back until you get that next level of education, I challenge you to STOP! It might take a major shift in the way you’re currently thinking about your business, but think about it this way: it doesn’t matter how much you know, if nobody knows about you, you’ll be out of business before you know it.

How can you best showcase the expertise you already have?

A quick, easy and low-cost way to get started showcasing that expertise is online marketing. You could write a series of articles on a topic that a lot of people have questions on, or a How-To series. Share little mini-tips regularly on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Use some of this content, and create short videos that you put on YouTube. Fill your blog with all of these different pieces, and you might just be amazed at your own expertise!

Not only does this increase your visibility and get you out of your own head, it helps you get more clients through the Know Like and Trust factor. People will see your expertise, they’ll get to know you, and they begin to trust you. And that is an awesome way to start a new client relationship.

If you’re ready to embrace your current expertise and start marketing yourself online, there are lots of articles here on my blog, and online, to get you started. Or contact me for your own 20 minute strategy session to learn more about how a VA can help you with a complete online marketing strategy.

Using Your Logo Efficiently in your Online Marketing

So you have a nice, pretty logo – yay! But now what? Do you know how to use your logo effectively in your Online Marketing? Here are a few tips…

There should be a consistent look and feel to every page of your website. You want your visitors to know they haven’t actually left your site when they go to another page. A WordPress based website is great for this, as you have a standard template that can be customized for your needs, while keeping certain areas the same for branding.

Icons for going back or to the next page, for printing the page or even the icons that line your menu should all follow the same theme as your site as part of your marketing effort. Every aspect of your website should be about your brand. Standing out from the rest is not nearly as important as having others recognize your site. If a visitor travels to other pages and they look different, they may believe they accidentally left your site and then really leave it!

A simple concept for internet market branding is your logo as an icon. You can then use this as buttons and every time a person has to click, your logo makes an imprint. Obviously it will need to be much smaller than the main logo on your page or other areas to be used as a menu icon, as small as 16 x 16 pixels for the favicon (the icon displayed in the browser window and in saved bookmarks), but the reduced image will continue your branding throughout your pages and offer a benefit to your internet marketing effort.

Additionally, with this level of branding throughout your site there will be no doubt in your visitor’s mind where they are. You can even make it so a visitor bookmarking your site will see the icon in his or her favorites, further imprinting the image. Remember, returning visitors often buy more than first time visitors and keeping your image in their minds will aid your internet marketing efforts

And use your logo in your social media sites as well. While I always recommend that you use a photo of yourself for your personal profile on Facebook and Twitter, you can definitely use or incorporate your logo into your Facebook Page photo. And you can utilize a custom Twitter background to help with branding with your logo as well.

With a bit of creativity, you can make it so prospective customers automatically think of you when they see your logo. This is one of the simplest yet most effective branding methods.

Important questions to ask before a website design/redesign

If you’ve ever gone through the process of designing a website, you probably realized part way through that there were lots of things you had never even thought about when you were planning for your site! And if you never have designed a website, and have been thinking that you need to do that soon, getting a head start on planning will only make the entire process easier and less stressful for you.

I’ve designed quite a few blog sites since I started my business, oh way back when  :), and in the process I’ve developed  a list of important questions to ask the client, or at least have them think about as they’re giving me notes for the new site, or their site redesign.

At the beginning of the year, a lot of people start thinking about their goals for their business, and the things they’d like to get accomplished that year, and often times, a new website or a website redesign end up on that list. But unfortunately, the process can get overwhelming and so the project gets put off.

But I can’t just let you sit around with a bad site, or worse, no site at all! So today, I’ve decided that it might be helpful to share those questions with you.

If you’re even thinking about redesigning your website or getting a new one done, check out the Web Design Questions pdf here. And if you have any questions about the web design/redesign process, comment here or email us at!

Inbox overload? Here’s a way to deal with it for good!

I know I have often suffered with inbox overload. Have you? Whether it’s your own inbox, or your managing email for your client, there’s no sense in wasting tons of time working through the same types of emails over and over again.

I found this great video from Derek Halpern from Social Triggers on a way to deal with it once and quit wasting so much time. Take a watch!

Secrets to his system? Inventory the types of email you regularly get. Here’s Derek’s list:

1. Email from newsletters you subscribe to and like to receive
2. Email that needs a response from you
3. Email that needs a response, but not necessarily from you
4. Email that doesn’t need a response at all
5. Emails from people that added you to their mailing list without your permission

Yours may look a little different, especially if you’re managing someone else’s inbox.

