There wasn’t a post planned for today, which ends up helping our friend Beverly Mahone a great deal, and you as well, and I guess me because I have another day to write another post and that never hurts.
For a short time, as in a day, Amazon is releasing her book at an ebook for free, part of their one-click program that I actually use to download books here and there. Often you don’t know what you’re really getting when you do something like that, but in this case since I wrote a review on this blog you can know exactly what you’re getting. And her book got no greater endorsement than the fact that my wife read it, and she doesn’t read almost any books. 🙂
Here’s a little blurb Beverly wrote:
“I am giving away a FREE digital copy of my book ‘Don’t Ask and I Won’t Have to Lie‘. You don’t have to have a Kindle reader to download. Amazon will give you an Amazon Cloud Reader for FREE. Help me take this book to Number 1! (Even if you’ve purchased a printed copy, please download the free one) If you do and let me know, I’ll send you a bonus THANK YOU gift. Here’s the link“.
There you go; short post and a free book to boot. So, what are you waiting for?
Man, I must be the worst husband in the world. Here I am, talking about all this stuff I do and have, and I just realized that I haven’t mentioned my wife’s website in almost 18 months. Well, let me take care of that right now.
Her site is called Li’l Specs, and she makes customized clay pins. The reason you see them with eyeglasses is because they’re actually pins you can wear and, if you have reading glasses, you can hang your glasses on them so you won’t misplace them.
She’s got a great inventory of pins, and her most popular seems to be dogs. Actually, if you just wanted either dog pins or fish pins you could just request one and she could get you something fairly quickly. Or if you wanted something special, say a whale, she can do that as well. If you wanted your specific pet and wanted to send a picture she can do that, but it’s much easier if you just said “I want to doberman” or “I want a dog” or “I want a fish”.
Something else she makes are what’s known as pillow blankets. If you follow that link, you’ll see four pictures of the one she made for me. It’s hard to show them properly, but mine is about 6′ in length and 3′ wide. She makes them in 3 sizes, which includes the baby sets she makes. I haven’t talked about the blankets in the other posts, as she wasn’t sure way back when that she wanted to add that to what she does, but now she has.
Li’l Specs; think of it, check it out, and trust me, it’s something no one else you know will be wearing until they see yours. And yes, the pins are mainly for women, but she made American flags one year and there were some men who bought them, so she’s pretty flexible. The blankets; I’ll just say that I use mine every single night, and I’ve even taken it on the road with me. It might be too late to get it there by Christmas, but they’d make great New Years gifts as well.
I’ve mentioned here and there that I am a member of an organization called the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York; I’m also on the board. What happened is that the Monday before our November meeting that year the president sent out a notice saying that our speaker had canceled at the last minute. He asked all the board members what we should do about the meeting on Friday. I don’t know what I was thinking about, but I volunteered to do a presentation on search engine optimization (SEO).
The funny thing is that I was already giving a presentation on Wednesday on hospital charge changes as it relates to coding that was going into effect on January 1st. So I already had one presentation that I’d been rehearsing for, and here I was volunteering for another one; I must’ve been out of my mind. Still, I was up for the challenge.
After the presentation I gave on that Wednesday, I came home and I sat at my desk trying to figure out exactly what I was going to talk about for my presentation on Friday. Late that evening, I came up with an idea that was going to put something together, and I went to bed around 4 AM, woke at 9 AM, and spent the next seven hours putting it together. I thought it was pretty good, and then did a little bit of rehearsing to get the time down, figuring that just because I was doing a last-minute presentation didn’t mean that I had the luxury of walking in and not being prepared. I do consider myself a professional after all.
The next morning I gave my presentation, and let’s just say that it went over very well. It was like I was bringing a whole new concept to these guys, and seeing as how at the time I was probably the youngest person in the room, I can understand that; isn’t that a shame? Anyway, afterwards I ended up having some of the members of the organization asking me if I would do some things with their websites. I thought that was pretty cool, and I realized there was another way I could generate some income. As you know I’m a big proponent of The Secret, where it says that you never know where an opportunity for success will come from, and I figured this might be one of those ways.
At that time I also decided it was time to create a new business website, so I came up with the name SEO Xcellence; actually, all those letters were initially linked together, but for some reason people couldn’t see the one word without seeing the word “sex”, even though I couldn’t see it. So it took me about a year but I finally made the change to what you see above (as of December 2014 the site has been shut down).
A year later I created this blog, and a few months in, with very little traffic and a whole lot of chutzpah, I decided to see if I could do a legitimate product launch. Truthfully, I had no real idea what I was doing, and the truth of the matter is that I didn’t have enough people following me on this blog or Twitter for that matter for it to have had a chance at success. Yet, I still gave it a shot.
I wrote the book, I sent it out to a few people I not only trusted, but figured might learn a couple of things about the topic. I got positive reviews from everyone, and luckily one guy really scrutinized it and saw some typos in it, and once I get those corrected I was ready to go. So I announced that the ebook was coming, and five days later I had the product launch.
