New Year’s Resolutions – Why Do They Fail?

How many of you readers have made a New Years Resolution only to break it as quickly as the champagne bubbles burst?

Come on now, be honest….  hands up, I know we all have done it at least once!

 

What is it that causes the failure?

We make the resolutions based on things we think we really want or want to do right?  Good intentions good goals for example:

  • We notice the waistbands getting tight and we resolve to “lose weight”.
  • Get colds too often that go into bronchitis and we resolve to “quit smoking”.
  • We trip over things in the garage and can’t get the car in and we resolve to “clear the clutter”.
  • We just paid off last years Christmas present bills and vow to have a better budget this year.

Failure to PLAN causes failure of everything!

  • Resolving to lose weight resolution will work better with a plan; join a gym and work out 3 days a week,  walk a specific amount of miles 3 days a week, enlist the aid of a dietitian [and follow the advise] and follow up on the plan religiously will set you up for success.
  • Resolving to quit smoking requires a plan; talk to your MD about assists [patches, medication, nicotine replacements, hypnosis etc].  Pick one of the plans suggested by your MD and stick with it – having a quitting partner will help also.
  • Clear the Clutter resolution plan would be to hire a professional clutter buster, or be your own.  If you are your own clutter buster pro you need to adhere to a specific criterion for keeping items.  For example: “If I have not used it, worn it etc for 2 years, out the door it goes.”
  • Resolving to budget our money better requires a budget plan.  If debt is truly out of control there are debt counselors or consumer counselors who are free or low cost to folks in financial trouble.

How about another option for this last resolution?

A plan to have more money, would be to have a new job, a new career or just a part-time position.  Something that you like to do that will earn you more money.  For this type of resolution with a plan a strategy click here.

 

The best to you for 2012!     Dr Jill

Copywriting the Confused Art.

British Author Kingsley Amis: “If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” 

                          The ah-ha moment for modern copywriters.

Once upon a time before the internet we had radio, television and printed advertisements [magazines, newspapers brochures etc.]  The advertisement world then and now uses words to inform and sell.  The folks of the hour were the Copywriters!

Along came the internet and things changed.  The first ones to use the internet were the techies who exchanged information.  The next folks to use the internet were us regular folk who wanted to keep in touch with our friends and family and to find information.  They came online as real folks and showed their personality.

Later came the companies who wanted to market their products online.  They thought a web site was just an extension of their show room.  Wrong!

A company could set its brick & mortar location off from others by its physical design and pretty brochure pictures.  But, on the internet, especially in the earlier days most web sites had similar formats.  To this day the smart web sites do not over use the plug-ins and fancy downloads – as customers can get impatient with the slow downloads and move on.

The question becomes: “How do I become set apart from others – How am I or my product/service unique – how do I show it?”  By having a strong character and a strong and honest down to earth voice will you stand out from the crowd.

Offline businesses tend to be cautious and bland touting the specs of their product.  The cautious, bland writing is the type most often taught to web designers.  But, online they need to show off their unique character, strong beliefs to be noticed.  Many don’t get it, even now.

Copywriters were left behind at the onset of the internet as the techies and web designers were the kings of the internet.  The copywriters are working hard to catch up with the humanity of the new internet copywriting.   The good internet copywriter strives to have copy portray the human-ness of the founders, the personality of the founders, not just the corporate philosophy that is usually touted on the old paper brochures.

Thus the confusion – how to use the word skills of the copywriter to the best advantage.

Nick Ursborne author of Net words: says “Better to be hated by some than to be ignored by everyone.”   Not everyone has to like you!

Be real, be human, let your unique personality shine through your writing is the advice for the online copywriters as well as those of us who write reviews and develop our own web sites.  People get to know and trust people who are real and will buy from people they trust.

There is a fine line between being uniquely human, demonstrating strong character and being funky or too hip and offensive.  The key to this is to develop your voice online while insuring that the messages and the tone is consistent with the product or service you are promoting. 

The new online copywriters must be real and congruent to stand out from the crowd!

People Who Should NOT Be Entrepreneurs!

Not to be ashamed if you are one of these people! But how do you know if you are?

This is an email sent out to prospects by Jay Kubassek, one of the founders and trainers with the company that I work with.  He brings out good points that I wanted to share.

