How Your Avatar and SOV Can Quadruple Your Profits in 30 Days…

How Your Avatar and SOV Can Quadruple Your Profits in 30 Days…

…Or they can ruin you in 6 months.

The three biggest problems online marketers face are:

1: Not getting new people to join your email list, read your blog or join your social media platforms.

2: Not getting readers to open emails, engage, talk, hang out of social media or share content.

3: Not getting readers and subscribers to buy stuff.

All three of these problems can be solved when you get clear on your avatar and your statement of value (SOV).

Your avatar is your character profile of the exact person you want on your list, visiting your blog and engaging on social media.

In any niche, there can be dozens or hundreds of different prospects.

The mistake online marketers make is not knowing the best prospect to reach who will purchase their offers.

And the solution is to get clear on your ideal avatar. Find the exact person who wants what you are selling, and selling becomes a breeze.

What’s more, your statement of value is also essential to your success, which we’ll cover in a moment.

Your Avatar:

Ideally your goal is to target the exact buyer you seek, talk to them about exactly what they want to talk about and then offer them the exact solution that will fix their problem.

I see marketers all the time who are trying to target everyone who wants to be happy, or everyone who wants to lose weight, or everyone with an interest in golf. That’s a recipe for disaster.

If your avatar is too vague – or worse yet, if you don’t have an avatar – then marketing becomes like trying to swim upstream while wearing your collection of bowling balls. It’s way too much work, you’re going to have to be a very strong, expert swimmer and still you’re just not going to make much progress, if any.

People buy to experience pleasure or to avoid pain. That’s why you should look for a person’s wants, needs, desires, fears, frustrations and problems.

Creating this avatar is going to get you clear on who to target and what to say to them through your content.

In fact, when you’re clear on your avatar, your marketing becomes far easier, you make more sales with less effort and your entire business becomes more of a joy than of work.

Here is an avatar template to use every time you enter a new market or even promote a new product.

Do your research on the appropriate forums, social media groups and Facebook Groups in particular, wining advertising, Amazon reviews and anyplace your prospects hang out to find this information. Facebook insights can be a great place to start.

If you must initially take a few guesses, that’s alright. You can refine your avatar as you go. Guessing incorrectly and refining is much better than not having any avatar at all.

Avatar Template

Basic Info:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Relationship status
  • Education level
  • Occupation
  • Job title
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Annual Income

Digging Deeper – The following 7 items will all have multiple answers inside the realm of your particular niche.

Wants: What does she want most of all? What is her goal?

Needs: What does she have to make her goal happen?

Desires: What are her desires on a very personal and emotional level?

Fears: What is keeping her awake at night?

Frustrations: What is stopping her from achieving her goal?

Problems: What are the problems she faces is trying to achieve her goal?

Desired Outcome: If all goes well, what does her outcome look like?

Example Avatar for a Paleo Weight Loss Product:

Paleo Pam; woman; age 50; married with 2 grown, unmarried children; 4 years of college; office manager at a large dental clinic; lives in Cincinnati, Ohio; loves crafts, television and sewing; $65K income.


  1. 1. To know what to eat and what foods to avoid on Paleo.
  2. 2. A plan to lose 50 pounds and keep it off.
  3. 3. Recipes that don’t take a lot of time to prepare, are easy and delicious.


  1. 1. Her paleo questions answered.
  2. 2. Encouragement and motivation for the times she feels like giving up.
  3. 3. To feel like she is not alone on her Paleo weight loss journey.


  1. 1. To be slim and healthy with lots of energy.
  2. 2. To feel confident, to love how she looks in the mirror.
  3. 3. To be proud of herself and to have her husband be proud of her, too.


  1. 1. That this is just another diet failure in the making.
  2. 2. That she is losing her health and her quality of life.
  3. 3. That this is her last chance to finally lose the weight and keep it off.
  4. 4. If she has grandchildren, she might not live to see them grow up.


  1. 1. She doesn’t understand paleo, what to eat, when to eat.
  2. 2. She doesn’t know where to begin.
  3. 3. There is conflicting information and she doesn’t know what’s right.


  • She’s unhealthy. She’s had a recent health scare and her doctor says to lose the weight now or face dire consequences.
  • Her weight seems to affect everything about her life negatively.
  • She’s on prescription meds for her medical condition and the side effects are unpleasant.
  • Her husband has lost all interest in being intimate with her and she thinks it’s her fault.
  • Her clothes don’t fit (again) and she can’t bear the thought of once again buying bigger clothes.


  • Pam has lost the weight.
  • She looks great, feels great, and her confidence is sky-high.
  • She loves how she looks in the mirror and in photos.
  • She lost the weight without starving and now she finds it’s easy to keep the weight off, too.
  • Her husband is proud of her and pays more attention to her. Her clothes fit and she has more energy.
  • Her health problems have diminished greatly and she’s no longer on medication.

Please note, this example avatar is just that – an example. Please do your own research for your own niche or products.

Do you see how much easier it will be for you to now speak directly to Paleo Pam in all of your content? And can you imagine how much easier it will be for you to sell her the solution she needs now that you understand her better?

And you can even custom tailor your offers to her to make sure she is getting everything she needs from you. For example, if you look at her needs, you’ll see that all three of them could be taken care of with a bonus private Facebook Group where she can connect with others who are just like her, as well as getting questions answered by you or someone who understands Paleo.

The biggest mistake I see marketers making on their avatar is not focusing on URGENT problems. You’ll notice that Paleo Pam needed to lose 50 pounds, not 5 pounds. And she’s having health challenges that are serious.

This is someone who is MOTIVATED to do something about her problem right away. When you show her that you understand her and you have the solution she seeks, she’s not going to balk on price or need time to think about it. She’s going to jump on your offer like her life depends on it, because in this case it probably does.

When you research your prospect, you’re going to see they have MANY problems – so much so that it can become overwhelming to you. Your best bet is to figure out which problems are urgent, identify the exact prospects who have this urgent problem and then find them the solution.

People whose backs are to the wall are ready to buy and buy now. They need a solution right away because without it their problem will only get worse.

But there’s one more step to take:

Your Statement of Value

This is a simple statement that gets you clear on the value you must provide to your ideal avatar. This ensures your avatar feels like their needs are being met by you, which in turn ensures they continue to open your emails, read your blog posts and buy your stuff. Without an SOV your prospects may become bored or leave because you are not serving their needs and interests.

When you couple your SOV with your Avatar, you’ll know how to attract all the right people onto your lists and social media accounts.

Here’s the SOV formula: Your content (website, emails, videos, social media, etc.) gives your ideal Avatar the ability to enjoy their ultimate desired outcome.

You can only complete this statement of value after you’ve completed your Avatar.

For the example Avatar we created earlier, your SOV might be: gives Pam an easy plan for losing 50 pounds in 120 days and keeping it off so she can have more energy, be healthier, feel more confident and attractive and make her husband notice her again.

This is just an example. If I were really putting together a Paleo website I would put a great deal more time and research into this, but you get the idea.

Your SOV encapsulates and clarifies the mission you are embarking upon with your site, your campaign or whatever it is that you are doing.

And with your SOV and your Avatar in hand, you’ll know exactly what kind of content to create, what to put in your emails and social media posts and how to sell your products.

Making the effort to create an Avatar and SOV will save you a ton of time. No longer will you create content that isn’t suited for your audience or build your list with people who aren’t responsive to your offers. You’ll know exactly who your customers are, how to reach them and what to offer them.

Bottom line: You’ll be able to earn more while doing less because you’ll do a better job of making your customers happy – perhaps more so than anyone else in your niche.



Articles To Peak Your Enthusiasm

Articles To Peak Your Enthusiasm

An IM Lesson from a Hollywood Has-Been

If I told you his name, you would probably recognize it. You might even wonder whatever happened to him.

For a while he was the hottest thing in Hollywood. Every movie he did turned to gold. He was fawned over by Hollywood producers and everyone either wanted to be him, to sleep with him or cast him as the star in their next movie.

But all of this fame went straight to his head. He drank too much and did too many drugs.

And worst of all, he thought he was the greatest thing on the planet.

