Online Business: Twitter manners & link manners explained.

Who needs manners anymore?  You do unless you want to be an outcast! 

Social Media is wonderful for keeping in touch with friends, making new ones and sharing business information.  But, you can not blast all your friends/contacts with your business proposition without losing many of them and possibly getting banned from the social site. 

So what do you do to promote your business with Twitter or other Social Media?  Make sure you have your business link or blog link listed in your profile.  If someone follows you and wants to know more about you they will click on your profile.  Up will pop your info including your business link.  If they are interested they will click.

The saying goes you can lead a horse to water……if he is thirsty he will drink and only then.  Your job is to provide information as a friend and expert in your field that will pique his interest not ram the information down his throat.

A respected mentor/net-worker shares good solid information that he finds that is of benefit to his readers and friends as well as his own original content.

So how do you be a net-worker on this two way information street?  By searching out other members of social media, other blogs, other’s articles [E-zines etc] forums that relate to your business as well as your target market.

  • To search these media; use key words both long and short to find writing from others.  e.g.  social media search with keyword or from your web browser’s search engine by typing  keywords.blog or keywords.articles or keywords.forum
  • Skim and read information from others.  You might learn something that you could apply to your business!
  • When you find something of value that they have written, tell them so! Social Media, blogs and most article sites have comments sections.

A few of the steps you can follow to tell the author you liked his work.

1.         Leave author a comment saying “Read the article and that you really liked it….[name something specific and why you liked it.]

2.         And then tell him your action:  Did you post a link to him with your comments on your blog, in your article or in a business related forum or send an email from a friend about it?  Did it spark an idea for an article of your own?  Tell him you liked it and give him credit for the information

3.         Another good thing to do is to see if the author of the article you liked has a twitter account.  If he does then send him a tweet directly; commenting that you liked his article. “Good info, thanks, and that  you tweeted it to your friends”.  He will be pleased and may very well check your profile and follow you.  This will also work with  other social media sites.

You have found information that you want to review and share but you have a problem.  What do you do when you want to share a link to some article you liked with your business group on Twitter and the link is miles and miles long?  You want to write a quick line to say “Just read this great article” and the site.  But the link is so long you can not make a note with in the number of characters limit? What do you do?

  • There is a free web site that will shorten links and keep them viable.  Just type www.cli.gs  [not .com or .org!] into your web browser.  The site will direct you to enter the toooooo long link and they will shorten it.
  • With the shorter link you can write a brief introductory note and add the link.  Your contacts will appreciate the introduction as the reason they should click on the link.

The name of the game is to make friends, share information.  Be a helper and be a respected friend first and forget the salesman stuff until someone asks for more information.  Then remember to let the information speak for itself!

Does an Entrepreneur working at home online need a schedule?.

What! you may say – I am self employed and can I do my own thing right?  I am doing this so I am my own boss – schedule yuck & blah!  But, if you want to make money and grow your business you will need a schedule to structure your day when working from home.

When you had a W-2 type “job” you reported to work on time and did all the tasks your supervisor told you to get done. These tasks are listed in the Job Description that you were given when you were hired.  There was a learning curve for the novel and unfamiliar tasks when you began.  But, as time went on you developed a routine that got the job done and kept your supervisor happy and earned you a paycheck.  You followed a schedule then!

The Entrepreneur who is learning to work at home online, needs to set his own schedule and have the discipline to stick to it.  Some online businesses do give more guidance to the beginner than others in the form of tools and mentors which helps a lot.  But, what are the components of the entrepreneur’s schedule?

  • Time for study to learn the beginning technical skills to run the business online.
  • Time for study to learn the professional components, the product, the marketing program for your company.
  • Time to cultivate the copy-writing skills to promote yourself.
  • Time to advertise – online ads, newspaper ads, promo DVDs or CDs etc.
  • Time to meet with your up-line or mentor or business leader to work on your business plan and problem solve any area you are concerned about.
  • Time to mentor your leads and customers and affiliates – to be the mentor to help them join your business and to succeed in the business.

So how much time do you need for what?  A full time entrepreneur will have a 6-8 hour day available to schedule.  The part-timer will have fewer hours, but the percentage of work time will be similar.