Message from Jay: 
“Good Morning,  I've said it before, I'll say it again:
The world NEEDS entrepreneurs now more than ever.
But... not everyone should be an entrepreneur.  
In fact, there are some people who'd be miserable as entrepreneurs,
would probably not make much (if any) money, and would instead
make themselves (and everyone around them) miserable.
I've identified 10 such people below.
If you're one of these 10 people, PLEASE don't go into business.
It's nothing personal.
And I'm not saying you're a "bad person" or anything.
But there's a reason we work extremely hard at PRO Elite
-- to screen these particular people out and not let them
anywhere NEAR us in our personal lives.

Here is the list of people who would not do well as entrepreneurs 
1. Naysayers
2. Whiners
3. Complainers
4. Needy people
5. Berserkers (those who get really angry about nothing)
6. Nit-pickers
7. Freebie-seekers (there is no "free lunch", sorry)
8. Blamers
9. Tire-kickers
10. Spectators (i.e. people who go into business but never
    DO anything)

Okay, so that's the short list.
There are actually more we could add to it. 
And if you're someone who's in one of those 10 categories, 
this is NOT personal- but please don't go into business. 
Don't waste your time.
And don't waste anyone else's time, either.

The world will always need the "worker bees" (those who prefer
working regular jobs, for a paycheck, rather than build a
business).

There's absolutely NO shame in it at all.

And it's perfectly okay (and honorable).

Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, after all.
(The top #3 of producers in society.) Only a few are
ment to be out there in the world competing.
And everyone else?
They buy the t-shirts and hot dogs and enjoy the show.

Everyone wins.

If you think you might be an entrepreneur, here's a way that's
so simple Fox Business News and Home Business Connection
Magazine wanted to interview us about it:
Entrepreneur Interview Info.

Jay Kubassek
World leader in home business training & development,
PRO U, LLC 12 Broad Street, Suite 403 Red Bank,
New Jersey 07701 United States”

http://businesswithdrjill.com/thankyou.php?v=119822451

Do you use a Scattergun or Sniper Rifle for your online business advertising?

Advertising by Scattergun or Sniper Rifle Technique?

If you have the problem of low returns on your advertising you might be using the scatter-gun type of advertising.  If you are going broke on pay-per click advertising you might be using the scatter-gun type of advertising.  I will explain the differences to help you get on target.

Scatter-gun advertising:  Although it is easy to scatter-gun your sales advertising it is not the smartest way to get the word out about your product.  All you need to do is write an advertisement for your product that gives as much information as possible and blast it out through as many advertising media venues as possible.  Scatter-gun advertising puts lots of generic information in the air and hopes someone will get it.  Unfortunately, you may miss the folks who really might be your best customers that way.  You also may attract a lot of “lookey-loos” rather than truly interested customers.  The “lookey-loos” will waste your pay-per-click advertising money!

Sniper type advertising is highly targeted.  It seeks out a specific potential customer from the crowd and sends specific information designed just for them.  This specific potential customer is called your target market.  Before writing the ad-copy the sniper type marketer has taken time to make a profile of who he really wants to attract to his offer.  There will be more clicks from real potential customers from a good profile.  The sniper marketer asks himself many questions and writes them down to form a god profile!

Profiler’s questions to define target market:

1.         Exactly what am I selling – product or service or combination?

2.         Who do I want to buy my product?

  • What is their age group?
  • What is their gender – or does gender matter?
  • What do they do for a living?  Employed, middle class – concerns about economy, young mothers.What is their educational background?
  • Where do they live?  City, suburban, rural, USA or abroad?
  • What are their values? Strong work ethic, self starters, family important.
  • What is their current income?  Less than or greater than $45,000.
  • What types of activities do they enjoy? family activities, competitive activities.
  • Do they use any industry specific “lingo” or terminology?

3.         What are their problems that my product would be their solution?  The problems and product solutions will depend on the product you are marketing.  Some products may answer two questions, e.g. vitamin product with a distributor program.

Problem                 ->              Products

  • Want better health –> vitamins and other health products.
  • Overweight people –> diet information, nutritional information, diet product or exercise equipment.
  • Struggles with making ends meet, family scheduling problems concerns about downsizing at work  –> work from home opportunities, online businesses.
  • Want to earn more money   –> products with affiliate programs or marketing programs in addition to product.
  • Want to work closer to home –> online business – work from home.
  • Frustrated in dead end job –> entrepreneur – online business
  • Want to expand existing business –> online marketing.
  • Want to grow their business –> online marketing training and tools.
  • Want to share information –> blogging training, copywriting training, social network training.
  • What is frustrating them in their current job?  Making their own schedule, being own boss having control over work results –> online business, work at home business would be a product solution..