He treated anyone ‘beneath him’ like crap. It didn’t matter if that person was a cameraman, a makeup person or the caterer. He made ridiculous demands, acted like a spoiled, petulant child, and made all the ‘little people’ around him feel 2 inches tall.

Sure, he was still nice to the directors and producers because they were closer to ‘his level’ and besides, they could hire him or fire him. But everyone else felt the wrath of his self-delusional superiority.

One of the people he yelled at, screamed at and humiliated at every turn was a lowly intern working as an assistant’s assistant to the director on one of his films.

That lowly intern rose through the ranks surprisingly fast. In just a few short years she become a director and a producer before becoming the right-hand person to the studio head.

And she never forgot how he treated her. In fact, she told everyone what this person was like to work with. And as her power grew, more and more people listened to her warning not to hire this individual. They could see how disruptive he was on set and how impossibly difficult he had become. All it took was a word from her and suddenly the parts were drying up.

Once she got the number two position at the studio, she blackballed him. He would never work at that studio again. She even took steps to ensure he wouldn’t get work elsewhere, either.

Fast forward to today, and no one will hire this prima donna of an actor. I’ll bet he couldn’t even get a gig working for free on a public service announcement.

I’ve seen something similar happen in online marketing. A newbie asks a ‘guru’ for 2 minutes of their time. It might be at an event where she’s just heard him speak and tries to ask him a question afterwards. But the ‘guru’ doesn’t have time to be nice and brushes her off like so much street dirt.

But the newbie learns. She gathers an audience. She builds a following. And pretty soon she is setting affiliate records.

She also remembers who was nice to her and who wasn’t. She won’t promote this ‘guru’s’ products, no matter how much he pleads and begs. He doesn’t know why she keeps saying no because he doesn’t even remember her.

But boy oh boy does she remember him. The day he was a total jerk to her was the day she decided to make it big and then tell him to take a flying leap. And it costs him plenty in lost sales and lost JV opportunities.

You never know if the person asking you for help today will be the one in a position to help you tomorrow.

“Yeah, but what are the odds that the person I brush off is the person who will one day be in a position to send me hundreds of affiliate sales, or an introduction to someone in a position of power in my niche, or do a lucrative joint venture with me?

If you’re ignoring every new person who asks for a few minutes of your time, I’d say the odds are nearly 100%. It’s inevitable that you will indeed be shooting yourself in the foot, both financially and reputationally.

What’s the answer? I don’t really have one. It’s true that we don’t have time for every newbie’s question. But it’s also true that we should bend down and help others up as much and as often as we reasonably can.

Here’s what one marketer did: He set up a system to handle questions from newbies. He made a Q and A of the top 50 questions he routinely received, and anytime a newbie had a question, he first referred them to that page. That took care of about 80% of his requests for help.

Then at the bottom of that page he gave an option for more help. People had to have done a certain amount of research and reading, as well as buying one of his products in order to get a few minutes of his time.

If they did the research and the reading, and if they had purchased one of his products, he gave them a 10-minute free consultation with the understanding that any further coaching would cost dearly.

Believe it or not, he accidently doubled his coaching income within 2 weeks of implementing this system.

And he made true proteges and fans who went on to become successful and promote the heck out of his products, further adding to his bottom line.

All because he found a way to help people rather than giving them the brush off.


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Shorties but Goodies – Ways to Improve Your marketing Efforts

Shorties but Goodies – Ways to Improve Your marketing Efforts

Is Someone Trolling You on Social Media?

Keep this mind: When you fight in the mud with a pig, the pig gets happy and you get filthy.

Always take the high road and avoid the mud.

This Well-Known Website CHASED Me Away

I was on a website the other day – a WELL-KNOWN website for entrepreneurs – and I had the worst experience. If I told you the name of this site, you would likely recognize it in an instant. It’s big, it’s popular and it’s full of useful information for its niche.

So obviously they create a great user experience for the visitor, right?


As soon as I got to the page I was looking for, a banner appeared across the bottom of the page. This banner took up nearly HALF the available room – room where I should have been able to view the article. Instead, I was left with this narrow window through which to view a very long and detailed piece of writing with no way to get rid of the banner.

And here’s the kicker – the banner was advertising four other articles on the site. As in, “Before you even get a chance to read this article, wouldn’t you like to click away and read something else?”

Ummm, no. I wouldn’t.

What’s your website’s user experience like? If you haven’t checked lately, you might want to go look.

A Big Money Maker You’re Completely Missing

There’s a marketer I know who launches a new funnel with a new product every 3 months or so. He pays 100% commission on the front end as well as 100% commission on all the upsells, too.

AND he runs an affiliate contest that pays thousands of dollars.

This brings in a LOT of affiliates who promote the new product hard and it builds him a brand new list of buyers.

How does he make his money?

First, he promotes the funnel to his own list. I suspect the commission he earns from this is probably enough to cover the contest prizes.

But his real income happens after the launch is over. The day after the one-week promotion ends, he starts a brand new promotion to his brand new list of buyers.

This new promotion also runs for a week, and it promotes a much more expensive affiliate product that is an awesome match for the product that buyers purchased the previous week. For example, if last week’s product was how to make money on YouTube, the much more expensive product might be an entire course on how to create awesome videos that get millions of views.

This much more expensive product pays out exquisitely large commissions, earning him a substantial profit. I don’t know his exact numbers, but when the second week ends I’m guessing he’s cleared a bare minimum of $20,000 in profit and much more likely 2 to 5 times this much.

He reverse engineers his process, choosing his high ticket affiliate product FIRST, and then creating his own product that is an excellent compliment to the high ticket item. Then he fills in the rest of his funnel with products that do not compete with the high ticket item he’ll be promoting the following week.

This might be too much work and investment for you right now, but if you have a list then I highly encourage you to find at least one high ticket item to promote to your list as soon as possible. Create an email series that you send out every day for 7 days promoting this high ticket item and see what happens.

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$2,500 Profit a Month to Build Your Own Email List

I’m not sure if I recommend this or not, but it is interesting and certainly something to consider.

There’s a marketer who offers to build you an email list of 1,000 brand new subscribers for $1,000.

He takes on 3 or 4 clients at a time, charging each of them $1,000. Each client supplies a quality lead magnet, and all the lead magnets are displayed on one squeeze page.

So let’s say the lead magnets are a video on driving traffic, a PDF on list building, a course about making money on Amazon and a book about affiliate marketing. All of these are displayed on the squeeze page, and when someone enters their email address on that page, their email address is then added to all 4 autoresponders.

Thus, each person who paid $1,000 gets a list of 1,000 new subscribers, but all four of them get the same list.

The guy who is doing this also adds the new subscribers to his own list as well. He is in effect getting paid to build his own list. He buys solo ads to drive the traffic to build the lists, but this could also be done with any other traffic method. That’s why I said the profit is $2500 a month, which assumes $1500 to build the lists, which should be plenty more than enough.

Of course, then each marketer needs to start emailing their own list and warming them up.

I think this would work best if all marketers involved offered free items in the same niche. For example, if all of them were about making money in Facebook Groups, or driving traffic, or creating awesome videos. It would be more targeted that way, and thus the lists would be much more focused.

A more general niche that could work is simply online marketing for newbies.

If you try this, there’s no reason you couldn’t ramp it up to doing it several times a month, always with 3 to 5 freebies offered as a package on one page.

Using ‘Flow’ to Double Your Opt-ins

When you run an ad that links to your squeeze page, it’s an awesome idea to make sure your ad and squeeze page look as identical as possible. Try to use the same exact colors, style, language, branding and so forth.

This makes your ad flow smoothly to your squeeze page, without disrupting the appearance in any way.

If your prospect liked the look of your ad enough to click the link, why make the squeeze page look any different? When it looks the same, visitors are reassured. They know they’re in the right place and they are more likely to complete the sign-up process.

I’ve seen cases where fixing the flow between the ad and the squeeze page have literally doubled the opt-in rate.

#1 Problem Plaguing New Launches (and How to Fix it)

If you were to guess the #1 problem marketers face when launching a new product – what would you say?

Not having enough information?

There are products, courses and programs galore that teach how to create and launch a new product.

Lack of technical know-how?

Anyone can hire the technical help they need online.

