Social Media Engagement – is it any different to providing Outstanding Customer Service?

Social Media engagement – is it any different to providing Outstanding Customer Wedding rings and moneyService?

There has been a lot of articles recently concentrating on social engagement for businesses and engagement marketing, mainly saying that this is something new.  However  very few seem to define it in a way we can understand. If it is new and we don’t understand the concept how can we know if we should use it and also more to the point how will we know if we have been successful at it?

What is Social Media? Continue reading

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How to recognise a good Internet Marketing Start Up Offer?

If you look at the offers that you get coming into your mail boxes as a would be  Internet Marketer, they all seem to address the same approach. You don’t have to do anything at all. Just take these offers, pay your money and the new system will do it all for you. How can you afford to miss out on this sort of offer?

Well I think there are a number of factors here that mean you should simply press the delete key.

  1. Firstly these offers do not give you any lasting learning experience. You know yourself in life if you don’t make a cake yourself then you will not know how to do it if you are asked.
  2. Secondly these offers do not give you true value for money as they often come back later for more money for yet another offer that you cannot refuse.
  3. Often these offers are for you to get massive amounts of money for as little as $10, or more usually $37. In life how realistic is this?

So if this is the case what is a good Offer? Continue reading

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How to be an organised planner in your work at home business

Just starting your business at home. Got everything organised and planned?

Most of us don’t spend as much time as we should looking into how organised we should be. Does it matter? Well I think it does for a number of reasons.

  1. Wasted time is potentially money lost time. If you aren’t doing something which is going to produce money for you then it shouldn’t be done.
  2. If you don’t have  a plan of what you should be doing how do you know if you are going in the right direction and doing the right things?
  3. If you allow yourself to get distracted then you will not be using your time efficiently.

So if we need to be organised what does this mean in reality and how do we know when we are?

What would help is a plan by the day, week, month. It’s not as difficult as it sounds.

With the business it is always good to have  a three month rolling plan – what does this mean? Well we start at the beginning by planning three months out.

A three month plan.

This might be:

Define and research six new niches

Establish three new websites

Set up a local marketing approach

Month by Month Plans

Then you can break this down into what you need to achieve each month and then down into each week, to achieve the month by month plans..

The rolling bit is as follows:

At the end of month one you sit down and review what you achieved from what you intended to achieve. Will you have done everything – probably not, but you might have done something in addition.

So you then look at month two and three and adjust the plan for them based on what you got done in month one.

You also then plan month four which trickles down until you have the weeks worked out.

It does not take long to do this but it gives you a way of judging how much you are doing – how much work is required and whether you are working enough hours each day, to achive your objectives.

After the first three months, some people even before this, you will know what is the right time schedules and what you can do in the time available to you.

So give it a go, and if you need tools – I simply use Errands which is on iPad or you can use windows calendar, both are free and useful.

If you want to learn more about working at home and building a home based business then click here to see our honest review of Wealthy Affiliate University.

 

 

 

 

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Do you make these Internet Marketing Expectation mistakes?

I wonder how many of us have been in the situation where we ask this question?

Could it be that we need to make some money fast but:

1. We have tried to get started with Internet Marketing and can’t make a go of it

2. We haven’t started and have heard so many negative comments

3. We don’t know anything about it so we are afraid to try it?

4. It all sounds like a load of technical jargon which we don’t understand.

There are a lot of negative comments about Internet marketing out there on the web and many with good cause. The trouble is that many of the Vendors set expectations that are way too high for most mere mortals like us.

Thus we see offers to reward us overnight with thousands of dollars, and we are told that we don’t need to do anything. Get real – how often in life does this work out? If any of these schemes (and that’s what they are), could produce this type of return it begs the following question:

Why is the Vendor asking for us to buy his product when he should be totally retired

So let’s get real about Internet Marketing and put down some expectations which are sensible.

1. Internet Marketing does not make you rich overnight – sorry but this is not the way it works. It is absolutely true that the potential buying public for your product is in the billions but it simply doesn’t work that you take a product from the shelf, put it on the web and it sells immediately. I read a write up from an ex Vendor  who had been offering the rich overnight approach and he admitted in this article that he had made this money himself. So far so good. But then he stated that the only reason he had done so was because he already had an email list of Clients of 10,000. In other words he was immediately able to sell to his own customer base and make this type of money. Most of us don’t walk around with a customer list of 10,000 people – we are lucky if we know any at the start.

2. Internet Marketing is not a business where you need do no work – sorry but again it doesn’t work this way. What some Vendors offer in this area is their own scheme where they have templates and web site creation software which can give you so much of a start. Problem 1 – it is going to cost you – often big time up front. Problem 2 – you still have to find your products and your buyers.