In retrospect it was a moronic way for me to do it. You don’t do a product launch with only five days notice because there is no way you can build up enough enthusiasm in only five days. Also, you need followers, or at least some kind of big list of people you can send something out to, and I had neither. So on the day of the launch I sold two books, then didn’t sell another book for about a year and a half. Still, I have made some sales, and it’s a product that helps me advertise how I can help small to medium-size businesses with their websites and internet presence.
There’s the story of Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool. It will be interesting to see if the search engines think that the title indicates that this is a duplicate or triplicate post, since I’ve probably had at least two other posts with the same title on them; probably not. I made sure when I wrote this not to make it too complicated, so it’s not overly long. But it is about 56 pages worth of information, and if you’re new to the whole thing I think if you liked how I write explanations on this blog of things you will like that ebook.
It’s Friday, and I figured it was time for something a little intriguing, more of a question and comment and a wish that I could remember what got me thinking about this.
Actually, that’s not quite accurate; I remember what got me thinking about it lately. I was reading a post by Larry Brauner of Online Social Networking, whom I mentioned as one of my early commenters, called Top 10 Ways To Get Facebook Page Fans. As I was reading each of the points, I smiled when I realized that half of them involved asking people to join in some fashion that was more direct than just writing about it on one’s blog, which I’ve also done, as well as adding a widget, which you see there to the right.
The thing that made me smile wasn’t so much that Larry had half of his points saying that as much as the reality that I’ve read often how we’re supposed to ask people to sign up for this or that, or help us out in some fashion. As a matter of fact, I did that very thing just over 2 years ago when I first stated that I wanted more RSS subscribers, and here and there I’ve asked that question again, adding a failed contest along the way.
It’s strange because days ago I wrote about how bad I’ve been in promoting my own products, and now I realize that I’m pretty bad at asking people to sign up for anything on this blog, or other blogs, or my website, or even to follow me on Twitter. What is this thing all about? What the heck is wrong with me?
Actually, I think it ties in with a conversation Sire and I were having in a comment area about talking ourselves up. He felt it was kind of unseemly, while I said if you can back it up and were actually telling the truth that it’s not such a bad thing. And I truly believe that; yet, here I sit, not really talking about myself all that much in the things I do for work, and the things I believe I could do for others.
True, this blog isn’t necessarily a blog to market myself, but it has been a component over the years. Early on, I used to talk about all these different methods I’ve tried in making money online, and I used to disclose my monthly income all the time; not so much now. The truth is that I believe I’m kind of a talented guy. Sure, you wouldn’t know it by that image above; yeah, I drew that for one of those online survey things.
I’m definitely not an artist by any means. But I have been a songwriter, have written two books now, helped a hospital make more than $700 million in revenue in one year, helped a guy get an $80,000 contract two weeks after just one business coaching session, had articles in many magazines over the course of the last 8 years and gave a keynote presentation at a health care conference in 2007. And I make a mean meatloaf, even if I might mess up tuna every once in awhile (only once; read the story).
Other than writing the books, who knew any of that other stuff? For that matter, what else don’t you know about me? And trust me, there’s plenty more. That’s my fault because, though I feel I disclose a lot, I really don’t promote myself all that much. It’s one reason why next week I’ll be having those evening posts about my products; gotta promote something, right?
Anyway, Larry’s right, and it does me little good to go out kicking and screaming against it because, well, overall it’s just not my style. But I did talk about wanting to be known as a big time blogger, so it behooves me to just come out and ask. In my way, of course.
So, as humbly as I can, I’d like to ask that, if you participate, you assist me in this fashion, and of course I do it as well when I can, and we can all win:
1. Hook up with my Facebook business page (I hate that it’s still called “fan” page, but oh well), and of course hook up with me on Facebook as well.
2. If a post grabs you enough, whether you comment on it or not, and you’re on Twitter, click that “retweet” thing at the top right of the post and share it with others. I went with Topsy because it doesn’t make you add an application to your Twitter account to use.
3. If you like a post, whether you comment or not, think about clicking on that little “like” thing at the end of each post. If you want to know the truth, I really have no idea where that goes or if it shows anywhere else except on the post, but it’s there looking pretty lonely most of the time.
4. If you’re predisposed to do so, ask me to write a guest post for you. For this one, you’ll have to send me an email, which is under the “contact” tab at the top of the blog. I refuse to ask people if I can write a guest post for their blog, but I’ve asked people to write guest posts for this blog, and I have written a few here and there this year, but nowhere close to as many as I had thought I would. And I know the guest posting rules since I wrote some, and our friend Pat wrote a wonderful one last week on someone else’s blog and has responded to every person that’s commented; great job Pat!
That’s all I have. Now, other than next week, watch me go another year before remembering to ask for something; oh well… 😉 And be on the lookout closer to the end of the year, because next year I’m going webinar crazy; well, for me at least.
Two weeks ago I wrote two posts on social media marketing. The first was titled Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?. The second was called Goals For A Social Media Strategy. I was attempting to start a general conversation on the topics because I kind of had an ulterior motive planned. Some of you (Scott, Dennis) wanted more specifics on those goals; I didn’t want to give them up. Now I can talk about it a bit more.