The #1 reason why marketers – and especially new marketers – fail to launch new products is fear.

Not fear that they will screw up, or fear that the launch will be a disaster. Those problems are easy to fix. Just figure out what you did wrong and don’t do it next time.

The #1 thing holding them back from launching is fear of what others will think.

This includes fear of what customers think: “What if they don’t like my product? What if they think it’s rubbish?” And also fear of what more established marketers will think.

“What if a big marketer doesn’t like my product? What if they tell the world I’m a failure and a fake? What if they don’t like my sales funnel or my sales copy or worse yet, they don’t like ME?

I can tell you from experience that not everyone will like you or your product. There will always be someone who says your product is rubbish and that customers should by their
product instead.

And do you know what? That’s okay.

Take any movie or show that’s a smashing success, and you will find people who don’t like it. In fact, there will be people who HATED it. Yes, even Star Wars.

But those movies and shows still made a lot of people happy and they made the producers a ton of money.

Criticism is part of any business. When you put yourself, your opinions and your products out there for the world to see, someone will respond negatively.

Here’s how to get past the fear of what others will say or think:

First, forget about other marketers and your peers when creating content and products. It doesn’t matter what they say because they don’t ultimately pay your bills.

Second, everything you produce, whether it’s content, products or whatever, should be produced for YOUR customers and not for anyone else.

Know your audience and produce thing things your audience loves.

If you were in a play, your performance would be for the audience and not for your castmates, right? Yes, it’s awesome to make friends with your castmates – or in the IM world, with JV partners and affiliates. But they are not your audience. Your customers are the ones you need to please, and when you do, affiliate and JV partners will appear because you are making sales.

And when I say ‘customers’, I mean YOUR customers. If your target market is women over 50 who need to lose weight, then don’t give a second thought to what a 30-year-old woman or a 50-year-old man will think of your sales letter. Who cares? They’re not your customers.

When you do this, you’ll find it’s incredibly easy to create awesome content in your own voice that speaks to your audience, as well as products your customers will love to buy.

The Simple Jeff Walker 6-Figure Blueprint

Can you imagine making six figures from writing just ONE report?

Believe it or not, that’s essentially how many marketers do earn 6 figures, or even 7 figures.

No doubt you’ve seen marketers launch a really good $10 product that sells like crazy.

And then they do it again. And again. And again.

They come up with a topic, write a report or create a product, do everything necessary to launch it, and then start all over again.

That’s work.

But let’s say you write that report and it sells like gangbusters. Your next step shouldn’t be to start all over.

Instead, make that topic your ‘thing.’

Jeff Walker realized “How to Launch a Product” was a hot topic. And that’s what he teaches. In fact, that’s all he needs to teach to earn his living.

Choose ONE topic that sells fantastically well. Just one. Become an expert in that one topic. And then make everything you do from that point on about that one topic.

Write the report. Record videos. Offer coaching. Record the coaching and turn it into a course. Refine it, improve it and so forth.

Charge more for the course than you do for the initial product. Charge even more for group coaching. Charge more than that for one-on-one coaching. Offer personal consulting or speaking for an even higher price.

But don’t stray from your key concept. Become THE go-to expert in your niche, whatever that might be.

Here’s what will happen:

You’ll become known as THE EXPERT. Everyone else will look like imitators.

Sales will become easier. If someone wants to learn that ONE thing that you teach, who will they turn to? You of course.

Your life and your business will be so much simpler. You’ll no longer have to bounce from one topic to another. You can laser focus on your ONE thing. You’ll have more time, less stress and more income.

Start with one report teaching your core concept, and then go deep, not wide.


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Today’s News and Resources in Affiliate Marketing

Today’s News and Resources in Affiliate Marketing

Bookshop Pays Affiliates 10%

Bookshop was founded to support independent bookstores and save them from going under because of a certain online retailer.

And it’s worth noting that Amazon is continuously changing the rules and lowering commissions, too. Enough said.

Bookshop distributes earnings through a pooled fund to give profits to digital storefronts of local stores.

Bookshop’s affiliate program is open to everyone and pays a higher royalty on affiliate book sales than Amazon does – 10% on any books sold through your link.

Put together a list of ‘must read’ books for your blog or website, add your affiliate link and see what happens. Since starting in January, Bookshop has raised $4,270,190 for local bookstores.

And authors – you can promote your book via Bookshop to support yourself and independent bookstores at the same time.

Simply sign up for an account, share your links to the books you love and earn 10% on each sale.

Logo Users – Beware of Sexual Innuendo

You’ve spent some time, money and thought creating the perfect logo for your business or organization – yeah!!

But… you might want to run your new logo by a couple of dozen people first, before you use it, just in case they see something you didn’t.

On this page are 9 logos that have been fixed by a graphic artist. Why did they need fixing? Since I don’t want to go into explicit details, I’ll let you figure it out.

Facebook takes legal action against fake engagement sellers and data scraping

Fake engagement is a key issue on social media platforms, with ‘influencers’ able to artificially inflate their stats and then make money from unwitting businesses by touting their perceived reach.

That’s why Facebook’s latest legal action is welcome news – Facebook has launched legal proceedings against a Spanish-based company called MGP25 Cyberint Services, over the provision of automation software to distribute fake likes and comments on Instagram.

iOS Users Can Now Send Tweets with Audio Clips

Twitter announced in a tweet that select iOS users can now tweet 140-second audio clips. And creating an audio tweet is pretty simple – just tap on the new tweet icon, tap on the wavelength icon and record.

Look out, Amazon: is getting bigger

On June 15, Walmart announced a partnership with Shopify that will allow Shopfiy sellers to integrate their online stores with’s marketplace.

This move is aimed squarely at gaining market share against Amazon’s massive reseller network.

Microsoft pushes Edge out to millions of users in a surprise Windows update

One feature, called Automatic Profile Switching, can detect when you’re navigating to a site authenticated with a work account while in your personal browser profile and switch you to your work profile without you having to do anything.

COVID-19’s Impact on Podcast Listening

Global podcast listens have increased by 42% and European listens are up by 53%. Tracking the two countries that were quarantined first in the Western world, Italy is up by 29% and Spain is up by 25%. Meanwhile, the US is showing an overall decline of 20% with certain categories seeing a massive uptick. More info here:

Google’s massive core update: What you need to know

This is a SERP shakeup to put marketers on their toes – in fact, it’s a BIG one.

Facebook confirms its testing email marketing for business pages

While businesses already have the option to run chatbots, offer check-in promotions, live stream, and host watch parties, among other things, Facebook has confirmed it may soon enable business pages to send marketing emails as well, taking one step closer to being an all-in-one marketing platform.

21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity. Plan includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections.

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Facebook Messenger finally allows toggling between business and personal accounts

At long last, Facebook has heard the cries of its users and is adding the ability to toggle between personal and business accounts right within its Messenger app.

Move Over Gmail? Maybe, Maybe Not…

Basecamp has a new email service called HEY — and it could be a game-changer

If someone emails your @HEY address for the first time, you decide if it gets through. Their email will land in The Screener, which is kind of like screening phone calls. This is where it’s up to you. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Yes and it’s in, No and you’ll never see it again.

It sort of makes even the best email marketer cringe, doesn’t it? But then again, Hey isn’t exactly free.

The Facebook Advertiser Boycott is Growing

Patagonia joins the growing Facebook advertiser boycott over the site’s failure to stop ‘hateful lies and dangerous propaganda’



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Reach for The Stars – And Reach Your Goals

Reach for The Stars – And Reach Your Goals

As a species we humans are always at our best when we are striving to become better than ourselves. We shine when we have the motivation to learn, to expand, to be greater than what we may think we are intended to be.

In a lot of ways, we need ideals in our lives and businesses. For example, what gets you out of bed in the morning, what makes your heart beat excitedly?

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur already, does the thought of what you’re going to do with this next day, fill you with a quivering excitement? Or is it just another day of daily tasks to achieve before you can come back home prior to hitting the repeat button for the next day?

In Ulysses, Tennyson wrote this:

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Arguably this quote is the greatest interpretation of the human drive and will, within each of us beats an unyielding heart, able to face challenges each day and never lose faith.