Once you have identified your target market and their problems that your products would help, you are on your way to becoming a good sniper online advertiser for your business.  You will be able to write advertising that will attract potential customers rather than miss them with the generic scatter-gun online marketing.  You will avoid much of the expense of pay-per-click on the “lookey-loos”.

Spend some time profiling to get better results through sniper targeted advertising your online product or business opportunity, the time invested is well worth it.

How can being an affiliate of some other products help you succeed?

Don’t have a specific product, but want to enter the world of online marketing?  Affiliate marketing may be your answer.  Have a product?  Need more exposure without sale-sy pitches?  Affiliate Marketing may help your exposure to market your own product.

First of all what is affiliate marketing?  A company provides with you a way to make money by promoting their product.  This should be a product or service that you like and use whether it is a freebie or something you have paid to use.

How affiliate marketing works mechanically: 

  • At the bottom of the company web page or under an affiliate tab there will be a link to go to a page to apply to be an affiliate of that company, its rules and procedures.
  • Once you have read and understand their rules and complete the application process that company will assign you a special link to use on your web page, on your blog, in your banner advertising, etc.
  • You will use this link in your advertising/consulting.  When a potential customer clicks on this special link and orders you will get credit for the sale.
  • You will be paid based on the amount of sales made from your link.
  • You can be an affiliate of many companies.
  • Check the home page for services you use and see if there is an affiliate program.
  • Then verify that it is a service that would help your existing business or one that you are proud to stand behind.  It’s your reputation when you recommend something!

How does this affiliate program help the marketer that already has a product to market?

I’ll use myself as an example.

  • I do not market web design or domain name purchasing services.  I have found that some potential customers for my main business [which is online marketing system & training] have some more basic needs and problems.
  • If you want to enter my main business and really prosper you will need your own domain name and a basic web site.
  • If you are new to internet marketing you have no idea how to do it.  I recommend the company that hosts multiple web sites for me under my affiliate link.  click here to check out my recommendation for GoDaddy.
  • By sharing this link and information I am helping you get started in your business and you are more likely to ask for more advice when you have a problem.
  • I helped you with the problem of getting a domain and a web site at a reasonable price, one that is easy to use.  This practice of legitimate helping builds trust between people and people want to work with and be around people they trust.
  • I actually have a web site devoted to helpful links,I am an affiliate of most of them.  www.DrJill-Tips.com

Trust building and getting your name recognized as a helper is a key factor in being successful in your online business.

How does a Marketing Funnel work for you?

Your Marketing Funnel is your marketing system!  The path a person takes from becoming a “lead” all the way to becoming a customer and/or business partner is called the marketing system.  If the marketing system is set up to do most of the filtering work for you it is a funnel.

Remember that most people love to purchase things but hate being sold.  If the marketing system provides services freely that attract people to you, your product and your company you have a working funnel.  I prefer the marketing system that brings interested people to me rather than me beating the bushes for customers.

How to make your marketing system a funnel:  You market yourself as a helper of others, someone who can be trusted.

  • Step one is to provide free information, e-books, videos, articles for free to people who are looking for your opportunity.  Show that you are a trusted expert in your field.
  • Step two:  Have a landing page that provides information about your product/service that asks for contact information to get more free information. A landing page is not multiple area sales but designed for the purpose of giving more information and capturing contact information from curious people.
  • Step three:  Design auto-responders system to send follow-up information to people who provide you with your contact information.  These auto responders should be Thank You’s, and additional links for more information and videos.  You may have a minor purchase for more information but not your main opportunity yet.  As people progress through your series of emails they are getting more information about you and how you are willing and able to help them with their goals.
  • Step four:  Requires personal contact a phone call a video call so these interested people get to see you and interact one on one.  At this stage provide information and answer questions – do not go into a sales pitch.  Let people ask to join your opportunity.
  • Step five: After that contact follow-up with more auto-responders that are more helpful to the contact with more direct referrals to the opportunity as a benefit to the contact.
  • Step six:  You have a contact that has asked you about the opportunity and is ready to work as a part of your team.  Your marketing funnel worked for you.

Remember no matter how good any product is; NO Product sells itself!  There are a lot of good products out there, but there is only one you.  So market yourself as a helper, set yourself up to be an expert, design a smooth flowing auto-responder program to help you sort your leads and then provide personal introduction to You.

This takes a lot of work and split testing of a variety of landing pages and auto-responder letters.  You will need to connect with a company who has excellent training.  Or you can connect with a company that has a marketing funnel program in place as well as a training program to teach you how to expand on it.