3. Internet Marketing is not a business where you don’t have to learn anything – sorry but like most things in life you actually have to do some learning or training to get into this business. There is a lot of training information out there for sure – some better than others. Again though beware. I recently looked at a new approach to marketing articles and it sounded very interesting. It was only a small investment to get a series of six classes with all the details. This worked out okay, but what saddened me was that as you went through the registration process there were 15 yes 15 hard sale approaches for training materials, which truly put me off.

So here is my recommendations if you are needing another revenue stream and are considering Internet Marketing. Set your expectations as follows:

1. You will make money in the longer term – say six months, but the good thing is that it is recurring – in other words when you are asleep the web is still there and selling your products.

2. You will need to do work – period. How fast you make money will often be related to how much time you spend on this IM. If you set aside one hour per day you obviously will not make as much progress as if you set aside 4 hours per day. But it’s up to you.

3. You will have to go through a learning curve.  Don’t worry about whether you are too old to do so, or haven’t done any for ages – doesn’t matter. I have found some really excellent materials which are aimed at all folks no matter what their backgrounds.

4. Set out with an expectation to spend as little as possible, and then make this a rule. You can buy lots of things in the IM world for lots of dollars but what’s the point if you don’t know what they are? Research the web for all the free information you can and then decide what to buy. My rule always is what do I need – can I find it free on the web?

5. Go for reviews of Internet Marketing work and read them before you leap in. Find one where the person who is recommending the approach has actually done it him/herself, and explains it in details.

I hope this helps you to make that start in Internet Marketing – because it is a great business!

 Wealthy Affiliate

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How to avoid distractions when working at home.

Anyone working at home will know the problem with distractions, be it the kids, our beloved partner, the neighbour who just pops in for a quick chat and stays for two hours and so on. I am sure we can all put a long list of these together. One of the usual by products of these is that our stress levels rise as we see the days work not being achieved. So are there pros as well as cons to some of these distractions or are they all just a nuisance? I would like to suggest that they are often only a nuisance if we let them be, and a couple of ideas that I have used to make them bearable.

Three of the biggest distractions for me.

The following are the three distractions which I have had to get over as I started my Work at Home career.

  1. Paperwork – this was the bain of my life until I sat down one day with the door closed and conquered it. We all have paperwork, for sure and we all take notes and make lists but if they are not properly organised into a minimal filing system they will become a big distraction. So will the daily paper or the e paper. Research tells us that if we allow paper or e paper to be in our line of vision it will distract us 20 times in a normal working day. Answer, keep only those few items you need to do the current job on your desk.
  2. Webinars – as a Newbie to the Internet Marketing world I have been flooded with Marketing Webinar invites which I am told I just can’t afford to miss – how could I? For other Newbies like myself, I believe that if you see one webinar from a marketing guru you have seen them all. They will of course in 1 to 2 hours tell you very little except how good they are and then ask you to spend money you didn’t want to at the start. Answer, watch only one to get the idea and then no more – you simply can’t afford to waste this amount of time at this stage of your IM program development on this distraction. The actual distraction goes on well after the webinar finishes as you ponder what was said, and then decide no.
  3. Skiving (or the urge to). You would rather be doing something else than this work at home thing – right. Well procrastination is the thief of time, and if you allow the urge to become reality then it builds because by the time you get back to work it may well be the next day and then you are in catch up mode. Allow time in your schedule for a little bit of this other activity to assuage the urge.

So these are the cons -What to do about these and other distractions ? Try making some of them contribute positively. Here are my thoughts.

  1. Set realistic expectations for what you are going to achieve each day and allow for some distractions, like the other activity you would rather do (for 15 minutes only)..
  2. Work out when you need to get up and walk around as this will revitalise you – I do this at least every 45 minutes. This is a positive distraction.
  3. Take that cup of tea and have a chat with your partner, neighbour, kids, mid morning but allow for it in your WAH schedule.
  4. Keep organised with regards to what you are going to do today, remove all other paperwork from your desk and put it out of sight.
  5. Keep focussed on the task in hand and avoid things like marketing webinars which will throw you off course for a long while.
  6. Accept the need to be flexible in you daily work schedule if unavoidable distractions do occur, More positivity towards distractions.

Try these in any combination and see if it helps keep the stress levels under control – it did mine.

 Wealthy Affiliate

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How to avoid email time wasting.

Are you an email geek like I was who has to see each email as they come in? Do you look at them more than once?