  • Well the beginner will be spending lots of study time and skill development time as much as 4-6 hours a day.  A fair amount of time advertising about 2-3 hours a day.   And time scheduled, at least weekly, with your business leader to problem solve any unsure areas.  You will need some time to talk with your leads.  In the beginning your time with business leader and leads will only take about an hour a day. [6-1-1 then 4-3-1 or 4-2-2]
  • The more advanced entrepreneur will be spending less time learning, 1-2 hours a day.  Advertising & writing time will be about 2-3 hours a day.  Working with your leads, customers and affiliates 4 hours or more a day.  You will need to reduce working with leads one day to schedule a weekly hour with your business leader should be scheduled to keep your business growing. [1-3-4]
  • The time of day you block for each task needs to relate to your mental alertness.  For example are you a lark or an owl?  The larks should schedule tasks that are harder for them earlier in the day when they are sharper.  The owls should not try to start their heavy thinking part of the day for 8am, but the larks might do well with that.
  • Pay attention to your higher energy thinking times are and use those times to increase your productivity.  I am a lark and an owl- I do well first in the morning and in late afternoon and evening.  So my mid day is my mental down time and I never schedule mentally challenging tasks at that time.

Scheduling is not a dirty word, it is a plan of what needs to be done time block by time block.  When anyone thinks of the whole job, it seems overwhelming.  But, when the task is broken down into specific bits of time it is easy to check off each and feel that you are making progress towards your goal of having a successful home based online business.

Well entrepreneur – you are your own boss! Act like one and take the time to give yourself a schedule to go with your business plan.

For a company that provides excellent training and mentoring click here:

Is Your Computer at Risk Due to Your Lousy Password?

 I have found many helpful articles in the Bottom Line Publications.  According to these folks and others passwords are putting your security at risk.  The last thing any of us wants is to open the door for identity thieves!  But, many folks take shortcuts that spell disaster for security.  Did you do any quickies for passwords that are a hazard to your online welfare?  There are a few simple tricks to increase your security.  To read more on this go to:  Bottom Line Publications

 

If link malfunctions copy & paste:  http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/index.php?option=com_mtree&task=viewlink&link_id=128&Itemid=184&utm_source=cheetah&utm_accountid=671090&utm_campaign=_BOzNI-B8eex880

 

 

 

Work Habits can make or break an entrepreneur working at home online.

Dream of working at home, making your own schedule, being your own boss?  Many budding entrepreneurs focus on the freedom and neglect to carry over some work habits and work ethics from their regular [W-2] job.  This neglect can cost you the success you crave.  And, keep success just out of reach.

So what are the work habits you already have that should be cultivated and what work habits for the entrepreneur should be revised?

  • Being a self starter, a person who takes pride in their work, is reliable, is on time and keeps to a schedule to get the job done are wonderful work habits that will translate into successful habits for the entrepreneur working at home.
  • Procrastination and having a need for supervision to perform the task are counter-productive to any work, but forecast disaster for someone working at home.

Keeping and cultivating the good habits and working to learn skills to improve on poor work habits can make the difference between success and disaster for the entrepreneur working at home.

  • A person, who needs or feels more comfortable with supervision to perform a task or complete it, will need to study the new job at hand.  Based on this information of what needs to be done to work online at home, a schedule must be made. The tasks are like a check list in the schedule.  Strict adherence to the schedule is a must.
  • A person who procrastinates will need to do some soul searching and really look to discover their very own passion in life.  For example: I have a need to be of help to people.  That passion led me to return to school to become a therapist, and now an entrepreneur.  When this passion is identified and focused upon,  procrastination fades away.

Scheduling is important for the self starter also.  The entrepreneur needs to make own schedule that puts enough time in areas that are required to complete.  Making sure the schedule is fluid to allow for change to meet the needs of a growing business is vital.

  • The beginning entrepreneur working at home will needs lots of learning and reading time followed by advertising and writing time to get leads.
  • Later the entrepreneur will need less time in the schedule to learn, and write and more to advertise.   Also, as the business starts to grow the entrepreneur will need to add time in schedule for cultivating leads and customers.

The good habits and work ethics are of great benefit for the work at home entrepreneur.  The less functional work habits can be modified and changed with some effort.  A person who takes the time to identify their passion and build upon it will have an easier time focusing their time for their own business.  Following your dream to become a successful online entrepreneur at home does require self discipline and work that is both similar and different from the W-2 employment.

To check our my favorite straight forward company with good support click here.

 

Opinions Please!