Work hard or work smart – take you choice.  Want to learn more about working smart with your own marketing funnel? Click here.

The Unmaking of an Entrepreneur?

So you decided to be an Entrepreneur to supplement or replace your current W-2 “Job” income.  You found a company/product and are launched.  How are you doing now?  I made that decision several years ago and have hit many of the bumps and deep potholes in the road to success that you are experiencing.

The main factor to my floundering has been the training & marketing plans offered by the companies that I was affiliated.

                                   Have these things happened to you?

The first opportunity I joined had a wonderful product, but no real training. 

  • It was one of those companies that started the training with:  “Make a list of friends & family.” Sound familiar?   All this got me was a lot of folks that dodged me and my phone calls and NO sales.
  • The second suggestion was to: “Sort of eaves-drop in public [check out lines etc] and if I heard anyone expressing dissatisfaction with their job or lack of money, I was to go into my 30 Second Elevator Speech and share my business card.  All that got me was requests from the store management not to talk to anyone in the store or not to come back and NO sales.  Sound familiar?
  • The other suggestion in the training was to have Home Parties and Hotel Meetings.  Works for Tupperware right?  So I showed up with my flip charts or power-point presentation after organizing the meeting.  A few people show up, but no one is interested.  Did they just come for the snacks or to get out of the house?
  • Have you been frustrated with this approach also?

The next thing I was advised  was to purchase huge leads lists and calling with a prepared script.  “It’s a numbers game. Just increase your numbers.”

  • That got me a lot of hang ups and folks telling me they did not want a home business – and that they just filled out a form while trying to win a computer.
  •  After going through 25,000 purchased leads, I had 6 customers.  Only 1 of which still places a couple of orders a year.  Not a real good return on my investment.
  • Have you been disappointed by this type of advice?

The next approach was a step in the sort of right direction: My up-line developed a plan a program that was easy to follow to recruit people into the business.  Program was a little pricey, but looked well organized.  The problem with it was – I still had to get folks to talk to.  Meaning I had to chase folks down to get them to listen to my pitch.

  • I was told my lack of success was – lazy not getting out to talk to folks enough.
  • I was told I was not motivated enough.
  • Again massive work and time and minimal business growth.  And what’s more the folks that joined me because of the system dropped out after seeing that it did not grow the business quickly
  • Has this happened to you?

All along this disappointing and frustrating process I was learning:

  • A good product does not sell itself.
  • Annoying friends and families is not the way to run a business.
  • Ambushing folks in public – pushing business cards etc alienates people.
  • Buying huge lists of expensive leads with no marketing plan attached does not bring you income.
  • People like to buy stuff but, hate being sold.
  • No it’s not exactly sales, but it is marketing.
  • Good training is step by step and geared for the beginner so it can be learned and shared.
  • The training should be in the marketing system not just in the scripts.
  • I needed a clear training system with a good marketing system. The marketing system should do the sorting of leads with potential for you.

I wanted what you want and need: a good training system with training on how to use and profit from a good marketing system.  Support from a mentor to assist with your personal plan.

When you are using the best tools [the system] for the job your business will grow.  See what I found click here.

 

 

 

So you have your own business. How do you keep your liability low and save money on taxes?

  • You might want to look into forming a Limited Liability Company also known as LLC.  A LLC is the merging of corporate structure and partnership structure of business, but in a simpler form.  With a LLC there is much less administrative paperwork and record keeping than for a corporation.
  • In most states having a LLC name will prevent someone else going into business with your LLC name, but only in the registering LLC’s State.
  • Owners of a LLC have the liability protection of a corporation. A LLC exists as a separate entity much like a corporation. Members/owners cannot be held personally liable for debts unless they have signed a personal guarantee or unless fraud or misrepresentation has occurred.
  • LLC is simpler to form than a corporation and has lower tax obligations.  Single owner LLC may use Schedule C on his personal tax return.  Multiple owners is a Partnership LLC and may be reported on IRS 1065.  Either single or multiple owners may elect to be set up and taxed as C or S Corporations.  With the S Corporation being the simplest to set up and run.
  • The District of Columbia, for one, considers LLCs to be taxable entities, thus eliminating the benefit of “flow-through taxes” by subjecting members to double taxation. Under these circumstances, LLCs will usually choose to be taxed as a partnership to avoid double taxation, which occurs in corporations. This allows companies to distribute their income among members who then report it on their personal tax returns.
  • Many states have a franchise tax or capital values tax on LLC’c some of these are Alabama, California, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.  This franchise tax is usually small compared to corporation tax liability savings and financial legal liability risk reduction.
  • It is urgent to note that Single owner must have separate bank account for the LLC and pay himself from that account.  The single owner may still report profit/loss on his personal income tax, but there must be a separation of funds in the day to day operation.  For example: Do not pay the household electric bill from the LLC checking account directly, but write a check from LLC to personal account then pay personal household electric bill from personal account.
  • There are many benefits of creating an LLC which make it worth the initial application form completion and the initial fees.  Taking time to investigate your State’s policy will be worth your time to assure your legal standing for taxes and daily function.  There is some recognition with International LLC’s that is imperative to investigate.
  • You need to check out your states regulations and complete the forms.  You do not need to pay an online company or a lawyer to do these forms, for single owner or basic simple partnerships.  Obtaining the filing forms and regulations from your home office state will insure you are compliant in your place of operation.
  • Search for www.state.PutNameofYourStateHere.us  to find out your local information