Just as with paper handling, email handling can equally be a big waste of productive time and needs to be regulated – actually you need to regulate yourself.

The thing to realise also is that emails increase exponentially as we accept offers, mailings etc without really getting any benefit.

Also do you file every email – if so this needs to be managed just the same as paper filing.

 

Try this approach:

 

  • At start up I created two new email addresses IN addition to my private email address. This splits business emails away from private, in order to focus on one or the other not both.
  • Secondly I have two business email addresses so that I can stream the emails into one address that is my prime business activity and the second one is everything else.
  • The prime business one gets my attention every day whilst the other gets my attention when I want to or even just once a week.
  • On Friday afternoons I spend one hour on all emails in both in boxes and clear them both out completely – simple.

 

I apply similar  rules to paper based records.

 

  • Firstly decide when you are going to look at your emails and stick to it. Don’t read each email as it comes in as this disrupts your routine. I usually combine this with a morning coffee break so that I know early in the morning if there is anything urgent to reply to.
  • Read  the email and decide now what to do with it. A big time waster is to read an email and then move on to the next without doing anything. This would be  the equivalent of reading the paper based material many times.
  • Decide first of all if you need to have this email coming to you at all. If not unsubscribe. We all start our business accepting every email as we are afraid of missing something important. After one month take a long hard look at whether you got anything from those emails subscriptions and if you did not unsubscribe – you can always join again if you want to. In my case this got rid of 85% of emails in my non business address inbox after one month.
  • Decide on all emails as soon as you read it  whether to delete it, reply to it, or hold it in the inbox to answer when you have more information.
  • Do not file it away unless it meets the criteria we talked about with paper – you must have it – such as electronic bank statements.
  • If you decide to reply to an email, do so with the original and then both are together in your sent box so you don’t need the original in the inbox anymore – delete it.
  • If you must file an email separately  because you do need to keep it same rules as with paper – make an electronic file with an appropriate name – e.g.Bank statements.
  • If you are keeping it just in case, then the  same rules as with paper – create a file by month and then if the email is not used delete it. Each month look at your files and delete those you don’t need or have not used.

 

Simple management of emails will drastically reduce the time you spend on this admin task without cost. That time can then be channelled to productive work and will bring progress and rewards. Remember you are looking to achieve 80% of your time on productive work, hopefully more and definitely not less.

If you would like to learn more about setting up a home based business for free then click here to see our honest review of Wealthy Affiliate University.

If you have any questiuons or comments please leave them below,

Yours in business

 

Hudson

 

 

 

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Who else wants to save time working at home?

We often get started in our work at home business with a rush of activity, and the way we do things kind of evolves without too much thought sometimes. We get into routines or habits of doing a days work in a certain way without stepping back and looking at what we are really doing.

 Why does this matter?

 It matters because we should be focussing on productive, rather than administrative tasks or work efforts.

Productive tasks will move our business forward and (hopefully) make us more successful and, who knows, more money.

 Administrative tasks are necessary but won’t by themselves make us any money. They can make us more productive but are best minimised.

 What we should be aiming for  is that 80% or more of our time should be spent on productive tasks and maximum 20% spent on administrative tasks.

 To do this we need to look hard at the administrative tasks we do as follows:

  •  When  we do them?
  • Why do we do them?
  • Are they really necessary?
  • Do they add to our productive time at all
  • Can we cut them out and save admin time?

 

If you spend one whole morning doing this review of all your admin tasks and as a result save one hour per day going forward you will increase your productive time by a minimum of 12.5% which is well worth aiming for. Think how much more progress you can make with an extra hour per day!

 So lets look at one example to get an idea of how to approach admin tasks

 Filing of paper

 I was a file aholic (is there such a word) until I sat back and looked at this chore.

If we believe we have to keep all of the pieces of paper we come across in our business then the filing system will get out of control.

 Try this approach:

  •  Look to see if you can stop the paper coming, (unsubscribe to papers, magazines)  or can you get it electronically (bank statements) so that you don’t have to even touch paper.
  • Keep a record over a one month period of paper which you absolutely have to have -legal documents, bills, receipts, statements.
  • Put the rest in a file by  month , or best case shred them.
  • Keep a  record of how many times I you need the paper which had simply gone in a box by month. In my case this turned out to be never so I shredded the contents after a three month period.
  • Finally for the few files you have to keep make a list of them either numerically or alphabetically (I prefer a numeric list ) so that you know what is filed where. This will save you time in retrieving paper from the files and also in future filing.
  • Do filing once per week as this is much more efficient than filing each item, and less disruptive to your routines.