Tomorrow is a new day, a new start, a new challenge. When you wake up, find that thing that excites you the most, be it a goal, life in general, love, that hobby you never get a chance to do anymore, whatever!

If you can focus on that one thing that makes it worth it and make it the center of your world- make it your moon- then the mundane becomes magical. Anything that doesn’t feel good, simply cut it away or if it is a necessary task – keep your mind on the bigger picture – the ideal.

Make the stars what you want them to be.


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Podcasting Primer – How to Earn Trust, Scale Intimacy and Profit Part 2

Podcasting Primer – How to Earn Trust, Scale Intimacy and Profit

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Last month we covered why you might want to have a podcast, things to consider before you start podcasting, how to contact potential podcast guests and even what to do for your first couple of podcasts.

This month well cover how to build listener engagement; questions to ask your podcast guest; podcast music, intros, outros and editing; where to host and list your podcast; calls to action and monetizing your podcast.

Building Listener Engagement with Q and A’s

A great way to get your listeners super involved with your podcasts is to let them ask you questions, make comments or read their reviews.

People LOVE to hear their names spoken online. They’ll tune in to see if you used their question or comment. And they’ll be much more likely to share your podcast with others when their name is mentioned, too.

What happens when they share your podcast? Their friends are likely to have similar interests, so now you’ve got new subscribers. And when they ask questions, they’ll be more likely to share your podcast as well, and onward and upward it goes.

You can ask people to tag or @ you on social media when they ask questions, which can bring in more listeners as their friends tune in to see what’s happening.

This is a great way to grow your podcast audience and your social media channels, all at the same time.

Questions to Ask Your Guest

When you conduct research on your guest and their topic, you’ll be making a list of questions to ask them.

Still, it can be a daunting process when you’re new to interviewing.

What if you ask a stupid question?

What if you run out of questions?

And isn’t there a list of interview questions somewhere that you can use to get started?

There is an excellent PDF resource from Paul Hollins that covers all of this.

And it’s free.

Not only does he answer the most common podcasting interview questions – he also gives you two entire pages of the best open-ended questions you can ask almost any guest.

Podcast Music

It’s probably not a coincidence that the best podcasts have catchy musical intros. This is the first thing listeners associate with your show. Plus, it will be on every single one of your podcasts, so it’s worth it to pick great music.

If you’re on a budget, you can use a site like Free Music Archive to find free music.

Better yet, paying a small amount for professional-grade theme music is worth the investment. Audio Jungle is a good place to start your search for this.
Or try Epidemic Sound.

The best, and most expensive option of all is to hire someone to create your intro and outro for you. This will be a combination of music and a professional voice over. It’s not cheap, but it can sound awesome and give you the brand and professional touch you’re looking for.

Options for this are numerous in a wide variety of price ranges. Just Google, “professional podcast intro” and you’ll find a variety of sites vying for your business.

The Podcast Introduction

Podcast introductions are usually the first thing heard on your podcasts. The one exception is if you insert a few clips from the podcast itself into the very beginning to entice the listener, and then follow up with the theme music and intro.

Your intro will create anticipation and add cohesiveness to your podcast, and should include:

The name of your podcast

Your name

Possibly your location

What your podcast is about

Possibly a little bio or a couple of facts about yourself

For example:

“Podcasting from sunny south Florida, this is the Lazy Gardener Show for gardening enthusiasts who want the most garden for the least effort. Here’s your host, Susan Snowpea, a 12 time Gardening Grand Prix winner and perhaps the laziest gardener of all. So, sit back, relax, and let’s talk dirt!”

Once the professional intro is done, you’ll come on and give a quick rundown of what will happen on the show today. Think of this portion as teasers designed to catch the listeners’ interest, much like the bullet points in a sales letter.

The Podcast Outro

The outro wraps everything up with a bow and lets you bid farewell.

Ideally, your voice is first. You might quickly review what was covered or thank your guest. You might also give your listener an action item to get them started on what they learned today in your podcast. Or better yet, give them a call to action to visit your website, your guest’s website, or to pick up a free report or find you on social media.

And finally, the professional outro is played and it might go something like this:

“Thanks for listening to The Lazy Gardener Show with Susan Snowpea. If you like our show and want to know more, check out the podcast website at or join our Facebook Group, The Lazy Gardener Show to discover 5 ways to double your vegetable harvest while doing less work.”

Your call to action at the end can be anything you like, and we’ll cover calls to action in more detail in just a bit.

Editing Your Podcast

Unless you’re already a knowledgeable audio editor, the very easiest way to edit your podcast is to let a professional do it for you.

“But why does it need editing? Can’t I just post it the way it is?”

Yes, of course you can make your recording and post it as is. But there are reasons you might want to consider editing.

Are you adding an intro and outro? Do you want to insert breaks in the audio that remind people of what they’re listening to and where they can subscribe to your list? Then you’ll want to do some simple editing to get this done.

Do you want to remove mistakes, umms and ahhs, silent moments when the guest is considering what to say, those times that you forget your place and so forth? Then you’ll want to edit those out to make the recording flow faster and keep it tight and interesting.

What about the sound quality – would you like to take out background sounds while also sharpening the quality of your voice? Again, that’s editing.

While it’s true that content matters most of all, it’s also true that quality of sound can make or break a podcast. You can have the best content in the world, but if it’s difficult to listen to, people might not bother.

Think of a time when you tried to watch a video online but the picture was pixelated. Did you enjoy the experience? Even if the content was great, the pixilation was probably a major distraction and a deterrent from watching anything else on that channel.

Audio is no different. A crisp, clear sound will make a mediocre podcast sound professional and a professional podcast sound amazing.

Here is a short video in which a true audiophile, Mike Russell, explains the process of cleaning up the audio on a podcast as well as adding a couple of sound effects, enhancing both voices separately, editing out the rogue umms and errs, tiding up the intros to remove awkward spaces, and a bunch of other stuff that pretty much blew my mind.

He makes it look easy, which it is if you know how to do it.

If you don’t want to learn audio editing yourself, you can use a service to clean up your podcasts for you.

Search for “podcast editing” and you’ll find plenty of services to choose from. They do come at a cost, however.

If your budget is tight, you might compromise by using an editing tool. It won’t make you sound as good as a professional can, but it will help your podcast to sound better. And while you’re first getting started, that might be all you need.

Here are a few tools to consider:

Garageband – if you’re a Mac user, you might already have this installed on your computer. Offers both free and paid versions.

Audacity – available for Windows, macOS and Unix, completely free and open-source.

Power Sound Editor – lots of options to lay down tracks with external microphones, pull in audio clips or fragments from CD’s, DVD’s, media players or web videos. Free and paid options.

Music Maker – this one is marketed as a music creation tool, but it works for podcasts, too. Includes more than 400 sound and loop effects on the free version, paid version is available too.

Studio One – intuitive single-window interface with drag and drop editing. Free and paid options.

WavePad – full-featured audio and music editor for Windows and Mac, with simplified recording and mixing of voice and music tracks. Free and paid versions available.

Where to Host Your Podcast

You’ve got your podcast edited, but now what do you do with it?

It’s time to choose hosting to upload and distribute your podcast. Podcasting hosting websites are built to house your content so you can share it with your list as well as letting it be discovered by new listeners.

These hosting services provide ways to structure your shows into an overall series, making it easy for listeners to find a specific topic or episode by search. And they generate an RSS feed for your podcast, which you can use to share your show on various platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Some of these platforms also generate listener data and offer assistance with monetization, too.

Keep in mind that the majority of podcast hosting services operate on a subscription model of $10 to $20 per month. There are also free alternatives, but generally you get what you pay for.

Here are a few podcasting hosting services to consider:

Podbean – for over 10 years they’ve been helping podcasters of all genres and sizes. 390,000 podcasters use their services, their customer service is highly ranked and they’re known to be super reliable. And you can integrate with Spotify, iTunes and Facebook to find new audiences.

Podiant – while most hosts have a cap on maximum server speed, Podiant offers unlimited storage and bandwidth. The basic plan is about $13 a month, with more advanced packages priced 2 to 3 times higher. And they do offer some special digital presence features such as a customizable website.