Life is full of minor emergencies! How do you keep your cool?

Running your own business is a lot, but if you add in the household emergencies…..

Do you keep your cool or do you fall apart?  To keep your cool, you need to know how to fix or prevent the household emergencies so family life goes on smoothly.  For example:

  • You are visiting someone and you flush the toilet – the water rises and rises!  You do not know where your host keeps the plunger and do not want to leave a mess on the floor.  What do you do?
  • Time crunch in the morning.  Go out to the car and find the windshield iced up – you are late what do you do?
  • You are so busy getting side dishes ready and doing a quick pick up of the house because company is coming.  You are cooking a turkey and do not have time to baste frequently, but want a moist turkey.  What do you do?
  • Tired of paying for expensive bird food, just to feed the squirrels?  How can you keep the squirrels out of the feeder?
  • You are planning to cook fish for dinner and don’t want to smell it for days.  What do you do?
  • There is gum stuck in your carpet.  What do you do?
  • Company is coming and your toilet is stopped up and no plunger.  What do you do?

The answer to the last one is as follows from the newsletter by Joan and Lydia Wilen.

“Just squirt some liquid dish detergent, wait 15 minutes, and you are good to go.”  

These wonderful ladies with their fantastic fixes for household problems have come to my rescue many times.  I save them in a folder to refresh my memory as needed.

Want to know more about these easy fixes? Just email Joan and Lyndia and ask to be on their Household Magic Tips Newsletter list.   newsletters@news.bottomlinepubs.com  That’s it and open your email to have household problems solved like having a Fairy Godmother handy!

 

 

Third in the 3 part series: So you want to work from home? Which one is right for you?

Deciding to work at home to supplement your income or to replace your income requires some research.  There are many options to work at home.  In two earlier posts I reviewed seven of them. (First Post) and (Second Post)

The eighth area to consider for working at home is web design – need to be a teckie to succeed, but those with the technical skills can make some rather decent money.  Upside:  Can name own pay, within reason, and can make own schedule.  Downside: when you design a site you may be responsible for it staying “up” and may have emergency calls about “down” issues or change issues. You will also have to learn to market yourself.

The ninth area to consider for working at home is financial adviser:  To succeed you would need to have specialized education and lots of liability insurance and most importantly a good track record of success.  Upside: May be able to make own schedule.  The best way to get a good track record of success may be to work for a company that allows its advisers to work off site.  Downside:  Even with risk disclaimers you can be sued.  The real successful ones appear to be attached to brick & mortar company. The free lance financial adviser work is usually paid by percentage of profits.

The tenth area to consider for working at home is to work at your own current job from home:  You may be lucky your company is online and will permit telecommunication for meetings and online work. – Congratulations you have a job that is portable, but is it profitable?  – After all it’s still a job.  Upside:  You are familiar with the company and the work, and the pay rate is consistent.  Downside: May not have earnings ceiling, just like at the brick & mortar office.  Your current company may not have online work potential.

The eleventh area to consider for working at home is online marketing:  A good company will have online training and mentoring support to assist you in gaining the skills you need to succeed. College degree not required.  Earnest desire to learn and discipline to work independently required for the entrepreneur.  There is an unlimited earning potential.  Earnings will depend on your skills and your time not some artificial pay ceiling established by the company.  To check out one of my favorite online companies click here.

There are as many opportunities for working at home online as there are seekers.  After you decide which type of opportunity you like and that will meet your financial needs, please make sure to do your research to find a company that is reputable.