Our beliefs and values shape our lives.  Our habits shape our days.  When we are not stagnant ponds, but are bubbling moving brooks we grow.  Regarding personal growth: Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Was he correct?

What is the fifth key area on selecting an online business?

In my previous posts on Nov 9th, Nov 10th, Nov11th, Nov 14th, Nov 16th,   I outlined the 5 keys to consider and research before selecting an online business this will be part six of a 6 part series.

The fifth area to consider is: What are the Products?

What are they?

  • Tangible items?  Are the products a durable product or an expendable/consumable product.  An example would be furniture vs a vitamin drink or computer paper.  One is durable one is consumable.
  • Virtual Items?  E-books and some videos as well as online training and webinars would be examples of this.
  • Services? Membership to give discounts on specific service.  The service marketed could be the agency that actually performs the service for each customer.
  • The product may be a blend of any of the above.

The question you should ask yourself “how do I feel about the product?” 

  • If you are a very modest, private person selling male enhancement prescriptions would not be a good fit, nor would selling personal vibrator products or sexy underwear.  But that is obvious.
  • Other areas are much more subtle.  If being a representative of that product fills you with good feelings of being proud to stand out as a representative of the company or the product consider it.
  • If the product has a very limited market, consider your goals.   Can you reach your goals with a limited market item?
  • Are you proud to use the product yourself and would you recommend it to your Mom or Grandma?

If you don’t like the product yourself or if the product makes you uncomfortable in any way pick another product or company to represent.  Your customer will sense that you are not genuine and will not trust you.  No trust, no customers, no sales.

For more information on beginning your own business click here.

What is the fourth key area on selecting an online business?

In my previous posts on Nov 9th, Nov 10thNov11th, Nov 14th:   I outlined the 5 keys to consider and research before selecting an online business this will be part five of a 6 part series.

The fourth area to consider is: The Community and Support:

What is support?  The people, the teaching materials available to you to answer your questions and to grow your business is support.  What is community? The community is the pool/group of supporters available to you.

When you are the “new guy” in a W-2 brick and mortar company – you are introduced and welcomed in to the company by your new co-workers.  The coworkers help you feel less overwhelmed while learning the ropes.

So who shows you the “ropes” in an online business?

Community local meetings, online meetings or phone meetings or in person [face to face training seminars and conventions], makes you feel less isolated as you are beginning to work as well as continuing to expand your business.

  • When I was beginning to learn about being an entrepreneur and starting my first business I had many questions.  Some are technical, some are related to how the steps fit into the “big picture” etc.  It helped to have contact with others who were experienced and succeeding in their business.
  • It is easy to feel overwhelmed by so many new and exciting things.  A good sequential training program supplemented by a good support system makes the plan and goals feel lots more doable.
  • The beginner as well as the more experienced person appreciates having someone to talk to who can relate to the learning curve and help get answers to questions.  The folks who are more experienced or higher up in the company are your support in any type of business and can help you learn the ropes online.

Who are these folks that are your support and how do they support you?

  • Who:  How long have they been in this company and doing work online and how are they doing? Are they writing books, articles?  Are they experts or are working closely with experts?
  • Who:  Do they listen to you when you ask a question or just send you links to FAQ sections of the home web site?  If this is their idea of good support, keep looking!
  • How:  Are these folks easy access folks?  Do you have to wait more than 24 hours for an email response or 48 hours for a personal problem solving phone call?  If so keep looking!
  • How:  Are they available through phone calls, email, live chat, problem solving meetings, scheduled training seminars?  The greater the variety of support options the more likely you are to reach out for help and get it.
  • How:  Are they patient in answering questions and providing support information to help you succeed?  Are they easy to talk to or do they use techno-babble?  Are they patient or give you the impression that this is the 100th time they have answered that question today?  Patience and clear language used are excellent qualities.
  • How:  Do they just give you a “must do list” and that is that?  Or do they get your input while putting together your “action plan”.  Remember you are an individual looking to grow your business a business that stands out among others.  So a cookbook coaching method will be less than helpful.
  • How:  Does your support/coach “hold you accountable” for agreed upon action plan?  Or, does he/she just say do this and it will work. Being held accountable for follow though is the type of coaching support that will help you take your business seriously and grow.

We all need support to grow and in turn need to support others in their growth for any company or business to succeed.  A good online business has the support to help you understand and plan.