On July 22nd, in Cortland NY, I’m going to be a big part of a workshop on social media marketing. Okay, truthfully I’m doing most of it, but my friend Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus is going to be doing a part of it as well. The topic is titled Make A Splash With Social Media Marketing For Business. This is a 6-hour presentation that will talk about social media strategies, mention special social media outlets and actually help people set things up as need be. We’re also doing the same presentation on August 19th, but I really want July to be successful.
We’re charging $149 for members of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and $169 for everyone else. That’s because the venue sponsoring us is Greek Peak Mountain Resort, a new member of the Chamber (for those who are local I know they’re not in Liverpool, but I don’t ask questions lol) who’s promoting their new attraction, Cascades Indoor Water Park. And if you think that’s a high price, Renée got a flyer in the mail last week for a similar presentation being given in Hawaii for $475 for the same time frame; this is a steal! And there’s a special price which makes it inviting to turn it into an all day thing with the family; coupons if you will. Here’s the flyer to download if you’d like to check it out.
The thing is I wasn’t initially a part of this event. I was asked if I would take over for someone else, and there were some circumstances that I wanted taken care of before I consented. Those have been taken care of, so now I’m a part of this thing. And I have a lot of work to do; I’ve already started on the initial outline, but this is at least 5 hours of talking, presenting, and hands on teaching, so it’s more than the traditional presentation for me.
Now, something I mentioned to my friend Scott is that I don’t believe all goals have to have a time frame on them, and I stick by that. He is correct that most trainers will say you must have a date on it, otherwise it won’t have a chance to be fulfilled. How many of you have lost the amount of weight you said you were going to lose by the date you set? I thought so. How many of you have lost at least some weight by the date you set? I’m betting that’s a different number, and that’s kind of my point. Sometimes the effort towards the goal is more important than the date on the goal; at least that’s how I’m dealing with this thing with my health club, as I’ve yet to lose any weight but have lost some inches.
Anyway, now I can reveal the goal that I really had, which is to have at least 50 people at this event in July. Actually, some of the things we’ve tried have already been put into motion, but I’ll talk about mine, since I’m going to be trying it the social media way. Once a week for the next 2 weeks I’ll be having a post on the event on this blog; that might mean two blog posts in a day, or it might be the only post on that day. In the last 10 days I’ll be throwing a blurb on here as well, and one of the posts will be a sticky post, which means visitors to the blog that come in through the mail page will see it at the top for those 10 days. I’ll also be writing about it on my business blog; I’m not sure I’ll be writing about it more than once on my finance blog, since the topics aren’t quite compatible.
I’ve already started talking about it on LinkedIn, albeit kind of discreetly. I’ve had 3 people contact me asking me to keep them in the loop when I knew more; that’s not a bad start, and now that I can be more free, I’m going for it. How am I going to do it? I’m going to use the 120 character box on the main page to mention it and link to it, and I’ll be throwing out something in some of the local LinkedIn groups I’m a part of. In the last few weeks my connections have grown, and now I’m sitting at around 235 people; that’s not so bad.
It will become a part of my Twitter marketing. Of course the messages will go out when the blogs post, since those messages go out automatically, but I’ll be wording the campaign differently when I mention it separately. The thing about Twitter is that you can miss a lot of people if you only post something once a day, since the stream moves fast. Lucky for me, I talk about so many other things, as well as talk to people in general, that hopefully it won’t be seen as spamming the masses too much. Oh yeah, there’s also a Tweetup on the 30th that I’m going to, and I’ll be talking about it there as well. It’s an offshoot of social media marketing, so it counts; my rules. And y’all can look to the right there to see how many folks I have following me there.
As for Facebook, first I hope more of you join my Facebook business page, for which the widget is there to the right, or you can click on this FB business link. I’m going to mention it in that group, and of course I’ll create an event link to market it as well. I have almost 450 friends there, but of course I’m only going to send a specific link to those people who are local. I’m also a part of a couple of local groups there as well, so you can bet they’ll hear about it.
Both Renée and I will be doing an email marketing campaign as well, as it’s part of social media marketing, old school as it were. We’ll be getting some help with that one via the Liverpool Chamber; ah, finally something that my paying a membership for is providing me. 🙂 Renée will be using Constant Contact, and she’ll be presenting that since I know nothing about it except I market it as an affiliate.
One final thing we might be doing concerns the webinar we gave last year. I want to talk about YouTube in a bit more detail, so our plan is to take a piece out of that webinar we market and have a short video from it made so we can then create a YouTube page to put it on. I’m not sure how well that will be received, but it’s the next step in my overall social media marketing strategy, so I might as well get a jump on learning how to use it, right?
Anyway, time to end this one. As you can see, it’s an audacious goal, but we’re going to push this one hard. We have verbal commitments; now all we have to do is turn those verbals into actual paying customers. And now you know the rest of the story; thanks Paul Harvey. Stay tuned; at some point after the event I might let you know how successful we were. Oh yeah; future emails will be much shorter. 😀