Castos – this podcast hosting service offers unlimited bandwidth and a WordPress plug-in with the subscription which makes it super easy to display all of your podcasts on your own website. Plus, there are ample analytics to help you understand which episodes are pulling in the most listeners, the demographics of your audience, the listening behavior and more. You can also boost your SEO with the set it and forget it options along with YouTube republishing and automatic podcast transcriptions.

Transistor – do you want to create multiple shows? Transistor doesn’t charge you every time you start a new podcast on the same account. Each podcast you host gets a separate dashboard, RSS feed, analytics and website, starting at $19 a month.

Anchor – this is a complete podcasting package with zero fee. The analytics aren’t as good as the others, but if you’re on a budget, you might want to start here. They’ll also help match you with sponsors if you’re interested.

Buzzsprout – this is an easy way to host, promote and track your podcast. You can reach potential listeners by listing your podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more through the Buzzsprout feeds. Free for 90 days.

Where to list your podcast

You’ve got your podcast hosting, but you’re not done yet. Now you want to submit your podcast to various directories.

The host you’ve chosen will already have agreements set up with some major places to list your podcast. But going a step further to ensure you’re listed in as many places as possible is a good idea.

To do this, you can use a podcast directory service to widen your podcast distribution for you, or you can submit your podcast yourself to each directory without using a service.

Directories where you most definitely want to be listed are:

  • Acast
  • Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes)
  • Google Play Music AND Google Podcasts
  • IHeartRadio
  • Pandora
  • Podchaser
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • TuneIn

When you’ve got those covered, you might also get your podcast listed in:

  • AntennaPod
  • BeyondPod
  • Blubrry
  • Castaway 2
  • Digital Podcast
  • doubleTwist
  • Downcast
  • iCatcher
  • iPodder
  • Overcast
  • Podcast Republic
  • PodCruncher
  • Spreaker

There are more podcast directories, but these lists will be plenty to get you started.

Making Calls to Action within Your Podcast

On every single one of your podcasts – EVERY single one – you’ll want to have a call to action, preferably one that you repeat 2 to 5 times.

Your call to action is first and foremost a way to offer more value to your audience.

Decide what you want your listeners to do, and then ask them to go do it.


Have them join your email list. Offer a prime incentive for them to do this, like a book, report or something they would be willing to pay for because it’s that good.

Ask them to join your Facebook Group.

Have them listen to another podcast of yours, possibly one where you are promoting something big and wonderful.

Get them to check out your guest’s special offer. You may or may not be an affiliate for this offer, depending on the deal you struck with your guest.

Have them check out YOUR offer, whether it’s your own product or an affiliate product you are promoting.

If you want them to join your list, mention the freebie you’re offering right up front, again in the middle of the podcast and lastly at the end. The repetition does wonders for getting them to actually do it.

If your guest is going to promote something, let your audience know up front that the guest will be making a very special offer just for them at the end of the show.

If you’re promoting an affiliate product or your own product, use your judgment. It might be best to mention it a couple of times, very casually, before you do the real promotion at the end.

Generally, if your podcast is going out to people who don’t know you well, then your best option is to make them the free offer to get on your list. That way you can continue to promote to them for as long as they are on your list.

But if your podcast is going out mainly to just your subscribers, then make them a paid offer they cannot refuse.

Here’s a list of possible Calls to Action to get you started:

  • Subscribe to the podcast or leave a podcast review
  • Download a freebie to join your email list
  • Watch a Facebook Live or join a Facebook Group
  • Donate to a specific charity
  • Read a certain blog post
  • Listen to a specific podcast episode
  • Purchase your product or an affiliate product
  • Join your guest’s email list or visit your guest’s sales page
  • Pre-order a product or get on a wait list for an upcoming product
  • Register for a webinar
  • Email you with questions
  • Get a free coaching session or free consultation
  • Join a mastermind
  • Watch a video or subscribe to your YouTube channel
  • Check out your shop
  • Follow you on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.)

9 Ways to Monetize and Profit from Your Podcast

We’ve already hinted at this, but now let’s get specific on various ways you can monetize your podcast.

Build Your Email List – regardless of what else you’re doing, hopefully you will be using your podcast to add subscribers to your email list so that you can continue to sell them products and services for as long as they stay with you.

Offer an incentive, such as a report, book, cheat sheet, email course or whatever your listeners would love to have in exchange for their email address.

Sell Affiliate Products – if you have an affiliate product that directly ties into your podcast, by all means promote it. Your goal is to help your listeners and oftentimes the best way to do that is to recommend what they need to attain their goals.

For example, if you’re teaching list building, you might recommend your favorite autoresponder or a course on how to write effective emails.

Sell Your Own Products – just like affiliate products, if you have your own product that ties in directly with the subject of the podcast, then definitely promote it on the podcast.

Sell Memberships – this could be your membership or an affiliate membership. I just want to make sure you consider selling anything that offers you recurring income because this can be super lucrative for you over the long haul.

Sell Your Consulting or Coaching Services – this can work incredibly well because you’re establishing trust and authority on the podcast, making the next logical step to offer your personal help or services to your listeners.

Team Up with Guests to Sell Their Product – I subscribe to a podcaster who does a call every Thursday to an expert in her field. And at the end of the call, they always make a special offer to listeners that is good only for the next three days. She then posts the podcast along with the link, which I’m certain is an affiliate link where she splits the profits 50/50 with the expert.

Let Listeners Thank You – unless you have a lot of listeners, this one won’t make you rich but it will put a few dollars in your pocket. Sign up with a site like and let listeners know they can, “Buy you a cup of coffee to say thanks” for your podcasts.

Offer Exclusive Members Only Content – offer exclusive content above and beyond your regular podcasts for monthly sponsors only. Again, sign up at and set up a monthly rate for your exclusive “members only” content.

Get Advertising Sponsors – You’ll need a good-sized audience for this, so this method is not likely how you’ll monetize your podcast in the beginning.

You can approach advertisers yourself – for example, if there is a product you love which is a good fit for your podcast. Or you can use a service such as Advertise Cast (which requires a minimum of 2,500 downloads per podcast episode) to match you up with a sponsor.

How much you get paid will depend on the deal you strike with your sponsor. 15 second pre-roll ads are typically $15-20 per 1,000 listens, and 60 second mid-roll ads are typically $20-25 per 1,000 listens.

If you have a smaller, highly engaged audience, then cost per acquisition can pay more. Think of it as a referral bonus. You offer an exclusive discount code or affiliate link to track how many customers the business acquires from your podcast and you are paid accordingly.

As with any other product, be sure you choose sponsors that are in line with the principles and ideals of your show.

Sell Your Own Merchandise – does your podcast have a catchy name? Do your listeners love you? Then you might consider putting your podcast logo and your tagline or a great quote on t-shirts, mugs and so forth.

Your Podcasts will Improve with Experience

If you’re nervous about getting started with podcasting because you’re afraid you’re going to be bad at it, let me put your fears to rest.

Your first few episodes likely will be bad.

And that’s okay.

There is a learning curve here, as well as a confidence curve.

And it’s going to take time to build both your skills as a podcaster as well as your confidence in what you’re doing.

It’s said that if you want to blog, you should open a throwaway blog, write a post every single day for 30 days and then delete the entire thing.

That’s because what you need at the beginning is practice, practice and practice.

Podcasting is no different.

Many podcasting professionals initially create a dozen or so throwaway podcasts just to get started and learn what they’re doing.

They’ll interview their friends, their kids, their spouses or simply talk into the mike for 20 to 40 minutes to get the feel of what they’re doing.

This is especially helpful if you’re going to be interviewing experts, since you don’t really want your very first podcast ever to be with that person you’re trying to impress with your knowledge and ability to do a professional sounding podcast.

Plus, when you do your first podcasts with the intent of never airing them to the public, you can relax and enjoy the process while also experimenting to see what works best for you.

This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, either. You can easily do your first dozen podcasts in the next 7 days and be creating your first ‘real’ podcast a week from today.

You’ll be glad you took the time to practice, and your audience will be much more likely to come back and listen to your second podcast when the first one doesn’t sound like it was made by a fifth grader practicing on his mom’s podcasting equipment.