The best support person is one who meets you where you are right now and provides assistance to get you where you want to go.

What is the third key area on selecting an online business?

In my previous posts on Nov 9th, Nov 10th, Nov11th:   I outlined the 5 keys to consider and research before selecting an online business this will be part four of a 6 part series.

The third area to consider is The Training system: 

If the first training call or instructions says “make a list of your warm market – your friends and family” You are in trouble.  Your friends and family will screen phone calls and not get back to you.

If you follow the training advice to “sort of eavesdrop in public” to see if someone is frustrated with their job etc then jump in with your “30 second elevator story” and business card, be prepared to be banned from certain shopping areas!

So what is good training?

If the training system has a clearly presented sequential instructions, consider it.  Good training should be step by step and appropriate for the beginner.  But, it should have enough information for a more experienced business person to expand his/her business..

  • Just as there is no “one size fits all” shoe there is no “one size fits all” method of training.  A good training system must have a wide variety of modalities. e.g  instruction in advertising, article writing, videos, direct mail,  social media, magazine & journals, banner advertising, newspapers, press releases, radio, blogging etc.
  • There must be enough variety of good training on how to use the marketing method and how to write for the marketing that the beginner can find at least several areas that are appealing. “I would like to do that!” response means there is interest in the training.

We entrepreneurs are not all the same, we have strengths and things we like better than others.  A good training system includes a variety of ways to promote your business and provides step by step detailed directions to encourage success.  A good training system also has support, but more on that next time…

What is the second key area on selecting an online business?

In my previous post on Nov 9th,  I outlined the 5 keys to consider and research before selecting an online business.  On Nov 10th I discussed the first key.   This will be part three of a 6 part series.

The second key area to consider is Compensation Plan:

1.         Is money made at the front end/back end?

  • Front end compensation plans are those that offer money quickly based on customer initial purchase.  Products that are used but not used up fit into the front end plans.
  • Back end compensation plans are those that help you build a list of long term purchasers.  Products that are used up [foods, vitamins etc] or have a re-occurring monthly fee are examples of back end compensation plans.

2.         How long will it take to start earning money? And how much can I earn?

  • The time depends on the time you have to devote to your business and other aspects such as training, support that will be discussed in later articles.
  • The amount of money you can earn can be computed by considering how many leads you need to have to make sales.  The calculation formula does vary from company to company, but it is worth checking this detail.
  • For example if  there is a $200 commission on a $500 item you would have to sell 5 of these to gross $1000.
  • If you earn 15% on all you sell over your ceiling amount:  If your ceiling amount is you buy $100 per month and sell at least $200 more to earn a commission and you sell $700.  You would earn 15% of $400 or $60.00.

3.         Whether earnings are at the front end or back end, what are the requirements to earn money.

a.         Do you have to do something to qualify for compensation?

  • Some companies require you to purchase a specific amount before you can earn any money based on your sales.
  • Others require a certain amount of sales each month before you start making any money.
  • Others require both – a specific purchase and a certain amount of sales.

b.        Is compensation made by percent of sales or flat fee for specific product?

Some beginners do not research this carefully only to find that “if they had purchased a few dollars more or had one more sale” they could have made money.  They missed the mark and forfeited money.

Don’t let this happen to you!  Make sure that you understand the compensation plan and that it is one that works with your goals and investment ability.

What is the first key area on selecting an online business?

In my last post on Nov 9th,  I outlined the 5 keys to consider and research before selecting an online business this will be a follow-up post to that one.

The first area to consider is The Marketing System:

The first key area to consider is The Marketing System:

How do you get customers?

  • Do you purchase “leads lists” then email them, phone them or do mailings?
  • Do you pick names/addresses/phone numbers from a phone book?  Do you talk to “everyone you meet”.
  • Is there an email responder program set up in the system or do you have to invent your own?
  • Is the system based on Go get ‘em tiger – go forth and find them and sell them?

When I first started I had some technical challenges so I understand if you do.  So, a program with an auto-responder in place can be very helpful.

Most persons love to purchase things but hate being sold.  Is the system based on selling products and opportunity.  Or does the system  provide services freely that attract people to you, your product and your company?

I enjoy helping people meet their needs, so giving away some information and offering a hand up fits well with me.  So I prefer the marketing system that brings interested people to me rather than me beating the bushes for customers. How about you?