To deal with the only two sections that really matter (#2 & #3), go through those again. Look for common threads. Then, type up generic responses so you can do the work once, then rely on your email service going forward. I prefer Gmail, so I’d set these up as Canned Responses. Your email service (hopefully!) has a similar function. If you’re using Outlook, check out’s service.

Instead of trying to “brute force” your way through tasks like email management, spend a couple hours, design an operating procedure for dealing with most of your emails. Put it in place, and voila! You’ve saved yourself HOURS in 2014!

Three tips to get your subscribers to open your email

One of the more frustrating issues entrepreneurs often have is that after taking the time to build up a large email list of targeted subscribers, people still aren’t even opening their emails, much less reading what you are sending them. Most coaches and entrepreneurs I know work really hard on creating useful information for their subscribers so it’s natural to get frustrated if no one is even reading them. How can you make this situation better?

Don’t over sell — If every last email you send to your subscribers is selling something they will be trained to know that and if they’re not in a buying mood they’ll just click “delete” or worse “spam” after weeks of over selling.  I’m not saying don’t sell, I’m just saying pull them into your funnel, don’t flood them out.

Pique curiosity — Creative and personalized subject lines can go a long way to getting people to at least take a look at your email. But be careful, do not lie in your subject line, nothing can make a subscriber madder than opening what promises to be an interesting email only to find yet another sales pitch. However, be creative and pique the subscribers’ curiosity but do it in an honest way so that you build trust.

It’s all in the timing — If you are not sending your emails at the right time of day then they can become hidden with all the other email that your subscribers receive each day. People get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of email, they will quickly scan subject lines, if nothing is interesting, they click away. Avoid this problem by sending your emails at the right time.

If you know your niche (and you should) you should also find a way to find out the best time for them to read your emails. You can try different times of the day and check your metrics to find out the best times for your subscribers but depending upon your niche you can also make some educated guesses on when they might be at their computer reading email — THAT is the time you want to send it.


The Eight Building Blocks of a Brand

What exactly is a brand?

A brand consists of eight basic building blocks:

- The Name
- The Logo (brand icon)
- The Brand’s Colors
- The Slogan and Brand Messaging
- The Sound of the Brand
- The Overall Look and Feel = The Brand’s Position
- Packaging the Brand
- The Brand Experience

A Brand is the greater sum of its parts. It is always more than just the nuts and bolts, the pieces; great brands are always the result of the whole equaling more than the sum of its parts.

Branding is about making the consumer or buyer, more hip, more in the “know,” more cool than anybody else. We are a generation and a nation wanting to be special. We want to be richer, more beautiful, better dressed and more effortlessly gorgeous than any other generation that we know.

We want everything to mean more. We want everything to have meaning. That’s why we flock to the reality shows. Why we love “The Apprentice” and “American Idol” and other top realistic shows. We crave authenticity in this age of fabrication and falsehood. We “just want to be real.”

We want to be able to trust what we buy and whom we buy from. That’s why Coke is still the number one brand in the world. The more we know about a brand, the more we trust it. The more we trust it, the more we buy it and continue to experience it. The more we experience it, the more loyal we become.

Loyalty is the currency that cannot be traded for dollars.

Super cool Camtasia/Powerpoint trick for creating an animated intro clip

Today I came aross a super cool Camtasia/PowerPoint trick for creating an animated “Intro” clip. This is a helpful trick to know whether you do video creation for yourself, or use Powerpoint to create presentations for clients. I’ve always found the flashier tricks are the ones that really stand out and impress, so take a look at this video:

If you’re interested in learning lots more tricks like this, Lon and Michelle  have a great variety of courses, along with a Digital Access Pass to their site, which will give you a strong background if you’re wanting to offer video marketing services to your clients, or just want to learn how to improve your Powerpoint presentations!

The Basics of writing articles for online marketing

Writing articles is a great way to increase your visibility on the web. Article directories (places you can submit your article, and have it picked up for syndication or reprint) used to rank very well in the search engines, and still carry some weight. And posting your own articles there means that you increase the number of places you can be found on the web, as well as increasing the number of incoming links to your website through your resource box. Additionally, having lots of content (in the form of articles as well as videos, audios and more), is a great way to significantly increase your presence on social media sites.

Want to take advantage of the power of article marketing, but aren’t sure how to write web-friendly articles? Here are some great resources on how to write good articles that can be used in your newsletter, on your blog and can be submitted to article directories:

5 Basics to Article Writing

Writing Persuasive Articles

Feature Article Writing – Uncover 4 Incredible Feature Article Writing Tips

Article Writing Solutions – Discover 4 Effective Secrets to Multiply the Number of Your Articles