A few more podcasting tips:

Have fun. If you’re having fun, then the person being interviewed is having fun and so are your listeners. Smile when you talk because people can hear a smile in your voice. Crack jokes if that’s your nature.

Don’t be boring. Telling stories is a wonderful thing to do as long as the story isn’t boring. Switch gears the moment you notice that either you or your interview subject is droning on. Ask listeners a question that gets them engaged and thinking before launching into your next topic.

Don’t repeat yourself endlessly. Don’t restate things 5 different ways – your listeners understood you the first time, and if they didn’t, then that’s on you, not your listeners.

I once knew someone who spoke normally in person, but on a podcast he would continually find numerous ways to say the same thing and it drove everyone crazy. He’s no longer podcasting.

Know when to be succinct and when to elaborate. If you can tell a story in 2 minutes or 20 minutes, do it in 2 minutes. But if you’re outlining the process for how to do something, go into enough detail that the listener knows what you’re talking about.

Use your best judgment and listen to feedback if people tell you that you’re going too fast or slow.

Get critiques. Pick out 3 people you trust to tell you the truth and have them listen to your first episodes. When they make suggestions on what to change, don’t get mad – just listen and take notes.

Set the notes aside for a day or two and then read them over. Are they right? Giving yourself that extra time will allow you to evaluate their feedback with a clear head.

Leave your ego at the door. This is especially useful when interviewing someone. They are your honored guest and they have taken the time to be on your show. Be appreciative and let them shine.

When you’re doing a podcast solo, it’s great to be knowledgeable and confident but don’t become a narcissistic egomaniac. Acknowledge that you don’t always have the answers, and that your opinions are just that – opinions and not the gospel truth.

When you make a mistake, acknowledge it and keep going.
You will trip over your own tongue, mispronounce words and names, say one thing when you mean another and generally goof up. Even announcers who have been in the business for decades make mistakes.

And oftentimes your audience will like you more – not less – when you acknowledge your mistake and move on. Better yet, have a laugh about it to show that you can indeed laugh at yourself. Your audience will love you for it.

Speak to one person. Speak as though you are talking to a friend sitting on the other side of the table. You will sound less formal and more human this way. Use your normal vocabulary, assuming you don’t speak like you swallowed a dictionary. Use everyday words instead of jargon, and don’t use acronyms unless you’re certain that your audience knows what they mean.

Outline your podcast ahead of time. Start with the end in mind, knowing what the purpose of this particular podcast is and what takeaways you want your listeners to have. Decide what stories, points, case studies and so forth you want to use, and in what order you’ll cover them.

One last thing, and this is important:

“Is Podcasting Saturated? Am I Too Late??”

No and No!

Imagine if in 1970 someone said that every TV show that could be created had already been created, that TV was saturated and it made no sense to make another show.

It’s crazy!

We’ve had 50 years of television since then. Some good, some bad, and a lot of it forgettable, but that’s okay.

If you have something to say, then start a podcast.

If you’re a wiz at finances and stocks and forex, start a podcast.

If you’re a personal trainer or nutritionist and you can help people with your knowledge, start a podcast.

If you’re amazing at giving great relationship advice to listeners, start a podcast.

If you have a passion for a topic but you’re still learning about it, interview the experts and learn right along with your listeners.

If you have a message – whatever that message might be – start a podcast.

Whether you’re talking about relationships, health, weight loss, money, pets, hobbies or whatever, if you have something to say, then by all means say it. Put your flag out there and let your tribe find you.

I guarantee that right now, today, someone is starting a podcast that is going to EXPLODE. They are going to get so many listeners it will be crazy and they will become known the world over.

And also right now, today, someone else is starting a podcast that might only get a few hundred or a few thousand listeners, but those listeners are going to love that podcaster and buy every product that podcaster recommends and that podcaster is going to be rich.

You can be EITHER of these two people, but it won’t happen if you don’t get busy and start your podcast now.

We’ve come to the end of our podcasting primer. You’ll find that while I’ve answered most of your questions and given you an outstanding block of knowledge to get started, there is something I forgot to tell you. I don’t know what it is but you’ll find that out for yourself. And when you do, you have two choices: Find the answer or give up. The winner will find the answer.

You don’t need to be an expert on podcasting to start podcasting. You only need to START and start NOW.

Six months from now you can have 26 or 52 or more podcasts completed, a rock solid loyal following and money in the bank. And the first step is easy – record your first podcasts and learn as you go.

And hey, I look forward to hearing your podcasts and maybe even being a guest on your show one day when you are rich and famous and having the time of your life podcasting.



Stop Writing Blogposts and Articles – Do This Instead

Stop Writing Blogposts and Articles – Do This Instead

You’re going to think I’m splitting hairs on this one.

And maybe I am.

But if you’re tired of writing articles and blog posts, I’d like to propose a mind shift that’s helped me out immensely.

Instead of writing articles, write a column.

If you’ve read newspapers and magazines, then you’ve seen columns all your life.

Ann Landers and Dear Abby and Dave Barry are all columnists. So are (or were) Erma Bombeck, Maureen Dowd, Amy Goodman, Marilyn vos Savant, Noam Chomsky, Jesse Jackson, Garrison Keillor, William Safire, Salman Rushdie, Bob Woodward and too many others to list.

When you’re writing an article, you’ve got to start from scratch to prove you know what you’re talking about. You have to be an authority or at least quote authorities. You’ve got little or no foundation to stand on because an article, by its very definition, is a stand-alone piece.

This puts pressure on you to prove yourself. Every. Single. Time. And as you’ve probably experienced, that gets really old really fast. You feel like you are standing on the street corner going, “Hey, over here, look at me!”

Who needs that?

But when you’re a columnist, you’re no longer on the street corner vying for attention with thousands of other article writers.

Instead, you’re in your office writing a personal one-to-one piece to your favorite reader.

It’s just you and the person you are talking to. They know you. They like you. And they trust you.

Plus, they look forward to reading what you have to say today.

This is a mind shift. Yes, your columns might look a lot like articles, if articles are written with the confidence of someone who KNOWS people want to read his or her words.

You can think of article writing as having to make a formal presentation to a large group of people who have barely heard of you, versus writing a column as having an intimate conversation with a trusted friend over a cup of coffee.

I can’t tell you what a difference this small shift of perspective has made in my life.

The blank screen no longer scares me. In fact, I can’t wait to sit down and write my latest idea. I have more confidence as I put words to paper. My writing is faster and more stream of consciousness because I no longer feel the hot breath of my creative writing professor breathing down my neck.

Imagine you’ve had a much-loved column in your favorite newspaper or magazine for the last decade. Imagine today you’re writing your latest column. Imagine people eagerly reading it the moment it hits the newsstands or their mailbox.

And then write.

Am I splitting hairs? Maybe. But give it a try and see what being a columnist does for you.

And to get you started, I’ve made a list of some of my favorite column topics. Pair these ideas together with your niche and start writing your next column now.

Column Ideas

News – Your personal take on the biggest news in your niche today.

Their Mistakes – What well-known person or company is making a BIG mistake? Why is it a mistake and what should be done instead? Or what are the top 3 mistakes that new people or seasoned pros are making?

Your Mistakes – What bone-headed thing have you done – past or present – and what were the consequences and lesson learned?

Rants – What is driving you absolutely batty in your niche? Why is it driving you crazy, and what should – in your opinion – be done instead?

3 Things to Avoid – What should be avoided and why?

3 Things to Do
– Who should do them and why? What’s the benefit of doing them and the consequences of not doing them?

True Stories – Any great story in your niche. Play up the drama if possible but keep the facts accurate (no embellishing.) Bonus for surprise endings or heartstrings tugged.

Steps to X – What are the steps to achieve something awesome?

Monday Morning Quarterback – If you knew then what you know now. Look back on your experience in your niche and find something that you would change if you could.

Pain – Your pain, someone else’s pain or some big problem. Has there been a resolution? Write about it. No resolution or solution yet? Find one or ask your readers for their ideas and then write a follow-up column.

Experiments – Try something such as a new method or technique, take notes and then report on what happened.

True or False – Choose something that everyone believes to be true. Investigate it and determine if it’s real or a myth.