 

In my case this one off exercise cut down the amount of my paper handling by 95% and as paper handling is so manually intensive this time saving went right into productive tasks instead. Why not give it a try and see if it works for you?

 Wealthy Affiliate

 

 

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Can’t keep up? Dispel these 3 myths and simplify your work at home day

Working from home is great isn’t it?

No problems with time, do your work when you want to. Have more time for the family. Plus a paperless office right? How can a home business like Internet Marketing which by definition is done over the web, be anything else except paperless? Well if your experience is anything like mine then it doesn’t quite work out that way. We all need to keep some records whether they be lists of passwords, web sites, to do lists, or stuff that we print off. Then of course there are all the papers which relate to actually running a home, utility bills, marketing letters.

The effect of having too much paper on your desk.

Ever walked into a vendors office and seen a paper jungle? Have you noticed how difficult it is for that Vendor to find your file? What does this tell you? It is very unproductive and time wasting. There are a number of myths surrounding this situation which all apply to the home office just as well as the corporate one.

1. I know where everything is- so what is the problem? Research has shown that if you have two people, one with a cluttered desk, and one without, that even though they both say they can find anything the cluttered desk person will take up to twice as long. This means wasted time – can you afford this ?

2. A desk which is cluttered is a sign of a busy mind. This is simply not true because what a cluttered desk means in reality is that every piece of paper which is not being attended to at this moment is a sign of an action not yet taken or you haven’t made your mind up yet. This means that you will have to come back to that paper and make that decision later, which in turn means you will have to start the decision process all over again.

3. I need to have that paper with me to remind me to do it.

If you adopt this approach then you will find that such pieces of paper get lost in all the others and this means that they will not act as reminders. If you come across it later by accident then it will act as a reminder but the problem is that it may be too late.

We have all been there haven’t we? I have been one of the biggest culprits in doing the cluttered desk game. I call it a game because that is effectively what it becomes. Find the piece of paper game. There is a way out of this and we will go through this in another article (watch this space).

Suffice to say for now if this article gets you thinking about how much precious time you waste by not dealing with pieces of paper once and once only then it will have done  some good. Enjoy!

 

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The Costs

What about the cost of joining WAU?

The fact is that you can join for free as a starter member simple – NO cost.

What does this mean?

It means that you get:

  •  access to the starter training courses,
  • access to the database of all training and videos for starter membership.
  • high speed web hosting
  • two free websites hosted.
  • 30 keyword searches.
  • your personal blog
  • access to rapid writer. 

With this access you can learn how to make your own Internet Business and how to run it.

If you want to then progress to premium membership and this is not obligatory at all, then it will cost $47 per month and you then get access to all of the facilities at Wealthy Affiliate.

There are NO other costs.

 

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Goal Setting or Not?

When you are starting your on-line business or indeed at any time during your on-line business career it is very important to remember to set goals for yourself and the business. All corporates do this so why not you?

What good does it do – well it enables you to judge how well you are doing against those goals or objectives which you set yourself so long ago, (such as last week or last month)!

Will you meet all of your goals – doubtfull because other things will get in the way such as new business opportunities. If the trend is that you are achieving more goals than not you are on the right track – but how do you know?

I always look at goals over a monthly period so that gives me time to actually work on those goals and achieve something meaningful. The most important thing to do though is to analyse honestly why you did not achieve those goals that you didn’t.

The reason is clear. If you can honestly agree with yourself or your business partner or whomever why those goals were not met then you can do something about it over the next month and so on.

Doing this review is critical and it is important to write down why you have not reached each goal and to set up an action plan to put this right going forward.

Is this a big form filing exercise – no it’s not. You can do this on the proverbial back of an envelope (do we have these today in the electronic age), or make an electronic note in your notepad. Then once you have decided what went wrong and how you are going to put it right, stick these new action plans where you can see them.

I have  a visible note pad on my sidebar and it contains my action plans, so I can look at it each time my laptop fires up. Usually this is in the morning and that is a real good time to make that mental note to work on these points.

One area where we all need to be very carefull as we work at home is that of distractions. It is so easy to get distracted and to decide that the main thrust of our work can wait whilst we do something else. What I am thinking of here is not the household jobs which we can always schedule our main work around.

The sort of distractions I am thinking of are the endless videos and super long emails which we are all sent with such messages as “you just have to watch this or you will miss millions etc” A very large percentage of these that I have recieved lead to little information and a request for my money. I don’t watch them any more.

You need to concentrate on you main stream effort to get that business up and running.

Good luck, enjoy and from the start, set yourself those goals, as this will enable you to measure how well you are doing and avoid going down avenues which lead no where.

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