Current Events – Take something that is happening in the world and then tie it to your niche.

Pose a Radical Question – This is a question most people have never thought of, but when you bring it up, it will spark thought and conversation. For example, why are or were things done a certain way? Or what if you combine X with Z? Or what if you take something in a whole new direction?

Secrets – Real secrets, not just things that many people already know. People LOVE secrets and they don’t have to yours. For example, relate how a real-life espionage operation from 20 years ago accidentally impacted your niche in the present in a truly unforeseen way.

Goals – Your goals, their goals, famous people’s goals. How are they achieved? How do people screw up goal setting and goal-getting?

Controversy – Decide in advance how controversial you’re willing to be. Then take a stand and watch the sparks fly.

Tips – But not just any tips. Weird tips. Little known tips. Surprising tips.

Warning Signs – What are the warning signs in your niche that something bad is about to happen? What do you do when you see these signs?

Challenge – Create a challenge for your readers. Make it easy enough that they will do it but challenging enough that it is interesting. Have them report their results to you and write about it in a follow-up column.

You’re not an article writer or a blog post writer – you’re a columnist. And I can’t wait to read what you write next.


Shocking Statistics, Idea Sex and Lucrative Questions | Thinking Outside the Box

Shocking Statistics, Idea Sex and Lucrative Questions | Thinking Outside the Box

Fortunes are made when people think out of the box and ask questions no one else is asking. What happens when you pair X with Y to make Z? Sometimes nothing happens and other times fortunes are made. Pairing two ideas together to make a third is ‘idea sex.’ I don’t know who coined the term, but I’ve heard James Altucher use it often.

The founder of Netflix had to pay Blockbuster $50 for a long overdue movie. Then he went to the gym, got on the treadmill and started thinking. His gym membership was always the same amount of money, regardless of how often or how seldom he went to the gym. Why couldn’t a movie membership work the same way? Movie membership (X) plus gym payment system (Y) equaled Netlix.

What if you combine pop culture with art? Andy Worhol asked that question and became famous.

What if you pair the keto diet with intermittent fasting? You get Speed Keto, a Clickbank program that I’ve heard is doing half a million dollars of business every month.

Sometimes it’s simply about asking the right questions:

Zip Car bought a fleet of cars and then allowed members to drive them around town. What if you had a car business like Zip Car but you didn’t own the actual cars? Uber was born.

Walt Disney was struggling. He had two movies made and reviews were awesome, but it was the depression and people weren’t going to the movies. What if you put Mickey Mouse on a watch?

They sold something like 3 million of them in the first year. And guess what? Walt Disney had to be talked into doing it by an entrepreneur who thought it was a good idea. Merchandising was born that day because someone asked, “Why not put a famous character on a watch?”

Ask yourself questions no one else is asking and you might find some surprising answers.

Where do you get ideas? Everywhere. Right now, I’m looking at Worldometer.

I was going to ask you to put on your marketer / entrepreneur hat while we review some stats, but I realized that many of them are moving too fast to pin down. I simply could not type the stat as fast as it changed, and by the time you read this they will have multiplied again anyway.

So, I’m going to simply give you the link, and then make a few observations:

Notice the world’s population and how it’s rapidly increasing. Yes, even with coronavirus, the world’s population is out of control. This means we have an ever-increasing market for certain things…

…things like food.

Notice that there are over 842 million undernourished people in the world.

There are also over 1.7 billion overweight people in the world, and 756 million obese people.

Something is wrong here. As a marketer, can we find ways to help the overweight people to eat less, and to get the food in the hands of the undernourished people at the same time?

Certainly we can sell weight loss programs. As I write this, $181 million has been spent TODAY on weight loss programs.

Perhaps if we take the $181 million per day for weight loss programs and use half that money to give food to the poor, we might be making a fantastic income while changing the world.

What if you were to start a weight loss membership site that does exactly that?

So far today as I write this, 731 million tweets have been sent, along with 247 billion emails. Imagine if you could make one tenth of one penny on every email – what might that look like? How could you make it happen?

Look at the numbers on water and energy. There are some shocking stats here – what questions can we ask that lead us to think in new, profitable and life changing ways?

Take a look at the health numbers. Health and wellness is a huge market. People need help to know how to be healthy and how to stay safe. Is there something here you can do?

The public education expenditure number for today alone is moving so fast I can’t read the last 6 digits, but so far it’s $9 billion. For. The. Day. Maybe you can make courses for children. If you’re not comfortable teaching, pair up with a teacher who is and make virtual courses that you then market. The company Teachable produces millionaires every year just from posting courses on their site.

Twice as many bicycles are being produced than cars. If you’re knowledgeable about cycling, this is a HUGE market you can tap into.

Then there’s video games. So far today $279 million has been spent on video games, while there are 801 million people with no access to safe drinking water. You could work with a video game manufacturer to donate money from every game to build wells.

Or perhaps you produce your own video games (you can hire people to make the actual games) and as each player unlocks levels in the games, money is donated for wells. The players would get the immense satisfaction that playing the games is actually helping people in the real world.

Last of all, only 937,810 new book titles have been published so far this year. Compared to a lot of the other numbers, this one seems low to me. Can you write a book? Can you write several books? By having more than one book, if one becomes a best-seller then readers will naturally want to read your other books, too.

There are all kinds of interesting stats on the Worldometer page, but this is just one website. Ideas are everywhere. Try idea sex, which again is taking two ideas to come up with something new. And ask off the wall zany questions no one else is asking and then find the answers.

As James Altucher says, finding good ideas is easy when you exercise your idea muscle. Just write down 10 new ideas every day. EVERY day. It’s not easy at first because you’re not used to thinking this way.

But keep at it, and pretty soon the ideas will be falling like rain. And in those ideas is a million dollars, or maybe a lot more. You just have to find the idea and then act on it.


How to Sell 50% More with One Check Box | Increase Your Sales

How to Sell 50% More with One Check Box | Increase Your Sales

You walk into McDonald’s and order a burger, fries and a drink. But before you check out, the cashier asks you a helpful question: “Would you like me to Supersize your meal for you?”

Well isn’t that nice of the cashier to ask that? Of course, you would like her to do that, and you might even thank her for being so thoughtful.

Congrats, you’ve just discovered how to increase the size of your orders on your website.

The most difficult part of marketing is getting the sale. But once someone has committed to making the purchase, it’s relatively easy to get them to upgrade. They’ve already decided to buy. That decision is made. Purchasing more simply reconfirms their commitment to that decision.

Plus, you’re giving them a great deal, so what’s not to love?

Your customer has added your $99 course to the cart. You ask if they would like to add 4 weeks of email coaching for just $49 more, making the total sale $148 instead of just $99.

Just to be clear, an order bump happens before someone clicks, “buy now.” It adds an item or upgrade to the shopping cart before the checkout is complete.

In contrast, an upsell happens after someone has completed the purchase. The upsell is usually on the thank you page, and it can be done with a single click so the customer doesn’t need to enter their credit card details again.

When Should You Use Order Bumps vs Upsells?

Order bumps work best when the offer is a continuation or upgrade of the current product that is about to be purchased.

For example, if you’re selling software, then the order bump might be an extended license that allows the user to own it for a lifetime rather than renewing it each year. Or it could be a set of videos that help the user to install and use the software, in case this sort of thing is new to them. Or maybe it’s resell or PLR rights to the software.

On the other hand, 1-click upsells are best when the offer is complementary to the original product.

Let’s say you sell a course on how to drive traffic using Facebook. An upsell could be another course on how to drive traffic using TikTok or Instagram.

Examples of Order Bumps

When you purchase electronics, you will almost always see an order bump for a warranty plan. For example, when you purchase an iPad you’ll be offered ‘AppleCare’ for two years of tech support and accidental damage coverage.

When you purchase from Omaha Steaks, there is an order bump for Filet Mignon at a discount.

The brand Thirty-One uses a slightly different approach in their order bump, placing it on every product page. The visitor has two choices – “add to cart” or “personalize’. They’re selling more by offering the personalization service to increase the value of each sale and they are also subconsciously making their buyers think of who they can send a personalized gift to.

The #1 Reason Why Order Bumps are so Effective

Just as your customer is about to click the buy button, they get a chance to upgrade their order to something even better.

And because the order bump is personalized to exactly what the customer wants, it can make the original offer even more compelling.

On top of that, most people are impulsive buyers. Presenting an offer upgrade just as they’re about to buy vastly increases the chance they will accept it.

Think about what happens at a new car dealership. The customer might agonize over whether to make the purchase. But once they become committed to their chosen vehicle, it’s very easy for the dealership to sell all kinds of add-ons that contribute significantly to the sales price and the customer’s satisfaction.

Once people make a decision, they will reaffirm to themselves that they have made the right decision. And taking the order bump is one more way they show themselves that they’re on the right path.

10 Order Bumps to Add to Your Offers

While this list is not comprehensive, it does give you an excellent starting point in figuring out what offers you can make to your customers in the form of order bumps.

1: An Additional, Different Format

This one is so simple – for example, if your customer is purchasing a PDF, offer them an audio version or even a physical copy in addition to the PDF.

2: Related Accessories

This should be something that enhances the function of the original product. For example, if you’re selling a course on how to approach the right people at companies in a specific niche in order to do deals, the order bump might be the contact info for 100 of these executives.

Or if you’re selling a course on something, the order bump might be a 20 page PDF on how to learn anything quickly.

3: Personal Assistance

This works especially well if you are selling courses and programs. Your order bump could be something like email support for any questions they have, group conference calls to answer questions, or a private Facebook Group.

4: Community or Partners

Again, if you are selling courses and programs, the biggest obstacle is getting your customers to take action on the product they’re purchasing. Offering them a private community they can join where they are in touch with others learning the same material can be extremely helpful. It also provides them with a way to make contacts.

And something I don’t see very often but can be even more effective is assigning accountability partners. When you pair two or more people together to stay in touch with each other and keep each other accountable, the work tends to get done at a much higher rate.

Why is this important? If your customers are not just buying, but also USING your programs and courses, they are much happier with their purchase and MUCH more likely to purchase more programs and courses from you in the future.

5: Expedited Shipping

The company I purchase supplements from offers expedited shipping for just an additional $2.99. It’s a great deal and I get it every time.

Faster shipping can mean two things: Either it gets shipped faster, or it gets shipped by a faster delivery method, such as USPS Priority Mail instead of Ground.

6: Auto-Delivery

If you sell anything that requires repeat purchases, such as foods, supplies, or supplements, you can offer monthly delivery through an order bump. This won’t increase the size of the initial order, but it will increase the number of times something is ordered.

7: Maintenance or Support

Does your product require maintenance? Upgrades? Support? Electronics and cars almost always have order bumps for extended warranties. Which of your products needs these things, too?

Warranties and protection plans are similar and also a great thing to offer as order bumps.

8: Preferred Members Group

You could create an insider’s circle or preferred members program that offers discounts, free shipping, exclusive deals and so forth. Amazon Prime is a good example of this. And many companies offer a 10% discount on all purchases made within a year of purchasing a preferred membership.

9: Upgrades

This can mean so many things. For example, if someone purchases a resell license, you can offer a PLR license as an upgrade.

Or let’s say you offer 2 or 3 different versions of your product, software or service. If they choose one of the lesser versions, on the order page you can present them with a bump up to the next level. Odds are they were on the fence anyway, so asking them if they wouldn’t like to move up one level will often get a yes, especially if you throw in some small incentive.

10: Bulk Discounts

If you’re selling tangible products, then this can work really well. Offer them 3 of the item they’re purchasing for a reduced per item unit. Or offer them the second unit for half price.

In some cases this can work with digital, too. Let’s say you have a series of videos or books. Maybe it’s a series of 5 books, each building on the other but also acting as stand-alone products. Your customer adds one book to the cart, and on the order page you offer a special deal to get all 5 books right now. Because odds are they will be back for more anyway, so why not grab them now?

Final Notes on Order Bumps

The tricky part is to keep the order bump simple while still doing your best to sell it.

1: Go for a clear and concise message that covers the big benefit of getting the order bump. Use a short headline that grabs attention. Be ultra-specific in what they’re getting. Show how it is useful to the purchase they are already making. Create a sense of urgency that this is THE time to grab the offer – not later. And if applicable, show how it is unique.

That’s a lot to fit into 2 to 4 sentences. You’ll have to play with this until you get it just right, then test it and adjust accordingly.

2: Try placing your order bump in a box outlined in a bright contrasting color, such as red or orange.

3: If the number is over 50%, make a note of what percentage of people take the order bump.

4: If there is space, insert one extremely short testimonial at the end of the order bump copy to show how awesome your customers think this order bump is.

5: Your headline can often be as simple as, “OFFER UPGRADE” in bold red letters.

6: To say yes to the offer, have your customers check a box that says something like, “Yes! Upgrade My Order”. You might highlight these words and the checkbox in pale yellow to make them stand out.

7: Using a picture in the order bump box can work well, if appropriate. For example, if the order bump is for a book, use a pic of the book cover.

8: If appropriate to your order page, try placing the order bump box directly in line with the order form itself, with a button underneath that says to ship your order now. This makes it seem a very natural part of the ordering process.

9: You might start the sales copy of your order bump with something like, “One time offer, only $12.95” in red and underlined. Test everything.

10: Keep the cost of the order bump lower than the cost of the original product, usually 50-60% lower. There are exceptions, such as if you’re offering a special deal on 3 of the item instead of just the 1 they added to cart.

11: As mentioned earlier, test. Changing the look, position and ad copy of the order bump can sometimes make a tremendous difference in conversions.

One note: Some marketers are afraid that by offering an order bump they will be chasing away sales. While I’ve found this is very seldom true, it is important that you frame your order bump in such a way that it appears to be a very good deal for your customer, and also something they can easily turn down by simply ignoring it.

If you do add an order bump and sales do decline (possible but HIGHLY unlikely) it might be that you’ve made the wrong offer. Start over with a different offer and see what happens.

Bottom Line: If you’re not already testing order bumps on all of your sales, maybe it’s time you started. Depending on the offer and the price, it’s entirely possible you could add as much as 10-50% to your bottom line simply by mastering the order bump process.


All You Need to Know About TikTok | Marketing in a Nutshell

All You Need to Know About TikTok | Marketing in a Nutshell

TikTok is growing fast – it’s been downloaded 1.5 billion times and has 500 million active users who spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the platform. 90% of active users access TikTok at least once per day. Users are overwhelmingly young, with 66% of users under the age of 30.

Yet just 4% of marketers use TikTok.

TikTok users upload videos of 15 seconds or shorter or create and share 60 second stories-type videos.

Users don’t need to follow anybody – they can simply open their app and start playing videos or search by preferred topic.

Marketing on TikTok

You’ve got three main options for marketing on TikTok:

1: Create your own channel and upload relevant videos

2: Work with influencers to reach their audience

3: Pay to advertise

You can also do a combination of any and all the above.

Hashtag Challenges

These are highly popular and a great way to engage users. Create a challenge along with an appropriate #-tag name. Users then upload videos doing the challenge.

It’s not unheard-of to get 5,000 to 10,000 submissions and 10 million engagements if this is done by a celebrity or if it really catches fire.

If you’re not a celebrity, work with an influencer to get your hashtag challenge launched.

User-Generated Content

TikTok users like the full immersive experience. They don’t want to just watch; they also want to participate.

Encourage your customers to share videos of themselves using or interacting with your products in some way to get a high buy-in.

Traditional Influencer Marketing

Find influencers that are a good match for your product and then leave it to them to create the content.

Don’t expect the content they generate to look ultra-professional. To your marketer’s eye it’s going to look downright amateurish, but originality and fun are what work best on TikTok, not high production values.

Paid Advertising

Infeed native videos are 9 to 15 seconds long and support website clicks and app downloads. Impact of video is measured by number of clicks, impressions, CTR, video views, play duration and video interactions of shares and comments.

Brand Takeovers

These are exclusive to one brand every day. Images, animated GIFs and videos can be used with embedded links connected to landing pages or challenges and hashtags within the platform.

Bottom Line: If your audience is under 30 and you have products that are a good fit for video, TikTok could be the next best place for you to go.